Anyone who knows me knows I rarely wear makeup.
This is partly out of laziness (I don’t like to take the time to put it on, and I NEVER take the time to take it off) and partly out of principle. (I’m convinced that I’ve never had major acne because I almost never wear makeup. I realize this isn’t true for everyone, but it does seem to be true for me.)
And after reading an article on Man Repeller, about why founder Leandra Medine doesn’t wear makeup, I felt even more justified in my decision to spend most days with a bare face.
Still, I had one hangup.
I always felt self-conscious posting selfies (or other images of myself) to social media unless I was wearing makeup.
This might seem like a small problem, but as a jewelry designer, posting selfies wearing my own work is a pretty valid form of marketing. (And one that my audience on Instagram responds positively to.) And since I almost never wear makeup, I almost never felt comfortable posting pictures of myself.
Friends suggested strategies for getting around this, like taking lots of pictures of myself on the rare occasions I was wearing makeup (like participating in a webinar or teaching on Creative Live) so I would have a stock of images to post later. But somehow, that never seemed to work out.
I needed a different solution.
As someone who is completely comfortable going without makeup in her everyday life, I needed to get comfortable taking (and sharing) pictures of myself without makeup.
For some people, this might not seem like a big deal. But the truth is that I’ve never liked pictures of myself. I’ve always struggled to take a good picture. The fact that I’m totally talkative means I’m usually the girl in group pics with her eyes closed and her mouth half open.
And decades of taking bad photos has left me feeling awkward and uncomfortable when anyone tries to take my picture. (Which is never a recipe for a successful photo.)
I didn’t even hire a professional photographer for my wedding, because I refused to pay for pictures of myself that I knew I would hate.
But recently, I discovered something that would change the way I viewed pictures of myself entirely.
The bold lip.
Now, I’m no stranger to the bold lip. Even though I almost never wear makeup, I’ve become a fan of the bold lip ever since the makeup artist at Creative Live gave me one a few years ago.
But, since lips are typically the last step in any makeup application, I always thought the transformative power of the bold lip worked hand in hand with the rest of my makeup.
Yes, I knew that a bold lip woke up my face, but I always assumed it did so in tandem with mascara, eyeliner, and the all important concealer covering my pesky (and hereditary) under eye circles.
Then a few weeks ago, I was photographing some new necklaces. While I often employ a model to showcase how my jewelry looks while being worn, I’ve been photographing more of my one of a kind Contra Collection pieces on myself, purely out of convenience.
While I typically go for a close crop in these photos, I realized the best way to get the shot I needed was to include my lips in the frame. After noticing my plain, dry lips were doing nothing for the shot, I quickly threw on some red lipstick.
And the results were magical.
There was my face, instantly alive and bright, without the need for any other makeup.
Within a matter of weeks, I’ve gone from a person who never liked pictures of myself to a person who has posted multiple selfies on Instagram, with a completely bare face!
Now, I don’t know if wearing lipstick means I can technically count these as #nomakeupselfies, but the truth is, it doesn’t really matter.
Putting on lipstick (especially when combined with one of my signature statement necklaces) has given me the confidence to share pictures of myself without any other makeup, which is the way I normally exist in the world.
More importantly, the simple act of putting on lipstick has let me start to see myself in pictures the way others see me. As a beautiful, confident woman who doesn’t need to conceal her (perceived) flaws.
Which, even with lipstick, is really what a #nomakeupselfie is truly about.