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Going makeup-free now and then is a welcome cleanse for your skin and can actually make you feel more confident, research shows. (Related: What Happened When Our Beauty Editor Gave Up Makeup for Three Weeks.) In preliminary findings from a Barnard College study in New York City, women who spent 10 minutes a day doing a thoughtful meditation on their barefaced reflection in the mirror reported feeling more accepting of their physical appearance in general. So the next time you're having a low-self-esteem day, observe your image in its natural state. "Switch your focus so you aren't looking for the flaws—and look into your eyes," says Tara Well, Ph.D., the study's lead author. In place of a sexy smoky lid, you may just see an amazing human being. (Related: 7 Things That Might Happen If You Stop Wearing Makeup)
To go one step further, challenge yourself to post a makeup-free photo to Instagram. Body positive advocate and AerieReal role model Iskra Lawrence is a fan of sharing the occasional makeup-free selfie, and considers herself an early adopter of real-talk posts. "When I joined Instagram, I began sharing my raw photos along with my raw and honest thoughts and feelings," Lawrence says. "At that time no other models were doing that, and I found that my followers really related to it. The result was an intimate, special connection I still have with them."
Even if you don't have Lawrence's 4 million follower base, your display of self-love might inspire a similar connection. By embracing your bare face and showing it off, you might move someone else to do the same. (Get inspired: Our Favorite No-Makeup Celebrity Selfies)