More attractive without make up?

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 21, 2010
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natural makeup bodycare

make upBad skin? No make up? Hair a mess? you’re beautiful.

I’ll take real any day. Less chemicals, more us.

Most makeup is toxic to our skin and insides, longterm. The health cost, environmental cost, and cost to animals’ welfare is vital. And, of course, our self-acceptance—whether we choose to wear no make up, lots of make up, or very little—is vital.

It’s not about attractive, externally. It’s about making friends with ourself, as we are, whether we choose to ornament our skin, or not. And…it’s about using natural ingredients that don’t harm us or our fragile planet:

These Stars look great Before & After Make up.

Less can be Beautiful, too.


Demi Lovato Snapchat Story: “Exactly why less makeup is sometimes the answer.”


10 Steps to Liberate Yourself from Makeup. ~ Tifany Lee

Use conventional makeup? Here are the 515 chemicals you’re putting on yourself every day.

and: “Cause: more toxins in everyday environment. Effect: cancer rates continue to climb for men & women. Answer: do not use conventional make-up or bodycare.” [Summer Rayne Oakes interview]

Less can be more. To makeup or not to makeup. Either way, we’re beautiful as we are. 14 Photos, before & after.

We do that above, and in many others. I think it’s empowering for all of us to know we have the choice, and can be beautiful either way. There are 100s of millions of $$$s pushing us to wear makeup–and only a few little blogs suggesting otherwise is beautiful. Sorry.

Two new photos. Update: Emilia Clarke from Game Of Thrones with no makeup. (via Celebs are held up as examples of beauty, so it is important to remember that they are just humans, too. 

make up makeup

Scarlett Johansson with no makeup for Vanity Fair:

no makeup

 Quote re this photo: “If you don’t like how women look without makeup, never get married.”

Take off your {fake} face.

For more:

> Conventional Lipstick? Don’t do it to yourself. Here’s some highly-kissable Alternatives. [Treehugger]
> Here’s what a year’s worth of makeup (literally) will do to your face.
> Cause: more toxins in everyday environment. Effect: cancer rates continue to climb for men & women. Answer: do not use conventional make-up or bodycare. [Summer Rayne Oakes interview]

#55/108 on True Love list? She’ll go easy on the make up.

You’re more attractive than your make up.

We want to kiss our loved one—not chemicals.

Saw this great feature on NY Daily News.

Who’s to say you need make up? Sure, these are stars—but stars are the ones who wear the most make up, so if they’re looking good without, that’s gotta tell us something.

So go au naturel (on your face, at least), or wear a bit less—and maybe you’ll be even more kissable! “Flaws” are okay—in fact, they’re you—and you is who your loved one wants to smooch.

A little makeup can be nice, special, fun—just go easy, and go truly organic (the skin is sensitive, absorbent stuff, and unlike food—where your body is set up to process out most toxins—our skin can’t filter out nasty chemicals. And nasty chemicals have been shown to be related to the dramatic increase in cancer over the last 75 years).

All photos via NY Daily News, click over to their site for many more.

For more:

Supermodels without Makeup.






Mindful Offering:

Pangea Organics

A photo posted by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


72 Responses to “More attractive without make up?”

  1. iloveginger says:

    oh society and its beauty values! ugh. well, i am freeing myself from this society! freedom! YES! easier said then done…i have taken some steps though– i have moved out of Los Angeles and now living my life in a simple, yet magical town at 8500 feet in the eastern sierra mountains—where i can be free– no makeup, less fashion, no hair color (except henna of coarse) no more face powder/base, no more looking at magazines either. does anyone else feel hideous after browsing thru fashion magazines?

  2. Kasia says:

    I agree, too much make up isn't attractive. I use mascara and curl my eye lashes most days, and save the other stuff for night time special occasions when a bit more glam is required.
    All my make is by Jane Iredale…one of the first and still one of the best natural mineral make ups on the market.
    What is going on with Jessica Biel's top lip in the un made up shot though!?

  3. Ben_Ralston says:

    I can't stand make-up. Yes, done nicely it looks good sometimes. But it's also an addiction for many women if you ask me… thankfully my wife Petra doesn't wear it. I much prefer the look of her natural soft skin, and her sweet lips without smelly stuff that is made of only chemists know what!

  4. iloveginger says:

    yay! in my late 30s and i just recently stopped wearing face powder!! i feel free! Ben you are so right it IS an addiction—- i am done hiding and want to be the true me! my dad used to say "your so pretty, you need to wear some makeup, guys like that" i know i know… dont blame the parents..but it was a crappy thing to say to a 20 something self conscious girl who didnt know who she was.

