The No-Makeup Challenge—Join Us!

Ladies, it’s challenge time again! Some fellow bloggers have ordained the next seven days no-makeup week and they’re going to go entirely without the stuff. If you want to join them, great! Our challenge is a little easier but the idea is the same: Makeup is awesome, a way to transform how we look and express how we feel, but if you can’t go without it at all then it loses its luster.

All we want is a picture and a promise. One day this week, leave the house—go to work, go do groceries, go to a restaurant—without makeup. Also, as we’ve done above, send us a picture of your bare-as-a-baby’s-butt face to share on the nets.

The rules: No mascara, no lipstick, no blush, no foundation, no nothing. But we’re making a small exception for a little concealer if you have a zit or two you want to hide.

Instructions: Send your picture to nomoredirtylooks (at) gmail (dot) com, with NO MAKEUP in the subject line. Please include your first name, city of origin, and usual makeup routine if you feel like sharing. We need all pictures by end of day, Sunday, September 27th. We will post the results on our site next week, as well as on our Facebook page.

Pretty please: Help us spread the word! Let’s make this an even bigger success than the Summer Hair Challenge. Tweet it, Facebook it, scream from the rooftops, and tell your friends to get on board with you.

The reason for the challenge: Just to rediscover our faces without makeup! A recent British study found that 70% of women wouldn’t leave the house without their makeup tools—half of those said they wore makeup 24/7, and 40% said they’d be embarrassed to be seen without makeup in front of friends and coworkers. Ugh!

We know it’s a bit scary, but you’ll be surprised—it’s kinda liberating, and may make you rethink how you apply makeup. For example, we’re loving the bold lip on the bare, no-mascara face these days… And once you’ve ditched it all, that kind of experiment won’t be so intimidating.

Who’s in?

39 Responses to “The No-Makeup Challenge—Join Us!”
  1. Elizabeth says:

    I’ve been doing the bare face/bold lip look on and off for years, so your challenge isn’t much of a stretch for me. Still, I’d rather not face the world without at least some color on my lips; I look a bit ghostly otherwise.

  2. Alexandra says:

    Yeah I think we all feel pretty ghostly with nothing on at all (or I do at least)—though we still think you should try! ;)

  3. Ava says:

    Hm…not much of a challenge here, despite my mom’s best efforts over the years I can’t say I ever really did the “wear makeup regularly” thing…feels too much like a mask. As someone who’s studied and practiced stage makeup at the college level, I can honestly say being made up to look like a wild animal, old lady, or someone actually wearing a mask feels less weird than standard “glamor” makeup. Add to that that my husband actually prefers the no-makeup look, and…I haven’t bothered much outside of special/likely-to-be-photographed-lots occasions(like my wedding) in years. I’ll definitely be sending in a photo, though, and encouraging friends to do the same:-)

  4. Simone says:

    Hmmm, maybe I’ll pinch my lips and cheeks like they used to do it….Pic coming soon!

  5. sara says:

    I am up for the challenge. I work from home so I rarely wear makeup and even more rarely wear it if I leave home too. I have found my face has less break outs and is less oily. I find that I do like Mascara, but can live with out.

  6. Kate says:

    Alexandra, since you stopped using shampoo how do you get your hair cut? Do you still go to a salon and just skip the whole shampoo wash stage? Because that seems like a terrible waste…I’m looking for a good place in New York to have my hair cut but I don’t want to pay extra for the shampoo that I don’t want!

  7. Shayne Eastin says:

    how wonderful and empowering! so stoked on you guys :D send you my pic in the couple of days. xo

  8. Dana says:

    I can not participate to this challange : no mascara, no lipstick, no blush, no foundation, no nothing, becuse I wear nothing. It have to be a very very speciale day to wear mascara or something… I do salute you girls, how discover the life can be better with out make up. I discover this 20 years ago and I can say at 45 I look like 30. Good luck to all of you how are here to do something for a better life! :-)

  9. krismi says:

    Hee hee – I’m with Ava! This simply isn’t a challenge for me, its my default! And it isn’t because I look better without make up (though my husband will swear up and down this is the case, like the good man he is), it is simply because I’m lazy. I wear a bit of eyeshadow and mascara (Korres) and Burt’s Bees lip shimmer when I get dressed up for an evening out, but day-to-day I usually don’t bother. I do curl my eyelashes almost everyday.

  10. Alyssa M says:

    I’m actually already doing this – not because I don’t love makeup, I do, and I regularly wear it every day – but because I had a hardcore reaction to something I put on my face (heads up: I think it was Nars Orgasm Illuminator.. that’s what I get for using nasty toxic cosmetics) and broke out in this weird bumpy rash. So I stopped putting anything on my face and it seems to be clearing up.. I will continue to do this, and send a pic!

  11. Alexandra says:

    Ladies, even if it’s your everyday normal you can still send in a pic to encourage the other gals. :)

  12. Van says:

    Hello, new to this blog. Love it! (I make my own beauty products, too: My work make-up is minimal (eye liner, concealer under eyes) and on the weekend I’m all natural, so I’d love to send my picture and join this project! I’m in late, but I’ll go without the eyeliner/concealer for the rest of the week.

  13. Trudi says:

    I’m in! Since being home a bit more, I’ve drastically cut down on my make-up usage. I’ll put a bit of concealer on when heading to the dog-park because of my acne (ugh), curl my lashes and swipe on some lip balm – that’s it.

  14. Siobhan says:

    I love Boswell at Parlor on Avenue B for haircuts :) He does curly, straight, long and short and he’s absolutely charming. Tell him I say hi if you go.

  15. Siobhan says:

    As evidenced by the photo, I probably should have done that :)

  16. Hmmm, wish I were like Dana. Don’t mind going without on the weekends during the day, but at work—I would feel really weird. Still, I’ll send you a pic from this weekend!

