Now, let’s be clear from the outset. This article isn’t intended as a judgement call on those who wish to wear makeup. Any woman (or man for that matter) has the right to dress themselves (and their skin) exactly as they see fit and I respect and appreciate that. ✌🏼😚
Now that that disclaimer’s out of the way, I would like to share with you why living a predominantly makeup-less existence is a way for me to live in harmony with my values, as well as it being kinder for the planet too.
EMBRACE NATURAL BEAUTY RATHER THAN SOCIETAL EXPECTATIONS
This is probably my biggest bugbear about the whole make-up thing (although reasons 2 and 3 are a very close second) – society expects women to use makeup to conform to unrealistic expectations of how we should physically look.
I’ve wasted many precious hours of my life worrying about what society thinks (as do millions of girls and women around the world) and I decided a few years back that enough’s enough. It’s a work in progress of course, but when you make the decision to do your own thing and to hell with the media’s brainwashing – it’s liberating – give it a go if you haven’t already!
We are each born unique and inevitably we can’t all fit into the tiny square of the supposed societal ideals rammed down our throat by the media. And you know what? That’s normal, and in fact our differences are what make us interesting and beautiful.
So as already mentioned, you go for it if you want to wear makeup for you. But if you go through the daily grind of applying makeup because you’re worried about what society will think if you don’t, well I challenge you to start changing your habits and reduce your makeup use – it’ll be scary, but you can take it in baby steps and see how it feels. 😌
Now, let me end this point by saying that I’m very conscious that I’m a 30-year-old woman with good skin (if I do say so myself) and so many might think it’s easy for me to promote “natural beauty” when I have youth and good genes on my side. And you’re right.
The truth is I don’t know it any other way (besides a patchy couple years of dreadful acne in my early teens) and maybe I will wear makeup in the years to come when the wrinkles start cropping up. But regardless, I think a world where we love our authentic selves and others in all their natural glory can only be a better place for us to live.
Conventional makeup, and even organic options create A LOT of waste. Typically they are packaged in plastic that cannot be included in your kerbside recycling bins.
Hence they get sent to landfill.
If you start to think of all the mascara tubes, eye shadow palettes, foundation bottles and blush compacts that must get tossed across the world on a daily basis… well the mind boggles, right? And that’s not taking into account the toxic chemicals leaching from the makeup itself that gets chucked.
If you are a makeup fan, please choose glass or kerbside recyclable plastic options whenever possible. Better yet – test out some zero-waste brands.
I personally haven’t tried any zero-waste makeup brands yet but they are starting to crop up as demand increases. Read the Rogue Ginger’s review on a zero-waste mascara or searching “zero waste makeup” on Etsy seems to bring up a few other options too, plus a plethora of cotton reusable make up removal wipes which are a fantastic (and easy) zero waste switch to make. If you want to have a go at homemade makeup, Google is your best friend – once again I’ve yet to give anything a personal test run though.
If you can’t do without certain products in plastic packaging, consider signing up for Terracycle’s Beauty Products Recycling Program (Australia-based link here). Not only do they accept cosmetic packaging but skin and hair care packaging as well.
Some makeup brands accept their products’ packaging at their stores for recycling too – check to see if your favourite brands offer this service and if they don’t get it touch with them asking that they implement it, or better yet, redesign their packaging to something sustainable.
Just a reminder though, recycling consumes a lot of energy and resources, and recycling plastics is actually downcycling – which means at some point in their lifecycle they’ll end up in landfill. Please try to refuse, reduce and/or look for more sustainable alternatives first.
How many women out there really have any idea what it is exactly that they are applying to their face each morning? We trust that the corporations selling us the products have done their due diligence to assure that their products are safe for consumption, but is that naïve of us?
“It is estimated that by the time the average woman grabs her morning coffee, she has applied 126 different chemicals in 12 different products to her face, body and hair.”
Extract from Slow Death by Rubber Duck, by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
In the United States, corporations are permitted to use ingredients until it has been proven dangerous rather than having to prove its safety prior to releasing it to the public. The European Union’s regulations are much more stringent.
In Australia, (as far as I understand it) the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS) is responsible for registering cosmetic ingredients and conducting a pre-market assessment on their safety in terms of public health, work health and safety and environmental risk.
Considering the skin is the largest organ of the body, it’d be wise of us to know a little more. It’s such an intricate subject that I can’t expand on it here. But from what I’ve researched, I’m hesitant to put conventional makeup on my skin due to the potential effects of its ingredients on my body – especially as many ingredients are suspected endocrine disruptors.
If you’d like to read more about the chemicals in cosmetics, check out this great Choice article – I don’t necessarily agree with everything said but I think it’s a great introduction into the topic. This Story of Stuff video is a great introduction to find out more about the toxins in cosmetics.
If you are interested in finding out more about the contents of the products you use, check out the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.
I admit it, I love my sleep.
Adding a makeup routine to my morning agenda would get in the way of quality time with my bed. It’s as plain and simple as that.
I love the freedom and simplicity of waking up, getting dressed and heading out the door. Men get to do it. Why can’t we?
So there you have it; why I hardly ever wear makeup. What do you think? Have I missed any other legitimate reasons? Or do you disagree with me? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. – Georgia xxx