Alicia Keys was on the Today show the other day. She stopped wearing makeup, a decision that makes her feel centered and powerful according to the article on US magazine Friday, September 2nd. I’m amazed every time I see her how different (but still beautiful) she looks without makeup.

I grew up with makeup being off limits until later in my teenage years, and it was never part of my daily routine until I decided to actually learn how to apply it so those times I wanted to, I didn’t look like a fool. I’m sure there were plenty of times where I didn’t hit the mark, but I learned that I like taking a few minutes for myself. To this day, I don’t have an extensive routine, but I have the confidence to do my own makeup for weddings and events. I have a job that doesn’t require looking sharp, and in the winter, any effort made “putting on a face” will be covered by a hat and goggles anyway. I found that the days I dragged myself out of bed and at least covered the dark circles and added a swoosh of mascara were days I tackled with a little more gusto. There’s something about knowing you look great that makes you feel great, even if you’re pretty sure no one else noticed.

Just as I was confidently mastering the no-makeup makeup look, I learned about what actually in cosmetics. Things I’d never thought of, leading to potential health consequences I couldn’t imagine. Luckily, I found that there are non-toxic brands that perform well. A complaint people sometimes make about more natural products is they don’t perform as well as conventional brands. This article on spells out some of the common myths and considerations, but I’ve found my skin hasn’t been clearer since I made the switch.

The photo on the left is fresh faced and makeup free. The one on the right is wearing my new Beautycounter makeup (and watching my daughter teeter down the hill). They really don’t look that different, and I feel great in both pictures. Comparing them side by side, I wonder if makeup is even necessary.

I feel good that the choices I’m making for myself and my family are safe and effective. Makeup isn’t going to make you feel beautiful- it may make you look different, and you might feel pressured to conform to some standard, but what makes you truly beautiful is feeling good about the skin you’re in.