My face gets oily by noon or when the weather is hot. I always blot my face with powder or oil-absorbing sheets. Whenever I see a zit forming, I soak it with Neostrata's Oily Skin Solution Glycolic Acid Toner. It dries up pimples really fast without leaving dark spots.
It would take me a certain level of stress and courage to step out of the house with barely-there brows. My drawn-on brows define my face (and who I am), so on the first day, my face seemed to look flat and washed out. I let it pass because I was en route to a shoot in Tagaytay—no events, no bigwigs to meet. And being paranoid of sun damage, I just slathered Kiehl's Ultra Light Daily UV Defense over every inch of my face. I remember noticing my T-zone was shiny after lunch, but it wasn't as greasy as days when I'd slap on layers of BB cream on my face.
Weekends for me mean staying at home and recharging (I'm not the FOMO type). As soon as I got up, I just washed my face, applied Laneige's Bright Renew Original Serum, and went on with my day. Before going to bed, I religiously went through my skin care regimen. If I won't be wearing makeup, I should seriously have an immaculate complexion.
A girlfriend asked me to have coffee, so I was tempted to fill in my brows, but I managed to control myself because I was saving my makeup cheat day for a weekday where I would be out for events. Since the sun had already set, I just patted brightening serum onto my face to psych myself into thinking that I had something on.
A Monday for people who work in digital media is crunch time—you need to produce a gazillion articles all day. I could care less about going to work without eyebrows. In the event my T-zone becomes reminiscent of a disco ball, I had my blotting papers conveniently stashed in my bag. I used a sheet by 4pm, when I had to do my coffee run.
I went to different product launches and PR and brand representatives asked me why my brows and neon liner were absent, and I simply revealed that I was on a makeup detox challenge. Also, I normally apply a pore-diffusing primer on my face on special days like this, so I was hyper-aware of my pores being visible to anyone at the event. I did a shine check every n ow and then, and was surprised that I didn't need to use blotting papers the whole day.
I was in the office the whole day, and gave my hair a bit of lift to make up for not putting any flaw-camoflaging product on my face. Plus, after yesterday's victory over shine, I felt more confident sans an ounce of makeup. I also found my complexion looked more alive and glowing.
Today was cheat day! I attended three events, but since I was seeing radiant results in my skin (thanks to a reliable brightening skin care regimen), I just confidently put on a red lip to draw attention away from my sunken under-eye area and sparse brows. The best part of the day was when an editor approached me and asked what I've been using on my skin. She said I glowed, I proudly said to myself, "Achievement unlocked!"
On the last day of my detox, I closely inspected my complexion in the mirror. It dawned on me that halfway through my cleanse, not a single zit care of Aunt Flo appeared. I've always believed that there was no way to stop hormone-induced pimples from coming out prior to and during my period, but after my makeup cleanse, I realized that I could overrride it.
My skin seemed more behaved. Before, by midday, I would need to blot my face with oil-absorbing sheets. But when I was done with the detox, I found I only reached for my blotting paper after the sun had set. Also, I cannot believe I didn't get a zit before or during my period. Makes me want to do this once a month.
This article originally appeared in Preview Magazine June 2015 issue.