Don’t get us wrong — we love a crazy, bold beauty look as much as the next makeup maven. One of our editors even spent the weekend testing out those ultra dark lip colors that have been trending. At the same time, there is something to be said for the power of going makeup-free. To further explore the relationship between makeup and women, photographer Steve Osemwenkhae created this stunning photo series aptly titled “No Makeup Series.”

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In the series (which you can also follow on Instagram), Steve has photographed over 100 women without cosmetics. Accompanying the portraits is a quote from the woman featured with her thoughts about makeup. Osemwenkhae recently told Hello Giggles, “This project started as an idea to celebrate beauty, and now it has become something bigger than myself and my art. It’s a vehicle to showcase natural beauty, but also to change the narrative on how we define beauty as a whole.” Scroll on down to check out a few of our favorite photos and what each woman had to say about makeup.

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“Media definitely has a huge influence on our idea of beauty and what is ‘appropriate in the society. It projects the trends that are in the fashion industry and therefore guide women on what is the current ‘thing’ to do. In my opinion it’s fun and a cool way to express yourself, experimenting with different looks, making yourself look different. Personally, it gives me more confidence and I believe I look prettier with make up on. BUT the important thing for any woman is to feel beautiful in any situation, with or without makeup and that’s where the media isn’t helping, as it portrays perfection (skin, eyes, lips) and we try to reach that perfection through makeup. We are all perfect in our own way.”

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“I LOVE makeup… I love watching videos, reading reviews, going to Sephora and trying new products but makeup is my mood enhancer… It’s not everyday I need my eyebrows ‘on fleek’ or lashes to heaven or a bold lip… I don’t leave the house face ‘beat to the gods’ to go to the grocery store… I don’t ever cover up my freckles, I don’t get my eyebrows done, but that’s just me… I just don’t feel the need… Don’t get me wrong I can and I will, but I am comfortable with a clean and fresh face”

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“I think that makeup should be an option for people who want to wear it, but not a requirement. As a woman, and a college student living with four other females I feel pressure to wear it from the people around me, and often get comments pointing out that I do not regularly wear makeup. I think everyone should feel beautiful in their own skin and not self-conscious of imperfections that we all have. Instead I think we should embrace the beauty that we were given and use makeup more as a highlight of that beauty than a mask to create society’s idea of beauty. That being said, I think the media plays a huge role in why so many people, men and women, wear makeup daily to cover up ‘imperfections’ that are normal and natural. Makeup is fun of course and can change someone’s appearance greatly, but I don’t think that it should be required and/or expected from anyone.”


“When I was growing up, makeup was a way to change who I was and emulate those I admired. Nowadays it’s more about being comfortable and owning my own skin. On a daily basis I rarely wear more than eyeliner, mascara, and blush, sometimes lipstick if I’m feeling bold. It shouldn’t be about changing or hiding things, but about enhancing the features you love and what makes you unique.”

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“A person’s face is like a blank canvas. Make up is the paint that dictates the mood of the piece. Everything a true artist creates is from the soul. Love, pain, joy transcends through every piece that is created as does make up on a person’s face.”

What are your thoughts about wearing makeup every day? Share with us in the comments below.

(Photos via Steve Osemwenkhae)