A couple of months ago, I came across this NY Times article, "Beauty Unmasked for All to See: No-Makeup Look as a New Beauty Standard." Funny enough, I've been embracing it for the last couple of years and it seems the older I get, the less I'm interested in wearing a ton of makeup.
One of the reasons for my less-is-more approach is because of living in São Paulo, Brazil, for four years. Between the months of October and April, it's fairly hot and even more so between December and February. Air conditioning is not a standard thing in most apartments, homes and businesses, so wherever you go, the tropical heat follows you. Makeup in this type of weather would essentially melt right off.
The other reason is time. During my years in São Paulo, I was teaching English and my days usually started at 6 a.m. and ended anywhere between 7 to 9 p.m. Having most of my classes start at 7:30 or 8 a.m., plus factoring in time to get there, the last thing I wanted to worry about was using 15 to 20 minutes to put on my face. Instead it took five minutes; curl eyelashes, a little mascara, fill in brows, cream blush on the apples of my cheeks, and gloss. OK, it's not totally a no-makeup look, but for me it was, and it allowed me to look professional at the same time.
What's really ironic about my new no-makeup look is that for almost 15 years, I was a makeup artist. I love makeup. I love the creativity behind it, how you can transform yourself and people into many different types of personas, and how it makes you feel. I worked with some of the best brands in the business, from MAC to Stila and from Aveda to Smashbox. I also worked with all types of people in many different situations, from traveling the country doing makeup events for these brands, to working on set at music videos and films, to even being the assistant makeup artist for Paula Abdul when American Idol was just starting.
I haven't done makeup since 2006 and, quite frankly, I don't miss it. When I reflect back on all those years, the one comment I always remember women telling me was how natural I made them look with makeup. Natural with makeup, the no-makeup look with makeup, that's the trend that everyone is embracing now. Designers like Prabal Gurung, Alexander Wang and Thakoon are creating this look for their runway shows. Celebrities like Cameron Diaz, Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow are all about the #nomakeup selfie. Even beauty brands like Bare Minerals are coming out with products like their new Bareskin foundation that supposedly is like a second skin.
I know some people are linking this to feminism, but I'm not. I think in the past women were defined by their makeup and it's just not the case anymore. I think we also lead busier lives and just don't have the time, which is fine. I also think women are embracing their natural beauty more, and I find that very empowering.
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