No Makeup Mondays: An Evolution


As I set my alarm for Monday morning late on a Sunday night, I decided on 8AM, before remembering, oh wait, tomorrow is Monday! No makeup, which means I get to sleep an extra fifteen minutes. I won’t look as good, but haha, whatever. 

On Monday morning, I woke up and looked at my face. It really didn’t look that bad at all; I only started to feel the familiar discomfort and inadequacy as I walked past people on my way to class who looked much more put together and awake than I, with my under-eye bags (they’re designer), oily skin, and adolescent complexion.

I’ve considered skipping NMM so many times. In my senior year of high school, I published an article on my personal blog about this great new thing called “No Makeup Monday,” and how I was going to follow it and slowly phase out makeup. It was gonna be great.

I kept it up for a few weeks, before succumbing to my own insecurity.

The funny thing was, I loved the feeling of not wearing makeup, of letting my skin cleanse itself, of being able to touch my face whenever I wanted to, I just didn’t feel as confident about myself. I didn’t want to push myself too hard to find confidence from somewhere else.

Then, at the start of college, I told myself, here was a tangible checkpoint where I could turn my habits around and curb my self-image issues. I’m gonna do it! I told myself.

And so far, I have. And no one’s reacted to it, neither negatively nor positively. That’s when I realized that the main source of commotion and bustle about wearing makeup came from myself, as is the case with most people these days who are conflicted about wearing makeup.

What’s easier? No makeup, or makeup? Not wearing makeup is physically easier, but wearing makeup is easier because it’s an immediate way to feel more confident about yourself. But is it healthy?

What happens when we keep wearing makeup and ignoring a problem that plagues us every single day, when we take the easiest and least-fussy route and potentially tread down a treacherous path?

One of my favorite internet blog posts about this social occurrence thus far comes from Michaela Angemeer, who says about wearing makeup:

At a young age, I realized that people were nicer to me when I wore makeup. This is probably a self-fulfilling prophecy – because it’s likely that I act differently, or more confidently, when I have makeup on. Self-fulfilling prophecy or not, it’s true.

No Makeup Monday has no exact origin. It has existed in many forms before being adopted under the guise “No Makeup Monday.”

No doubt the media event that attracted the most attention to the social uproar was the hosts of Today Show going makeup-free to discuss and raise awareness about self-image issues prevalent in American society.

That, or the breast cancer campaign that went viral after loads of people uploaded bare selfies to raise funds and awareness for one of the most common forms of cancer that exists.

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2 Responses to "No Makeup Mondays: An Evolution"

  1. Michaela Angemeer   October 22, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    Hey Catherine,
    Thanks so much for the shoutout!
    I love reading peoples’ different perspectives on this – I always find it extremely interesting why people choose to either wear makeup or not wear it.
    I really like the concept of No Makeup Monday, but I don’t know if I’m brave enough to do it. I am maybe considering it. I’ll keep you posted!

    Michaela, @michaelwithana

    • Catherine Zhang   October 22, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Michaela! You read my article! That was a pleasant surprise :) Yeah, I’m still trying to flesh out my reasoning myself, but you should definitely give it a try. It’s a humbling experience.


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