Go a Week Without Wearing Makeup

I panicked when I read that there were no blow dryers or flat irons allowed at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat on the Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica. Do they not know what my hair does in the humidity? The same information sheet also said that most people choose to not wear any makeup. What? No hair technology and no blemish coverage for an entire week? It had been on the bucket list to go in public without makeup for 24 hours, but this was taking it to the next level.

I was up for the challenge. Then again, there wasn’t much choice.
Yoga at Blue Osa Yoga Retreat in Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica

photo by crazy in the rain

Blue Osa was not only about practicing yoga, but it was also about relaxation, serenity and appreciating the skin that you are in. Traveling here was the perfect opportunity and place to go au natural.

I actually don’t wear heaps of makeup. I only own one color of lipstick, one never-been-opened blush and there is not a single eyeshadow in my makeup bag. Gasp.

But, and it’s a big but, for the past ten years I have been suffering from melasma, dark brown patches of skin on my face, which get worse in the sun. The gobs of creams, painful lasers and protective sunscreen can only do so much. So, I do feel a huge sense of security while wearing foundation, concealer and powder to balance my skin out. Throw a little mascara in there and this simple makeup routine makes me feel prettier.

Could I still feel attractive and confident with a naked face and humidity frizz hair?
Annette White without wearing makeup in Costa Rica

I’m not gonna lie, the first day was tough. Really tough. Especially since I was at this yoga retreat with more than a dozen other high profile travel bloggers whom I had never met before. I wanted to have my “A” game, which typically would have included a jar of Mac Studio Fix foundation. That first evening, I was grateful when the sun set and darkness began to fall.

No one would be able to identify that gargantuan zit on my forehead and dark circles under my eyes at dusk.

The next morning I washed my face and then spent some time creating an acceptable up-do that would help prevent the unruly wave that would have occurred otherwise. This ritual continued for a couple more days, until I finally said screw it and left my hair down to dry naturally.

Let the mane’s chaos begin.

Annette White in Costa Rica with Baby Turtles

For seven days, I went to all meals, activities and tours without wearing a stitch of makeup and just combed, air-dried hair. This may have not been a stretch for some girls, but it was for me.

With that said, there was something extremely liberating about showing off the real me, me without my painted security blanket and the comfort of electrical hair assistance. It forced me to concentrate on my personality and appreciate my natural beauty, something I had really never done before.

Guess what?

The sky didn’t fall, people didn’t make fun of me and I left with many more friends than I had arrived with. Nobody seemed to care about my uneven complexion and rebellious hair.

Plus, I had so much more free time without having to do my daily makeup and hair routine. Oh, the things I could accomplish with that extra time back home.

Costa Rica Girls

Did I feel pretty?

I have to admit this experience was not all roses and butterflies. There were plenty of moments when I was tempted to put on just a hint of foundation or at least flat ironed the ends of my hair.

There were definite times that I felt attractive and others not so much, but I realized that it didn’t really matter. This experience wasn’t about who was the best looking or had perfectly lined lips, it was about sharing in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and forming lasting friendships.

That had nothing to do with a tube of mascara.

I did not throw out my makeup bag upon returning home from my travels, but I did have a different perspective. A new mindset that makes me concentrate on engaging with a person and leading with a smile rather than a decorated face.

Would you go one week without wearing makeup?


Being Grateful: 100 Things to Be Thankful For Today

2018-12-11T09:34:25+00:00January 15th, 2015|Categories: BEAUTY & STYLE|Tags: , |


  1. Lyssa January 16, 2015 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Congrats! For some people, this is no big deal, but I forced myself to do the same thing in 2013 for a day, but ended up extending it for a full week. As it turns out, I’m just as valued whether or not I’m wearing makeup and I’m glad you experienced the same thing. 🙂 http://greatgoalrush.com/2013/12/06/addicted-to-makeup/

    • Annette White January 16, 2015 at 3:50 pm - Reply

      Love it! Just checked out your blog and will now be following along on your journey 🙂

  2. Katie @ Second-Hand Hedgehog January 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm - Reply

    Congratulations! I know it seems like such a superficial thing, but it can be a real confidence boost to put on a bit of foundation or cover-up. Congratulations for embracing the no-make-up-week, and I’m glad it gave you more confidence in your own skin. 🙂

    • Annette White January 16, 2015 at 11:02 pm - Reply

      I suppose I never truly realized what a confidence booster it was until I didn’t have it any more! Enlightening for sure!

  3. Cacinda Maloney January 17, 2015 at 11:07 pm - Reply

    We survived, plus, you look beautiful without it!

    • Annette White January 18, 2015 at 2:21 pm - Reply

      Thanks! We did survive just fine and I’d even do it again 🙂

  4. Go a Week Without Wearing Makeup | Outdoor Bottle January 24, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

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  5. rebecca January 27, 2015 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    You dont need it! I am lucky enough to have never had a make up routine, I swear it makes my life easier

    • Annette White January 27, 2015 at 5:10 pm - Reply

      Awe, thanks. Surely it would make my life easier without makeup or shaving my legs, but I’m not ready to give them two things up yet 🙂

  6. Tiffany Victoria Laguna April 15, 2016 at 4:32 pm - Reply

    I absolutely adore this article and in SO MANY WAYS I can relate!!! Love it!

    • Annette White April 15, 2016 at 4:49 pm - Reply

      Thanks for your kind words! Going bare was definitely a life lesson!

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