We’ve all tried #NoMakeupMakeup. But would you try #NoMakeupAtAll? BB editor Brionie Pereira is a makeup junkie who’s never gone a day without makeup on her face. Rumor has it, she even puts on makeup to go to the corner shop.
This made her the perfect target for our challenge – because while we’re in the business of makeup, we occasionally like to dabble in the business of making lives miserable.
On the turn of the New Year, we challenged her to a 7 Day Makeup Detox, and she was silly enough to take it on.
Below, she chronicles her week spent without the makeup wand, and tells us if she found magic or misery:
Read on to know about how to go makeup free:
Day 1:Had a nightmare last night that my face peeled off in the middle of a meeting at the office, leading all my colleagues to point, shriek and flee in terror. Totally unrelated, I’m sure.Today’s been alright so far – aside from the fact that my team did a double-take when they first saw me, quickly composing themselves after the initial shock (or horror, who knows?). This morning, I woke like I do on all mornings, in a sort of zombie-apocalypse stupor that involves me going about my business on autopilot. Obviously, I went for the makeup kit without even realising it. In fact, realization only hit me once I was done with my foundation and let me tell you – it took all my willpower to take it off again.Did a brisk walk to the cab with my eyes pointed towards the ground and slid in the backdoor at work. I plan to avoid mirrors and work from behind a sheath of hair all day. Wish me luck.
Day 2:My mom always told me to put my best face forward no matter where I’m going, because you never know if Mr Right is ’round the corner. I scoffed then, but we all have that fateful yet inevitable day when we realize that mom – as always was right. Today was mine. I was at the grocery store, fumbling with my shopping cart and wallet, when I looked up to find my old, childhood crush at the cashier a few spots ahead of me. My hands flew up instinctively to cover my bare, no- makeup, blemished face causing my groceries (yes, there were eggs) to splatter on the ground. Of course, none of this mattered. It didn’t even matter that I’d waited in the snaking queue for a good 20 minutes. I was flying out the door before you could finish saying ‘Illuminator’.Work wasn’t any better. Three people asked me if I were fatally ill, to which I nodded yes, yes I have contracted the bubonic plague - because let’s be honest – this isn’t the sort of ‘I woke up like this’ anyone’s proud to cop to.
Day 3:After yesterday’s debacles, I realized I had a real problem. A problem that required a skin-tervention.
I’d spent so many years skipping skincare in favor of the miraculous subterfuge of makeup that I’d really, really neglected my skin. Luckily, I work at Nykaa.com, which means that all the skincare a girl could possibly want is only a mouse click away. While I was on there, the Makeup category (or as I liked to call it: ‘bae’) writhed and beckoned on the menu, as if to say, “Love me, choose me, pick me.” But I was a reformed woman (or at least, pretending to be), so I avoided eye contact and quickly escaped to the skincare section.By the end of the day, I’d ordered my weight in creams, sheet masks and serums. If I were going to do this, I’d do it right. Not to mention, I had an office party in two days, which would serve as the cotillion for my makeup-free face. *cue horror music*PS: If you, like me, aren’t lucky enough to crowdsource your routine from a room full of beauty editors, check out the Routine Finder on Nykaa. All you need to do is put in your skin type, concerns etc, and it will create the perfect routine for you.
