What I Learned By Going Makeup-Free

It feels beautiful.

They say that the secret to wearing makeup is to make it look like you aren't wearing any. What they don't say is that not wearing makeup is an option too.

As a recovering bronzer abuser, I had no idea that I didn't have to cake on this stuff. Now I wear makeup with the kind of moderation I reserve for drinking -- nights and weekends only, if that. While I still think cosmetics can be awesome on special occasions, I've gained a surprising amount of insight from kicking the habit:

  1. You save SO MUCH money...

    According to a consumer study from Mint, the average woman spends up to $3,770 in her lifetime on mascara alone. Even if you're buying more affordable brands, using it every day adds up. Your transition to the natural look will be eased by all that extra cash.

  2. ...and you save so much TIME

    Putting on makeup can take anywhere from 10 minutes to upwards of an hour depending on how you feel about yourself that day. Not bothering with it gives you an excuse to sleep in without the added pressure of applying it while commuting to work or school. Really, ladies, we should knock that off ... especially when we're driving.

  3. You can cry whenever you want

    I'm convinced that eye makeup is a conspiracy designed to punish us for crying in public. Not that that's something you want to do, but if you're having a bad day already, looking like you're melting isn't going to help you feel better.

  4. It's empowering

    Girls who post pictures of themselves on social media without makeup act like they've found their inner Beyonce, and there's a good reason for this -- feeling flawless without makeup is empowering, no matter how many filters you put on that pic. It's easy to make fun of this trend, but there's nothing wrong with being proud of yourself. It's one of the many perks that come with stepping out of your comfort zone.

  5. You realize it's not really a fix for bad skin

    If you struggle with acne like I do, cheap concealer may not be helping your cause. For me, it wasn't the only culprit -- hormones, stress, and dehydration all play a part in skin problems and should be taken into account to determine a solution.

  6. Everybody thinks you work really hard

    It's easier for people to wrap their brains around the fact that you're not wearing makeup because you're too busy than because you just don't like makeup. Not wearing makeup is the best way to look tired next to not sleeping. It's hard to get mad at every person who comments on it, because almost every person does. It's pretty awkward having to explain that you're well rested and that's just how your face looks. Go ahead and let 'em think you're putting in 110 percent at the office.

  7. You ironically get better at applying makeup

    By not wearing makeup most of the time, you're more familiar with your features and can pay closer attention to highlighting the best ones. Makeup functions more as a bonus. The lipstick that used to make you feel acceptable now makes you feel like a bombshell, because you know you don't need it to be one.

  8. Guys don't know anything about it

    As Amy Schumer expertly depicted in the recent sketch above, guys like to think that they want a girl without makeup, but only because they have no clue how it works. Unless he's worn it, he doesn't know anything about it -- so why waste your time worrying? With or without makeup, confidence is your hottest look!

  9. You get used to going without makeup way faster than you expect

    Absence doesn't make your face grow fonder of makeup; it makes you forget about makeup altogether, eventually. It's an adjustment at first, but countless women walk around without makeup every day without any anxiety -- there's no reason not to join the party.