What would you do if we told you that all the makeup in the world had been taken off the shelves because they posed a threat to your health? Well, we’re going to venture a guess and say that more than half of you would throw a fit, stomp your feet in protest or just break down and sob. For some, they might start making their own makeup at home, while the other minuscule percentage might not be affected by this development at all.

Can you stop for a moment and ask yourself which category you’d fall into? For the most part, nobody would be able to deal with it. And since some of us do have a flair for theatrics, excuse us for being dramatic. The fact remains that most of us won’t step out of our homes without a little lip gloss and eyeliner.

But, would it be that bad if we did? In an attempt to embrace natural beauty, photographer Steve Osemwenkhae took snapshots of over 100 women who dared to go bare-faced. The result: Stunning images of women in all their natural glory—women with captivating eyes, amazing skin tone and gorgeous hair.

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Most women would be ashamed of their naked faces, but consider these benefits of going without makeup:

  • To be honest, you’re saving a lot of money. Most women have a bag full of makeup they hardly use. And you know the importance of throwing out old makeup when they pass their expiration date, right?
  • You give your skin a break from being exposed to products. This means you’re allowing your skin to breathe.
  • Both foundation and cosmetic powders have a drying effect on your skin, making it appear dull, gray and flaky over time. This just propels your skin to develop fine lines a lot quicker, and makes it itchy, leading to inflammation.
  • Formaldehyde, a common component in makeup can severely irritate the skin, causing allergic reactions. In fact, there’s also a whole host of ingredients in your cosmetics that are detrimental to your skin and health.
  • You’re left with more time to do things—take a walk, spend some more time in that warm bath soak, give yourself a hair spa; the possibilities are endless.
  • It sends a positive message. It tells the world that you’re proud of the skin you’re in, and you don’t care what people think.
  • It can reduce skin sensitivity. Makeup is usually a combination of natural extracts and chemicals. This means that it’s going to cause your skin a certain amount of discomfort. If you have sensitive skin, the chances of skin irritations are higher.

The fact remains that we’ve been conditioned to think that we need makeup. To keep up with Victoria’s Secret models and A-listers flaunting the latest shades of lipstick, to become part of the crowd, and not stick out, we are brainwashed into thinking that makeup = beautiful. What Steve hopes to achieve from this series is to get more women to embrace their natural beauty. We hope for the same.

PS: For solutions to suit your specific skin type, head to our Skincare Section.
Also, here’s the latest on what’s trending in the world of Beauty

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Charlene Flanagan is a lifestyle journalist whose love for language drove her to earn her Bachelor’s degree in English literature, as well as pursue her Masters in Arts. Over the last five years, she’s contributed to a number of leading publications, and has particularly enjoyed reviewing books and restaurants, as well as interviewing celebrities. Her recent switch to a holistic lifestyle has her looking at her food choices very differently—although she won’t admit it. When she’s not busy writing up about workouts, home remedies, and skincare essentials, she spends her time being the quintessential city girl who’s excited to see what life has in store for her.