What's your advice for someone who doesn't feel comfortable wearing no makeup outside of the house?

What’s your advice for someone who doesn’t feel comfortable wearing no makeup outside of the house? Many of us have felt uncomfortable before, so share your tips and tricks to feeling more confident in your own skin!  This question is a follow-up from yesterday’s, as some readers wanted to wear no makeup but didn’t feel comfortable or confident doing so. I’ve personally experienced that feeling, and I would have loved to have advice/support on how to get to the point where I did feel comfortable in my own skin – I thought we could share those experiences and advice with each other.

Wear less and less gradually, so maybe if you always do a full face, keep the foundation but go lighter on everything else. Then move to tinted moisturizer, then maybe just concealer where you need it. Remind yourself that you’re beautiful, and it’s not makeup that is responsible for that – confidence makes us all more beautiful, makeup or not. There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup any time one goes out of the house, but we should all feel comfortable sans makeup if it happens!

Do you have a question idea? Submit yours here.


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.
Ellie Avatar

I started wearing makeup regularly when I turned 30, mostly for two reason: 1) to look older at work where I had issues with being respected for appearing much younger than I am (usually 5 to 10 years younger) and 2) because I pretty much lost most of my brows and they won’t grow back. For this second reason, I generally feel uncomfortable going out with absolutely no makeup. As long as I can draw my brows, I don’t need the rest.

liz Avatar

I heard about this a while ago: every morning when you wake up look in the mirror and compliment yourself on (at least!) one feature you like about yourself! “Today my skin looks so glowy” “I like the shape of my nose” ect

Secondly, the realization that people *know* that heavy coverage foundation doesn’t look like real skin. Even guys know that the airbrushed images of celebrities they see are fake. Skin has pores, and spots here and there, and other little imperfections. Most people that aren’t into make up that I know prefer the look of natural yet imperfect skin over a face that’s so smooth and perfected that it looks artificial.

Georgia Avatar

This is the face God gave me. Don’t like it, don’t
look! I could never practice what I preach until
I hit 35. Something just clicked then, especially
having kids. They love your naked face, so
I learned really quickly not to give a rat’s ass. I
love going full glam. Just- now it’s a treat, I’m
not feeling I have to impress anyone else. It’s
truly liberating just to know you CAN look
great, but your base face is a fine canvas
all it’s own. #sofreeing

Wwendalynne Avatar

I go without makeup a lot. I live on a farm. But, I want to throw an opposing opinion out there just because..

If you feel happier with makeup on, then by all means, wear it! There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to put your best foot forward..EVER in my opinion. What is this ridiculous idea that somehow you have something to prove to yourself by going out in public without makeup?

When I go out, I make an effort to pull myself together and that means wearing makeup. Either a little bit–because like Ellie, my brows are sad and the tail ends are practically non-existent due to Lupus–or a lot, because I feel like looking really goooood.

It is not a sign of insecurity to want to look and feel your best. It is not a sign of insecurity if you enjoy taking a bit of care over your personal appearance. Guys who bitch about makeup can stuff it. In this day and age, men spend just as much time as woman in the grooming department. If a guy is giving you grief about a bit of makeup, find another guy.

Oh, and I live out in the boonies and see people shopping in their pajamas all the time, and hey, if that’s cool for them, then great, but it’s definitely not me, and not the way I was raised. I can still hear my grandmother in my head who always had a bit of something on, usually her trademark red lipstick, telling me it never hurts to put your best foot forward. She was a lady!

Emily Avatar

Thank you for bringing this up as well. I’ve worn makeup almost every day since I was 13 (and yes, I take it off properly and take care of my skin as well). Now, 10 years later, my routine and style has changed, but I’m still rarely without some kind of makeup on, even if I’m just bumming around the house. Makeup, for me, is like clothes. I don’t not like the way I look without it. I enjoy the process of putting it on. Some people paint on canvas or china, I put makeup on my face. Like a fun T-shirt or a cool piece of jewelry, the colours and styles of my makeup expresses who I am. In the crusade for “natural beauty,” there seems to be this mentality that if women wear makeup, they must be insecure or out to prove something. Why is it more acceptable to criticize women for wearing makeup than for choosing not to? If I like it, I’m going to do it, and I honestly don’t care what anyone else thinks.

