8 Stars Willingly Grace Magazine Cover--with No Makeup--in the Name of True Beauty

By , SparkPeople Blogger
The cover of French ELLE reads:

"Stars without makeup.
Without makeup.
Without retouching.
8 women dare true beauty."

European actresses Eva Herzigova, Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, and Charlotte Rampling are among the eight whose beautiful and makeup-free faces grace the cover of the latest issue of French ELLE.
It's about time we see a magazine that showcases natural beauty instead of mocking stars caught without makeup. I'd like to see this become a regular feature, wouldn't you?

I really liked this quote from Yahoo! Shine, which also has photos of the covers: In the U.S., when you come across a "stars without makeup" story, there's always a GOTCHA! element, a message that says "Our gift to you: Derive pleasure from how ugly this person looks without cover-up for her zits!


"Stars san Fards" reads the cover. "Fards" means rouge/blush, but in French to be "sans fards" refers to an openness. "Parler sans fards" means to speak openly.

Let's turn this magazine feature into an opportunity to speak openly about the pressure to be "beautiful" in our society.

For women, the pressure to always look your best is omnipresent. How many of these scenarios apply to you?

When we're caught at the supermarket in sweatpants and a messy ponytail, we are embarrassed about our appearance. When we go straight from the office to a restaurant, we apologize for not dressing for dinner. When we go to the gym, we wear coordinated outfits. When we have children and don't immediately shed the baby weight, we're criticized for "letting ourselves go."

Men don't feel the same pressure, nor do they apologize for their appearance. Men get more distinguished as they age, women are compared to an old handbag. We're told that everything is sagging, wrinkled and old.

Where and how do we find balance between self-acceptance and societal pressures?

I'd be remiss if I neglected to point out that vanity and beauty are primary motivators for weight loss for many people--in the past, I was included in that group. However, there's a difference between caring about your appearance and using makeup and clothes a crutch for self-esteem. As someone who has found balance between style and comfort, I like dressing up almost as much as I like wearing comfy workout clothes. Most days, you'll find me in skirts and dresses. Yoga has taught me to appreciate the body for its strength, its grace and its power rather than how it fills out a dress or what it looks like in heels.

The French are known for an elusive sense of style, a natural beauty that is hard to replicate. In examining these women on the cover, what they seem to possess is self-confidence. With or without makeup, that comfort in their skin shines through. The photos reveal a slight vulnerability, yes, but the women's subtle confidence is impervious to the camera's probing lens.

Let's join the call for magazines everywhere to start embracing natural beauty--women of all sizes, colors, shapes and states of maquillage.
When the women in the magazines look more like the women you see on the street, at the office and in the mirror, perhaps then more of us will find peace with our bodies.

Do you wear makeup? If so, how often? Will you leave the house without wearing makeup? Which trait would you rather possess: strength or beauty? What do you think about the magazine cover?

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I very rarely wear makeup, and generally leave the house bare faced. I like the way I look, quirks and all! Report
I have just recently started going out of the house without foundation/concealer! It feels nice...really nice! :) I still, however, wear blush, mascara, and/or bronzer. I feel more like myself when I wear minimal amounts of makeup...and to tell you the truth I feel much more confident too. I always thought the opposite would be true...but it's not for me. I love seeing these models without makeup! Celebrities have a tendency to pretend that they are perfect...perfect hair, perfect teeth, perfect bodies, perfect skin, perfect lives. NO person is perfect. No one! There isn't such a thing as a perfect body or smile...sorry, but they just don't exist! I know that if we all support magazines/models/celebrities who promote natural and REAL beauty, then they can become 'the norm'. I also know that the opposite is true. We have the power to change the media, hopefully we will. Report
I love makeup. I wear it almost everyday. Sometimes when I am staying at home all day I won't wear any, but that is not often. Report
I do feel better when I have my makeup on. I have more confidence and I feel more awake. It's is certainly strange how much more comfortable I feel. I shouldn't need something like makeup to feel good! And I don't need to see celebrities without their makeup on to know that they aren't perfect.

What I hate is the "we've caught the stars without their makeup" stories I've seen. A series of pictures of celebrities who "dared" to leave their houses not looking their "best." Report
No makeup for me. On a VERY RARE occasion (um, maybe at MOST twice yearly) I'll wear lipstick, eyeliner and mascara. Other than that, nothing. Report
I have always just worn eye liner and mascara, unless it was a special occassion such as prom, wedding (that I was in), anniversary, etc. But those two simple things make a dramatic difference in me. I forgot to wear makeup one day to work (at a summer camp for kids), and I have 5 or 6 of them come up to me and ask me if I was tired, sick, and that I looked different. Report
I do not wear make up. I have wore lipstick maybe twice in my life, but that is the extent of make up for me. I would rather possess Godly strength and beauty, than worldly beauty any day. Report
I am one of those tom boyish girls...I get make up from my mum and end up throwing it out because I never have time to use it. I think have only applies amke up twice...on my two graduations and the next time will probably be on my wedding...but I must admit, it really makes me look so polished and glamourous!! Report
I wear makeup every day unless I am staying home. I love makeup and I love how it helps smooth out my complexion. My mother blessed me with very large pores on my nose, and I've received many freckles/sun spots from not wearing sunscreen when I was young (I do not go out in the sun anymore though). If I go out, I wear makeup, unless I am just running a quick errand. i have to admit that I do feel prettier when I wear makeup. I don't think it is a bad thing, because I know who I am as a person, and the makeup doesn't change who I am.

