The bare face of £8million



What on earth is natural beauty? How much foundation, bronzer, mascara, moisturiser and anti-wrinkle serum does it take to be classed as looking beautiful, or classed as looking like a complete disaster…

Make-up seems to be the barrier that enables women to express confidence and sass, however, defining normal and defining extreme is trickier than drawing on eyebrows that match.

Following the recent social media storm of the #nomakeupselfie, BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour had  presenter Jane Garvey speak with feminist Liz Jones who writes for the Daily Mail, and writer

and editor of the Feminist Times Charlotte Raven, about whether there is still too much inane focus on how we look.

Charlotte gave the impression that nowadays, ‘normal’ means more than being fresh faced and au natural.

She said: “The bar for what is seen as normal has now been raised, so, looking very well maintained, looking well groomed, looking very well turned out; now normal.”

The #nomakeupselfie that rapidly trended and became a successful campaign for Cancer Research UK proved that natural beauty beneath make-up shouldn’t be hidden; posting a bare-faced picture online is a huge deal for some who don’t feel comfortable natural.But is it what you look like that is most important? Is it the case of the more eyelash volume and the thicker the powder, the better you look?

The impact of celebrities contributing to the ‘no make-up selfie’ has affected and raised discussion mainly with the image of self-conscious women.

Liz Jones recently wrote in a Daily Mail article that celebrities who have put bare-faced snaps of themselves online, such as Holly Willoughby, Julia Roberts and Demi Moore, are not as ‘bare-faced’ as they seem.

Despite this campaign, which was started by the public, not Cancer Research UK, raising over £8 million in just six days, Liz said: “Their lashes have probably been dyed and enhanced with extensions, brows tinted, skin tanned. That luscious, artfully tousled hair has been dyed a fetching shade, kept in perfect condition — and often supplemented with extensions.”

During Woman’s Hour, Liz Jones said make-up is her life, and she doesn’t even let her husband see her without make-up on.

She said: “I published a picture in the daily mail of what I looked like in the morning and I looked like a blowfish – puffy, and pink cheeks, and no eyes, no lips, and I think women who are now saying we don’t need all this artifice, it’s quite arrogant really, because most of us need it.”

In response to this bitter angle I wanted to find out more, by asking three very different female students their response to make-up and how altering their daily regime would impact them and their confidence.

20-year-old Hannah Dodsworth loves make-up, and spends the majority of her morning perfecting the flicks of her eyeliner and completing her unique look with one of her hundreds of colours of lippy.

She said: “I moisturise then put foundation on, then quite a lot of eye make-up, depending on how much time I have and what I’m doing that day.

“I like having flicks on my eyes and when I don’t have them it doesn’t feel like I’ve quite finished my face.”

Hannah agreed she would go without make-up for a day, though she’d prefer to wear it especially when going out.

She said: “It’s good to give your skin a break, but it always comes down to who you’ll see or bump into!

“I didn’t feel confident posting my #nomakeupselfie, but I don’t care as it was for a great cause.”

18-year-old Rebecca Cannings wears make-up all the time, unless she’s at home.

She said: “I have no idea why I wear it, I just do.”

Rebecca revealed she probably wouldn’t go out of a night if she wasn’t fully made up: “It’s all part of going out, putting your make-up on and looking nice.”

18-year-old Ashleigh Mann lives with a house full of boys, so has never been bothered about wearing make-up.

She said: “I only wear it when I go on a night out.

“I don’t wear it if I’m going into University or popping to the shops during the day, but you wouldn’t see me on a night out without it!”

These three normal women, not celebrities, just your average students, agreed that no matter how comfortable or how self-conscious you may be, there is no taking away from the fact that the #nomakeupselfie trend was a huge step for a lot of women, and breaking the habit of a lifetime for a charitable cause was a success.

Chief executive of Cancer Research UK, Harpal Kumar, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing us through the #nomakeupselfie.

“It is phenomenal to think the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn’t have the money for six days ago.”


This is a film that illustrates why these three female students wear make-up, and how make-up plays a massive part in the life of older generations.


A Vox Pop around Teesside University campus, on what guys think about women and the ‘Au Natural’ look…

from Tside