Christine Avatar

There’s no judgment either way – this question was intended to provide advice for those who *want* to feel good about themselves without makeup, not those who are already confident either way 🙂 That’s why it’s “comfortable” not someone who merely doesn’t. A lot of readers expressed they want to but don’t feel comfortable doing so – and some people (like myself) have used makeup as a way to cover up insecurities and can share how we’ve struggled to overcome those and feel more comfortable in our skin. For people like me, makeup is now something I put on because I want to, because I enjoy it, but for a period of time, it was very much something I did out of necessity – that I felt ugly and like a walking abomination without it. I would have loved advice back then on how to be more confident without it.

As I said in my very own answer: “There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup any time one goes out of the house, but we should all feel comfortable sans makeup if it happens!”

Mariella Avatar

i think for some of us, that didn’t come across at all in the wording of the question. “What advice would you give to a friend who wants to feel secure without makeup?” might have made it more clear. I had a similar response to the question that Wendalynne and Emily did.

Jen Avatar

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with CHOOSING to wear makeup. It’s the feeling that you have no choice but to wear it that is wrong. No one should be made to feel they MUST wear it whether they want to or not. That’s what this is all about! 🙂

Julie Avatar

I think because we being so wonderful with makeup with our own ingenuity, and Christine’s help, have created characters of ourselves in our own minds and have not yet realized the characters are also us. The makeup routines and cosmetics shield us from the worsening pollution, bad rays, a bad skin day (or for me-lifetime)! They also shield us from what we feel could be taken as a negative look, comment, glare-but the same can happen if we are wearing makeup! It can be just as good for us as it can be bad for us. I finally learned to be comfortable in my own skin, it took a lot of work, but I learned it is a necessity at certain times and places, but a bare face is and should always be acceptable.

Ryou Avatar

I would say that the most important part is to tell you to look pretty (including wearing make-up) for yourself, not for strangers. These are people who most likely don’t know you, your inner beauty, nor are they likely to be a significant part of your life for any extended period. Why reduce yourself into something that’s afraid of their superficial judgement? You’re much better than that.

sarah Avatar

Taking it slow os a great tip. I also think its good to remember that if you wear heavy make up everyday people will notice a change and comment on it, but its like people who wear glasses swapping to contacts – it looks different but not worse or better.

Kat Avatar

The best advise I ever got for dealing with my oily, acne skin- don’t cover your face in make up! 6 months later, and my skin is so much better for letting it ‘breathe’. It was so hard at first, but now i don’t ever wear make up to work (unless there is something important happening) and just wear make up on the weekend/going out.
You get used to it, and your skin will thank you! And also, no one else cares if you are wearing make up or not! So hold your head up high and smile 🙂 because that is the most lovely part of your face.

CeeBee Avatar

This might seem harsh but truth and reality often are but really, no one – not the general public, the mailman, the folks at the mall or movie theatre, the random people on the street, the supermarket checkout operator or the pizza delivery dude – none of them care whether you have makeup on or not.

They have their own problems, jobs and lives to carry on with and even if they did *ever* dare to confront you for failing to appear up to whatever arbitrary makeup application standards they seemingly have, do YOU really care what they think? Does their opinion actually have any meaningful impact on YOUR life? No? Then the general public can suck it – this is my face and if you don’t like it the way it is right now, too bad for you.

Enjoy makeup, love makeup – but do it on your terms, because you want to (or don’t want to!) and not because of what anyone else might potentially think.

rachael Avatar

For a long time I wore my makeup as a shield, thinking it hid my acne and imperfections. After enough guys told me “I wish you wore less makeup” I realized that they weren’t seeing nicer skin with more even tone. They were seeing cakey orangey/yellow stuff on top of textured acne. While I’ve since gotten a much better control of my skin I did learn that guys prefer a more real natural look, even if its not perfect. This has freed up a lot of my morning time and helped me build confidence, which in turns helps me worry less, my skin breaks out less from stress, and I cycle into a move loving relationship with myself (as hippy-dippy as that sounds).

So for anyone uncomfortable wearing no makeup, I say find something you want to cut down – eyes or foundation, whatever, and start there. Just one thing at first. Wear less crazy colors or try for a light or medium coverage foundation. One thing that really helped me was buying more expensive but better products. I use the Armani Skin foundation that is light coverage and lets my skin come through, as well as evens it out a fair bit. Its a good balance for me, makes me feel made up but less cakey. You can also just pick one feature to accentuate and do that. The full face can be too much, especially with summer coming up.

