There’s no denying that makeup can take you from blah to beautiful in minutes. But, as the saying goes, true beauty comes from within. It could be argued that character and confidence have just as much to do with beauty as a drawer full of foundations, blushes, lipsticks and mascaras. That’s the idea that Gavin Lambert, Hollywood screenwriter, novelist and biographer, presents in his introduction to Paul Starr on Beauty: Conversations with Thirty Celebrated Women.
Transient beauty. While beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, in this day and age, it’s also in the eye of the camera and the makeup artist, Lambert says. He admits that beauty is a transient thing, though, and that the human eye and the camera don’t always agree. Some women who are beautiful in person, as Tallulah Bankhead was, are “simply not photogenic,” he says, whereas others, such as Irene Dunne, are “less beguiling off camera.” For Starr, true beauty comes from character, whether it’s enhanced by makeup or not. “The greatest beauties have character as well as gorgeous, alluring features,” he says, “and the more intriguing the character, the greater the impact of beauty.”
Beauty is an emotion. In fact, without character lighting up a person from the inside, Lambert argues, there is no beauty, just a pretty face. Being beautiful, then, comes not so much from looking good in the eye of the beholder, but from feeling happy and confident in your own skin and from feeling beautiful. This is the message of Dawn McIntyre’s The New 10: 40 Days to Creating a Boldly Beautiful Life from the Inside Out. Being beautiful, McIntyre asserts, starts with creating beautiful thoughts and ecstatic emotions. Developing healthy exercise, diet and personal care routines come a distant second to living an authentic life that embraces and celebrates your individuality.
It’s an attitude echoed by modern natural beauty Drew Barrymore. Barrymore told People magazine that she feels at her most beautiful after a workout when she is “sweating all over the place … and I look like I’m about to have a heart attack.” In contrast, she feels least beautiful “when someone makes a really snap judgment. It just feels below the belt. … You just feel kind of corroded and gross inside.”
Make-up-free beauty. For those of you who want practical actionable tips for looking good without makeup, though, here are some suggestions from supermodels speaking to Bazaar. For Kristen McMenamy, the essentials are moisturizer and yoga; for Cindy Crawford, it’s hiding the signs of aging by caring for your décolletage and using an oil treatment to control hair that isn’t as smooth as it used to be. Amber Valetta swears by sunscreen, Shalom Harlow by homemade egg white and yogurt face masks. Claudia Schiffer thinks it’s all about what goes on in the inside, extolling the virtues of drinking fresh carrot and apple juice or water with lemon and ginger while avoiding dairy and sweets. Helena Christensen, meanwhile, takes her green tea externally as part of her facial.