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Follow along with us as we try (and possibly fail) three new beauty looks every week for the month of January. We'll reward you with really embarrassing photos! (Images: DCR team selfies)

We're halfway through our beauty challenge and we still have faces!

We’ve been participating in the January beauty challenge with varying degrees of willingness, but as of publication we’ve made it through five looks. No matter how adeptly (or ineptly) we’ve been applying our new products, we’ve definitely made strides toward breaking out of our beauty ruts.

Amanda: I've probably been the most gung-ho about this project, but I think my enthusiasm is paying off. YouTube tutorials for hooded eyes have been instrumental in picking up new techniques and it's been gratifying to acquire a new skill - even if it's something as seemingly basic as makeup.

I haven't been shy about showing off my makeup to my friends, mom or anyone who glances at me sideways, and it's sparked some interesting conversations about what beauty means. Maybe the most notable example was a late-night discussion with my roommate Rachel; we touched on the social pressure for women to have that "no-makeup look" but look mysteriously well-rested, polished and blemish-free. Rachel and I also talked about how D.C. treats makeup differently than our native west coast, what constitutes vanity versus self-love and the value of dark lipstick.

Let no one say makeup is apolitical.

Tina: Okay, so let me be honest. I have been absolutely horrible at sticking to this beauty challenge. I typically don't have time in the morning to do elaborate makeup. I normally am running home from the gym, jumping in the shower, and running out the door to work with just a quick bronzer, blush, and mascara. So when Amanda said we all had to do this beauty challenge, I was less than ecstatic, but my thought process has changed a little.

I have tried a Korean face mask which made my skin feel smooth like a baby's bottom, I have tried glittery eye shadow for a day... not my favorite for an everyday look, and I have tried a monochromatic look, which was easy for me because that is typically what I wear on a daily basis.

It has been an interesting experience reading and learning about all these different beauty techniques and I guess it's good to step out of your "makeup" comfort zone every now and then. So here is to the next 15 days of strobing, contouring, bold lipsticks and whatever else this challenge might bring my way.

Laura: From the moment we decided to take on this challenge, I was nervous and had my doubts. If I'm being honest, I am horrendous with makeup. I always joke that I can dress myself pretty well but hair and makeup are just out of the question. I stick to a routine 90 percent of the time. But a certain team member's enthusiasm for this idea (cough cough Amanda) was infectious, and I knew I had to give it the old college try.

Spoiler alert: This story doesn't end with me magically becoming a makeup goddess! But after experiments (some successful, others not so much) in Korean face masks, colorful eyeliner, glitter brows and bright lips, I can definitely say I am slowly coming around to the idea of makeup experimentation. You know, on the weekends when I don't have to parade any glittery body parts around the newsroom.

So what have I learned in two weeks of thinking outside the makeup bag? The easiest look so far was definitely the monochromatic makeup since that is usually my go-to look anyways, but the most out-of-the-box fun look was trying out bold glitter brows! I was glad I tried it out on a weekend -- I was having nightmares picturing trying to explain why glitter eyebrows were most definitely work related to my boss. I would do a Korean face mask every day of the week if I could because they are so relaxing and feel like a luxurious, at-home spa treatment. And I will probably never wear purple eyeliner ever again... but that's just me. Now we are on to strobing and contouring and matte lips ... oh my!

Stay tuned for our final post at the end of the month where you'll get to see pictorial evidence of how hard we tried to become makeup experts!

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