Makeup and confidence have a tightly-knit relationship. For many women, applying makeup isn't just a therapeutic act, it's an empowering one — just like for some women, the act of NOT wearing any makeup is the act of ultimate confidence.
We asked the Revelist Facebook community to share side-by-side photos of themselves with and without makeup, and explain their particular relationship with makeup. And while not all women agreed that makeup brought them confidence, their stories did remind us that everyone's bond with makeup is different (and beautiful).
"After becoming a mom my barefaced days outnumber my makeup days tremendously," she wrote. "There are some days when I have extra time to spare and I’m able to apply make up and those days I feel a total boost of confidence. When I do wear makeup I wear it because I want to. There’s nothing better than passing your reflection and saying to yourself 'dang girl, you look fine today'."
Kathryn Clark, 36
"Makeup is inclusive. It doesn't care about your size, sexuality, politics, or gender. It allows you to transform not only your appearance but your outlook even when you abstain," she wrote.
Marissa Maguffee-Gaines, 27
"First off, I LOVE makeup," she said.
"I love how it can make a girl feel like a million bucks. I love how many different ways there are to be creative with it. What I didnt love was feeling like I HAD to wear makeup. I used to not leave the house without it. I definitely used it as a defense mechanism, I hid behind it. I used to feel like it was the only thing that made me 'pretty'. My bare face barely even made appearances in the shower. It took a long time and A LOT of looking at myself in the mirror and being nice to myself to get where I am today. Make up is not what makes you beautiful. You make the makeup beautiful. It's an enhancer, not a mask. None of us need a mask, we are all unique but perfect. What ya'll do need is a highlighter that can and will blind the aliens when the light hits!"
"I'd like to say that normally I am barefaced, but when I wear makeup it boosts my confidence and helps me to be more social."
"Makeup for me is something I can use to express myself. It's something I can use to accentuate the features that I love and remedy my insecurities. Though I personally love makeup, I feel it is important to feel beautiful with and without it," she wrote.
Cheyenne Harpster, 21
"Makeup isn't what brings my confidence, but is what enhances it," she noted.
Kim Akerman, 43
"I'm happy with or without makeup on," Akerman wrote.
Miranda Valdes, 23
“I truly enjoy both aspects of being barefaced or fully done up," she explained. "Barefaced for me is enjoying myself as is and quietly appreciating my softly shaped features, while make up helps me sharpen them up and present them to the world, letting everyone know: I have arrived.”
Samantha Han, 19
"I love makeup but it’s so important that you’re first comfortable with your bare face," she wrote. "There’s nothing to be ashamed of or apologize for!"
Indigo Anderson-Moore, 24
"As a plus-sized woman, fashion hasn’t ever been a reliable way for me to express myself," she said. "I use makeup as my creative outlet and as a reminder that I can do anything I put my mind to. When I’m getting ready and doing my makeup I am taking time that is just for me and no one else. I used to wear makeup for other people so that I blended in and no one could pick on me for yet another thing I saw wrong with myself. After years of that toxic thought process I love my bare face and only wear makeup when I want to. It can be my war paint or a comforting way to pamper myself. Makeup makes me feel powerful and beautiful."
Lydia Zamora, 26
"Makeup honestly is another art form for me because I am an artist and it allows me to express myself in a beautiful way," she wrote.
Cortney Teller, 30
"Real life... I go to target in sweat pants and an oversized hoodie. I’m lucky if I grab matching flip flops sometimes. Even looking like a hot mess I will always wear makeup. As a mom of two boys, I sometimes struggle with outward confidence now that I’m not 20 anymore," she wrote. "When I wear makeup I feel validated and empowered. My confidence instantly comes back and I’m ready to take on the world, even if my three year-old just wiped boogers on my shirt."
"Makeup just makes me feel like a more presentable version of myself. I can do anything without makeup that I can do with makeup, but I love the boost of confidence that feeling polished gives me," she explained.
Linda Vinther Tønder, 22
"Makeup makes me feel powerful and feminine," she said. "Jessica Torres has taught me to love and take care of myself, which lets me be the most confident version of myself."
