The No-Makeup Challenge: The Results Are In!

Get excited, people: We have some new pics for you to feast on. In case you missed it, last Monday, inspired by Rabbit Write’s no-makeup week, we threw down a gaunlet of our own: Just one day, leave the house and go do something (anything, really) without makeup on, then send us a pic! This was not meant as any kind of diss to makeup; we love the stuff. But when you apply it day-in, day-out, you might very well forget what you look like without it.  And according to some recent studies, a whole lot of women are afraid of going bare-faced.

What we learned? Well, see for yourself: We think these women look gorgeous. With all the heavy foundation, spray tans and photoshopping we’re accustomed to, there’s something almost exciting about seeing so many unadulterated faces. Wouldn’t you agree?

And now a round of applause please for the brave beauties featured above:

1. Jenn, Los Angeles; 2. Aster, Ultrecht, Netherlands; 3. Kristina, Greeley, Colorado; 4. Lauren, Toronto; 5.  Shannon, who also posted, from Bend, Oregon; 6. Kimmy, Plano, Texas; 7. Karen, Durham; 8. Brianna, Los Angeles; 9. Maria, Barranquilla, Colombia; 10. Tina, New York; 11. Katie, Toronto; 12. Anne and Octavia, Toronto; 13. Mia Davis from the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Boston; 14. Katherine, who also posted; 15. Meaghan-Rose; 16. Nicola, Toronto; 17. Samantha, who also posted; 18. Laura; 19. Cat; 20. Carolina, Los Angeles; 21. Michelle, Montreal; 22. Sara, New York; 23. Marisa, New York; 24. Leeyanne, Charlottesville, Virginia; 25. Simone from, Los Angeles; 26. Kaity, New York; 27. Kim and Sukie, London; 28. Sarah, New York; 29. Emma, of, New York; 30. Katy, Philadelphia; 31. Olivia, Rhode Island; 32. Kelly, Austin; 33. Erika, New York; 34. Jessa, from, New York; 35. Maeve, Montreal; 36. Tosha, from Essentially Basic, Midway, Utah; 37. Ione, Sechelt, British Columbia; 38. Christine, Los Angeles; 39. Trudi; 40. Kate, New York; 41. Cyrena Lee, New York; 42. Katherine, New York; 43. Virginia from, New York; 44. Shine, from

27 Responses to “The No-Makeup Challenge: The Results Are In!”
  1. That’s a lot of gorgeous women :D

  2. PBG says:

    I love this. I never wear makeup, so it’s nice to see the idea that we don’t all have to wear it being put forth. I’m usually the only woman in the room at work meetings who isn’t wearing makeup, but by now everyone’s used to my lack of facepaint. My skin and my face are what they are.

  3. Everyone looks beautiful, naturally! I am so thrilled that this initiative will give women the confidence to go bare-faced more often and show off their natural healthy glow!

  4. mimi says:

    bravo! you au naturel ladies are looking lovely. i was only slightly jeal looking at the glowing faces, i swear… ;)

  5. Eric J. says:

    As a man, I personally think women are far more beautiful without makeup. I see makeup as a way to cover up and little imperfections that make a person who they are. Those imperfections bring out the true beauty in a person, and I for one truly appreciate them.

  6. Roger Nehring says:

    As a male, I prefer women who wear no make up. When I was a teen, all the girls used to gob that smelly crap on their faces and it gagged me! I hate kissing lipstick and inhaling hairspray. I was so glad for the sixties and the trend away from heavy make up. These women look lovely au naturale.

  7. reese says:

    AH-MAY-ZING!! love it ladies… much more beautiful that crusty eyes, cakey faces, and split lips! <3

  8. MJ Moscowitz says:

    Everyone really does look beautiful without any makeup! I love this :) if it’s not too late I’m going to submit a photo

  9. Alexandra says:

    I wonder if there’s a way to upload photos in the comment section! That would be great, then people could keep joining.

  10. arscharfen21 says:

    I am makeup free everyday so it is great to see other lovely ladies giving it a chance, even if it is for a day.

  11. Confused says:

    It’s truly sad that leaving the house sans makeup is “a challenge” like it’s something one would NEVER normally do.

  12. Leslie says:

    How sad that so many think women have to be “brave” to go without makeup. I’ve never worn makeup, except for a couple of modeling jobs, and no one has ever told me I should start wearing it. Confidence is a hell of a lot more attractive than eyeliner and foundation.

  13. ComaGirl says:

    Being brave without makeup, at least for my mother, did not exist. In fact she lived under the rule that one could not leave the house without at least some mascara, (and never ever with curlers in one’s hair). My point being that some of our behavior with regards to beauty, beauty rituals and beauty products is actually learned and reinforced by our families and society, (as opposed to just mass marketing). I will admit that I have been berated by my mother for not instantly drying my hair and not wearing even a hint of mascara in public.

    Men will say they love a woman who doesn’t wear make-up, but what they actually love is a woman who looks natural/naturally beautiful, (I didn’t make this up, it came from my spouse, tsk tsk. He is not shy about telling me that “no make is not a better look” for me. Oh well, at least he is honest.

