Beautifully Brown melanie martin

You know this about me already. I'm obsessed with makeup. I will never, ever stop loving, wearing or obsessing over it. I practically hyperventilate when I walk inside of a Sephora and I have to consciously force myself not to go down the makeup aisle when I'm in a drugstore. My makeup bags normally take up more space in my suitcase than clothes do (because I need my dramatic weekend lashes and everyday lashes, as well as the mascara that lengthens [two coats], the one that curls and the other that voluminizes). I'm a fiend for foundation, liner, blush, and don't dare forget the bright lips.

But something happened over the July 4th weekend, when I trekked to Springfield, Massachusetts, to climb mountains and run/walk five-mile trails and such. During said amazing and adventurous trip, I found myself oddly uninterested in makeup.

Well, let’s backtrack: the truth is that I was rushing and I packed too quickly that morning because I was beyond late and totally about to miss my bus. Fortunately, I made it! Unfortunately, my makeup didn't.

I left everything (except the gloss and mascara I had in a pocket).

What to do?!

Well, the truth is, even though I left my makeup home unintentionally, and was slightly freaking out, my spirit knew something else. There was a kind of freedom I experienced from not having my makeup with me. Eventually, it didn't matter because I didn't want to wear makeup at all. I’ve never felt like makeup made me prettier per se, for me makeup is about the ritual, the routine, one that has been apart of my life since I was in middle school. I live to put on a face, period.

But with all of the sweating we did to reach mountaintops, and the outdoor cookouts in the sweltering heat (that would have made wearing makeup pointless anyway), I found myself enamored by my bare face. Maybe it was the relaxation that I had needed for a while that cleared away my puffy eyes, or the beautiful water we swam in that helped cleanse my skin and hair. It could have been all of the breathing of fresh, hilltop air, that brought the rosiness to my cheeks. Whatever it was, taking a break from my fast-paced life here in New York, and slowing down a second to look at myself in the mirror and to realize my natural beauty was truly insightful for me.

I learned to love waking up and simply throwing on a dab of gloss and a minimalist coat of mascara. Nothing more. It was a freedom that I think a lot of women love and can relate to. “Letting your hair down”, as my mommy would say, is imperative to re-connecting and rejuvenating ourselves. And many of us do this in different ways and for different reasons. For me, taking a moment to just look at myself, naked, without any makeup (or even hair extensions, y’all know I love a weave) was so empowering.

After my return, it didn't take long for me to ease my way back into my makeup routine. I practically kissed my makeup bag when I got home. But I learned something about makeup--with all its magical properties-- that I never knew—there's a power and a beauty in not wearing it too.