Barefaced and Beautiful

October 19, 2010

Photo courtesy of Redefining Beautiful

Would you go out in public without any makeup on?

A group of girls from Colleyville Heritage High School in Texas go makeup free every Tuesday. The group of 12 girls started a club called Redefining Beautiful, and they purchased a few T-shirts to wear on Tuesdays to spread their message. One of the club founders, Caroline Tessler, told StyleList, “There is nothing wrong with wearing makeup, but using it as a cover-up to hide your true beauty is something we’re trying to change.” The club has grown to almost 200 supporters since the start of the school year.

In support of the teens from Texas, my co-workers and I went makeup free last Tuesday. I was inspired by the Colleyville girls’ story and raised their issue here at AAUW. I asked my co-workers to refrain from their daily makeup routine and to come to work barefaced. I was surprised at the warm response. Twenty women co-workers (and two men!) joined me to take a group photo and show our natural beauty. Some women (including myself) even pledged to go makeup free every day, even for special occasions.

There have been a wide range of responses to the teens’ campaign, ranging from full support to questioning why teens need to wear makeup at all. Regardless, it is an important issue to raise — do women and girls feel the need to wear makeup to conform to a standard set by Hollywood and fashion magazines? If women don’t wear makeup, are they rebelling against that standard? Or are they like me, trying to save money by not spending upwards of $40 every few months on foundation?

If it is an issue of simply looking good for your partner, most men say less is more. In a study done earlier this year, one in five men say their partner wears too much makeup and one in 10 prefer women to wear no makeup at all.

Women and girls, especially teenage girls, need to feel comfortable in the skin they are in and should be able to express that in any way that fits into their lifestyle. Coming from the girl that used to put toothpaste on pimples at night to reduce redness in time for school the next day, sometimes it is OK to leave the foundation and concealer in your makeup bag and proudly face the world with a flaw, even if it is only for one day.

Do you go without makeup on Tuesdays, Sundays, or every day? Post your makeup-free photos on AAUW’s Facebook and Twitter (@AAUW) and join in on the conversation.

Laura Blyler By:   |   October 19, 2010


  1. Nicole says:

    I love it! Definitely doing that at Solebury! 🙂

  2. Marti Sladek says:

    Good for those Texas girls! (It did strike me that they all appear to be white, thin, blue-eyed, long-haired blonds; I hope the new members are more diverse.) I often go makeup free, and rarely use all the stuff I used to. My new Facebook profile photo is makeup free. But when I go completely bare, my husband, who has said he doesn’t like makeup, inevitably asks me if I feel OK because I don’t look well!

  3. Brenda Blyler says:

    What a beautiful group of women!! No makeup needed!!

  4. Kate Farrar Kate Farrar says:

    Way to go AAUW co-workers!

  5. Kathe Mayer says:

    Neat. Really thinking young women. Most of the time I go makeup free as do my daughter and her partner (both in their 30’s).

  6. Cassandra says:

    This is fantastic!

  7. lisa says:

    Not only beautiful but healthy. Most people are unaware of the toxic-load of the mainstream makeup they wear. Check out… The Environmental Working Group working extra hard to protect families, kids and teens. Girls: go to the cosmetics database at on your make-up wearing days. You’ll be surprise at the research on your favorite products. Natural will be much more appealing every day of the week!

  8. What a beautiful group of girls inside and out! It is critical that girls define what makes them beautiful people and that is what these girls are doing. They are saying I decide what makes me beautiful, I have the power not the beauty industry. Dove report that when girls feel bad about their looks, 70 percent disconnect from life, avoiding normal activities like attending school or even giving their opinion.

    Beauty Mirror iPhone App allows girls to make customized beauty messages so they can define their beauty. We created beauty Mirror because girls need tools in building their self confidence, our app is a great tool as is that these amazing young women in Texas are doing.

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