I wear make-up to work every day because it is expected, but I don't touch up unless I am going to be in front of a jury. I worry most of the day if I've rubbed my eye and smeared mascara or eyeliner all over my face! On the weekends, I don't wear any make-up. Report
My sister always wanted to put make up on me as a kid ~ and I didn't want her to. I have no idea how to apply it...but, put it on every day (minimally) just because it tends to boost my self-confidence going out into the workplace :-) A little blush, mascara and lipstick never hurt anyone :-) Report
I can't stand wearing makeup. Never have liked it. On very rare occasions I might deign to put some on. Report
I used to wear mascara, lipstick and some light foundation ... until I met my sweetheart. He told me everyday how beautiful I looked and one day I realized I'd stopped wearing makeup at all. It's been over four years and I still don't ... Report
I wear makeup when I go to work or go to a party. As far as work is concerned, I put it on in the morning and that is it. No touching up, etc. If I am going out with my husband for errands on the weekend, no. If I have a family party, more than not I don't put it on. I will say, however, that now that I feel better about myself and my appearance, I am more compelled to make the effort. Report
I wear a little make-up. Not very good at applying it in a classy way. Lipstick stays on about 30 minutes---so I have owned about 3 tubes in my life:) Report
I've come full circle when it comes to makeup. When I was a teen and wearing makeup was a new, grown up thing for me, I wore it all the time. Was constantly freshening it. After the novelty wore off, by my mid twenties, I gradually left off wearing anything but a bit of lipstick. As I began to age in my forties, i again started buying and wearing makeup. It's taken me the past 10 years to find makeup I really like and that doesn't require an extraordinary amount of time and attention. I want to look my best but I don't want to have to reapply it. Once and done for the day. Report
teriffic article--i never really cared about makeup (kinda got into it when i started my internship and had to be professional in front of students, but afterward i slacked off big time). my skin doesn't seem to like makeup, and even the little makeup i wear makes me take a few days break from it before i start breaking out. doesn't bother me, though, to not be able to wear it. would bother me to break out like my students, though.

i wear a little eyeshadow and try to keep my eyebrows in order and wear some lipliner as a base for my lipstick. that's about it, unless i'm feeling good enough to put on some mascara (which i keep forgetting i have--i had the hardest battle with this product and it never worked right for the longest time)

i'm more focused on areas below my waist to get healthy, and as i'm not out too much, i don't worry about it. i don't worry about being in an uncoordinated outfit when i go to the gym (its gonna get all sweaty anyway, so big deal), or if i'm wearing an old shirt with holes and paint splotches. it doesn't matter, as long as i'm comfortable (and i'm going straight back home anyway to change and shower.)

