Makeup Fast: Days 11-16 of 40 (It’s Working!)

Fresh-Faced For 40 Days Icon

Feel free to share this button to link back to the challenge!

(Saturday, July 7 through Thursday, July 12)

This week, to avoid redundancy, I’m writing about the entire week as a whole, rather than updating you day-by-day. (You only have to hear “I hate my face” so many times before you’re OVER IT, am I right?) Let’s get to it.

More unexpected perks to barefacedness

  • If I’m feeling a little sleepy, or I want a quick pick-me-up, I can splash some cold water on my face. I never understood why people did this in old-timey movies, but I get it now: it feels great! Try it, you’ll like it!
  • I can shower at the gym without having to lug all of my makeup along with me. I am ALL for packing lighter.
  • My husband can kiss me without fearing that he’ll end up wearing my “lip gunk.” (That’s lip gloss, for those of you that don’t speak Dude.)

Occasions where I notice myself wishing I were wearing makeup

  • Meeting new people (I find that I want to hand them a disclaimer like “usually I don’t look like this. Just so you know, most days, I have eyelashes, and my skin looks nice.”)
  • Running into people I know when I’m oot and aboot.
  • Every time I look in the mirror

That last one is a bit of an exaggeration, actually. Lately, especially after I wash my face, or splash it with some cold water, I’m kind of liking what I see. Not like “hubba hubba, look at that foxy mama,” but more like “oh look at her, she looks sweet.” I think if I were to meet me, I would find my bareface kind and approachable. And I like that.


There’s no graceful way to talk about one’s ugly traits, is there? If I try and dance around this, I’m basically trying to “put lipstick on a pig.” So here goes: I think makeup-Melissa felt (perhaps subconsciously) that she was in competition against every woman she met. Not necessarily in a mean way, but in a comparative way, for sure. Constantly measuring myself against others, to see how I stacked up. And why? Because I was letting my prettiness (or not-so-prettiness, depending) define a significant amount of my value. You’re probably thinking “no, duh.” But it took me TWO WEEKS of fasting from makeup to see this. Because I am stubborn. And sometimes slow to learn a lesson.

After being “off” of makeup for 16 days now, I find myself simply enjoying other people’s company, without some weird subtextual dialogue running through my head at all times. Honestly, most of the time I’m not even aware that I am barefaced. And not only do people seem not to notice my barefacedness AT ALL, but I think maybe people are being nicer to me now? (I’ll sit on this one for a few more days, until I can say conclusively whether or not this is the case.)

My Face is Not The Point

I cannot say that I “like” my naked face yet, and I am beginning to think that maybe that’s not the point. Ever since I began this fast, God’s presence has been thick, and I’ve felt a closeness to the Holy Spirit that I’ve never felt before. It’s working, just like they say it does (fasting, I mean). You want to draw closer to God? Cut something out of your life. Something that scares you. That requires sacrifice of yourself. Let that margin open up, and watch God fill it. Let the fast cause you discomfort, and then feel God comfort you. The fast has made me more vulnerable to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, and through following those nudges, my trust in God is growing, and I find myself looking for his approval first. Naturally. (I guess for this to be a big deal, you have to understand that this is not my character.)

The questions that I entered this fast with are being answered loud and clear, and I know this sounds strange, but I am really looking forward to the next two weeks of the fast.

Join Us!

In case you’re considering participating in the fast yourself, it is never too late to start! Our Facebook group has more than 40 members now, and it has been awesome to read their posts, and commiserate about our barefacedness. There are some AWESOME ladies in the group, and the more the merrier!



11 of 40 (just finished swimming)

Day 12 of 40

Day 13 of 40

Day 15 of 40

Day 16 of 40


For details on the “Fresh-Faced for 40 Days” makeup fast, check out this post.

If you’re interested in participating, join the Facebook group where we can keep each other updated on our progress, post links to our blog posts, and generally hold each other accountable. Obviously, we’ll all be starting on different days, so it’ll be fun to cheer each other on through the different stages.

Also, feel free to use the button I’ve made (in the left sidebar, on the top) to link-back to the original post, so you don’t have to do all of the ‘splaining to your friends if you don’t want to.


Let’s be friends!

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  1. JulieForster

     /  July 13, 2012

    I love, love, LOVE the way you ‘talk’ in writing! I agree with everything that I have read. I am too old to care about how my looks may or may not impact another indivdual. It’s funny, but the older you get, the more your attitude tends to change to,” If you don’t like what you see, too bad!”! It IS very ‘FREEING’ if you know what I mean! I may just use some of your blog posts, if I may, to show 7th and 8th grade DYSLEXIC students – mine- what writing can sound, like this up coming school year!

