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'm au natural and always have been because of skin with a high acidic content. Regardless of brand or price makeup turns orange. And so now 67, my routine has consisted of mild soap and water followed by Nivea. And barely a day goes by without someone commenting on my skin. I'm very fortunate Report
I normally get to the gym at 5am. I can't get over the ladies with a full face of makeup at 5am :) Report
I think of makeup as War Paint or art. When I bother (although I try to remember to put mascara on my blonde lashes most days...), I go all out. Usually it's for a big event or I just want that extra "oomph!"

My sister spent years as the girl who took an hour to get ready and put on her face... I never was. Even in experimental stages, I could be all-out goth in 10 minutes!

Makeup can be a crutch to prop yourself up on a bad day; it can be the hand-railing that gets you up the stairs, supporting you and giving you the confidence to continue; it can be a mask to hide yourself or show off the real you. Once you've realised that the beauty's underneath the makeup (or the weight, or the old baggy clothing), you can decide what to do with it: will you use it to enhance your life or scare away those with too litte confidence to approach someone who has their appearance together? Report
Personally, I love make-up. Putting it on is a time for me to focus and get ready for the day. It is like my morning coffee. It isn't for everyone, though, and I respect that. I'd never pick on someone who didn't wear it. I hate it when folks give me a hard time for being a 'glamour puss.' I am just being me. I can't wait to check out the magazine, though. It is great to see folks as they really look. 'Sans makeup' can be shocking, and often less really is more. But, sorry, I do love my red lips and thick, black lashes (so did Snow White!) Thank you, Cover Girl (wink) Report
I always thought my 40's would start the best years of my life ... and I was absolutely correct! I don't wear make up and haven't for 7 years. I wear dresses for everything with something underneath for exercising and riding my motorcycle. People look at me like I'm crazy ... I want to grab them and explain that, for the first time in my life, I am being authentic to who I am on the inside! I'm not looking for anyone else's approval, not setting out to turn heads and not interested in being described as "aging well". I want to be a weight that is healthy for my body to avoid medical complications from obsesity, which runs in my family. I want to be healthy for my grandchildren who are not yet born and for my children who will need me as they age in Life! I am woman - a REAL woman finally, not the product of makeup, fashion or fabrication ... Hear me roar! :) Report
I used to be one of those that wouldn't leave the house without it. My husband feels that woman who wear too much make up are covering something up. As I've aged and become more comfortable I rarely wear makeup on the weekends. I do wear a bit to work (I have hardly any eyelashes, I "need" mascara) But if I'm late to work, I'm ok with hardly any. I'm sure the models on Elle will be beautiful without makeup and isn't if funny we are even making a big deal of it. Report
Makeup is not a big deal for me. There was a point in my early 20s when I would never leave home without it. Then I realised that I never got hit on whenever I wore it. It was only when I was hot, greasy faced, sweaty and tired that I got hit on! *LOL* Rationale apparently was that if you're all made up you look like you have somebody special you're going out with. Ever since then it's been mostly 'au natural' for me. I save it for random special occasions. Report
I rarely wear more than tinted moisturizer and chapstick, other than special occasions. When I was student teaching(7 years ago), the other teachers kept on saying, "Oh, that'll change. You'll start wearing it more as you get closer to 30." I'm not too far away from that now, and I feel more myself with chapstick and moisturizer than when I do bother with makeup. Now I'm running into a problem though...I'm getting married and I don't know how to put on a lot of make up, and I've heard for pictures it helps to wear it. Sigh. I guess I'll worry about it for at least a day this month. :o) Then back to chapstick for me! Report
I do wear makeup; do I wear it all the time? NO; do I feel less confident if I don't wear it ? NO-- confidence, true confidence, is an inner based aspect that one must cultivate and exercise, and nurture, just like our bodies.
I wear it when it goes with the occassion, and I don't when it doesn't. I like lipstick tho, and I will wear that just bout anytime; dunno why but I do like lipstick. LOL! think it comes from a childhood sweet memory of those little avon samples my gramma would give me.

