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19 Jan 2017

Makeup-Free at the Office


Over the past few months (and years, really) I've been wearing dramatically less makeup... zero makeup 99% of the time. For me this is a personal choice and the shift has made me feel more confident in my skin, less worrisome about what others think of my appearance and more concerned with the things that really matter in life (for me and in my life). I'm lucky enough to have a job where makeup isn't a top priority – or one at all. Unfortunately this isn't the case for most women and society's standard of beauty controls the way they get ready in the morning. And to top it off, women who wear makeup get paid more – cue internal combustion.  

No, I'm not making this up, though I wish I were. Unfortunately women who are perceived as being more attractive in the workplace get paid more money. And this doesn't refer to natural beauty, either. Sadly it seems the way we present ourselves with makeup, hair, nail polish and all the rest of that surface-level stuff is what matters so those of us wearing makeup, getting our hair done and nails painted are more likely to see a raise than those of us wearing little to no makeup, pulling our hair back into a ponytail and baring our unkempt cuticles for the world to see. You can read more about it here.

Going bare-faced in public doesn't bother me, but when it comes to the workplace it seems there's added pressure to look 'professional' – but when did professional begin to equate to makeup? For men it's fine to head out of the door as you rolled out of bed and aside from a quick splash of water and perhaps a weekly shave their pre-work routine is pretty simple. For women there is an underlying pressure to not only wear makeup to look more awake or have clearer skin but to actually just look like you're wearing makeup. Because if you don't, you're seen as making less of an effort and therefore will make less of an effort in the workplace. Which is OBSURD.

For me, wearing no makeup not only feels amazing, but gives me more time and energy to focus on the job at hand, not worrying about whether my mascara has run, my lipstick needs topping up or my foundation has travelled. Makeup, for me, is a nuisance that gets in the way of work.

So I decide to tackle my inner battle face-on and stand up to the ridiculous social standards of workplace attire for women (let's not even talk about tight skirts and heels today) and continue to wear little to no makeup to work. Because if we're all just trotting along like nothing is going to change... then nothing will ever change.

*This is not a condemnation of those of you who love to wear makeup. This is about being free to be who you are at all times, makeup or no makeup.

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