When a Makeup Artist Wears No Makeup

Just before my wedding, I started having problems with my eyes. I’d pull out my contacts at night and immediately run to grab an ice cube to numb my eyelids enough to sleep. When we got back from our honeymoon, I found the problem persisted: toward the end of the work day, my eyes would start to itch along the top waterline. After cleansing, the issue got worse, and after contact removal, I was back to pressing a cool cloth to my lids until I could fall asleep. I considered wearing my glasses for a few days, but like them though I do, the lenses are a material that make it difficult for me to wear them all day without getting a headache. I decided to start the journey of discovery by going sans eye makeup.

The next morning, I washed my face and applied my usual skincare, then only eye base lightly to conceal my veiny lids. I applied brows and face products as I normally do, and opted for a bold, deep red lip to counter the bare eye. Maybe people would think I’m a mysteriously beautiful French woman?

EC 90s IG selfie

Still, I felt kind of off all day. I got home feeling puffy and unattractive…but I wasn’t itchy. I took out my contacts and my eyes itched a little, but not enough to require numbing before sleep. The next day, I did the same makeup. Honestly I sort of enjoyed the extra time I had in the morning. I made myself pancakes. They weren’t good, but hey, they were pancakes.

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I mentioned in passing to a customer that when I wear mascara, it’s often Stila or Rilastil, and she responded, “Oh! I guess you’re not wearing any today. I didn’t even notice!” That was moderately reassuring, I’ll be honest. Over the next few days, I experimented with lip colors. I wore pinks, reds, burgundies, you name it. Then, as I tossed my hair into a tousled pony, I decided to go beachy with no bold color. (Obviously I still wore lipstick. What am I, a heathen? Nah, I kid, I just work in a makeup store.)

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I’ve asked Brandon about 8,000 times if he still thinks I’m pretty. I’ve made myself pancakes twice more, and once I even made eggs to go with them. I find it’s a mixed bag, this more-time + less-of-what-I-usually-look-like thing. But I’ve found that I actually like it. Yes, I’m in love with Revitalash, and enjoy it when people notice how long my lashes are. But I’m starting to really enjoy the way I look without liner and mascara, and until I reach a real conclusion about my eyes, I think I’ll continue the streak. After all, even if no one thinks I’m a mysteriously beautiful French woman, I certainly feel it. And that’s…kind of even better.

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