It seems as though one of the easiest ways for a celebrity to create a bit of media buzz is to be pictured sans make-up. Whether it’s a well-timed dash to Starbucks, caught by paps, or a few photos on Instagram, nothing lights up the celebrity news circuit quicker than a Hollywood ingénue au natural.
One of the most recent starlets to appear in public with no make-up (on purpose) is none other than Lady Gaga. Yes. She of graphic eyes fame. After posting fresh-faced selfies on her website in July, the Paparazzi singer took it one step further by attending a high-profile Hamptons’ event wearing virtually no make-up. Her gesture of breath-taking confidence is becoming something of a trend, with fellow stars such as Kirsten Dunst, Heidi Klum and AnnaLynn McCord, all stepping out in the buff... so to speak.
In theory this is good news. If this is the new beauty ideal, that means no more clumpy mascara moments, 20 minutes extra in bed in the morning and bye-bye to incessant lipstick top ups. What could be better? But then as liberating as this low maintenance movement sounds, I’m not sure how it’s going to work in practice.
For a start, while I can't help doing an imaginary hi-five to Gaga, Kirsten, Heidi and AnnaLynn for flying in the face of Hollywood’s perfection requirement, this just seems like another impossibly difficult beauty trend to pull off.
Not only are we expected to look good with make-up. We are now also expected to be beautiful without it. Talk about raising the bar.
While the aforementioned A-listers, with their sparkly eyes, pouty lips and peaches-and-cream complexions, look simply sublime without a stitch of slap on, everyday women like myself probably won't have the same results.
For a start, most of us don't have dermatologists on speed dial to deal with pesky thread veins and rosy cheeks. Likewise, with oodles of cash to spend on fancy face creams and luxury eye serums, I doubt these 'bare-faced chic' advocates wake up in the morning with eyes like currants in dough and a skin tone the colour of putty. Some things are meant to be covered up, otherwise what the heck was Touche Éclat invented for?
Still, I'm not one to knock it until I've tried it, so I challenged myself to go I without make-up for 24 hours. It was met with mixed results... and when I say 'mixed', I mean a mix of bad results. Two colleagues asked me if I was feeling unwell. The phrase 'washed out' was uttered at least twice. My husband was less subtle and as we headed out the door for dinner he simply asked, 'What happened to your face?' This, coming from a man who has spent the last four years telling me I don't need make-up... Likewise, at a bar with friends I felt self-consciously unglamorous and was quietly embarrassed that anyone might actually think I had chosen to look this plain. This affected my confidence and I found myself to be less outgoing. The only bright side came at the end of the night when I got to flop into bed without having to do what is usually a time-consuming make-up removal routine. Definitely more swings than roundabouts.
Of course, you might say that if I cared less about the way I looked, I'd probably shine from within and my Bobbi Brown blush would be obsolete anyway. You might have a point, but for now I think I'll just research 'faking the no-make-up look' online.