We live in a world of gotcha journalism. Paparazzi can make beaucoup bucks selling photos of stars without makeup on — because, heaven forbid they be seen in such a state! This tabloid fodder has made being snapped sans cosmetics seem like the kiss of death (unless it's a well-composed selfie, of course). But, in reality, we all know that both women in the public eye and us normal folk regularly go without "faces" on. It's just not always splashed across the front page of a glossy.
So, we decided to take the narrative back. Let's put the power back in the hands of the women who are made to feel as though their unmade faces are something to hide. We asked seven ladies in the spotlight — none of whom had ever had a professional barefaced photograph taken (at least not on purpose) — to step in front of the camera. We asked them to come in with the makeup they usually wear, snapped a shot, and then had them take it off for the "after." At the end of the shoot, we asked them how it felt. Their reactions varied, but one thing was clear: Makeup can be transformative, but taking it off can be equally so.
Click through to see these well-known women chuck their makeup — and the poignant results.
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Photographed by Terry Gates; Hair by Adam Maclay; Makeup by Anna Webber; Styled by Alison Mazur