Celebs have access to some of the most talented makeup artists in the world, yet they don’t need all that fuss all the time. Sometimes it feels right to just be bare and makeup-free. Who better to inspire others to ditch makeup for a day than gorgeous celebrities? Many have the same skin issues and flaws as the rest of us, but they still aren’t afraid to share a selfie or other photo with fans and followers. It’s also a good reminder that people don’t actually look how they often appear, perfectly made up and put-together. The cosmetics industry has boomed in the age of social media, with a value of over $500 billion dollars. It’s growing exponentially. Why not take a breather and give your skin a break? Celebrities, from grandmothers to teenagers, have shared some amazing makeup-free selfies over the years and we decided we’d take a look at some of our favorites. It’s not every day you get to see a celebrity in their natural habitat without makeup, so get ready for some candid and natural looks that might just make your jaw drop.
25. Lady Gaga
Pop star Lady Gaga recently shared a makeup-free selfie that shows the singer with pink hair and bleached eyebrows. She captioned the photo partly, “Sushi!!!!” Although we love her dramatic and often costumey makeup, it’s nice for her to share what she looks like beneath those layers.
24. Gabrielle Union
TV personality Gabrielle Union posts makeup-free selfies often and she has the most beautiful freckles across her cheeks. She included with this photo the most relatable caption, “Before caffeine. Just me.” Can we get an amen?
23. Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz
Actors Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz had a mini Charlie’s Angels reunion sans makeup. Both women are in their forties and look absolutely stunning. Drew captioned the photo with the hashtag #SUNSCREENALWAYS. Excuse us while we go grab some SPF 100.
Even out of drag, RuPaul often wears makeup. He shared this selfie with bare skin and looks very different than we’re used to seeing him. He looks very handsome here pre-makeup before going on The Talk.
21. Gwyneth Paltrow
For one reason or another, Gwyneth Paltrow often posts makeup-free selfies online. Usually, it has to do with a skincare product she’s promoting through Goop, but not always! She posted this selfie from her hotel bedroom with the caption, “Home away from home.” We want to feel as relaxed as Gwyneth looks in this beautiful selfie.
20. Tracee Ellis Ross
Actor Tracee Ellis Ross is so completely glamorous and she does a great job of documenting how she gets to peak perfection on her Instagram. She makes sure to post photos and videos of herself and her makeup team and stylists to offer more transparency than most other celebrities.
19. Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez’s skin looks so utterly incredible in this makeup-free selfie. People often use the term “glowing” to describe someone’s appearance and JLo is the textbook example in this photo.
18. Cindy Crawford
Model Cindy Crawford snapped this amazing shot after she went for a swim. She captioned the photo, “Lake life. Apres swim…” Even though she retired in 2000, she’s still one of the most beautiful people on the planet.
17. Jennifer Garner, Sutton Foster, & Beth J. Nicely
Jennifer Garner, Sutton Foster, & Beth J. Nicely are all incredible performers over 40. They posted this post-workout selfie after doing some intense dance moves. How many of us can say we look this radiant after a trip to the gym?
Actress and Singer Zendaya is one of the youngest people on this list at just 23-years-old. She posted this atmospheric selfie last year and it caused a stir. She looks absolutely flawless.
15. Busy Philipps
Actor and TV personality Busy Philipps has been making us laugh since she first appeared on Freaks and Geeks in the late nineties. The mother of two is so incredible online and posts makeup-free selfies often.
14. Ashley Graham
Model Ashley Graham recently welcomed her first child. She shared photos and videos of her going through almost every treatment possible including acupuncture in her face. She is, of course, a model and looks incredible no matter what! She shared this makeup-free photo with the caption, “reality.”
13. Millie Bobby Brown
Actor Millie Bobby Brown just turned 16-years-old and is the youngest person on the list. On her birthday, she released an emotional video about the inappropriate comments she’s received and even being sexualized. She posted this makeup-free selfie a couple of months ago with the caption:
“next year, i hope we can all appreciate how beautiful we all are. its tough with insecurities and being young in an industry that’s so critical but i think self love and care is what i strive for as a person. being u to the absolute fullest unfiltered and truthful. always n forever.”
12. Jamila Woods
Chicago-based singer and songwriter Jamila Woods often appears in photoshoots, performances, and other taped events with minimal or no makeup. We suppose if we looked like this, we would too.
11. Allison Williams
Girls alum Allison Williams debuted her new hair color and style without even bothering with makeup. Why should she? She looks fabulous. According to her Instagram post, “I swore I wouldn’t do this to my hair again…but new movie, new hair.”
10. Naomi Watts
Australian actor Naomi Watts doesn’t wear much makeup when she’s not on set or at an event. She posted this makeup-free selfie before a movie premiere in Germany. She wrote, “About to get dolled up.” It won’t take much because Naomi is flawless.
9. Reese Witherspoon
Reese Witherspoon shared a makeup-free photo of herself and her daughter from a recent ski trip. Reese’s baby blues are popping and somehow her skin looks as good as her daughters? How is that even possible?
Considering she’s one of the most beloved (and richest) women in the world, Oprah has consistently been open about herself. She’s shared her weight loss journey and she gives us glimpses behind the scenes like this to let us know that she is indeed human and just like the rest of us. This photo is such a treasure.
7. Naomi Campbell
The only other Naomi on this list, Naomi Campbell is a drop-dead gorgeous supermodel. She shared this selfie with the popular hashtag: #makeupfree. Her eyes are piercing!
6. Kate Hudson
Actor Kate Hudson is a mom-of-three and has been super relatable about it ever since she gave birth. Apparently, she was taking a much-needed vacation when this picture was taken. She captions the photo with several hashtags, but #everymomneedsabreak stood out!
5. Margot Robbie
Another talented lady from down-under, Margot Robbie shared a video of herself talking about the wildfires that ravaged Australia. She was trying to raise awareness and money to help efforts. Coincidentally, she did this without makeup. She’s major.
4. Cyntia Erivo
Actor Cynthia Erivo posted this photo after being nominated for an Acadamy Award for her turn as Harriet Tubman in Harriet. The no-makeup selfie is full of such beautiful light. She’s so stunning in everything she does! She captioned the post, in part: “Your dreams are never too wild or too far fetched or too anything. They are yours to make come true. They are valid.”
3. Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi
Partners Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi decided to get haircuts before this year’s Golden Globe Awards. While there, they snapped a makeup-free selfie with celebrity stylist Chris McMillan.
2. Sarah Paulson
Sarah Paulson has transformed herself into so many characters over the years, most notably when she portrayed Marcia Clark. For the role, she had do wear a good deal of makeup and an infamous wig. She posted this makeup-free selfie after working overnight. After her night shoot, she removed her makeup and shared the photo with fans and asked them to donate to help animals displaced by wildfires in California. A lot of celebrities are speaking out about wildfires without makeup!
1. Tyra Banks
Model and TV host Tyra Banks has been encouraging women to wear minimal makeup on her Instagram. She says that makeup should accentuate your features rather than cover them up. She posted this makeup-free photo on her Birthday and referred to the look as “raw.”
It’s clear that many celebrities aren’t afraid to show some skin. When you’re famous and are being filmed, there’s generally a team in place to help you look your best. Not many of us have that luxury (or obligation, depending on how you feel about makeup). It’s great to see celebrities when they’re not professionally prepared and instead just being themselves. All of the people on this list look just as impressive without it as they do with makeup. It’s an excellent reminder to fans and followers that beauty standards are often set way too high. Let’s bring them back down to Earth and get real with one another.
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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