Last season at Girls on the Run, I sat cross-legged in front of 15 little girls and held up an advertisement for women’s shaving cream.  The ad showed the model’s disembodied legs up in the air, smooth and shiny.  “What do you think this ad is trying to say?” I asked.  The girls carefully studied the image, and then one piped up, “That we should buy that shaving cream because pretty girls shave their legs.” 


“That’s definitely the goal of the advertisement,” I replied.  “Do you all think that women have to shave this legs?”  Instantly, all of the girls squealed back, “YES,” clearly pleased that they had gotten the question ‘right’ on the first try.  “Wait, wait, wait!” I said. “Women don’t have to shave their legs!”  Fifteen pairs of eyeballs fixed on me like I was an idiot.  “Yes, they do,” one girl said, pointing at my crossed legs. “You shave.”


“But I don’t have to,” I said slowly. “I shave because I want to.  When you’re older, shaving is fun.”  The girls all nodded, like what I had said was perfectly acceptable, but to be honest, I thought my response sounded completely fake.  I started to shave when I was 11 because I wanted to be a ‘pretty girl’ and seem older and more attractive.  Shaving isn’t fun – it’s a chore.  Sometimes, I cut myself and bleed all over the bathtub.  And I don’t continue to shave because I want to – I do it because it’s expected of me as a woman.  That moment with the girls rolled around in my brain for weeks. Something about the exchange really nagged at me, but I couldn’t put my finger on what, exactly.  After all, I had given the girls the politically correct answer – they don’t need to shave now, and if they don’t want to shave later, they don’t have to. But I knew that all fifteen girls would inevitably grow up and shave their legs.  Because in our society, that is what women do


About a month ago, I woke up after a horrible night’s sleep, stumbled into the shower, got out and dried off, and looked at my face in the mirror.  And than I actually said out loud to my reflection: “Thank God for makeup.” I meant it, too. There’s no way I would’ve wanted to go out in public with my naked face that day.  I had dark circles and a pimple on my chin.  Without makeup on, I looked dead.  But my remark caught my attention – Thank God for makeup? Like my naked face was really so horrible? 


Like the vast majority of women, I wake up every day and engage in Beauty Habits designed to improve my outside appearance – I wear makeup nearly everywhere; I get my hair professionally cut and dyed hair (about $160 every three months!); I shave my armpits, bikini line, and legs; I get my eyebrows waxed (for $40 a month!); I do my nails; I wear uncomfortable clothing.  In short, I spend a lot of time, energy, and money on ‘improving’ my looks (I’ll write more about this in the future, but I think a lot of this has to do with where I was raised).   


Suddenly, I remembered the shaving conversation at Girls on the Run and realized why it – and the makeup moment – had made me feel so uneasy. It all felt really… inauthentic.  After all, my work with Operation Beautiful and my experiences with Girls on the Run is about being comfortable with yourself, embracing your inner beauty, and focusing on what really matters – who you are, not what you look like.  Heck, I’ve written two books about this very topic, including one geared towards children (which is now available for pre-order!).  I believe this message with every fiber in my body, but in my life, I don’t fully walk the walk.  I don’t know if there is something inherently wrong or contradictory with my Beauty Habits, but I feel so dependent on the intention behind them, like if I don’t wear makeup or shave, I’m not a ‘real’ woman.  It has gotten to the point that I am not sure why I do it at all – or who I am doing it for.  And trust me, I don’t wear makeup, shave, pluck, and wax because it’s ‘fun.’


I recently had coffee with Molly Barker, the founder of Girls on the Run (you can read her Wikipedia page here), and I asked her, “What do you say when a little girl asks you why you wear makeup?”  She replied, “I say because it’s fun.”  I asked her if that was the truth, and she paused uncomfortably and admitted, “No, it’s because I feel like I have to wear makeup.”  I felt so much relief that another woman who works in the same ‘field’ as I do experiences this strange contradiction, too.  As we opened up to one another about this complex issue, Molly and I found the difference between what we preach and how we choose to act on a day-to-day basis troubling… so we decided to do something about it.  And thus… The Naked Face Project was born.


For the next 60 days, Molly and I will give up all traditional feminine Beauty Habits – including wearing any makeup, removing any body hair, altering our hair from its natural state (dying, curling, straightening), wearing uncomfortable feminine clothing (high heels, tight skirts), wearing jewelry (with the exception of wedding bands), painting our nails, using anti-wrinkle or anti-acne lotions, wearing deodorant, or styling or cutting our hair for reasons other than function.  We plan to blow dry our hair (because it’s the winter), brush our teeth, wear sunscreen, and dress appropriately – but comfortably – for the occasion. 


This is our journey to explore what happens when we start living in complete alignment with the message we encourage others to live by.  We do not know where The Naked Face Project will take us.  We do not have a hypothesis we hope to prove or know how we will feel at the end of 60 days.  We’re not trying to make a specific political or feminist statement.  I’m definitely not saying makeup or shaving is evil – it’s just that I’ve never tried to go without it, so I don’t know how I really feel about my Beauty Habits.  Molly and I simply want to live in our own space of natural beauty and be more intentional in our actions. That’s why we’ve chosen to completely commit ourselves to the Project for 60 days.  It is only through this total immersion that we believe we will come to a more authentic answer for the hard questions little girls ask. 


What might reveal itself when we give ourselves the opportunity to experience life – and womanhood – in another way?


To answer some inevitable questions…


Are you seriously not going to wear makeup or shave for 60 days?  Yes.  Seriously.  And trust me, since committing myself to this idea three weeks ago, I have really wanted to back out on multiple occasions.  After all, I have to work!  Swim at a public pool!  Go to parties!  Do yoga!  Stand in front of hundreds of people and give Operation Beautiful presentations!  And, on top of all this, by the time the Project is over, I will 7 1/2 months pregnant. But my uncomfortableness and trepidation with the Project has only further convinced me that I need to do this.  I think I’ll discover something very interesting about myself.


What does the Husband think?  Once Molly and I came up with the idea, we approached many women and men in our lives to discuss the concept and get feedback.  We were very surprised that all the men thought it was a great idea.  The Husband was immediately and completely on board with the Project. He’s down with the whole ‘personal/social experiment’ aspect of it and thinks it’s not that big of a deal for me to give up Beauty Habits for 60 days.


Why you? Why Molly? We feel like we offer a unique perspective on beauty, confidence, sexuality, and gender-related issues because of our careers, as well as our ages (Molly is 51, and I’m  27) and life stages (Molly is a mother of two teenagers and single, and I’m currently pregnant and married).


What are you trying to prove?  As we state on The Naked Face Project website, we’re trying to prove… Nothing!  We really have no idea how The Naked Face Project will turn out.  We are questioning ourselves and our actions, not those of other people.  We are hoping that, though this journey, we will come to a more authentic and genuine understanding of our individual definitions of beauty and how this definition may or may not relate to our concepts of self-worth, power, and sexuality.


What will The Naked Face Project look like?  The Project begins on this Wednesday, February 1, and will last 60 days.  Molly and I will be blogging about our experiences on our respective blogs (you can follow Molly at; I’m going post a summary of my thoughts on HTP once a week, on Thursdays.  We’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.


Can I participate? I would LOVE for other bloggers and readers to participate.  The Naked Face Project might look different for different people.  You can follow our rules and terms or create your own to fit your own needs and experiences (no makeup for a month, for example).  If you want to participate on any level, shoot us an email at, and we’ll link to your blog on our website or post a summary of your journey.


All in all, I am very excited – and very nervous – about The Naked Face Project.  I really do not know where this journey will take me.  I do hope that, regardless of what Beauty Habits I return to after 60 days, the experience will help me give more authentic answers to the hard questions that little girls ask.  And I hope you enjoy reading as Molly and I go through this journey together!



  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) January 30, 2012, 9:04 am

    I think you’ll do great. This is basically my life all the time, except for the fact that I shave once a week, because otherwise my leg hair gets stuck in my pantyhose (which I have to wear because my office is formal). And I think that at least a FEW people think I’m beautiful…

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:05 am

      I know you are beautiful 🙂

  • Deanna @PRetty in Pittsburgh January 30, 2012, 9:06 am

    Wow! You are brave. Can’t wait to follow the progress.

  • Katie January 30, 2012, 9:06 am

    Love the idea!

    I go through phases of not wearing any makeup (I work in a lab, so that’s easy – few people do!)

    Also…. I think you made a typo in the slogan :
    “Two womEn” (not woman).

    Love the idea!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:08 am

      THANKS! Isn’t it funny how we can read something 5 bajillion times and still miss the typos!

      • Lisa February 2, 2012, 5:31 pm

        Hi Caitlin,

        There’s another typo where you’re describing your beauty habits, “I get my hair professionally cut and dyed hair”…I think you probably want to get rid of that hair at the end, no?

  • erin January 30, 2012, 9:06 am

    Cool idea!

    I’m not sure about the non-wearing of deodorant — I don’t class that as an expectation of us as women (and I kind of feel that everyone should wear deodorant, just as they should brush their teeth), but the rest of it is cool.

    I pretty much never wear make up — only if I’m going out (say, to a bar. I never wear make up to the shops, or out for lunch with the girls). I cut my hair perhaps twice a year at best, and don’t even own a hair brush. I am, however, guilty of conducting a skin care regime each morning and night to rival the classiest of day spas, and spending a fortune on waxing, so I’m really excited to see how your experiment goes.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:10 am

      It was really hard to decide which beauty habits we would give up and which we would continue. Molly and I both don’t really feel like we NEED D.O. to keep ourselves from stinkin’ up a storm, so we decided to nix it.

      • Amy Thomas January 30, 2012, 11:48 am

        Just wait — sweating becomes so much worse during the last trimester! 🙂

      • erin January 31, 2012, 3:56 am

        I also didn’t think about the fact that it’s winter in the States 🙂 I’m sitting here in Australia in stinking 40 degree celcius Summer heat, thinking you’re both mad and gross for potentially giving up deodorant in this weather 🙂 It’s not so bad in winter!

    • Samantha @ Bikini Birthday January 30, 2012, 9:21 am

      You’d be surprised how little you actually stink when you stop wearing deodorant.
      If you eat well and keep generally good hygiene, you won’t need to worry too much about body odor.

      I don’t wear deodorant and only find that I smell when I sweat excessively (like when I’m working out) but that’s not something that deodorant would be able to help with anyway. Then I shower right after the workout and smell fresh as a daisy again.

      I might have a different perspective if I had a job whose environment made me sweat a lot (like a chef or something) but I work in an office so there’s little to worry about.

      • Mary @ stylefyles January 30, 2012, 1:20 pm

        Yeah, the deodorant was really the only rule that I would take personal exception with….but that’s also a super individual thing. I don’t think I could make it w/o deodorant because I sweat a lot, even if I’m not working out…..but everyone’s different!

        As for the rest of the rules, I pretty much do them all on a normal basis: comfy clothes (thankfully my job allows it), shaving once or twice a week, and minimal pampering (although I do dye my hair at home and also am thankful for a light coat of foundation when I wake up to a giant pimple).

        Good luck with the experiment! I think this is a good lesson for young girls!

      • Linda Barber August 21, 2012, 6:10 pm

        You’re right about the deodorant thing. People forget that deodorant is a fairly “new” invention. It somehow has gotten wrapped up into the idea of cleanliness. Europeans didn’t use to be so “anal rentivie” as Americans are about deodorant but I think they are like us now. I don’t think body odor from under your arms smells bad intrinsically. It’s sweet, tart, but we’re socially condition to think that b.o. stinks. I wear deodorant but I notice that if I forget, I don’t smell, not when you’re bathing everyday. Of course, you really don’t need to bath every day either. Wash under your arms and your privates and you’re good to go. Once a week bathing for an office worker is enough.

  • Angela January 30, 2012, 9:07 am

    The plural of woman is “women.” You might want to revise your logo.

  • Crystal January 30, 2012, 9:08 am

    I can’t WAIT to see how this turns out!! Way to go!!

  • Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots January 30, 2012, 9:08 am

    I think what you are doing as absolutely amazing and you 2 are truly inspirational people! I look forward to reading your thoughts and feelings as the 60 days go on!

  • Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy January 30, 2012, 9:09 am

    Good for you- you are brave! I’m not sure I could take a month off of make-up (and I don’t even wear very much) and still feel confident in myself at work. I’m interested to see how the experiment turns out for you!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:13 am

      You SHOULD feel confident with yourself without makeup! The problem is that I do not because I’ve been wearing it every single day for 15 years. Time for a change!!

  • Christina January 30, 2012, 9:10 am


  • Debbie January 30, 2012, 9:10 am

    I’m excited to hear how this goes. Kudos to you for doing something many of us would be too scared to do!

  • Anna January 30, 2012, 9:10 am

    This is incredible!! I can’t wait to see where this project takes you.
    Swimmers, like myself, often don’t shave our legs for 4+ months on end…so shaving actually does end up being fun (jumping into the water with smooth legs again will be AMAZING, just you wait Caitlin, it’s like going twenty times faster)

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:12 am

      HAHAH YES. Anything to be a faster swimmer 🙂

  • Beth @ 990 Square January 30, 2012, 9:11 am

    You are one brave lady! I already often feel like the “ugly” one among my friends because I don’t wax my eyebrows or other body parts and I wear minimal makeup compared to most women.

    I applaud you for taking this challenge!

  • Stacy @ Stacy Eats January 30, 2012, 9:12 am

    Very cool! Can’t wait to hear about your journey over the next 60 days.

  • Minny January 30, 2012, 9:13 am

    It is a cool idea, I wonder how you’ll feel after a few weeks in this, and when you finished it 🙂 Hopefully beautiful without all those alterations like make up, haircuts, etc.
    I really rarely wear make up, I shave once a month I guess, and I get a hair cut once a year maybe.
    I do not look like a chewbacca, and I don’t think im fugly 🙂 It feels good to be in my skin, and although I had my problems with body image, weight issues and self confidence, make up never helped me to feel prettier or more like myself. I have nothing to hide, so that’s why I only wear make up when I want to, not when it’s expected.
    Same goes for nice clothing, hair cuts, shaved legs, etc. After all, beauty comes within.
    To be honest, it’s strange to read how you are dependent on those things, specially with operation beautiful and all.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:14 am

      I AGREE!

      I think it’s because I grew up in Miami, Florida. There is a lot of pressure to look a certain way in Miami. Also, I had a Southern mama who is very into dressing ‘right’ and ‘fixing her face.’ It’s just how I was brought. I really want to consider the other side before I have my own child, just in case I want to do things differently.

    • Linda Barber August 21, 2012, 6:19 pm

      You bring up a good issue. Why does this project seem so revolutionary? I’m old – 58 and we kinda did this in the 1970s (a lot of us) but it didn’t “stick.” Why? My guess is the media and advertising. It isn’t “women” who inately won’t to wear makeup as much as it is a culture that is obsessed with appearance – vainity – facade – the superficial. Advertisers love insecurities and do you know what they love more than insecurities, creating insecurities. Women want to be attractive to men and vice versa, but let’s get real, this is a BIG BUSINESS!

  • jess January 30, 2012, 9:13 am

    What a great project! We all need a little of this “getting-back-to-what-matters” in our lives.

    PS. I think in your logo “woman” should be “women.”

  • amy January 30, 2012, 9:14 am

    great idea! Though i think the sign should read “two women” rather than “two woman”.

  • Heather January 30, 2012, 9:14 am

    I think the concept is a really great one! I work from home so I don’t wear makeup every day, and it’s nice to not feel like you “have” to. Once questions though…no deodorant? I would think this falls in the same lines as brushing your teeth or bathing?
    I personally sweat a LOT and living in the deep south it’s already in the upper 70’s here. Interesting!

  • Samantha @ Bikini Birthday January 30, 2012, 9:14 am

    This sounds like a great project.

    I already avoid a lot of the things that you guys are planning to stop doing.
    I don’t wear make-up every day (although I do sometimes on the weekend)
    I don’t wear deodorant or perfume
    I don’t die my hair and I only cut it ~ once every 9 months or so
    I don’t paint my nails
    I don’t wax my bikini line
    I don’t wear high heels
    I don’t put products in my hair
    I don’t wear clothes that I’m not comfortable in

    When I list all these things that I don’t do, I think some women might automatically think I’m some sort of smelly, messy hippie but I am just a normal girl.
    I don’t avoid these things to make a statement about how women shouldn’t feel pressured by the beauty industry. I do it because I find a lot of these things frivolous wastes of both money and I’d rather spend on doing something fun that I enjoy.

    I guess, in a way, I am walking the talk. I’m really proud of myself for that

    • TanyaS January 30, 2012, 9:30 am

      I am pretty much the same way, but I started/quit a lot of these when I started a dayhome and 4 children under 2 were hanging out with me everyday. I realized they didn’t care what I looked like so why should I waste my time over it.

      While my legs only get a shave once in awhile, sadly for special occasions usually, I do feel a strong need to keep the armpit hair trimmed for all my gym-going frients.

    • Jen January 30, 2012, 11:36 am

      I think it’s a bit insulting to call women (like myself) who like the process and everything that comes with “primping”, frivolous. I enjoy makeup, clothes, getting my hair and nails done. I’m a stay at home mom with 2 children so no one but me cares what I look like but I like the way it makes me feel. And it’s not because a magazine or commercial tells me that I should do these things.
      Honestly I think this project is just another way for women to judge each other. “See how amazing I am for giving up all these things. You that color your hair and paint your nails are not as good as I am.”
      Not a fan at all of this “project”. Sorry.

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 11:38 am

        I think you should re-read the post. I definitely said that I’m not passing judgement on any of these actions as I do them myself. And I also said this journey is about what it means to ME and it may mean different things to different people. Please don’t take me questioning my own actions as questioning yours. I tried to make it really clear in the post that I was not doing that. It is more about the INTENTION behind my action than whether or not I do them.

        • Jen January 30, 2012, 12:49 pm

          I read the article throughly. Maybe you are not directly saying that but it’s giving your readers the opportunity to. The comment I replied to used to word “frivolous” to describe a lot of things I do daily. Except for wear uncomfortable clothes (’cause that’s just crazy;), but “comfortable’ does not mean not cute.
          I do what’s best for me.

          • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 12:56 pm

            Ah I see. Sorry, I thought this comment was a response to me (re: the frivolous remark). I am definitely NOT judging other people’s actions. I really, really wanted to make that clear in the post.

      • Kate January 30, 2012, 2:43 pm

        Interesting thoughts Jen.
        I think it is a very individual thing for sure, and not a right or wrong situation.
        Your comment got me thinking though…If not for magazines and commercials would we really just come up with the idea to put paint on our face on our own? Like really. If you try to completely detach from what we know. From the reality we live in. Would we really just decide to buy a small brush and paint the hairs around our eyes? Would we really apply a layer of thin paint to our skin? Not saying it is wrong we do this, or wrong it makes us feel better. Just thinking out loud.
        For me personally I think it is kind of sad that I am such a product of society that I think it is our my choice to do this things because they make me feel better. When really they only make me feel better about myself because society has taught me to feel better when I look “better”. And to look better one needs makeup. (or that is what we are taught anyway.)
        Again, not judging your thoughts at all. In fact I can really relate to them, which started this thought process.

        • meg January 30, 2012, 3:18 pm

          Just jumping on board the whole “thinking out loud” train here…

          To address Kate’s comment above, women have been painting their faces, binding their feet, their bodies, augmenting their hair, and so on for, quite literally, centuries. So it’s not a media influence- it’s so much older than that. And of course, the argument exists that men have been doing this kind of thing for quite a while too, but not nearly to the extent that women have. So I would say that through one channel or another, we- the royal we- would have found a way to tell women they weren’t good enough with or without the influence of media…since we’ve been doing that for so long anyhow, you know?

          • Kate January 30, 2012, 7:21 pm

            Great point Meg.
            I guess the word “media” was not exactly what I meant.
            I meant that society finds a way to make us do or feel things. It becomes so ingrained in us, we often don’t even realize that what we choose to do is shaped by ideas that are in fact not our own at all.
            I agree that with or without media, the message would be communicated. But I do feel the message has a much faster, efficient way to be spread now that we have TVs, magazines and the internet.

          • Erin February 1, 2012, 2:45 pm

            Meg and Kate, such good points. And Meg, your thoughts on this happening for centuries has me wondering, when women were doing this back in ancient Egypt and earlier, many of them did it to show signs of wealth; I’m thinking Cleopatra and her charcoal or ash eyeliner and gold flecked make-up. This makes me wonder 1) that focusing on one’s showed one’s wealth because of the cost of cosmetics and because only the wealthy would’ve had time to apply make-up and 2) how this tradition has persisted throughout history. In applying the thoughts about wealth and cosmetics in the past to our beauty traditions today, there is a pretty clear correlation. Only those who can afford make-up and beauty treatments are able to participate; whether or not they choose to is a different discussion. So many other thoughts are going through my head right now, but this comment is already gigantic.

          • Bobbie September 10, 2012, 2:05 pm

            Well… if i lived in a place/time when makeup didn’t exist… I would probably wish on shooting stars for a magical way to hide my glorious huge red pimples and deep black heads!

        • Linda Barber August 21, 2012, 6:33 pm

          6000 year history of women using some form of embellishment whether it be oils, kohl, or later the geisha’s wearing rice powder, bird droppings to produce the white mask and colors used on the face. Queen Elizabeth I use white paint (contained lead) on her face. On and on. I think that any culture will change their physical appearance for a lot of reasons – to show status, power — to attain things whether it be a husband or a recording contract! I think the disturbing thing about it now is that it isn’t the unique cultures that determine it. It is a guy or woman in some office somewhere telling us what looks good. It’a a busines – a huge business – fashion, makeup. Again, I think that is what your project points a finger at — what is happening to us when we let a corporation, a congomerate tell us what “pretty” is.

    • D January 30, 2012, 1:44 pm

      Okay, I can’t resist replying to your comment.

      What is your point? By saying “some women might think”, you are implying that those other, frivolous women probably look down on you. So you’re actually judging them. And considering the premise of your blog is about looking good in a bikini, I think to call beauty regimes a waste of time and money is quite a contradiction.

      • Christina January 30, 2012, 3:04 pm

        How can you read this blog and think the premise of it is “how to look good in a bikini”???????

        • Katie January 30, 2012, 3:55 pm

          I completely agree, Christina, I had to think for a moment of what blog she might be referring to, this blog is definitely NOT about how to look good in a bikini. Maybe you should reread the blog!

        • Kate January 30, 2012, 7:25 pm

          I think she was responding to the post above that was written by “Samantha @ Bikini Birthday”.

          • D January 31, 2012, 12:15 pm

            Yes, exactly! Thank you!

  • LizW January 30, 2012, 9:14 am


    I’m a 35-year-old married woman with no kids. I have never worn makeup (aside from a little pressed powder in the morning). I don’t dye my hair, and I get $15 haircuts from SuperCuts. (however, I do shave, though not daily)

    I was JUST this weekend discussing with my husband, while walking past Ulta at the mall, how different I am from most women who spend mega money and mega time on cosmetics. All just to cover up what they really look like.

    I am not in love with my natural looks. I’ll never be a model. But I’m happy that I show the world the real me every day and don’t feel the need to bow to society’s pressures to cover up who I am.

    One of my biggest arguments for being natural? Men don’t cover up. Why should we have to when half of our world is expected to just be themselves??

    I’m excited for your journey!! 🙂

  • Grace January 30, 2012, 9:14 am

    Oooh wow! How exciting – I can’t wait to read all about how this one turns out! Respect to you both on an extremely brave experiment 🙂

  • Sarah January 30, 2012, 9:16 am

    Looking forward to hearing about your experiences. I’m quite intrigued.
    I definitely agree that shaving is not fun, but I actually enjoy putting on makeup and getting dressed. I’ve always been a huge fan of creating looks and characters (I’ve acted for years) and see makeup/clothes as a fun way to express myself. Kind of like an artist has his/her paint, I have my makeup and clothes. Of course, there are days when I like to lounge around makeup free and in pajamas, but I honestly enjoy these daily rituals and think I’d miss it.
    I also don’t mind leaving the house without makeup and I’m always a sweaty mess after the gym, but I still feel beautiful.

    • ECT January 30, 2012, 12:59 pm

      Sarah- the minute I read this post I thought the same thing as you. Fashion, make-up, jewelry, and accessories can be the most fun way to express myself and my creativity. It’s a great hobby (as long as I’m careful in budgeting!). Anyway- I agree with you!

      • Erin January 30, 2012, 10:34 pm

        I’ve been thinking about what to say to this all day. Most mornings I actually like doing my make up especially since I just learned how to do my eye make up and it’s fun. However i do go on the weekends withou make up and really have no issues with it, even in the summer time too!

        Now as for shaving – I do it wholly for me not my husband or anyone else. I hate hate the feel of stubbly hairs, and I do shave every morning and I don’t even think its a chore.

        I cut my hair every 6 months maybe but I’m cheap about it! I color my hair at home every 4 to 5 months and I have fun with it. I have been blonde but I think brunettes have way more fun. Its funny cuz my husband prefers me blonde but I prefer being dark, so he has to live with my choice!

        As for lotion I don’t like the smelly stuff so I cannot imagine going 60 days without face or body lotion – my hands would curse at me. And I swear ever since using coconut oil at night time – my skin loves me!

        As for this project – I do hope you discover something about yourself.

  • valleycat1 January 30, 2012, 9:16 am

    I’m 58, but far from being a left-over ’60’s hippy. Plus, I have a real day job & care about how I look & want to fit in. But I’ve been living your project (mostly) for the past 15 years at least – wish I’d figured out I could write a book about it!

    No makeup – check. I realized years ago that what I used to wear was so subtle no one could tell on the days I skipped it.

    Minimal fuss with hair – check. I cut it myself & wear it short – just wash & blow dry most days.

    No deodorant – mostly, check. But if I’ve eaten garlic or onion, or heading into a day involving nerves or sweat, I’ll swipe some on. I suggest you consider some dietary changes if you aren’t wearing any!

    Shaving – rarely, & just underarms & legs. But, I went through chemo & menopause over 10 years ago, so there isn’t very much there to bother with.

    Basic self-care routine: shower, shampoo, face wash, brush teeth, trim nails, lotion on face & occasionally other body parts when needed.

  • Grace January 30, 2012, 9:16 am

    you’re amazing. how do you have that kind of self confidence??? will you share?

