“Breaking a decade of habit: how I went makeup free.”

Written By: Gabriela Pereira

I got my first pimple at eleven years old.

It showed up overnight, a red spot on my forehead, huge against my childish frame. It hurt when I pressed it, it swollen after I picked on it, and it stayed on me for a week. The same thing happened week after that, and today, eleven years later, I still wake up to the feeling to something pulsing on my skin. I’m well versed on the sensation now, since it has become a part of my life.  

With the discovery of acne, came the discovery of self-consciousness. At twelve, I started to take notice on makeup, and wonder if it could help me cover up. A little bit of my mother’s powder, a splash of her too dark foundation, a curtain of long hair on my face. It helped me conceal, but it also instigated the sense of shame and wrongness in my own skin. As the tallest girl in my class, I learned to hunch my shoulders and disappear.  

With the years came the better foundations, the concealers, and the necessity. I would wake up one hour early everyday just, so I could do my makeup, because I wouldn't dare to leave the house without it.

And then one day, I just stopped. I woke up late, got dressed in a hurry, ran my way into college.

My face was bare, and surprisingly for me, the world didn’t explode. Life went on, and bit by bit, I let my guard down. I allowed myself to step onto the world barring my scars, one less step of makeup at the time. I still love lipsticks and eyeliners, but I wear it when I want to, not because I must.

I think I’m beautiful with or without makeup on.