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10 Very Good Reasons To Ditch Your Makeup Bag This Fall

First of all, it doesn't even work unless your best friend is a makeup artist.

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Woman in red shirt looking at reflection in bathroom mirror
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As we venture into this new normal and our sweatpants and gray T-shirts start hitting the laundry baskets in a less-regular rotation, some of us might look in the mirror and wonder how much effort we want to put into our outside-the-house selves. It isn’t a given that your boss expects you to paint your face for an hour every morning or that your partner or date won’t find you attractive without that perfect red lip. These are simply lies that we’ve been inundated with since the dawn of time, or since we first saw that Cindy Crawford Pepsi ad. Now, if being like Cindy makes you feel great, I completely support you. However, if looking at that ad gave you a pit in your stomach and sent you on a spiral to find out how to get that perfect cat eye, this list is for you.

It doesn’t even work

That’s right. All your efforts to reel in that stunner across the patio with fake eyelashes probably won’t work unless your best friend is a makeup artist. This study shows that amateur contouring doesn’t catch fish — only professionally done face-painting makes a difference to those trouts.

And even then, makeup matters less than overall facial features. So really, this just comes down to the simple fact that people are going to find you attractive based on what you naturally look like — whether it’s your partner or someone you just started flirting with. So, embrace that beautiful mug of yours! It’s the only one you’ve got, and it’s lovely.

You won’t have to retrace your steps

You’ve finished your beauty regime and hit the pavement only to find an hour later you have to reapply concealer to your most recent breakout.

Why do you keep doing this to yourself? Because it’s the Annual Gourd Festival, and of course I can’t show people what I really look like — I’m hideous! It may be a foreign concept, but your skin needs care rather than criticism. Instead of the Kardashians’ latest line of whatever, try using a moisturizer/SPF combo. It feels so much better than a standalone SPF and doesn’t make you look like a mime. 

The money you’ll save

Makeup is expensive, not to mention all the applicators. A decent foundation, mascara and concealer together will run you around $45 a month on the low end. That’s $540 a year! With all that cash you could invest in several cable knit sweaters, or perhaps a long flannel shirt and those riding boots you’ve been browsing on Etsy, or even a plane ticket to Vermont! The world is big, my friend.

Your pores will thank you

Wearing foundation all day, every day is just bad for your skin.

The less makeup you wear, or the less often you wear it, the better off your skin will be. Makeup causes breakouts, which will lead to stress, which will lead to more breakouts. It’s a vicious cycle. Stopping it or slowing it down is yet another way to take care of yourself.

The time you’ll save

That extra 30 minutes to an hour is now freed up to sleep in or meditate. You can sit on your front porch and breathe in with your new mantra: “Today is a sick day. The apple orchard is my destiny.” 

Donate your unused makeup

There are people out there — whom I don’t understand — who would move mountains for those high-end brands that are still in their boxes. There are lots of organizations like this one you can donate to, or you could bring them to your local women’s shelter. Makeup is fun for some people, apparently. 

Repurpose your used makeup

Do you have a teenager in your life who doesn’t care if your lip gloss is half open? Great! They will love this addition to their backpack. Or you can use your old makeup for an art installation!

Counter space

How many times did you knock over your makeup bag only to be late to one of those meetings that should have been an email? With the beast gone you can free up your vanity for a shade-tolerant plant or perhaps a photograph that has been tucked away in the closet. 

One less thing 

Mental space is precious. Reserving it for the things that bring us joy is imperative. What can you think about now that you’re not constantly worried about touching up? You can finally resume One Hundred Years of Solitude or maybe just envision a world in which you’ve already finished it. The sky is the limit.  


It may seem obvious that you never needed makeup all along, but to enact that sentiment brings the concept home. With that knowledge, it can free you up to do other things that are outside of your sphere of comfort but are also more true to who you are. Maybe you can look for a job that brings you more joy than irritation. Maybe you can walk away from that one-sided relationship. Maybe you don’t need to keep making room in your life for things that only weigh you down. If any of this rings true for you, give the old bag a push — and maybe leave it tucked away in a drawer for a few days and see how it feels. If you missed it dearly, then great! You are doing something that serves you. If you felt more relaxed after the initial panic, that might be a good indicator you are wearing makeup for other people who honestly don’t care that much.