    • Julie, THANK YOU for the huge compliment. I’m flattered, and humbled. 🙂 Feel free to use whatever you want, and if you’d like something specific, let me know and I’d love to help you out. My husband is an English teacher, and I really enjoy helping out however I can.

  2. cacity87

     /  July 13, 2012

    You should turn this “makeup fast” into a book! I would love to share it with the teenage girls that I work with. 🙂

    • Hmm, that’s actually a really good idea. I’d love to expand on a lot of the concepts behind it, too. Thank you for getting the gears turning in my head!

  3. This is really really cool! I also just read your post in which you introduced the “fresh-faced for 40 days concept” and why you’re doing it. I really like how you emphasized that you LOVE makeup and it’s a GOOD thing, but you’re temporarily “fasting” from it because of how you’ve seen it affect you personally.

    I actually don’t ever wear makeup (and I’m a woman). I tried it a few times in high school, and it just seemed like a lot of work and like I was only doing it because “girls are supposed to wear makeup” and not because I actually liked it. Plus I was afraid if I looked “feminine” it would ruin my reputation as a math nerd. (And there are a ton of layers of sexism going on in that last statement…)

    So basically I don’t know anything about makeup or what other women think about it, so I really liked reading your perspective and how you’re so open and honest about it.

    • Oh boy, what you said about being afraid that ‘looking “feminine” would ruin your rep as a math nerd’ really hit home for me. I’m not sure how much you know about me, but I write and host a web-show in which I teach people how to repair their own electronics. I’m a tech nerd. It is SUCH a fine line to walk, as a woman in a field dominated by men, who wants her embrace her gender without being viewed as a stereotype. There are a ton of layers of sexism, just like you said. Good for your and your math-nerd-self! I’m always excited when I “meet” another female who’s in a typically male field. I’m glad you’re here, and liking what you’re reading. 🙂

      • Oh wow, repairing electronics- that’s really cool! (I actually studied both math and electrical engineering during undergrad. Do you get to solder? Soldering is the best!) I remember in high school I really wanted to NOT look feminine, but then in college I thought, “this is an engineering school- everyone here is a nerd and very smart, so I have more freedom to look beautiful without people assuming I’m dumb.”

        And nowadays (in grad school) I just wear whatever I want because I want to look cute. ^_^ The only people who see me are my robots… (just kidding)

        We could spend a long time analyzing what this shows about our culture and sexism and women in “male-dominated fields”- it’s kind of messed-up.

      • Also, if you’re interested, here’s something I wrote on my blog, about stereotypes about boys and girls and how I struggle with them and the fact that there is some truth to them, but I don’t want people to use them to limit me… “I hate when sexism is actually practical.”

  4. Laura

     /  July 13, 2012

    Don’t forget the part about being able to rub your eyes and not having to worry about smearing everything everywhere! Make up free for almost 2 years and loving it!

    • Laura

       /  July 13, 2012

      By the way I’m so glad I found your blog, it’s very encouraging

    • Two YEARS!? You are my hero. And yes, I love that I can rub my eyes, or my daughter can “smash” my face in her hands, and I don’t have to worry about my makeup looking funky afterwards. It’s really freeing.

  5. Even though I can’t really fast from make-up (I hardly ever wear it to begin with LOL) I feel your post today is significant for me at this point, TODAY, in my life. God’s timing is amazing! I got really excited and twitchy when I read this part:

    “You want to draw closer to God? Cut something out of your life. Something that scares you. That requires sacrifice of yourself. Let that margin open up, and watch God fill it. Let the fast cause you discomfort, and then feel God comfort you. The fast has made me more vulnerable to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, and through following those nudges, my trust in God is growing, and I find myself looking for his approval first.”

    For me? That thing I need to cut out of my life? Smutty fan-fiction. Yeah. There I said it. This has been a real bugaboo for me but reading your post today made me go, “Ok, I hear You, Lord….I’m gonna obey.” Making that determination, that conscious decision to take down that little hidden idol in my life….I feel a weight being lifted. Jesus really is enough…closeness with Him really does satisfy! I spoke with my husband about this very topic last night, confessed to him and apologized for dishonoring him with this little addiction…then you said the above….

    All I can do is marvel and thank God for the ways he shows His love for us. And thank you Melissa for allowing Him to use you for His kingdom.

    • This makes me so happy. I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop, getting teary over a blog comment! I love that you shared this, and it blessed me so much. 🙂 Thank you!

  6. Melissa

     /  July 13, 2012

    I came across this while going through your older posts and found your first couple comments about how little make-up you wore interesting in light of the fast – which I love by the way – I tend to go without make-up daily (really, nothing at all on my face) but do put it on for situations that sometimes I think, what is this for – like getting together with some of my closest and oldest friends….so I get the idea of the kind of sacrifice it can be and why you’re doing it, and commend you for it – just made me laugh to read what you wrote months ago – our perspective can change so fast!

