The Week Of No MakeupS

"Yeah, but I don't wear much…" were my first thoughts, when I imagined running this experiment. No Make-up Week: the idea was good, I thought, but my heart raced a little as it sank in.

"But I don't wear much." And I realized I was a little quick to run to the defense of my palettes and powder.

It's not about taking a week off because make-up is somehow bad or because not wearing it is better. It's that by taking a week off, I should be able to understand my relationship to cosmetics more clearly. Why do I feel I need to sketch on eyebrow pencil before going to the grocery? To shellac my face before seeing a friend? And if I am going to a networking event or party, can I feel comfortable in anything less than contoured cheeks and caked on lashes?

When I think about not wearing make-up for a week, a voice inside of me screams, Noooooooooo! And this is exactly what I want to explore. I mean, the thing is this: Make-up is a powerful tool, it has the ability to transform, to incite imagination and creativity. But, when an option turns into a necessity, I don't know if it's still a tool. At the least, it loses its spark.

And then, there are the social reasons that push us to wear make-up. A study online claims that 8 out of 10 women prefer their female colleagues to wear makeup and the same number of women said they would rather employ a woman who wore makeup than one who didn't. Because of these expectations, I think it's hard for any woman to have a good relationship to make-up.

For me, a good relationship with make-up isn't a given, but it is something to work towards. Whether you wear make-up or not, there is a story there. I often feel like I *need* make-up. And when there is not a real feeling of choice, this needs to be explored.

THE EXPERIMENT AND WHERE YOU COME IN

The experiment is to go entire week without make-up. To do the naked face to work, meetings, dates, networking events and all in between without a balanced complexion or darkened lashes. The idea is to explore why I wear make-up and my relationship to it.

I'm asking you to conduct your own experiment. To go a day or a week without make-up, to upload a no make-up photo online or simply explore the relationship through writing or whatever feels right. Make it your own.

I've asked some bloggers to make the experiment their own, but I want to shout from the rooftops that everyone is invited to join in, the more of us out there doing this, the better.

It should also be said this isn't just for people who wear make-up daily, or who don't wear at all. This is for everyone. I think everyone can find some personal depth in the question: how does make-up impact you? What personal care products do you use, why?

When we start unraveling the threads, we see a lot of issues are embedded. There is the input of our families and friends–we all have a history with make-up, some not as pretty as others. There is the feminist question of why and for who? Who are we trying to impress? And in many offices, it's scary to consider, what the reaction would be if one showed up sans-make-up. There is also the issue of toxins in our make-up. Carcinogens that are laced into many mainstream products.

These issues and more are the things I'll be tackling during No Make-up Week.

I am inviting you to explore your relationship to cosmetics. To explore why you wear it, what it does for you and maybe, to rediscover some spark about yourself, your looks and your cosmetics.

The Official Home for No Make Up Week is http://rabbitwrite.com/no-make-up-wee...This is where I will be updating all No Make up Week happenings and is a good resource to point people to, so check back often!

This post originally appeared at Rabbit Write. Republished with permission.

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