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Tracey Spicer Stripped Bare

I sit in an interesting position. On the one hand, I rarely, if ever, wear makeup. Even before I got CFS & chemical sensitivities over 20 years ago now, as a single 20 something living it up in Sydney, I'd slap on some lipstick, a bit of blush and that was it. Today, I still don't wear makeup every day, but I run an online store selling natural makeup. I find myself in the position of providing safe and quality products, but not EVER making women feel like they need it to complete an outfit, or themselves.

This week, Tracey Spicer published this article on what she looks like without makeup. I must admit, I was a little shocked when I saw the 'no makeup' photo. I think it's partially because I'm just not used to seeing her without makeup on and also, the skin tone, hair and clothing in this photograph is rather void of colour. It's a really effective photo set to show the comparison.

She says, "The routine involved straightening serum, blow-dry, hairspray, moisturiser, eye cream, primer, foundation, powder, concealer, blusher, eyeliner, eye shadow, brow brush, lash curler, mascara, lip liner, lip stick, lip gloss, and body bronzer. "

Wow, that's a LOT of work to look like the photo on the left. I do agree that ritual is bordering on the 'extreme grooming' as she mentions in the article. She has been cutting out things one at a time, and has recently stopped shaving her armpits and her legs. Interesting choice. She's struggling with the concept of not dying her hair. That was an easy one for me. I'm going grey and I'm ok with that.

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The photo you see to your right is me, with all my grey hair and no hair styling products. I have virtually no makeup on. I had a professional photo shoot done last year with the family and got a handful of headshots taken for the website at the same time. When I was preparing for the shoot and putting makeup on, I felt a little weird. To see myself with makeup was odd, and the more I thought about it, it must be exactly how women feel who wear make up all the time but then remove it and choose to go without.

For the shoot I am wearing a natural foundation (in the form of a BB Cream), a small amount of mineral blush, and some organic lipstick very close to the shade of my own lips. For me, I wanted to really gently smooth out any skin tone flaws, very gently highlight the colour already in my face and look as untouched as possible.

Since then, I have been experimenting with natural beauty products, and it's an interesting journey. I'm getting used to putting a splash of colour on my face and then looking in the mirror and seeing something different. For me it's a 'take it or leave it' thing, and I'm doing it purely to get to know the product range in store. It's a fun part of my job that I can easily give up at any time. My addiction to organic chocolate is another matter entirely!

Today, another journalist wrote a response article, called "Why wearing make-up makes my day" and it's an interesting read too. I must admit, I sit closer to the response article in my own daily life ..... most days. I will always feel the need to shave my legs and my armpits, plucking stray hairs, grooming my hair, moisturising my face, running a coconut oil treatment through my hair once a week and my whole body from head to toe. It's 'me' time, and makes me feel good. Like this article states, grooming is an expression of self-pride, and it's up to each individual to decide what that is, how important it is on any day in the grand scheme of things and to respect that not everyone draws the line in the same position.

Full marks to both authors for being extremely honest and respectful for those sitting on the other side of the discussion. Classy women indeed.

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