Earlier this year, we posed that very proposition to StyleList's readers, to the response of over a million page clicks and a long thread of heated comments from both sides of the camp. The concept that inspired the conversation -- called Makeup Free Mondays -- is the brainchild of Alexis Wolfer of The Beauty Bean, and encourages women to skip the war paint one day a week in order to rediscover their natural power of inner beauty.
We even decided to join in on today's makeup free Monday fun too.
Yet many women have expressed trepidation about walking into a board room, a PTA meeting or social event with a totally bare face, for fear of looking unprofessional and undone. Just like any successful beauty look, there are some tricks to rocking a no-makeup day with style and class. We asked Wolfer and New York aesthetician Robin Evans -- another fan of natural beauty -- to share tips and tricks that will give us a glow when there's nothing covering our skin as we face the world.
Lashes. Mascara is the number one product that most women say they won't leave home without, yet curling your lashes can have the same eye-opening effect alone. While Shu Uemura's version is the longtime industry cult fav, Wolfer recommends a $5 steal from Maybelline that she says is just as good.
Diet. When you can't rely on foundation to cover up breakouts, skin sins like soda and sugar overload will visibly dull your complexion. Evans counters damage with a diet high in antioxidants like blueberries, strawberries and other vibrantly colored fruits and veggies, and flushes out toxins with plenty of glasses of water throughout the day.
Lips. It's not color that signals a sexy lip -- it's a moisturized, plump texture that anyone can enjoy with regular exfoliation and hydration. Wolfer recommends a great drugstore steal with SoftLips exfoliating coconut scrub and papaya lip balm. Too busy to get to the store? Make your own treatment at home by mixing sugar with Vaseline. (Click here for more homemade beauty treatments.)
Sleep. There's a reason they call it 'beauty sleep' -- skin heals, repairs and rejuvenates itself during those vital slumber hours -- and if you're not getting enough, your complexion will be the first place to show it. "It's true that you need your beauty sleep...it's certainly how I like to spend my extra no-makeup time in the mornings on Mondays!" says Wolfer.
Brows. The frame of your eyes, a neatly groomed brow can make an otherwise makeup-less face look instantly polished. Wolfer has been dying her brows for years for a bold look, while Evans gently fills hers in with a flowing color marker designed especially for the brows by TouchBack. When shaping your own, always err on the side of fuller instead of thinner to achieve the most natural, flattering look.
A Smidge of Makeup. Yes, makeup free Mondays is all about skipping out on the full face -- but a quick swipe of concealer under the eyes, hydrating lip balm and a sweep of natural-looking bronzer or blush can enliven your look in just seconds flat, without adding the look or feel of makeup to your face. "I have to have a little concealer. I recently tried one from MAC called Pro Longwear Concealer, and it comes in a convenient small little pump. Quite frankly, I'm not sure how I ever lived without it," says Evans.
Click here for more tips to look hot without a ton of makeup.
Now that you're all set to go natural, check out these three women who say life gets better after 40 for more inspiration.