Being a celebrity comes with major perks – money, fortune and of course, fame. But there’s a few downsides celebs face when it comes to living under a microscope. You’re always being watched by the paparazzi or fans. A-listers like Beyoncé, Mariah Carey and Kim Kardashian have to always look their best when they step out. Whether it’s a run to the store, dinner with friends or a red carpet premiere – looking flawless 24/7 is basically part of the job. While us non-famous folks can kick back and relax, there are no off days for celebs who get paid each time they step out in the public eye. Needless to say, celebrity glam squads, especially the makeup artists, play a vital role in a celeb’s squad. But now thanks to social media, we’re beginning to see more and more celebs step out without a full-on face of makeup, and it’s airing out one big truth bomb: celebs don’t look like celebs without the glam squad.
Some stars aren’t afraid to show off their naked face every now and then. The rise of the #NoMakeUpSelfie—a movement that encouraged celebrities and models to go bare face on Instagram—has inspired the most glam-obsessed celebrities to ease up on the makeup. We’re also starting to see more makeup artists share intimate behind-the-scene moments with their A-list clients that just goes to prove that stars without makeup look just like us, and some of them are straight up unrecognizable. I bet for the most part, some of these celebs could be walking right next to us, and we wouldn’t even notice them without the red carpet ready makeup.
15. Ariana Grande
Tween actresses like Ariana Grande often face difficulties growing up in the spotlight. There is an unrealistic pressure for them to look perfect 24/7, something that us non-celebs know nothing about. And that’s exactly why when Grande shared a bare-faced selfie it nearly broke the internet. During her transition from Disney star to pop princess, she went through an extreme makeover, ditching her bright red hair for a dark high pony, and her au natural look for a heavily made up, doll-like makeup. Some speculated that it was thanks to plastic surgery, but in actuality it was a glam squad who catapulted her good-girl-gone-bad image. Without all the makeup, Grande basically looks like every other early 20-something. In the #NoMakeUp selfie she posted to Instagram during her tour, Grande pointed out the bags under her eyes, cracking a joke, “As you can tell my bags are packed,” obviously signaling to the bags… under her eyes. Same, Ariana Grande.
14. Helena Christensen
Even fashion’s most recognizable supermodel, Helena Christensen looked like a hot mom when she hit the streets in NYC last summer barefaced.When the paparazzi caught the 47-year-old model walking her dog in the city without a stitch of makeup, they couldn’t snap the picture fast enough. Christensen with no glam sparked comments across the internet. Why? Because women everywhere realized that when the glam model is off duty, she looks just like us! The Danish-Peruvian model still managed to turn heads with a sunburn, messy hair and bare-face… because duh. Miss. Denmark looked like every bit of a supermodel with or without the eyeliner and foundation. Can you even blame the top model for ditching her glam squad during last summer’s scorching temperatures? A full face in the heat is pretty much torture. Who in their right mind walks a dog completely glammed up? Maybe Kim Kardashian, but definitely not Helena Christensen.
From the moment Adele dropped her debut EP, she became known worldwide for her signature sound. But let’s not forget that powerhouse is also famous for her solid wingtip eyeliner and fierce cheekbone contouring skills. When Adele took a hiatus from the music industry to start a family, fans noticed that whenever she’d “break her silence” and share a picture, she ditched the makeup. In an interview leading up to her comeback, the singer noted that following the birth of her first child, Angelo, Adele said that she became obsessed with being free and natural during her four year hiatus. Since the move, while we still see the pop star in all her glam glory, her most recent magazine covers have showcased a less made up version of the star. Obviously, even without makeup Adele is gorgeous (perfect skin! perfect eyebrows!) but who knew how much a simple eyeliner trick could turn your look from regular to red carpet?
12. Gwen Stefani
Gwen Stefani has spent her entire career wearing some of the most outrageous makeup. In the early ‘90s she broke out her signature dark red lip color and Bollywood inspired looks. By the early 2000s, Stefani brought the Japanese inspired Harajuku look to the forefront of fashion. And since then we’ve seen Stefani beat her face with vivid colors that can almost double as clown makeup. But since announcing her relationship with Blake Shelton, according to her Instagram it looks like Stefani has laid off the glam, opting for more of a natural look. In a series of selfies that broke the internet, because of sheer shock from fans, she posted unrecognizable photos of herself totally stripped down. The biggest surprise? Underneath all the stage makeup and her red lips, the 47-year-old rock mom looks like she did back in the 90s. A fresh face and blemish-free skin. Talk about a #TBT.
