I’ve loved all things beauty for as long as I can remember. Yes, I was that little girl who was caught decorating my face with mum’s lipstick, face powder and eyeshadows; And also the little girl who slathered body lotion on from head to toe.
So naturally, I gravitated towards working in the beauty beat for magazines, and I’ve been doing this for the past 10 years. It really is a dream job for any beauty enthusiast – almost every beauty product, skincare, makeup, hair and body care included, reaches me for a review before it is launched. I don’t even count how many products are in my beauty regime, or on my makeup vanity, or in my makeup pouches anymore. I just use whatever I see, when I want to… and then some.
So then, my editor issues me a challenge, to go makeup-free for a week and write about it. It was a huge shock for my system. Here’s what went down.
Photo: Instagram / ponysmakeup
On Monday, the first day, I was positive about the challenge. Of course I could get by without makeup, afterall, my skincare routine is nothing if not stringent – I’ve got the best scrubs, serums, and creams to use. I left the house without makeup, arrived in the office and took at look at my reflection in the mirror that’s on my desk. I looked so drab and my skin looked sallow!
I scrambled around my desk for something to save my face that’s not makeup. Aha! Aprilskin Perfect Magic Snow Cream, an instant skin brightening face cream. I applied it generously and my complexion looked better. I also reapplied it after lunch, to top up the luminous skin effect. I was pleased with myself for finding this loophole. The product was in fact, skincare and not makeup… I’m taking that product with me this entire week for sure.
Photo: Instagram / aprilskin_korea
Armed with a layer of complexion-brightening skincare cream on, I looked closely in the mirror before leaving the house. Oh no! My previously embroidered-on brows were looking patchy. The tattoo colour was wearing off and was starting to look uneven. I had noticed it before and had been touching it up with a bit of brow powder, but now it looked too obvious for me to step out of the house.
I decided to cheat with just a tiny bit of brow powder from my Urban Decay Brow Box. I mean, brows are a necessity right? I can’t go anywhere with lopsided, uneven arches. The moment I arrived in the office with my brows looking a little too perfect, my editor looked at me suspiciously and I blurted out that I had to fix my brows, trying desperately to justify my tiny little cheat.
Photo: Instagram / bel_elizabeth
So I’ve established that a little skin brightening skincare cream and brow makeup were necessities in my life. I went to work with these on. Sitting at my desk a couple of hours into the work day, my lips started to feel dry. From that moment I couldn’t get the thought of slicking on a creamy, lip-smoothing lip balm out of my head. I knew there had to be lip balm around my desk somewhere.
Oh! How about a lightly tinted lip balm? Sure enough, I found a tube of Fresh Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment in Bloom, a soft, barely visible pink. I quickly slicked it on and my cracked lips were instantly softened and smoothened. And looking a little rosier too. Joy.
Photo: Instagram / freshbeauty
Started off the day with skin brightening skincare cream, brow powder and tinted lip balm. But then I happened to be writing an article about illuminating makeup bases that day. The more I delved into the benefits of the different formulas, the more I felt I absolutely needed some on my face.
And I just happened to have one of these stashed in my desk drawer, Chantecaille Liquid Lumière Anti-Aging Illuminator. I kept it stashed away for days that I need a little perk-me-up because it goes on like silk and brings light to my face when I apply it. Yes, score! I dabbed a little bit on the top of my cheekbones and along my nose bridge. I was just a little glowier, no one would notice right?
Photo: Instagram / thepaintedapron
TGIF! Obviously, the pattern was clear, I would just keep adding more little touches of colour and coverage on my face. And hey, it was Friday and I needed more colour on my face to feel fun.
I reached for my go-to little pot of happy – my Burberry Beauty Lip & Cheek Bloom, a pretty pink multi-purpose makeup product that i could discretely dab on my cheeks and lips to get a rosy glow. I was missing eyeshadow and mascara horribly by then though. But I held myself back.
Photo: Instagram / wisteriaful
Weekends I usually don’t wear a full face of makeup so I didn’t really mind the challenge. Then I realised that my usual weekend sunscreen is a tinted one.
In fact, it is a CC Cream, the IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream SPF 50+. Hmmm… does that count as makeup? I decided that it was more a sunscreen… to me at least, and applied it anyway. Along with balancing out my brows, and a slick of tinted lip balm.
Photo: Instagram / labelledesire
On Sunday night, I found myself excited for Monday to come. Highly unusual. The reason? I was actually excited that I could wear makeup again.
I even planned what Monday makeup look I was going to put on, on Sunday evening, and laid out the products I would be using. I relished the makeup application on Monday morning and felt great stepping into the office all dolled-up. Yes, contouring, highlighting and false lashes included. I guess absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
Photo: Instagram / xoxotsumi