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#NoMakeUp:who are these girls who don't wear makeup?

#NoMakeUp:who are these girls who don t wear makeup? Those who do not wear makeup (or anymore) wear their face with modesty and tranquility. Naked. Added to a current that advocates a return to nature. What does this translate? Decryption.

Going out without makeup, for many women, is an inconceivable idea. Without their mascara, their blush, their rouge, they feel naked, naked, vulnerable. Others, on the contrary, have never considered make-up, or very little. As if living with these layers - - sometimes thick - was a lack of spontaneity, a pretense, a mirage. In this world invaded by selfies and their artifices, these women claim naturalness and don't care that we can discern their dark circles, their wrinkles, their "flaws". They offer another model and resist the injunctions of an ultra-refined society. They belong, without wanting it, to the broad movement of "without make-up" (or no make-up)

20% of French women followers of no make-up

For the philosopher Bernard Andrieu, who worked for a long time within the observatory of the Nivea brand on the change in behavior of the French in relation to the body, "we are witnessing a return of the natural spirit, a little hippie of the 70s , but here recomposed with a desire for glamour. It is a process of self-intensification, a way of wilding one's body, of feeling it alive. Some are leaving the surface to go towards the depths."

This withdrawal from make-up is now shared by 20% of French women*, all ages combined.

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Makeup, a mimetic mother-daughter transmission

But where does this relationship to artifice come from? "It often finds its origin in mother-daughter transmission, analyzes psychologist Diana Odon-Baylac. Our mother tells us, through what is called 'silent education', how to be a woman. The young girl will build herself then often in mimicry, sometimes – but more rarely – in opposition.

Guilaine, 26, creative director with a post-adolescent face, has never really succeeded in appropriating these tools of feminine culture.

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"My mother did not wear makeup and raised me as a boy until I was 12, to the point of making me wear dresses as a punishment, remembers the young woman. In college, all the girls wore gloss , so I followed the trend, but obviously mine exploded in the back pocket of my jeans. To this day, my mother has never seen me in makeup, because I never present myself to her that way , and when I meet her gaze, when I observe myself in the mirror, I make a face on purpose. No doubt it's because I can't take my femininity seriously in front of her."

Despite this impossible transmission, Guilaine admits, she sometimes puts lipstick on her lips, not to go out but to give herself consistency when she has to emphasize her status as a woman of power.

"The role of make-up has evolved, analyzes Diana Odon-Baylac. If for a long time it only had a goal of seduction, it has above all become a tool for expressing our identity."

Sarah, 40, salesperson in a pharmaceutical group, remembers exactly her mother in front of the bathroom mirror, this mechanical gesture of mascara on the eyelashes, the hazelnut of foundation at the fingertips that the applied to the cheeks. The smell of lip gloss when she kissed him before going out to dinner. However, Sarah did not repeat anything.

Today, she almost never wears makeup, or very rarely, when it takes her. There is no need to make up her face. "In middle school, when all my friends started sneaking makeup, I didn't understand. I think it was my way of being different."

A burn-out faced with the dictates of aesthetics

As an adult, putting on makeup was also synonymous with a waste of time:"Frankly, I prefer to sleep a little more." She adds:"My mother thought it was much better, concerning me, that I was very natural."

If some mothers take pleasure in transmitting the art of applying make-up to their daughters, encourage them, guide them, others abstain. Because they don't even think about it, considering that access to femininity is an individual journey, a specific journey, useless to mark out. Or because, consciously or not, they refuse to see a girl grow up that they are not ready to consider as a woman.

Some women can suddenly stop the artifices. Last summer, for the promotion of the album Here , Alicia Keys made her coming out "makeup free". An asceticism that the American soul singer, guest on Lenny, feminist site of actress and director Lena Dunham, justified by evoking her burnout in the face of the aesthetic dictates of the society of the spectacle.

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“Every time I left my house without my makeup on, I worried. What if someone took a picture? What if they posted it? on the other, I always wondered what people thought of me."

A new positioning against the tyranny of appearances welcomed to the applause of other artists (including Beyoncé) who, since then, have also chained "make-up free" shots on their Instagram accounts.

Give up makeup to express your "self" without artifice

“Makeup, like its absence, is never neutral, analyzes psychologist Agathe Pingusson. With or without, it is above all a message sent to others that we modulate according to the expected response. express a self that is not valued by artifice, as if to validate that this is sufficient."

Immortalized during a walk in nature, her face "naked", after her defeat in the recent presidential election, Hillary Clinton was thus immediately congratulated by all the American newspapers for this gesture considered to be madly audacious.

"Without makeup on her face, it's like stepping back to when she was Hillary Rodham, an accomplished and aggressive lawyer, who was successful while rejecting the rules of patriarchy," wrote for the occasion. the online magazine Quartz .

A distance from cosmetics

Delphine, 36, executive assistant, short hair and now bare face, spent nearly twenty minutes every morning in front of the mirror in her bathroom. A daily ritual. Presenting herself au natural was one of her worst obsessions, to the point of keeping her mascara on during her romantic nights.

"But little by little, as I gained self-confidence, I also became aware of all the harmful compounds that I was storing day after day on my face, even when the products are supposedly 'big brands', confides the young woman. So I stopped everything to put on just a simple organic day cream."

A "greening of the self", to use the terms of the anthropologist David Le Breton, fully in tune with the times and visible even in the sales of organic cosmetics in France which, in 2015, experienced a growth of 7%.

A return to naturalness shared by brands

At the same time, sales of perfumes, make-up and ordinary skincare products fell by 1%, according to the NPD institute. "There is in this movement of distancing a desire, for these women, to regain power over their image, analyzes the psychosociologist Marie Cipriani-Crauste. The underlying idea is to try to find its true nature by being nature."

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The survey of the CSA institute "French women in the mirror" also revealed to us that 72% of them associated the natural with the word "beauty". Echoing this finding, a recent study from the University of Bangor, Wales, suggested that the vast majority of men would prefer women when they wear an average of 40% less makeup. Some brands are not mistaken. From L'Oréal to Chanel, products with a "no make-up" effect are on the rise, like tutorials on YouTube.

Women without makeup less competent and less intelligent?

Sylvie doesn't really know what to think anymore:"As soon as I put on make-up, it's inevitable, people immediately point it out to me, and it's a bit tiring. For my colleagues, it's a way of letting me know that I should do it more often, every day in fact, but it tends to discourage me in my initiatives”, she admits. This emancipation from the norm, synonymous with the female pluralities of the time, may well reap the praises of public discourse, it seems to come up against reality, especially in the professional world.

A discrepancy between our declarations and our mental representations that Jean-François Amadieu recently highlighted in The society of appearances (ed. Odile Jacob):"Concerning recruitment, presenting yourself naturally is the most courageous approach, because the most harmful in terms of chances of access to employment, confirms the sociologist. All campaigns testing CVs that we were able to carry out showed that a woman who appeared without makeup was automatically considered less competent and less intelligent."

In other words, it will take a little more time before we see a real end to appearances.

(*) Source:CSA study "French women in the mirror".

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