  • Erin January 30, 2012, 9:16 am

    WOW Caitlin. You are seriously an inspiration to women around the world. I am SO proud of you and excited to see what the next 60 days has in store.

    Personally, I never wear makeup, nothing, nada, and I love it. However I do shave, wax my eyebrows, wear a bra, do my hair and dress nicely and sometimes I find it all a bit much. Trying to look good can be exhausting and frustrating. But the thought of giving up shaving, even though it’s a chore, kinda scares me.

    So thank YOU and thank you Molly for giving me pause to really think about my own beauty habits. I wish you both the very best of luck and I truly hope Naked Face Project takes off! Peace and love.

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery January 30, 2012, 9:17 am

    I’ve gone three months without shaving and it was FANTASTIC. It was the most liberating, freeing thing because I let my body be and didn’t subject it to unnecessary change. In fact, when I was given The Book Of Wisdom in my last treatment program, one of the things I wrote was to try not shaving while there. Sure my leg hair was so long it could be braided, not to mention my armpit hair that could be made into a wig, but it’s a great feeling.

    • Alex @ Raw Recovery January 30, 2012, 9:32 am

      One the last thing, although I like the idea that you are doing the project and think the message to young girls is a good one, I guess I have some weird reaction to the idea of promoting it as a project and something that you should be praised for. I’m really hoping this doesn’t come across as rude/belittling/bitchy, but there are a lot of women who already live this way (e.g. many of the women at my very liberal women’s liberal arts college) and not wearing makeup, shaving, or conforming to typical ideals of female beauty is the norm. To try it as an experiment for yourself, which it seems is what you are doing is one thing, but (and even though it might be a big lifestyle change) this isn’t something women don’t already do. I’m sorry if this comes off really bitchy, I guess I just don’t like the idea that it should be made some big thing if women decide to not shave or wear make up, and if women decide to make a big deal over it, then why wouldn’t men? I feel the message is much more powerful to just do it without having to justify it. We’re women, we’re powerful, and if we choose not to shave, why must we have a reason?

      I love your blog and writing and hope that you will just take my comment with a grain of salt and not as an attack, it is DEFINITELY not meant that way. I’m hesitant to click “submit comment” because I hope people don’t start attacking me for having a differing opinion. I definitely respect what you are doing, I guess I’m just offering my opinion/reaction.

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:54 am

        I definitely do not think you are being bitchy! The whole point of this ‘project’ is to encourage discussion and share thoughts, even if they are opposing. If we all thought the same, life would be boring. I think the primary reason that Molly and I wanted to make it a ‘project’ was to make it a discussion. I have learned SO MUCH from just discussing this concept with Molly and my family and am really excited to learn from others by sharing it via the web, too!

        • Alex @ Raw Recovery January 30, 2012, 10:25 am

          Thank you for being so receptive to my thoughts/comments. I hope that you get a lot out of the project and definitely admire you for doing it while pregnant!

      • Veronica January 30, 2012, 10:31 am

        I don’t think Caitlin is doing this to be praised, but to find out something about herself and get others to think about it too.

        The motivation behind anything is more important than the behavior.
        If you ask the question, “Why do I do this?” and the answer truly is “Because I want to” then that is fine.

        But if the answer is, “Because I think I should” or “Because its how its always been done” or even, “Because I’ve been told I want to do it” then that behavior needs to be analyzed and possibly discontinued.

        Caitlin isn’t trying to start a new trend. As you pointed out, foregoing conventional beauty routines is not a new thing. I think she is adding another layer to her mission of advancing authentic and genuine beauty for all women. By asking herself the question “why?” she is encouraging all of us to do the same.

        Stressing beauty beyond societal definitions has been her focus from Day 1, and I applaud it.

        ps. While many women do not wear makeup, many more still do and almost every teen does. The cosmetic industry is huge and growing, so obviously this counter-culture experiment is relevant and timely.

        • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:33 am

          Thanks so much for this comment, Veronica. You stated my intentions and purposes very well and I appreciate it! I wish I was so eloquent 🙂

      • Linda Barber August 21, 2012, 6:44 pm

        No, I totally share your concern, but I think that there are a lot of women who haven’t given this the thought it deserves. This project helps women who have been wearing make up all their lives and just haven’t thought about it (enough). I also grew up in the south and went to a U.T. Knoxville and Florida State in the middle of the revolution (70s) but I didn’t get the makeup thing. I’m 58. I’ve worn makeup almost everyday of my life when I walk out the door. By now, I’m just tired of it, so I’ve noticed that I’m not wearing as much but it’s hard to go out in this culture without makeup. You, frankly, are not treated as well. I have wrinkles and dark circles under my eyes. People say, “Are you tired?” “You just don’t look like you feel well.” Your power quotient goes down by like 50% if you are not wearing makeup (especially an older woman). You are not helped in stores in the same way. Dress, makeup are important to society as a whole. To pretend it isn’t, just isn’t what’s happening. So, I like the idea of this project because of the questions it raises about our assumptions about makeup but I get your hesitancy with thinking it’s the best way to go about it. It’s one way.

  • Laine January 30, 2012, 9:19 am

    Deodorant is just sort of a common courtesy, rather than a superficial thing. (I sometimes offend myself with my BO if I forget to wear it and then work out.) The rest of it sounds great!

    I wear just a little make up. For me it’s the same reason I don’t wear a shirt with spots on it – it would be distracting. A face with blotches and spots would be distracting, too. And I curl my eye lashes because otherwise I look sleepy. I went a while without shaving in my hippie days. That was fine, except early on when trying to sleep with prickly legs.

  • Kelly January 30, 2012, 9:19 am

    Congrats on the new project, Caitlin!!! Pregnancy is an interesting time to take on this challenge – LOL! I am sure you’ll do great – I’m looking forward to seeing your progress. (I’m sure I COULD do this type of thing….but I don’t think I’d ever WANT to! I really do enjoy wearing making because I like how it makes me feel. I don’t feel social pressure – I really just do it for me!)

  • Cheryl Mosley January 30, 2012, 9:19 am

    I will be following along!!! You, as always, are an inspiration to so many!

  • Sneakers2Sandals January 30, 2012, 9:19 am

    I rarely wear make up or blow dry my hair…so I could do that aspect. but as far as shaving, that I could not do!

  • Jessica January 30, 2012, 9:20 am

    THIS IS FANTASTIC! This might sound weird coming from a stranger, but I’m super proud of you two! I just contemplated doing this for about 30 seconds, and I’m a little bit shocked and disappointed by how completely scary I find it. I will definitely keep thinking about this (and keep up with your progress), and maybe I’ll get the courage to try something like this in the future.

  • Nikky January 30, 2012, 9:21 am

    This will be neat to follow. I never got the makeup bug or anything, which has definitely made me feel like a very lazy woman a few times. I’ll wear it if I happen to be in the mood and have some extra time, but all that other stuff? I keep up on shaving my underarms for the most part, but that’s about it, haha. Especially now that I’m pregnant and it’s uncomfortable to bend for so long. I get a hair cut maybe once a year, file my nails only when they snap off, and haven’t used a blow dryer or anything on myself since I was in a wedding two years ago.

    Anyway, long story short I love things like this. I have my moments of “Meh… I’m looking kind of gross.” but why should I make myself feel like less of a woman because I don’t want to waste two hours in the bathroom every day? The boyfriend has yet to run in terror. 🙂

  • Laura January 30, 2012, 9:21 am

    This is awesome! My only hesitation is on the deodorant/anti-perspirant front. There was a woman I knew in graduate school who did not wear deodorant/anti-perspirant and she did have strong body odor. It was often very difficult to be near her, and honestly the smell was often distracting. I have a sensitive nose and her body odor often gave me headaches (as do other strong smells, like perfume). She is a smart, beautiful, amazing person, but the body odor was very difficult for me and other people to be around. This one is really more of a hygiene factor than a perception of beauty factor, in my opinion, particularly because it can impact other people around you. Perhaps you all could consider wearing unscented deodorant/anti-perspirant?

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:45 am

      I think we will reconsider the issue if it comes to that 🙂 If it was summertime, I might think differently neither Molly or I really feel like we sweat/smell a lot (I could be wrong…). We’ll see! It was a bit hard to draw the line on true hygiene issues v. beauty issues.

    • Erin February 1, 2012, 3:08 pm

      Everyone’s comments about deordorant and anti-persperant are intriguing, and, Caitlin, I would agree with you that it is a beauty issue because it is about covering up a natural, albeit sometimes unpleasant, scent. Body odor does not mean someone is unclean, as many of the other commentators who don’t regularly wear it have indicated. They shower and care for themselves; they simply don’t use it. There is no hygienic reason to use it. It’s not like giving up showering. It’s only a smell preference. Not saying it’s right or wrong to use it, these are only thoughts.

  • Sunny January 30, 2012, 9:21 am

    This will be interesting. I do not wear makeup to work, unless I have a big meeting and then its just sometimes. I’m an engineer, I work with all guys I decided several years ago if they do not care if I put makeup on there is no point in doing so everyday. It’s also better for my skin, I’m prone to acne and it helps to not put makeup on everyday. I wear makeup when I have a date with my husband, just like he does his hair and wears nicer clothes. I have fun putting makeup on when I do wear it because I’m getting ready for something and it gets me excited!

    As for the shaving, I shave my underarms and bikini area every time I shower and this is more for me than anyone else. I do not like the feeling of leaving of being unshaved, I find it uncomfortable. My legs, I’m lucky if I shave once a week, normally as I’m preparing for a big date!


  • Dana January 30, 2012, 9:23 am

    I think this is really interesting and will be interested to follow you over the next 60 days.
    I don’t have any big beauty routines (I don’t wax, pluck, dye my hair, and rarely blowdry it) and I definitely feel pressure to do some of those things from colleagues and friends. I wonder what women everywhere could do with the time and money they free up from not conforming.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:46 am

      I have someone in my life that gives me similar pressure. It is very hard to deal with when we go out together. Maybe I will find a way to write about this without specifically calling the person out.

  • lindsay owen January 30, 2012, 9:23 am

    I think it’s a great idea. As I sit here reading your post, however, I realise how often I wear a ‘naked face’ already. I have two young children, so the amount of grooming time I have is dictated by the amount of time I have (not much) for it. Over time, wearing make up, having my nails done, blowdrying my hair etc, has become less of a priority and frankly less important. I often do the school run make-up free, and my hair is pretty much always tied back to disguise the lack of blow drying smoothness!
    Am I happier for it? I don’t know. Do I feel more authentic? Well yes – I suppose I do. I am who I am. A mother, rushed for time, focused on her kids – take me or leave me.
    I am proud of my body and appearance in different ways these days. I like feeling fit (I run and bike regularly), I like feeling clean, I like feeling capable (birthing two kids will do that for you, I suppose). And yes, I like wearing make up and making myself pretty, but it’s not essential to me anymore, which is kind of liberating after all those years of insecurity. And for the record, my husband couldn’t give a crap if I wear make up or not – go figure.
    Good luck in the project – I’m sure it’ll be really enlightening and I really look forward to hearing your findings – especially your views on how to convey the experience to the GOTR girls.
    You go for it!
    Lindsay xxx (

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:46 am

      I love this comment. You sound like an awesome momma to me!

  • Anna January 30, 2012, 9:25 am

    WOW! What an amazing project to take on. You and Molly will be a great inspiration to so many girls and women out there. Thanks for being such great role models!

  • LIz January 30, 2012, 9:26 am

    When I read this, I had to come here and say THIS IS BADASS!!!!!!! I am SO looking forward to following your journey – I think it’s brave and admirable and so authentic.

    I am someone who doesn’t wear make up, I shave once a week, get my haircut every three months, just took off a pedicure that I got on October 1st….but mostly because I’m lazy. I definitely FEEL self conscious at times not being more beauty conscious so I’m stoked to see how it goes for both of you.

    Thank you for taking this on!!!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:49 am

      I am very curious to see how this impacts my sense of self-confidence (if at all) especially given the fact that I am pregnant.

  • Heather @ For the Love of Kale January 30, 2012, 9:29 am

    This is such an interesting and inspiring idea! Honestly, I don’t think I could do this for two months straight simply because I really love the art of getting dolled up on the weekend. During the school week, however, I head to class straight from the gym without makeup and sometimes still sweaty. Hot, I know. It’s definitely humbled me a bit and made me appreciate myself more. Anywho, I love you and you freaking rock!

  • Jessica January 30, 2012, 9:29 am

    I’ll be interested to see how you feel a few weeks in! I think this sounds really tough because I am definitely addicted to beauty products – but I’m actually not ashamed of that at all. To each her own! 🙂 plus, I teach yoga, and not shaving my arm pits would probably turn off most of my students (not saying that’s ideal, but sometimes, it is what it is).

  • LindseyAnn January 30, 2012, 9:29 am

    I’m probably going to meet the lynch mob over this, but I actually do find the process of putting on make up rather fun. To each their own, I know, but I really do enjoy that process.
    That aside, I think this is a really interesting idea, and I’m looking forward to reading more. 🙂

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:50 am

      You should NEVER meet the lynch mob for sharing your options!

      I think a lot of women feel this way about makeup, especially for getting dressed up to go out. Sometimes I do, too, especially when I wear fun color eyeshadows or something.

  • Alex @ Alex Eats Green January 30, 2012, 9:30 am

    Whoa. Caitlin, you blow me away.

    I work at a magazine that literally teaches women how to wear makeup so that they “look and feel more confident.” We preach that wearing makeup is a non-negotiable in looking beautiful, successful etc etc etc. As I sit here in my cube, reading this, it really makes me question it all. I’m so proud of you for being brave enough to admit all of this out loud… as I don’t think many women could be this strong in fighting against everything out society demands.

    So freaking cool. You’re awesome.

  • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 9:30 am

    I think this is so incredibly brave and gutsy of you. I am 22 weeks pregnant myself and find that things like shaving and having my nails done, etc. are what keep me feeling “pretty” and “feminine.” Which is really crazy, considering I should feel my most feminine and beautiful as a pregnant woman, whose body is doing amazing things right now. Kudos to you both and good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:51 am

      I am so glad to hear from another pregnant woman on this very topic! I am going to write more about this but I have been feeling very uncomfortable in my pregnant body (I LOVE what my body is doing but I would not say I feel ‘sexy’ LOL). I’m curious to see if I go to a point of “OH HELL” and then transition to “OH YEAH” with this project or it just says in OH HELL mode. Which could definitely happen.

  • v January 30, 2012, 9:30 am

    I think I’m the 23rd person to say this, but this is REALLY interesting. I was actually thinking about this very thing this morning when I was commuting and looking at everyone in their work clothes with their “work faces” on.

    I appreciate that you aren’t trying to prove anything and that it’s very open ended. Looking forward to reading your updates.

  • Nena January 30, 2012, 9:31 am

    Wow. Pretty intense. I can’t do it. I got really horrible adult acne a few years ago and started wearing makeup. My face has cleared up, but I can’t leave the house without it anymore. Almost ran out of foundation this weekend and ran to clinique for some more. I just don’t feel confident w/out it.

  • Kara January 30, 2012, 9:31 am

    So.. no bras or spanx either?

    I get almost all of this…except the deodorant thing. That’s not a woman thing, that’s a “I’m a member of American society” thing.

    • Kier @ Life {and running} in Iowa January 30, 2012, 9:42 am

      Oh Kara – I rarely wear deodorant and don’t stink. In fact, the days I actually wear it, I swear I stink more.

      Now…not sure how it would work with not shaving + not wearing deodorant…

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:52 am

        As Molly wrote in her introductory post, she is ditching the padded bras for sports bras. As someone with a large chest, it would not be healthy for me not to wear very supportive and legit bras for 60 days. So I’m sticking with my normal bras.

  • Lisa Marie January 30, 2012, 9:32 am

    I think this is a great idea! However, don’t you think not wearing deodorant goes against the lesson of good hygiene to children?

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:55 am

      DEO issue discussed above – basically, it’s winter, I don’t sweat or smell, and I don’t think it will be a hygiene issue right now. It was hard to draw the line on beauty v. hygiene topics and we decided that DEO fell under beauty for US right now.

  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 30, 2012, 9:32 am

    I’m so excited to read about this as you go through the 60 days. It makes me sad to realize that there is no way I could or would do this myself if I had a work event. I happily go without makeup at home (I work from home except when traveling to clients occasionally) and to run errands all the time but I can’t imagine showing up for a client event without makeup on.

  • LIz January 30, 2012, 9:33 am

    Oh and I don’t wear deodorant either and I don’t smell!

  • Natalie Rae January 30, 2012, 9:33 am

    Wowza! At 8+ months pregnant, I could not imagine doing this- go you! I wear makeup because I use it as a tool to create color, smooth over things that come from lack of sleep or hormone flare-ups, and to feel confident (I wear bright lips :))- but I can understand others seeing it as a chore… ps- my sunscreen is in my tinted moisturizer so I have a little excuse to wear almost daily 😉

  • Nicole January 30, 2012, 9:33 am

    This will be a great project!

    I’m a firm believer in just doing what makes you happy. Before I met my husband, I used to straighten my hair every day, wear expensive makeup from Sephora every day, shave my legs every couple of days, wear perfume every day, etc. all because I thought that’s what attractive women did. When I met my husband, he always encouraged me to stop doing all that stuff if I didn’t want to, but I thought he would quickly change his mind if I really stopped. But then slowly I stopped straightening my hair and wearing as much makeup and perfume and whatnot and eventually, I actually liked how I looked without it all better. Now I do only what makes me feel good. I shave once a week, get my eyebrows waxed every couple of months, put in a little bit of product to make my naturally-wavy hair look a little less frizzy, and that’s it. I like how it looks and that’s what matters to me. Would I look more “modern” and “cool” if I had a full face of makeup and more styled hair and painted my nails? Maybe, but it’s just not worth it to me anymore. I like how I look naturally and I think it’s a shame that society makes women feel bad about looking natural.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 9:58 am

      This comment makes me happy. 🙂 I love men like your husband.

  • Kristin January 30, 2012, 9:35 am

    Wow! This is really interesting. I can’t wait to read about your experience especially being pregnant. I am 9 months pregnant (due in 2 weeks!) and have really had to think about my beauty rituals. I’ve tended to wear makeup more frequently just to give myself a little boost on those days when I don’t feel that great. I REALLY miss removing my facial hair chemically and lets just say shaving in certain areas is a little tricky but I figure if people notice or care at the pool that’s their problem. They are probably focusing more on my big belly :). But overall I rejoice and enjoy in my pregnant body and am curious as to how my body perception will change after the baby is born.

  • Claire Johnson January 30, 2012, 9:36 am

    I can’t wait to follow your project. I have actually gone the last two days without makeup and wearing my comfortable barefoot shoes and loved it. My husband loves it too and says he can’t even tell I’m not wearing makeup.

    I write a blog called Daisy Among Roses which is about embracing the unique you so I feel like I am setting an example by going without makeup and accepting who I uniquely am.

    You are setting such a great example!

  • Dana January 30, 2012, 9:38 am

    Wow! That’s pretty cool. I’m not sure I’d last the full 60 days…more power to you! I enjoy doing ‘girly’ things like shaving, painting my nails and having my hair done…plus, I can grow one heck of a uni-brow 🙂

  • DadHTP January 30, 2012, 9:40 am

    I almost never read all the comments, but I think this is a fantastic project – I was surprised the deodorant thing seemed to be a bigger deal than shaving. As a life long guy, I’d like to make two observations –
    1. if you’ve been exercising and smell – that’s how bodies work. It’s in how you look at it – “I smell different because I just ran x miles, and I rock” is different from “ewwwww..I stink”.

    2. assuming regular showers, normal hygiene and decent health – big secret coming here – men like the way women smell without perfume, scented body wash, hairspray, etc.. Millions of years of evolution can’t be wrong. A little something extra on special occasions also can mean you’re interested if that’s not your daily fallback of grooming.

    • Alett January 30, 2012, 10:08 am

      DadHTP -> you are AWESOME!!

  • Amanda @ AmandaRunsNY January 30, 2012, 9:46 am

    This is a really amazing idea and I love it. I think its really great how you included using “corrective” lotions as well as uncomfortable clothing.

    I stopped wearing make up on a daily basis years ago because my skin is so sensitive that it breaks out from almost any makeup – even from the stuff that isn’t supposed to cause break-outs. And I rarely do anything to my hair since it’s naturally straight, but for me the hardest thing would be shaving since I work out at the gym a lot in sleeveless tanks.

  • Tanya @ Vegan Faith January 30, 2012, 9:47 am

    Molly mentioned something “wild” coming up between the two of you when I saw her last week! I can’t wait to hear all about this new project and read about it! Great job ladies!

  • Ali January 30, 2012, 9:47 am

    I never used to wear make-up until now, and it’s because with this pregnancy (which is a boy btw) my face took on a whole new look of acne. It’s terrible and I hate looking at myself in the mirror. So I load on the make-up. Sad but true.

  • Brita January 30, 2012, 9:48 am

    This is not meant as a critical comment, so please don’t take it that way!
    I’m just wondering why it has to be all or nothing. What does this say to girls who honestly enjoy wearing makeup every now and then? Who want to shave their legs because they like the way it feels in their cozy sweatpants? I’m not a huge beauty queen, but I enjoy playing around with these things and actually view the whole beauty routine as a perk of being a girl! I just worry that this says to girls, if you ever want to play with nail polish or lipstick, it means you don’t think you’re beautiful on your own and that’s bad.
    Either way, I’m excited for you to try something that you’re excited about and really curious to see how you feel about it from day one to day sixty 🙂 Good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:03 am

      I don’t think this is critical, don’t worry 🙂

      I don’t think it has to be all or nothing at all, which I suspect is how I will feel at the end of the project. However, I think to really get to a good answer and really get in deep with all the messy emotions that come with giving up Beauty Habits, I have to COMPLETELY immerse myself in it. Does that make sense?

      • Brita January 30, 2012, 10:08 am

        Yes, it does! As I said, I am really interested to see how you feel about it throughout.
        I will also echo the comment that someone mentioned above regarding swimming. You are going to feel like a SEAL in water once you do shave again (whenever that is) 🙂

      • Jessica January 30, 2012, 10:11 am

        I just wanted to chime in and say I agree with Brita and I appreciate your reply, Caitlin — I think you DO probably have to go all in to really see how you feel, but later on, I’m sure you’ll find a happy medium in your “beauty routine.”

  • Khushboo January 30, 2012, 9:51 am

    Wow sounds like a brave move- I am looking fwd to reading about the kind of impact it has on you!

  • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 30, 2012, 9:52 am

    Congratulations you two! I hope this gets the media attention it deserves. See if you can reach out to the Today Show – Hoda and Kathie Lee did a show without makeup once.

    I think some of the problems are also in how we perceive other people without makeup. I walked into work the other day without makeup one and my secretary told me I looked tired. I wasn’t tired – I just have bags under my eyes if I don’t cover them up with makeup. My mom told me she gets similar comments when it’s time to color her hair. People tell her she looks tired. Why do we think it’s okay to say things like that?

    • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 30, 2012, 7:23 pm

      I agree that we shouldn’t say things like that to each other, but it might be accidental and not malicious. I have a friend who always wears heavy liner/mascara, and one day she wasn’t but I didn’t realize why she looked different and I said something about her looking tired. I wasn’t trying to insult her at all, I was feeling sympathetic because we worked early mornings, but when she said “I’m not tired, I’m just not wearing makeup” I felt bad and made a mental note to never say that again!

  • Mary January 30, 2012, 9:52 am

    Are you still going to swim with hairy legs and an unshaved bikini line? Please spare people from having to look at that

    • Sarah @ The Strength of Faith January 30, 2012, 9:55 am

      I have a cousin who doesn’t shave – not even for her wedding. To be quite honest – we don’t even really notice. I mean – men don’t shave, so it’s not like it’s a completely unnatural thing.

    • Justine January 30, 2012, 10:20 am

      Swimmers don’t shave their legs all the time…have you ever been to a pool before? 🙂 –coming from a former competitive swimmer.

    • Greta @ Staying Lost January 30, 2012, 10:25 am

      Not all swimmers shave. Body hair happens!

    • Krista January 30, 2012, 11:49 am

      good grief. who’s going to be focused on caitlin’s legs and bikini line? it’s not like she’s sunbathing… she’s doing laps!

    • mary January 30, 2012, 9:26 pm

      I don’t think she’s needs to shave everyday but at least once a week for personal hygiene. I don’t think it’s okay to have an overgrown bikini line when you’re in a swimsuit it’s not MODEST. if she wants to wear shorts over her swimsuit then i think it’s ok but there are some things that need to be hidden

      • Rachel January 31, 2012, 2:50 am

        says who?

    • Brigid January 31, 2012, 1:36 pm

      Yeah, former competitive swimmer here, too, and it’s really normal not to shave except before a big competition. If anyone’s perving on her legs and bikini area, they can take what they get.

  • Whitney January 30, 2012, 9:52 am

    My husband always tells me I look most beautiful when I don’t wear makeup! I always blow him off and say “yeah right”. Maybe there is something to his comment!! You rock Caitlin and I can’t wait to follow this journey to see what you discover about yourself 🙂

  • Hope January 30, 2012, 9:53 am

    This is so awesome it has me crying at my desk! You are amazing Caitlin. Thanks for caring about the little girls enough to want to be truly authentic!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:04 am

      Thank you Hope.

  • jd January 30, 2012, 9:53 am

    At the risk of sounding like a jerk….this doesnt seem to warrant a ” project”. Maybe I’m crazy, but I go much longer than 2 months doing these things. Seems superficial to me

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:05 am

      Like I said, I think the project might look different for different people. Maybe you would need more time with it? I am open to extending the length if I feel like I need to sit with it longer but I think 60 days is a good starting point for me.

    • Trin January 30, 2012, 10:15 am

      Completely concur.

      But I guess if your standard routine is all of these things, all the time…it’d be a project to give them up. Good luck, ladies.

  • Julia January 30, 2012, 9:56 am

    Oh, this going to be an interesting project!
    I admire that you have the courage to step outside your comfort zone without feeling the need to prove anything.

    For me, I really love wearing make up and I love the process of putting it on. The same goes for painting my nails. But I don’t feel the pressure that I HAVE to do this. I do it because I like it.