  5. Ben_Ralston says:

    Awesome 🙂
    You're amazingly beautiful ginger, and I don't have to see you to know. Freedom is everything…
    And your Dad meant well, as you know… but yes, parents have a lot to answer for… I wrote an article here on Ele Journal partly about that – called Self Sabotage.

  6. fivefootwo says:

    Waylon, you awesome dude! You have done more good here than that Dove commercial from awhile ago. Young girls say guys don't really mean it when they say that, or that they don't know what the hell they are talking about. Make up manufacturers spend a lot of cash and research on what and how much $ it takes to "look" natural. You just pointed at some photos to show it is B.S.

  7. Mojo says:

    Note that many of the photos on the rightside (NY Daily) are airbrushed and they still look better without makeup. As for the ones that do not — well it’s not really fair considering they were captured in a very unflattering expression.

  8. I prefer a natural girl anytime over one all painted up.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    I mean it—nothing is less attractive than foundation. My mom used to say it, opposite direction, about gents—"shave that beard, I want to see more you!" Same could apply re: make up and for women. Beyond appearance, it's not healthy, and we all want all of us to be healthy. Beyond health, it doesn't smell good, and who wants to kiss, and another comment pointed out, lip gloss and such? We want to kiss our loved one, not overpriced laboratory junk.

    That said, if it's natural, truly organic, a little is fine and dandy. Each to his and her own.

  10. Diana says:

    I'm sure many of us wish that were as beautiful as Jessica Biel without makeup, but if you haven't noticed, there is a great deal of pressure to look young and beautiful in our society. I know I wish that we lived in a society where every single person was recognized for her inner beauty, but alas, we haven't reached that level of consciousness yet.

    Pretty people get more attention, better jobs, higher pay, and more frequent promotions. Do you blame women for trying to enhance their beauty to reap some of these rewards?

    "Physical attractiveness is associated with a number of positive outcomes, including employment benefits such as hiring, wages, and promotion, and is correlated with social and personal rewards such as work satisfaction, positive perceptions of others, and higher self-esteem. As a result, individuals perform various forms of beauty work, thus reproducing and strengthening a social system that privileges youth and attractiveness." Beauty Work: Samantha Kwan

    I think it's funny when men say that they prefer women without makeup, as it seems like what they are really saying is " i prefer a beautiful woman without makeup. I don't notice the rest."

  11. Laurie says:

    I completely agree with you Diana! The other thing I noticed was that all the women chosen for the photos were under 30… They haven't developed age spots and sallow skin. I was in the kitchen the other afternoon, sans makeup. I had no fewer than 4 comments from my family asking if I was well, or tired…. we are a family of 5 and one of those comments came from my husband. And he will swear up and down that he thinks I am more beautiful without makeup. More beautiful; just very tired or sickly possibly?

  12. I am a totally PRO no make up girl! For the few times I have tried to put it on I have felt so dirty…funny but true!
    I probably don't have the prettiest face in the world but hey that is the one the universe gave me so I try to wear it as it is:), and it's really not so bad after all.….

  13. Linda says:

    Yr. mom!

  14. You’re only pretty as you feel.

  15. Katherine says:

    and Ladies…leave your eyebrows alone. Nobody cares.

  16. Yogini5 says:

    I blame my mongoloid eyelid configuration. Don't have that Romaneque eye-crease that many naturally beautiful (even BEFORE eye makeup) women have. Thus, makeup application can take too long.

    Never have a chance to put it on because of that …

  17. Ren says:

    I am 21 and people ask me if I am "tired" all of the time – I haven't touched my face with makeup for days.

    Please do not let people like that stop you from doing what makes you feel comfortable. Most people are just so caught off guard by a makeupless face that they feel compelled to comment. In all reality, of *course* a painted face will make an unpainted face look rougher in comparison.

    In fact, I've heard that the contrast can make you look even more exotic and mysterious than your airbrushed peers. 😉 Your husband is a lucky man.

  18. Ren says:

    By days I meant years! Haha! My mistake.

  19. Ivy Stirling says:

    Make up is art. its not a matter of makeup or no. I wear makeup for a different look, that's all. I like both! LIke high heels or flip flops. Why not both?

  20. All of the women featured about look so much better in the sans makeup pictures. I'll wear a little eye makeup some days (super blonde lashes!) but can't stand the look, feel, or smell of the rest. There are so many different ways to be beautiful…why throw all that paint on and cover it up?

