It all started with exam season, as most of my crises do. I was three weeks away from freedom and my skin was freaking out from all of the stress. I was desperate for flawless skin by the time I went back home and had actual places to be (besides a library) and actual dates with somebody (besides my Netflix account), so I decided to ditch makeup for three weeks to see if it would help.

My typical makeup routine is as follows: primer, foundation, concealer, setting powder, blush, mascara, lip product. It isn't super extensive, but the amount of face products definitely wasn't helping my skin. My skin has never been terrible, but I had a few pimples that really stuck out on my fair skin.

Going completely bare-faced was intimidating. Wearing makeup makes me feel presentable, prettier, and like the kind of girl who looks like she has it all together. Stepping out of the house makeup-free made me wonder if people would stare at me and think "Gee, that girl didn't even care enough about herself to put on some mascara!"

Let me tell you: not only didn't people stare at me when I went to the library bare-faced, but my pimples were pretty clear within a week. Who knew the answer to solving my acne was actually the gunk I used to cover it up?

By the second week, I liked waking up and not worrying about my face. In fact, people were even complimenting me on my complexion! Without pimples, I had no issues with my skin or how I looked. The only difference was that I looked a little more tired without mascara to brighten my eyes. Other than that, most people told me they couldn't see a difference.

By the time I went home for the holidays, there wasn't a single blemish on my face. My skin was glowing and for the first time, flawless. I hadn't gone that long without a stitch of makeup since I started wearing it years ago.

pie, cookie, peanut, butter, chocolate, peanut butter
Victoria Stevens

While it was a nice and much-needed break for my face, I was excited to wear makeup again when I was home for the holidays and had places to go.

For dates and social outings, I kept to my old routine (plus eyeshadow, eyeliner and contour for bigger events). Annoyingly, a couple of pimples cropped up a couple of days after resuming my makeup routine.

tea, coffee, pizza, beer
Victoria Stevens

So, what changes will I make when it comes to cosmetics this year? I still love makeup and buying makeup (I'm a proud VIB Rouge member at Sephora) but I've decided to lessen the load on a normal day.

I've created what I call the "cheat routine" comprised of concealer on problem spots, a dab of blush, mascara, and lip gloss. Doing the cheat routine on days I only leave the house for class or the mall has been much better for my skin, not to mention that I now have more of a "wow factor" when I do my full makeup routine for nights out.

All in all, I would definitely recommend ditching the makeup once in a while. Everyone's face needs a break!