By Kelly Dooley

Ever since I discovered Makeup Free Mondays, my beauty regimen has drastically changed. I am known as the hot pink lipstick queen, so the thought of not wearing lipstick used to seem daunting. Not because I feel insecure about the way I look without makeup, but rather because I have grown so accustomed to my signature look and because the act of applying my NARS Schiap has been a pivotal part of my beauty ritual for nearly a decade.

The day I started rocking hot pink lipstick, I thought I would never look back. I was 19-years-old and had spent my entire life watching my Mom apply her red and pink lipstick. She owned it like no other woman in the suburbs I grew up in. As a kid, though, I told myself that I would never wear such bright lipstick because she got it everywhere–on the rim of the soda can, all over tissue paper. I thought the lipstick made too much of a mess.

Worried about going makeup free with acne? Read this!

But that changed sophomore year of undergrad, the year I first started dating. Suddenly, I felt this insatiable urge to wear more makeup and, being the creative person that I am, I always loved how makeup could transform my look, reflect my mood and provide me with loads of confidence and sexiness. I was growing up and lipstick made me look older.

Fast forward to 2009, when I first started dating my fiancée. He loves what he calls the real me, meaning the way I look when we awake in each other’s arms every morning. Nothing on my face except for night cream and perhaps some remnants of makeup from the previous day, like a scrap of eyeliner here and there.

A couple months ago, we bought my wedding dress (a one-of-a-kind Pnini Tornai) and I’ve been torn between rocking my pink lipstick or taking the nude route. Though I will obviously be wearing makeup either way, two days ago, I decided that I am, in fact, going to go for a more natural look. Ninety-five percent of the attendees will be shocked, but I don’t want the lipstick to overpower the dress and I have truly grown to love the skin I am in without or without my NARS Schiap.

Makeup Free Mondays has become a normal part of my life. Every few days, I venture to my office without my makeup on and my office mate is obsessed with my natural look. He always says, “I don’t know what it is about you without makeup, but I absolutely love it.”

Since he loves my au natural look so much, I surprise him from time to time by not rocking my signature look. It’s interesting how the people in my life all react so differently to my various looks. I would say about 50% prefer the lipstick (and the natural attitude that comes with it) and the other 50% prefer my natural look. Despite the criticisms that I receive from people when I am not wearing their “favorite version of Kelly,” I feel equally confident and/or beautiful regardless of what I am wearing.

There are three reasons for this: (1) I’ve always believed that confidence and beauty are deeply intertwined; (2) There is so much love in my life that I always feel confident; (3) I am so passionate about the work I do that I always feel empowered.

A reminder to find beauty within…

I believe that my mission in life is to empower other women, and BodyRock Sport is the primary vehicle through which I do so. The tag line for my company is “BodyRockers are those women who walk into a room and electrify it with their confidence. Be that woman.”

You don’t need makeup to be that woman. You simply need to surround yourself with positive people, pursue your passions, and live a life filled with lots of love and laughter. Once you do all of that, Makeup Free Mondays will become a no-brainer and feeling empowered will become an eternal state-of-mind.

10 steps to feeling sexier now!

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Kelly Dooley is the President and Founder of BodyRock Sport, a fitness apparel line designed to empower.

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