There’s no questioning the power of makeup, especially in Hollywood. But ever since staying at home became more commonplace than hitting the red carpet, celebrities have leaned into sporting a bare, fresh face on the daily—and sharing it with the world.
Pandemic Pause Sees Beauty Shift
If COVID gave us anything, it was the chance to slow down and reflect on things like aging and beauty standards, prompting a huge surge in the aesthetic industry as people jumped at the chance to finally get procedures and treatments again. That said, we’ve also seen a cultural shift towards talking about and reflecting on aging in Hollywood and how we see women as they age. These celebrities have helped shape that conversation as they go without makeup to inspire, empower and spark conversation. Flooding Instagram with real looks at real skin, we’re bringing you the best in makeup-free posts. Here, 17 celebrities who make skin over 50 look better than ever.
Celebs on Instagram Go Makeup Free
Bethenny Frankel, 52
“I thought it was time for a no hair no makeup VERY CLOSE UP 52 year old selfie,” shares Frankel on Instagram in the caption, looking fresh-faced and fresh-from-the-shower. “With so much discussion about the unrealistic images of women this age on magazine covers and in media, we need a reminder that it’s okay. It’s ok to be too tired to exercise. It’s ok to have dark circles from a bad night’s sleep. It’s ok to not feel pressure to present ourselves as something we’re not and it’s okay to age.”
We couldn’t agree more.
This bare skin look at Frankel shows us not only the power of the makeup-free selfie, but demonstrates how naturally beautiful aging is.
Gabrielle Union-Wade, 50
The queen of multi-tasking, Union-Wade applies a sheet mask while having a vulnerable conversation about the challenges of motherhood with her Instagram friends. “One thing about motherhood it’s full of constant surprises,” Union-Wade writes. “To any parent second guessing or feeling lost just know you’re doing an amazing job and keep learning”
Sharing this kind of wisdom while wearing a bare face on the internet and explaining her wig is from the day before is an intimate, incredibly relatable moment. Linking these moments to the beauty world not only let’s us see behind the makeup in a literal sense, but also gives space for the real struggles that come with motherhood.
And yes, Union-Wade’s makeup-free skin is basically perfect.
Julianne Moore, 62
She may be showing off her “Just Voted” sticker and urging her followers to do the same, but all we can see is Moore’s flawless, poreless complexion.
This makeup-free selfie isn’t just a gorgeous image, it’s also a call to get involved and participate, all while encouraging natural beauty.
Gwyneth Paltrow, 50
While penning a heartfelt birthday wish to son Moses, Paltrow shared this makeup-free snap complete with windswept hair and sunkissed skin.
Jennifer Lopez, 53
“Long set days call for a consistent skincare routine,” Lopez captions this up-close-and-personal video shared with her followers outlining her post-shower routine. “That JLo Glow Serum is my glow-to ride or die.”
Dame Helen Mirren, 77
She may now be sporting a much longer hairstyle than she was in this snap, taken a couple of years ago, but Mirren’s skin looks as youthful as ever.
Julia Roberts, 55
From her natural waves to her no-makeup skin, we couldn’t love Roberts more. She captures the not-a-celebrity celebrity look while rocking bare skin beauty.
Cindy Crawford, 57
She may be testing out those “trauma bangs,” but we’re laser focused on her smooth skin from head to toe.
Sandra Oh, 51
Going without makeup is easy if your skin is as well cared for as Oh’s. Ageless and radiant, Oh has conquered skin care, and she’s sharing her tips.
Oh’s secret to plump, wrinkle-free skin? An off-the-radar hyaluronic acid serum and at-home LED light. (More on her favorites here.)
Halle Berry, 56
Captured the day before the Oscars, we can’t blame Berry for feeling herself with this flawless complexion. This makeup-free bathroom selfie is an iconic moment, and we’re still anxiously waiting for the skin care routine to drop.
Kris Jenner, 67
Taking to Instagram stories to share her nighttime skin-care routine (SKKN by Kim, naturally) the ultimate momager shows off her plump and glowing skin.
Paulina Porizkova, 58
Beginning 58 “with nothing but sunshine and a smile,” Porizkova is beaming in her “#nofilter” birthday post. Showing a makeup-free face and natural graying locks, Porizkova makes aging look easy, looking as toned as ever.
Michelle Pfeiffer, 64
She may love poll workers, but we’ll take whatever Pfeiffer’s been having for that plump skin at 64.
Pfeiffer is a vision in this makeup-free selfie, joining many celebrities encouraging followers to vote on Instagram.
Christie Brinkley, 69
Rocking radiant skin and a glowing smile, Brinkley is always on our minds. She wasn’t the face of Covergirl for 25 years for no reason, and this ageless selfie proves it. Lucky for us, Brinkley is an open book when it comes to her anti-aging playbook. Read on for her tips here.
Kelly Ripa, 52
Reporting for Easter duty without a pinch of makeup on, Ripa is joined by husband Mark Consuelos with a complexion as radiant as ever. We’re used to seeing Ripa all dolled up on the set of the morning talk-show Live!, so getting a glimpse at her natural skin texture is kind of a big deal. Going without makeup for a charming Easter selfie. Ripa is absolutely glowing with hydrated, dewy looking skin.
Salma Hayek, 56
Ringing in the new year with gratitude and a picturesque background, Hayek reminds us that taking time to slow down and enjoy life is a key secret to aging gracefully.
Taking time to go without makeup can also be a great way to achieve a moment of peace, especially if you have skin as flawless as Hayek.
Tracee Ellis Ross, 50
Looking fabulous in her cheetah bikini, Ellis Ross shared a handful of mirror selfies putting both her rock-hard body and gleaming skin on full display.
Mature Skin Without Makeup Redefines Beauty Standard
Alongside looking great and and aging flawlessly, these women have also contributed to changing a narrative surrounding women as they age. By posting their skin without makeup on platforms like Instagram, these celebrities are also combating a deep stigma against older women being beautiful and confident. Just like there’s a standard for older women to cut their hair short, our society tends to make older women ‘matrons’ rather than allowing them to own their own image, sexuality and beauty to be whatever they want at any age.
Having beautiful skin certainly helps the process, but all of these women are also showcasing vulnerability by going without makeup online, encouraging us to view them as real people with real skin, and hopefully helping our own self-image a bit along the way.