High maintenance beauty, like hair extensions, false lashes, and extreme anti-aging treatments, are losing popularity to a more authentic concept of beauty. From wrinkles and bushy brows to age spots, frizzy locks, and acne—being the real you has never been more beautiful.
According to recent study of the cosmetics industry, women want to move away from more “artificial looks.” Forty-five percent of consumers reported that they want their looks to reflect their age and 55 percent believe that beauty ideals represented in advertising are unrealistic.
“Real beauty” is often characterized as the “no-makeup” look: fresh-face, big eyes, and rosy cheeks. Of course, this look is often achieved with actual makeup, just formulas that promise more natural-looking results.
The influence of nothing-to-hide beauty is popping up in the media, too. From Elle to Harper’s Bazaar, people are fascinated with Cindy Crawford’s “un-retouched” photos for Marie Claire, which we now know are fake but supposedly exposed the “flaw” of a normal stomach. The viral post helped women feel empowered by seeing a the familiar body take stage, unabashed and unafraid. When questioned about the photo, the former supermodel responded, “I really think—at any age—it’s learning to be comfortable in your own skin.”
Another recent article remembered Joan Rivers while demonstrating that attitudes toward women and beauty have changed. The New Yorker observed that shortly before her death, the comedian harshly criticized Lena Dunham of Girls for her weight. "Joan Rivers’s reflexive emphasis on marriage and weight, her hard-bitten advice for surviving in a man’s world, seemed almost naïve in the context of Dunham’s fourth-wave-feminist exhibitionism."
Our grandmothers may have been embarrassed to step into the grocery store without “putting on their face” or perfecting their beauty parlor up-do, but many women today are happy to keep a relaxed beauty routine that enhances their natural assets, rather than mask perceived imperfections.
“If women would treat themselves with the same kind of love they give to their friends, that would be such a great gift we could give ourselves,” said Crawford. “What makes you the most attractive is self-confidence. That’s what people see.”
That said, the MVP of an au naturale look is that complexion: glowing, radiant skin that frames your unique features. From celebrity Instagrams to the Marc Jacob’s runway, bare faces are being flaunted and celebrated. Even if you’re not strutting down a catwalk this season, hop on the smart side of the trend and aim for long-term results. The quickest, easiest way to feel sexy in a nude look: trade in that makeup bag for some proper skincare.