BTW the ELLE link took me straight to VIDEOS, not the cover of ELLE which is the focus of your article. Report
There are days when I'm feel confidence, believe strongly in myself that no matter what people say, I'm still a pretty, strong, powerful woman. I like these kind of days, I'll use very basic makeup - powder, mascara, a little bit lipstick or gloss - and I feel like myself. But there are some days when I feel everything is against me, that I need to use a strong shield to protect me. Those days, I'll bring wear more makeup than neccessary, wearing very bold clothes (well, I think bold, for others, they're not, haha). In the end, it's me against myself - whether I unite or in war. Report
From strength comes beauty Report
I usually wear makeup, but not much. In fact, people have frequently commented on how little makeup I wear. I never know whether to take this as a compliment or not. I will go to the store without makeup if I need to. I will also go in my workout clothes. I think strength and natural beauty are more important than what you could look like with fashionable clothes and tons of makeup. I want to be real. Report
The older I get (I'm 43) the less makeup I wear and the better I think I look without it! Maybe it's because I don't feel compelled to hide acne any more! Anyway, mascara is my must, and I often wear natural colored lipstick, but I don't feel bad if people see me without it. Report
I love to wear makeup, for me it is fun and it makes me feel good, so I do wear it most days. If I am not in the mood, I won't. For the ladies who don't like to wear makeup, that is fine too. I envy people who feel just as confident with or without the extra help! Report
I would look silly if I wore makeup to work, but I do like to look "put together" at least. I used the stuff to grow crazy long eyelashes so I basically just need a little gloss. I do enjoy getting made-up when I go out.
Humans and animals alike have always preened themselves to look more attractive. It's natural and there's nothing wrong with it. Report
As the mother of a 2 year old, I find taking care of him and making sure he has fun more important than trying to look perfect. I have let myself go a bit, but not from a lack of caring about me. My son was born at 2 lbs 10 oz, so he was my priority and I focused on him so much that one day I looked at myself and said, "I have gained a lot of weight. I am not healthy and if I don't make changes I won't be around for my son" . With that, this new journey began. I want to be in shape not so I look more appealing to others, but so I can live the longest, healthiest and happiest life I can and be around for my son as long as I can. I also want to have another baby. Yes, I like to look nice, but I think I can look nice without make-up, in a pair of sweat pants with a t-shirt, sandals, and a ponytail. I take care of my skin with lotion that has SPF and my lips with lip balm containing SPF and I find that the most important part of my beauty routine. When I am 60, 70, 80 tell me, what is make-up going to do for me? Nothing but enhance my wrinkles. SPF can help keep those wrinkles away a little longer! My husband loves me fresh faced and natural and it is how I prefer to look. If I am going out to dinner or on the town, I used oil free foundation with SPF IF needed to cover a trouble spot, mascara and lip balm with tint. Good enough for me! Feeling fresh faced and not caked with make up makes me feel unbelievable confident and beautiful. Report
I applaud the magazine for the covers and article. While I love make-up and embrace the way I can use it to play up my best features (lips and eyes), I don't like the way it feels on my skin. If I wear foundation I end up constantly touching my face and scraping it off during the day because it irritates me. I was fine wearing a mineral powder foundation for a while but even that eventually got to me. Now that I'm no longer working in an office every day I wear make-up about 3 days a week and usually only if I'm going out with my husband. He thinks I'm sexy and beautiful with or without it and seems to give me the most compliments on the days when I just feel blah about my looks. When out in public I usually try to at least toss on some blush and mascara and maybe even change out my glasses for contacts but, to me, it's no big deal. Report
I always thought that I would wear make-up when I was old enough. At 43, I guess I'll never get there. It just seems like a lot of fuss, when I could still be in bed. Report
My EX husband use to tell me and anyone who would listen (over and over again)
that I looked "scary" without make up. As a result, I wouldn't go to the mailbox without full makeup and hair done.
My present husband of 23 years, thinks I am beautiful with make up or without. He thinks I am sexy even with the extra 70 lbs, (but would like me to lose them for health reasons) And never let's me go a day without some positive affirmation.
As a result, sometimes I wear make up and sometimes I don't. I am working harder at my weight loss. And I love myself.

