I gave my skin a year off make-up. This is why I won't go back.

Updated: Oct 6, 2018

I gave my skin a year off make-up. It happened by accident. I went into hospital with a full face of makeup – winged eyeliner on point – and from about two minutes after my baby was born it just wasn’t high on my priority list for a while. When I went back to it I noticed a huge change in my skin.

Rollerskating competition 1992
Starting early - my first competition in 1992 at 8 years old. I felt like such a grown up with that red lippy on!

I started wearing makeup when I was 13 to cover acne, light powder I was using even earlier. My early days of competitive rollerskating meant I was pretty familiar with the old stick blusher by then anyway. My lovely Mum, who had herself suffered with acne and understood the pains, taught me how to use it and showed me how to prep, apply and cleanse properly.

My journey into the land of adulthood included trips through the ‘too white ghost face’ phase; the ‘I ate too many cheezles’ orange face phase; the purple eyeshadow from Big W phase and the blue eyeliner on the bottom lid phase. As a student I wore it to Uni; as a single gal I slathered it on for nights out with the girls and used ‘the good stuff’ (you know, the expensive one) for big nights out.

As a working woman I tried to keep it professional. Always using a quality moisturiser and foundation, camera finish powder, correcting concealer, contouring bronzer, blush, highlighting blush; and eyes… don’t get me started on the eye stuff. I didn’t feel ready for work at all without my makeup on. I almost felt naked. So much so that when I went to the gym at lunch (a million moons ago) I would reapply it (hopefully after cleansing and not just over the top) for the afternoon.

Before pic
Gahhh that shine - the build up. No flash photography puullleasssse....

Without it I would always hear comments like ‘are you feeling ok?’ ‘did you have a late night?’ ‘you look tired,’ I was. I was tired of fighting a losing battle to conceal the uneven skintone, the blemishes, oil and congestion; and I was tired of spending a small fortune on products that promised to make my skin 'radiant' and 'blemish free,' but failed to deliver.

When I packed my maternity bag for the hospital about half of the bag was taken up with my hair and makeup stuff. I used none of it. I think I might have half arsed it on the day we left hospital. Who knows - it's all still a bit of an oxycodone blur.

The first few weeks were all about feeding (see my post on that here) and while I made it a rule to have a shower everyday, time spent not pumping or eating was spent sleeping.

My skin fired up from all the hormones, but I think it might have been having a little oily pore party celebrating their new exposure to light and air for the first extended period in oh, almost 20 years! I was too tired to care anyway.

As the months rolled on I noticed my skin feeling smoother than it had in a long time. I noticed that I didn't have that oily sheen in the afternoon that pre-pregnancy I couldn't control no matter how many pore tightening, anti oil producing potions I tried.

The comments about how tired I looked stopped and suddenly I was getting comments about how happy I looked and people even said I looked fresher, younger...

(my baby is a relatively good sleeper so if that's not you yet don't worry you'll get there).

Eventually I began to leave the house again and finally a night out came with hubby where I slathered on the old makeup. The following morning the gritty feeling was back and a few days later new spots.

makeup free year, nofilter
So this is me, makeup lite for a year.

So back to fresh faced it was. To get all the final bits of decade old grit out of my skin I had a couple of facials and microderm at The Beauty Gallery which have started to remove the build up and milia that had grown over time. The pores that were visible from across the street previously are now a shadow of their former selves.

One of the things that happened I think by having the time away from the office to give my skin a break is that I got used to my natural face again. I used to spend so much time covering up to make it my face look like a smooth canvas that I actually covered up some cute little freckles and fresh skin that I'm now much happier to see when I look in the mirror.

My regime is now super super simple. I've used a whole heap of different products over the years and these finally are working for me.

  • I use the Ultraceuticals Foaming Facial Cleanser but very sparingly. Usually I cleanse while in the shower but not more than once a day. The more I strip the natural oils from my skin the oilier it gets so I keep it hydrated.

  • I try and keep my eyebrows and eyelashes dyed and shaped - this makes a massive difference in how 'dressed' I feel for the day with no makeup. I would love to do lash extensions but #aintnobodygottimeforthat, so I'm going to try some 'EyEnvy' in the next few months - will let you know how it goes.

  • I apply a Light moisturiser without fail (Ultraceuticals Ultra Hydrating Lotion - which I now cant live without, its so light), and most days I might add a little Napoleon Madame Curl Curl mascara, and that is all.

Now I'm going back to work, and given I've got my skin mostly under control I have added back in a light tinted moisturiser with SPF (Ultraceuticals Ultra Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 30 - Sheer Tint) and some of my fave Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lippy (super hydrating I wear it everywhere in colour Monte Carlo) that makes me feel a little more ready to face the office and in the winter it will give me a little more colour now that I'm not at the beach every day #workingmamadilemmas . Of course if I have events to go to I will do the whole beautification process again. I'm not against makeup at all. I love it, too much actually. I'm just trying to minimise how much I use it to keep my skin feeling like the best canvas I can.

I still get breakouts occasionally but I am better able to recognise them as hormonal and just wait it out knowing that the time will pass. The oily shine is mostly gone - hopefully for good. I also have so much extra time on my hands... but unfortunately I have a baby so he has stolen it all. All in all I wish I'd made the change earlier!

To celebrate my skin epiphany I will be giving two lucky followers a beauty pack including Ultraceuticals, Clinique and Natio natural light products valued at over $199 each. Keep watching my Instagram and Facebook page for details.

#naturalbeauty #barefaced #cosmetics #australianmade #beautybloggers #skingoals #perthfacials #selflove #ultraceuticals #freshfaced #nofilter #thebeautygalleryperth @thebeautygalleryperth @ultraceuticals #skinresults #perthskincare #skinspo #naturallook

(I've been going to The Beauty Gallery for almost 20 years. From seaweed facials to reduce redness when I was a teen - (thanks again Mum) - to spray tans and waxing in my 20's. They have always been awesome! - so shout out to them #loveyourlocalbeautician.)

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