Reflections on makeup in our culture #musaysbareyourface

bare face

I have been fascinated by makeup for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to watch Star Trek, and visualise a future in which I had the opportunity to design fantastical aliens and make them a reality. Makeup is essentially paint. It is a tool to create art, and when we apply makeup, we are practicing an art form that’s as old as mankind. It’s great fun to play with, and the effects that are achievable with makeup can be phenomenal and breathtaking.

Makeup itself is not intrinsically a problem.

There are, however, social issues surrounding makeup, and this was particularly highlighted to me a few months ago when a beauty blogger that I adore apologised for not wearing makeup in a photo. I had quite a strong emotional reaction to this apology, and all I could think was “what is the world coming to that this beautiful, kind, wonderful woman feels the need to apologise for offending our eyes with her normal human skin.”

That just doesn’t sit right with me.

I like to think that I have a really healthy relationship with makeup. Sometimes I wear makeup because I want to take a special effort with my appearance, maybe I’m meeting a new group of people, going out for a fun social engagement or having a date night. Sometimes I wear makeup because I like the way it makes me feel, and sometimes I wear makeup because I feel like getting creative on my face. But on a day-to-day basis, more often than not, I am bare-faced.

Makeup itself is not good or bad, any more than coloured pencils are good or bad, despite many peoples belief that the act of wearing makeup is anti feminist.


Where makeup becomes a problem is where it becomes a necessary part of day to day life. Where a woman may feel uncomfortable leaving the house without wearing it, or God forbid, where a woman feels the need to apologise for their bare face.

Guess what, your bare face is you. That’s what you look like and it’s beautiful. Wear makeup by all means, but please don’t apologise for your face. There is nothing offensive about bare skin, whether it’s oily, flaky, pimply, blotchy, freckled, porous or anything else. It’s just a face, it’s beautiful with or without makeup so please stop apologising.

I’m more than happy to be seen in public with no makeup on, and I would love for every woman to feel the same way.

If you’re happy to share your bare face in public, or you’d like to challenge yourself to become more comfortable in your own skin, I’d like to invite you to share a no makeup selfie on instagram, twitter or your social media platform of choice with the hashtag #musaysbareyourface. The more we collectively and proudly show our bare faces to the world, the more socially acceptable it will be. Let’s try and work together to change the role of makeup from being a mask, to being a fun form of creative expression. Make sure you tag me, I’m @themakeuputopia on both platforms, and I can’t wait to see your beautiful faces!

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