Are Women Who Don’t Wear Makeup Lazy?

An article in the Financial Times — “Bare-faced chic” by Bethan Cole — got me thinking. According to Cole, successful women of all stripes — from Hilary Clinton to Anna Dello Russo — are appearing in public without makeup and she connects it with bravery, efficiency and being taken seriously in the workplace.

But not everyone is such a fan of going “bare.” Cole quotes Nicola Moulton, health and beauty director of Vogue U.K.: “I’ve never really bought into the idea women who don’t wear much makeup are actually the most confident ones. There’s laziness, there’s lack of skill and there’s not knowing what to buy, which could all be factors.”

Moulton, by the way, makes an effort to wear tinted moisturizer, blusher and bronzer — all geared toward making her look like she’s not wearing anything on her face.

I find these kinds of articles amusing, mostly because I can rarely be bothered to apply makeup before 6 p.m. (I work from home and often can’t drag myself into the shower before noon). This may sound luxurious, but it can backfire when I’m out running errands with my non-sexy bed head, sleep creases all over my face and some weird combo of winter boots and yoga pants. That’s usually when I run into my neighbourhood crush. I think about Nora Ephron’s edict to never leave the house without eyeliner just in case you run into an ex all of the time.

But I digress. One of the things I like about not wearing makeup, and being a bit of a schlub during the day, is it makes me feel like I’m playing dress up when I actually clean myself up to go out at night.

But Moulton’s comment about laziness and lack of skill rings a bell with me. I often can’t be bothered to wear mascara and a little blush during daylight hours, even though I feel better walking around when I put a little more effort into my appearance.

And because I was raised by a mother who never wore a speck of makeup — and is completely gorgeous without it — I never grew up experimenting with lipsticks and eyeliners and have limited knowledge when it comes to those girly things.

So what do you think? Does makeup affect how you feel about yourself? Do you ever go bare?

Want to learn more about applying makeup? Check out these tips to get a fresh-faced look in 10 minutes (one that’ll last you all day!).

A Review of the Editor:

I definitely agree that there can be an element of laziness for myself (I’m a medical student), but not a lack of skill – my mother is a make-up artist and I seem to have the genes for it too. But recently I started going au-naturel because it just felt better to stop hiding, and feeling like I wear a mask (which without it, I must look horribly hideous, was the line of thinking). It also, as you say, makes it more fun to go out and get glammed up. I’ll sometimes wear mascara and lip balm (both all natural) just to have a bit more pep or feel like I put in some effort, but substituting my foundation and tinted moisturizer for Body Blitz’s Argan Oil has already made a ton of difference in the health of my skin. I also feel like, as a future ND, my skin and body should be healthy enough to not need make-up, but that’s not always the case.