11. Katy Perry
I know it’s hard to remember when Katy Perry first hit the scene, but when we first met the “I Kissed A Girl” singer she was copying Dita Von Teese’s super sexy retro style. That’s why it was so shocking to see what Perry really looks like without hours worth of makeup. When she’s performing in front of her fans, Perry is one of the most stunning stars, but when her makeup is off we’re reminded that even for a celebrity, flawless skin is unrealistic. Perry has been vocal about her love of makeup-free days and we’ve seen her sans makeup plenty of times. The most recent were a series of photos paparazzi snapped of her on the beach during her vacation with Orlando Bloom; Perry didn’t look terrible, but she didn’t look like a top selling pop star either.
10. Lady Gaga
By this point, we’re all well aware that Lady Gaga is a chameleon, right? It’s been nearly a decade since Gaga first came into our lives in Alexander McQueen lobster claw heels and a meat dress. Since then, not only has her music changed- so has her look, as she’s no longer wearing the theatric makeup we first met her in. She’s tamed down her wardrobe so much so, that she even noted her latest album Joanne, was an album “without the makeup.” Since the release, we’ve actually been seeing more and more images of a bare-faced Gaga off and on the stage. Unlike most stars (*cough* Madonna *cough*) the reaction to Gaga’s low key look has been mostly “YASSS!!” but since she looks totally different without the dramatic eye makeup and meat dress, a lot of people have also looked at her, and wondered, “WHO?!” the moment she unveiled a tamer appearance.
9. Mila Kunis
Cool “it” girl actors like Mila Kunis always protest that they’re just like normal people, but it was only after we got a look at the starlet without all the red carpet makeup that we realized she’s actually telling the truth. Now that she’s out of the spotlight, there are more and more photos of Kunis running errands without makeup in all her girl-next-door-glory. Most recently the mother of two was caught by the paparazzi looking like us, or our best friends… with a lot more money. This summer, Kunis openly discussed her hatred for makeup and posed on the August cover of Glamour magazine without a stitch of glam. Opting for just skin serum, eye cream and lip balm, Kunis told the magazine that normally she doesn’t wear makeup. “I don’t wash my hair every day. It’s not something that I associate with myself,” she told the magazine. “I commend women who wake up 30, 40 minutes early to put on eyeliner. I think it’s beautiful. I’m just not that person.” Barefaced and proud.
8. Jennifer Lawrence
Love her or hate her, you’ve gotta admit; Jennifer Lawrence knows how to rock a fresh face. J.Law couldn’t care less about what people think, and that’s how she became every woman’s dream-best friend. Another reason? Even if she’s a spokesmodel for a coveted brand like Dior, she’s still not afraid to do whatever she wants, and that includes rocking a natural look, in front of a swarm of cameras. The actress has been around for nearly a decade, but when she took a tumble at the 2013 Academy Awards, and handled it like a pro, she began to be known as the poster woman for keeping it real. That includes stepping outside on her off days without any makeup on. You can’t blame a woman who’s been in nearly every single major movie since 2013 to give her face a break. Luckily for J.Law, although she looks less like a movie star with no makeup, she can kill a natural look.
7. Mila Jovovich
Helena isn’t the only top model who isn’t afraid of stripping off the makeup. Actress/ model, Mila Jovovich has commanded attention on the red carpet for last 30 years, she’s notorious for her red lips and dark features – but when she’s not in the spotlight? Not so much. Despite being a top model way before she transitioned into becoming an actress, Jovovich has maintained a pretty low profile. Similar to Mila Kunis, Jovovich doesn’t pretend to give a damn about keeping up with the glam life. Thanks to those stunning top model genes, she can also get away with never wearing a stitch of makeup on her off days. We can’t even blame you for not recognizing a casual Jovovich off the bat, especially without a full face of makeup.
