"Skin first, makeup second" may be my motto, but I think it's really about feeling good in your *own* skin that matters.

By Rachel Jacoby Zoldan

If you're even somewhat in touch with the world of beauty, you know that the #NoMakeup movement has become a powerful force. Started by celebs like Alicia Keys and Alessia Cara who have gone makeup-free on the red carpet, the trend is all about pushing women to embrace their so-called flaws. If you need further proof it's a real thing, today has actually been declared National No Makeup Day! (Here's what happened when our beauty editor tried the no-makeup trend.)

While the idea behind it is admirable, the spike of the #NoMakeup trend means that makeup-shaming has also become a thing. I've heard whispers on the NYC streets from men and women alike poking fun at those with super-bright green lipstick or a heavily painted face of foundation.

And that's why-even as someone who goes for a "less is more" approach-I can't help but be a bit miffed by the whole "movement." Why should we shame those who wear makeup, especially as a self-esteem booster or heck, as a form of personal expression? I'm here to straight-up defend women who feel makeup shamed in this Goop-y era, where natural is deemed holier and beauty sleep is a form of luxury currency.

As a longtime beauty writer and editor, my personal philosophy is that you should put skin first. I find skin care-my insanely long, like 18-product-long routine-to be a form a self-care, and I feel that the better I take care of my skin, the less makeup I need to wear. But that's because I LOVE the way I look without makeup on. Honestly. When I wear heavy shadow or dark lip colors, I do not feel my best. But give me smooth AF skin (right now, I'm living and dying for IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Compact Solid Serum Foundation; it's like Facetune on crack, but IRL), a post-exercise flush across my cheeks, tweezed brows, and the barest hint of lip color (Glossier is my current fav) and I literally can't not feel beautiful.

Still, I am a big proponent of makeup in all of its forms, particularly how you can use it to express yourself. One of my OG mentors in the beauty biz has a look completely different from my own: Her raven-colored hair and razor-sharp bangs are the cool-girl antidote to my basic California girl butter blonde. But perhaps the starkest difference we have is her straight-up need for bright red lipstick, a signature look she's rocked for a decade and that I love her for.

Don't get me wrong, no one should feel like they need to wear makeup either, and that's definitely a good thing that's come out of this movement. But at the end of the day, why should anyone care how much or how little makeup anyone else is wearing? Makeup is about feeling beautiful. Beauty is about feeling beautiful. And whether you're using makeup to define that look should be up to you. You can even use makeup to highlight your damn pimples if you want (yep, drawing more attention to them). But I'll still be covering mine in as many layers of concealer it takes to get the job done.

Comments (2)

February 26, 2019
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January 19, 2018
I f you were makeup it telling the WORLD your A ugo ! ! ! !™®💀