Grin And Bare It
AT this year’s Oscars, Kim Novak, 81, and her looks were the talk of the red carpet. Many were stunned by her appearance, and cruel comments were made online towards her ‘shocking’ plastic surgery.
In true sisterhood style, novelist Laura Lippman uploaded an ‘unflattering’ photograph of herself without make-up to Facebook in support of Kim, inspiring other women to do the same. Hundreds of women posted selfies taken in the least flattering angles, with bad lighting and without the use of Photoshop, hashtagging the photos as #itsokkimnovak.
Now Kim, who cemented her acting career by playing the lead role in Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, has undergone cosmetic surgery and although she admittedly looked naturally beautiful without it, no woman should have to deal with inconsiderate criticism towards their looks. It’s no wonder women are so conscious about their weight and image these days with online trolls making snide remarks about how so-and-so looks. Famous or not, we all have insecurities.
I have always dreamed of having flawless, baby-soft skin and haven’t stepped foot outside the door without my foundation or mascara applied since I was fifteen. Actually that’s not entirely true – I have been outside my house without ‘my face on’, but only when I’m 100% certain nobody is around to witness and in the event I do hear somebody close by, I quickly find myself a nifty hiding spot. In my view, my naked face reveals horrendous bags under my eyes, huge red spots on my chin which have been there for as long as I can remember and pale skin which could possibly cause me to be mistaken for a cousin of Casper.
But would other people be as focused on these so-called faults as I am? I grabbed my face wipes and put the challenge to the test by walking around Cardiff without my beloved cosmetics applied for a few days.
My first attempt at walking out of my flat with a fresh face was disastrous to say the least. It was Wednesday morning and I had to work for the day. After showering and getting dressed, I still had an hour to spare before I began, so decided to apply the teeniest amount of mascara to help me look awake. That’s not cheating, right? I found myself ‘needing’ a touch of concealer here and there and was soon deciding my eyebrows needed filling in. Eventually, I was leaving the house with a done-up face – failure.
On Thursday, I decided I would simply roll out of bed, just get dressed and avoid any contact with my mirrors. I will admit I did glance in the mirror once (I didn’t want to look like a complete scruff) but there was no make-up used in this process. I could feel my heart beating as I left the house and wandered around the shops in Cardiff. I was constantly paranoid people were staring at my face.
Being served at shop counters, I constantly wondered to myself if the cashier was staring at my puffy eyes and spotty chin but then I realised she actually has to look at her customers to acknowledge them. For hours, I silently prayed I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew but as I walked around, I gradually forgot I had a bare face. Nobody else seemed too bothered about it either and I reached the theory that anybody who looked at me was doing it for the same reason I was looking back at them – curiosity to see who was passing by.
On day three I was beginning to enjoy the idea of getting up 10 minutes before I left the house rather than an hour beforehand, although I was starting to miss getting done up. Unfortunately, my face didn’t stay bare after day three – I gave in and got hold of my foundation brush. I’m just glad I didn’t make a pact to give make-up up for Lent!
To some people, wearing no make-up in public may not seem like a huge deal. But I love having it on and it does make me feel confident and girly. Is there really any harm in sticking on some blusher and mascara if it makes you feel good about yourself? Make-up or not, you’ll still be talking to the same person.
I do go for a more natural look during the day but for a night out, I like go a bit heavier and add false eyelashes and fake tan. I think women should avoid the ‘too much make-up look’ during the day. I think there is nothing worse than a caked-on face of make-up.
I couldn’t imagine my life without it but being slap-free is not something I would rule out from time to time. We should embrace the skin we’re in and let all criticism just slide by. Chances are, the faults people are quick to point out in you are the insecurities they actually have themselves.
Photo c/o hdpaperwall.com