6. Nicole Richie
Before the Kardashians, the biggest reality stars were former best friends, Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. During the height of her career, Nicole Richie was essentially the Kim Kardashian of the reality and tabloid world. The best part about her most carefree era? She just didn’t care about the beauty norms placed on celebrity women. Before she was a fashionista, Richie was the first reality star to showcase the good, bad and makeup free moments of her life as a star on The Simple Life. She was splashed across the newsstands, often caught leaving the club in the wee hours of the night with her makeup sloppily wiped off her face. It was… a hot mess. Richie may have been your favorite for keeping it real back in the day, but those looks can stay in 2007.
5. Sofia Vergara
We’ve all seen enough Modern Family episodes to know a MOFI star when we see one. Except when Sofia Vergara skips the makeup chair. The 44-year-old actress is arguably the most gorgeous woman on the planet, but catch her off the red carpet and she looks just like one of your really moisturized friends. Regular! Do we blame this on bad lighting? The wrong angle? Maybe. She’s one of the most recognizable TV stars, but when she’s not wearing a full face of paint, Vergara can step in a street and seriously avoid being celeb-spotted even if she is the highest paid actress on TV. On Instagram, the actress has showed off her bare looks, fooling fans into thinking she was sharing an old school #throwbackThursday photo. Ditch the mascara and she looks 20 years younger.
Beyonce is another mega A-list star who looks years younger, and way less famous without a face of makeup. The pop star’s devoted (and at times scary) fanbase nicknamed The Beyhive will tell you that their queen is always flawless… and here’s the thing, they’re actually 100% correct. The “Lemonade” singer is known for going bare faced on vacation and sharing the images on her personal website and on Instagram and casually showing off her clear skin and ageless beauty. Bey must hear the fans praise, because for her stunning campaign for her Ivy Park collection, she went completely make-up free. Although Queen Bey has avoided magazine interviews for the last few years, she’s not afraid to wear minimal makeup just like Alicia Keys. It’s Bey’s way of proving that she really does wake up like this.
3. Khloe Kardashian
It’s not a coincidence that once Khloe Kardashian‘s hotness reached an all time high, her makeup free selfies were wiped away from her Instagram. While Kim has started to wear less makeup, Khloe’s makeup has been turned up twelve thousand notches. At this point, even members of her glam squad are famous thanks to their work on the most famous faces in America. Kardashian’s recent makeup controversy occurred when she posted a selfie and claimed to be “makeup free,” but later we learned that “no makeup” for a Kardashian means false lashes and face tint. We’ve gotten so used to Khloe Kardashian’s new look that we forget underneath the expensive foundations and false lashes, Khloe is just like us – her skin isn’t perfect, she can definitely use a tan and like us regular people, she relies on Kylie’s Lipkit to give her face that perfectly plump effect.
2. Alicia Keys
The celebrity #NoMakeupSelfie challenge that blew up last year isn’t going anywhere if Alicia Keys has anything to do with it. Last year, the R&B singer made waves when she stunned photographers and showed up to a red carpet event with zero makeup on. Her makeup artists confirmed in an interview that Keys requested to only wear serum and face oil – no foundation, lipstick, eyeliner or contour. It was a bold move she discussed in detail in an essay Keys wrote about her decision in Lenny Letter; she hoped to spark a revolution “cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.” Since the moving message, Keys has graced the cover of magazines and performed on stage live showing off her smooth skin. Not to mention, she inspired more artists to strip down and join her movement.
1. Kylie Jenner
Out of all the Kardashian-Jenner reality stars, Kim Kardashian-West may have been the queen of contouring in the beginning of their takeover, but as of right now, Kylie Jenner takes the cake for the most makeup obsessed. Before launching her own makeup company, Kylie Cosmetics, Jenner was famous for wearing bright lipstick shades on her ever evolving lips, and using foundations to hide her freckles. Now that she’s claimed the title as hottest family member, without her famous glam squad at work, Kylie is completely unrecognizable. Granted, the family shares a team of professional makeup artists, but as the years have gone by, Jenner has literally morphed into a Kim 2.0. Kylie’s dramatic makeover is the reason why she’s racking up Likes, even surpassing her supermodel sister.
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