Imagine putting your selfie out in the universe for millions of people to see. Even if you’re lying in bed and have a social media following of just 30 of your closest friends, it’s hard not to want to grab your compact, liner and blush and go to town on your face. That’s why when celebrities share their #nomakeup photos on the web, everyone bows down and immediately labels it as a “brave” move. Brave or not, it doesn’t hurt to have a flawless face to begin with, like Gwen Stefani and Alicia Keys, two celebs who’ve recently shared their bare-faced images with the world and still look better than ever.
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Gwen Stefani’s social media posts are rife with photos of the singer’s signature makeup look and experimental styles she’s donned for a performance or upcoming summer tour. But on both her Instagram and Snapchat, she isn’t afraid to go bare-faced and share her look with fans. This recent Snapchat image that she has gotten a lot of attention for showcasing how flawless she looks with absolutely nothing on her face. It’s refreshing to see a celebrity who is known for her beauty and style embrace the au naturel look.
Alicia Keys has also ditched the face paint for a photo shoot for the cover of her upcoming album. In an essay written for Lenny Letter, the singer describes how writing her new album led her to the revelation that she was tired of striving for perfection in order to fit into society’s standards of what a woman is supposed to look like. Keys wrote: “In one song I wrote, called ‘When a Girl Can’t Be Herself,’ it says, In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem. No disrespect to Maybelline, the word just worked after the maybe. But the truth is…I was really starting to feel like that—that, as I am, I was not good enough for the world to see.”
The singer describes how a last minute decision by her photographer to shoot her sans makeup helped her gain a new perspective. She writes that although she felt nervous and uncomfortable, those feelings began to subside and were replaced by a new sense of authenticity. “It was just a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately relating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic circulating,” wrote Keys. “And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.” Exposing all of your perceived imperfections and flaws for the world to see is an extremely difficult thing to do, but now Keys says she wouldn’t have it any other way. “I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”