The thought of going out, in public, barefaced has always scared me.

I think it may sound ridiculous, but it is indeed the truth. At the age of 27 (I know I look young, even with makeup on..) I've only been out a handful of times in public like that, majority of those were for a facial and I wore the largest sunglasses I had, even if it wasn't sunny, to help hide my face.

I know I look/feel better with makeup on, oh the power of makeup. It's not necessarily covering up, it's utilising products and techniques to show off our best features. With it we can choose how to present ourselves to the world, I find makeup therefor empowering. We don't wear it for men, oh how they think we do at times. 

I love looking back at older photos of myself, teenage Leanne using foundation set with powder, no blush, no highlight or contour, I didn't even fill in those sparse brows. Sometimes a sweep of eyeshadow, the beginnings of my signature cat-eye flick, but in kohl pencil, not quite my current standard of liquid liner flicks. Then coat of mascara to finish things off, but only on the top which would end up flaking on to my face throughout the day anyway. So many teenagers now skip this awkward phrase and achieve "instagram brows" thanks to the rise of YouTube makeup tutorials. My Mum has even upped her brow game, those thin drawn on arches are now beautifully sculpted faded gradients using several brow products.

I hate my dark circles, the redness around my eyes and nose. Uneven skin tone especially on my cheeks, mouth and chin. My lips naturally don't hold a lot of colour, especially if I'm cold they're prone to going grey/blue. I've battled with my skin as many of you may know. But recently it's been behaving, the past 3 months I've rarely broken out, meaning old marks have had their time to fade and I'm the clearest I've been since when those skin treatments a couple of years ago. Now I've not gone back to those or anything, I had thought about of doing them during the summer as my skin had been getting me down. The only thing I've changed is my morning moisturiser, still using the Liz Earle Superskin at night, but mornings I now use Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream. Nothing else has changed, so all I can account for this is that! If you wanted to see my skincare routine it features in this video. Even in person people have remarked about how smooth my skin is looking. In general my skin is much softer, smoother and clearer.

Perhaps this is the reason I've recently started venturing out a little bit more in public completely bare faced, even wearing my glasses, so if I did get any odd looks, oh I'd see with my new eagle eyed vision. But the thing is, no one even glances my way, even with my odd colour hair. I love it, I feel invisible. I worry when speaking to people, they'll be looking around my face and analysing me, I study their faces as we speak and nothing. They don't appear to be judging me, no grimacing, just normal eye contact. This all started from days I wanted to pop into the city, but couldn't be bothered to sit down and put on my makeup, why waste my pricy makeup for a couple of hours in public. If I bumped into people I knew, first thing I did was apologised for how I looked, this was met with only compliments.

I worried people may recognised me from being online and think, ew she looks awful in real life. I expressed my concern to my parents, but dad agreed and said for my reputation I should always go out and look presentable... Perhaps some of my insecurities are from my him. When I lived at home I hardly wore makeup unless I was leaving the house, filming or taking pics. When I then wore makeup, did my hair, dressed up he'd comment "You scrub up nicely." So I've got used to being told I look better with makeup on.

But being with Paul is different. I use to apologise for him being seen with me without makeup on, worrying that if his friends saw they'd judge him/me. He assures me I look totally fine, that I look naturally pretty without makeup, he can see my expressions better and that I look sweet. He likes me either way. In short makeupless is pretty, makeup is sexy in his eyes, no negatives there. On a recent date night, I was to meet him after work, we'd go for food and then to the movies. I was running late, the day had flown by and I had no time to put on any makeup. I almost canceled, genuinely anxious about going to dinner with no makeup on, so many people sat around us for long periods of time, not just fleeting moments in passing. I'm so glad I didn't cancel, we have a lovely time and if anything the experience gave me more self confidence. No one battered an eye lid, no one cared, why would they, they don't know me. I think it's part of my social anxiety, I just think the worst in my head in a lot of social situations.

So with my first self-portraiture shoot in my new home studio I wanted to write about my recent revelation. I don't need to wear makeup every time I leave the house, I do love makeup, but I don't need to waste it for a couple of hours out in public.

I find it fascinating the difference your hair and makeup can make to societies behaviour towards you. I'm invisible with no makeup on and my hair extensionless which I'm getting used to and enjoy that feeling of anonymity. Then seeing the contrast when wearing makeup, feeling incredibly uncomfortable from the male gaze, not saying all men are like that, but times when you're stared at the whole way walking down the street or victim of unwanted rude comments. In those moments I wish I was barefaced, and that's awful to wish I wasn't doing something I enjoy. Same with hair, the difference from my natural length to wearing extensions seems to invite unwanted attention too. A public service announcement, we don't dress, wear makeup, do anything for men, we do it because WE like how it looks.

Now I don't usually share how I look without makeup on my Instagram, (I have shared my skin journey on here & YouTube before) but as I'm feeling more comfortable in my skin I want to. To help share a positive message, to help others feel comfortable in their own skin too. We often share our highlights, us looking at our best. But there's days we all sit at home, dirty hair scrapped up, no makeup on, but we don't see this online. We just need to remember we are all the same and no one looks "perfect all the time".

I hope people can relate to this post, I'd love to read your experiences and thoughts below in the comments. Also I've been daily vlogging on my second channel, yep #vlogmas is happening! I'd really love for you to check out too if you're interested :) I'm also wanted to blog more, so please stick around <3

 Youtube / Twitter / Instagram & Snapchat leannelimwalker / Website / FAQ


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