Scrape off make-up and just be yourself

Speaking as someone whose face is Smurf blue above this column, I’m all for this no make-up selfie craze.

This week, I had the happy task of calling in a group of naturally beautiful staff (I have to say that, for so many reasons) and asking them if they would scrape off the slap for a feature in the paper.

Keith Harrison

The reaction was interesting, to say the least.

Some were immediately up for it.

Some had already done it on Facebook or Twitter.

One looked at me like I was insane – no change there.

And another insisted she couldn’t possibly do it and would rather strip topless.

An offer we politely turned down.

Personally, I’ve no problem with it.

But, as Joe Jackson once said, it’s different for girls.

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Some of the Express & Star team, sans make-up

An old friend of mine once told me that her chap of several years had never seen her without make-up on.

She had a strict routine of lights out before bed then up early the next morning.

She eventually split up with the bloke and I realised that, for all that time, he never even knew what she really looked like.

And neither did I.

My girlfriend is less enthusiastic with the make-up brush and sums herself up thus: “There is no in between; I either look like I’m on the red carpet – or on crack.” To be honest, it’s more often the latter, but at least I recognise her in the mornings.

One of my (many) guilty pleasures is the BBC Three show Snog, Marry, Avoid? which I have to watch purely because I have a teenage daughter. Honest.

Anyway, it takes over made-up women and performs a make under; stripping them of layers of foundation, fake eyelashes, hair extensions, grotty tan, etc. The lot.

Without exception, they ALL look better without it.

And yet, when the show’s super stylish, smart and funny host Ellie Taylor meets up with them a few weeks later . . . most have gone back to their old garish look.

In the name of POD, why? In the extreme cases, it’s clear the make-up is a disguise; a shield to hide behind or create a more interesting persona.

And it’s always sad that these women – and sometimes men – lack the confidence to be themselves.

Especially as the results often show that most of the opposite sex swing from Avoid to Marry when the transformation takes place.

Now I’m not saying this is the case for anyone who dabs on a bit of foundation, but wouldn’t it be nice for people to be able to be themselves without being judged on how good they were with a touch of blusher.

That’s why I think this #nomakeupselfie campaign on Twitter is such a good idea. The fact that it is now raising money for Cancer Research is a bonus.

Keith's effort:

If it gives women the confidence to show off their natural beauty without resorting to the Rimmel look then it can only be a good thing.

And I’ll let you into a man tip ladies; most of us prefer you to be yourselves, not some cross between Dame Edna and Tina from Corrie.

Back to my editorial meeting and someone put forward the most hopeful/ludicrous suggestion of the week: “Ok. We’ll do it if you wear make-up and have your picture in the paper too.”

Yeah, right. Nice try.

I’ve only ever worn make up once and that was when I went to an Adam Ant fancy dress night.

Whoever said ‘ridicule is nothing to be scared of’ clearly hasn’t met my mates . . .