Your #nomakeupselfie pictures - E&S raising money for Cancer Research UK

No, this is not a police appeal – it’s the women of the Express & Star sans make-up.

We’ve grabbed the cleansing wipes and cotton wool and taken it all off in the name of charity. Gulp.

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There may be a bit of clever lighting and serious pouting going on but, hand on heart, we’re mascara-less. And mortified.

The #NoMakeUpSelfie phenomenon has swept social media quicker than Flappy Bird – and helped Cancer Research UK raise £1 million in under 24 hours.

Not bad going seeing as it started life as the fundraiser that wasn’t raising any funds and the awareness campaign no one was aware of.

And we want you to send the Express & Star your selfie – for the first 100 we receive we will donate £3 to the charity.

Here's where you can see the pictures as they come in on Twitter

The original pics that began popping up this week proclaimed to be in aid of raising cash and profile for research into cancer – but there was no sign of either.

How were the photos raising money? What charity was this in aid of? Was this just an exercise in vanity? Had the whole world missed the point?

Thankfully, Cancer Research UK came to the rescue. Even though it had nothing to do with it, the charity soon whipped everyone into shape by pointing people in the direction of text number 70099, where they could donate £3 by sending the word BEAT. It also backed the girls who had taken part so far, saying it was all for anything that got people talking about the big C.

And it has even sparked a male version with men posting pictures of themselves on Facebook and Twitter donning blusher and bright red lipstick.

Today, nine Express & Star girls added their make-up free faces to the fundraising campaign. And we want you to send us your selfie – and for the first 100 we receive we will donate £3 to the charity.

Chief sub editor Melissa Coombs admitted it was a nerve-wracking experience going make-up free. The 34-year-old said: “I would not let anyone see me without make up normally but lots of my friends and family have been affected by cancer. In the last two days my Facebook has been flooded with selfies. It’s worth it if it raises awareness.”

Meanwhile Weekend editor Emily Bridgewater, aged 33, said she was surprised by how popular the no make-up selfie craze had become.

She said: “I only heard about the craze when I logged on to Facebook a few days ago. And it was actually a male friend who had posted a photo of himself with make-up on. I think it’s for a fantastic cause. Posing with no make-up hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. It’s all for a good cause. My granddad died from cancer quite a few years ago. I’m in support of it all.”

Assistant chief sub editor Sally-Anne Youll, 42, was nominated by friends to pose make-up free and posted her picture on Facebook.

She said: “A couple of my friends did it and I decided to go for it as well. I don’t wear much make up anyway so it wasn’t that big a deal, but it’s all for a good cause. I’ve known many people who have been affected by cancer.” Chief news editor Becky Woods said: “I avoided putting my picture on Facebook so I wasn’t over the moon about having it in the Express & Star.

“But one of my best friends is battling breast cancer, so ditching the slap for charity is nothing compared to what I see her going through.”

Celebrities have also been getting involved.

Jane Redman, West Midlands spokesman for Cancer Research UK, said the craze had been sweeping the nation in the past few days. She said: “Since yesterday, we have received more than 800,000 text donations and raised over £1m as part of the #nomakeupselfie Twitter and Facebook trend which is fantastic news.”

See also: Selfie windfall for cancer charity