  • Liz January 30, 2012, 9:56 am

    I’m torn on this project. In one sense I think its a great experiment and I’ve very curious to see how you feel when you come out the other side. On the other hand, I really don’t understand what you want to accomplish. Its great to challenge our society’s views on gender, beauty, etc, but you have said yourself that you have no idea what the goal of this project is. Additionally, you are encouraging the stereotype that the “normal woman” is obsessed with her looks. There are plenty of women, myself included, who don’t wear makeup or spend outrageous amounts of money on our hair and makeup and don’t wax our bodies fully clean etc, and we are fully happy and productive members of society with significant others, friends and a happy life. I’m a bit taken aback because I feel as though this project puts women into boxes: the women who you identify with (makeup, expensive hair, etc) and the ones who don’t shave, wear deodorant and wear only sweatpants. Women don’t fit into boxes, we are one big beautiful spectrum of beauty rituals, personal beliefs, and I hope this project doesn’t encourage the stereotyping that I’m afraid I see in its beginnings…

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:07 am

      Maybe it is more the women that I grew up around and interact with frequently engage in this box? One of the concepts taught at GOTR is thinking “outside the girl box,” and I do think Beauty Habits like shaving and makeup are a box for the vast majority of women in our society (not all, but I would be surprised if more than 5% of American women do not regular shave, for example). As I said in the post, this is about MY experiences and I’m not judging other people.

  • Kris @ tryingtotri January 30, 2012, 9:57 am

    What an interesting experiment! I wear little makeup, and only at work, simply because most of it causes a reaction on my skin, and at work I feel it is “expected” of me (if I don’t wear it, I get asked if I’m tired or feeling OK as I’m natually very pale with dark circles under my eyes!).

    However, I shave 3x a week, because *I* prefer it – it find it very itchy! I’m not sure I could give it up, nor that I want to. But that’s what choice is about, right?

    Good luck with your project, I look forward to seeing your results!

  • Genevieve January 30, 2012, 10:01 am

    I feel sad this even needs to be a project. I’m 30 and I don’t wear makeup, wear high heels, or even think about it. I just do what I do and go about my day. No one’s ever suggested to me, directly or indirectly, that I might want to start wearing mascara or cute shoes or perfume. I’m not trying to say one way is better than the other, but I don’t think one needs as much bravery to go out of the house looking like oneself as implied. We blame participating in some of these “womanly pursuits” on societal pressure, but guess what? We normal people are society.

    Anyway, I’m not trying to be negative about your goals. I do think you’d probably be better off not worrying so much about your nail polish.

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 4:50 pm

      Comment like this really make me question what happened to me. I am from the midwest and have lived a fairly “alternative” life–nothing major, but I spent a lot of years graduate school in the humanities, which is certainly NOT an atmosphere that emphasizes beauty. I have actively challenged gender ideals for much of my adult life. There’s nothing I can point to that really pushed me to take up Beauty Habits. But I still ended up doing them and feeling as though it was just normal/expected! I still wear makeup, shave, wear heels, etc. I don’t know what is different about our lives, but I’m much more inclined to agree with Caitlin that there is a specific expectation of women…I feel awkward without makeup.

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 5:11 pm


        I feel like I can relate to this comment a LOT. I was raised in a very pro feminist household with a very alternative / liberal mindset (hello, have you seen DadHTP’s comments? LOL). However, I still buy into the Beauty Habits. I think people underestimate how influential the media really is. After all, it’s in our face all day, every day. How can some of us not be swayed by it, even if everything in our life is different?

  • Eric J. January 30, 2012, 10:04 am

    “Please. Shave your legs.”

    -Dudes Everywhere

    • faith January 30, 2012, 10:09 am


      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:32 am

        I find this comment especially interesting given the women’s comments on how husbands who are more accepting of natural beauty are more desirable partners.

    • Crystal January 30, 2012, 11:59 am

      “Please. Shave your balls and grow a bigger dick.”

      -Ladies everywhere

      • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 4:43 pm

        But Crystal, Eric is obviously already a huge dick. 🙂

      • Anon January 30, 2012, 5:51 pm

        well, it will LOOK bigger…

  • Alett January 30, 2012, 10:05 am

    Caitlin – Great job! You certainly will “walk the walk.”

    Admittedly you are much braver than I am. I don’t think I could go without shaving as I hail from a line of hairy people. I got teased so much about being hairy growing up although admittedly I did not start shaving until I was 13.

    re: makeup
    I don’t actually ever wear make-up. The reason? I prefer to have the extra time in the morning and I am not very good at putting on make-up LOL.

    Anyway, I am SO PROUD of you and Molly for doing this! (I wondered what Molly’s big announcement today would be). You ARE a beautiful soul and a beautiful woman – with or without the primping.


  • Lisa January 30, 2012, 10:05 am

    This is quite bold!!

    I had to go on your blog and post today because yesterday I swam (laps, for exercise) for the first time ever. I was so proud. I had a serious case of the don’t belong-ies, but I bought a swim cap and marched in and 25 minutes later was done, and it felt great. Definitely going to become part of my routine!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:08 am


  • Lindsay @ Running the Windy City January 30, 2012, 10:06 am

    As women we are socialized to follow certain expectations and I wonder if as a result of all of this pressure we actually start to feel like we’re choosing to wear make-up, do our hair, and shave. Are we really choosing to live this way or is society choosing it for us?

    Anyway, I can’t wait to see how your experiment goes and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the experience!

  • Keri January 30, 2012, 10:08 am

    Growing up in Colorado and living in places like Durango and Boulder, I have felt the opposite. There are times when I feel guilty for wearing make-up, like I’m not independent-minded enough or “Coloradoan” enough if I do wear make-up. The guilt is something I feel, but it’s often as a reaction to what I feel expectations of other women are.

    I really like the idea of this project, and look forward to reading about your experiences.

    And I also wonder what if we decided to be the kind of women we want to be, whether or not it fits everyone’s social standards? And what if we as women accepted other women whether they wear high heels or sneakers, make-up or none, shaved legs or not? What if we didn’t judge ourselves or other women based on how we look?

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:09 am

      This is interesting! I think so much of how you feel about beauty habits is based on where and how you were raised. A friend made a similar comment about Asheville, NC.

      • DadHTP January 30, 2012, 10:19 am

        totally – more women with gray hair in Mendocino than anywhere I’ve ever lived.

        • Keri January 30, 2012, 10:40 am

          Ha! I wonder if the women in Mendocino feel pressured not to dye their hair 🙂

      • Keri January 30, 2012, 10:40 am

        It is interesting! Maybe I should challenge the expectations here by wearing make up and heels everyday. The idea of that scares me because I wore heels recently to a training for work (I work in environmental education), and I felt sooo out of place. I don’t know if I’d welcome that feeling everyday. But isn’t the point about choice? Isn’t the point that we should be able to choose what we want to do without feeling guilty or strange or ashamed?

      • Kim January 30, 2012, 12:04 pm

        I agree with this. I grew up in a small town of Tennessee where the vast majority of women are very much ‘down to earth’ in that wearing casual clothes like jeans and t-shirts and no makeup to school is the norm, and I was happy leaving the house without primping,etc. Then once I relocated to Chicago in my early 20s this changed quickly. Here there is much pressure to always look your best. Now this is my ‘norm’, makeup everyday, nails done, wrinkle makeup. I miss the ‘tomboy’ TN days.. What I find funny is my husband always says, I can’t tell the differnce when you wear makeup, and when you don’t? (and he is Chicago native) haha! So I guess in the big picture, what does it really matter?

    • Kaitlin January 30, 2012, 12:19 pm

      I have read your blog for a long, long time but have never felt the need to comment. I just have to say that I agree with the person above. I am from western pennsylvania and am extremely girly but often feel out of place. I love fashion, accessories, and cosmetics, but Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas are definitely not the most fashionable areas. So I agree that this goes both ways! I live in a pretty rural place and wearing sweatpants and no makeup is the norm for most people haha
      Interesting idea tho!

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 12:49 pm

        Its so interesting to hear how people’s location impacts their view of this subject!

    • Ali January 30, 2012, 7:29 pm

      I live in Boulder and I personally love it here because I feel comfortable EITHER way! There’s such a mix of people here, those that don’t give a crap what they look like because they are too busy doing other sweet things AND those that like to dress up and look nice. Whatever I decide for the day (OR NIGHT), I never feel out of place. But I must say, I haven’t brushed my hair for like 5 years : )

  • Devon January 30, 2012, 10:09 am

    Go you! I am so interested to hear what feedback you get from others. I wear relatively little makeup on a daily basis- undereye concealer, tinted moisturizer or bareminerals foundation, and mascara. On the days I go without (post gym, etc), I tend to get very strong feedback. Women at work usually comment that I have gorgeous skin (yay yoga glow!), but the men and high school students (boys and girls) always tell me I look tired or sick. I do have prominent undereye circles, but not deathly ill ones! So even though we usually say “I dress for other women”, I feel like I wear makeup for everyone else…weird?

    and GO HUSBAND for being on board with the no shaving thing! I can’t quite get my fiance to agree 😉

  • Kristie January 30, 2012, 10:09 am

    This is a neat idea, but I’m with at least a few of the other women here who have commented… I don’t wear make-up and it is not a big deal. I’ve never had anyone point it out, or tell me I should start doing these things. I also don’t feel ugly when I look at my ‘naked’ face in the mirror and it’s not because I’m some kind of super woman.

  • colleen January 30, 2012, 10:10 am

    Good luck with the project. I don’t wear makeup except for powder, only shave once a week or every two weeks, don’t spend time on my hair, can’t stand anything scented on my body, and my ankles can’t stand heels. However I’ve been conflicted on what to say when my boys see me doing my nails (which is probably every 3 months)and ask why they can’t wear it when Caitlin and I do. I’ve had to stop myself several times from saying ‘because your dad would kill me.’

  • Ellen Gafford January 30, 2012, 10:11 am

    I stopped wearing makeup about 10 years ago, for a couple of reasons. 1st, a friend told me that she felt so much freer after she stopped wearing it, plus it saves money. 2nd, I developed tremors in my right hand so it makes it a little difficult to put on makeup, especially mascara or eye liner. I do shave but not all the time. Sometimes I’ll go weeks without shaving, usually in the winter. My nails don’t grow so I got artificial nails for several years but when I lost my job, I really couldn’t afford it and now, it feels great to have one less thing to worry about messing up. But the waxing; I just can’t get away from not having my eyebrows and lip waxed. Now, they’re really not bad, but I just can’t stand it when I can’t get there every three weeks. Goog luck with the project!

  • Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free January 30, 2012, 10:12 am

    I love this social experiment! I’m really interested in how people will react towards you.

    I’m guessing that men will be fairly comfortable and most likely won’t notice while women may be harsh and uncomfortable since you are essentially refusing to conform to the male gaze and the societal values it reinforces. It raises an interesting question of authentic volition. Do we do these things out of our own want/volition to wear makeup, etc or does societal pressure tell us that we should want to do those things? I think it is a bit of both since we don’t live in a vacuum and are constantly subjected to society’s influences.

  • Brandy January 30, 2012, 10:16 am

    I think this is great! I wear makeup, shave and all that stuff, but I’m truly at a point where I do it because it’s fun!

    I have gone months without shaving because I get lazy. In the end, I just like how it feels when I shave. And I have fun with makeup. I truly enjoy putting it on. My husband couldn’t care less about the makeup though. It took me a long time to get to this point though. When I was a teenager and went out without makeup my mom would say to me, “you’re not going out of the house looking like THAT are you??” Major self-esteem killer.

    I could not go without deoderant though. I am a major sweater and sometimes will stink at the end of the day even with deoderant. On days that I forget it, I can tell after about three hours. It’s not nice. Not for me and I’m sure not for people around me. I’m jealous of people who just naturally aren’t stinky! 🙂

  • Greta @ Staying Lost January 30, 2012, 10:21 am

    I’m glad you’re doing this. It’s unfortunate how many women feel that without makeup they are not beautiful and not able to go out in public. Men have just as many “flaws,” but few men think they need concealer to “fix” them. By the way, with the exception of wearing natural deodorant, this project is basically what I do all the time.

    I also think it’s telling that your husband is on board. I think sometimes we use men as an excuse, thinking we won’t be attractive if we don’t primp endlessly- but in reality, it seems like the vast majority of men are happy with women who are comfortable in their own skin.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:23 am

      I think there is a correlation between the type of men that women should WANT to be with and the men who are happy with women who are comfortable in their own skin, too.

      • Greta @ Staying Lost January 30, 2012, 12:45 pm

        That’s a good point! Sounds like you chose well. 🙂

    • Crystal January 30, 2012, 12:02 pm

      I’ve always believed that women don’t dress up and do their hair for men–they do it for other women.

  • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 30, 2012, 10:21 am

    Sounds like my life :P. I rarely wear makeup (I only wear a little eye makeup if I’m going to a party or something), I shave my legs/armpits inconsistently, I never dye and rarely style my hair, and never wax anything. I don’t feel like I’m not a woman. I’m glad that my husband doesn’t notice or care if I shave or wear makeup because I love him dearly and he wouldn’t be my husband if he expected those things of me. Wearing a full face of makeup every day seems so tedious to me!

  • Andrea @ Run, Eat, Date, Sleep January 30, 2012, 10:22 am

    I wouldn’t be able to step foot on the pool deck without shaving/waxing my bikini line. More power to you, Caitlin!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats January 30, 2012, 10:23 am

    This sounds like a really interesting project! I always wear my hair natural and only wear make up when I’m going into school or doing something social, haha so I’m already not a huge participant in the beautification world. But I have to say the shaving would bother me, I go max a week without shaving my legs because it gets uncomfortable!

  • Mandy January 30, 2012, 10:24 am

    omg you are SO brave! I am not brave enough to do it. I wish I was. You are such a beautiful person!

  • Crystal January 30, 2012, 10:25 am

    This post almost made me cry; I have always felt a lot of pressure from people around me to be “more girly.” It starts so early for girls, more so now than ever. I still feel out of place when I’m around some of my female friends, because I don’t wear makeup or get brazilian blowouts. Luckily, I have an awesome husband who likes my hair when it’s naturally wild and curly, my eyes without eyeshadow and mascara, and, well, he doesn’t mind hair in certain places either.I’m ashamed to admit that it took a man to point out that I’m beautiful without all that.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:28 am

      Just curious, where are you from?

      Also, you shouldn’t feel ashamed that a man helped you see this – you should be grateful to have such an awesome influence in your life! Cheers for men like your man!

      • Crystal January 30, 2012, 11:49 am

        I’m a military brat, so I’m not from anywhere 🙂 I’m half Asian, as are many of my friends, and there is a very specific standard of beauty that many Asian women feel they have to meet. My mom always wanted to be thin, have large eyes, perfect hair, and wear dresses and heels. I remember her teaching me at a young age how to apply eye makeup to make my eyes bigger and less “Asian.” Many of my Asian friends still wax, dye, pluck, and practically starve themselves to fit into this Asian barbie mold–and we’re all in our 20s. It’s effed up. Damn, now I’m crying. Sorry for the long comment.

  • Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health January 30, 2012, 10:25 am

    Wow, what a cool thing to do! And a great message to send. I don’t always wear makeup and it’s something that I’ve gotten much more comfortable with, but on the days that I do wear it, I find that I actually like putting it on. I like playing with the colors on my eyes and highlighting certain features…to each her own right? 🙂 I can’t wait to read more about this!

  • amy January 30, 2012, 10:25 am

    I think it’s good to get people questioning why they do things.. I totally agree with that! Women should be able to feel confident in their own skin. I think that it’s an interesting topic to get people thinking.. I really believe everyone is created unique and valuable! Wearing make-up doesn’t add to a persons value.

    But a ‘project’ just seems a little over the top. This probably sounds really horrible, but I just thought I would share my thoughts. I think it’s great to give ‘being natural’ a go, just to see what reactions yourself and others have. However, being natural is something many women already do. Heaps of my friends ( approx. 24yrs) and myself included, already have very minimal beauty routines. Making this into a project, when so many people already do it, just seems too much.
    Anyways.. goodluck with it all. Hope you get lots of people thinking about their worth!

  • Aylin January 30, 2012, 10:28 am

    Caitlin, this is incredible and I’m really excited for you. I did something similar when I was at a women’s college. However, I was surrounded by like-minded people and it was a very safe space…I really haven’t had the guts to do anything like this in my life now, with my work environment. But the more I think about it, the more I think all this pressure comes from ourselves, a few insecure women, and a few douchey guys. The majority of people I think won’t change how they feel about you and you might be released from your own pressure you put on yourself? That is my guess. I’m excited to find out. Your curiosity is a light for all of us!

  • Kristin January 30, 2012, 10:29 am

    I applaud the effort. I am a new mom and have been living this way for the past 4 months. ;). That said, I know that my perpetual state of wet hair (if clean at all) / no makeup / yoga pants and nursing top has effected my self esteem.

    That said – I really look forward to following this. Good luck!

  • Justine January 30, 2012, 10:30 am

    I think this is great for you. I agree with others that it shouldn’t be that the normal woman wears make up and it’s abnormal not to, but I don’t see how else you would be doing this. It’s not normal for you to be wearing make up in your own personal life.

    I’m a swimmer, so shaving legs was done before big swim meets or in the summertime when I wore sundresses (what’s the point of shaving your legs if no one sees them anyway?) Make-up, well, I liked my sleep in high school/college and still do now as I get up at 5:30am and don’t get home until 8pm! (I’m a RN, 12 hour shifts) and who would be it be for anyway, since I take care of sick babies.

    I wear make up on rare occasions like dances while in school, graduation, and on my wedding day. While I liked the effect, I still felt a little bit like a stranger in my own body (not to mention that it always clogged up my pores and I issues with acne growing up). My husband prefers that I don’t wear make up and he thinks I’m beautiful and tells me so every day. I dress up when we go out because I know he likes it, but it’s a present for him, not something that’s expected.

    I wish you luck! I think you are beautiful just the way you are too.

  • Katie - Life Discombobulated January 30, 2012, 10:33 am

    What a fantastic project, Caitlin! I’m so excited to read about how the experience works for you and Molly. Little things like this can make a big difference for men and women of all ages, as it really forces people to think about who they are, who they want to be, how they think of themselves and how they think of others.

    As I was reading, I was really struck by your epiphany that many of the grooming activities women take part in are not FUN – we do them because we feel we “should” or because we feel we have to. It really made me think about the grooming activities I take part in, myself, and exactly how I feel about them. I hate: shaving my legs (and other body parts), tweezing my eyebrows, putting on lotion, and wearing uncomfortable clothes. I do those things because they are socially and culturally expected. However, I love, love, LOVE: painting my fingernails and toenails!!!! I don’t feel like I have to or like it makes me more of a woman. Looking down at my hands while I work and seeing a pop of color makes my day. Also, I don’t ever wear very much makeup, so sometimes, putting it on is FUN. However, I often feel like I need at least a little something to look acceptable.

    As I was thinking about this, I think I realized the whole point of The Naked Face Project: to learn to love how you look without all of these “beauty-enhancing” products. To show yourself that YOU, with no makeup, no perfume, no hair straightener, are beautiful, just as you are.

    Seriously, this is one of the reasons I look forward to reading your blog every day. Your insights and willingness to put yourself out there are inspiring and empowering.

    Oh, and I absolutely LOVE Dad HTP’s comment above. Amen to that! 🙂

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie January 30, 2012, 10:35 am

    Pregnancy may actually benefit you on this one as far as confidence and self esteem go.

    I’m also pregnant (with my second) and during my first pregnancy was the first time, in YEARS that I felt comfortable without make up. I didn’t have to shower as often because my hair/skin quality became so amazing. I know some women struggle with the opposite reaction to pregnancy but the sexy baby bump, the good hair and good skin really improved my self esteem. I learned a lot about myself during that time too and my self confidence rose quite a bit. Now, almost a year and a half after giving birth and being pregnant again, I am learning more things about myself and my body that amaze me. Pregnancy is a crazy journey.

  • Elisabeth January 30, 2012, 10:36 am

    This will be fascinating to follow along with. I have to say, though, I already don’t do a lot of those things – for me, it’s mostly because I’m a bit tomboy-ish. So, I’ve never really worn makeup everyday, etc. I would feel the oddest about no deoderant – I get kind of hot & sweaty at work & would probably have to file that under hygiene vs. beauty, but I think it’s probably different for everyone. Also, $40/month for eyebrow waxing? Wow! I get mine done once every 3 weeks (and they do grow pretty quickly) for $7. 😉

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:38 am

      $7 is so cheap! I am jealous. Mine is $12 a wax and that is one of the cheapest non-scary waxes I have found in Charlotte. I tip big because I really like the people at my salon, and I usually go once every two weeks, but sometimes more often, so it prob averages out to $40 a month.

  • Susan January 30, 2012, 10:37 am

    Kind of off topic but also kind of on topic – I’ve been doing a lot of research lately into the chemicals that are in normal make up and beauty products. I buy usual drugstore stuff – Maybelline, Clinique, Rimmel, etc. And was shocked that every single product I own contains cancer-causing chemicals (and a lot of parabens!) Anyways, as a woman with cancer, I couldn’t believe I was letting that on my body without asking questions about it.

    And on another topic, I haven’t been allowed to shave for over 6 months due to medical reasons and it’s really not bad. I’m lucky in that I’m fair so you can’t really see it. But that’s the point – you can’t see it! Why was I dragging a blade across my skin every day for all those years?

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:38 am

      Oh don’t get me started on the chemicals. It’s SCARY. And the animal testing really gets to me, too.

      Why can’t you shave when you’re doing chemo? Is it because you have a suppressed immune system?

      • Susan January 30, 2012, 9:00 pm

        It was two-fold, I was on blood thinners so if I nicked myself I could bleed for days, and also shaving/waxing put me at a high risk for infections. Wasn’t a problem once I lost all the hair on my body though! (including my nose hair!)

  • PressureCookerDiaries January 30, 2012, 10:41 am

    To be perfectly honest, I already do most of those things. I usually only put on deodorant before going to work out, and shower it off immediately afterward. I wear make-up maybe once every 6 months. And I never even blow-dry my hair. Most days I barely brush it. I do shave once a week though, but honestly it’s only because I love the feel and smoothness. And I only wear comfortable clothes, but I’m lucky to work in a place where daily jeans are totally fine. I always feel beautiful, even if somewhat “earthy.” It is possible to still look good while not following the stereotypes of what it is to be feminine. Good luck with the challenge!

  • Heather January 30, 2012, 10:42 am

    I wear eye makeup (and only eye makeup) when we go out of the house, but on a daily basis I wear no makeup. I also don’t shave my legs at all unless I have to wear a skirt/dress for some reason and can’t get away with opaque tights. The husband could care less. He says that shaved or not shaved is fine. he just hates the prickly in-between stage.

  • Haley January 30, 2012, 10:42 am

    I’m impressed…I have a fairly small morning/beauty/skincare routine but mostly out of laziness. It’s winter, why shave? Make-up takes more time to take off, why put it on? I wish I could say that I’ve done this to push against the grain, but it’s really out of laziness and simplicity. You’ll do awesome, and trust me….most of it will feel liberating! It did for me when I started getting lazy and not caring

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed January 30, 2012, 10:44 am

    I think wearing a bit of make up and doing a little something extra with my hair can make me feel more put together and a little extra confident. But I can always appreciate the natural texture of my hair and there are entire weeks when I’m just too lazy to do my make up. I’m beautiful either way 🙂 I really hate when girls wear so much make up their skin looks like a different tone then their neck, pet peeve!

    I’m rocking some seriously hairy legs right now… my boyfriend isn’t a huge fan, but he doesn’t discriminate 😉 I generally don’t like shaving, but I do it as a gift to him. Although sometimes it can feel pretty nice post shave.

    Comfy shoes are a nonnegotiable for me, they can be just as cute as ones that make your feet scream!

    Lots of rambling! I think this is a great project and I’m looking forward to your thoughts as you progress! Good luck 🙂

  • Molly Huff January 30, 2012, 10:44 am

    I think this is a great project you 2 are doing. I am involved w GOTR in Rochester NY, own a yoga studio and for the most part pretty much live a ‘naked’ life. It is a pretty freeing experience, women think I’m crazy that I have never had a manicure, pedicure, been waxed. I rarely shave my legs esp. during the winter month, and wear very little makeup…however, I wouldn’t be able to give up the deodorant or lotion, esp. w the winter dryness here in western NY. My daughter, her boyfriend and a lot of their friends (all early 20’s) don’t wear the deodorant and pretty much live that ‘hippie’ lifestyle. Let me tell you, when you are in the room w them all, a little deodorant would be helpful!! 🙂 Good luck w/ it all, I love the fact that you are still young and can see the problem that women face everyday for years! It would be wonderful to finally get out of this forever merry go round women ride every day! I’ll be 51 a week from today, and when I look at photo’s of me when I was 20, I still feel and see that 20 year old!! Life is beautiful and surrounding yourself w/ beautiful people make it even that much sweeter! peace! Molly Huff
    *Check out the video I posted on Molly’s wall about this topic, posted it last week.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:46 am

      Thank you for your comment and most of all, thank you for volunteering with GOTR!

  • Mackenzie @ Eat. Exercise. Evolve January 30, 2012, 10:46 am

    Wow, I am SO excited to read about this as time goes on. I work at a high school and we recently held a special class in between semesters called “From Girls to Ladies.” We had a guest speaker come in who worked with young ladies at another high school. She said that one day her and 120 of her female students agreed to come in the next day without makeup on. 2 out of the 120 girls were so horrified at the idea that they wouldn’t even step into her classroom the next day without makeup. I’m talking tears and parent/teacher meetings. Projects like this are SO needed. Thank you!

  • Julia January 30, 2012, 10:49 am

    This is such a great thing you’re doing! I’ve always kind of wanted to go without makeup but my acne just always seems to get in the way and I feel to self-conscious to go without. Maybe I’ll try it too.

  • Danielle January 30, 2012, 10:49 am

    All in all I think this is a really awesome project. But I have two questions. Why go without deoderant? Sorry that that jumped out at me, but deoderant isn’t really about primping, its about hygiene isn’t it? You wouldnt stop using soap so why deoderant?

    Also, you are super brave for doing this at this point in yor pregnancy. Granted, pretty soon you wont be ABLE to shave your legs anyway so the timing is excellent! But at the same time, be wary of hormones… during my pregnancy I got to a point where regardless of what my husband, parents, friends, strangers on the street thought, I felt like I really needed to “look pretty with makeup” for me. So it will be interesting to see how pregnancy plays a role.

