If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year—it’s life and beauty is really what you make it. While I started the year envisioning travel and a bit of luxury (aka spending all my money on makeup), the pandemic brought about a different set of circumstances. Turns out, what I thought I wanted wasn’t exactly what I needed.
I didn’t initially plan to stop wearing makeup. However, somewhere between the early morning Zoom calls and countless hours watching Netflix—I looked in the mirror and said, “Screw it. This is who I am, and I might as well embrace it.”
Lockdown made me realize, my love for beauty and makeup aside, I was happy to just be myself. I had so much time on my hands and decided to spend it getting to know myself again—and appreciate the person underneath the eyeshadow and lashes. Granted, I’ve dipped and dabbled in some of my favorite products, like UOMA Beauty's Poise Palette and Urban Decay's Wired Palette, just to make sure I still remembered how to use them (yup, I still got it!). But accepting myself barefaced, oily skin and all, has been one of the best experiences to come out of this time.
While skincare has always been important to me, I used to put more emphasis on perfecting my winged liner and researching makeup launches. Accepting myself, makeup free, was phase one of this whole thing. But finding the patience to embark on my skincare journey—without expecting immediate results—is my forever goal. In the past, I had my fair share of bare-faced moments. There was early morning trips to Target with nothing but vitamin E oil on my lips and my favorite silk hair wrap from Grace Eleyae. But this time around, I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin to integrate a makeup-free lifestyle into my everyday rituals.
Two week into my self-care and skincare journey, I found Camille Rose's Skincare Collection while looking for Black-owned beauty brands. I used the Face Skincare Recipe Box Set as an introduction. A few weeks in I added this Blackhead Remover Vacuum from Amazon, a Rose Quartz Face Roller, and Meraki Organics' Rose Quartz Glow Oil. From there, I created a skincare routine and stuck with it. But, it's not just about purchasing new products. I did my homework with the ingredients as well. As a Black woman, I owe it to myself to do the research specific to melanated skin.
Taking a hiatus from makeup didn’t diminish my love for beauty, but rather introduced me to my new appreciation for self-care.
Once I settled into my new skincare routine, I began to see changes in my skin overtime. The breakouts on cheeks became less problematic and the bags under my eyes became less dark and puffy. Overall, I felt better about myself without makeup than I did with it on. This confidence boost pushed me to accept parts of myself I’ve covered up for quite some time. I made a commitment to loving myself for exactly who I am, flaws and all. Taking a hiatus from makeup didn’t diminish my love for beauty, but rather introduced me to my new appreciation for self-care. If you’re thinking about putting down the makeup brushes for a while, here’s a few tips that got me started on my journey.
Create a skincare schedule: If you feel like you don't have the time to commit to a skincare routine (I've been there), set a schedule to allow for for self-care and skincare. With every routine comes discipline—set reminders for yourself until it becomes second nature.
Stay hydrated: Make hydration your new best friend. It’s not a skincare journey unless water joins the party. If you’re looking to increase your intake of water, try a water bottle with a time marker to keep yourself on schedule.
Do your homework: What works for some of us won’t work for all of us. Part of embarking on a skincare journey is learning more about yourself and what works for your skin. If you’re unsure what ingredients are safe for your skin, do your homework. Try a virtual consultation with a dermatologist and prepare yourself with a list of questions to have answered by a professional. If you’re shopping for new products, first do some research on the list of ingredients to better familiarize yourself with the formula.