The Empowering Reasons Young Women Choose To Wear (or Not Wear) Makeup

I would consider myself to be a makeup enthusiast. It’s my drug of choice; my guilty pleasure; my passion. Buying makeup is like buying paints and brushes. I view them as instruments of artistic intent and I am thrilled that I am able to use my face as an outlet of creative expression. But makeup isn’t for everyone. In fact, some women find going bare to be their preferred look. I feel wild and free when I have a dangerous shade of red on my lips. Other ladies prefer to go all-natural and feel more empowered with not a winged liner, but a face wearing only their natural beauty.

I asked other college students to tune into this conversation and reveal what makes them feel empowered when it comes to wearing (or not wearing!) makeup as a woman. Here’s what they had to say:

“There’s just something freeing and empowering about a bare face. I know I’m not perfect, so when I show off my skin just the way it is, I feel as though I am allowing others to see that we are all uniquely different and beautiful in our own ways. Regardless if one is wearing makeup or not.” -Alyssa Seda, Hunter CollegePhoto via @sedallie_

“I love to wear makeup! Sometimes putting it on can be a bit of a chore, but I’m much more confident with it on than without it. I think that people would look at me much differently if I didn’t wear makeup, because of my chronic health issues. Thanks to concealer, contouring and foundation, I can hide them. When I really want to feel my best, I add lipstick to my everyday routine. I didn’t use to wear lipstick, but getting out of my comfort zone really makes me feel good!”—Amanda Lien, Temple University

“I think the biggest misconception about makeup is that women wear it to be more attractive or for male attention. I wear makeup because it makes me feel good. With that being said, I’m starting to adopt wearing minimal makeup solely for my sensitive skin. Having great skin and feeling great in your skin is what i’ve been focusing on and it’s actually working! Whether you wear more or less makeup, you’re equally beautiful. Doing what makes you feel good about yourself is all you need to worry about.”—Megan Sharp, Pace UniversityPhoto via @n_agem

“It bothers me when those who do not wear makeup feel like they need validation from others or to be “praised” for choosing to go bare. Makeup is used for many things and people wear it for different reasons! For me, it absolutely does make me feel empowered when I get my eyebrows on point or if my eyeliner wing is sharp. I don’t wear makeup religiously, but there are people who do and that is alright. If it makes them feel confident, why not?”—Monica Lao, Daytona State College

“I love wearing makeup, but I definitely don’t wear it every single day. I usually feel a bit more put-together when I have makeup on, but I am at the point where I don’t feel uncomfortable without it. I’ve realized that makeup should be about you and what makes you feel good, not about what others want or expect from you.” -Caroline Burkhart, High Point UniversityPhoto via @ilovelife111

“Makeup has definitely been something that I’ve struggled with wearing/not wearing. I often opt out and I think it’s primarily based on the fact that I get surprised when I see a girl’s completely plain face. I love that it’s as if I’m seeing her in a natural human state. Makeup was never a part of my childhood, and today I still hardly know how to use it, but I support my makeup wearing sisters. To each her own.”—Arielle King, University of Florida

“My mother is a beauty consultant and makeup enthusiast, and has always taught me that wearing makeup is 100 percent for the person that is wearing it and no one else. I don’t wear makeup to be ‘more attractive,’ and I don’t wear it to impress. I wear makeup because it not only makes me feel good, but it also allows me to use my face as a canvas for artistic expression. Not to mention, a solid winged liner never fails to make feel like I can kick down any walls that get in my way.”—Casey Nalley, University of KentuckyPhoto via @nalleycasey

“Coming from someone who is transitioning to a woman, learning makeup has been really hard for me. But I work at it to empower my womanhood. I don’t do it for men, I do it to build my confidence as a woman.”—Serena Xu, former Style Guru at Ohio State University

“Makeup is 100 percent about self expression. It’s a skill, and I like trying out new techniques. I think going barefaced is empowering too. It’s all about the choice, and the fact that I feel confident and in control. I think it’s ridiculous that some people think of makeup as deceitful, because whatever face someone is wearing is one that they created. They earned that face, in fact, I think it’s even more theirs than the one they were born with, because they had more of a hand in shaping it.”—Rachel Cardona, University of Florida

Photo via @shannamerceron 

How does makeup make you feel? Do you feel more empowered with a bare face or a vampy lip? Let us know in the comments!