  21. Windi Larson says:

    I only wear makeup when going out to a bar, club, or a date with my husband (mascara, liner, shadow, lipstick), or when going to a big formal event where lots of pictures will be taken, like a wedding or maybe a big fancy party. People complement me on my skin all the time and I get asked what my "secret" is – I don't put crap on my face all the time. I rarely even wash it outside of showering. I use tea tree oil for redness and raw shea butter when it's dry.

    The first thing my husband said to me when we got home from our wedding and I was changing out of my gown was "Honey, you look beautiful, but can you please wash the crap off your face now?" He hates makeup and I love him for it.

  22. Louisa says:

    “the skin is sensitive, absorbent stuff, and unlike food—where your body is set up to process out most toxins—our skin can’t filter out nasty chemicals. And nasty chemicals have been shown to be related to the dramatic increase in cancer over the last 75 years).”

    1) Anything that enters through your skin is going into your bloodstream, where it will be filtered by the liver- the same as any toxins ingested in food. So that’s just completely made up.

    2) Show us peer reviewed studies showing any linkage between modern makeup and cancer rates.

    Please don’t make up science to support your points. I fully support women choosing not to wear makeup, but don’t turn it into a health issue without proof. It’s a social issue.

  23. Amy says:

    I love make up, but the older I get, the less I wear. I find that makeup can age you. So, I enjoy having clear skin, I show my naturally pretty eyes, and I put some shimmery lip balm on to keep my lips from chapping. That way, I don't have a residue on my yoga mat or cell phone. When I make myself up for special occasions, it has more drama because I do less everyday.

  24. […] if you insist in being yourself and staying unfotoshopped, don’t forget to remember (daily) where your real beauty comes […]

  25. h4x354x0r says:

    My wife never wore makeup. I liked that about her. After 25 years, she still doesn't. I still like that about her. 🙂

  26. Marcie says:

    I am an eco makeup artist and have an organic natural makeup website called

    This is an excerpt from an interview I did last year when a very similar question was posed to me 🙂

    MG: What do you say to folks that believe that no makeup is the only green solution?

    Marcie: This is the perfect question for me. I’m not wearing makeup right now. I do not always wear it. I truly do think that beauty comes from the inside and we should feel good and appreciate ourselves the way we look naturally.I also think that makeup is fun to put on. It is ritualistic, meditative and sensual. It is amazing to see the transformation in a woman who takes that special time with herself to cherish herself and enjoy her own beauty. Society has taught us to look outside for examples of beauty, of genius etc. When we treat ourselves with love and kindness we grow our inner beauty. It reflects out to the world. Putting on makeup can be a way of anointing our inner Goddess, being tender with ourselves. In life, to be happy, we must find a balance. We make the best green choices we can…to get back to the question, whenever I hear “the only solution,” my ears perk up. There are so many choices we can make. I think as long as we are intentional andinformed and try to create a beautiful, healthy life, we are going in the right direction.

  27. divka says:

    I wondered if I relied too much on makeup, so I went 30 days without it. No one said much to me about it, other than asking if I was tired more often than not. I found myself missing the makeup not because I felt like I needed it, but because it’s fun to play with. I like using all kinds of different colors on my eyes, and it’s not because I think men will like me better for it; it’s a form of self-expression. And maybe I’m alone in this, but I don’t wear or not wear makeup for the men I may encounter during my day, I wear as much or as little as I want for ME. It’s just as silly to say “men don’t want to you to wear makeup,” as it is to say they do. Do what you do because you want to do it, not because of how the opposite sex perceives you for it.

  28. Yoga has led me to not wear as much makeup, not an intentional thing but in teaching so many classes I wonder at the point! Funny how things work!

  29. Lisa says:

    Love what Marcie above says. My question is: who really cares? Is this more “women wars?”. Looks are an illusion anyway…

  30. […] For more: More Attractive with less Make Up? […]

  31. Paige says:

    The NY Daily News' comment about Katie Holmes sporting no make up and grey hairs as "crossing the line…" that made me feel so angry! I thought she looked very pretty, especially with the wind blowing her hair to frame her face.

    Nasty comments abound on the Daily News site–tsk, tsk!

  32. […] To me, the most beautiful people aren’t the ones who are “flawless.” […]

  33. I gave up makeup first as I was too lazy, then as I didn't want to put chemicals on my skin and now I don't because it just plain looks weird…and it is soo freeing not to worry about. some days I do feel 'frumpy" or like I wish I could change up my look…but then I get over it. I am what I am … this is me. some days I look tired. some days I look radiant…it is what it is and the less I worry about it the better I feel in general. But some women do wear makeup well…so go for it! I miss hair color though…I used to change my hair as often as my …errr…well often :p and some days I look at my grey and think "l'oreal says I'm worth it" and then I remember I'm worthy because I am me!

