A Step by Step Guide to Cutting Back on Makeup

October 7, 2023

There are many possible reasons you might want to reduce the amount of makeup you wear. Perhaps you have noticed that it causes a negative reaction on your skin, or maybe you want to build your confidence in your appearance without it. Maybe you want to save money or avoid producing more waste by purchasing cosmetics. Whatever your reasons, here is your step-by-step guide on cutting down on your makeup use and feeling great about yourself.

Examine Your Current Relationship with Makeup

Do you wear makeup because you feel insecure without it? Is it a fun way for you to express your creativity? Or do you find that your makeup use is borne purely out of years of habit? Take the time to reflect on how you use makeup and what it means to you. Think about why you feel better when wearing makeup and try to address the underlying emotions. As a general rule, if you feel like you absolutely need it to live your normal life, then it might be time to cut back.

Swap Out Your Old Routine

A good way to start reducing your makeup use is to swap elements of your routine for simpler versions. For example, instead of applying three separate products to smooth out your skin, find something that does the job in one. Products such as tinted lip balm are ideal for transitioning from heavier makeup to light makeup. This type of cosmetic is subtle enough not to completely alter your appearance but also offers brightness and style that going barefaced doesn’t. Consider which elements of your makeup routine feel essential, such as concealer or mascara, then cut out anything that your confidence isn’t hinged on.

Try Exposure Therapy

Write a list of situations where you feel that wearing makeup is most important to you. These might include going to work or meeting up with friends. Whatever they are, gradually train yourself to see that wearing less makeup in these situations is not threatening. You need to build up evidence that you can enjoy yourself even in scenarios where you first believed wearing makeup was essential.

Find a Balance that Works for You

For some people, this journey can lead to completely accepting their bare face and never wearing makeup again. For others, there is a balance where they only wear light makeup or are happy to go some days without it but generally still enjoy the artistic side. Work out what end of the spectrum feels best, and know that how much makeup you wear is entirely up to you.

Cutting back can feel like an insurmountable challenge for anyone who has relied upon wearing makeup every day to feel comfortable stepping out in public. When makeup is your security blanket, you will naturally resist the idea that you can go about your normal life without it. However, you can accept yourself without judgment by confronting your relationship with cosmetics, making gradual swaps, exposing yourself to new scenarios, and finding a personal balance.


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