rI was a little late to the makeup game.  I started wearing it in 8th grade after my mom bought my sisters and I pallets “just for fun”.  Having it right in front of me without having to ask my mom to buy it or ask if it was okay for me to start wearing had finally given me the opportunity to be like the other girls.

Most of my friends had been wearing it for at least a year and I hadn’t tried to go anywhere near it.  As far as I was concerned, I couldn’t wear it because I was a swimmer and there was no way I was going to be exiting swim practice looking like I had joined a family of raccoons.

I’m one of those people who gets embarrassed easily.  And people drawing attention to it made me very uncomfortable.  It was like I wanted people to notice but not, in any way, let me know that they knew… even though I wanted them to…?

Later that 8th grade year my eyes were tired and I started to tear in one of my classes.  Only to go to gym after and see that my mascara had smudged.  And that was the end of that until sophomore year of high school.  I had been scarred.

In high school you practically needed it.  How were you going to walk the halls without that thick eyeliner and golden eyeshadow from the newest NAKED pallet? (I always found the title NAKED to be completely ironic considering your face is definitely not naked at all.)

I definitely didn’t do the inch of eyeliner (at the time my sister was wearing enough for the both of us).  Just tasteful enough to not let people know I was tired 24/7.

After that I had worn it pretty consistently.  Even during swim season I would master the “wipe under your eyes every time you take your goggles off” method.  I was a-okay.

Up until a month ago, I had worn it every day.  It makes your eyes look open which is nice.  You don’t look as tired which is a plus when you have to be at your full time internship at 8am.  And it shows some effort.  It’s even healthy for yourself to admire your work and be able to look in the mirror and be happy.

Recently though, society has really been pushing the “natural, no filter, ‘real'” image on us.

Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign is practically shoving Victoria’s Secret out of business by using plus sized models and models with disabilities in their ads and on their website.  And it’s really working.

Showing girls that they’re perfect the way they are?  Who would’ve thought of that?

We’ve done a whole 360 on the way we see ourselves.  We’re having scale bashing events, loving the oversized tshirt and leggings craze, hair in a bun, and comfortable look.

Lately, I have been noticing that girls have really stopped wearing makeup.  I don’t know if it’s because I have a lot of early classes and people sleep until five minutes before class but even later in the day I’ve noticed people have completely nixed their makeup routine from their daily routine.  (Yes it’s so crazy that it’s a routine inside of a routine)

I loved the idea and one morning before an 8am class I decided to let it go too.  And then I did for the next four weeks.

It was really amazing how removing the minute it took to put on some eye shadow and mascara (yes that’s all I wear) made me feel less rushed in the morning.  What was really amazing was how quickly I was comfortable with it.  If anyone noticed they didn’t tell me and it was cool to think about the “natural” work working… for ME!

Now, it all came to an end on Saturday morning before my sorority 5k (weird timing, I know).  I thought I looked sick (not gross), actually ill.  So I put some on and I thought I looked like a clown.

I had put on exactly what I had before thinking it’d be okay but going back to my minimalist look was shocking for me.

It eventually became fine as I had had the time while freaking out about how I was wearing basically no makeup and looking like I had just been done up for prom.

For the last week I’ve fallen right back into my makeup routine.  After not wearing it to class, bars, or parties for four whole weeks I decided that thought I know I don’t need it I like it a lot better.  I feel more confident and I think I look less sick (this is a plus).

Natural is whatever you want it to be.  My natural is just deciding what I’m going to put on my face that day.  Naked or made up, I know I’ll feel good.