The Great No Make Experiment

I’m just messing with you with that title. I know it makes no sense in English, but in Japanese, the word make-up is often shortened to メイク, make. There is also a perfectly good Japanese word for this, but when I first came here many people assumed ‘make’ was good English, and I spent awhile thinking it was a great way to express how we ‘make’ our faces in the morning, until I realized it was just mangled English. Ah well, not the first bubble I’ve had burst on me.

I was not washing my hair the other day (I hate to do it, I think I’ve mentioned that numerous times before,) and it made me wonder if I could not wash my face as well. I haven’t washed my face with soap or overpriced cleansing concoctions in the morning for close to a year, just rinsed with warm water. I have permission from some doctor on TV to do this. I hated the morning wash because it always resulted with water in my sleeves and tricky bubble removal from my hair.

My face was no worse for wear.

When I got to thinking about it, it occurred to me that womankind had exhisted for thousands of years before Noxema. Was all of this lathering and exfoliating really necessary?

Probably not.

To skip washing with cleanser altogether would be challenging. They don’t let you leave college in the south without mastering at least one cardinal rule: Thou shalt not sleep in thy make-up.

Well, hell, I’m a lazy girl. I’ll just give up make-up AND washing.

I don’t wear a lot to start with, but I never leave the house without foundation and altered eyebrows, just like I’d never leave the house without undies.

But I was determined to try. The kids are out of school, and HRH had a man cold, so I would have looked frazzled and exhausted even with the war paint.

The first day, we didn’t go anywhere. Easy.

The next day was the local grocery store. That was a little more difficult. But I was ready in the morning in like two minutes, and strangely enough the world didn’t collapse around me.

On the third day, we went to the in-laws house. They had wanted to take pictures (without saying anything beforehand of course) and my au naturale look resulted in some degree of exhasperation. Japanese women never leave the house without make-up, and those that do have already crossed that line where they go to the grocery store in their aprons and bedroom slippers.

It’s funny cause it’s true.

By the next day when we went to the outlet mall, I was pretty comfortable in my unadorned skin.

I kept it up (or perhaps I should say pared down) for a week. I think it was my first non-made up week since junior high. And yes, I am THAT old that I went to a junior high and not a middle school or post-primary academy or Hogwarts or whatever it is they call it now.

I didn’t lose any friends. My husband didn’t leave me. Life as we know it did not end. So I guess all those commercials are wrong.

Will I continue to live true to my skin? Dunno. But I think on those days when I’m running late and have to choose between putting my face on or getting the kids to school on time the choice will be easier.



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. becca
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 03:50:15

    happy new year. Your blog is very entertaining!
    yay for you! I’ve never been able to understand the attraction of layers of make-up. I’m a big fan of ‘no-make’ much healthier and I have always hated the feeling of make up on my skin. Here in the UK it’s pretty much the norm amongst my friends and acquaintances..I do feel a bit different compared to all the heavily made up ladies when we’re in japan though. I have recently stopped shaving my legs,( which is so much nicer)..much to japanese husband’s horror! (though it took him about 6 months to notice the change!)


    • hamakkomommy
      Jan 06, 2013 @ 21:46:20

      Leg shaving should really be a summer sport. I don’t get around to it much in the colder months, either. And my husband has yet to notice (I think.)

      Happy New Year to you, too!


  2. gaijinwife
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 09:15:52

    I’m so crap at putting on make-up that I got my 15 year old niece to ‘help’ me before my brother’s wedding a month back. I have gone so long without wearing foundation (think can count on fingers amount of time worn in entire life) that when I try any of the ones I currently have (buy thinking will start wearing and never get round to it) I think I look so un-like me and horrid I have to take it off and start again just with doing my eyes. I’m pretty sure if I started wearing proper war-paint every day hub would think I was having an affair :)
    Congratulations on a week of nothing though. Must have felt nice by the end of it, and indeed, even if it makes the mornings a bit easier by 5 minutes some days what a bonus – although I’m presuming it is seldom mummy putting on her face that is why you don’t get out the door quickly. xxx


    • hamakkomommy
      Jan 06, 2013 @ 21:39:40

      You look great without it!

      And of course you are right, my five-minute-tops make-up routine is not the reason mornings are hectic. Giving that up will probably just lead to trouble.


  3. Kym
    Jan 06, 2013 @ 18:04:59

    Excellent! I wonder if you’ll get a comment from one of your kid’s teachers, like my friend did about her lack of make up.


  4. Kym
    Jan 07, 2013 @ 16:26:23

    Ahhh, roughly translated it was something like “Ohhh X-san, you never wear cosmetics do you”, in that funny direct way Japanese people have. So my friend just replied that she preferred to sleep in a few extra minutes. Bit of a dumb ice breaker, eh. Sometimes I think people who work with kids just forget how to talk to adults.


  5. Susie
    Jan 08, 2013 @ 03:31:58

    I fail at make-up. IF I do happen to wear it, it’s just a bit of shadow, foundation, lips and mascara. But it takes me a millennium to do it at all because I don’t have the practice. I should have taken to putting make up on in class in junior high instead of studying. Any how, I pretty much go sans make up pretty much every day. And face washing only happens in the shower, I hate wet sleeves and soap in my hair too! The only thing that I have started to do is wear face lotion, my skin is thirsty now that I am not in my 20’s for some reason.


  6. illahee
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 08:07:38

    i was very lazy in junior high and high school, and never really got in the habit of wearing make up. i wanted to sleep in! then if you had PE that day, it would get sweated off (yeah, great grammar there, kristin) so what was the point? i rarely wear make up and my husband gets pissed if i do (what?) even the kids think it’s funny if i put on mascara or something. but, i have uneven skin tone, and i’d like to do something to even it out. *sigh* guess it’s too late to start now….


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