  7. I am feeling challenged by this. I like wearing make up, but I also can go without it. So, thinking about what scares me at the thought of giving it up? Silence. Just the thought of it completely terrifies me. Giving up “the noise” scares me to the core. Can I sit in complete silence and just listen to God? 1 min, or 2. Maybe even 5? seriously, I even have to sleep with a fan on because the silence keeps me awake. Something for me to think about, because I never really have thought about it…
    P.s..keep it up…God is moving in…

  8. ok…i made a typo with that last post…let me rephrase *Thinking about what scares me at the thought og giving it up?* I meant NOISE. Giving up NOISE. Silence scares me…

  9. I found your blog because a friend said she recently found it and loves it. I love it too! I’ve been reading for about a half hour… catching up on this no makeup thing. 🙂 It always fascinates me when someone decides to go makeupless because I don’t wear it. I’ve only ever worn makeup twice. The first time was in college when a friend kept bugging me until I said ok. She put some makeup on me, I looked in the mirror and then I immediately ran to the bathroom to wash it off.

    The second time was also in college when another friend convinced me to give it a try. She put it on much lighter and we went out for a girls night. I couldn’t wait to get home and wash it off because I just didn’t feel like myself. That was the last time. I’m 32 now and still makeupless. I hope my daughter feels the same about makeup as I do because I wouldn’t even know where to start in the makeup isles!! 🙂

    All that said… I do understand the needing to cut something out of life in order to draw closer to God and all that. For me, that thing is sugar. I’m in month seven of a no sugar year. NOT EASY!! But, being in this far I can tell that things are changing. I am breaking the addiction and learning to run to God instead of food for comfort. I’m finding freedom. I hope you find freedom too!

    PS… my first view of you was with your naked face and I think you are absolutely gorgeous! And I’m looking forward to reading more about the journey.

  10. Jen

     /  July 15, 2012


    You look beautiful without makeup. If you color your hair at all, you will look even better when you get back to your virgin hair color as well. God gives us the hair color that looks best with our makeup-free faces. He’s smart like that 🙂 I’ve been makeup free completely for a year or so now, and don’t think I’ll ever go back. My skin is much happier and my life is much simpler 🙂 Keep up the good work.


    • “God gives us the hair color that looks best with our makeup-free faces. He’s smart like that.” Wow! That’s cool! Thanks for the insight! I learned something amazing again! 🙂

  11. “You want to draw closer to God? Cut something out of your life. Something that scares you. That requires sacrifice of yourself. Let that margin open up, and watch God fill it. Let the fast cause you discomfort, and then feel God comfort you. The fast has made me more vulnerable to the nudges of the Holy Spirit, and through following those nudges, my trust in God is growing, and I find myself looking for his approval first.” I really really love this part! I would like to quote it on my Facebook 🙂

  12. Chelsea Patterson

     /  July 22, 2012

    I stumbled across your blog and I wanted to tell you that i appreciate you writing so honestly about not wearing make up. I can attest to feeling trapped because of insecurities, and it’s refreshing to see someone break out of the mold. Thank you! 🙂

  13. Lauren

     /  July 26, 2012

    Stumbled across your blog when searching for “don’t wear makeup” or something like that in Google! I have been makeup free for some weeks now, actually at the insistence of my boyfriend who claims to prefer me barefaced. He claims he doesn’t notice the difference, except when (Hmmm, he’s thinking here for a while) “you don’t have those black circles around/ paint your eyes”… Thanks! I couldn’t have guessed my makeup application was so amateur! In truth, I always wore very nature makeup, though… of course, my eyes looks smaller without that beloved thickening, blackening mascara and subtle, defining eyeliner!

    I, too, felt like my vanity, and make-up crutch, was getting in the way of my relationship with God, and other people. Not 100% to the point of feeling as beautiful without makeup myself right now… but, I feel compelled to leave this comment after I saw the pictures you posted at the end.

    You are very beautiful! If I saw you out and about I would most definitely think so… And, no, I don’t think you need any makeup. Your face is radiant and lovely without it.

    It’s amazing how used to our made-up faces we can become. Going bare to me felt like relearning how to see my face. It’s not that I’m uglier… Just different!

    Best of luck to you.

  14. I am eagerly awaiting the next update on the makeup fast!
    Your posts have challenged me to consider how much I find my confidence in looking “put-together”- in my makeup- rather than in the Lord. Though I haven’t gone cold turkey yet like you have, some great discussions with my husband have been sparked. He actually encourages me often to go make-free, and I’m growing more comfortable wearing less and less artificial beauty. 🙂


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