Kristie Mercer goes without makeup for a week: Cue pimple disaster
A WEEK without makeup. An entire a week.
No foundation to brighten the dark rings underneath eyes, no concealer to hide acne scars, not even a lick of mascara to appear semi awake. Nothing. Zilch.
Gulp. Does life change if you appear in public with the actual face you’re born with?
Will people treat you differently? Take you less seriously at work? Even recognise you?
I decided to find out by going makeup-free for an entire seven days, (unconcealed) warts and all.
Not applying makeup after my Monday morning shower in one word: confronting.
I felt unfinished, exposed, like I’d left home without a bra on. My confidence was so slashed I even noticed a change in my posture. My shoulders slouched, and my face looked straight to the ground in the hope that nobody would notice me.
Maybe if I slink around for the next week nobody will even realise that it’s me? I could easily be mistaken for my own slightly-less-hot, way-less-confident twin sister. Every time I caught a glimpse of my bare, tired face in the work bathroom I was legitimately confronted to see a makeup-free mug and not be in trackies watchingFriends repeats with a Nutella jar.
Everyone I work with has blatantly done a double-take of my face today.
Kristie Mercer goes makeup free.Source:Supplied
The upside to not putting a face on — sleep ins. But that’s pretty much where the excitement ends, because just seconds into arriving at work I’m asked ‘are you OK?’ by sympathetic colleagues.
I’m actually not sure how to respond. Do I lie and invent a drama to excuse the way I look? Do I throw my coffee in outrage and explain ‘this is just my actual face?’ I opt for neither and instead pretend not to be offended. Clearly that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Today I would give anything for a bit of concealer. Anything. My skin has broken out big time overnight and I can actually feel the pimples radiating like a beam of light from my chin. Insecurity level: sky high.
I swear that everyone I speak to today — from the barista making my morning coffee, to my boss during a team meeting — have been staring at the bullseye that’s appeared on my face. Cheers.
I’ve even tried shielding my face during conversation by casually resting a hand on my chin, which is obviously ridiculous but felt absolutely necessary. I’ve copped a few more ‘are you OK’s?’ today. Again, please stop asking. I am more than OK, this is just my ACTUAL FACE!
I broke down today. I actually didn’t realise how hard this week would be. I’m feeling very exposed and vulnerable having my bad skin days on full display for the world.
I went home early from work today to avoid an all-staff meeting because being in a room of 50-odd people with my current facial status is bringing on mild anxiety.
I don’t know if the last few days was some sick test of my patience from the skin-gods above, but my zits have cleared up in half the time they usually would (maybe the whole not slathering oily makeup over them has helped? Who would have thought!) This actually gives me back the bit of the confidence I lost yesterday so no hand-shields necessary today.
I’m facing my first social engagement makeup-free and I’m nervous. Yesterday’s new-found swagger disappeared the moment I met my girlfriends, who arrive exuding glamour in statement red lips and winged eyeliner.
I’ve never once compared myself to my besties, but tonight it’s all I can do, assessing their features one by one, wondering how mine size up au naturale.
And I don’t know if it’s just my paranoia, but I swear the cute bartender took way longer than usual to take my drink order. Just about every girl batting carefully applied lashes seemed to be served first, even the ones who rocked up after me. Do I have a sign on my forehead that says ‘not wearing makeup. No longer exists?’ Even though I’m happily in a relationship, sometimes attention from randoms feels good — maybe better than I remember.
Reflecting on the past week, the whole experiment proved way more difficult than I anticipated. Even when I do wear makeup, it’s usually not in large amounts so I was surprised how emotionally attached I was to this idea of the instant confidence boost it gives me.
The entire reason I started wearing makeup as a teenager was to mask my problem skin, but I think it’s become way more than that now that I’m in my mid-20s. Makeup is a something I wear for myself because it makes me feel good. It’s not to impress guys or to fit in anymore.
With my hand on my heart, I wear makeup for myself and myself alone. But now, my skin is looking the clearest it has in months and I’m actually not planning on wearing it tomorrow, even though the week is up!
Because somehow I don’t feel like I’ve got much to ‘make up’ for anymore.
Gretchen Rossi Confused on Reactions Towards No Makeup Instagram Snap
Kristie Mercer (right) is one half of The Thinkergirls.Source:Supplied
Kristie Mercer is one half of The Thinkergirls — who love to chat on their podcast about all the thoughts you’re thinking but not saying. Find the girls on Facebook orYoutube.