Hunter Szigety, 26
"I am comfortable bare faced, flaws and all," she wrote. "For me, makeup is another outlet of self expression. I enjoy being able to change the way I look, in everything from my clothes to my hair and makeup. I love to play around with different colors and techniques."
"I'm 29 and I just started wearing makeup three years ago. I am a queer woman and love how makeup gives me the freedom to present myself how I want. I love both my bare face (butch face) and full face (femme face). I also do drag and love how makeup let's me explore hyper-femininity."
Rita Ramirez, 21
"Makeup makes me feel free," she wrote. "I love that I can express myself and what I’m feeling through makeup, and how confident I am with it. Being barefaced makes me feel very self conscious. I look in a mirror and don’t feel as confident."
Liz Hipshire, 40
"I don't usually wear makeup so when I do it's for a special occasion or a date night with my husband," she explained. "I love taking the time to make it just right making me feel beautiful inside and out."
"Makeup is another form of creative expression for me. I'm in a creative field of work, and it's fun to use the knowledge from my career to make myself feel even more beautiful by combining colors, textures, etc.," she wrote. "It's like art school every day, but with no homework and more freedom! Makeup boosts my confidence and makes me feel like I can conquer this crazy world, and look fly as hell doing so!"
Cristina Babuca McKeever, 33
"Without makeup: I feel super bare (obv), vulnerable and FRESH. At home and with my loved ones, I feel completely accepted and loved! I like to go out bare faced sometimes, just to set the bar low- so when I do wear makeup it’s like WOW!" she wrote.
"With makeup: I’m a creative person by nature, but becoming a mom has taken up a lot of my creative time/space. So the 15-20 minutes I take, for myself, to put on makeup is my current creative outlet! I don’t wear it to HIDE, I wear it to highlight what I love about my face. It’s totally okay to be a little obsessed with your face, hair, makeup!"
"I used to wear more make-up when I was younger but I've found as I've gotten older I'm more comfortable in my natural skin and prefer to wear little to no make-up," she wrote. "I think there is something to be said about letting your natural beauty shine through, something we are taught from a young age we have to hide. It's those imperfections that make us perfectly individual and that's beautiful."
Trish Slade, 44
"I love makeup and fashion as art forms. I often go barefaced, but I am also a huge fan of fantasy makeup looks, bring on the glitter and rainbow colors!" she said. "I love how I can paint my face to reflect my inner sparkle for the world to see!"
Rebekah Mazzarella, 26
"When I was a teenager I would never be caught without makeup," she wrote. "I had horrible acne and low self esteem, makeup was my security blanket. Through many years of highs and lows, I began to love myself and my naked face. And now makeup is way to express myself, not hide myself."
"I am a barefaced beauty. I don’t need makeup to feel beautiful," she wrote. "When I wear makeup I feel ready to take on the world."
Hunter-Ann Stemple, 18
"Make-up to me isn’t a mask over my face to hide flaws from society. It’s more of a way to express who I am before others decide to get to know me," she said.
"For the most part, makeup is more of a fun and artistic thing for me — I like experimenting with new colors and looks at home, and it can definitely be empowering to put on a lip color or a highlight that makes you feel really good about yourself," she wrote.
Marilou LeBlanc, 24
"When I put make up I always feel fearless and in control of my look," she wrote. "I have trouble with acne and make up help me in the past to accept the way I look and fully love myself."
Diana De Guzman, 26
"Makeup accentuates my exotic features and fills me with pride as a beautiful mixed-race woman when I wear it," she explained.
Samantha Chavarria, 31
"I came to makeup later in life during a time when I was having major mental health issues," she wrote. "Learning about makeup and the daily ritual of applying makeup helped give me a sense of comfort during that time. I still spend a lot of time makeup-free, but the confidence I get from trying out a new look are really empowering."
Lauren Gardner Arnell, 36
"Makeup has always been my armor and my biggest form of self expression," she wrote. "It makes me feel powerful. A bold lip and the right eyeliner makes me feel like I can do anything."
Whether you love to wear makeup or only wear it for special occasions, do you!
Your relationship between makeup is yours alone, and there's no right or wrong way to do it!