When I was younger (early highschool) I feel like I was a bit of a late bloomer when it came to wearing makeup. I dabbled in a bit of mascara and lip gloss and maybe the occasional tinted moisturiser in yr7-8 but that was about it. When years 9 and 10 rolled around my hormones had well and truly kicked in. I was oily, pimply, splotchy and I had no idea how to care for my skin or apply makeup. Actually the part where I was meant to take my makeup off at the end of the night was the hardest bit for me to wrap my head around. So my skin got worse. Not violent acne (thankfully) but it was for sure mild acne and serious hormonal pimples! They dominated my chin and my forehead and what made matters worse? I swept my oily side fringe right over the top to cover it up. I was forever touching my face, picking at pimples and transferring bacteria from school desks, pens and every other surface I touched directly to my skin.
There was a time when I literally remember saying "I wouldn't leave the house without makeup" and that was totally true. Not that I was particularly good at makeup... It was a self confidence thing. I seriously thought that people would comment if I went out without a layer of muck on my face to cover my pimples and redness. To make matters worse I slept in my makeup, almost EVERY night. My mum used to tell me my eyelashes would fall out if I didn't make my mascara off, but I didn't listen. One day in yr10 Math Class the boy sitting next to my turned to me and said "you really shouldn't wear your hair pulled back like that because you've got breakouts". I died. He may as well have punched me in the gut. Any scrap of confidence I had was crushed right before my eyes.
Although I used decent makeup when I did start wearing it. Mum insisted that if i was going to wear foundation it would be a mineral one (NUDE by nature), and I still use products from that brand to this day. I would slather some concealer under my eyes and on my blemishes, coat my face in a good layer of mineral powder, mascara, sometimes bronzer and a fat line of shitty eye pencil. That was my go to look, from 15-21years of age.
Finally I went to Makeup College and learnt how to do makeup properly, I look back at photos and cringe. I can't believe how low my self esteem was as a result of my skin. I also cant believe how uneducated I was about how to properly car for it. Obviously I knew I was meant to 'cleanse, tone and moisturise' but I was using all the wrong products. I literally thought that "Clearasil" would make my skin look like the girls in the ads. Instead it stripped my skin of all of its natural oils and dried my face out to an inch of its life. And moisturiser? No way! I was scared to use moisturiser because I thought it would make my skin more oily.
When I was living in the UK I felt the need to wear makeup to work, although some days it was BB cream and mascara and others it was a full face. However that was about it, outside of work I rarely wore makeup. My skin was SO beyond dry that any makeup I applied such to the dry spots. My skin did not agree with the English weather! Once I returned home and began working for myself I embraced the fact that I didn't need to wear makeup for work anymore. I don't feel the need to do a full face of makeup on myself when I'm doing other peoples makeup. I don't want them judging what is on my face as a indication on my skill, so I'd rather go bare faced. A proper skin routine has saved my skin (and probably the fact that puberty has well and truly ended is a plus too!). I feel confident enough in myself now to leave the house without makeup, work without makeup and go about my everyday life without worrying about makeup. Don't get me wrong, if I'm going out for a nice dinner or a special occasion I will happily go full glam. Every now and then I do feel the need! But generally these days I'm bare faced 99% of the time.
Obviously a good skin care routine helps, although mine is minimal! I primarily use two products from Lush - Angles on Bare Skin (cleanser) and Skin Drink (moisturiser), and occasionally I will use one of their Masks. That is literally it! Their products are natural, made of real ingredients, cruelty free and I love their anti-packaging theory!