Free your face, and the rest will follow. That is the message reverberating through Hollywood right now, where celebrities have been seemingly forgoing makeup on platforms from their Instagram accounts to major television appearances and photo step and repeats.
Yesterday, Adele shared a bare-faced video on Instagram explaining that, due to a cold, her voice was not in working order for the night’s concert. Though, should her health miraculously recover, judging by the wave of Instagram supporters commenting on how beautiful she looked, she could take the stage without so much as curling her lashes and no one would bat an eye.
It’s a tactic that was put into action by singer Andra Day, who just last week, mid-concert, used a handkerchief—or was it a makeup wipe?—onstage in New York to remove her foundation and lipstick. The gesture has become part of her repertoire. Earlier this year in Los Angeles, she executed a similar move: “I always felt more comfortable with a full face of makeup,” she explained to the crowd as she revealed her clean-scrubbed skin. “As my face got cleaner, my relationships got cleaner.” Day then went on to sing a cover of Kendrick Lamar’s “No Make-Up (Her Vice),” repeating the line “No makeup today, no makeup today.”
The singer follows in the footsteps of Alicia Keys, who, according to the most recent trailers for the new season of The Voice and her most recent DNC appearance, is sticking to her guns on “uncovering” her face, as outlined in a nerve-hitting Lenny Letter on self-acceptance earlier this year. And just over the weekend, perennially polished Gwyneth Paltrow appeared to have stepped right off of the beach and headed to the East Hampton Library’s Authors Night, without adding so much as a stitch of mascara.
Whatever the impetus, the string of occurrences are only getting more frequent, suggesting that a makeup-free movement with staying power is afoot. Whether a happy by-product of summer’s relaxed attitude or a thoughtful act of feminism, each makeup-free moment alleviates the mounting pressure on female celebrities, and, perhaps, women in general, to be perfect. In Keys’s words, “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.” Now, it seems, no one else has to either.
Posted by: APL Cheeks