    Good luck, and definitely looking fwd to your updates!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 10:59 am

      We decided that DEO during the winter is unnecessary, plus neither one of us sweat or smell that much. 🙂

      Thank you for your support!

      • Danielle January 30, 2012, 9:43 pm

        Good point about it being winter, shouldve thought of that, duh 🙂

  • faith January 30, 2012, 10:52 am

    My mom is an artist who worked from home when I was growing up. She was either covered in clay in her “work” cloths or wearing something simple and comfortable for life around the farm. She occasionally wore eye liner and permed her hair but never shaved, wore perfume, or made a daily ritual out of getting dressed up. As an adult I have sometimes wished that I’d learned how to put on make up or actually “do” my hair but mostly I am grateful that I had a role model who was beautiful and comfortable in her natural state. I feel no pressure from my family, husband, friends, work, or myself to appear a certain way but I feel better overall when I am clean shaven, clean haired, and fresh smelling. Once in a while I enjoy putting on make up or actually attempting to do my hair but I usually find it unnecessary FOR ME.
    I applaud you for this project, I think by the end that you may realize that much of what you do for your appearance really is for you. That YOU feel more attractive and more comfortable when you can cover up that pimple and smell pretty.

  • Katie January 30, 2012, 10:52 am

    I love you for doing this! (And I knew The Husband would be cool with it – it’s clear from your blog how much he loves you and what a supportive guy he is). A few years ago, I felt uncomfortable with my dependance on the beauty industry. I never wanted to be seen without makeup, or without my frizzy hair straightened and styled. I decided to shave my head and stop wearing make up. Everyone around me thought it was pretty weird (except for my boyfriend, who was awesome and supportive), but it really helped me be a lot more comfortable in my skin. After an initial feeling of unattractiveness, I ended up thinking I looked great without make up (or hair). Now, I frequently style my hair and put on a whole face-full of makeup, but I also am pretty comfortable going au natural. Funny thing is though, I feel less secure with my naked face than I did back in the day. I think your body pride is going to be stronger than ever before after this. Good luck!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 11:00 am

      you shaved yoru head!? that is so awesome. and committed! i admire you.

    • Rachel January 30, 2012, 2:51 pm

      I once buzzed my head for similar (and different) reasons. It was really liberating. And pleasantly fuzzy! 🙂

  • Allie Q January 30, 2012, 10:53 am

    Last April I decided to ditch my make-up routine (which was concealor, foundation, powder, blush, eye liner, mascara and lipstick EVERY DAY). At first it took a LOT of getting used to. I felt ashamed to be bare-faced, and to be honest, people did make rude comments to me. I felt so awkward without my “mask” on that for the first week I couldn’t even make eye contact with anyone at the office.

    It’s been close to a year now and I’ve relaxed WAY more about being bare-faced. These days I mostly just wear tinted moisturizer, lip gloss and mascara, which I think is still a big improvement over how much make-up I wore before. If anything, I’m a little more secure about letting people see the “real” me.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 11:00 am

      Love this comment, Allie.

  • Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 30, 2012, 10:55 am

    I have to ask, what was the first several days of hair growth like? really itchy and awkward? Are you warmer now? Are you saving on pricey eye makeup remover? Are you using ANY lady products like perfume or scented deodorant?

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 11:03 am

      Project starts on Wednesday so nothing to report yet.

      No lady products at all.

  • January 30, 2012, 10:56 am

    Go for it. There will always be some women who choose to wear makeup, do their hair, etc. who might feel that you’re challenging what they do, and there will be others who don’t follow that routine and will wonder if you’re painting them as ‘abnormal’. Lighten up folks. What someone else does shouldn’t be a threat to us, yet that is often the response.

    You are experimenting with making choices different than what you normally would. Whatever you get out of it, and however it makes you feel, you will have done something different. You are very good about encouraging girls to be true to themselves and to also be aware of marketing & media impact on how they define themselves. I for one will find it interesting to follow along.

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life January 30, 2012, 11:00 am

    I am so excited to see where this project takes y’all! I read the other day (possibly through you!) that a ridiculous amount of 9-12 year old girls wear makeup nowadays. I hope you will comment on your confidence throughout the project — I feel that is a large part of why I personally wear makeup; it makes me feel more confident. Confidence through social constructions? Possibly. Good luck girlie!

  • Amy January 30, 2012, 11:02 am

    Ha! I’m totally doing a naked face, no shaving, comfortable clothes project right now! Except its because I’m on maternity leave with a newborn and a 2 year old and just haven’t bothered with it since I rarely go anywhere with adults. Funny enough though, the few times I have put makeup on in the last 2 months are when my 2 year old boy has asked me to go “play makeup” with him. He likes to play with my extra clean makeup brushes while I get ready in the morning. At least its reminding me that I can just wear makeup because it is fun!

  • Angie January 30, 2012, 11:03 am

    What a great idea. I personally have never been overly focused on looking ‘perfect’. I’m often going out the door with some eye shadow and my hair in a ponytail (and this is to my job). However I think too many girls are trying too hard to look like women fair too young. I was lucky my Mom taught me to be comfortable in my own skin, though it wasn’t easy and I have been teased plenty throughout my life.
    I can’t wait to follow your journey. Know your brave for doing this, especially now! Good luck, I’m sure tons of people will be cheering you on.

  • alli January 30, 2012, 11:08 am

    I am THRILLED you are doing this! I can’t wait to see how it goes!!! So proud of you and Molly!

  • Valerie January 30, 2012, 11:09 am

    What a great experience you two are about to embark on! I’m 27 and I typically go makeup free 4 out of 7 days–2 on my days off & 2 on days that I have to be at work at 3am! The other days I feel the need to compensate for my no-effort days to show the world that I’m beautiful and for some reason makeup is the answer. I know I shouldn’t feel pressured to wear makeup, but honestly, I feel a million times better when all my “flaws” are covered up. I’m sure the advertising industry is making bank off my “insecurities.” But in all honesty, I feel people take me more seriously when I plaster my face with beauty products and rock feminine clothing more so than when I’m just me, in comfortable, yet professional clothing without all the makeup. My demeanor & confidence levels probably change somewhat, but not all that much. I’m inspired by your 60 days challenge and am tempted to try it out myself, at the very least, the no make up part. Good luck on your endeavour.

  • Katie January 30, 2012, 11:11 am

    This is such an interesting project, I can’t wait to hear how it goes! I work in a hot and sweaty kitchen, where I don’t deal with customers, so I actually only wear makeup about 50% of the time. Based on my experience, I think you’ll be amazed at how differently people treat you! I’ve had people tell me that I look ‘tired’ when I’m not wearing makeup. And when I am dressed up and wearing ‘going out’ makeup, people look at me completely differently. Good luck on your project!

  • Sarah January 30, 2012, 11:12 am

    When I had Lasik, I wasn’t allowed to wear eye makeup for two weeks. I have blonde eyelashes so I look super tired with no eye make-up.

    Interestingly, now I wear very little eye make-up compared to before. Going without seemed to push a reset button and I think I was wearing way too much before.

  • jennyv January 30, 2012, 11:13 am

    Yet another reason I follow your blog. I love that you share when you feel less than authentic and they take it the next step to LIVE OUT your feelings and to challenge yourself.

    My husband loves when I don’t wear make-up or straighten my naturally curly hair. He always comments on how beautiful I look when I’m not done up — and I always look at him completely confused! Why? My perception of beauty has been altered because of the magazines I read, the shows I watch, etc. As a man, he hasn’t really dug in to that definition of ‘beauty’. I Love that about him!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape January 30, 2012, 11:16 am

    I love the message behind this. I do agree that primping and all that can be fun–and most of the time that is all it is for me. Sometimes, though, I catch myself putting on make up for a quick run to the grocery store (which is literally across the street from my apartment) or even dinner with my parents. These are things that don’t require my getting gussied up, yet I plant myself in front of the mirror and pile all that stuff on my face. It’s sort of crazy when you think about it! I think it’s really courageous for you to go ahead with this. As women, we do have this sort of social stigma against being completely au natural. Good luck with the next 60 days–looking forward to reading about it 😀

  • alyssa January 30, 2012, 11:17 am

    This is interesting. I am on board with the “naked face” aspect of it all — I think that’s a great message to promote! — but the rest just seems like a practice of poor hygiene to me. I do not shave my legs/armpits to make myself more desirable to men. I can say that with full and complete honesty. I do it because it’s hygienic. Smooth legs are just a nice side effect. I shave for the same reason that I get a haircut when my hair gets long and stringy. Sure, it looks better post-cut, but it’s also just a basic practice of self-care. Brushing your teeth fits in this category, too. A white smile is just a positive after-effect.

    I feel like it’s a little bit hypocritical to let all of these “beauty habits” go out of the window, yet ignoring the biggest one of them all – a person’s diet. We eat well to live well, right? Being fit is just a wonderful benefit of a good diet. If you’re going to let other practices of self-care go, are you also going to promote letting your diet go?

    This is NOT intended to be a hurtful or accusatory comment. It just made me think! I’m curious to see how this experience goes!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 11:22 am

      I think that a healthy diet and exercise fall under ‘hygiene’ like brushing your teeth. It’s not something you do purely to look good. Good thought process though! I like extending the theory to other areas.

      • alyssa January 30, 2012, 11:32 am

        Good point — there are definitely different levels (and importances) of hygienic practices. All in all, I’m sure you’ll learn something from this experiment, even if it’s something you weren’t anticipating learning!

    • Cali369 January 30, 2012, 2:31 pm

      I’m intrigued. Why are shaven legs/armpits hygenic? Does this mean you can’t be hygenic without shaving them? Does this mean all men are unhygenic? Is the implication of being unhygenic that you could get sick from it? Honestly, I think this is just what society has trained women to think, I’m not convinced that shaving has very much to do with hygiene.

  • Poptartyogini January 30, 2012, 11:18 am

    Oh my. Except for shaving my legs and a bit of gel in my hair I live th naked face project everyday. I don’t like wearing makeup. I never feel like I do it right and always end up poked in th eye with a mascara wand. I never feel self conscious about it. Maybe I should pretty up for 60 days! Don’t worry about the pool with unshaven legs. My sister swam in high school and they always let their leg hair grow before big meets for the extra drag. You’ll look hard core! Best of luck with the experiment. You’re beautiful, no enhancement necessary.

    • lgsmash January 30, 2012, 11:57 am

      I’m with you on this! I only use sunscreen lotion on my face and shave my legs maaaaybe once or twice a week. Mostly laziness on my part. It’s interesting to read the comments of all the women who feel like they HAVE to wear makeup – I think what Caitlin is doing will be eye opening for her and the readers who wear makeup all the time – natural beauty FTW! 🙂

      • Poptartyogini January 30, 2012, 1:34 pm

        Natural beauty. Amen! I’m married, have a job and people don’t cower from me on the street. Plus it makes getting dolled up more special. Glad there’s at least two of us out there!

  • CJ @ January 30, 2012, 11:23 am

    What an interesting idea. I never really considered how much stuff I do that isnt really relevant to me as a person, but it is what I feel i HAVE to do in order to be “normal.” Obviously I have incredible body image issues and a lot of that is because I am so paranoid people think I am ugly or disgusting. You are so brave for doing this. I wont lie and say I could do it because I am not at a point where I could commit to that (I am ashamed to admit it!) but my husband often says he loves when I just wake up in the am or have on my old sweats from college because its me, not an image.
    good for you girl. you do wonderful things for our world today!
    ps you are fabulously beautiful, inside and out:-)

  • Jennifer January 30, 2012, 11:26 am

    I think it is so fascinating that you guys are doing this. When I thought of the reality of what you’re doing, and what you’re giving up, and the situations you’ll be in, it kind of made my heart stop a little. Like, “OMG, I don’t think I could do that.” But therein lies the issue, right?

    You ladies have balls to do this, and I really admire that!!! 🙂 I can’t wait to see how it goes, and maybe it will inspire me to tackle a few of them myself.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit January 30, 2012, 11:26 am

    I love this idea, Caitlin! I haven’t shaved my legs in five years and stopped after I went on a 12-day camping trip where I couldn’t shave, and decided to keep it up afterwards. It always seemed like a waste of time and money to me, and a sexist expectation anyway. Got to admit, not shaving my armpits or going completely w/o makeup would be hard. Good luck with the project!

  • Katie @ cooklaughmove January 30, 2012, 11:28 am

    Awesome!!! Last year, half through the GOTR season I dyed my hair. When I showed up at GOTR they girls asked all sorts of questions and I replied that dying my hair is fun but really I felt so plain jane before that I “needed” the lift. I felt like such a hypocrite to them!

  • Lou January 30, 2012, 11:30 am
  • Hilary January 30, 2012, 11:35 am

    This is awesome. On an even greater scale,I’ve been toying around with getting breast implants for a while. I’ve finally decided “no way Jose” I have 2 little girls and I realize this is NOT the message I want to send to them at all. Boobs (or lack of) are not what make me a woman. I hope I can teach them this message. At least I’ll feel less like a hypocrite doing so without silicone help!

  • Julie January 30, 2012, 11:37 am

    Interested in seeing the results of this. I’m sure you already know that you might have to involuntary do this once the baby gets here, ha ha.

    I’m not wearing makeup today to work (just lotion and sunscreen) due to laziness, and yeah, I don’t feel as confident, but I do feel comfy! However, things like shaving I feel like I do for my comfort because the hair makes me itchy. I actually do full-on Brazilians on myself once a month because I don’t like to have hair poking me anyplace, though I’d like to someday stop because it’s kind of time-consuming and obviously uncomfortable. =/

  • Jen January 30, 2012, 11:40 am

    Hello from a fellow Miamian. I agree that the environment we were raised in definitely contributed to the pressure to feel put-together and perfect constantly.

    I’ve never worn makeup or fixed my hair (besides a ponytail) with any regularity, and I often credit Miami with that too — it was so hot and humid that I’d sweat any makeup off and my hair would frizz in an hour, so what’s the point of putting in the effort?

    I’m always preaching the no-makeup thing to my friends because I believe women should be truly comfortable with how they look naturally. I have one friend who will not step outside, regardless of what she needs to do, without a full face of makeup and perfectly straightened hair. I feel like the fear of people seeing what she really looks like (and she’s gorgeous!) has crippled her.

    Anyhow, this was a long-winded way of saying I’m really excited to see where the Naked Face Project takes you and Molly, and I think it’s an excellent idea!

  • Jeanelle January 30, 2012, 11:46 am

    I’ve never worn make up or cut my hair, and I haven’t had many negative responses. Most people think that it’s really cool that I take the time and effort to keep myself up without masking it with a bunch of dirty clay and unhealthy dyes… I do have to wear deodorant, and I do shave… I have lots of body hair so I look like a cactus if I don’t!

  • Meg @ Runridelove January 30, 2012, 11:48 am

    I think this is a very cool idea. I’m 26, and I don’t wear makeup. Of any kind (cherry chapstick doesn’t count, right?). My bf and I have been dating for 2 years, and he has seen me wear makeup exactly once, at his brother’s wedding, and it was just a little mascara and lip gloss. I just don’t see the point. It’s a waste of time and money and not necessary.

    I do and would have a problem not shaving. It’s a personal preference, and I do categorize that with personal hygiene. I’m all for being a strong, independent woman, but I don’t think you need to make yourself uncomfortable to make that happen!
    Also, bike racing season starts in 2 weeks, and leg shaving is a necessity! Both the bf and I will have clean, hairless legs for the next six months. The joys of dating a bike racer!

    I’m excited to see how this project evolves!

  • Vanessa January 30, 2012, 11:48 am

    I bet you’ll be surprised how much more time in the day you have by cutting back on all these beauty routines. I stopped wearing make-up and showering every day at the beginning of the year and I get out of the house and on to campus so much faster now. Excited to see how the project goes for you!

  • Rachel January 30, 2012, 11:49 am

    I love the idea! I think how your mother feels about make-up, etc. really influences children, more than celebrities, teachers, etc. My mom didn’t pluck her eyebrows until her 50’s; she only wore make-up when she went to work; and she never stressed about hairstyles, nails, make-up, or anything. I grew up assuming make-up, fashion, etc. was fun, but not an obsession or that important.
    Actually, I just never learned how to do the “fancy” stuff. I got my first manicure when I was 21 (and I’ve had about 3 since then). I still feel like a complete idiot when I do my make-up, and only own one mascara and recently bought blush. I’m horrible about shaving (thankfully, I have fair, light hair that comes in spotty), and I have gotten out of the shower before with only one leg shaved because I got distracted.
    I remember girls in high school who would get up at 5am in order to straighten their hair and do make-up. I remember thinking how crazy they were!
    I think its important for women to remember (as you said) that you were make-up, shave your legs, etc. because you want to not because you have to. Even if other people don’t join your 60-day challenge, I think all women should go at least one day a week without make-up. I think make-up makes more of a difference with how you see yourself, rather than how other people see you.

    Good luck!

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 7:32 pm

      Totally agree and am in practically the same boat–I honestly have no idea if my mom wears makeup, but I do know that she spends a lot of time doing her hair in the morning and it’s always irritated me for some reason. And I remember one summer, my grandparents stayed with us for a few days and I watched my grandmother “put on her face” one morning. So strange.
      I’ve worn makeup probably only a handful of times when I was young and my sister and I would play dress-up. In our house, the rule was makeup was allowed starting at age 13, I believe. I never took it up, but my sister wears at least a little. I could tell she’d put on more one morning–she looked so different, and honestly really strange. And then I found out that her friend had done her makeup for her, and it made more sense. Hah.
      I absolutely agree with your last paragraph!

  • marci January 30, 2012, 11:52 am

    I’m curious to read, but personally I don’t feel a desire to want to ditch any of my grooming or beauty habits. I’ve noticed more so while pregnant than before that I enjoy wearing make up, doing my hair, getting my nails done, etc. because it’s one thing I can control when my body is in charge of the rest. I try to make an effort to look put together and stylish because it makes me happy and feel good about myself.

  • Laura January 30, 2012, 11:54 am

    Yes! Love this.

    My own experience with no make up/not styling my hair has been this:

    When I started my new job 2 years ago at an engineering firm, I was used to the standard primping. However, I was surrounded by men and women who quite frankly couldn’t care less. Plus, I felt like the odd one out because I was wearing heels and lipstick. NONE of the women were wearing lipstick. I didn’t want to seem like the shallow one. So slowly, I stopped. Eventually I ditched the heels and now wear ballet flats everyday. I work out in the morning so I shower and throw my hair into a bun. The only thing that goes on to my face is moisturizer with SPF. I might put on earrings if I happen to see them before I leave my bedroom.

    So, a couple months back, I got a haircut that was too short to put back easily. My hair doesn’t airdry well, so I started styling it. Then I felt like I should go all the way and start doing makeup and jewelry. It was fun. It shocked people. I had a male coworker/friend that couldn’t stop staring at me – not in a sexual way, but just because he didn’t understand how I could look so different.

    Then – I made some comment about it to my boss (I don’t even know how we got on the subject) and he told me that he thought I looked more professional. To this day I don’t understand it. I don’t deal with external clients and everyone internally at this point knows me. Makeup or not shouldn’t change how they deal with me. How does wearing mascara make me appear any better at my job? I was definitely weirded out by the statement, especially considering that the norm in my office is no makeup, minimal jewelry, and more casual dress than dressy.

    So I’m back to the bare minimum. I’m clean, I wear pants. I put in the same effort as the guys.

  • deva at deva by definition January 30, 2012, 11:57 am

    My mom didn’t wear makeup much when I was growing up, and I don’t now as an adult. I wear it two or three times a week at most, and then it’s typically foundation or mascara. I don’t feel like I need it. I haven’t painted my fingernails in years – working in fast food for three years got me out of that habit quickly.

    I like the idea of this project and I’m interested to see where it takes you.

  • Kattrina January 30, 2012, 11:57 am

    Good luck!!

    I have never been a make-up person but always wanted to be. I own a bunch make-up but only use it every once in a while (like 2-3 times a month) and my hair’s almost always in a ponytail (and I actually have a professional job and go to an office every day, but no one seems to care). I think if I did the Naked Face Challenge it would be the exact opposite – challenge myself to wear make-up and do my hair for 60 days straight. Although that sounds like too much work! 🙂

    I do love shaving my legs and getting my bikini area waxed though. I wouldn’t say that I feel pressured to do it (especially since most people I know shave a lot less in the winter up here and I continually shave every other day or so) but I feel so much “cleaner” afterwards.

    I can’t wait to read about your experience and your experience with people’s reactions. More power to you!@

  • sherisse January 30, 2012, 11:59 am

    How very brave of you! I look forward to following your journey!

  • Kyla January 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

    Way to go! I’m going to participate once a week at least where I have to be in public. I can’t wait to read about your journey, you are an amazing woman.

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy January 30, 2012, 12:00 pm

    Awesome project. Although to be honest, I’m not sure I’d want to give up shaving my armpits or my tinted moisturizer because they make me feel awake, happy and clean. Looking forward to following the project.

  • Penny January 30, 2012, 12:05 pm

    This project is brilliant.
    And I sense another book sprouting from this…..:-)

  • Elisse January 30, 2012, 12:05 pm

    I think this is an amazing idea. I remember the last time (maybe a year ago) you adressed wearing makeup and decided not to wear it to a GOTR event. I was an english teacher abroad at the time and decided to for the same thing for a week. It was very liberating!

    I also stopped wearing makeup to my current job last week because it was irritating my skin. I work in a fancy hotel so this was more of a challenge. But again, so liberating! Those extra 15 minutes everyday can be used for so many things. Uh, hello extra sleep!

    Good luck to you both. You are beautiful!!

  • Molly @ RDexposed January 30, 2012, 12:09 pm

    The first “60 days” that I saw, I thought to myself: oh $h!t. Haha This is awesome what you’re doing!

  • cait January 30, 2012, 12:14 pm

    omg Caitlin I FULLY support this! I may even join. Although I’m sure my fiance would LOVE having me with a unibrow and smelling like soap instead of ridiculous perfume. 🙂 so liberating!

  • Stephanie Clement January 30, 2012, 12:15 pm

    Nice concept, I suppose. I think it’s taking “it” really far however…. My personal opinion: wear deodorant. for the love of god (an your neighbors) wear deodorant. You use heat in your house, no? You own a car, no? You’re not entirely removing yourself from society so please, please be kind to others. You MUST know what its like to be next to somebody who smells horrible…don’t do that to other people!!

    • Laura January 30, 2012, 12:22 pm

      Just wanted to say that deodorant isn’t really necessary for most people. I haven’t worn it for years unless it’s extremely hot out. I shower every day and never sweat underneath my armpits unless I am running or working out (after which I shower). Ask any of my friends, co-workers, husband and they will tell you that I don’t smell. In fact my husband once smelled my armpits after a whole day (I know TMI) and he was like, “that’s amazing! You don’t smell at all!” Now he doesn’t wear deodorant either. 😀

      • Jordan January 30, 2012, 12:28 pm

        I really think it depends on the individual. I, personally, MUST wear deodorant, because no matter what I’m doing or where I am or what clothes I’m wearing, my armpits ALWAYS sweat. Even with deodorant on, my b.o. still shines through. If your pits don’t stink, though, that’s awesome. Everybody’s different. :]

        • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 7:55 pm

          I sweat even when I put on deo, too. I’ll put it on in the morning, and by the time I’ve walked the 10 minutes to school (in several layers in the winter, but still), I’ll be sweaty. It sucks. Have to figure out a way to fix it…

  • Cait @ Beyond Bananas January 30, 2012, 12:16 pm

    Wow.. good for you. As I read this I thought.. Man, I don’t think I could EVER commit to doing that. I had some pretty intense acne growing up .. and as a result, I have some scarring on my face. I still break out occasionally, and I am just so self-concious about the whole .. naked face concept.
    I don’t wear makeup to the gym.. or if I am running out to the grocery store. Weekends.. it only goes on if we are going out to eat.. or out with friends. Work.. I always wear it.

    I give you major props for committing to do such a thing.. and I look forward to following along with you. Maybe I will get the courage to do something to intimidating..

  • Laura January 30, 2012, 12:17 pm

    So interesting. I didn’t shave, wear make-up or deodorant for a semester in college and it was a really interesting experience. By the end my legs and armpits were super itchy and it was really uncomfortable (I don’t know how guys do it!), so I went back to shaving mostly bc it’s more comfortable! I did learn that my body doesn’t need deodorant (except when it’s hot out). I didn’t really wear much makeup until after college though, when I first started a “real” job and dating more. Makeup made me more confident in social situations. It’s so interesting that you felt like you “had” to do those things! I live on the West Coast and my mom was a first wave feminist and they both became Christians through the hippie movement (of all things) so there’s always been little pressure around me to do things because you “ought to.” Best of Luck!

  • Lauren January 30, 2012, 12:19 pm

    Longtime Charlotte reader but never really comment. Very brave challenge! I actually just had brain surgery (everything went well!) and I am on day 10 of no shaving, makeup, etc. by default and you will be surprised. Granted I don’t have to go to work or really don’t go out much but I don’t feel that much different. No makeup actually feels good if you keep your face feeling clean! Good luck to both of you on this project and I look forward to keeping up with the updates!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 12:50 pm

      Wow! I hope you recover quickly from your surgery. best of luck!

  • anon January 30, 2012, 12:20 pm

    This is a very interesting project and sounds like a great collaboration. I think it really isn’t the behaviors (primping per se) but the individual meaning attached to them that can be confining. I totally understand what you mean when you talk about the pressure of growing up in South Florida. I also grew up there and am well aware of the image focused culture. So, it will be interesting to see if the exercise helps you to to evaluate more about the meaning attached to these things. If I were asked by my GOTR girls why I shave my legs or wear makeup, I would say, because I choose too. I think it is when society or cultures make women feel like they don’t have choices (either way to primp or not to primp) that it can be a problem. Good luck with this adventure.

  • Kathryn January 30, 2012, 12:21 pm

    I was an assistant GOTR coach last fall on Mondays, and for the whole semester I declared that day “Makeup-free Monday”. I also felt “inauthentic” wearing makeup to practice- the whole message is that you’re awesome just as God made you!

  • Marcella January 30, 2012, 12:21 pm

    Although I understand where you’re coming from (and perhaps I’m the minority) but I enjoy some of the traditional feminine beauty habits. I like shaving my legs because I loathe the way my pants feel on my unshaven legs. I like that they feel smooth. I don’t feel as though they *have* to be, that’s just my personal preference. And if I don’t feel like shaving them for several days–I just don’t!

