Bare-faced Beauty Challenge

Here’s a challenge that had me nervous: Franca at Oranges and Apples proposed a “no makeup” post for Fashion Friend Beauty Friday. I don’t normally wear a lot of makeup, but I have a few standbys. I’m comfortable going without cosmetics at home or walking my dog, but to show the whole world? Wow! It’s the most I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone since I confessed my age.


wet hair

Here’s the trap I fall into: I need sunscreen, so I slather it on. Then I realize the lotion has made me shiny, so I add powder. The powder makes my eyelashes lighter, so I add eyeliner and mascara. And I’m addicted to lip balm, so I wear that. It’s not that I plan to wear a lot of makeup.

Straight out of the shower (and indoors where SPF isn’t required) is the only time I can avoid the trap. I also thought I should forgo hair products too and be 100% natural for the photos.


Sometimes though, it’s fun to get dolled up. I like wearing lipstick and eye shadow. It’s also good sometimes to take a step back and not rely on makeup. If too many months go by and I haven’t gone bare-faced, I start to feel like I need all the extras. I don’t want to feel like makeup is vital. I need to remember that I’m not made of plastic. It’s good to see skin.

I started to wear light makeup in junior high. In high school, I started to wear more and, as a result, I often passed for older than I was. As a fledgling feminist in university, I “stuck it to the Man” and abandoned makeup for a while. But I made peace with cosmetics when I realized they don’t define my beliefs.

Now, I appreciate a good concealer and I like lipstick. Interestingly, most guys don’t “get” makeup, and my boyfriends have often preferred me without it.

What’s your relationship with makeup? Do you wear it every day? Sometimes? Never? What product can’t you live without?


Filed under Fashion, Feminism

18 responses to “Bare-faced Beauty Challenge

  1. chameleonic

    beautiful, with make up and without!

  2. I kind of don’t get makeup either, but I have bowed to the demands of society to the extent that I put on some powder foundation and tinted lip stuff over my moisturizer. And since my eyebrows have started to spontaneously disappear, I’ll put a little color up there too.

  3. Thanks for your comments. I forgot: when I’m getting dressed up, I add a bit of brow pencil to my brows too. Nothing harsh, but it fills in the sparse areas. Can’t spare a hair!

  4. Sharonne

    You are a natural beauty Jean!!! I never wore much make-up, just eyeliner, now I feel like as I get older, I need more make up to get that “young” look again. Sad but true! I look a bit washed out w/o it. 🙂

  5. Sharonne, you are beautiful! You don’t need makeup. I do like under-eye concealer to hide darkness and lipstick to punch it up a bit. Then I don’t feel washed out either 🙂

  6. Thanks so much for your beautiful comment on my barefaced post! You are too sweet. And it can be so empowering to go without sometimes. A reminder that you’re so beautiful just as you are! Look at your face! You are beautiful! I haven’t read the post stating how old you are, but you don’t look old–at all. Your skin is gorgeous, your complexion is great! You are so beautiful. And no… I’m not just saying that! I work on the “if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all” principal! 🙂

    I Can Be Many Things

  7. carmen

    I echo Sharonne’s comment “You are a natural beauty Jean!!!” That’s for sure!!! Actually, I have already said that before!

    Great new post about dad! He’ll comment later.

  8. The bare-face looks suits you well. I go bare face a lot around the farm here, but not sure how I would feel about posting it for all the world to see. Right now I am using Smashbox O-Plump lip plumper. Or as my husband calls it, “the poison”. It is pretty strong stuff, but I like it. Great post!

  9. I never wear it…but then I’m a guy! Still prefer my wife without though.

  10. i’m addicted. what can i say? my brows are practically missing. and with putting the brows on, goes the rest of the make-up – or it looks funny. so, i haven’t been out without full/most make-up on since. . . well, since i can remember! i don’t mind going make-up free at home or around family. i also don’t mind beauty prep time. i have it down to an art now, so it’s completely time-minimized. as an artist, i love to play with color and shape too, always with a flair for the dramatic. what can i say? i love my little pots and potions. maybe i’ll try doing a “just-the-brows” day and see how that goes, in the spirit of “fresh-face” day!

  11. and Jean, you DO look stunning without so much a drop of foundation on. You have great skin, girl. Flaunt it!

  12. Such kind comments! Thanks everyone! It’s been cathartic. And then the following post got Freshly Pressed and people have been clicking to this page – so a lot more people have seen me “naked” than I had originally planned – oops!

    Angie, you are a true artist. You wear makeup and you wear it well! I’ve started adding more to my eyebrows because they are sparse, but I don’t draw symmetrically so I can’t go all out. You have a good technique. You’re sophisticated but I still see you.

  13. Wow, you look amazing without makeup! Your eyes really do pop, and I don’t think you need it. Men don’t tend to like makeup, it seems. My fiance prefers me without it and I work in the Spa/Salon industry but don’t wear the stuff. I’ve been a natural person for forever and feel self conscious when I wear makeup.

  14. Thanks Sarah! I originally changed the photos to B/W for an artsy look (and because B/W film seems to hide flaws) but it hid the blue in my eyes. Without liner and shadow, that’s all I’ve got!

  15. yeyexu

    I completely agree with what you say about make-up. Being a teen means I have mild acne, so I sometimes feel make-up draws even more attention to my face. You look amazing without it!

    • Good point – makeup can draw attention to things we might not want to focus on. I find that too much eye makeup (especially shimmery shadows) makes my eyes look older and emphasises wrinkles. Not a problem for you, but same idea.

  16. I am a low maintenance gal, but as you say it starts with sunscreen. I have found a liquid with SPF that also covers any blotches, so it works for me. Nothing on the eyes because any minute particle will irritate my dry eyes. Any lip balm must be from Burt’s Bees, because everything else tastes terrible.

  17. I like your idea of a liquid SPF with coverage. I’ll try that and perhaps I can avoid powder. I do love Burt’s Bees. Nivea (branded as Labello outside the USA) has a great lipbalm too. Not waxy like the other drugstore cheapies.

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