Mariella Avatar

Why would they need my advice? If they’re not comfortable going out of the house without makeup, why should I seek to change them? It’s a personal choice that harms no one and over my long years, I’ve also learned that unsolicited advice is generally not welcome. My “advice” would be to keep my advice to myself unless I was actually ASKED for help in this.

becca Avatar

I’m one of those people who have to wear makeup outside the house. Gradually lessening the amount of makeup you wear is the best thing to do. I would normally wear a full face of makeup and now I can take it down to concealer and mascara.

F. K. S. Avatar

I would not give any advice. I do think every one of us has the inalienable right to wear our faces as we like them, and that includes both going out bare faced, and going out in the most exotic, colorful maquillage. All that matters is whether the whole get up harmonizes or not.

Danielle Avatar

Great advice, Christine! Even just wearing lighter makeup around the house until you get used to it would be good. Also, I would try to fix the areas that you think need fixing. If you have problem skin, try out a new skincare routine. If you have sparse brows, try a serum like RapidBrow to grow them in more.

grlnxdor Avatar

I’m all for positive self-esteem and all that, but I look better with makeup on. I’m in my early 50’s and no longer have the full eyebrows and lashes. Youthful eyes keep women from looking “old” and the only way I can achieve that is through makeup. There is nothing attractive about older women who like looking “natural”. They just look older than they have to.

Lindsay Avatar

I have to beg to differ here. It’s pretty insulting to claim that ALL older women look worse without makeup. ‘There is nothing attractive about older women who like looking “natural”. They just look older than they have to.’ This statement is just your opinion. There are PLENTY of older women who are attractive and don’t wear makeup! What a terrible generalization! All women 50+ are just as beautiful without makeup as with because ALL WOMEN ARE BEAUTIFUL. This comment section is usually pretty judgement-free, but this one really rubs me the wrong way!

Stacey Avatar

I wear makeup to work so I can look polished and look like I am old enough for that job. Otherwise, I rather not slab on the makeup. This is the face my grandmother love me for since I was born. I dont like my makeup smearing my clothes. I rather be wearing no makeup and having clean underwear if I had were to end up in the hospital.

Cécile Avatar

My favourite tip for general self confidence, works in any and all situations, I promise!

Every time I look in the mirror, I do what I call “The Fonz”: with one hand I snap my fingers, point at myself in the mirror, and wink (say “aayyy” for extra Fonz-points). You’ll feel stupid at first, but after a while you start believing you actually are Fonzie-levels of cool. You are awesome, you just need to believe it yourself, and with the power of the Fonz, you can!

n. Avatar

I have no good advice. I didn’t feel comfortable going out without makeup until my skin cleared up. I know that is horrible. I do have confidence issues.

Gretchen Avatar

I love this question, Christine’s advice and reading through all the comments, it’s great to see a dialog of this nature on a make-up centric website. I am 35 and when I was 15 and just getting into make up a friend at school in front of a bunch of other catty-girls mentioned very loudly that I was getting better covering up my zits it was just too bad about my eyebrows. Well my “zits” have for the most part cleared up. But not one day after that, have I left the house without filling in my eyebrows. I guess I should mention that I have very light eyebrows that are also very sparse to the point I don’t look like I have any. I have dark hair and fair skin so I suppose that too makes it more noticeable. I still wear a full face everyday, but thanks to the advice I find here I am going to cut back and try and chill out. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to feel comfortable with my eye brows, but I have got to get over that silly comment made by a girl 20 years ago. Uggg, this sounds so silly. But thanks to everyone for their comments.

Rebecca Avatar

A little light humor:

I know how ugly I are
My face it ain’t no star
But I do not mind it
Because I’m behind it
You folks in the front get the jar.

But seriously, it is about loving yourself no matter what. I think the most valuable thing to do is “mirror work”. Have 3 different affirming statements, such as: “I love you” and “You are so beautiful!” and “You have a lovely, friendly smile”.

Say them out loud while looking deeply and sincerely into your own mirrored eyes, 15-25 times at least twice a day. It may sound silly but it works. Your outer ear and inner ear hears these affirmations and it works.

And lastly: what other people think about you, is none of your business. 🙂

JKJ Avatar

Every time you look in the mirror, especially first thing in the morning when you aren’t wearing any makeup, smile at yourself. Thinking you are beautiful as you are is definitely something that can be learned, and seeing your own smiling face will help! And when you do this, focus on what you like about your face.

