Makeup Or Au Naturel – Deal Or No Deal

Makeup or Au Naturel: Deal or No Deal?

By Amanda E.H. Pritchard

Would you be brave enough to go one whole week completely free of makeup? One Southern Beauty reader stepped up to the challenge.

Each morning when we wake up, the artist in us emerges as we are given a blank canvas to illustrate our creativity on what God and our mothers gave us. For some women, no matter how stunning they are, they simply cannot leave the house without makeup. To find out if beauty is more than skin deep, Southern Beauty gave one of our readers the ultimate test-a week completely free of makeup.

Sarah Schmidt is a recent college graduate with a new job in the “real” world. Her mission (and, oh yes, she chose to accept it) was to go without makeup for an entire week while still maintaining her regular daily schedule. While others might have been paralyzed with fear of the unknown or would have wanted to pull the covers back over their heads, Sarah took on the task, face first.

On a typical day, Sarah’s makeup routine includes wearing concealer under her eyes, a little eye shadow, eyeliner, mascara, bronzer, and blush. “When I go out at night, I usually wear a little more eye shadow to bring out my eyes,” she says. “And bronzer is my beauty ‘must-have.’ It brings a nice glow to my face, and I wear it year-round.”

So how did folks react to Sarah during her week without makeup? “A few people noticed something different about me but couldn’t quite figure out what it was,” she recalls. “Some of my coworkers said they couldn’t tell I didn’t have makeup on, but I think they were just being nice.”

For this spunky gal-on-the-go, the biggest challenge she faced during the week was not being able to cover the dark circles under her eyes. “I felt like I looked tired all day,” Sarah says. “At times, that made me feel a little bit insecure. But surprisingly, because I didn’t feel quite as confident in my appearance, I forced myself to be a little more vocal in order to be noticed-especially at work. That was something I hadn’t anticipated. I guess you could say I learned to rely a little more on my personality rather than my looks.”

This freeing experience offered Sarah the chance to see that makeup doesn’t make the woman. “I have to admit that it was nice to not worry about makeup for a bit, and it definitely shortened my morning routine before work,” she says. “And I learned that I am not as self-conscious as I thought I would be without makeup. At the beginning of the week, I was a little unsure of myself and would sometimes leave my sunglasses on when I went into public places. But by the end of the week, I wasn’t worried about it. And now, after doing this, I sometimes don’t even worry about makeup when I have to run to the grocery store or some other quick errand.”

So will Sarah continue with this au naturel style indefinitely? “I think that for the most part I will continue to wear makeup to bring out my features and cover my flaws, which is what I think makeup should be about,” she explains. “But I’m so glad I participated in this experiment, because I learned a lot about myself and about what makeup should do for a woman. It’s a very personal thing. It should bring out the best in you, no matter how much or how little makeup you wear.” [Sb] For great makeup tips, visit us on the web at And remember, you can never go wrong when you follow this simple beauty routine: Be strong, be beautiful, be you. Are YOU up for a Southern Beauty challenge? E-mail me at

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