    I enjoy wearing makeup because I look more polished. And depending on how I feel that day dictates how little makeup I’ll use. I enjoy the way I feel with some blush on and a swipe of mascara. I sort of fail to see the issue if I’m happy with the results. And I do it for me, not anyone else. If I feel better with some mascara, there is no harm to womankind.

    I understand if you feel as though you have to participate in these “rituals”, but what about the women who like to? To be honest, it sort of feels like you’re tearing down other women who enjoy beauty routines.

    • Jen January 30, 2012, 12:25 pm

      THIS EXACTLY!! She said it much better than my attempt earlier.

      • loreejo January 30, 2012, 12:30 pm

        I know many who personally feel they HAVE to shave every day and wouldn’t be caught dead letting someone see them (family included) without their makeup, nails and hair did, etc. because without it they think they “look sick”. I think the point is to consider our motivation for pursuing these beauty rituals, at least that’s what I see in it and look forward to more discussion and introspection about.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 12:51 pm

      I’m concerned about MY intention behind my actions and choices and definitely did not make any blanket assumptions about why other women choose to engage in these habits. I don’t do these things because I think they are fun. I do these things because I have for years and because I am expected to. And that’s what I’me exploring.

      • Jennifer January 30, 2012, 2:12 pm

        I don’t mean to rock the boat, because Caitlin, I think if this is something that will help you discover yourself more deeply, than it is a positive thing.

        However, I think the point Jen and Marcella are trying to make is that part of the reason you said you wanted to do this is because you were bothered by the explanation you gave the GOTR girls about why you wear makeup and that you might not be walking the talk.

        For someone who enjoys wearing makeup, shaving, and spending money on my hair cuts…it feels a little like I am now being judged for enjoying these rituals.

        While I know you are not judging me, a project like this does make a statement about people who choose to participate in the rituals and what that means about their internal confidence.

        Again, I think it is great that you are willing to explore outside of your comfort zone, good luck!

  • Kim January 30, 2012, 12:24 pm

    I think this is an awesome project and I can’t wait to read about your experiences!

  • Beth January 30, 2012, 12:25 pm

    I really like why you are doing this. About a month ago I started down a similar but less intentional path when my eyelids started swelling and itching and every time I tried to wear make up anyway it made it worse. I felt it was a message from somewhere to go deeper in my search for happiness with myself for who I am, as I am (been working on this for about the past year with things like getting rid of my scale in exchange for learning to love my body and not counting calories in exchange for listening to my body, it’s hunger, nourishing it w/ healthy food that’s good for it, etc.). So I stopped wearing make up and have been noticing my feelings on the subject. I even inquired at my local organic market to an employee there who I talk to sometimes, about my eye condition and in the conversation it came up how I feel so unattractive w/ poofy eyes and no make up. He said something like, “why do you think you need make up?, and your eyes don’t really look that red or poofy to me, it’s so funny how differently we see ourselves from the way others see us!” I did put some make up on once this month for a large family gathering and contemplated what difference it makes in my appearance and attractiveness. I also contemplate my sexuality in it -do these things (no make up, hairy legs, etc.) make me appear more manly/androgynous/(and therefore) unattractive to men and do I/should I care? (I’m married with 2 children, but that still seems important to me). I also do not shave my legs or armpits in the winter (and my husband does not care), but I would if I were to go swimming. Last week a male friend saw a bit of the tattoo on my ankle sticking out from under my pants and wanted to see it, I apologized for my hairy legs and showed him quickly (?! shame?). Been noticing all of the feelings that come up with these types of things and questioning them. I also notice & question myself and my reactions to other women who don’t wear make up, don’t shave and are comfortable with it. I’m usually so envious of the ones that seem comfortable. I also don’t find them any less feminine than other women. Some of them are more beautiful in their confidence and natural beauty. Yesterday I went braless to a yoga class for the first time (usually if I do that it’s only under jackets, coats or big sweatshirts). It’s definitely an interesting experiment you are undertaking and I applaud you for doing it and look forward to hearing about your journey.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 12:52 pm

      Great comment. I am very interested to see how this impacts my view of my sexuality.

  • loreejo January 30, 2012, 12:26 pm

    I also grew up with the “aren’t you going to fix your face?” pressure (Oklahoma) and have been re-thinking my beauty routines; not changing them, just re-thinking them. 🙂 I def wear less or no makeup on the weekends and keep trying to coerce my husband to CARE! He doesn’t. 🙂 Unshaved legs have never seemed to be a hindrance to romance either, ha! I find that when I first started going out w/o makeup I felt like I should try to hide, like wear a hoodie? Then, as I got more comfortable with it I started making more eye contact with people and when I smiled big, they did too! My family doesn’t care, strangers don’t care, I suppose I would be more challenged to go bare faced around those in the middle…co-workers/extended family. It’s odd that we feel you’re being BRAVE. I also find it interesting that several think you should maintain any routine—for what others see. hmmm. I think it’s a cool project and will be good to drill down to your own personal motives for what you choose to do or not do in the future.

    • Brigid January 31, 2012, 1:46 pm

      I just wanted to say hi as a fellow Okie. 🙂

  • Tanya January 30, 2012, 12:31 pm

    As someone who wears makeup maybe once or twice a year, shaves her legs about once a month, and never colors her hair (I’m 44 and definitely graying), I will be very curious to read what you and Molly think during your experiment. I confess I’m actually surprised that so many people feel a need to wear makeup. Both my 49 year old husband and my two teenage sons totally prefer women without makeup (but maybe that’s because they’re used to me).

  • Meghan January 30, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Love it! I can count on one hand the number of times that I wear make up a year (weddings, maybe a holiday). I’m not hideous without it. Plus I feel like if I only wear it once in awhile then it’s more obvious that I’m making an effort to look nice when I do. It’s more special that way.
    One more than one occasion I have put on makeup and met up with my boyfriend out somewhere and he didn’t know who I was! He doesn’t care if I wear make up or shave my legs but he probably appreciates the deodorant on days I workout.

  • Jenna H January 30, 2012, 12:32 pm

    This is so interesting! I was an anthropology major in college so I am geeking out right now. Can’twait to see how it turns out! 🙂

    I do have a question/discussion point to bring up though. Don’t you think it’s possible for women to be empowered by beauty rituals instead of feeling obligated or enslaved by them? This is kind of my personal viewpoint, and appearance and empowerment (or not) is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately in regards to modesty and dress. recently I’ve been toying with the idea of doing my own project in regards to Tzunis, or Jewish religious modest dress. The rules are pretty simple: no pants, dresses and skirts with hit at the knee or below, and tops/jackets/ that cover the elbows, as well as no cleavage. And I think the Naked Face Project just gave me the push I needed 🙂

    • Kelly January 30, 2012, 12:50 pm

      I agree. I feel more empowered by my beauty routine. But I totally understand Caitlin’s (and your) point as well. I’m really intrigued by this and look forward to watching it unfold.

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 12:55 pm

        Yes, for sure. That may be what my conclusion is at the end of 60 days! But I think that different people approach Beauty Habits for different reasons and with different motivations. I doubt there is a one-size answer to this project.

  • Johanna B January 30, 2012, 12:44 pm

    I am 61 yo. I do not wear makeup and I do not shave my legs or underarms. I haven’t done those things in years. I don’t miss them although there are days when I feel I would look better if I did. Why do I assume that women look better with makeup? I am interested in your project.

  • Jen January 30, 2012, 12:46 pm

    As the mom of a 2.5 year old girl, I struggle with this on a daily basis. As I put on my make-up every day, she stands beside me, mimicking what I do and trying to get her hands on my makeup brushes. As I explain to her that she is beautiful just as she is and doesn’t need makeup, I wonder what message that is really sending. That Mommy isn’t beautiful so she does need makeup? That when you’re a grown-up you have to paint your face to be beautiful? How do I as a Mom balance my “need” to do all this primping with my desire to teach my daughter that she is perfect just as God made her?
    I admire you and Molly for doing this and look forward to following your story.

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife January 30, 2012, 12:49 pm

    This is very interesting! I am excited for you!

    Here’s the thing though, I genuinely LIKE shaving my legs. I always have. For real! I also LIKE wearing make-up. I do neither of those things because I have to or feel forced to. So I am intrigued as to see where this goes!! Good luck 🙂

    • Suz January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

      I totally agree with this. I shave daily becuase I like the way it feels to have smooth legs and armpits. It takes all of 5 minutes. I wear makeup and do my nails because it is fun and I like expressing myself with different looks.

      I do these things becuase it makes ME feel good. I can leave the house without doing these things, and often do. Maybe if someone can’t walk outside without looking perfect this is a good project for her. At the very least it can be monetized into the next book deal, right?

  • Carina January 30, 2012, 12:51 pm

    I don’t know how to search my past comments on your site, but I think I mentioned this a year or two ago (the idea of why you’d paint your face if you’re trying to tell people they’re beautiful the way they are, or that the outside doesn’t matter) and you’d said something like, I’ve been mulling the same question myself. Glad it’s finally taken hold. I do see the contradiction/hypocritical aspect in wearing make-up but saying it doesn’t matter. Very interesting idea!

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey January 30, 2012, 12:58 pm

    That’s really neat. When I was in high school & on the swim team, we weren’t “allowed” to shave our legs from labor day until the night before our last huge meet of the season. it was totally psychological to get us to go “faster” but it was really weird as a teenaged girl not to shave!

  • kwithme January 30, 2012, 12:59 pm

    About 4 years ago, my 6 year old daughter asked why I was putting on makeup. It was a novelty for her because I am probably naked face 300 days a year. I thought about it and I knew why. I got down so our faces were next to each other. I told her I simply wanted the colors in my face to be vibrant like hers. My face used to be vibrant but as I passed 30, my lips paled and the cheeks lost their blush. I felt bland and invisible at times. So, because I did not like looking at those pale colors, I changed them a bit. My daughter is still more vibrant, denim blue eyes and black lashes, anyone? But I like what I see more when my lips are not grey and my lashes show off their length as well.

    I did chuckle about the deodorant comment. I forgot deodorant a couple of weeks ago and I smelled so bad to myself that I did not want to be in the same car. If *I* don’t want to be with me, I think that is a sign to do something about it.

    I think this a great experiment for someone who is championing the messages that you and Molly are. I think you should know the answers for yourself to the questions the girls ask you. Good job and good luck.

  • Rachel January 30, 2012, 12:59 pm

    This is amazing! I’m so excited to watch this project unfold. I could go without makeup for 60 days; I rarely wear it. But no shaving? That’d be rough, especially at the pool! Kudos to you!!

  • Kath January 30, 2012, 1:06 pm

    So perfect for you two – good luck!!!

  • Cait January 30, 2012, 1:06 pm

    I had to think a lot about whether or not I wanted to respond to this. I think it is a really great project and I applaud you and Molly for doing this. Girls, especially young girls, should not feel as though they “have” to wear make up or shave their legs in order to be pretty. I think that it is extremely important to learn to feel beautiful in your own skin without having to use make up or tight clothing as a crutch.
    That being said, I also think it is important to teach young girls about real life skills. As a professional who works daily with clients, it is important to learn how to look and act professional and learning how to apply natural make up, dressing in clothing that may not be as comfortable as jeans or sweats etc is also a valuable lesson.
    Of course it would be better if in life make up and drying your hair and keeping your nails looking tidy were all unimportant, but that isn’t the case and I’m not sure that it is a lesson we should be teaching young, impressionable girls. Of course it is better than teaching them that short skirts, red lipstick and bleach blonde hair are all important. But I believe there is a happy medium.
    These girls look up to you not just as mentors about how to be now, but also as role models about how to be a strong, successful woman in the future. It might be a good lesson to teach them that when they are exercising the last thing they should worry about is how they look – it’s their strength, their perseverance and their determination that matter! However it also might be a good lesson to teach them that when you are working or interviewing for college or trying to get a job to buy that bike you really want, it’s equally as important to understand the value of looking put together and professional. Especially since it is already hard enough for women in the workplace!
    I think this is a great experiment, but I would hate for the girls to think that the only way to “damn the man” is by not shaving their legs!

    – Cait

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 1:09 pm

      Oh I am glad someone said this! This was my mom’s argument and I plan to discuss it at some point. I definitely am NOT promoting that women or girls be ‘socially unacceptable’ to the point where they couldn’t get a job (hence, why we’ll be continuing to dress up for work stuff and not just wear sweat pants the entire time).

    • loreejo January 30, 2012, 1:43 pm

      I work for an airline and on of our attorneys for inside counsel wears no makeup, wears her hair simply, and always has on professional clothing. I have no idea if she shaves or wears deo! But she is well-respected and liked by all and very good at her job. Does makeup have to be part of looking professional? Are there other countries where women are professional and don’t wear makeup?

    • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine January 30, 2012, 3:34 pm

      I agree. It is “socially acceptable” for a lot of jobs that men should be clean-shaven in the workplace. Their hair grows on their face; ours doesn’t. They shave it to be compliant in a professional workplace. If you are a woman and you work in an office, it’s the summer and you’re wearing a skirt, we generally shave our legs to keep up with office policy of good grooming.

      My point: what in the world is wrong with shaving your legs? Sometimes I feel that in the blogging world, everyone just wants everything to be a controversy! Just my opinion.

      • Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine January 30, 2012, 4:51 pm

        I reread my comment and it sounds a little bitchy. I didn’t mean it that way, honestly! I just get frustrated sometimes with healthy living blogs in general (even though I also get a lot out of them and truly enjoy them). There are so many different lifestyles, and it seems like blogging can be kind of “judgy” sometimes. Not you in particular Caitlin; not trying to call you out. I just genuinely love makeup and feeling “girly” and the smooth feel of shaven legs. I think it’s equally important for little girls to understand good grooming habits and know they can have fun with makeup; if they don’t like it, they don’t have to wear it. My first instinct when I read this is that I should feel bad for wearing makeup and “conforming to society.” I know you say it’s about you, but the very nature of this experiment involves all of us–anyone reading–you know? Anyway, I hope you get out of it what you wanted and to each their own!

        • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 5:15 pm

          It’s okay, friend. I understand. Thanks for coming back and explaining. I am definitely not being judgey about the habits themselves… more I want to explore my intentions behind them. MY intentions. Does that make sense? It’s a thin difference and I’m sure I’ll cross the line unintentionally a few times, but that’s where this project is coming from for both me and Molly.

    • Julie (A Case of the Runs) January 30, 2012, 6:55 pm

      Some companies actually have certain guidelines in their dress code that imply that men need a get a grip on their facial hair and that nobody is better off by parading their body hair…

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 7:47 pm

      I know how to dress appropriately and “professionally,” I just prefer not to right now. My mother actually bought me “nice” clothing as a Christmas gift because she wants to encourage me to dress better or something. Right now, as a college student, I don’t really care. Half my classmates roll out of bed and walk to class in their pajamas, and that’s fine by me. I don’t wear sweats to class, but I also don’t dress like a professional; I’m in-between. I own exactly one pair of holey jeans and I wear them to work because I’m a student janitor and don’t care if they get messed up by some of the work we do. When I go to church (especially this past month) or to an interview, I “dress up” — but on a daily basis, I don’t worry about it. I highly doubt the majority of passers-by are worried about me and how I’m dressed or if I’m wearing makeup. No one ever comments on it, at least.
      I had it pointed out to me one day at work that it appeared that I had makeup on; I blush easily and I guess that looks like makeup.

  • Kevin January 30, 2012, 1:10 pm

    I’ve got to admit, I think the idea behind this movement is misguided, and the execution is actually gross.

    I never felt that women shaved or wore makeup because “society expected them to.” They do it because it makes them more attractive. And the reality is – IT DOES.

    Take a woman and take 2 photos of her. One all frumpy in a sweatshirt and baggy jogging pants, tussled hair, circles under her eyes, fingernails chewed, Crocs on her feet. Take another photo with her hair done, a subtle makeup job, smooth legs and a nice-fitting dress, with a sleek pair of high-heeled shoes, and nobody would honestly say the “before” picture is “more beautiful.”

    The bottom line is, it’s still the same woman in both photos. You can be the best version of yourself, or the “I-don’t-care-enough-about-myself-to-make-an-effort” version of yourself. Society will recognize which one you’re being, and will react accordingly. And that’s not WRONG of society. After all, if YOU don’t think you’re worth the effort, why should anyone else?

    • Anna January 30, 2012, 1:35 pm

      I completely agree.

    • Justine January 30, 2012, 1:41 pm

      You can still dress up and look “pretty” without wearing make up…

    • Jen January 30, 2012, 1:45 pm

      I don’t think this is about not making any effort. Caitlin didn’t say she’s going to be wearing sweats and crocs, stop brushing her hair or start chewing her fingernails. I gathered that the clothing “rules” would exclude body shapers (like Spanx) and high heels, but that isn’t the same as wearing baggy sweatpants and rubber clogs. I can see where the “line” would get fuzzy, though; e.g., if body shapers are out, what about push-up bras?

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:12 pm

        Molly is giving up padded bras during the time frame, I don’t wear padded or push up bras so it’s not an issue for me. And yes, Jen, you pretty much hit our thought process on the head. It’s not about being a slob (which “dressing appropriately for the occasion”).

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 5:03 pm

      First of all, I think part of this is to direct attention away from our now insane focus on the physical exterior of women–perhaps in hopes that people will care more about things like intellect and character.

      Second of all, who determines what effort is? Should I determine that a guy doesn’t care about himself because he didn’t bother to put on concealer or eyeliner that day? Or because he didn’t shave his legs? Our versions of beauty and attractiveness are ever-changing and don’t have a root in any kind of “objective” beauty. It’s entirely possible to value yourself and to SHOW that value in ways that don’t include heels, makeup, etc.

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 7:08 pm

      *Someone* might think the “before” is “more beautiful.” Some people think women (and men) look better in their natural state. I’d much rather be the “before” picture and feel good about myself than be the “after” and feel uncomfortable in my own skin.

      • Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner January 30, 2012, 7:45 pm

        I agree completely, Rebecca!

      • Kevin January 31, 2012, 9:02 am

        “*Someone* might think the ‘before’ is ‘more beautiful.’ Some people think women (and men) look better in their natural state.”

        I disagree. I don’t believe that anyone could honestly, objectively claim that the well-groomed, clean-shaven, well-dressed woman is less beautiful. The entire beauty industry is predicated on selling products that make women more beautiful. If a case could honestly be made that the “natural” state were more beautiful, then Clairol would sell makeup that makes you look natural. The beauty industry is not stupid. They know what works, and that’s what they sell.

        “I’d much rather be the ‘before’ picture and feel good about myself than be the ‘after’ and feel uncomfortable in my own skin.”

        That’s a shameless false dichotomy. Who said anything about feeling “uncomfortable in your own skin?” Why can’t you be well-groomed and well-dressed and actually feel *good* about yourself? Do you honestly think that all the attractive, well-dressed women walking around are all feeling uncomfortable, and are itching to get home and slip into jogging pants and a Snuggie? Is it so hard to believe that some people actually feel CONFIDENT and EMPOWERED when they dress themselves up?

    • Rachel January 31, 2012, 3:19 am

      except for DadHTP, the male comments on this blog have been very disappointing. He’s basically saying to all the women who have commented on this post that don’t wear makeup or shave regularly, that they are offensive to the male population. Very sad.

      • Kevin January 31, 2012, 8:51 am

        Not “offensive,” Rachel. Just gross.

        As a man, I understand that it takes time and effort to do your hair and put on makeup and all that, and that it doesn’t always happen. That’s fine. Those things aren’t really that big a deal anyway. A girl can still be pretty with no makeup and her hair in a pony tail.

        But not shaving underarms or legs? I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me, but that’s disgusting. If my wife said she were trying such an “experiment,” let me tell you, things would seriously cool off in the bedroom until she came to her senses. It’s got nothing to do about being “offensive,” it’s just gross. I wouldn’t show up to bed with garlic breath, wearing skidmarked tightie-whities and a ragged old tank top with beer stains on it and expect her to be in the mood, so likewise I expect a few personal appearance concessions from her, too.

        There’s nothing wrong with that. And it’s got nothing to do with respect or valuing her, it’s simple basic evolutionary responses to what nature has conditioned us to be attracted to.

        I work hard in the gym to look good. How in the world does it make sense to simultaneously present myself as a slob? I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. It makes you look lazy, sloppy, and all-around repulsive.

        • Brigid January 31, 2012, 1:50 pm

          Are you really likening a woman not shaving her legs to skid-marked underwear? I mean, really?

      • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:04 am

        I agree with you, Rachel. People are not always going to look ‘their made-up best,’ especially women (i’m thinking specifically after childbirth). I wonder about anyone, male or female, who puts so much emphasis on the outside appearance of their PARTNER. On the days my husband smells bad because he worked all day long and he hasn’t shaved and whatever, if he wants to hug me, I don’t pull away and scream ‘EW YOU ARE REPLUSIVE’ It’s just a body! There’s a person inside!

        • Kevin January 31, 2012, 10:40 am

          “On the days my husband smells bad […] if he wants to hug me, I don’t pull away”

          Really? I would. My wife does. Why would I even WANT to “contaminate” her if I’m all sweaty and gross? If I come back from the gym, and I’m soaked in sweat, I wouldn’t even CONSIDER trying to hug my wife. If I tried, she’d (understandably) decline. Of course she would. Any sane person would.

          I understand it’s all nice and touchy-feely to say, “I’d hug him anyway!” But come on, seriously? Let’s be a little practical here. If he’s covered in dirt and sweat, and yet still had the audacity to try and spread it to you, why wouldn’t you just politely say, “you know what Sweetie, I’d love to hug you, but why don’t you get cleaned up first, and then we can snuggle all night if you want?”

          And I just want to stress that we can’t control what we’re attracted to or what we find gross. It’s ingrained by evolution. I can’t “wish” myself to find a hairy, unkempt woman to be as attractive as if that same woman were well-groomed. It doesn’t make me a jerk, it makes me human. To try and deny this is just rainbows-and-unicorns wishful thinking. It’s not realistic. It’s choosing to live in delusion. Wouldn’t it be more “natural” to openly accept and embrace our honest nature? Who are we trying to fool here by proclaiming that a fat, smelly, hairy person is as “attractive” as a clean, well-groomed one?

          And it’s not just women, you guys. I’ve never seen a woman fawning over a calendar of “real” men. It’s always tanned, hairless, musclular firemen. And I don’t hold that against women at all – it makes perfect sense. I’m not offended by it, it’s simply how we’re built. I don’t expect you to pretend that a pale, hairy, beer-bellied man is just as attractive to you.

          Am I the only one who sees this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills! What’s so wrong with being HONEST with ourselves about what we find attractive? Why are we trying so hard to convince ourselves that gross and unkempt is MORE attractive than clean and tidy? Is it just to try and justify being lazy about our appearance? If that’s the case, then why bother going to the gym? Why tan? Why wear earrings? Why buy nice clothes when Goodwill is filled to the rafters with cheap castoffs?

          Caitlin, I really hope you address some of these questions, I think there’s a ton of fodder for good discussion (and hopefully a little growth and honesty) in this topic.

          • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:44 am

            Kevin, I understand where you are coming from, I think we just have differences in opinion on what’s important. That’s cool. Differences make the world go around. Good thing me and my husband are married and you and your wife are married and not the opposite 🙂

  • Anna January 30, 2012, 1:11 pm

    Why not go longer? 60 days is nothing. I think most womyn live this way all.the.time. NBD.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 1:13 pm

      Because I think it’s long enough for me to figure it out. I might extend it if it’s not. I think the whole point is that if YOU were to do this project, it might look different for you (or perhaps you wouldn’t even need to do it in the first place, which would be rockin). Like I said, this project is about MY intention behind MY actions and it might look different if other people do it, too.

      I don’t think most women go without shaving or wearing makeup all the time, by the way!

      • Anna January 30, 2012, 1:21 pm

        fast reply! I really disagree with you that most women wear make up and shave regularly. Maybe in your social circle but a lot don’t! Perhaps it comes with maturity/confidence, age, or children? I’m 30, married with a baby and a lot of our friends are tenured professors — I don’t think any of us feel the need to dress up regularly.

        • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:12 pm

          I think you are right, this is about social circles. Will discuss on my Thursday post!

  • Ali January 30, 2012, 1:17 pm

    This is such an amazing idea and I think you are so brave! It’s sad how scared I would be to not shave or do my hair! As I am getting older, I have been lightening up my routine (less makeup, not always using the curling/straightening iron, etc.) but I don’t know that I would be brave enough to go this far.

    And here I thought giving up eye liner and wearing makeup to the gym for my New Year’s Resolution was a big deal. 🙂

    • Ali January 30, 2012, 1:21 pm

      Oh – and I gave up heels two years ago and never looked back. SO not worth it! I am so much happier when my feet are happy!

      • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 8:02 pm

        I wore heels yesterday for the first time in who-knows-how-long and by the end of the day, my feet were so sore. They weren’t stilettos, but they weren’t my normal tennis shoes, either. I feel so much more comfortable in tennis shoes, lol.

  • Shauna January 30, 2012, 1:20 pm

    So interesting and such a great experiment.

    I already do very little girly primping. That just wasn’t encouraged growing up – rural midwest. I do shave, especially the underarms/bikini line for swimming.

    Interestingly, I occasionally go through periods of time when I want to feel more girly or professional or something and I try to wear makeup or style my hair a bit more. It never lasts long but I like the feeling. Sometimes I think that I like the extra primping because it means I am worth the time I spent on myself – instead of my to do list. I can totally understand how being expected to look that way would become a burden. Since it is only once in a while for me it really is “fun and special”.

    Oh, and I find that skipping DO in the winter is smellier in the winter than summer – sleeveless shirts=airing out. But, I still rarely skip it and the husband has yet to complain – he hates perfumes.

    • Shauna January 30, 2012, 1:31 pm

      So many grammar mistakes, hopefully you get the message.

      Sometimes I think I should do an opposite experiment. See what it would be like to take care of myself really really well for a month.

      • R. Chandra January 30, 2012, 2:49 pm

        LOL! i should do that too!!! 😛

  • Sonia the Mexigarian January 30, 2012, 1:25 pm

    I am totally on board with this. I hardly ever wear makeup (don’t like it), hardly shave because I’m lazy, and sometimes I forget to wear deordorant. I am half way there 😀 lol.

