By Ashley Taylor & Lauren Isobel, Liminas

As the founders of Liminas Magazine, we know how important self-image is. Like a lot of our readers, we are the types of women who never leave the house without at least swiping on a quick coat of mascara.  Of course there are days when we don’t wear a lot of makeup, but on those days we usually hide behind huge sunglasses or we simply don’t leave the house!

In theory, we both loved Makeup Free Mondays, but when it came down to actually doing it we were surprised by how hard it was for us to strip off that protective layer, step out of our comfort zones, and show the world our makeup free faces.

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For both of us, applying makeup in the morning is like drinking our first cup of coffee—it’s part of a ritual; the transformation from our sleeping selves to our waking, working, productive other halves. So although we knew going makeup free would likely be liberating, we also feared that there might be a limiting aspect to it. With makeup, like any accessory, you present yourself to the world in a deliberate way. Much like a uniform identifies a flight attendant and her role, makeup, clothing, and accessories identify us as magazine editors.  Although our made-up, well dressed, editor role isn’t the only part of who we are, it is a significant part—a part we didn’t want to lose touch with!

What did we learn by baring all? That makeup is for fun and self-expression, but it doesn’t define who we are. Going makeup free was an exercise in self-acceptance, letting go and facing our fears. Makeup is a part of how we present ourselves to the world, but even without it, we are still the same twenty-something magazine editors.

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Although we likely won’t be going makeup free on a daily basis (we love makeup too much!), we have noticed that we now feel much more comfortable bearing our fresh, makeup free faces to the world. It seems easier to go without makeup now. Maybe it was just about overcoming that hurtle of the unknown; it’s scary to bare yourself to the world and then wait for their reaction, but the reaction was good. People were supportive of our endeavor and they didn’t seem to judge. Now just think if women everywhere were to partake in Makeup Free Mondays— we could overturn prevailing thoughts that a woman needs to hide behind makeup in order to be beautiful!

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Ashley Taylor & Lauren Isobel are the founders of Liminas Magazine, an online magazine dedicated to twenty- and thirty-something women who are struggling with the transition into “adulthood.”

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