i love that there's un made-up actresses on the cover--and they're very pretty as it is. its so hard to tell who is or isn't airbrushed anymore (they all are for the most part) digitally, so i just don't pay too much attention. i have a bit of affection for those who're comfortable in their own skin and don't mind being a bit scruffy or unkempt--when they pull a full-out like Britney Spears did, though, i freak a little. ick. But the bit of natural confident scruffyness (sort of) is fine, it makes them look--dare i say it--human? yes, i did (hee hee) Report
I enjoy wearing makeup. I don't get upset if I'm "caught" without it, though. Report
I don't wear makeup at home but I wear a little when I go out and about. Report
I love makeup and I own a lot of different things. I use it pretty much everything and I like to mix it up. This love for makeup, however, does not come from desire to confirm to what society may expect me to look like. It simply one of the ways I like to express myself. I am very artistic and a well-done make-up is a fund ritual for me that I do pretty much every morning. I like to coordinate colors with what I ware that day or simply with my mood.
I don't have a problem going out without any make-up at all though and usually do it on weekends. Report
Makeup seems to fall off my face, and I get tired of finding products to make it stick (and usually then itch). I do everything - foundation, eyeliner, eyeshadow, mascara, lipliner, lipstick and all associated primers, when I want to for a special occasion - otherwise just chapstick. Not even for work! Report
I only wear lip gloss and use an eyeliner pencil on my eyebrows. Report
i wear make-up only on special occasions rest of time i wear nothing but lotion. Report
I wear light makeup (sheer foundation, blush, lipstick) if I'm going to be out for most of the day (but not when going to the gym). It evens out my skin tone (and the foundation has a sunscreen). I don't bother doing anything with my hair, though, so I'd love to see a cover of models with "bed head." Report
I think it's interesting that almost everyone on this blog doesn't wear make-up or won't admit to wearing make up!! I don't care either way - it's just interesting - or maybe those who wear "lots of make-up all the time" don't want to write in. Just an observation. I think most people can "see through" the make-up anyway. It's become a type of "armor" that women wear to work nowdays. Report
I'm used to wearing light make-up every day. I do the whole routine--mineral foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush, lipstick (which is usually gone in two hours), and sometimes eyeshadow--but all are very neutral and I typically don't reapply during the day. In fact, when I got "done up" for my bridal portraits, my maid of honor looked at me and said "you look great--I've never seen you in makeup." This is after we had been co-workers and friends for quite a while. I look really odd without foundation, though, because my skin is naturally so red, so I hardly ever leave the house without it. Report
I will put on lipstick when I go out to eat, if I remember.
I don't own eyeliner, blush, face powder, nail polish, or any of the other items you find in the cosmetic aisles. Report
I am a big fan of NATURAL things: natural foods, natural muscles, natural beauty. So no makeup for me :) Report
I wear makeup to work, 5 days a week. It comes off when I go home, and sometimes I'll wear it to go out to dinner. I know that wearing makeup makes me look older and more professional- things that are a benefit as the youngest woman in my engineering office. I would recommend that all women look their best at work. But when I run into a coworker at the gym (I don't wear coordinating outfits by the way) I have no problem saying hello, even though I'm without makeup and often drenched in sweat. I say, dress for the occasion. And men have to do so too (I won't let my boyfriend go out to dinner in a wrinkled tshirt and 5'oclock shadow! do you?) Report
It has always been said that a woman's true beauty shines from the inside out!
I only wear makeup on special occasions, such as weddings. It bothers my eyes, even the hypoallergenic kind. I prefer strength. Report
Can't wear make up much b/c I'm allergic. Seems that when I do try to wear it I end up with itchy red eyes and pimples galore. I'd rather deal with the questions of why don't you wear make up than my itchy red eyes every day! Report
..When I was working, I wore full make-up everyday to work but not on the weekends, unless I had an 'event' to attend. Now that I am retired, I wear only mascara, lipstick & very light blush to church and if I have an 'event' to attend. I'm finding as I age.....much less is much better. The 'stars' admit that they really don't look like their photos. It's terrible in this country when someone is considered 'ugly' without make-up...or 'fat' if they gain a few pounds (which most of them need). Report
I usually wear make-up every day. But a lot of people think I don't because I only use enough to cover blemishes or smooth out my skin tone. I do like eyeshadow but my lips and are usually left untouched.

I would never dream of putting on make-up to go to the gym. How do they do that? Report
I only wear makeup when I go to a wedding or other fancy functions. Since I am no longer in the workforce I don't need to wear it. I prefer not to have the stuff on. Even mascara makes my eyes irratated. I would rather have intelligence and inner strength then outward beauty Report
i wear makeup most workdays, i go for the spangly eyeliner and rich mascara. i just enjoy it, it's colouring-in, not pretence of something else! Report
I'm an odd mix match of girly girl. I never wear make-up - unless there is a special occasion or - and I hate to admit it if there are going to be other people [women] around that I want to outshine. On the other hand - my toes are done - complete with flowers and I wear long nails [glitter tips no less]. To confuse things even more, rather than doing my hair I sport the Prana head band, but my workout clothes [and that is mostly what I wear] have to be 'cute' and match. Oh and I am not afraid to get dirty. My husbands word for it is just weire. Report
I wear makeup very nearly everyday. I am one of those strange women who do feel weird without it and rarely leave the house without it. I've had problem skin (due to hormones and PCOS, not the makeup) since puberty, and I've always done the foundation and powder routine to help cover up. Now I use it more for smoothing and evening tone and texture and for the sun protective aspects of any layer since all the facial sunscreens make me break out badly. My husband likes me without makeup, so I've loosened up a bit over the last few years, but I'm still a full-makeup kinda gal.