  17. Glad to see so many women already don’t wear makeup on a regular basis. I went no makeup for a week last year and afterwards I never went back. I only wear it now for special occasions and it’s way more fun to put on makeup now compared to when it was part of the regular routine. Here’s a link to 7 day diary I kept on my blog:

    will send you the pic!

  18. @Katherine, just read your entry. You look gorg. OK, I would like to feel that good about myself without makeup. A new goal…

  19. Amy P says:

    this is my default on weekends anyway (lazy and just don’t think it’s necessary), so I am totally game to do it during the week (when I normally just wear eyeshadow and mascara so you can see my eyes better behind my glasses. I love hearing about these issues though and am really enjoying the inspiration to take a closer look at my own beauty routine!

  20. Kathy says:

    Not sure how I came across this..but the funny thing is, it seems the majority of people who have commented already wear no make up. Which is AOK. Hopefully more women who wear it, will accept your challenge and see what it brings.

    I am 53 years old and wear no makeup. Never have…well sure in high school, but somewhere along the line, ditched it.

    I would love to wear it, but honestly have no clue as to how to put it on. Being I don’t wear it, and the times I have put it on, I always feel like a clown. On special occasions when it is warranted, I go buy some mascara, blush and lip gloss. Then after the event, it is trashed.

    Make up makes us feel pretty and acceptable, which I guess means, without it we aren’t those things. Especially, if we can’t go outside, have our picture taken or go to work without it..

    I think you both are quite lovely. :)

  21. Laura Tinter says:

    This is my default too! Who has time for make up? A big night on the town for me equals a little under-eye concealer, some mascara and Burt’s Bees lip balm. Used to do more than that, but as I got older (and wiser) I realized my beauty shines out from within!

  22. Julie says:

    I am totally for this challenge.

    But what about doing this for the right reasons: because makeup is about women covering up who they really are, about competing with each other to be the most beautiful, about creating a standard of beauty that is not real, about making money off of sexism–if women didn’t feel bad about themselves as women, they wouldn’t use makeup.

    For all those folks who say “makeup makes me feel pretty” or maybe even “make up is fun!” I totally agree. And I’m not completely anti-makeup. But we’ve got advertising out there for “medicine” that treats “inadequate” lashes, as if long lashes are the norm and “underdeveloped lashes” are a disease we must treat. This isn’t fun, it’s creating a false standard of beauty that you need a dangerous medicine to achieve.

    I think the more women who take this challenge every day (or let’s just say most days) the better chance we have to expose everyone to what real women look like. Those photos of people without their makeup are gorgeous–because we are gorgeous without darkening this or lightening that. Let’s take this challenge not to just “get off the crack” and end our addiction, let’s take this challenge to realign ourselves as a culture–this is what real women look like.

  23. Holly says:

    I do this EVERY DAY, and my skin loves me for it. People always tell me what great skin and hair I have. It’s because I go makeup free. All those chemicals and products slowly detract from our natural beauty by polluting our skin. They may mask things at first, but they deter from it in the end.

    I saw this by living in Brazil, where everyone really had their natural beauty, and I could see it was from using LESS products.

  24. K.A. says:

    I have been participating in No Makeup Week and I love that so many bloggers are talking about it and promoting it. Unfortunately, I am disappointed to see that proper credit was not given to the architect of this event, Rabbit Write. The information about the link you provided was abiguous and vague. I get the sense that the message here is that you created this project WITH Rabbit Write, which is not factual.

  25. Andrea L. says:

    Amen to this challenge. I really like what Julie wrote on Sept. 25th. I agree completely. The makeovers on all the morning news magazine shows and my friends trying to get me to dye my hair instead of letting it go gray – I’m just kind of sick of it. I find women more beautiful without all the makeup and hair dying. There comes a time when dying your hair doesn’t make you seem younger, it just makes you seem like you’re older and dying your hair. All that money is better spent on education, food, and healthy living. We should all care as much about what the inside looks like, instead of the facade.

  26. Christina says:

    I’m up for the challenge. Along with starting to eat better ( no more cheating on things I’m allergic to), I’m hoping to go makeup free for the most part. This may be hard for me as I feel that I’m not attractive without it, good thing my hubby loves me regardless.

  27. Connie B. says:

    Is mineral makeup as bad for your skin as other types of makeup? I don’t wear makeup other than lip gloss and mascara except when I have to go to the office occasionally. I also have colored and streaked hair and have been thinking seriously about going to my natural gray. Does anyone have suggestions for the easiest transition?

  28. Christina says:

    Well, It’s been almost 3 weeks since I stopped wearing makeup. I have to say that I’ve had mixed feelings about this. I have been wearing makeup since I was 14, so it was a big adjustment to decide not to wear it anymore. For awhile I felt unattractive, even to the point of having dreams about how I felt about myself not wearing makeup. I’ve had a good response from some of my friends who feel the same way, so it has made it a bit easier. I think the hardest part for me is that I always associate style, good looks, makeup and people liking me, to wearing makeup. My friend said that he said to his wife “only ugly people need to wear makeup, and you aren’t one of them”. I thought that was kind of funny. Funny too that I’ve had 2 guy friends tell me that they preferred women without makeup. My husband loves me regardless, so that is great too. I am feeling more confident. I know that I can still dress nice/stylish and still be beautiful without the makeup. Hopefully I can continue feeling confident. Thanks for the challenge.

  29. Mom says:

    The women in the picture are beautiful– it’s easy for them to go without makeup!

  30. CharlHanson says:


    I wish all women would stop wearing make-up. I don’t get it. Please girls, do this, but not just for one day, every day!

    I fully support this (

  31. Sarah says:

    If I left the house without make-up I would probably be arrested and searched for crystal meth.

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