Perspective is also important. Even though it’s easy to feel like when you have a pimple or some sort of flaw on your face, the whole world is staring at it, that really isn’t true. Ask yourself, how often do you really notice the skin imperfections of other people walking around in the world? I know that every time I’ve had a friend say to me, “My skin is so broken out right now,” I honestly hadn’t even noticed. So while there’s of course nothing wrong with hiding your flaws with a bit of concealer and foundation to boost your own confidence, I think it’s important to remember that no one else cares if you have a zit.

Jen Avatar

I started by not wearing it on really quick errands where I was most unlikely to run into anyone I knew. Then I saw that strangers didn’t really notice. Actually, I get more guys talking to me when I don’t wear makeup than when I do (to the point where sometimes if I just want to be left alone, I’ll wear makeup!).

I love to wear makeup and rarely go out without it. But it was important to me to get past feeling “Oh, no, I have ProblemSkin! and must wear makeup all the time or people will throw up at the sight of me.” They didn’t, and if they had, that would have been their problem. Now I know I CAN go out without it and feel fine about myself, even if someone says something (that they have no business saying).

Trillium Avatar

I go out sans makeup often enough. I guess in my case, I just don’t care what people think about it. The way I see it, most people won’t think twice about if I have makeup on or not, or probably even notice! Every one has their own things to worry about, and whether I’m wearing concealer is not one of them. 😉 If anyone feels they have a right to judge me for not wearing makeup, or if they even care, THEY are the one with the issues, not me! 😉

Lark Avatar

First, you might want to find out Why.

Some girls simply won’t go out without looking well groomed, and some girls have deep seated psychological issues that they hide behind a mask. And yet other girls leave the house bare faced plenty, but get slammed for “Always hiding that pretty face under make up”. This is shaming at work…

I’m wondering what generates the question anyway? Insecurity or Jealousy? It’s nobody’s business how much or how often one wears make up- its a social norm to do ones face. But there may be a fishing expedition for an attack angle on somebody here. I’ve seen them in Comments before, even bragging about convincing the acne cursed to forgo treatment.

Erica Avatar

I agree with your advice Christine. I would add that the person may want to shift the emphasis from wearing makeup to improving their skin. As you minimize the makeup, simultaneously upgrade your skin care regimen: drinking more water, gentle and consistent exfoliation/cleansing, etc. When you feel better about the skin you’re in, the less anxious you may feel about wearing makeup to hide it.

VickyM Avatar

My opinion is that you should be happy with who you are, inside and out. If you feel like putting on makeup is effort you don´t want to do, don´t wear it, if you feel better and more confident using it then use it. If like me, you feel that a complete makeup look is to much work some times, don´t do it. If however you need some make up on just to feel more energetic and pretty then use it, maybe not foundation but you may want some lipstick or eyeshadow and mascara to feel like you are making something nice for yourself. It´s not what others think, is what you like and the way you want to look. For some people I use too much makeup since I always have a mid toned to bold lipstick on depending on my mood and sometimes no other makeup, to some others I use too little because I don´t have a full makeup face on. But in the end what matters is that you are comfortable with yourself and accept the way you are, and don´t forget that the inside counts more than the outside so be happy. 🙂

Xexuxa Avatar

I don’t know if there is any real reason behind this, but I always wear powder. I have noticed that i get pimples when I don’t wear it. It’s like i need it there to help absorb oil on face

Nikki Avatar

Instead of continuously buying makeup to disguise your imperfections, focus on improving your skincare routine to correct the issues you dislike so you won’t need as much makeup. When you find products and a system that work for you, stick with it until you’re able to sport bare and beautiful skin that you’re proud of.

Alisha Badillo Avatar

Unfortunately there are people like me who must wear makeup because I have pretty bad hyperpigmentation on my face. I wish I could go without foundation, but I just can’t.

Mar Avatar

If you’re wearing makeup or not, it’s all about feeling like yourself and happy with your personal beauty. Wear makeup because you want to – not because you think someone else will judge you. And it works the same way in reverse. Never feel like you’re not beautiful on your own. When you’re confident in yourself, the choice you make to go with or without makeup is going to make you feel powerful regardless.

If you really want to step back from makeup, take a good look at yourself in the morning and think about the features you love best and think about how to expose that asset. As you go day-by-day, try and focus on the features you haven’t mentioned to yourself yet and think about what it means to your face. How it balances you. How it reminds you of family traits. How they make you unique. Mostly, always remember the choice in how you feel about yourself, and the choice in how you walk out the door, it purely your own. Be confident with it!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!