Lifting the Mask

On Friday 29 August 2014, Kosmea will join thousands of Australian women in going make up free to make a stand for positive self-image and raise funds for a worthy cause. This year, Makeup Free Me aims to raise $250,000 for the Butterfly Foundation with 100% of funds raised going to combat negative body image and support those affected by eating disorders.


Here’s my story and some insight into why this cause speaks to me:

Several months ago, I was both intrigued by and mortified at the social media trend of #makeupfreeselfies.

I was seriously impressed by the gutsiness of my girlfriends uploading their bare-faced images on Facebook, and as each one appeared in my newsfeed, thought “Wow, she’s so naturally beautiful”.

Then a sickening thought entered my mind.

Please don’t let anyone nominate me to go barefaced.

You see, every day since I was about fifteen, I have worn makeup. Some days just a little concealer, many days a full face of slap. Every day something.

While I was proud of my friends and admired their courage (and genuinely thought they looked beautiful without makeup), when it came to me, it was a different story. I’m not beautiful without makeup. I’m plain and unworthy of the world’s eyes.

How did it get to this?

As an adolescent, I went from being a fresh-faced teen, who swam laps daily and followed the Catholic girl’s school rules of strictly no makeup, to being a concealer-brandishing, lip-gloss-in-the-uniform-pocket, compulsive mirror-checking girl as if overnight.

I don’t wish to place blame, but if I could pick a pivotal moment when I became obsessed with my looks, it was my “discovery” by a model agent from Vivien’s Management when I was sixteen.

From there, I wasn’t helped by a looks-obsessed, perfection-expecting partner who I fell in love with at age seventeen. I was a trophy and I had an image to uphold. My self-confidence depleted over the following four years.

The modelling career failed to take flight (I prioritised my studies).

That relationship eventually ended in complete devastation, and I was left with my mask. I struggled to maintain the appearance of someone who was coping. My rituals of covering my grief in foundation, spray tan, and lipstick was well and truly a lifesaver. And also my Mum and some very dear special friends.

My perfectly applied face was my shield against the cruelty of the world and the harsh (and un-substantiated) criticism which fell upon me after my breakup.

When I met my husband, Preschool Daddy, everything changed. He loved me. I remember one night on our way home from a date, 12pm and I was in the passenger seat of his car, reapplying my eyeliner. He was miffed as to why I thought this was necessary. He told me gently that its wasn’t. From that moment on, I felt accepted and worthy. Without the mask.

These days, even with three little kids underfoot, I still prioritise personal appearance. For example, I’d never go to Woollies, much less work, without makeup on.

This Friday coming, I’m going to go to work without any makeup. I highly doubt anyone will notice or care but it will be challenging and hopefully liberating to me. I’ve been prepping my skin for a few weeks with my Kosmea Rosehip Oil, which I love, and which I feel gives me confidence through healthy skin.

oil photo

You never know, I might even snap a #makeupfreeselfie to prove it!

I’ll be donating to The Butterfly Foundation for this wonderful cause. You can enter to go makeup free, or donate here.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT


13 thoughts on “Lifting the Mask

  1. I used to wear makeup everyday but moving to the country made me feel out of place. Though I did exchange it for everyday sunscreen.


      1. In country WA – it can be pretty harsh out here especially when its 47 in Summer. Tinted moisturiser makes me feel like I am wearing something.


  2. I’ve never liked wearing makeup. Just the feel of it, and now I probably wouldn’t just because of all the stuff that’s in it. I definitely don’t always look that great! I’ve bought occasional bits to use for a wedding or a party but it always ends up in the bin! Good on you for gaining the self confidence to go without. You are very lovely looking, and I am sure you will be even more so without your mask on.


    1. Michelle, thank you for your comments and I agree, there are plenty of nasties in cosmetics which are concerning. I love buying from The Body Shop for ethical reasons. I’d love to have your confidence. Well done xxx thanks again.


  3. I wear some make up but minimalist as I am too low maintenance for more (a powder base, blush, quick shadow and lipstick on average). My #1 is lipstick. If I have that I am happy most days. Thanks for sharing your story, love that your hubby showed you he accepted you as you are xx deb


  4. I never used to wear make-up unless it was for dancing or special occasions. Since having kids I do find that I am popping on the mascara almost every time I leave the house, mostly to try and make my tired, sleep-deprived eyes not look so tired!
    Such a worthy cause to be donating money to, and good on for you getting in to it! xx
    Visiting from #teamIBOT today x


  5. I don’t go out without makeup. Mostly just tinted moisturiser, eye liner, and lip gloss but never without it. I’m like you and don’t feel at all attractive otherwise.
    Good on you for doing this.I’m not sure I’m quite brave enough.


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