Going Make-Up Free Isn’t “Liberating,” It’s Just a Monday

The other day, I came across a Facebook meme that read jokingly, “Thanks for your concern but no, I’m not sick, dying or sad, I just forgot to put eye makeup on this morning.

Ha. Ha.

To be honest with you, that kind of look isn’t too uncommon for me. I’m a work-at-home mom of two, and in between school drop-offs, the grocery store, park playdates, Girl Scout meetings, and tennis lessons, I rarely have time for makeup. In fact, I only put it on when I’ve got somewhere important to go and don’t want the other human beings to think that I look like a zombie ready to eat them…. or their unsuspecting young.

Most mornings, I actually do look like an extra from World War Z. But if I don’t even have time to put makeup on my face, I certainly don’t have time to care what it looks like without it. That’s why Jennifer Aniston’s recent comments about how going makeup-free in an upcoming movie made her feel “empowered” kind of puzzled me. She said going bare-faced was “so fabulous, and so dreamy and empowering and liberating. The only time I had to sit in the makeup chair was just for scars.”

Really? I must have missed that memo, because there’s nothing dreamy about the way I look in the mornings.

But seriously, do moms really care that much about makeup? I don’t think it’s a matter of needing to put it on, but rather wanting to. When I do apply makeup (for those family date nights at Panda Express – we’re fancy like that), I do it because I want to look presentable to the outside world, not because I think I’m ugly.

The preschool teachers at my son’s drop-off line have seen me almost every day in my natural state, as has the barista at Starbucks, the good lot of people at Trader Joe’s, and practically all of my mommy friends. So far, no one’s been too frightened or asked about my health because I seem a little too pale or my eyes look like they haven’t been shut in the past week. In most instances, both are probably true, but luckily I haven’t made the local news for being some sort of unidentified creature of the night yet.

In other words – going makeup free isn’t all that especially scary, or even “brave.” In fact, for a lot of mothers out there, it’s just another Monday morning. Rarely do I see any of my mommy compatriots in full war paint at the park playground because we’re all too busy chasing our kids around.

But does this mean that busy mothers don’t take care of themselves, just because they don’t have a made-up face from sunrise to sunset? If you asked my husband, he’d tell you that’s blasphemously untrue given all the money I’ve spent over the years at Estee Lauder and Chanel department store counters. Honestly, it doesn’t feel “liberating” to go without makeup because as a mother, my priorities have changed in my life. I have a husband, a marriage, and I have a better sense of scale now about what I should worry and shouldn’t worry about.

I’ve been waking up next to my husband every day for the past ten years in my natural state and he’s still around. He’s gotten so used to seeing me the way I am, that on some days he barely notices when I do have makeup on. In fact, I don’t think my kids notice the difference, either.

Here are some more fabulous bloggers and mothers who prove that makeup isn’t everything. Sure, a good foundation can do wonders for your skin but that certain glow you get from running around (as only a mother does) is priceless. Being a mom — now that’s what I call empowering (although thankfully, in my own photo, my eyebrow game just happened to be pretty dope).

With that being said, you know what’s really brave? Try chaperoning your pre-schooler’s field trip to the petting zoo. You’ll have my war paint on your face than any Mac counter has ever seen. * Wink *

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