There was once a season in my life where I completely stopped wearing makeup. Not because there’s anything wrong with wearing it, and not because I felt I was above it, but rather as an opportunity to learn to feel beautiful the way God made me.

At first, I felt naked, plain, and exposed. Each time I left the house I felt like I’d forgotten to put on my pants or my shoes. I felt incomplete. But after a couple weeks, I began to love it. Since I didn’t put makeup on in the morning, I enjoyed never having to take it off at the end of the day. I loved the freedom to touch my eyes or hug a friend with a clean white shirt or jump into a pool without worrying about mascara streaming down my face. It was a short-term experiment (which turned into a three-year experiment), but it completely changed my view of myself–my appearance and my understanding of authentic beauty.

There’s nothing wrong with wearing bold eyeshadow or fake lashes for a fun night out, but on a daily basis makeup should function to enhance our natural beauty, not make us look like different people. Unfortunately natural beauty doesn’t come, well, naturally to most of us. I don’t have it all figured out quite yet, but I have learned a few strategies on my own personal journey toward radiant, true beauty that are worth trying:

1. Learn bare-faced confidence.

I think it all starts with being comfortable in our own skin—whether we think it looks good or not! Even if it’s just for a few hours on Saturday mornings when we see nobody but the Starbucks barista, we need to give ourselves makeup breaks. From there we can move into a healthy relationship with makeup and use it to amplify the beauty that is inherent to being female.

2. Start with sunscreen, and eat your vegetables.

Healthy skin is key to natural beauty, and it all starts now–while we’re young–with the way we protect it and what we put into our bodies. Starting each day with sunscreen, and eating nutrient-rich, antioxidant-packed food keeps our skin looking youthful and glowing, without the need for excess makeup to mimic it.

3. Exfoliate. 

Invest in a nice facial scrub that has soft beads in it to help rid skin of dead skin cells. (Avoid products with rough beads or small pieces of nuts in them as they can actually cause small cuts in your skin). Do this twice a week, massaging gently all over the face and avoiding the under eye area. This will give way for new skin cells to emerge, and in turn, make your skin glow.

4. Keep it simple.

Because I look like a little girl who broke into her mother’s makeup drawer when I wear most eyeshadows, my ideal daily makeup combination is just a few brushes of my favorite blush/bronzer blend and two coats of mascara. When I go out, I add some smoky brown eyeliner for instant drama. That’s it. Simple, clean, fresh, and natural. What are your best features? Focus on those.

5. Find products that work for you, not your friends.

For years I copied the makeup my friends were wearing, completely neglecting my different skin tone, hair color and complexion. Like I said before, our makeup should show off what we already have, not turn us into someone else. It’s important for each of us to experiment with different products and see what we like. If we’re second-guessing ourselves once we’ve applied our makeup, we probably need to try something different.


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