Pressures from other people tend to mold how we live our lives. *Sadly*
I think the cover is great. I doubt it will be a common thing to do it, though, since a lot of the advertisers in those mags are cosmetics companies. I only wear makeup on special occasions, since I don't like the way it feels on my face and there are other ways I'd rather spend my time than applying makeup. The only thing I wear regularly is lip balm because my lips get dry. Most of my friends that wear makeup every day act surprised when the find I don't wear makeup and tell me I obviously don't need it, even though I don't have the best complexion in the world. Report
I love makeup - but then I paint and it's another chance to play with "colors". I am very fair, so therefore, I need to wear a little light foundation and blush. I don't wear it at home - just a moisturizer, but I wear it going out and for work. I have a friend who always says "paint makes you what you ain't". I say, who cares - it's fun. Report
We have a choice, luckily to wear make up or not. I believe these magazines show young kids and teens a bad side of being beautiful. Beauty comes from inside of us. We can still be nice, kind, funny and fun to be around without makeup. I do know people who will not even go outside to get their mail without putting on make up. I think life is too short, if it makes you feel better, go for it!! but, I feel we should not be ashamed or be put down when we go without make up. I wear a little lip gloss every day and that is my choice. I do put sunscreen on with a moisturizer everyday. I do not like seeing these young pre teens and teens wearing a lot of makeup., but i see it all the time. It makes me sad that society judges us by how we look and what we wear and not about what is inside of us.
I thank God for every day I have here and I have plenty more to keep me busy other than spending an hour doing make up and hair. I do believe we should take good care of of ourselves. inside and out, but make-up does not have to be a part of looking good, of course I am not the one looking at my face all day long, someone else may disagree when they look at me!!, but I feel good and that is what counts! Report
I would love to see American actresses do the same. We, as women, see them as so beautiful. But beauty is more than skin deep.
I wear make-up maybe a dozen times a year. Yes, as I age, I see the desire to wear it more in my life. But I believe we are more beautiful when we are simply ourselves. Report
I wear make up as a pick me up, not as something that decides my worth, all people are beautiful as they are. Report
I nver wearmake-up probably because I have such sensitive skin that I have found none that I like. But people should do whatever makes them happy it is up to them either wear it or not. Report
I have a compulsive skin picking habit (a form of OCD) for over 30 years. Makeup has been a method of concealing the skin picking sores I create from an episode(s). Makeup has helped when I feel & 'look' good on the outside it seems to help calm my picking habit. I spend a lot of resources on purchasing high-end brands, which seems counterproductive when I continue to engage in my picking habits. I have a sense of anxiety if I am without makeup at times. The possibility I have created for myself, my goal, is to be able to go out without any makeup and show a natural-beauty-glow from outside and within me. :) Report
I love wearing makeup, but I rarely do. If I'm going somewhere special, I'll apply it, but for my work, and my home life, I'd rather be natural. Report
Why not have both? There is Beauty in Strength. And Make Up is something I use for specail occassions, including the hair to manys consternation! Report
The way I look at it - as long as my body is clean and I don't smell like BO, who cares if I run to the store quick. I'm a little more picky about my hair actually. I like my hair to at least be clean and decent looking, but makeup I will go without. Working out at the gym is an old t-shirt and sweatpants that don't coordinate. I wear makeup to work and make sure I am dressed nice there, but away from work I am much more lax and lenient. And my makeup for work is eyeliner, mascara and a little blush. I only use cover up if I have dark circles under my eyes because of being tired, otherwise I don't even use cover up. My boyfriend likes me all natural, and he is the only person in this world that I want to impress. :-) Report

Well, I am a makeup girl all the way! I actually instruct on makeup application, and skin care. Over all however, I have to say that if your skin looks good, you don't need a lot of makeup. The true purpose of makeup is to enhance your natural beauty. So, if you take good care of your skin, then a little makeup looks very nice. I also know, that women that wear makeup to work get paid more. It reflects on how you feel about yourself. If you are willing to get up 5 minutes earlier to apply some cosmetics, it demonstrates that you care about your appearance and your job. Just a note on that. I have an article from a corporate study about it. Very interesting. Report
I used be one those women who refused to leave the house without makeup. That changed when I gained weight. I didn't care what I looked like any longer. Now that I have lost weight, I still go without makeup. I have discover my skin is healthier without it. It has to be special affair for me to wear makeup these days, I like the way I look without it and so does my husband. Report
I wear lipstick faithfully. Because of hot flashs, I no longer wear foundations or powders. I'm enjoying the natural beauty of going it without. I take better care of my skin instead of hiding it under a mask! On ocassion I like to enhance my eyes with eyeliners and my lips as well. Report
I do wear makeup to work and when going out with friends but mainly because I have an allergy mask. Dark circles around my eyes. I use a cover stick and mascara. If I could get the mask to go away it would be nice since when people see me with no make up they always comment about how I look tired... thanks a lot! Report
I wear makeup when I choose to, my partner adores me with or without it, and I wear it more for myself than anyone else. Just to feel a bit fancy, not as some kind of mask. The real me is the one who's sweaty, doing dishes, or taking the trash out. Report
While my makeup generally consists of a few swipes of Bare Escentuals if I have time to fool with it, I think we need to present our best appearance in public. Invariably when I've gone out looking like a slob, I've run into someone I was embarrassed to meet. Report
Wow! First "plus-sized" models in Glamour, now this... Woo Hoo! Report
I love makeup. I wear it almost every day. I go light on the weekends and I like to do extra to my eyes on a night out. I wear it for me, because I like to; not for everyone else. It makes me feel pretty. I don't think I look bad without it but I do think I look better with it. Can't beauty be strong and vice versa? I want it all!! Report
Nope, don't wear the stuff, my pores like to breathe!! As for creams, lotions...if you have the $50 for some of these products, I am very happy for you!! Report
I would much rather have strength than beauty. Strength of character, body, mind, and spirit. It will take
you a lot farther in life than your beauty will. And strong, confident people do have a beauty of their own.
Erin Report
Most of the time I use moisturiser and powder, with some lipbalm and sometimes lipstick. It never made much sense to use eye make up because I had very strong eye glasses, it almost disappeared. Now that I've had eye surgery I'm not allowed to use anything (not even skin cream) for at least a month- but I'm looking forward to wearing mascara and a bit of eye shadow in the future.
I don't know whether I will use it every day, but I will wear it to job interviews and when going to a birthday party of something. I like to see photo's of people without make up, it shows how much difference it can make: sometimes the difference is really amazing. (Which is not exactly the case when I try it at home) Report
I wear makeup sometimes, but I prefer natural. Although I must say I spend $$ on creams & stuff so I won't have to hide under makeup, so I guess that would qualify me in the beauty category? Report
I saw the cover - they all appear to me to be wearing very minimal makeup and not truly "sans fards."

