In recent months, ‘no makeup’ selfies have sprouted up all over the internet, their purpose is to raise awareness of breast cancer. Cancer Research received £2 million pounds in 48 hours last month according to the Independent. Since this flood of bare faces online, I’ve seen lots of messages from men, declaring that we women look far better without our makeup – ‘Natural beauty is best!’, ‘You look beautiful without it!’, ‘Don’t put all that slap on your face on our account!’.
Although it’s lovely that men prefer a more natural face, I’m sorry to say that ‘no makeup’ selfies (in most cases, not all) are artfully posed with optimum flattering lighting, carefully orchestrated to douse the skin with the prettiest possible glow. Then there’s the addition of a flaw reducing filter which can hide a multitude of imperfections.
I won’t speak for anyone else, but I know I look much better with a bit of makeup on. It doesn’t have to be a full face, but some BB cream, a little concealer and blush makes all the difference to my often knackered face. Realistically, only the most genetically blessed look any good without makeup on. Cara Delevingne probably looks fabulous with a bare face, but I certainly benefit from a little help.
What the well meaning male voices who proclaim that an un-made up face is the most beautiful don’t know is that getting dolled up is fun. I usually put on music and jump around like an idiot. There’s something rather joyful about putting pretty colours on my face; I know that people might argue that makeup obscures the ‘real me’, however I don’t feel any less or more me with makeup on. A little more confident, maybe – but my essential self remains regardless. In fact, makeup can be a brave statement of personality. My grandmother died of cancer when I was a kid, during her illness she always wore a slash of bright red lipstick. Even when chemo therapy had robbed her of all her hair she still wore a perfectly applied scarlet lip – she wore lipstick until a few days before her death. It was her way of retaining her identity, even if cancer took everything else from her – she remained the glamorous, vivacious woman that she always was.
The no makeup selfie has raised a lot of money for Cancer Research, which is always a good thing, but I proudly wear makeup in remembrance of my funny, vital and beautiful nanny.