August 15th, 2014

I Woke Up Like This, or: #NoFilter

I Woke Up Like This, or #NoFilter - Sara du Jour

I have never been more nervous to put up a blog post before. But it’s late at night – that particular time of night when people get a little more honest, and sometimes, a little more brave.

I’m in bed with my laptop and my cat, and I’ve been hit with a wave of courage to do something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. So, I’m going to grit my teeth, cross my fingers, and hope I don’t regret this in the morning.

I strive to live my life as honestly as possible, and I never want myself or my blog to be the cause of envy, unhappiness, or insecurity in others. Being a blogger and having parts of myself out there, I feel a sense of responsibility to my readers to be truthful, and not present a picture-perfect sunshine-and-rainbows life, particularly because I know some of my readers are impressionable young women and girls. A few of you have said you see me as a role model, and that is something I take seriously and hope to be worthy of.

Many of you have complimented me on my appearance over the years, both here and on instagram. Of course, that always makes me feel wonderful and is so kind of you. While I try to stress that it really is a combination of makeup, styling, good lighting, and flattering angles…I think until you really see what I mean you probably think I’m just saying that to seem modest.

So, here’s the truth. This is the real me.

I Woke Up Like This, or #NoFilter - Sara du Jour

I took both pictures on the same day, in the same place, with pretty much identical lighting and poses. On the left is me fresh out of bed. Not a lick of makeup, hair in a messy bun, and I didn’t even bother to groom my eyebrows in place before snapping the photo. I’ve got blemishes and dark circles that just wont quit no matter how much sleep I get. Frankly, both my skin and my dark circles get a lot worse when I’m running on less sleep.

On the right is me in full glam mode. This is actually much more dramatic makeup than I usually wear (I was getting ready to be on camera for a short film my friend is making), but for the sake of the before-and-after I wanted the biggest change possible.

I am comfortable leaving the house without makeup on, and I do frequently run errands and visit family without it all the time. But feeling pretty and having confidence without makeup on is something I’m still working on. So this is very, very scary for me.

Some of my friends haven’t even seen me without makeup, because I know it’s a dramatic change and people who are used to seeing me with makeup generally think I’ve caught a horrible disease when they see me without it. (On that note, please don’t ever tell someone they “look tired”. It’s rude and 90% of the time they’re just not wearing eyeliner, trust me.)

Since I know I’ll get asked questions, let me preemptively tell you what makeup I have on.


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It’s a lot of products, a lot of time, and a lot of work. All in all, this took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to apply, because I was fussing with the false lashes which I so rarely wear, and had to redo the lipstick twice before I was happy with it.

My everyday makeup takes me half an hour to apply, and putting on my face in the morning is almost a meditative experience for me. I really enjoy the art of it, and it’s when I do my best thinking and mentally prepare for the day. Plus, as anyone who wears makeup knows, it’s really cool to watch yourself transform before your very eyes.

But the point of this post is not a makeup tutorial. What I want to say is that what you see online isn’t always the complete reality of a situation, whether it’s someone’s face or someone’s life. Movie stars don’t look like they do on screen, and don’t get me started on the airbrushed photos in magazines.

I wish I did wake up looking like the photo on the right, but that just isn’t true. I can’t help but feel jealous when I see ‘no makeup’ photos where the person looks near identical and equally beautiful bare faced. It doesn’t seem fair! But we are so much more than the way we look, and I kind of feel like makeup is my superpower – I can transform from plain ol’ Clark Kent to Superman at will. Makeup makes me feel strong and beautiful and able to take on anything that life throws my way.

But the fact is, I’m equally strong and capable without it.

I love makeup both as an art form and as armour, and have no plans to stop wearing it. I guess I just figured it was time you really met me.

So, hi.

If you would like to join me and show the world how you really look, tag me on instagram or twitter (@saradujour) and I’ll tell you you’re still a babe. xx

– Sara

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