    All in all I think it’s a great idea for self exploration on why we do many of these beauty things that are ‘expected’ of us. Society pressure? Because it’s fun? Because it shows a level of standard with ourselves?

  • Anna January 30, 2012, 1:27 pm

    Ok I understand where you are coming from with this, and it sounds great but seriously… not shaving? To me that is just not sanitary and much more uncomfortable… right? I mean, I wear makeup to look put together and professional BECAUSE I can, because I am a women. Not wearing or wearing makeup does not make me a woman or not. And body hair is just really gross to me. Not shaving wouldnt make a statement to me, it would just feel wrong and uncomfortable. I’m curious as to why you feel that shaving is only for “pretty girls.”

    • Justine January 30, 2012, 1:32 pm

      Why do you think shaving unsanitary? That just doesn’t make sense. “Comfortable-ness is” to each their own, I suppose. I don’t shave my legs on a regular basis. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I did…probably in the summer time. And I am perfectly healthy!

      • Justine January 30, 2012, 1:34 pm

        and…if I’m really honest, I haven’t shaved my arm pits in a long time, probably about 1-2 months. No need, really. It’s winter and I don’t smell, nor am I wearing sleeveless shirts. How is that unsanitary? It’s the natural state of the human body!

    • Katie January 30, 2012, 4:24 pm

      Shaving is a fashion statement that didn’t come into vogue until the last century. Women haven’t been shaving for the vast majority of human history. Nothing unsanitary about it. (Not knocking shaving – I shave, but it’s definitely for aesthetic reasons only).

    • Katie January 30, 2012, 6:35 pm

      How is not shaving unsanitary? (Most) men don’t shave their legs/underarms… are men inherently unsanitary? There is absolutely no reason, other than looks/vanity, for a woman to shave. (And I say that as a woman who shaves… fairly regularly.)

  • Allison January 30, 2012, 1:29 pm

    You had me until the “no deodorant”. That isn’t a female thing, that is a person thing. I really hate being at the gym next to a person who stinks. I do realize that if you bathe frequently, this is less of an issue, but unlike make-up/hair/shaving, deodorant isn’t a visual thing. Beautiful people can stink. Plus, it takes all of about 10 seconds or less to apply.

  • Avery January 30, 2012, 1:30 pm

    This is SO awesome! I appreciate your determination and boldness against what the worldly social “norms” for women should be. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

  • Kim V January 30, 2012, 1:33 pm

    I don’t really see why this is that huge of a deal.

    Seems like a great way to get more blog traffic and write another book. Come to Wanee Festival or basically any other jambando fest this year and you’ll find hundreds of women who already do this, without all the pats on the back for how brave they are.

    Maybe I just live in a less “made-up” world than others to think this is pretty normal.

    • Rachel January 31, 2012, 3:23 am

      the point is, and what I think commenters like you are missing, is that this is not revolutionary for womankind but it’s revolutionary for CAITLIN. She falls into one category and she wants to see how she feels putting herself in another category.It would be no different if you were to wear makeup, heels, dresses, shave etc etc everyday to see how it may transform your life and make you think differently. Revolutionary for womankind? No. Revolutionary for you personally? It just might be.

  • Jen January 30, 2012, 1:39 pm

    I LOVE this idea! I think so many women feel really dependent on make-up and beauty routines that they’re not doing for themselves at all. I’ve never worn make-up regularly, but now I sort of want to learn how to do make-up(finally, at age 25 haha) as a form of art and self-expression. I’ve worked in office settings, in a public school system, and at a university with a naked face and no one has ever commented that I’m unprofessional or socially unacceptable (and believe me, when you’re teaching a group of 8th graders, they WILL comment on your appearance). I don’t look sloppy or like I don’t care; I just don’t wear eyeliner, mascara, eyeshadow or foundation. It really isn’t that big of a deal!

    And as far as the no-shaving and swimming thing, I had two roommates on the swim team in college and they weren’t allowed to shave until right before a swim meet, so it’s not unusual for swimmers to have hairy legs haha.

  • Lyndsey January 30, 2012, 1:40 pm

    I think it’d be really interesting for you to post your final results, but to also include and excerpt from your hubs. I want to know how he truly felt about the hairy legs and..other girl parts, about the no make up, the sexuality viewpoint of it, etc. I think THAT will be most proving since the people around us often dictate what it is we do not and do, do. Other interesting opinions would be from your co-workers and a friend as well. Just an idea..

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:05 pm

      That is a great idea. I will definitely try to get feedback from others. I don’t know if I can get the Husband to write a post about it because, honestly, putting yourself and your thoughts out there on the interwebs is not easy for him. But maybe I can interview him!

  • Megan @ The Road to Skinny January 30, 2012, 1:40 pm

    I think this is SUCH a great project!

  • Rachel January 30, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Woohoo! I think this is an EXCELLENT idea! You are going to do awesome!
    I describe myself as “not a makeup person” but I do groom myself in other ways (waxing, leg-shaving etc.). When my husband and I lived on a boat in the Bahamas/Caribbean for 6 months I found myself unable to shave my legs, washing my hair in the ocean with dish soap, and finally cutting all but 1/2 and inch of my hair off. It was wonderful!

  • zoe (and the beatles) January 30, 2012, 1:56 pm

    i so thoroughly respect and support this, caitlin!

    i don’t wear make-up. none. not even mascara. i rarely shave and only do so when i am wearing a skirt or shorts and even then it’s because i WANT to (i like when my legs are soft 🙂 ). i think i get my hair cut twice a year and i don’t even use shampoo (just baking soda and no, my hair isn’t greasy. it’s probably the healthiest it’s ever been!).

    i know a lot of people think it’s weird to live the way i do but, to each her own, you know? i don’t like the feeling of make-up on my face. never have. i’ve never worn foundation or concealer (which is funny because my mom is a slave to make-up so it’s not like i didn’t grow up around it). i like being abel to scratch my eyes when they itch. i like to expose the world to my natural beauty, which, i think, you will discover the less you wear make up. it’s definitely there! it always has been. we just got indoctrinated into the “you must wear make up to be beautiful” religion a long time ago.

    also, i think your skin will thank you for giving it a break! anyway, now that this is turning into a novella, i’ll end it with just saying this: THANK YOU for raising awareness to the natural side of beauty.

    • R. Chandra January 30, 2012, 2:47 pm

      zoeee!! haha i found you here 🙂 that’s so cool you don’t wear any makeup. i mostly don’t either and i am sooo low-mantenience in general. i wrote a comment further down below about it. go you!

  • Kathryn January 30, 2012, 1:58 pm

    Wow, really great project. good for you. I look forward to following your journey over the next 60 days!

  • Isabella January 30, 2012, 2:01 pm

    Ahhhh! I am susposed to be typing an essay in the English class I am in but, this is so much like me, I have to comment. First of all, I am jumping on the bandwagon. Since I am in high school, there is sooo much pressure to have fabulous makeup, straight locks, and completely coordinated outfits. I have rejected this idea and embraces my own ideas. I wear my hair curly. I don’t own a pair of jeans that fits me perfectly. I rarely ware makeup. I have never shaved my legs. I wear my loved Vibram five fingers, that do not match anything. Anyway, I am joining this (but will get my hair cut on Spring Break) project on Feburary 1!

    One question. Are you gorging in beauty products right now?

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:13 pm

      hahah I might go on one final eyebrow wax.

  • Kate January 30, 2012, 2:03 pm

    I understand why you would do this for yourself, seeing as how you are the one uncomfortable going out in public without makeup/shaved legs/etc. But since this is about YOUR personal experience (see: “Like I said, this project is about MY intention behind MY actions and it might look different if other people do it, too.”) why is this a project deserving of its own website?

    That seems kind of self-absorbed to me, after all, you aren’t re-inventing the wheel here. Many women across the world don’t feel bound by YOUR fears, and have no problem not wearing makeup, straightening(or curling) their hair, shaving their legs/armpits/bikini, etc.

    If you want to do this for yourself, by all means, knock yourself out. It just seems better documented on your PERSONAL blog, since you have made such a point of this being a PERSONAL EXPERIENCE.

    • Mia January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

      I agree that it’s not worthy of it’s own page. It seems like a ploy to get more attention when in fact there are millions of women who already live this way.

    • Sollie January 30, 2012, 3:00 pm

      I just don´t know why this is such a big deal, or what you´re trying to prove Caitlin…..seems to me that under all that “accept yourself just the way you are” motto, you´re the first that´s not accepting herself just the way you are. What´s wrong with wearing make up and shaving??? Or getting your hair dyed? I shave because I don´t like hairy legs, not because society says so…..if I wear make up it is to highlight things I like about my face, not to hide something(and trust me, I have the darkest dark circles ever!), I dye my hair because I love my hair and want to make it as pretty as possible, no one tells me to do it! If you were confident enough you´d see there´s nothing wrong with doing these things and you wouldn´t feel the need to prove it to yourself or to anyone out there.
      I agree with some of the comments that say they want to hear your husband´s opinion after two months of no shaving and nor wearing deodorant!

      I´m not trying to be mean, I just think you spend too much of your time seeking others´ approval……….

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:17 pm

        Sollie – I don’t see how seeking to engage others in a conversation about beauty and self-worth is ‘seeking others’ approval’. If I were doing that, I would probably not be doing this project at all.

        Also, I didn’t say there was anything wrong with shaving or wearing makeup (actually, I specifically say I don’t think that in the post).

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:15 pm

      This is being documented on my personal blog? The project has a separate website that directs readers to mine and Molly’s blog. This is for clarity more than anything – the interwebs get confusing.

      The reason we are doing this as a project is that we are using this as a vehicle to engage women and men in a conversation that is rooted in our values around beauty. We are not trying to highlight us as much as we are to engage the larger community in a conversation.

      • Katie January 30, 2012, 4:18 pm

        I don’t see anything self-absorbed about this. The point of a blog is to share personal experiences, individual perspective, and to open up conversation to others. I don’t think Caitlin is trying to say she’s the first person to do this, or that it’s massively ground-breaking. It is, however, a difficult thing for many women to undertake, and I think it’s worth opening up dialogue over. The sheer mass of comments expressed by people who are fascinated by this and want to hear more speaks to the fact that this is a topic that others will benefit from hearing about.

        • Jenna H January 30, 2012, 4:53 pm

          “self absorbed” is such a weird comment to me, especially because you are reading Caitlin’s blog that documents her life, with a focus on food and fitness. How is the naked face project self-absorbed but this blog not construed that using your reasoning? My intent is not to attack or be malicious in any way, I’m just curious, because there seems to be some disconnect.

          I would also like to say that sharing personal details of your life in a public forum is not something I consider inherently to be self serving or self absorbed and that while Healthy Tipping Point and Naked Face might be about one person (or two in the case of the latter) it’s using personal experience to Encourage discourse about body image, health, self esteem, feminity etc. Which are all relevant issues in our society. It’s this, versus “look at me, aren’t I so cute, funny, and awesome?” that differentiates a good blog from a bad blog in my opinion. Caitlin’s blog has helped me ditch disordered thinking, eat more healthfully, become fitter and stronger, and helped tremendously with my self confidence and self worth as a woman. I don’t think a self absorbed piece of social media could have that outcome.

          • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 5:15 pm

            Thank you so much Jenna.

          • Kate January 30, 2012, 7:53 pm

            I didn’t say anything about her blog, though if I’m being honest, it IS narcissistic. That’s neither here nor there, however. I made a comment over having a different website dedicated to a “project” that does nothing but showcase a personal experience is superfluous when this person already has a PERSONAL blog that is dedicated to those experiences.

          • Kate January 31, 2012, 7:18 pm

            Well said Jenna!

            From: The Kate who does not find Caitlin self absorbed or narcissistic at all!

            P.S. Keep on doing what you do Caitlin! Ignore the haters 🙂

  • Emily January 30, 2012, 2:05 pm

    I LOVE THIS! I’ve realized over the years that I shave and wear makeup not because it’s expected of me, but because I feel more comfortable with myself by doing those things. But shouldn’t I feel comfortable with myself in ALL states, not just a hairless, made-up one? And if I’m only comfortable with myself when I look a certain way, then I obviously have some self-esteem issues I’m (literally) covering up rather than addressing. Anyway, I am super excited that you’re doing this, and I can’t wait to see the results!

  • Maria January 30, 2012, 2:09 pm

    This so awesome and the world is so much in need of this! Comparing the American and the European Culture, there would be so much to say about this and I was wondering if you are interesting in a guest-post (or a co-work-post) on this topic from a German view-point. I am shaving, yes, but I have never used any make-up. Because you cannot simply “make up” for something that’s missing…

  • Danielle January 30, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I think this is an amazing idea!
    Reading the post made me call to mind when I felt the most confident about myself (body, mind, soul) and that was when volunteering in Port-au-Prince, Haiti: I wore the same four outfits for a month, my hair was always pulled back, never wore make-up, had sweat stains because of profuse sweating (was there in July and deoderant was useless) and rarely shaved. I was in my element and this gave me so much confidence that I just didn’t even have the time nor the inclination to consider my appearance beyond a cursory brushing of my hair and checking to make sure I wasn’t sunburned. Being in a post-disaster zone and witnessing extreme poverty forces you to think about what is really important, what your priorities are, and what you really need to lead a happy life. For me, that is family, friends, health, good food, and laughter. I rarely wear make-up, often forget to put on deoderant (and no, I don’t smell except after a super-sweaty workout), despise perfume (gives me horrible headaches), cut my hair maybe three times a year, shave only because I like the feeling of smooth skin, and haven’t purchased any new clothes other than workout gear for almost six months. I’ve had people comment that I would look so amazing (and would attract more guys) if I put on a bit of make-up, styled my hair more often, or wore trendy clothes, but my response is always that these things are not priorities in my life and to do all of that would not make me comfortable but instead feel like I was putting up a facade. If wearing make-up, styling your hair and all that is important to you and makes you feel great, then DO IT. Just don’t expect me to do so as well!

  • Ida January 30, 2012, 2:16 pm

    Reading the comments has been fascinating. It is interesting to read how many women already eschew some or all of these ‘womanly’ habits by choice. And of course millions of women around the world can’t afford to do these things even if they wanted to.
    I think it would be interesting to profile other women who already do these things and show GOTR that while the media would have us believe that shaving and whatever else is mandatory to fit in to society, we are really free to decide for ourselves and it isn’t a big deal either way.

    • Jennifer January 30, 2012, 2:33 pm

      I love this idea!

      • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 7:12 pm

        I agree! You could totally find women who already don’t wear makeup and share their stories with GOTR and whoever else. You could probably find them through the comments on this post, lol. 🙂

  • Mia January 30, 2012, 2:18 pm

    Maybe I’m weird, but I don’t see what is so special and brave about this idea. I am a grown woman and I don’t wear makeup. Heck, I don’t even OWN makeup. People have never treated me differently than do other women. In fact, I go through life having many positive interactions with men and women. Unlike you, I actually have a public job which requires me to teach undergraduates 4 times a week and they take me seriously even though I don’t wear makeup. I also don’t shave my legs or my armpits, and again, no one has ever treated me differently for that.
    On a side note, I am curious if you will be removing your contacts and wearing your glasses instead? I imagine you wear contact for aesthetic reasons. After all, there are corrective lenses out there that can do anything a contact lens can do.

    • Jennifer January 30, 2012, 2:32 pm

      I rarely wear make-up. Maybe 3-4 times a year, so I feel I can relate to you. Have you read this study?

      It looks at the influence of makeup on how people decide how competent and responsible you are.

      I tested the idea with influencing my boss. It worked.

      Sad world–glad you haven’t had those experiences of being treated differently.

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:20 pm

        Jennifer – THANK YOU for linking to that article. I have never seen that and am reading it now with fascination!

        Mia – The contacts vs. glasses this was a big debate between Molly and I (trust me, I can tell by reading some of the comments on this post that we just woke up Sunday and decided to do this project, but we have been meeting and debating every single angle for hours on end for weeks). Anyway, I have decided to keep wearing my contacts because 1) I can’t see as well out of my glasses because you can’t see out of the sides of glass – I am super blind – and driving would be dangerous for me! and 2) My glasses are from high school and thus like, 5 or 6 scripts ago. So they are pretty weak and I only wear them when my eyes are tired or right before bed.

  • Lisa January 30, 2012, 2:20 pm

    But don’t men do some of these things, too? My husband shaves every day, and he gets a hair cut every few weeks. He wears uncomfortable clothes to work (suit, tie–personally, I think ties can be worse than heels!!), deodorant, cologne (sometimes), etc. Both sexes tend to have various grooming rituals. Maybe women do “more,” but neither group is immune. Personally, I think my husband spends almost as much time shaving as I do for my quick ten minute hair/light makeup morning routine!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:21 pm

      Yup! Not making an observation on men’s beauty habits. I decided I would need a wang to be able to do that fairly. 🙂

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 8:12 pm

      My dad gets his hair cut every few weeks, but it’s only because it’s become habit after being in the Navy. He can’t stand having his hair get past a certain length anymore. (And it used to be quite long!)
      He shaves partly because the women in his life (my mom, my sister, and I) complain if he lets his face get too stubbly/scratchy. Also, where he works, it has only recently become “okay” for men to let their facial hair grow out. When he worked in the plant, it was a nuisance because they made them wear hair nets over their beards, so then it was just easier to be clean-shaven.
      But he also prefers people to look professional. I don’t think he even wears jeans to the office on “casual Friday.” He complains that the people in the office are “too” casual… Hah. He’s one of those who grew up getting dressed up to go to the theater or to dinner, so that’s also a part of it.

  • Sara January 30, 2012, 2:23 pm

    This will be very interesting! In high school and early college, I wore a lot of makeup and did a lot of “beauty-related” things (trendy clothes, etc.) that I didn’t feel comfortable with, but did it because I felt I had to and I wanted to fit in. Then I met a boy (my husband) who loved me for me and said so clearly. Heck he said he liked me when I was in the eighth grade and had braces, huge eyebrows, bangs and glasses (That’s true love). An eyeliner commercial came on one day and he said “you don’t wear makeup do you?” I told him I don’t wear very much and actually after that day–I wore even less!

    I don’t shave my legs always in the winter.
    I wax my eyebrows once a month at $16 a session and am considering switching to a place that is $13 to save money. (My bushy eyebrows always bothered me, so I wax because it makes me feel more confident–not because I feel like I need to do so.)
    I am growing my hair out and only get it cut at a cheap place w/ a coupon (i.e. $5 or $8 a cut) every three months.
    I don’t dye my hair.
    I use natural skincare products (mostly) and natural shampoos. I don’t put any gels and gunk in my hair.
    I wear a ponytail almost every day because it makes me happy.
    I hate necklaces so I don’t wear them. Same with bracelets.
    I also dislike earrings so I only wear them to a party or big work event. Otherwise, I’m earring-less.
    I don’t wear mascara because I hate it. Same with eye liner. Only a tad bit of undereye concealer, a light eyeshadow, light blush and pressed powder. That’s it! (And only because it makes me feel happy. I often go out in public without makeup too.)
    I was going to start using anti-wrinkle cream but decided eating healthy, drinking a lot of water and using sunscreen would be more beneficial than dumping chemicals on my skin.
    And I don’t wear perfume.

    I’ve always thought of myself as a very lazy woman. But really, I just do what makes me happy. Who cares what others think? Don’t get me wrong. I used to! But I gained some self-confidence along the way and ditched the habits that I didn’t like. Now I only do what I do for ME and no one else.

    Really like this project and am interested in seeing what happens. Don’t feel pressured though if it is hard to maintain and along the way you need to turn back to something. Have fun with it!

    I like that you are doing it to find out how you feel about your habits and to answer the questions little girls ask. I know I wore a lot of makeup and tried to wear trendy things back in the day so I felt like I “fit in” and I feel so much better by not trying to fit in. I’m sure the girls feel that way too. I wish I knew then what I know now.

  • Amber K January 30, 2012, 2:28 pm

    After reading through the comments I’m sad that some seem to have missed the point. It’s not about not being better than anyone else or coming down on those who enjoy their beauty rituals. You saw an intention behind what you were doing that you didn’t like. You opened up a forum for women to discuss what beauty rituals they participate in that they don’t like.

    Personally I’m one of those women who likes putting on makeup. I don’t wear much (I can do my face in less than 5 minutes), but I enjoy playing around. I also actually enjoy shaving. I like making the hair go away because I can’t stand the feel of it on my legs. I know I originally started shaving in middle school to fit in, but now I enjoy the feel of freshly shaved legs.

    This experiment isn’t about looking down on those who enjoy their beauty rituals, but to see what it’s like to stop doing things you felt like you “had” to do. I’m really curious to see how it will all work out. 🙂

  • Christie January 30, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I’m not normally much of a commenter but this seems really interesting. It seems like a really dividing issue. Reading here today, I see so many comments from people who think going without these grooming habits is no big deal but if I think about my real life, it would be a BIG DEAL to my circle of friends/co-workers.

    I work in a big office environment where there is a lot of pressure to look a certain way. No, we don’t look like models but everyone shaves, gets eyebrows waxed, hair cuts/color, dresses up, wears heels, etc. I do those things too (well, most of them) but I sometimes get the feeling that my more “glamorous” friends would like to “get a hold of me” and give me a makeover. I think they actually said that once. And this is really just because I’m the only one who doesn’t regularly wear eye shadow that coordinates with my outfit or wear heels (I just can’t do it!).

    I think one of the most interesting things about this will be the pregnancy aspect. I’m 40 weeks pregnant (today’s my due date!) and I have had a tough time throughout my pregnancy dealing with body image issues. I know it’s not rational but I just can’t help but feel dumpy and sort of “ugly”. Sometimes getting a pedicure or eyebrow wax was the cure for me to feel a little cuter. I’m interested to see how you feel as you do this and your pregnancy progresses.

    Also, to the people who question why you made this a public experiment… If I had to ponder that, I would say that it seems like a really great way to open up discussion about these types of things. It makes sense that you and Molly would do this based on the type of work that you do. I’m excited to follow along.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:22 pm

      Thanks! I appreciate your feedback. And you’re right, I have found it so fascinating who does the habits and who doesn’t… and I think it does boil down to social circles.

  • Jennifer January 30, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I live the naked face–mostly because I don’t care. I do shave every once in a while because it feels nice. Just FYI–you are going to be itching in the armpits for a while.

    I was on swim teams forever and we only shaved for big races, so I guess I grew up on the idea that appearance wasn’t a big deal. It was about accomplishing our goals!

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt Addiction January 30, 2012, 2:32 pm

    I commend you for doing this! I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to go makeup-less for more than a week! I feel like I need to put at least SOME concealer on everyday, otherwise I always look tired and pale. It’s funny how guys never put any makeup on ever and they look fine. Or maybe it’s just that society views men as the sex that should not wear makeup therefore they are supposed to look natural.

    I’m sure you are going to save lots of time in the next three months, good luck!

  • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 2:32 pm

    I love this idea, and I love that you are “walking the walk.” So many of us mindlessly accept these standards for no reason at all. I look forward to hearing about your experience, and I think it will make everyone really think!

  • hippierunner January 30, 2012, 2:34 pm

    What are you going to do with all the time you save?! 😉 This is a GREAT idea, can’t wait to hear more about how you feel/how people react.

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:22 pm

      HAHAH SLEEP!!!

  • Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) January 30, 2012, 2:37 pm

    ah-MAY-zing idea. I really look forward to following along.
    Now, with my 4 month old baby girl, I find myself talking to her saying things like ‘mommy is putting on make up, but you don’t need any because you’re perfect just the way you are’. What kind of message is that? I know she doesn’t understand me at this age, but it has me thinking about what I say and how the way I feel about myself will shape her view of herself in the future.

  • Brigid January 30, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Good for you! I read Naomi Wolf’s “The Beauty Myth” in college, which speaks loudly to your experiment. Check it out if you haven’t.

    Over the years, I have definitely tried to pare back on the things I do because I’m “supposed to,” but as you acknowledge, it isn’t that easy, not by a long shot. I don’t think I’ll be able to commit to 60 days, but I’ll definitely post a makeup-free photo of myself on my blog on Wednesday in solidarity!

  • R. Chandra January 30, 2012, 2:44 pm

    hey caitlin! 🙂

    i really like this. mostly because i feel guilty a lot for not wearing that much – if any – makeup, getting fancy haircuts, getting my eyebrows done, using a ton of product (or.. any), etc. i just really can’t be bothered. this summer i think it must have been around 2 months or more i went without wearing any makeup simply because my eyeliner & mascara were really old & i threw them out & i took me forever to replace them. i wash my hair & let it hair dry & don’t put anything in it.

    i do shave. 😛 haha. but only if i’m wearing stuff that i NEED to shave for – you bet in the winter i have hairy legs 80% of the time.

    i think the no-makeup part of the experiment is more interesting than the no-shaving. in my opinion… body hair is kind of gross, on females AND males. it’s my choice to get rid of it. makeup, however, i mean… i don’t think there’s anything wrong with my face. i like most of my features. why do i need to glob paint on my skin!? when i thought about it it seems so silly.

    good luck!! 🙂

    • R. Chandra January 30, 2012, 2:52 pm

      i thought of more girly things i don’t do! paint my nails or wear heals. ick! never.

    • Katherina January 30, 2012, 3:26 pm

      Agreed 100% with your habits, I’m the same way in that I just can’t be bothered. I don’t really have a fancy crowd to try and fit in with.

  • Kayla January 30, 2012, 2:55 pm

    I am surprised how many people are opposed to you giving up deodorant! Personally, I think the less of that stuff the better. Anything you put on your skin is absorbed, so the less chemicals the better. I have heard people looking into if that causes breast cancer, so I would say giving it up is a great thing, maybe even better for you and the baby if you want to breast feed. My Mom doesn’t wear it and she always smells good. I can forget it for a day and not even notice. Anyway, love what your doing.

    • Jazz January 30, 2012, 6:42 pm

      I just use a salt stick, it takes away the smell and is natural… best of both worlds..

    • Brigid January 31, 2012, 1:10 pm

      I use straight-up baking soda instead. It works great!

