By Amanda Russell, fitness guru & model

When I first heard of Makeup Free Mondays, I was immediately curious. it seemed simple and straight-forward; but, upon googling it, I realized what an immense and powerful push it is making in our society on so many levels. I immediately wanted to learn more about this beauty phenomenon that actually influences a positive self-image on women!

In my industry, make-up is essential while I’m working and I think it can be one of the most fun accessories a girl can have! However, it is easy to get caught up in what I call ‘beauty dysmorphia;’ that is, as women we become so reliant on make-up that we feel insecure or not presentable without it.

How Makeup Free Mondays got started!

In all honesty, I used to try and go sans-make-up at least one day per week in order to let my skin ‘breathe.’ However, I picked the day I’d have to see the least amount of people and then proceed to apologize for being caught in the ‘natural.’ Makeup free Mondays, though, inspired in me a new thought process. It made me realize that I shouldn’t feel the need to apologize for not wearing make-up or fear being caught by an acquaintance or (gasp) ex-boyfriend in the ‘nude.’

I love that the Makeup Free Mondays movement empowers women to embrace their natural beauty and feel comfortable and proud in their own skin. This simple concept has an exponential impact and is something worth spreading. I think all offices and schools should take part in the movement. It’s not so much about make-up, it’s what it stands for; real beauty from the inside-out; a concept I am spreading to my own viewers at Amanda Russell Workouts!

Help make Makeup Free Mondays massive! See how here!

I originally jumped on this trend because I loved how clean and fresh it felt and, as the face of ZICO premium coconut water, where the slogan is “I AM NATURAL,” I figured it was a great way to ‘live the brand’ and would help me be a better role model to my viewers. However, what I realized after reflecting on my make-up free days was that it not only left my face radiant and glowing, it influenced me to make healthier eating choices too – funny how that works.

Now I embrace my Makeup Free Mondays, they are the days I tend to exercise harder, eat healthier and take care of myself better. There is something very pure about these days and the positive vibe is contagious. I am grateful to Alexis Wolfer for kick-starting this epic movement, one day and one girl at a time. If you haven’t taken the Makeup Free Mondays plunge yet, I encourage you to try it, it can be a powerful emotional experience as you learn to take pride in who you really are.

How to love your body unconditionally!

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Amanda is an elite athlete, holistic fitness expert and brand spokesperson. After an injury halted her Olympic running dreams, Amanda drew on her lifetime of experience as an elite athlete to develop her own rehab program, figuring out what ‘truly works.’ She has since created The AR Program, a holistic mind and body system known for its ability to achieve immense results in less time.

Amanda is also the spokesperson for ZICO Premium Coconut Water and Rollerblade as well as global fitness advisor to Quintessentially (a luxury concierge club) and the face of Body Rock Sport. She is currently in production for her own online television series and is writing her first book on her Real Life Secrets to Diet and Fitness.

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