These women will inspire you to go out without makeup

After years of putting on makeup and showing a perfectly made up face, women around the world are wondering what life can be like without it.

In the past couple of years, makeup artists were creating the "no makeup, makeup look" on runways and beauty brands were also tipping towards this trend.

Much earlier, American beauty brand Bobbi Brown, which was founded in 1991, was already championing the natural approach to beauty with its mantra, "be who you are."

On the runways, fashion gurus were also turning to natural looks for their models and makeup artists were challenged to create a modern natural beauty.

Ironically, the no makeup makeup look takes quite a bit of makeup and time to achieve.

When 15-time Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter/producer Alicia Keys penned an essay in Lena Dunham's newsletter in May last year, it took the no makeup makeup look to an authentic direction.

Putting insecurities aside, she announced that she was going to go makeup free on album covers and on the red carpet.

With smoky eyes, red lips and winged eyeliner Keys always had that "put together" look pat down in public.

Photo: Instagram/Alicia Keys

The accomplished 35-year-old artist who is also a force to be reckoned with in female empowerment and philanthropy, said in her essay, "we all get to a point in our lives (especially girls) where we try to be perfect."

"It's another moment where some piece of you realises that to fit in or be thought of as beautiful, you have to cover up to be a bit closer to perfect," Keys wrote.

"Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn't put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture? What if they posted it? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me."

"I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing."

The backlash?

She was ruthlessly criticised on social media on her new look and her stand.

And, the world responded.

Celebrities from Adele, Beyonce, Chrissy Teigen, Carrie Under­wood, Cindy Crawford, Cameron Diaz to Kylie Jenner started posting makeup free faces on their social media.

Photo: Instagram/Chrissy Teigen
Photo: Instagram?Cameron Diaz

Then women of all ages began posting their own barefaced selfies, ditching all the careful choreography and photo manipulation.

At the 2017 Golden Globes celebrities arrived with less colour on their faces, less over the top lashes or contouring, and a more natural look.

Why do women wear makeup?

According to Cal State Fullerton associate professor of Psychology Jessie Peissig, "one theory as to why women have resorted to applying makeup for thousands of years is the instinct to be perceived as attractive, therefore increasing their chances of attracting a mate," and adds that it's part of our DNA and evolutionary constitution.

Photo: Instagram/Cindy Crawford

Statista, a statistical analysis company, reports that women have spent approximately US$53.7bil (S$76.2 billion) on makeup purchases in 2011 and in 2021 the global makeup market is estimated to be worth about US$75bil.

In a recent study by sociologists Jaclyn Wong and Andrew Penner to learn if there was a correlation between wearing makeup and income, the results were depressing for women.

Data was collected over 14,000 people and they presented their findings in a paper titled Gender and the Returns to Attractive­ness.

They found that attractive individuals earn roughly 20 per cent more than people of average attractiveness, but this gap is reduced when controlling for grooming, suggesting that the beauty premium can be actively cultivated.

It also found that grooming accounts for the entire attractiveness premium for women, and only half of the premium for men.

Let's face it.

Makeup is a double-edged sword.

It's time consuming, costly and while it may help you feel more attractive or confident, it can also make you feel inadequate without it.

So what's a girl got to do?

Wear makeup to look attractive and be "accepted" all the time or take a stand to really be yourself and be confident that the real you and your abilities are acknowledged?

When Lady Gaga said, "Whether I'm wearing lots of makeup or no makeup, I'm always the same person inside," it's a cue for women to start putting up a brave front to face and fend off the pressures of society and show that their blemishes or uneven skin tone doesn't correlate with a lack of intellect or competence.

Ultimately, the choice is yours.

Whether you decide to wear or not wear makeup for whatever reasons, that is your prerogative.

With more Alicia Keys and the desire to stop bending backwards to conform, just maybe this will be an influential movement that will take off in time to come.

And guess what? This shift will also dictate the way the beauty industry will have to respond to what strong, real and confident women really want.

Women will want their raw untouched up skin to look its healthiest so instead of a focus on makeup, skincare that is as authentic and powerful as these women might just be the new direction.

As the intuitive Coco Chanel once said, "Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself."

Malaysian celebrities are comfortable showing skin

Malaysian celebrities have been baring it too - on the streets and in their social media.

Actress and model Diana Danielle sums up the no makeup movement with her latest post on her Instagram by saying, "You're not any less beautiful without makeup. Just Be-YOU-tiful."

With a long career in modeling and as a sought-after emcee, Bernie Chan said she runs around all the time with no makeup on.

"Nowadays I exercise a lot and I don't believe in wearing makeup when I work out as it will clog my pores.

"Instead of makeup I use the Nars tinted moisturiser so it's a bit of base there. Off duty, if I do use makeup, it's very light anyway," Chan added.

Photo: Instagram/Diana Danielle
Photo: Instagram/Scha Alyahya

With barely there makeup actress, model and TV host Scha Alyahya is a picture of confidence in her recent Instagram, as she captures a soothing quiet moment on a bed, while actress, singer and TV host Nur Fazura shows off a makeup free face on her recent Instagram as she arrives early for an appointment.

In 2012 Dermalogica Malaysia, an American personal care brand, challenged Malaysians with the "Get Naked with Dermalogica - great skin has nothing to hide" movement.

This campaign was to celebrate the simple truth of nakedness by removing the thick layers of makeup and impurities from skin, and ultimately to draw confidence from good skin health that needs no hiding.

One of the celebrities fronting Dermalogica's campaign was Miss World Malaysia 2009 Thanuja Ananthan who said in the promotional video that being a beauty queen a lot of people think she is very prim and proper and always well-groomed.

"But I'm more of a rough and tough girl. When I'm not working and go out, people see that I'm without makeup. Basically I'm really very simple and I like being makeup free," Thanuja said.