  • Claire January 30, 2012, 3:06 pm

    This is interesting. I have gone through phases of wearing tons of makeup and phases of wearing hardly any at all (I never wore any in high school except for maybe mascara towards the end of HS). There was a year in college when I refused to leave my room without eyeliner on. That definitely correlates to a very negative time in my life when I didn’t feel good about myself and felt that I needed a lot of makeup to cover it up. However, I find that now, while I do wear makeup regularly (a normal day is eyeliner + mascara + maybe a teeny bit of eyeshadow, and a dressed up day is a little more of everything + powder, blush etc), I wear it because I WANT to. If there is a day when I have to run out the door without makeup on, I am not happy, but not because I think I look bad or other people will know/care that I’m not wearing any makeup. I think it’s more about wanting to spend time on myself and put effort into my appearance to feel like I’m putting my “best face forward” so to speak. It’s hard to explain that without making me sound dependent on makeup, but I’m not. I’m not going to have a good day if I feel like I didn’t make an effort to present myself well. Some days that involves a small amount of makeup, some days a lot, some days none, but it’s about me doing it for myself and not because I feel like I have to. Additionally I think products for your skin and hair are also about treating your body well. Whenever I do my nails or use a fancy hair product I feel like I’m rewarding myself and doing something nice for myself, which I don’t think is a reflection of me feeling like I “have” to do these things because the beauty industry is making me.

    Anyway looks like I have more to say about this than I thought! However I think this is an interesting project (though the lack of shaving and deodorant sort of skeeves me out, sorry) especially in the context of being an excellent example for the GOTR girls. I remember wanting to shave my legs and wear makeup when I was little, and though my mom wouldn’t let me until I was older I still felt that I wanted to try these things because they would make me pretty. I don’t fault my mom at all, obviously, she’s a great role model, but having an influential woman in my life (like a coach) really “walk the walk” of the “you’re beautiful without makeup” mantra probably would have been a positive thing.

  • Crystal January 30, 2012, 3:06 pm

    LOVE IT! I truly hope people can keep an open mind and not judge you and Molly for this fantastic project. Good Luck!

  • emily January 30, 2012, 3:15 pm

    I think this is great! Though I did recheck to make sure that you guys are still using sunscreen 🙂

    I don’t wear much makeup anyway but not shaving my armpits for 2 months would drive me mad. If my pitts are at all hairy then I get so much sweatier than when they are clean shaven. But my legs … I just plain haven’t shaved since the start of winter!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 30, 2012, 3:18 pm

    Interesting — I’m intrigued to hear your thoughts about things as the project progresses!

  • Dukebdc January 30, 2012, 3:27 pm

    Parroting a million others: what an interesting project!

    I rarely wore makeup or “did” my hair growing up and through college. My mom was always neat and presentable, but never had manis/pedis, waxing, haircolor, blowouts, etc. So I grew up looking at my naturally beautiful mom who didn’t cover up with makeup or expensive clothes.

    However, I did not inherit my mom’s gregarious and outgoing personality and have felt uncomfortable in my own skin for as long as I can remember. After being laid off last fall, I am currently working part time three days a week. Not going through the beauty routine in the morning is depressing to me, because it reminds me I have no full-time job. Putting on makeup now, to me, has almost become therapy, because it makes me want to go into the world and participate again, rather than mope at home with my dog and the TV.

    Kudos to you for starting it and getting everyone talking!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) January 30, 2012, 3:34 pm

    what a liberating project!

  • Natasha January 30, 2012, 3:36 pm

    I think this is a great idea. I actually stopped wearing makeup on a regular basis once I stopped working for a company and started working for myself. It’s freeing!!

    I get everything except the no deoderant. I need deoderant and wouldn’t be able to stick to that one 🙂

    I look forward to seeing how you guys fair! Good luck!

  • Christina January 30, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Hi Caitlin – Just wanted to say that this project really resonates with me. This world would be a much better place if we would stop judging people on their hair, make-up, body shape, etc., and focused on what really makes all of us beautiful, strong and unique. I can’t wait to hear all about your journey and maybe even join in myself along the way! Good luck and thanks for sharing with us

  • Angela January 30, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I don’t know if this is a cultural thing (never seen this come up on a British site) but I always think this is such a funny subject when it comes to the comments. Take out the words make up or shaving and insert the religion of your choice and people wouldn’t dare say any of the things they say on here in public (I hope!). The funny thing is that on the whole shaving legs is as personal a choice as your religion. If doing nothing works for some people that’s fine by me just don’t judge me for wanting to cover myself in make up.

  • Angie January 30, 2012, 3:41 pm

    After reading your post and many of the comments I find myself torn about my own intentions. I wear make-up practically every day, love high heels, and doing my hair. I love shopping for clothes…’s kind of like therapy for me. I’m currently sitting at my desk in a very uncomfortable skirt, but I love the way it looks. I have definitely had moments like you describe about looking at yourself and thanking the good Lord for make-up. I feel that I have very uneven skin tone and redness on my face. Now, I don’t fully primp every day. Often on days I work from home I don’t wear makeup, but I always feel self conscience about it. I have a wonderful fiancé who tells me all the time he likes me best with no makeup, hair in a ponytail, and sweats on. Still, part of me doesn’t believe him, but I know it’s true because he has told me that for the past 10 years. So, the point of my comment is…why do I do all of the things you mention in your post??? Sitting here at work reading these comments I’m not sure I can answer that question! Part of me thinks it’s because I like playing with makeup and like the way I look with it on, part of me thinks it’s for other women, although reading these comments it seems like a lot of women don’t have an extensive everyday beauty routine, part of me thinks it’s because it’s what I’m supposed to do, part of me thinks I like to look pretty for my fiancé, and part of me has no clue why. I cannot wait to read what you discover about yourself!

    You have definitely brought to light a subject I’ve never thought two seconds about. I think it’s wonderful you are questioning your actions and maybe causing others to question theirs as well. I cannot wait to follow your project!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 3:43 pm

      YES. this is exactly how i feel – so torn and confused. which is why i’m excited to explore it a bit more, and here from other people, because i can’t explore in a vacuum.

  • Madison @ Espresso and Cream January 30, 2012, 3:42 pm

    I’m so excited to follow along with this project, Caitlin! When I was in high school I gave up wearing makeup for Lent one year and it was a great experience. Challenging, for sure, but an affirmation that I was beautiful without all the ‘add ons’ we think are so necessary.

  • stacy January 30, 2012, 3:50 pm


    I enjoy reading your blog. I’ll be interested to hear what you find out about yourself. Anyway, I just wanted to share, you said something about how your Mother was a big fan of “putting on her face.” I grew up with a single mom who worked full time. Beauty wasn’t a huge priority for her life. I definitely like to feel good about how I look, but I also am a big believer in 5 minute make up, so I think my mom’s relaxed approach to beauty is a part of who I am. Girls do grow up so fast these days though, and since you work with them, I admire that you want to give them real answers. I think what you will find is that caring about how we present ourselves is fine, but letting others dictate for us what is and isn’t beautiful is not fine. We have to decide how we want to look by ourselves (and try not to be completely manipulated by the media when we do). Hopefully, most women do this as they mature. I teach college though and do see 18 year old girls coming to class in full make up with hair curled even though they have not read the literature for the day. Their priorities dishearten me, but I also realize that when I was 18, all of my priorities weren’t totally straight either. Anyway good luck!

  • Mai January 30, 2012, 4:19 pm

    I think this is AMAZING and cannot wait to follow along.

  • Laurie Palau January 30, 2012, 4:20 pm

    Caitlin (and Molly),
    I am working mother of 2 beautiful empowered daughters ages 11 and 8. I just today registered my little one for her 2nd semester with GOTR which I have found to be a wonderful program.

    I think the Naked Face Project is a revealing, vulnerable, and more emotionally exposing then physical. I commend both of you for your bravery and will follow your journey.

    All my best,

    Owner, simply B organized
    Organize your Home, Simplify your Life

  • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 4:21 pm

    Okay, one more comment from me (sorry, but you got me thinking).

    I see a lot of the comments here saying “I really DO like doing this.” This could be completely true. However, I would suggest that society drives it into us SO much that we MUST do these things and that we SHOULD enjoy doing them because we’re women, I think it becomes really difficult to decipher what we TRULY like vs. what we’ve always been TOLD we like. I mean, look at all the people who are saying it never even occurred to them that they have a choice about these things! From a very young age, we’re pretty brainwashed. Maybe one of the only ways to determine this is by trying something like you are doing and literally FORCING yourself to live differently for a while–just to see.

    Personally, I KNOW I don’t like these things. I always cut myself shaving, and putting on make-up is a hassle to me. However, I’m a total hypocrite and do them anyway. I’m thinking of quitting, though! (I do sometimes like that smooth leg feeling, though…I will admit that.)

    I also just wanted to add–men do these things as well, yes. There is actually increasing pressure on men to groom. However, there’s less required of them overall (no makeup, leg shaving, armpit shaving, etc.). These “gender differences” are so arbitrary and unnatural, it’s almost shocking we all just go along with them!

  • Kathy January 30, 2012, 4:24 pm

    Wow. I applaud you for your new endeavor. I was going to say you’re fortunate that you are young and can get away without makeup, but then I saw that Molly is my age. Though, I don’t really worry too much anymore about what others say about me. I do and do not wear makeup, depending on my mood. Sure I look better in makeup, but I think I wear it more for my own benefit. It makes me feel prettier, not that I feel I need to wear it. I also only shave when I feel like it (or when I have a doctors appt). I dress for my own approval anymore. I guess that’s what age does to a person. Young girls though feel it is what they are expected to do. Thanks to magazines and celebrities. I am confident enough in myself that I don’t feel that pressure anymore. I like who I am inside and making myself up on the outside is only to lift my own spirits – cause who really likes getting older. Yuck. Good luck I’m anxious to see your results.

  • Chelsea January 30, 2012, 4:33 pm

    No shaving for 60 days? sign me up!! LOL i hateee to shave my legs..(i always shave my pits and bikini area) but leg shaving is sooo tedious!! and in the winter, why bother? nobody sees your legs anyways! Drive my boyfriend nuts! I would really like to participate in this but i dont know about the no makeup thing…i really do look like a corpse and i’d be afraid of the “You look sick” comments! Kudos to you for doing it! I’m interested to hear what you say after the end of it! I may want to do it then!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 5:09 pm

      I hate hate hate the “you look tired/sick” remarks. When I catch myself doing it, I feel SO bad although I know I’m only doing it to start conversation/being I’m not thinking. It’s still hurtful.

      • Dynamics January 30, 2012, 8:26 pm

        The more you talk about it, the more people are realizing what is actually coming out of their mouths. I have caught myself several times. I remember the florescent green bathroom my husband painted. When showing my friend and asking her if she liked it she responded with “that is a beautiful shower door” The more topics you and others bring up the more it makes me aware and the more I try say things in a more positive light.

        You go girl! Have fun with your new found freedom. I am curious if you will notice having more free time.

        I suggest putting the money you save in a jar and after the 60 days reward yourself with something nice.

  • Laura January 30, 2012, 4:41 pm

    Heh. This is pretty much my life anyway. I can’t stand the feel or smell of makeup, so never wear it.

  • Emily January 30, 2012, 4:50 pm

    You are awesome!!! I used to not shave my armpits as a senior in high school and freshman in college and got all kinds of reactions. If should be an entertaining journey to say the least.

    I’ve been thinking about the make-up issue as well – I make it a rule on weekends that I don’t have to wear make-up because weekends are when I get a “break” from things I “have” to do – like work. But lately I’ve been wondering if putting on make-up should go hand in hand with other things I have to do. Would my life be so totally devastated if I didn’t? Can’t wait to read about your experiences!

  • Dee January 30, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I love this idea, and it made me laugh, because, I “participate” in this project pretty much 360 out of 365 days of the year! I grew up with a mom who didn’t focus on outer appearance, and without trying to, I’ve become just like her. I think this is a meaningful project for the all of the reasons you outlined. After not being permitted to wear make-up growing up, when I hit college, I was eager to learn all about it.

    But my fire was put out when this awesome lady I babysat for, in casual conversation, mentioned how she had had to go out without make-up one morning, and was worried that someone she knew might see her without make-up. She made the comment that she couldn’t stand going out in public without her face made up.

    This lady was such an awesome person, awesome mom, that it really struck me how sad that was. I can’t quite convey it in this response, but she was not just being funny when she said this, she really meant it. And I actually said to myself, if I did start wearing make-up, only wear it on special occasions, because I never want myself, or others, to think my natural face is “uglier” than a made-up one. I want myself and everyone I encounter to be comfortable with my natural face. Ditto for all that other Beauty Habit stuff, too.

    Sorry this is long, but on another note- my un-embellished preferences DO cause a bit of conflict with my boyfriend. Which is yet another reason I think this is a fascinating project. There are alot of good questions that will come up through this.

  • Lisa January 30, 2012, 5:03 pm

    I feel better about myself when I don’t have cactus legs and armpits. I think it’s fine if you do it because *you* choose to. I hear you about what is expected of us though.

    I don’t wear makeup on weekends. Probably because I’m just too lazy to put it on.

    I’m low maintenance, but I couldn’t do the 60 day naked face challenge. Best wishes to you both.

  • Cm @ Lazy Healthy January 30, 2012, 5:05 pm

    I think this issue is less dependent on gender expectations than we often think it is.

  • Sarah January 30, 2012, 5:10 pm

    I rarely wear makeup and it takes me all of five minutes to get ready to leave the house — sunscreen, chapstick, brush hair, brush teeth. The advantage is that when I do wear makeup — like 5-6 times a year for a wedding, special date, or what have you, it really has an impact. I do, however splurge on facials about 5 or 6 times a year so my skin is clear and pretty even without foundation. I

  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) January 30, 2012, 5:15 pm

    This is awesome. Sometimes if we are going out at night (dinner with friends for example) I will take a shower and dry my hair but go without makeup because I hate getting home late and having to wash my face before bed. Numerous times I have asked Brandon “Do you care if I go out tonight w/ no makeup on?” And he’s like “Why would I care? You look just fine and don’t need makeup anyway!”

    I am excited to follow your journey and also take some time to reflect on my own habits and the reasoning behind each one.

  • Laura @ Backstage Balance January 30, 2012, 5:16 pm

    Wow, what a wonderful announcement! I applaud you for launching this project. I can relate to how you feel that you “have to” wear makeup, undergo beauty treatments, etc. and there is definitely a lot of pressure in our society that implies we must look a certain way. Personally, I feel that I do the bare minimum with makeup, but spend hundreds of dollars every year on hair treatments.
    Molly is going to be in Milwaukee (my town) this Thursday, February 2nd for a roundtable discussion event to benefit the Milwaukee chapter of Girls on the Run. I’m sure that she’ll mention her involvement with this!

    • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 5:18 pm

      Oh how fun! You will love meeting her.

  • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 5:19 pm

    Good for you guys. Doesn’t apply to me because I don’t do this stuff anyway–aside from D-O and shaving underarms, which I can’t go without doing for my own personal comfort.
    I don’t spend more than $18 to get my hair cut, and I only get it cut once or twice a year, if that.
    I don’t think I’ve shaved my legs since… Christmas break, if not before then. They bother me sometimes, but it’s too much work. I’d have to do it every day or every other to keep it from getting too annoying, and I can’t get myself to shave them just yet. It’s winter, you know… Haha.
    But good for you two for trying something different.

  • Laura @ She Eats Well January 30, 2012, 5:22 pm

    I say Go For It. I am very interested to read your results and how your experience pans out. A very interesting idea indeed. I think I could do the no makeup thing but the deodorant thing is hard because I am a sweaty monster, especially in yoga. I feel like I wear deodorant out of respect to my yoga practicing peers too…if that make sense.

  • ~Jessica~ January 30, 2012, 5:33 pm

    I love this idea 😀

    I suppose I’m already a bit of a ‘Naked Face’ in that I don’t shave or wear make-up because of my eczema, which flares up terribly at the slightest provocation. I wouldn’t do anything that I felt ‘obliged’ to as a female anyway – I’d wear deoderant (well, the hypoallergenic kind!) because both men and women are ‘expected’ to do that. When it’s an issue of, ‘you should do this’ because you’re a woman, it makes me even more inclined not to.

    I’m not really interested in hair, make-up, nails etc. and I suppose even though I have terrible self-image and low confidence, I still tend to think that I’d rather present a honest, bare version of ‘me’ rather than spending hours every day trying to hide my flaws, because at the end of the day I know they’re still there, so I’d only be trying to fool myself.


  • Heather January 30, 2012, 5:40 pm

    “First world problem”- that’s what came to mind when I read this post. I’m sorry, but I don’t get what’s so profound about giving up shaving and make up for 2 months. Maybe because it’s not important in my life? I’m not sure. Frankly I’m surprised you haven’t experimented with this sooner given your career. It is terribly inauthentic to tell yourself that you “have” to be a certain way to face the world when you are posting notes to people to love themselves no matter what. Welcome to the dark side, lol. You will love it here- much more time and energy spent on stuff that actually matters vs outer appearance! I wish you luck in your journey!

    • Lindsey January 30, 2012, 7:22 pm

      I felt that way too. It reeks of privilege and a lack of awareness of true issues. How lucky we are that wearing makeup and shaving our legs are the only form of “oppression” we suffer.

      • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 7:27 pm

        First of all, I didn’t say that I don’t think this is’t a first world problem. It is totally a first world problem. Second of all, just because it is a first world problem doesn’t mean it’s not an issue to ponder for a lot of people in our country. I don’t think this is the only form of ‘oppression’ that women in America or around the world suffer from, Lindsey. I worked as a rape peer counselor in college for a reason. I am rather politically opinionated and care and donate to a WIDE variety of issues that relate to feminism. Please don’t dumb me down as an entire person because I happen to care about one issue in particular.

        • Rachel January 31, 2012, 3:34 am

          and it’s not a first world problem. I am currently backpacking around the world (in Africa right now) and making ourselves beautiful and more attractive is not just something we do in the 1st world (hello genital mutilation?). It happens in all cultures all over the world, it just doesn’t always involve Cover Girl and wax.

          • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:05 am

            I would LOVE to hear more about your experiences Rachel!

  • Kelly January 30, 2012, 5:47 pm

    I don’t get it. I mean I am trying to get it. I have a really laid back routine. I wear a daily face lotion with SPF 30 and mascara. I shave my under arms twice a week and my legs about once a week (more like once every 2 weeks in the winter). I blow dry my hair and curl it and I like to wear comfortable clothes but dress up when needed. I guess what I don’t really get about this project is that I don’t do any of those aforementioned things above because society tells me to but because I feel better about myself when my hair looks good or I am in a particular outfit that makes me feel unstoppable. When my hair is in it’s natural frizzy state I don’t feel clean and confident. But that isn’t society that has pressured me to feel that way if it how I truly feel. So if I participated in your project I would be miserable. I don’t think I need to be miserable to prove a point. The point being that society tells us to do things so we do. Maybe I am just more confident in myself that perhaps you are. I don’t think the message you are sending is applicable to most girls.

    • Kelly January 30, 2012, 6:02 pm

      Okay…I am starting to feel bad for my overly negative and judgmental comment. I guess I should have just said that while this isn’t something that I would do because it wouldn’t make me feel good about myself…I wish you luck on the journey and I hope you find the lesson you are seeking.

      • CaitlinHTP January 30, 2012, 6:06 pm

        You don’t have to feel bad. I think this project means different things for different people and would thus be done in different ways.

  • Tricia January 30, 2012, 5:54 pm

    I have done all this before. And it was such a great thing! My friends were all amazed, and a few of them started doing it to. And it helps you learn to do makeup to enhance but not completely alter your face.

  • Susan January 30, 2012, 5:55 pm

    I commend what you and Molly are attempting to accomplish, but NO DEODORANT??? That is not just a “female” issue that affects only you and the way you feel (or smell). It affects everyone.

  • Natalie @fitjamericangirl January 30, 2012, 6:03 pm

    This is a great idea. I wear makeup because I just love it and it’s fun. I certainly did not grow up in a society that cherished or encouraged makeup. My mother, grandmother and aunt don’t wear it. Girls in my school who wore it were chastised for being “too grown”. In my church, almost no women wear makeup. I grew up to love the stuff as a sort of rebellion, not as a way to fit it. So I don’t think I would ever want to give up something that makes me feel unique and special. However, I don’t think I would wear it if it became a crutch or something I felt pressured to do. No matter what your reason for doing it, giving up things is good for the soul. It really helps you understand its importance in your life.

  • Christy January 30, 2012, 6:24 pm

    I like to wear makeup sometimes and always wore it in college.. but now, not so much.. like almost never.. I would say that 90% of the women I work with (30 or so?) don’t wear make up to work. Of course, some wear just a bit, probably don’t even notice (and isnt’ that the key to makuep!) In fact, I almost feel weird wearing makeup to work now! So enjoy.. To me, it isn’t really a big deal makeup or not makeup.. not like you notice if you have it on or not when you are out and about and busy (my opinion anyway hehehe 😉
    Will be an interesting journey as my 4 year old girl matures into her teen years! Glad I have time before then!

  • lauren January 30, 2012, 6:28 pm

    It think that this is a very cool project! I can’t wait to follow along on this journey.
    I just can’t get over some of the reactions you are getting. What you’re doing is valuable, especially since it is different from how you have been living – and from how most of those around you are living.
    Our lives are relative and from where I’m standing, this is a real “issue”.
    That said, once in awhile I have a blast getting dressed up, straightening my hair, and putting on more eye makeup then I wear on a regular basis. I know I don’t need makeup, I often go without, but I think it’s a fun option to have on standby.

  • Katie January 30, 2012, 6:39 pm

    Two questions – first, are you using any hair product at all?

    Second, do either of you work in an office where you have to deal with clients on a regular basis? While I would love to do this, I work in a VERY professional environment and have do deal with clients on a daily basis. Everyone is pretty well groomed – very rarely do men even have any facial hair. I’m pretty sure my employer would take issue with (at least) my lack of deodorant, if not the frizz ball that my hair would surely become!

    • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 6:44 pm

      Well, we both are kind of in unique positions because although we have to present in front of others, we are self employed. I do need to look ‘nice’ at the clinic. But i’m thinking my no makeup wont matter.

      Re: hair products I don’t use any but I know molly does and she is forgoing.

      • Tara January 30, 2012, 7:19 pm

        Just curious – I know you said sunscreen, but are you going to use any facial moisturizer? Or facial cleanser in the shower? Or just body soap bc cleanser is a “female” product? I know when I don’t slap on moisturizer after washing my face it gets all tight and uncomfortable.

        Really curious to see how this goes for you. You’re brave!

        • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 7:23 pm

          Yes to the moisturizer because for me, like you, this starts to go into the hygiene area – my skin cracks and BLEEDS during the winter if I don’t put on lotion, especially because I swim in such a highly chlorinated pool. We’re just skipping the firming/tanning lotions and only using hydrating ones.

  • Jen W January 30, 2012, 6:41 pm

    So fun! I’m totally in! Au natural all the way!

  • Leatitia @ The Sweetest Year January 30, 2012, 6:43 pm

    Wow! You’re very brave. I can’t imagine not shaving and going to my swimming lessons every Thursday.

    I rarely wear make up, high heels or uncomfortable clothing. But going two months without shaving, putting deodorant or plucking my eyebrows? I can’t imagine doing that. It’s very revealing how doing that since imaginable to me!

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good January 30, 2012, 6:47 pm

    I agree that no one should feel they HAVE to do all those things. I go pretty natural, but I do wear make up and nail polish sometimes, and I do shave. I hope the example I set for my kids is that these are choices we all make for ourselves, and we are all beautiful exactly the way God made us!

  • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 6:48 pm

    Wow! That takes some serious courage! I can’t wait to hear more about this and read about it as time goes by.

  • Jazz January 30, 2012, 6:50 pm

    I like how everyone says they just use sunscreen cause they don’t like using chemicals… Better check the labels on those, most have some pretty bad stuff in them! Best option is to keep covered up!

  • Jessalyn Kennedy January 30, 2012, 6:55 pm

    I love it.

  • Kristen January 30, 2012, 7:00 pm

    I’m so intrigued by this project! The thought of doing this myself is really nerve-wracking, and I can’t quite figure out why. Plenty of people have seen me without makeup, but it has always been on my terms. When I need a confidence boost, I do tend to wear makeup and spend more time on my hair, because I feel more pulled together. But why? I’m not sure. I used to work in HR, and there is a clear perception that women who don’t look well-groomed (which is often defined as wearing a bit of makeup, having groomed eyebrows and shaved legs, etc). may be less careful and detail-oriented in other areas of their work. The common opinion (in my own experience) seemed to be that if they couldn’t take care of themselves, how could they take care of a business? These issues are so deeply rooted in society, that I’m not sure what it would take to change them, but I’m SO interested in hearing more about your experience!

  • Mary January 30, 2012, 7:04 pm

    Love this & I will be following you both! Many moons ago, while I was still in HS, my friend & I did an “experiment” & didn’t wear make up for a week to see if people would comment. After not receiving any negative comments & quite a few positives, I stopped wearing make up all together…and I haven’t looked back. Now I get comments that I’m so lucky I don’t HAVE to wear make up…they’ve never seen me with it on so could I look younger/better etc if I did? I’m sure I could but I don’t want to focus my energy there. I can’t imagine not shaving my legs for 2 mos, though! Enjoy the extra time you will have not “prepping” before going out!

  • Amy January 30, 2012, 7:05 pm

    This is interesting…I don’t think I could do it because honestly, I would feel so ugly. I know that sounds terrible but I really would feel so gross without my hair and makeup done. Obviously, that is probably something I should work on.

    The other day I actually thought about this because of a comment my husband made to me while I was putting my makeup on. He said “do you ever feel weird putting makeup on to go out in public? it’s kind of like you are putting on a mask…don’t you get tired of it” and I just kind of sat there thinking for a minute because it’s such a habit that I don’t even think about it. I don’t always ‘like’ the actual act of putting it on because I am running late or tired etc but I like how I look once it’s done. I also like playing with different colors and types of makeup and am a bit of a girly girl. My husband says I look pretty with or without it but always comments when I am not wearing my makeup that it is nice to see my clean face which makes me feel good. (side-note: I don’t wear ‘clown-paint’ by any means either and wear natural colors and mainly like enhancing my eyes and covering blemishes and the dark circles under my eyes.)

    Hmmm, it’s just interesting to think about why we do certain things, especially in regards to appearance.