Day 4:It’s Day 4 and life isn’t so bad right now. I spent all day slathered in heaven-scented creams, serums and sheet masks.As per my new skincare routine, my morning started with three layers of love. First up: a good wake-me-up for my skin. A rose by any other name might smell as sweet, but it probably won’t pack as much punch as Kama Ayurveda’s Pure Rosewater, which was pure love at first spritz.Up next: hydration. My colleague suggested Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, which is basically more a celebrity than a moisturizer, and works perfect for super dry skin like my own. If your skin, like mine, gets like the Rann of Kutch in the winter, you want this Squalene-infused cult beauty STAT. It’s been half a day now, and my skin still feels super hydrated.And last but defos not the least: sun protection. When it comes to sunscreen, I always go with an Asian brand over any other. I mean, who might understand the sorrows of living near the Equator better than our fellow Asians? I picked The Face Shop’s Natural Eco Clear Sunscreen Stick – it’s lightweight, easy to use and comes with K-Beauty brightening benefits, too. God knows I need those.The rest of the day was spent taking sheet-mask breaks, (FYI: Forest Essentials’ Tejasvi Brightening & Lightening Sheet Mask for brightening + BeauuGreen Essence Mask - Coenzyme Q10 for antioxidant benefits).Safe to say I fell asleep with a renewed heart, renewed skin cells and fewer butterflies wreaking havoc about the damn party.
Day 5:Judgement day is officially here. Today I bare my soul skin to the entire company, and I am SHOOK. Will it be a Hitchcock-styled nightmare full of bloodcurdling screams, or a Shrek-style happily ever after where they finally accept me for the ogre I am?I spent all day asking God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, but I ended up being fixated on the things I could, if only I had the permission to pick up the makeup brush.Fortunately, I fell down a rabbit hole of emails and the day passed quickly. Unfortunately, this meant makeup hour came quicker, and while all my colleagues brandished their brushes and blenders to gussy up for the party, I sat in the corner trying to fend off my worst cravings yet. At this point, I was technically at Step 4 in my recovery, which involves making a ‘fearless moral inventory’. Instead, I was making a tearful inventory of all the makeup I could’ve used.I knew I couldn’t use makeup, but I used Body Shop’s All-In-One BB Cream and a bit of tinted lip balm so I didn’t look entirely deceased – and hey, it’s more skincare than makeup anyway.When the party finally came around, I decided to postpone the niceties for later and went straight to the bar. (On a side note: and this might just be in my head, but I felt like it was harder than usual to get the bartender’s attention.) Three drinks down and a couple of confused “you look…..different”s later, I finally managed to loosen up and have a good time.No one screamed, my friends still loved me and when the clock struck 12, I didn’t turn into a pumpkin. Didn’t find my Prince either, but overall, it was a night well-spent.That said, I’m never doing it again.
Day 6:I’m hungover AF, so today is particularly hell. I’m also unusually snappy and argumentative today, so much so that I find myself taking it out on the 12 steps. For example – Steps 6 & 7 ask that you be ready to have God remove the defects of your characters. But hello? God’s a busy guy! He has poverty, Trump, sick kids and wars to worry about – why bother him with my defects when makeup can do the job as swimmingly? My dark circles, for example. Concealer doth remove them! An uneven skin tone? One hallowed swish of the foundation brush delivers thee.Step 9 asks that you make amends to people you have hurt – but it’s too late now. They will never un-see it. They will lie awake at night, unable to sleep at the sight of my ghastly, unmade face.PS: On the bright side, the skincare rituals seems to be kicking in nicely. For example, only one person at work asked me if I was sick today.
Day 7:The hangover’s passed today, and so has my scorn. The withdrawals have subsided, too: no shakes, no cravings or urges, and no resistance. And that’s because the urge gave way to an epiphany.After debating the utility of this challenge all of yesterday, I realized that I was kind of missing the point. This isn’t at all about rejecting the functional benefits of makeup – let’s face it, you can’t argue those – but embracing yourself despite of your flaws.The post-makeup era has made our lives much easier (and prettier), and empowered so many women, but that empowerment is often limited to the makeup itself. Our gazes have been airbrushed by impossible ideals, as though the world will crumble if our reflections don’t reveal long lashes, luscious lips and lunar-level glowiness at all times.But today, for the first time, I looked in the mirror and didn’t completely hate myself. And while I successfully kicked the habit of using makeup for 7 days, it’ll take much longer to unlearn the idea that I’m pretty without it; zits, blemishes, bags, emotional baggage et al.