The Makeup Detox

By Kristin Flowers

The Back Story: Last month I submitted an article about a forty day COMPLETE detox that I was trying – we are talking clean eating, organic everything, tons of water and zero chemicals. This means no make-up or cleansers that contain chemicals or toxins too. As I said Complete Detox.  With the help of my doctor I formulated a plan and was set for success. I can do anything for 40 days right?  When I submitted the Part I of my article, one of the GOTG editors suggested that a completed analysis as opposed to a two part article might be interesting to readers. The idea intrigued me and I  decided to do a week by week “detox diary” update.

But something changed.

I did keep that diary, but one major theme emerged from it and it had nothing to do with food. Despite losing weight and feeling healthier there was still something I was unhappy with and it was the fact that I couldn’t use makeup.

For this detox I was told to cut out all oils and fats from my life and that included those found in make up, bath lotions, shampoo and conditioner, hair gel and even deodorant.

Not only did I have to give them up I had to keep it that way for forty days. A Make Up Detox for 40 DAYS.

I know what you are thinking. Was there a constant gray cloud swirling over me like PigPen from Peanuts? Surprisingly no. My doctor showed me some organic and oil free alternatives to prevent me from being the stinky kid in school so that was a big plus.

He did tell me however that I couldn’t use makeup.

What’s the big problem? I thought to myself. It’s only a little more than a month and I can totally do that. Also, I’m not normally the girl that “puts her face on” in the morning, especially since I work so early, but the idea of not wearing something on my face began to completely freak me out as the detox began.

I felt self conscious and not nearly as outgoing. The worst part is I felt I needed to apologize to everyone who would listen. “Sorry for the way I look”, “it’s this diet I’m on” and “I normally much more polished than this” were all things that came out of my mouth multiple times to people who said nothing about my appearance. It was a barrage of excuses, one right after another, for the fact that I was wearing only my natural skin and not trying to correct my imperfections. I even felt envious reading an article on Yahoo of a blogger who wrote about her experience with eyebrow extensions. Instead of questioning the new trend the first thing I thought was that maybe I should try it after these forty days.

Feeling a bit ashamed at my vanity I took to the internet and found out I was not alone.

According to a UK study two-thirds of women say they need to wear makeup to the gym to feel confident and nearly a fifth said that they would wear full make up during a marathon. Crazy right? Who would want to sweat with caked on makeup? But looking back at pictures of me from 5Ks I noticed that I too had always worn something. A bit of mascara, lip gloss, or even some powder so I don’t seem so shiny at the finish line. I obviously was one of these statistics.

So I dug further. In a few chat boards I found one professional woman who said that she wore makeup everyday in case “god forbid” someone called her via Facetime. Initially I felt for her, I too would feel uncomfortable but that thought made me sad. Here is a professional woman, very high up in her field, that feels like she has to cover up her natural beauty for people to take her seriously.

I decided to look closer to home and asked the women around my office how they felt about wearing makeup and the responses were very similar. Only one woman out of the three did not wear makeup on a daily bases and only put it on when they wanted to make a good impression. Another lady said that putting on makeup makes her feel more womanly and the third said she wore makeup everyday to distract people from her personality. I still don’t know if she was kidding.

As this forty day detox comes to a close I am proud that I stuck to it and tried this, not only for my health, but also as an experiment in self confidence. The fantastic GOTG article last month about loving your body was so inspiring to me but I realized I still have a long way to go when it comes to loving myself.  I have to remind myself that I was just as funny, interesting, desirable and productive these last forty days without makeup than I was the ones before it with makeup.

Just like a lot of people I consider myself to be a work in progress and I’m happy to have had this opportunity to step outside my comfort zone. Knowing what I know now I look forward to continuing to improve my health and gain confidence over my body but don’t be surprised if you catch me shopping in the organic section with a little bit of lip gloss on.

(Left) Before, (Right) After
(Left) Before, (Right) After

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