    This all reminds me of a video on the LA Times website a few months ago that was illustrating how to obtain “that natural look”. It took more more make-up than I own or know how to use and much more time than I am willing to spend to obtain “that natural look”.

    I love the photos! It is time to change the rules. I admire what all of you are doing. When I have the courage to let the grays grow out, I’ll let you know.

  14. Beth says:

    Every single one of these women is absolutely gorgeous. <3 I hope that every woman reads this.

  15. MakeupFreeEveryday says:

    Count me among the many women who are makeup-free every single day! I will admit to wearing mascara once in a blue moon, but nothing more than that!

  16. Megan Heath says:

    I’m 44 and for the past few years I’ve been wondering if it’s time for me to grow up start wearing makeup. Will people take me seriously if I looked more ‘polished?’ Now that the natural beauty that comes with youth is fading, is this when I need makeup? I don’t know but I’m still barefaced. As a teen I experimented a lot with makeup of all styles but as I got older it just became exhausting. Now, I’m afraid of it–will I like a clown? And, if I become used to it, what if I want to stop, or what if one day I can’t wear it? I’ve no problem with other people wearing makeup, but i gotta be me and my personal fashion statement is to not wear makeup. I view it as a manifestation of my childhood steeped in the self reliance philosophy of RW Emerson. Thanks for letting me navel-gaze and work it out :)

  17. Deepa says:

    Smile is THE best makeup!

  18. Kristen says:

    I find it curious that the majority of women who are comfortable enough to post their ” no make-up” picture are brunette.

  19. Alice says:

    You all look beautiful, and more inportantly, you look interesting. If we all try for “the look” of the moment using make-up, we all look the same in a way, and less interesting, less individual. I feel like I can see more personality in your pictures than in those of women covered in make-up. I think of bare eyes as honest eyes- they’re much more a portal to the soul if they’re not “enhanced” (covered up). Those times when I put on eye make-up I always feel disappointed in how they look. A bit of moisturizer (or better yet, jojoba oil) for dryness and some lanolin in lieu of lipgloss, and nothing looks more radiant! Let’s embrace our looks how they are and stop lining the pockets of cosmetic companies who sell insecurity!

  20. Karen says:

    Blessed Love all!!! I honor your natural beauty photos and look forward to more. As a woman of color working with an organization that encourages girls to honor inner beauty, make health and earth conscious choices, and share what they learn with others, I am always inspired by movements such as this.


  21. cat says:

    I think that these women all look beautiful, unfortunately I have really bad skin that is scarred by acne and rosacea so I am forced to wear foundation, I hate it !! I try very hard not to apply it in front of my seven year old daughter, I tell her that I have to cover the marks, but if my skin was clear I would never wear it. I always stress that a womans natural face is the most beautiful one. But most importantly the old saying will always be truth beauty comes from within.

  22. Shannon says:

    I wear ‘Enhancements” and when i say this I mean, a little blush, mascara and some burts bees lip balm and a coat or nurtrogena nude lipsstick. It enhances my natural face with your covering my wonderful flaws.

  23. Shannonwong says:

    I wear ‘Enhancements”

  24. alexthegirl says:

    All of these women are beautiful. I think every woman has naturally beautiful features. However I was sort of taken aback when reading comments – Why does it always seem like wearing makeup has a negative connotation? I love makeup. Yes, there are days I go without it, but I truly love wearing it. Sometimes it’s just a little, sometimes it’s a “look” (like 50’s makeup, smokey, beach bronze), sometimes I just like to put a lot on for fun! It’s like an accessory; like the perfect pair of shoes to really make my whole “look” pop. If I’m wearing a snappy business suit and polished hair, I’d like a good pair of pumps and a polished makeup look to match. If I’ wearing a geometrical, modern frock, then I’ll probably do funky, bright lips and eyes. There is no shame in wearing makeup, just as there should be no shame in not wearing makup. It’s a woman’s prerogitive.

  25. liv says:

    I think this is great and all and I used to be able to go out with no makeup on but truthfully, none of those 44 women seen to have horrific acne, the vast majority have quite clear skin. Of late ive experienced the worst bout of acne possible and its made me alot more sensitive about how wonen feel about their skin. I think its alot easier to be judgemental about foundation and such and forego it when you have great skin. I for one, now have to wear foundation for fear that someone asks me on the subway if my acne is some sort of contagious pox. I would love to be able to go without makeup again, but i think its a fine line where some women need their face to look like a face again and not a giant wound, and makeup gives them that option. Its not like i think foundation makes my skin look amazing, on the contrary it looks very made up but sometimes I prefer to look madeup rather than painfully acneic. There must be other women out there that dont ENJOY wearing foundation but feel like they have no choice because their skin condition us hard to look at. Just thought id share a different perspective. Overall i think being able to liberate oneself from makeup is a great thing! I hope more women, like myself, can find the courage to.

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  2. […] been well over a year ago now since we held the No-Makeup Challenge, and got these inspiring results from readers who dared to go barefaced in public and snap a pic for us. The point of the challenge […]

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