By Arden Edelcup (aka: “The Beauty Babe”)
“Even I don’t look like Cindy Crawford in the morning.” — Cindy Crawford
While 50 Shades has been on everyone’s mind, here’s the Other Story that women nationwide are talking about.
This past week, an “unaltered” photo from 2013 of Supermodel Cindy Crawford in a black bikini for Marie-Claire was leaked, unveiling the 49-year-old’s “flawed” body. The unretouched stretch marks spanning Crawford’s stomach reveal the beautiful battle scars of two pregnancies, just like the rest of us! Like millions of women across America, I felt nothing short of pure, unadulterated joy at the sight of that photo. Needless to say, by revealing her “truth” in that single magnificent perfect photo, she gave all of us a wondrous gift that is truly priceless.
And there it was: A beautiful woman who is just as beautiful WITH her imperfections, and perhaps even more beautiful BECAUSE of her imperfections.
Not surprisingly, Molly Sims, a 41-year-old model also launched a book entitled, The Everyday Supermodel in which she “bares her makeup free face and her truth”. She also reveals all of the work it takes to achieve her supermodel face. From Botox to Thermage laser treatments, she is your gorgeous-yet-honest friend, who wants you to know that she once had nasty acne too. This book of personal revelations again reflects the cultural trend towards applauding gorgeous women who let us see them with their “naked face.”
Getting naked and stripping down to the bare essentials is this year’s beauty mantra. It’s a ‘Yes, This is how I really look in the morning’ moment.
From the runways to the movies, the “au natural” look is definitely the new black. The move toward minimal has been brewing for a couple of seasons, and has certainly been a byproduct of social media as well. Celebrities proudly Instagram makeup-free selfies, and cosmetic companies are taking notice. In other words: FLAUNT THE FLAWS!
Products such as BB and CC Creams with their dewy natural finish, are replacing thick oily foundations that “cover” your flaws. Hello to glistening cheek tints and adios to clown-colored blushes.
What is really going on here? Some experts are saying that Millennials are more focused on skincare and an overall commitment to fitness. After a spiritual yoga class, most women don’t feel like whipping out their makeup bag to “put on their face”.
Is this really about eyeliner and lipstick, or rather a universal shift inward toward revealing our authentic selves, the core of who we really are.
Jennifer Aniston ‘s raw performance in the movie “Cake” has been lauded in part because she did not wear a stitch of makeup. Every pore and wrinkle was exposed for the world to see. She commented that playing this character, was “dreamy and empowering and liberating”. Ditto for Reese Witherspoon in the gritty movie, “Wild”. In both cases, the characters demanded a face that accurately portrayed the hardships they endured. And while each performance was riveting, the media focus on their “bravery” is a bit over-the-top. These women did not gain 100 pounds or shave their heads, they merely washed off their faces and revealed the authentic identity of the characters they were portraying.
Yet, in the beauty-obsessed culture of Hollywood, the message is clear that it is “brave” for aging actresses to reveal their flawed faces. And perhaps, they are right.
And while I know that I could laser my face with magical crystals and never look like Molly Sims, I do appreciate the honesty. And that is exactly the point. Revealing our “naked” faces is a sort of bravery. We have been glossing those lips, coating those eyelashes, and concealing those zits since we went to our first junior high dance. Maybe revealing those sparse little lashes to the world is akin to revealing our emotional truth. Or maybe our truth lies somewhere in between. How about we find a way to enhance what we have in a more subtle way? Perhaps we can gloss those lips but not buy into the hype that we can magically “plump” them a la Angelina Jolie.
Let’s instead applaud and embrace the “naked” trend with innovative products that can reveal the “everyday supermodel” within all of us:
1. Bye-Bye Foundations, Hello Beauty Balms (aka BB Creams): From Laura Mercier to Revlon, beauty balms truly began the trend toward “revealing not covering” your face. They are a blended hybrid of skincare, foundation and sun block. My fave is Miracle Skin Transformer, by Sarah McNamara. This is the innovative BB cult classic that literally glides on like silk, is lighter than foundation, and provides SPF protection. Like a reliable friend with good advice, this little tube is always there for me when I need her!
2. Drop the Tweezer, & Embrace Your Brows: Plucking those brows obsessively is a hard addiction to break, yet I promise you will be happy you let those little guys grow. Repeat after me, “If I have a beautiful brow, I can bravely face the world with no other piece of make-up on”. Aliza Brill, corrective brow guru, and owner of “Pluck You” is passionate about this mantra. She has seen brow miracles when clients use Nutraluxe Brow Growth Serum to stimulate those abused little follicles. And everyone can benefit from a brow powder to fill in sparse areas.
3. Nude Lips Don’t Need to be Naked: We all feel pretty with a little lipstick on, and the perfect nude color just maximizes the prettiness of your whole face. There is truly a nude color for every skin type. For those of us who feel truly naked without slathering on our frosty pink lip gloss, I promise that your lips will feel liberated and so will you!
4. Show Some Skin to the World: The better you feel about your skin, the less compelled you will be to cover it up with gobs of makeup. Unlike the smelly Noxzema creams our mothers slathered on, many of today’s skincare products are actually pharmaceutical-grade retinols, peptides and vitamin C products. These are hard-working skincare superheroes and they should be part of your life. Keep your night time routine simple with a retinol like Obagi 1.0 Retinol. In the morning, add a skin brightening Vitamin C serum like Skinmedica C+E, and finish with any moisturizer with an SPF 20 or above.
In all honesty, it remains to be seen if this #nomakeup #nakedtruth trend is just another marketing effort from the beauty industry, or if it’s truly a cultural movement towards self-acceptance. Either way, for me the end result is the same: Today I feel a little better about my exquisitely flawed naked body, and I have Cindy Crawford to thank for that!
Lisa Barr, Editor of GIRLilla Warfare: Arden Edelcup is a Mom of three “Indiana Hoosiers” and owner, with her hubby Earl Edelcup, of Ross’s in Highland Park, Illinois. Check out her website: www.rosscosmetic.com.