...but no lipstick. I hate lipstick! :) Report
I use very little makeup occasionaly. People have gotten to know me without it and I don't feel if I go out of my house that I have to wear it.
You can't see my eyebrows or eye lashes very well because I have lost most of the hair in them, so I do use an eyebrow pencil and mascara to make me look normal when I go to church or more important outings but thats about it. I prefer the natural look. To me makeup makes the skin cakey more dry and more wrinkley looking up close, especially on older womens skin. Report
I don't wear makeup at all. Foundations makes me break out, even the bare minerals type. I'd rather have strength (well.. intelligence) than beauty. Report
I am a licensed esthetician and makeup artist, eyelash extension specialist. I love makeup, but think that it's all about self expression and FUN!!! I don't wear it everyday, but I do whenever I feel like it because I enjoy applying it, I enjoy the colors, I enjoy how it makes me feel, but I don't feel that I HAVE to wear it. I usually wear it 5 days out of 7, but I don't put it on because I feel like I should. I put it on because I enjoy the brushes, the smell of the makeup, I enjoy the texture of it and the colors! Report
I dont wear make-up & I want to Report
I wear make-up occasionally. My husband thinks I look great with or without it, & some of my friends can't believe how good I look without it. I have clear , soft skin. Personally, it depends where I'm going! Report
Generally magazines are not going to heed your call, because unfortunately their success is predicated on advertising, which is predicated on making us feel deficient & therefore in need of products to fix us--with a bit of manipulative flattery thrown in so that we don't notice what's up. I stopped reading women's magazines back in my twenties because it's crazy-making.

I wear a bit of makeup--but never foundation--most days. Saturdays I often skip it. If I run into a friend at the neighborhood market on a no-makeup day, I think it's kinda fun that they're seeing me in my grubbies. Oh, & I'm 54 & graying but I don't cover the gray. It's part of celebrating my age. At my last hair appointment I learned that my stylist is letting herself go gray too! We both get plenty of compliments on our increasingly silvery locks. Report
I wear make-up everyday and have done so since I was 16. I have very light eyelashes, so I feel naked without mascara. Personally, I don't like how I look without it. My boyfriend has told me he prefers me without make up. I told him too bad. :) Report
I go through phases where I like to wear makeup (mostly eyeliner), but it is rare. I think I have great skin, and have a very minimal beauty regimen. I prefer to think of protecting it (for example, with face and skin cream with SP15 in it), rather than enhancing it. I have a sister who uses tanning booths in winter, and I've always thought it was a shame that she was exposing her skin to harm. Now, she has blotchy spots on her face, and no amount of concealer covers it up. But she's still tanning every winter! I would rather be pale with smooth skin. Cate Blanchett's skin is so beautiful, IMO! Though I like to be outdoors in summer, you won't seem me outside without layers of SPF! And I'll take lots of water and a healthy diet over any expensive anti-wrinkle cream to keep my skin looking good. Wrinkles are part of life - hard-earned, and a sign of a mature, wise woman! Perhaps that is what the Elle models exude - the confidence that Stepf mentions in her article.

I don't think I could choose between strength or beauty. I think I'd like to be somewhere inbetween on both counts...a little bit strong, and a little bit beautiful.

The Elle magazine article is super. Any article that inspires thought about our culture and our habits is a great idea, IMO. Report
I actually wrote an paper about this in college. I do wear make-up most of the time, but during the summer months at most I will wear eyeshadow because I like the way that it looks, not becasue I feel that someone else is judging me. Fashion is a multi-billion dollarr industry that encourages men and women (especially women) to look a certain way because the people who look the best are the most successful (just look at the glam lives that Hollywood folk live). Unfortunately it is a proven fact that attractive people get more attention, it is even so when we are young and attend school; teachers pay more attention to "attractive" students and are much more stressed when they see thes students fail. I think it is time that people need to call out and be proud of who they want to be. Report
I think it's totally cool how many women have commented that they don't wear any makeup! I live in Southern California and after a while you start thinking EVERYBODY in the world wears it all of the time!! It's nice to get a little perspective..

I have gone through phases in my life... never did I wear TONS of makeup, unless I was dressing up for something crazy like a costume party, etc. And I do like to wear some when I go out, but I have to admit lately I just don't want to take the time to do that in the morning. I was sick for a while-- really exhaustingly tired-- and it was hard enough to get up and get dressed without spending an hour doing my hair and makeup to go to a job where I hardly see anybody! I'd rather get the rest!

I have to say, though, there is pressure here like you're unprofessional if you don't do hair and makeup and "professional" properly pieced together office attire.

I guess since I got into my 40's I just don't care about the pressure anymore, LOL! Report
I wear make-up for fun. It's not something I HAVE to have on, but I see nothing wrong with people wanting to accentuate their features or even hide marks or "flaws" if it makes them more confident. I'd rather be strong because I feel that with strength comes confidence and confidence is extremely attractive and beautiful. Report
I'd rather be natural than made-up. Some people look natural with make-up, and kudoos to them! I don't know enough about it, & don't want to look like a "painted lady", so go mostly without. A little blush and lipstick is about all I use when I dress up. I can't wear anything on my eyes because I tend to rub them and end up looking like a racoon! Report
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