Going Without Makeup: Normal or Newsworthy?

A couple of weeks ago my husband and I were somewhat speechless at an article we read on the news: Would You Go One Year Without Makeup? In short, the article is an account of a 20-year-old university student who is going a year without wearing makeup. She has undertaken this “experiment” to help women become more confident and feel empowered.

A university student recently made the news for choosing to go one year without wearing makeup. What does this news story teach us about our culture?

We were astounded that this story was newsworthy. Is it really a big deal for a young woman to go without makeup?

Apparently it is a big deal for many. Mint.com indicates that 80% of women wear makeup and that the average woman spends $15,000 on makeup during her lifetime. This article explains that many women feel that going without makeup is more stressful than a first date or a job interview.

Does any of this surprise you? Does it tell us something about our society?

Our surprise at the article was likely due to the fact that I don’t generally wear makeup. On occasion I’ll use a little powder (especially if it’s hot and my face is getting shiny due to sweat), but that’s it. I don’t wear foundation, mascara, eye shadow, lipstick, or anything else. I didn’t even wear makeup on my wedding day!

Personally, I choose not to wear makeup because I feel I have more important things on which to spend my money and time. Moreover, I don’t want my beauty to come from outward adornment, but from internal qualities (1 Peter 3:3-4).

I know a large number of wonderful Christian women who do wear makeup. They wear varying amounts and they wear it for various reasons. Thus, I’m curious to hear about your experiences. Why do you choose to or choose not to wear makeup? If you wear makeup, would you ever consider going without it for a time? Do you feel it is generally good or bad that women have access to makeup? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Shared on the following link-ups:

Works for Me Wednesday, Titus 2 Tuesday, Motivation Monday, Making Your Home Sing, Essential Fridays.


  1. Great question! I don’t bother with make up just around the house but when I go out and about I will add a little. I like the idea of no make up but CFS leaves me pale, with big dark circles under the eyes. I don’t wear a lot, just enough to give me a little dignity and self confidence.

    • Hi Lizzy,
      I think self-confidence is a reason why many women wear makeup. In your case, it sounds like it benefits you because it helps you cope with your illness. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is an interesting question. I am Christian and wear makeup but I don’t think women need to wear makeup, and I certainly don’t think it is newsworthy that a 20 year old goes without. I think women are beautiful no matter what!

  3. I am 19 and I don’t wear makeup very often and when I do it’s very little! My Mom taught me that if you wear makeup it should only be to enhance your natural features and it shouldn’t be very noticeable that your wearing it! Thanks for a great post! <3

  4. Like Joy’s Mom. I tried to teach my girls that make up is fine if they choose to wear it, but to only use it to either enhance certain features, or if cover up is needed to help embarrassment.

    I don’t wear make up often. Only if it’s a big shin-dig we’re going to, like a wedding. I have gone a year without makeup and my face thanks me.

    I can believe it’s a big issue nowadays for a 20 something to go without makeup cuz they are being raised in an ever more “vain” world than we were.

    Great question and post!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Bobbi,
      That’s an interesting observation that there may be a generational difference in regards to how “vain” of a world we live in today.
      I think my face thanks me for not wearing makeup, too! 🙂

  5. I like the verse in 1 Tim 2:9 NIV (I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,). It doesn’t speak of make-up but many groups use it as such too. I used to wear a little lipstick but my husband wouldn’t kiss me in the evening so I let it go. Doesn’t mean I don’t use face/eye creams, though, to keep my skin healthy and hydrated. Sometimes when we go out I put clear mascara and it doesn’t leave any residue and washes out with water.

    • I think that’s a good reason to let the lipstick go. 🙂
      I use moisturizers on my face, as well. I think caring for your skin in this way is a good thing.

  6. For everyday normal activity at home, I do not use makeup. However, whenever I leave the house, I wear makeup because I look healthier. I have many health problems that require me to use oxygen 24/7. I get bruises under my eyes and have pale skin….wearing makeup makes me feel and look like I’m in the land of living. 😉 I’m not obsessed with the need to wear makeup.

    • Hi Christine,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. The effects of health conditions bring a whole new dynamic to the topic! I’m glad something as simple as makeup helps you look healthier and feel better!

  7. I’m at home most days, so I don’t wear make up quite often. If I’m going to be around other adults I know, I do wear it. I feel like it does make me more confident. I didn’t wear make up even more often when I was younger, but as I age, I do think make up helps a bit! 🙂 Thanks for linking up to Motivational Monday!

    • I’ve heard others say that they, too, wear it mostly when spending time with other adults.
      I wonder if it’s common to change how much/how often you wear makeup as you age?

  8. Thanks for underscoring the fact that women don’t need makeup. I don’t wear makeup except for meetings where I need to look professional and special events. Even then, it’s mascara and lipstick only. I don’t want to waste the time or money. Everyone compliments me on how young I look. Probably because I haven’t spent years with toxic chemicals clogging my pores.

    • I agree with Lisa @ The Wellness Wife. I, too, look younger; many people have commented on that; added the fact of not going in the sun (no creases in my face) helps too!

  9. I can relate to your feelings about this! I grew up in a place where females 12 and older were expected to wear makeup at all times and be ashamed of being seen bare-faced, but I stopped wearing it daily when I was in college and then stopped almost completely when I was pregnant with my first child. Here’s why I don’t wear makeup. But I don’t feel judgmental about people who do–it does look nice sometimes.

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