Alicia Keys would do it. Would you?
Going makeup-free is an act of protest in a Kardashian world.
It all started with #nomakeup selfies.
Maybe you haven’t taken one yourself, but you’ve seen them. Instagram groaned under the weight of likes for bare-faced Gal Godot, Katie Holmes, Cameron Diaz, Cindy Crawford, Sharon Stone, Selma Hayek, and Lady Gaga, just to name a few.
But let’s be honest:
A one-off selfie showing how gorgeous your bare face looks on your 44th birthday (a la Gwyneth) or your sexy bedroom hair when you just woke up (a la Kylie) is NOT the same as giving up makeup entirely.
And most celebrities wouldn’t dare.
In fact, for most of us, the thought of giving up our favorite products is too horrifying to contemplate. No concealer? No lipstick? No eyebrow pencil?
Why would anyone do that?
But for celebs, it’s even worse. They feel they have no choice but to trowel on the makeup. They’re under pressure to look perfect from the moment they walk out the door.
Alicia Keys explains:
Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it???”
The pressure to wear makeup has skyrocketed in recent years.
Even though paparazzi aren’t lurking outside your door, everyone you come across in your day-to-day life is a potential paparazzo.
That guy walking past you on the sidewalk, that woman staring at you in the coffee shop … literally anyone could snap your picture at any time, thanks to the ubiquity of cellphones.
Although you don’t have to worry about your personal photo going up in the pages of a national magazine, it can be just as bad seeing an unflattering pic make its way onto your Facebook feed.
Do you dare dash out to the shop looking like you just woke up?
For Alicia Keys, the thought of an unflattering makeup-free pic proved worse than the reality.
It turns out she looked better than she thought without makeup. But she’d never have tried it, if it weren’t for one very special photographer.
Keys showed up to a photoshoot straight from the gym. She was wearing an old sweatshirt and baseball cap. But instead of sending her to the glam squad, the photographer just started shooting.
Keys freaked out at first. Then she rolled with it. Afterwards, she says she felt “the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that [she had] ever felt.”
How would you feel if someone with a camera got in your face after a particularly hard and sweaty workout?
If it were me, I’d be telling them to put that thing down!
We have an idea in our heads of what we look like without our masks on.
When I look at my bare face in the mirror, I see shadows, age, and super-large pores. I look so vulnerable. So tired.
I always feel better once I’ve done my face. Normally it’s just a bit of eyebrow pencil, concealer, shadow and lipstick. But when I look in the mirror, I see me again.
I’m not alone.
Going makeup-free doesn’t necessarily make the average woman feel empowered.
It’s more likely to make her feel naked and insecure.
Alicia Keys aside, only 3% of women feel more attractive without any makeup.
Most women feel more confident once they’ve done their makeup. Send them out the door bare-faced, and they don’t feel strong, free and empowered. They feel self-conscious, naked, and unattractive.
That’s not how you want to feel at work OR on a date.
Despite the growing trend for makeup-free dating, most of us wouldn’t dare show up to a first date rocking the bare-faced look.
One study found that 80% of women won’t let their new guy see them without makeup until they’ve been dating at least a month.
If they end up sharing a bed overnight, more than a third of women get up before he does to sneak to the bathroom to sort out their face.
Makeup works to your advantage in the workplace, too.
A study found that women who wear makeup at work earn more respect from men. (Their female colleagues, on the other hand, can find them more threatening.)
Women who wear makeup tend to be perceived as more competent. They may even earn more and enjoy more prestigious jobs.
So the #nomakeup vs #makeup debate comes down to this:
Do you begrudge the extra 5 or 10 minutes it takes every morning to throw on a few products?
Or does it make you feel more confident and ready to face the world?
If you resent having to wear makeup, then follow Alicia Keys’ example. Stand up for your right to let your naked skin shine through.
But if makeup is a secret joy, something that soothes you and makes you smile when you see yourself in the mirror, then embrace it.
We don’t go out into the world naked, after all. We put on clothes before we leave the house. Makeup is basically clothes for your face … in a weird sort of way.
Where do you stand on the #nomakeup debate?