  34. […] morning I read an article from Take Off Your Fake (Face). It was a simple little article about not using makeup riddled with chemicals to hide your radiance. […]

  35. Giraffe says:

    The lead photo – she is still wearing make up, it is just much more subtle. The photos with the make up are mostly, if not all, red carpet scenarios – where there are going to be lots of lights and flash photography. Any stage or screen actor knows that even in order to look 'normal' or naked faced some make up is necessary – and that's without going glam.
    Natural is beautiful and dressing up is fun. I don't look at these scenarios and feel under pressure to cover up under loads of creams and colours and lash extensions etc. Let's embrace the beauty in whatever form it takes, and value the choices we have.

  36. michelle says:

    Makeup can help accentuate a women’s (or man’s, if the case may be) beauty. It doesn’t mean there isn’t natural beauty doesn’t exist, and that really isn’t the issue. This just seems like another in a long line of reasons pretending makeup doesn’t serve this purpose is….well you can just keep telling yourself that. This issue just seems like another in a long line of ridiculous things to whine and cry and place blame about. Get over yourselves.

  37. @Joanespring says:

    Sounds great and all, and I don't wear make-up most of the time, but to say men don't prefer it is, I think, not quite true. Men also say they care more about "inner beauty" than weight but I know I always get hit on more when I'm wearing make-up and even more often when I drop 10 pounds. I believe men would LIKE to think of themselves as less shallow than that, but in real life, they mostly are. (At least until they are in love.) That's why you often see beautiful women with so-so looking men, but rarely see beautiful men with ugly women.

  38. Jane says:

    I hate to break it to you guys, but those actresses are wearing makeup in all of those pictures. It's just much lighter in the "non makeup" pics.

  39. Jane says:

    And maybe while we're at it, we can stop the running commentary telling women what to do (or what not to do) with their faces. It isn't helpful.

  40. Dawn Wesselby says:

    Hurrah – me too! I wear a little makeup for work – mascara, lippy, occasionally face powder when I'm looking tired or spotty, but often go totally barefaced (or sometimes just a bit of mascara) at weekends. I love to 'glam it up' on a night out somewhere special but I couldn't care less whether men like it or not, its not for them, like you I do it because I like it and I it makes me feel different. I do however use animal friendly products as I hate the thought of a sentient being suffering so I can play with how I look.

  41. Lee says:

    yuk. this 'feature'. there are women on there (the NY Daily site) who just look NORMAL in their 'without make up' shots, who are bashed by whomever-the-unnamed-person-was-that-captioned-the-pictures. and there are some pictures that claim the woman is wearing no makeup, when she so clearly is.
    and there are some women who look down right scary with all the make up they have on, but are celebrated for their look.
    wwwwhhhhaaaa?? make up can be fun, but its just that, a bit of fun. certainly not a 'must' or any of the BS…

  42. elephantjournal says:

    Well, that info comes from Pangea Organics, Josh Onysko. So ask him? I'll ask him, too.

  43. elephantjournal says:

    It matters immensely. Cancer is related to environmental toxins. Who here hasn't lost a loved one to cancer? We can heal ourselves, and our planet, simultaneously. These photos are about health, not judging. These photos are about self-love and acceptance. It's about using "green" make up.

  44. Pamela Grow says:

    I adore makeup; always have. It's so much fun to play with and I'm a very pale ginger and look more vibrant with a little makeup. Judging by all the makeup tutorials on youtube, I'm not alone. Let's all just accept one another, makeup or no makeup. Life's too short to always be judging women.

  45. Jen says:

    I don’t think, personally, that men should comment on woman’s makeup- one way or another. It’s sexist. Woman should wear whatever the heck they want! 🙂

  46. lindaselby says:

    Bravo! Love your take on this subject!!

  47. Nicole Parasida says:

    I'd like to see people stop judging women. Judge women because they look bad without make up, now judge women because they like them without make up. It's still judgment. Just stop. Isn't there a better way to say this than we want to kiss your face and not your chemicals? It's ornamental, women have a right to wear make up if they want to and at the end of the day it doesn't change who they are. STOP JUDGING WOMEN PEROID.

  48. sao says:

    I love makeup and the artistry involved in applying in a flattering, skillful way. I don't care if man likes it or not, I like it and its my choice to wear it. or not. Each to their own, let women choose for themselves.