Simple Beauty

Dahlias from my Garden

While working to simplify and to reduce the plastic in my life I also got an email from Ali Binazir who was challenging women to go 7 days without make-up and hair products. Many women who had read the challenge were writing Ali to say he had gone off the deep end and that they were not going to give up their make-up or their hair products. I was intrigued however as his challenge felt like it was calling my name, but could I do it? Could I go 7 days with NO make-up?

No Make-Up

I decided to take the challenge as it also went along with my discovery of having more beauty products than I really think I need and wanting to simplify. It also scared me, which is a good sign that I can grow by doing it! On day one I felt naked, vulnerable and worried others might laugh or be shocked. I went out to a local restaurant that I frequent to test it out! I walked in all self-conscious, but soon forgot as I decided what to eat. I then began to notice that my waitress had no make-up and the majority of the patrons were sans cover-up and color too. Had I not been paying attention? Was everyone just doing this today to make me feel better? Ends up, my own self-consciousness has nothing to do with other people.

Look at Beauty Poster

Day two I was meeting a good friend to go for a seven mile walk. She is a good enough friend that she had read my Facebook post and knew of my 7-day challenge. She had been running late and almost thought to leave without her makeup, but she couldn’t, she felt too bare, so she put on some eye liner and lip gloss. As we met she didn’t faint or not recognize me. I think she quickly adapted and was fine with my no make-up look. I don’t really wear that much makeup in the first place, so why would I think people would be shocked or not recognize me? Having these two days under my belt, I was bolstered and less “raw and vulnerable” as I hit the outside world.

Juicing with no Make-up

On day three I was due to attend a group meditation in which I had seen a guy the week before who I would like to get to know more. I hemmed and hawed as to whether I should go with or without make-up. I settled on a small “cheat” in which I wore no make-up except some lip gloss. I considered using hair products and styling my hair as I usually do, but stuck with the challenge and went just clean and detangled, but no products after the shower. My hair air dried much quicker than usual. I guess all that product does hold moisture in! Would a Portland guy who is into meditation notice that I was without make-up? Well, we didn’t get to know the answer to that one…as he wasn’t there. I was glad I only did a small cheat and basically had kept to the challenge!

Meditation Center

I then went out to lunch with my daughter and her husband. Being a Sunday, we had to wait to be seated, so we sat talking about an hour, then had our meal together. A couple of times I wondered if she noticed my face was bare as the day I was born, but nothing was said. The next day I texted her to see if she had noticed and you can see below how that played out.

Text Conversation

I even asked her to check with her husband and he had not noticed either. Wow, my daughter knows me well and is a woman too and even she didn’t notice. In the days that followed I noticed how simple getting ready was and that it took me about 5 minutes to do my hair and moisturize my skin with coconut oil as compared to 10-20 minutes to do my make-up and hair the way I usually do. There was a freedom in this new found simplicity. I went to class and meetings and was feeling more confident and no one asked about the change, so I don’t even know if they noticed there was a change. Meanwhile my skin is feeling very healthy and fresh. I am on a raw cleanse, so this was a good time to do this challenge.

Create a Life Poster

And for me, the final day was on Valentine’s Day. I was meeting a friend to spend the day at the Lan Su Chinese Gardens. She said I look great and that opened up the conversation to tell her about my makeup free challenge. She was very supportive and said I looked good without it. She usually doesn’t wear make-up, but had worn it that day. We had a good talk discussing the with or without choice and that the best thing of all is to feel it is a choice versus you aren’t OK unless you are wearing make-up.

Chinese Lantern


  • Many people in Portland do not wear make-up.
  • Most people, if not all, won’t notice anyway if you go without make-up.
  • A complex skin regimen doesn’t necessarily show for all that effort and investment.
  • More beauty products don’t make you more beautiful. This was one of the biggest lessons as I noticed when going though all the items in my bathroom, that this is one area of my home where I have a lot of stuff! When I take an honest, deep look behind that, there is a voice inside from my own insecurity and from all the outward marketing saying I need something outside me to make me OK…to make me beautiful.
  • Some beauty products have harsh chemicals that may do more harm than good. What we put on our skin is absorbed by the body, so anytime you can have less long chemical words in the ingredients, the better. I will include a reference at the bottom on safe cosmetics.
  • Many companies test their beauty products on animals subjecting them to cruelty and pain. I will include a site at the bottom so you can know if your cosmetics are cruelty free.
  • Coconut oil is amazing on the skin and a habit I want to keep!
  • I have stopped using foundation on my skin.
  • I want to continue with many cosmetic free days, while also having fun by highlighting my eyes and lips when I feel like it.
  • I look forward to doing my hair like I usually do, but I now know how easy it can be if I wish to simplify some days. Prior to this experiment I just did the hair routine every day. I never even thought about doing something simpler occasionally.
  • This was a good challenge to take on. It taught me a lot about myself and my inner voice that feels naked and vulnerable. I am learning that this voice is likely the only one involved in that conversation.
  • It felt freeing to know that nothing awful happened as I inwardly sort of feared would by not wearing make-up.
  • Enlightened Eating says the psychological aspect of the skin is “ability to feel safe being authentic.” Wow, that speaks to me in that I want to be as real as possible in my life.
  • This was good preparation for the Camino de Santiago 500 mile Pilgrimage through Spain where letting go of make-up will free me up to enjoy that journey. And when I wish at night to put on a dress, put up my hair, color my lips and eyes, I can!
  • Beauty really is an inside job. A good diet, clear skin, a good attitude and being happy can make a bigger difference than cosmetics or surgery.

Raw Cleanse Little Make-Up

I would encourage you to read his entire challenge as it is rich with information about what we have been fed by the cosmetic and beauty industry. Ask yourself if you would be willing to take on this experiment and discover more about yourself along the way? Each step I take continues to lead to the next on this amazing journey called my life. I want to embrace it fully and learn as much as I can. I am finding fun experiments that are allowing me to do just that! I hope you are having fun learning along with me.

What is Beauty?



  1. Lori says:

    Good job Kathy! I like your observations, especially this one: “Beauty really is an inside job. A good diet, clear skin, a good attitude and being happy can make a bigger difference than cosmetics or surgery.” Thanks for sharing.


  2. spabettie says:

    hmm… if I was in class that day, I did not notice the lack of make up! I do not wear it in my day to day, and I think my bold glasses help with a “completed” face look for me? I loved reading this – what a fun exercise! I have been using coconut oil as a moisturizer for years, I love it!


    • Good tip on the glass frames making the look. Next time I need new glasses, I want to get some fun ones! And glad the coconut oil has been a hit with you too. I was amazed by how great it is! Like it’s a fun new secret I want to share with everyone!


  3. River Cheung says:

    It is easy to reduce if we follow the simple life.


  4. Charlotte says:

    Hi! I really like your blog. I have acually removed all “bad products” from my bathroom and replaced them with eco-friendly and natural products. I have now ten products that I use instead of 40 different ones. I have never gones seven days without make-up but I will probaly do this, because I think I need to! Thank you for your wise word and inspiration, wich reached all the way to little Sweden 😉


  1. […] Use less make-up as discussed in my past blog on Simple Beauty. […]


  2. […]  In February of that year, I took on the goal of de-cluttering my bathroom and finding ways to simplify my beauty routine.  During the past year I have focused on more ways to simplify my beauty routine when possible, […]


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