Makeup Free for 30 Days: Why I Gave Away $1000 of Makeup

I’ve been wearing makeup, on a near daily basis, since I was 13 or 14 years old.

I can distinctly remember moments of my life in the 7th or 8th grade, going to middle school, wearing makeup.

While I was homeless as an adult, it became a source of comfort and self-love, as one last thing I could control in my life.

I used it, and the purchase of nail polish and makeup, as a way to not feel my feelings and dull the harshness of emotions I was experiencing as I went through drastic life shifts.

It got to the point where I felt I couldn’t leave the house without makeup on, and I hated the way I looked without makeup.

I felt unattractive if I wasn’t wearing it. I felt ugly if I wasn’t wearing nail polish.

I liked myself better with makeup.

But, for most of that time, I didn’t realize I felt any of those things.

I told myself that I enjoyed wearing makeup and that it make me feel good. I told myself that I felt empowered by wearing it. I told myself that I felt beautiful with it. I FELT BETTER wearing it.

Until this point, I never told myself I looked beautiful without makeup.

In my heart, I felt ugly being just me, with a bare face. Without knowing it, my attachment to and use of makeup was slowly tearing away at my feelings of self-love and self-worth.

I had no plans of giving it up or even discovering these feelings about myself and about makeup, until I embarked on creating the materials for the November 2016 Edition of The Shaman Life, which focuses on self-forgiveness and kindness.

When I create the materials for my subscription program, The Shaman Life, what we focus on, what needs to be healed, and how best to heal it, is chosen and selected by Divine Spirit. I put their wishes into physical creation as best I can, and then as a group, The Shaman Life subscribers and I work with those materials for the month, with the intention of healing certain aspects of our lives.

This month, we focus on self-forgiveness and kindness.

I don’t get a pass on doing the healing work I prescribe to others. As a shaman and as someone who acknowledges that we are always healing, I know that the healing and materials I create are just as much for me as they are for the collective.

So, in true fashion of The Shaman Life, I started considering all the ways in which I was unkind to myself and all the areas of my life where I needed to show myself forgiveness.

At the same time, the message and gut feeling that I’d been getting for months was getting louder. That the next step in my healing journey was leaving behind many of the chemicals and synthetics I was putting on my body, from skincare to makeup.

I asked myself, honestly,

What was my relationship with makeup?

How did it make me feel?

How did I feel without it?

What was I using it for?

Did I feel empowered by it? Or was I giving my power to it?

In my heart, I already knew.

I thought I was ugly without it.

This, I knew, was the core of my forgiveness work.

As a challenge to myself, I embarked on a journey of going an entire month without any bit of makeup on my skin, or nail polish on my hands.

This was especially hard, I felt, because up until this point, I’d always had what I perceived as bad skin, with adult acne, large pores, and redness.

Wanting to cover up my skin was another reason I used makeup – I felt I wasn’t perfect enough or pretty enough to be seen with a naked face.

But, I knew it had to be done. And for accountability, I announced the challenge on Instagram.

At the same time, I packed up all of my synthetic skin care and switched to a clay based homemade facial cleanser and a homemade moisturizing serum.

Every morning, when I woke up and got ready, I had had to face my HUGE makeup stash, probably worth thousands, and choose NOT to wear it.

It was hard. Especially on days where I was breaking out and I had to leave the house and face the world.

The hardest day, hands down, was when I badly wanted to cancel a hair appointment because I didn’t want to face the salon without makeup, while in the midst of a breakout. (I didn’t cancel!).

I kept going. Every morning, I woke up, looked at the makeup, and intentionally chose NOT to wear it.

I repeated self-love affirmations and I tried my best to admire my own beauty in the mirror.

But, that makeup on the shelf still hung over me. Not on my face, but in my energy.

My inner voice got louder, urging me to get rid of it. I resisted, I told myself that I spent too much on it, that it was still perfectly good, and that I might want to wear it again.

I gave myself excuses for the first 2 weeks of the challenge.

Then, at the end of week two, I took the plunge and got rid of every last piece of synthetic skin care, makeup, and nail polish that I owned. Some I trashed, and some I shipped to friends, and an entire box of over $1000 worth of products, I gave to a stranger on Craigslist.

Something in me KNEW I couldn’t go back to the way it was.

And by week three, something shifted in me.

I started to feel more like myself WITHOUT MAKEUP.

Previously, I only felt like me with a full face of makeup.

And probably not surprisingly, my skin started healing and clearing itself up, too. YES!!

Skin clearing is an added benefit, but not why I went makeup free.

I hated myself without makeup and my inner dialogue, even though I wasn’t aware of it, was unkind.

I wake up in the morning now, and each day, I feel prettier without makeup, something I’d never thought would happen.

I feel more confident, more attractive, and just. . . more.

After the challenge is over, I’m not sure what will happen.

With the products I’d once used long gone, I now have the freedom to create new patterns. It’s literally impossible for me to go back because the makeup and skincare are gone.

I can CHOOSE again, without burden, guilt, or feeling as if I need to use up what I have.

But for right now, I feel better and dare I say, I even feel good without it. And that’s not a position I ever thought I would be in.

Everyone uses makeup for different reasons. For me, I realize now that I gave my power over to makeup – and told myself that makeup is where my beauty was held.

It feels good to have that power back.

xo ,


P.S. I want to thank everyone in The Shaman Life and on Instagram who cheered me on!! I am so grateful for your support! Special thanks to Sara, of Awakened Soul Perspective, for the support and extra push to do this! 

What to read next:

Power Loss and Why It Matters

The Shaman Life Subscription Program

Last Updated: November 20, 2016