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3 Things I Learned by Not Wearing Mascara for 7 Days

Thursday, July 16, 2015
Recent times have opened my eyes to a new fact about myself: I wear a lot of mascara. In the grand scheme of things, my beauty collection is not too crazy and can fit snugly in within a tray atop my dresser, even though I am a card-carrying Sephora VIB member. The reality is, mascara has become my must-have and I love trying the latest formulas and crazy spoolies. (It should be noted I'm quite a loyalist to Maybelline Volum' Express The Falsies and their patented "Spoon Brush.") 

Once upon a time, I never touched a mascara tube. I am #blessed to have dark, fairly long, fairly thick eyelashes and I just didn't see the need. About three years ago, presumably after watching hours of Jaclyn Hill tutorials, I decided to add it on to my routine. My eyelashes looked even darker! Even fuller! I looked awake and just a bit more glam, even if I wore very little makeup.

A super-scientific poll (AKA me doing an informal survey on social media) found that 36% of my friend group said their number one beauty product is mascara. (For context, the runner-up was eyeliner at 12%.) It was then I realized, I'm not alone. Yay!

So what's wrong with this obsession, you ask? "I'm hoarding 27 mascara tubes right now!" you exclaim. I ain't even mad at you, boo. But the concept got me thinking.

If you Google "make-up free experiment," you'll receive hundreds of thousands of results. But what about mascara specifically? It seems like a security blanket for so many ladies, myself included. Thus, I wanted to embark on the most adventurous of adventures: tucking away my mascara for a *gulp* entire week.

Here are a few things I learned through this "experiment." Spoiler-alert: I survived.

Lesson #1: I don't need it.

On day one of the experience, I felt pretty good. It was one less step in the morning. (Caveat being, my makeup routine is short and sweet to begin with, but having one less step means a couple additional minutes to sleep, so HAY.) Another bonus: no flaking at the end of the day. I know not all mascaras flake, but I tend to rub my eyes semi-frequently (thanks, allergies) which can trigger flakes and/or those terrible raccoon eyes. In the evening, I was free of both. I liked it.

I was under the impression that if I needed one cosmetic product, it was mascara. But living without it for seven days, I realized concealer was a bit more of a necessity.

Lesson #2: I didn't turn into a monster

I had predetermined notions that all my coworkers would shake their heads at me in shame and inquire why I looked "so tired." It never happened. I can't say for sure no one noticed, but I can say they didn't coil into a ball, shielding their eyes from the burn. And when I revealed to a few friends my experiment afterward, they said they didn't really notice.

On day two, I began noticing my lashes felt a lot softer. Pro! But of course, it couldn't be that easy. That day, I planned to swing by a beauty event, and I started to panic. I couldn't go in there without my trusty mascara. I contemplated applying just ooooone coat. Resistance won and I was proud.

Bottom line: Others don't notice as much as we do.

Lesson #3: Skincare really is supreme.

I've become semi-obsessed with skincare in the past year, trying a cocktail of cleansers, moisturizers, serums and oils to find my perfect regimen. My skin has become a little more troublesome in the past couple of years, including breakouts and dry patches, on top of the fact that it's sensitive. Slowly getting my skincare game on point, I've learned what may seem obvious: make-up is more of a nice-to-have than a must.  Gorgeous eyelashes are nothing without healthy skin. When my skin behaves, I don't even necessarily feel the need to wear make-up at all. It's all about that glow, girl.

The verdict? I still think mascara is the bee's knees, but I've gone from wearing it absolutely every time I step outside to semi-frequently. And now, for the cheese: In the end, it's about what makes you feel good, whether that is mascara and lip gloss or a face full of make-up. Sometimes taking the step back to change up what is familiar can help provide some perspective.

Be sure to let me know your must-have beauty product and if you are willing to try giving it the boot for a week.
2 comments on "3 Things I Learned by Not Wearing Mascara for 7 Days"
  1. I didn't even notice! Your lashes look as gorge as ever.

    As for me, I used to think I couldn't live with out eyeliner (specifically, Revlon Color Stay crayon, which I've been using since high school). That recently changed because of my overall laziness about makeup, when I ran out and didn't replace it. I started alternating between liquid liner and no liner depending on my energy level in the morning, but pleasantly surprised that I feel ok without it.

  2. Hands down, the product I don't want to even leave the house without, (& usually wear IN the house too!)is my LIPSTICK! I've even instructed my family that if I were to suddenly drop dead at home someday, DO NOT call the authorities even, until you've applied a new, fresh coat of lipstick FIRST!
    I LOVE the one I use and have been using the same color/brand for, at least, the last 6 years or so.
    In fact, I think I'll title this posting; "ODE to BOOTS NO.7 SHEER TEMPTATION LIPSTICK in 'ENTICE"!!!
    I <3 ENTICE!