I tried wearing makeup every day for a week and this is what happened

It’s no secret that life looks different during the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are switching things up from their regular routines. One surprising shift that’s happened is less and less women are doing their makeup every day.

Harper’s Bazaar reported that 82% of women are wearing less makeup and 52% have changed up their beauty priorities.

This is in direct contrast to Leonard Lauder’s “lipstick effect” which suggests that women continue to buy cosmetic products, even in the midst of a recession. This is because, statistically, women who wear makeup feel more confident, comfortable, and are often even more successful than those who don’t.

However, it seems women may just be investing their money in other beauty products while in quarantine. According to a survey conducted by Bazaarvoice, 25% of women who admitted to not wearing makeup, said they were more focused on skincare right now.

The numbers definitely support this. Harper’s Bazaar said that searches for “vitamin c” spiked 1200% and popular skincare line, Deciem reported a recent surge in sales.

I can personally attest that skincare has become my focus over the last few months that we’ve been home. I traded most of my regular makeup products for serums, masks, and a jade roller I keep in my fridge.

Overall, it’s taught me to love my natural skin and spend more time investing in self-care. But this past week, I tried wearing makeup every day to see how it felt.

Here’s what happened

The first day, I got up and did my regular morning skincare routine. I washed my face with my daily cleanser and cold water — a necessity during the summertime in my New York City apartment without central a/c. Then, I began the process of layering all of my serums and lotions, before finishing off with sunscreen.

It felt uncomfortable to follow up all of those healthy skin ingredients with foundation and concealer. I even remember waiting a little while before applying my makeup, because it felt so wrong at first — especially when I had nowhere to be that day.

Once I started though, I got into it quickly. In fact, having nowhere to go made it more fun, because I could experiment with new colors and looks I never would try if I was going into work. I only kept the look on for a few hours, but doing my makeup inspired me to dress up, which definitely gave me added confidence and an energy boost.

Over the next few days, I enjoyed the normalcy of doing my makeup every day. It reminded me that this was something I really loved doing for myself pre-COVID. It also inspired me to get out a little more — safely, of course. I grabbed drinks with friends and made plans to dress up and take photos with my roommates on our roof.

I felt good when I looked at myself in the mirror. I felt good without makeup too, but it was nice to know I was putting my best foot forward every day.

It was also satisfying to take all my makeup off at the end of the night when I did my evening skincare. However, I still had some quips with my newfound everyday makeup routine.

The cons of wearing makeup every day

I think most people who wear makeup and go out these days can probably agree that wearing a mask makes the whole experience a little anticlimactic. I found that I had to get creative to make sure that my makeup didn’t just melt off all over my mask when I left the house.

I invested in a good setting spray and I only wore disposable medical masks when I had makeup on. I found those masks were a little more breathable and it wasn’t a big deal if makeup got on them, because I could throw them away after.

I also noticed that I spent way more time focusing on my eye makeup than anything else since that’s what people would see when I went out. I never wore lipstick, but I would bring it with me sometimes to put on when I got to where I was headed.

Once I worked out those kinks, wearing makeup was a really great experience and gave me something to look forward to each day. However, I’m still grateful for the time I’ve spent learning to love my own skin. Wearing makeup should be fun and empowering, but it’s not a necessity to feel valuable.