Except for special occassions, or when I know I will be photographed, I wear nothing more than a powder eyeliner. I don't color my hair. Never have. Never will. But, I keep it styled and in the best condition possible. When I leave the house, I make sure my appearance is neat, clean and attractive, even if I'm only going to the supermarket.

Nothing boosts confidence more than not being self-conscious... Report
I rarely leave the house without makeup, although I've been skipping it on the weekends lately. I would NEVER go to work without makeup - I don't leave until I'm done with it, which only takes about 5 minutes. Everyone would be asking if I was sick. I'm splotchy, with broken capillaries and I have a permanently red nose. My eyes recede into nothingness without a little eyeshadow, eye pencil and mascara. I look much older without makeup. I've always worn lipstick. However, I've always envied women who were naturally pretty and didn't have to wear makeup. Report
I hate wearing make-up as it is too hot where I live. Sometimes I'll wear a little.

I do dye my hair, such as there is lol.

I think it's great the magazine did this cover. Report
I LOVE make up. To play with make up is so much fun to me probably because I am very artistic and color makes me so happy. So, depending on my mood, I'll match what I'm wearing, or I'll do something very dramatic. However, I'm ok without wearing make up as well. Especially in the summer, I like going without. It's funny, because I met up with a co-worker yesterday whom I haven't seen in along time. I normally don't see him too often, but when I do- he's always noticed my make up and how I color co-ordinate and basically use my face as a canvas. He was shocked because he's never seen me without makeup. That was the first thing he said when he saw me. He gasped and said "You're not wearing makeup!" to which I replied "Yep, it's plain Jane today." and smiled. I didn't take it as a dig or an insult. I don't think I looked worse without it. I just looked different. And I was ok with that. A very good elderly friend of mine joked with me once about the whole makeup issue. He said "Well, honey, if the barn needs paintin' , then paint it!" So, I've painted my barn- not because it needed it- but because I wanted it purple! Report
I love make-up- well, at least the ones I wear: Eyeliner and mascara. I love lipstick/gloss also, but usually forget to reapply, so even if I leave the house with it, I rarely have it on. :) And I don't use any powder or foundation or anything. I got acne problems early as a child and only found that makeup made it worse.

I used to not like to leave the house without my eyeliner on. But, now I go lots of places without any makeup. :D Report
I never wear makeup and I certainly don't own any and I cant remember the last time I did. Personally if someone doesn't find me attractive as is then thats their issue. I dont feel I need to put makeup on to completely hide what I look like to be attractive to others. Report
I only wear make up during the week at work and even then, I don't put it on until I get to the office. many times I simply forget to put it on and when I happen to see my reflexion and freak out because I don't have any make up on, someone always says, "You wear makeup?!" Which always makes me wonder why I actually go through the trouble of putting it on? My husband has always told me that I look great without it. I guess it's just my insecurities. But I have found that the older I get, the less I really care. Report
I wear makeup and I don'tr makeup. I like both flavors depending on my mood. I am a girly girl though you will rarely see me with nail polish & seldom manicure though I should. Grooming/polishing can indeed make one feel wonderful, but I do not have to put a "face on". My world will not fall apart if I leave the house without makeup. Generally while at home I do not wear it & most days if I am going out perhaps a lil lipstick. On some days if I am so inclined, I will add maybe a light gel & mascara. Dress up/special occasion, makeup is like adding perfume, jewelry or that special dress. I don't see where it has to be an either/or. Report
I don't wear makeup. Lip gloss or chap stick and the occasional powdering (if I'm being photographed) is all I ever do. I focus more on taking care of my skin and hair. Report
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