    • Amy January 30, 2012, 7:08 pm

      one more note: I don’t really see where the no deodorant thing fits in…I guess I just see that as hygiene and not really a ‘beauty routine.’ Whenever I smell someone that obviously needs some deordorant I think it is rude of them not to wear it at least for other’s sake….this has been way exaggerated since I have been pregnant too because I can smell EVERYTHING.

  • Nikki January 30, 2012, 7:08 pm

    I haven’t read through all the comments, so someone might have asked this..
    I’m curious as to why you didn’t ask a man to participate as well. You’ve posted before about treating boys+girls equally in science and math, so shouldn’t we be encouraging boys to let go of societally-imposed beauty as well? They engage in many of the same primping routines as women!

    • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 7:09 pm

      I’m in the process of trying to recruit a male blogger to engage in FEMALE habits for 60 days… to see their perspective… but it’s hard to find someone who’s willing to commit. Except DadHTP. 🙂 But he already shaves his legs so it’s kind of moot.

      • HTPDad January 30, 2012, 9:17 pm

        hey – I quit shaving my legs when I quit racing, and haven’t had anyone to shave my back since you graduated from high school. I will only do this if I get waxed, not shaved, and facial products, plus mani-pedis. I even have a salon to go along with it.

        Balls in your court.

        • Nikki January 31, 2012, 7:52 am

          How interesting! I was just wondering because within my relationship, I’m the less high-maintenance one, but definitely not out of choice. My SO has pretty thick hair, and has to spend a ton of time shaving / getting precise haircuts, or he faces a lot of social stigma at work (there’s also some eyebrow trimming going on.. secret’s out). But I guess for him, it’s not impacting whether he looks pretty per say, but whether he looks homeless.

          Do you think men aren’t willing to participate because 1. they don’t want the stigma coming along with it, or 2. because they just don’t care about beauty routines?

  • Kristin January 30, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Just think of how much extra time you will have to sleep!! I personally couldn’t do this. Being in the military I have very few opportunities to feel pretty, so keeping my eyebrows well done and a little eyeliner and mascara make me feel so much better.

  • Hillary January 30, 2012, 7:11 pm

    Oy, I honestly don’t know how I feel about this. I read your post earlier today and I’ve been mulling it over since then. My makeup routine consists of moisturizer, concealer, a little blush, and mascara (on a good day). I have no problem running errands without makeup, but I always put it on for my job. I also like to look presentable (dress-wise) when I go to work everyday; this rarely means skirts and heels, but I definitely try to look pulled together. I shave and use deodorant, mainly because I don’t like the feeling of unshaved legs or underarms (or the smell of no deodorant).

    That being said, I’m not sure I see why doing any of these things is wrong/bad/whatever. I agree that the media’s focus on beauty is a bit intense, especially in advertising, but I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to look presentable, clean, and confident—how many women feel when they are doing all the things that you are giving up.

    I’m honestly pretty conflicted about the whole thing and, if nothing else, am curious as to see where you go with this!

  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny January 30, 2012, 7:14 pm

    Like Nikki, I haven’t read the comments — I’ll scroll back after I leave mine, but my initial reaction is, holy sh*t, Caitlin, I can’t believe youre going to do something like this. I’ve often thought about sending in an audition tape to Survivor, but always chicken out as soon as I think about the no make-up, no shaving, no hair styling thing. I’m not particularly vein. I take less than 5 minutes on my make up every morning, but still couldn’t imagine going without all of the primp-y things I do. I’m impressed, inspired, and proud of you for doing somehting like this. I think its corageous because I know as a girl, even in your own little world – let alone on the blog – its going to take a lot of courage at first to go out there without enagaging in your normal primping. GOOD FOR YOU! I think it’s really inspiring and if I weren’t such a chicken I’d join you. I can’t wait to see how this unfolds! Good luck!

  • Moni'sMeals January 30, 2012, 7:19 pm

    You are officially the coolest ever! I love this idea and I think you are truly amazing for doing it. I HARDLY wear make-up.. only for model auditions that I have. Otherwise, I am in workout gear w, little to no make up.
    I feel crazy with it on! 🙂

  • dep January 30, 2012, 7:19 pm

    This is such a great post and raises so many issues i think about too. There is so much we are ‘required’ to do as women in regards to our appearance – it takes our energy, our time and our money. What could we do if we could make the actual choice not to spend time and money on this? I truly believe that this attention on appearance is in part a way of controlling women. (Men have issues like how to look/behave too). I really get upset actually about how much $ women are required to spend on their appearance and the creation of ‘problems’. Some people love Dove but why on earth did they find a problem with underarm skin? To sell a product. I don’t care if my underarm skin is soft – nor do i care about the backs of my legs which i can’t see – nor are cracked heels causing me embarrassment (a question in a commercial here. Yeah, BIG social problem that one).

  • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 7:20 pm

    One more thought–remember how you gave up caffeine a while back and realized it wasn’t so much about the caffeine but more about the habitual act of drinking coffee? I’m curious to see if this Naked Face project has any of that same idea behind it–how much of what we do to “look good” has just become routine?

    …Does that make sense? 😛

    • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 7:24 pm

      YES! Exactly. 🙂

  • Allison January 30, 2012, 7:23 pm

    Caitlin, I must say I find this project totally fascinating. Kudos to both of you! I think it’ll unearth some really thought-provoking ideas about confidence, identity and real beauty.

    I’m a 24-yr old who subscribes, albeit a bit begrudgingly, to pretty much all the “expected” beauty routines. Unstated pressure from friends is definitely part of it – if they’re made up, then I basically assume I should do at least the minimum to keep up. I have a wonderful boyfriend who will only ever tease playfully about my occasionally hairy legs, but I do wonder if it actually bothers him even if he says it doesn’t. And am I less of a strong, smart, confident girl for caring?

    It’s also interesting what many have said about confidence – as someone relatively new to the work force trying to be taken seriously and have my ideas considered by older colleagues, I think I wear makeup (still pretty minimally) to avoid looking juvenile.

    Anyway, lots to think about. Thanks for bringing a meaningful topic to light! Looking forward to following the posts.

  • Andrea January 30, 2012, 7:24 pm

    THIS IS SO COOL!!!!! Major major, MAJOR props to you!!!!!

  • Grapeful January 30, 2012, 7:25 pm

    Just talk to some busy grad students (and probably new moms too), we’ve already done and won this challenge.

  • Meg January 30, 2012, 7:42 pm

    I think this is a tremendously brave project that’s going to start some great conversations. I shared the link with the health teacher at the school where I work. Good luck!

  • becca January 30, 2012, 7:48 pm

    this is awesome and empowering. you make me hopeful for the future of our body image crisis. rock on

  • Sarah January 30, 2012, 7:53 pm

    My mother never wore makeup. Not because she was trying to make a point, but just because it wasn’t something she ever learned how to do. I was pretty upset with her when I was growing up because she didn’t know how to braid my hair or help me learn to use makeup.

    To this day, I think of her as less feminine than most women because she just doesn’t know how to do these things. I feel like we missed out on some classic mother-daughter bonding experiences. It still makes me pretty sad.

    I’m not sure where that fits into this Project of yours, but I thought I’d share.

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 8:23 pm

      This makes me sad. I’m not entirely sure my mom wears much makeup (never really asked), but I don’t think any less of her for not teaching me to use it if she does. It was always choice in our house–if you want to wear makeup or get your ears pierced, you can, but don’t feel like Mom and Dad are saying you HAVE to. (My sister does both–wears makeup and has pierced ears.) Sure, I feel like we haven’t necessarily bonded as much as other mother/daughter pairs, but it’s not necessarily because she didn’t take the time to teach me about makeup. I wasn’t worried about makeup and didn’t need her to teach me. If I ever have daughters, I hope they don’t have this attitude toward me because of a choice I made as a teenager. =\

  • Juli D. January 30, 2012, 7:59 pm

    Very cool – good luck in the experiment. The only thing that I thought was strange was deodorant. Definitely not just a feminine thing – what’s the difference between using deodorant and showering? Using soap? Using shampoo or conditioner? If anything, conditioner is a much more feminine toiletry than deodorant (which I think is quite gender neutral).

  • Ali January 30, 2012, 7:59 pm

    Not wearing deodorant is not the same as not wearing mascara. You wouldn’t run around without brushing your teeth … deodorant is NOT a beauty product!

    Otherwise, I support you 🙂

    • Laura January 30, 2012, 8:05 pm

      I agree. There’s a difference between “cosmetics” and basic hygiene products. 🙂 I don’t thin deodorant has anything to do with looks; it’s just showing consideration for people around you on a hot day!

  • Mel @ Post Grad Mel January 30, 2012, 7:59 pm

    I’ll be really interested to read about how the project turns out! The first two people I thought of when I read this post were my two sisters.

    My oldest sister doesn’t commit herself to any of the “beauty” habits you’ve described above. (Once, she even shaved her head to raise money for children’s cancer research!) I often make fun of or criticize her habits though, especially her “comfy” outfits and hairy legs. At the same time, I make a point to teach my little sister about establishing a beauty routine, i.e. shaving her legs on a regular basis, straightening her hair, wearing makeup to school, etc. Now she does these things because she feels like she has to.

    Upon some reflection after reading this post however, I can’t help but feel that I’ve been in the wrong when it comes to my actions towards both of my sisters. Their beauty is WAY more then just skin deep and perhaps I haven’t provided enough credit or encouragement to both.

    Anyway, I’ll have to think on this some more. Thanks for providing me with some enlightenment as always!

  • E January 30, 2012, 8:06 pm

    I don’t know how I feel about this-you’ve certainly gotten hundreds of comments and mine will perhaps go over-looked, but…. While I applaud you in trying something new (for you ) like this and I genuinely agree with the message, I can’t see the utility in denying yourself certain things. For example, you mention no acne creams, yet for myself this is *essential* to my life; I suffer from severe cystic acne and not using these lotions would certain do more harm to my self-esteem than good for the message of this little adventure. For people who suffer self-esteem issues (bc of things like acne, which, we can’t possibly argue is a societal stigma being forced on us to feel bad if we do-it’s a medical issue, just like being obese is), participating in something like this could certainly prove harmful. I realize THAT’S the message you want to get across, that they don’t need to feel that way, but, it’s a fact of our reality (OUR reality, meaning us privileged first-world dwellers) that when we feel sick (and sick can manifest itself in many forms, internally or externally, like acne or what have you) we feel bad in a variety of ways. I also realize this is a particular case, but considering things like this is also important when trying to portray a message like this.
    I think a better message would be to that we CAN use make-up, and girly products bc they make us feel feminine and girly and in touch with ourselves. NOT bc we have to by society. Yes, that’s a slippery slope. However, people like dressing up (in whatever way they feel is dressing up), or wear some make-up, or play with their hair bc it makes them happy (not everyone, I don’t want to overgeneralize, but, certainly many females would agree that playing dress-up and putting on a face is fun). We should be encouraging each other to participate in whatever practices we feel are appropriate to us as individuals (not as a society), whether that be playing dress-up, or going “naked”-being individuals. There’s no reason we can’t practice these things without a discussion about the REASONS we’re doing it. I feel like doing this is polarizing to many and is a pretty extreme example (it’s like: either do it or don’t do, but there’s no middle ground). I don’t want this to come off as negative or nasty, I realize that this is just a project for you to participate in and my comment like everyone else’s is meant to promote discussion not absolutes, I just wonder about the real message we should be sending.

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 8:36 pm

      Try this: for a slightly similar story on the “self-esteem” issue… Particularly at about 12 minutes.

    • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 8:41 pm

      Hi E!

      This is why I said that the project would look different on different people – if you were to do it, maybe it would include the acne medication!

      I definitely think there is a middle ground, but I don’t think I can really find it until I experience the other side. Does that make sense?

      I appreciate the comment so much! It’s more than okay to have a different opinion – that’s how I learn!!!

  • Carolina January 30, 2012, 8:13 pm

    This sounds like a great experience! It reminds me of when I went trekking in Bolivia several years ago. I was at high elevation for nearly 3 weeks with no showers, shampoo, makeup, or mirrors. Everyday, I trekked high into the mountains (up to 16,700) feet, and, increasingly, I felt strong,confident,and completely in tune with my true self. I was giddy really, in what I was able to achieve.It was only after coming back down out of the mountains and staring at myself in the mirror that I contemplated what an amazing experience it was to not feel like my self-esteem had anything at all to do with my appearance. It was an incredibly freeing experience that has remained with me. I hope that you have an equally liberating and illuminating experience.

  • Jodi @ jodeexi writes January 30, 2012, 8:21 pm

    I love this and can’t wait to see where it goes!

  • Sarah January 30, 2012, 8:22 pm

    Ok. I am commenting on your blog not Molly’s for a very specific reason…. I love the idea and I definitely think it is a great experiment. BUT as a dark haired lady- aren’t you a little more worried than Molly might be? I don’t wear much make-up, don’t dye my hair but shaving/waxing is a must. From my head to my toes- I would have a 6 o’clock shadow, full sideburns and arm hair a trucker would be proud of. I hope that as you chronicle this experiment you don’t shy away from talking about all the hair women are encouraged to bleach, wax and otherwise hide!

    • Caitlin January 30, 2012, 8:36 pm

      I definitely have a natural unibrow. I’m going to try to embrace it though. 🙂 It’s going to hard.

  • Jolene ( January 30, 2012, 9:12 pm

    This is an AWESOME project and you are a very brave, strong woman. I don’t think I could do this! I cannot wait for your Thursday posts!

  • brigitte January 30, 2012, 9:17 pm

    Thank you so much for this honest, provocative post! I applaud you for being able to talk about how you struggle with some of these issues in practice even though you know very much how you feel about them in theory (like telling girls they don’t have to wear makeup but feeling yourself that you maybe have to…). What a great conversation that more of us should have with ourselves and our female friends! I was running with a colleague last weekend and we were talking about similar issues of femininity and both saying that although we are very much feminists (we’re both PhD students in a rhetoric department and I definitely consider myself an academic feminist) we both still feel pressures to wear makeup, fix our hair, look pretty, fit into a certain size..etc. I have often felt like a hypocrite. So thank you for this post and for this challenge. maybe I’ll get people in my program to join you!

    Also, I’m a first time commenter but my husband and I have been reading your blog for years, we’re both runners, and we both love your writing and especially your recipes! Thanks for being an inspiration to find our healthy tipping points. 🙂

  • JenATX January 30, 2012, 9:18 pm

    Ha, there is NO WAY I would participate in this project. I’m way too scared to walk around without make-up. You’re a bad ass Caitlin and I think this project is awesome. You have the guts to do what many women would love to try!

    I feel torn about this issue as well. To be honest, I do like doing myself up because it makes me feel pretty, which in turn makes me feel “ready” for the day. But why do I need to feel pretty to have a good day? I don’t -like- curling my hair, but I do like the way I look after. But why? Can I be happy about myself and my life if I don’t feel pretty? I have so many awesome other qualities so why do I invest so much time into beuty?

    THe other side of this story is that i do like some beauty practices. I love fashion. I think its cool how people can put together fabric and make something of it. I like nail polish. Its pretty! I love shoes. Not really the way they feel, but I like snazzy up an outfit with them.

    Needless to say, this is a complex topic. I’m totally pumped for the next 60 days 🙂 Go Caitlin!

  • Mary January 30, 2012, 9:22 pm

    SO cool that you are doing this! I sort of feel like I’ve been doing the same thing since September, I started as a grad student in biology.
    It is sort of nice to be part of a community where your brain is emphasized WAY more than what you look like. Its almost to the other extreme, where if you look super put-together all the time (makeup, hair, all that stuff) you’re focusing too much on looks and not enough on your science! Most of the female faculty in my department go without makeup and hair dye.

    The best thing to come out of it so far is that I’ve learned to EMBRACE my dark circles – I have genetic dark circles, as in, I’ve had them since I was a toddler and no amount of sleep changes them (I read somewhere that they’re caused by leaky capillaries under the eyes). There was a time I wouldn’t even be seen without concealer, especially in high school and undergrad. Now I don’t even give them a second thought!

  • Chetney January 30, 2012, 9:27 pm

    This is so interesting to me! I grew up with my mother and older sister NEVER wearing makeup and I seemingly “can’t” leave the house without it. As a tween (maybe even younger) I begged for mascara, lipgloss, whatever it could be. I think it had a lot to do with Spice Girls, and Barbie dolls. Anyway, I am really curious to see how this pans out for you. Is it bad to feel ashamed that I do wear makeup? I kind of feel that way now…not because of this project (which I love!) maybe because I feel like someone who got caught up in societal expectations? I really do love the way makeup looks on me,and makes me feel, but I feel badly that I do?! While reading the comments, I’m going to nip something in the bud right now…I always try to convince my mother to wear makeup or do her hair, but now I feel sad because I never meant it to make her feel pressured/ badly. That’s my own hang ups and how dare I do that to someone who couldn’t care less about makeup! I’m just leaving this comment feeling badly about my own stuff!

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 9:58 am

      Do you think it was your peers/social circle that made you want to wear makeup then? I’m curious.

  • Jen January 30, 2012, 9:41 pm

    Wow – this is unexpected! I can agree with the beauty stuff though – going without the makeup, fancy creams, lotions, even acne wash I guess….but deodorant isn’t something that’s done for beauty!! NO – it’s not just there to help you “smell” good. It’s there to help you for hygienic purposes. Not to mention the people around you – if you’re working out and sweating – God, that’s just awful for others to have to smell. I almost passed out when I smelled someone’s BO before in public and close areas. Not to mention that can attract other things (bugs) and just be a generally clean environment.

    i mean – you don’t just leave your garbage in a bag by a door all day and not throw it out or use a odorizing spray. It’s UNCLEAN.

    I think that’s something you should really be careful about here.

    There’s A BIG difference between using stuff for hygienic purposes and for “beauty”. I think that young girls should be educated on that and think you could be sending a bad message.

    I wish you would be clearer about that. Wearing makeup is for looks; deodarent and face wash is for cleaning purposes. That’s sensible.

  • flea January 30, 2012, 9:50 pm

    Wow major props! – I would never have the balls (read: confidence) to go through with such a project. Definitely will be following your journey.

  • Aimee Boyer January 30, 2012, 9:55 pm

    Fascinating. My 4yr old son recently asked me the same question.. “Mommy, why do you wear make-up?” I thought for a bit, what do I say? I can’t say to look pretty because it implies that I’m not pretty without it, and I don’t want him or my 2yr old daughter (also in the room) to think that women need make-up to be pretty! So, I said (truthfully) “because it helps me feel pretty, and I like to feel pretty for you guys, and daddy. Daddy says mommy doesn’t need make-up to be pretty, and he’s right, but I like to feel especially pretty for you two & daddy.”

    I have to be honest, I’m a slacker when it comes to ‘beauty’ stuff. I already wear comfortable clothing, and go without make-up somewhat frequently. I even cut my own hair, but seriously that’s just because I’m too impatient to make an appointment and because I don’t want to spend the money (why pay some lady $12-$50 to do something that I can do myself…so I looked it up on youtube, and cut it longer than what I wanted so I could have it fixed if I wanted, LOL!) Shaving…..sure, mostly cause it gets uncomfortable if I don’t, and with 2 small kids, I’m lucky to even get a shower more than twice a week, and that does not include shaving time!! (I know, you are all disgusted! I can’t shower daily because my skin is dry & I get eczema, and my body & hair have adjusted over time and even if I only shower twice a week, my hair doesn’t get very greasy.)

    So, maybe I’m an in-between. I had a new friend here today, and realized when she got here that I had totally forgotten to put on make-up. Oh well! hopefully she isn’t here to look at my un-even skin tone! 🙂

    I am so excited for you and Molly! I can’t wait to see how this is coming for you both and how you feel as you go. It sounds, with your lifestyle (giving presentations, etc) that this will be a challenge.

    My main concern is for my little girl, I don’t want her growing up thinking she has to wear make-up to be beautiful!

  • Alex @ Working Housewife January 30, 2012, 10:09 pm

    Oh Caitlin, thank you so much for this. After much consideration, and discussion with my spouse and friends, I think I am going to partake in a portion of this project. I feel very dependent on wearing makeup everyday, not because I want to but because I feel I need to to be accepted as ‘pretty’. Ditching makeup alone will be challenging enough for me. I am so excited (AND CRAZY NERVOUS) to start this journey.

    PS. Great discussion going on in the comments! Love it!

  • Kristen January 30, 2012, 10:18 pm

    Caitlin, I love your blog, and follow it regularly. So excited for you and your husband regarding your “baking bun” BTW! You are the one who first introduced me to Girls on the Run, and my daughter is now a very active participant and we are thrilled to be a part of the program! Soooo…. I was definitely intrigued when I read your post about the “project” with Molly. I have struggled with these same questions, especially as my 8 year old daughter has gotten older and asks increasingly more poignant questions about body, clothing, makeup etc. I always feel slightly uncomfortable when she comments on how nice I look if I am dressed up, like I can see her judging and comparing herself against me. I don’t want that for her. I want her to be secure it herself just the way she is and I CERTAINLY don’t want her to feel like she NEEDS makeup to be beautiful. SO WHY DO I?? I am a daily makeup wearer (save those days I stay at home in PJ’s), but every once in awhile I catch a glimpse at a photo taken of me, say early Christmas morning, when I am anything but primped, and I am often pleasantly surprised. Somehow, I STILL LOOK LIKE ME, isn’t that amazing, and great, and ought it be so?! So why is it so surprising? This issue is endless and I thank you for bringing it to the forefront of our attention!

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 9:59 am

      Aw I am so glad your daughter does GOTR 🙂

  • Kristen January 30, 2012, 10:22 pm

    PS: I’ve always wondered how much nicer men would look if they wore makeup regularly. 🙂

  • Jenn January 30, 2012, 10:27 pm

    I’m so in! I’ll email you all the details on my journey and blog : ) This is perfect timing as it is the start of GOTR season next month and I am wanting to be as authentic and genuine as I can!

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 9:59 am

      yay so glad you are doing gotr 🙂 thanks!

  • Allie January 30, 2012, 10:28 pm

    Wow! I absolutely love this idea. I have to agree, that wearing make-up, is, in general, something we all do without much thought as to why. When I lived in Europe last year, I starting letting go of a lot of my beauty habits (especially when traveling…partying and exploring were more important then doing my hair or wearing make-up) and I learned that, for the first time, I could be ME without the extras. I could make friends without wearing make-up. People could like me for me, not for the girl who wore make-up or nice clothes. It was a very eye-opening experience to me. I feel like, for me at least, make-up often covers up all of my flaws and makes me blend in but becomes a mask versus actually letting me shine through. As always, I am truly inspired by you Caitlin! You are pretty darn amazing! I can’t wait to hear more about this project.

  • Morgan January 30, 2012, 10:28 pm

    It isn’t make-up (or the lack thereof) that make women look good. Beautiful women are happy-EVERYONE notices happiness. If it makes you feel happy to wear make-up (or not), then wear it! Happiness is the lesson that should be taught, not “why women do this, or that”.

    I feel that GOTR often tries to dispel advertisements geared towards women, but I think teaching children (boys and girls) about life lessons (patience, happiness, humility) rather than what an ad for shaving cream tells us would send more positive messages to everyone.

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:00 am

      There is one lesson on media literacy and the rest of the lessons (23) are on patience, happiness, humility, etc.

  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska January 30, 2012, 10:30 pm

    Good for you, Caitlin! This is fascinating and I can’t wait to hear more about it. You’re right on when you say that this means different things to different people. Here in Alaska, it’s totally normal and acceptable to be completely au naturel (you should smell my yoga studio, seriously) but as a former Texan I have a hard time giving into it all completely. I may go a week or three without makeup and even brushing my hair, but when I need to put my best foot forward those are the first things I do. I am intrigued to hear more about how you feel as this project goes on!

  • Allison R. January 30, 2012, 10:32 pm

    You rock my world. Thanks for always spreading such awesome awareness on self confidence and girl power! 🙂

  • Jocelyn @ Enthusiastic Runner January 30, 2012, 10:33 pm

    I think this is great….however I really have to say that probably only a married women could do this….

    • Rebecca January 30, 2012, 11:08 pm

      Single college student. I’ve done “this” practically every day of my entire life.

      • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:00 am

        Molly is single and dating.

  • Amy January 30, 2012, 10:43 pm

    As a high school teacher, I’ve come to learn how important it is to be able to show young ladies that beauty is so much more than the clothes they wear and the makeup they seem to layer on their faces. It breaks my heart to see girls who obsess over their hair and makeup everyday.
    Building relationships with some of these girls has shown me how blessed I was to have a women in my life who emphasized a healthy self image where I could focus on school, sports, and quality friends rather than appearances, popularity, and boyfriends. I know not everyone has those same positive role models at home so I try to be that for them at school. It is my hope that they will all be able to become strong, independent, intelligent, and self-sufficient women. Rather than complimenting outfits or hairstyles, I make a conscious effort to discuss classes, hobbies, and experiences where they have stepped out of their comfort zone to try something positive and new. I hope that at least one of them takes my message to heart and is better off for it.
    So many of the young ladies that come through my door place their priorities on who they are on the outside and not the person they are becoming on the inside. I hope more teachers would step up to this challenge. I don’t want the only women these girls can admire to be nipped, tucked, airbrushed, and starved.

    • Melissa January 31, 2012, 10:33 am

      I really appreciated this post. Thanks for taking the time to articulate the whole thing.

  • Heidi Nicole January 30, 2012, 10:47 pm

    This should be interesting and rather eye opening!

    I’m one of those people that shave their legs ever single day – I’ve been told this is weird but I love the feeling of smooth legs so while it isn’t fun its definitely for me! And I work in a bakery so life without deodorant would be, well, stinky…I do a lot of sweating at work! I’d have some issues giving up under eye foundation but otherwise my hair has gone un-cut for 6+ months and it never gets colored – instead I spend time getting creative with up-dos…its definitely possible to go without extra hairstyling stuff!

    Good luck and I look forward to the details!

  • eemusings January 30, 2012, 10:55 pm

    This is amazing! I may have to think about joining in.

    I don’t think that I take part in many of these expected beauty rituals. I don’t do anything to my hair apart from wash and brush it. I don’t do my nails. I don’t wear jewellery and don’t even have pierced ears. I do shave and I do wear lippy every day, though – a long way from the makeup I used to cake on, but still makeup that I would only consider forgoing on the weekends.

  • Trisha January 30, 2012, 11:09 pm

    Caitlin you are SO inspiring! There are so many healthy living bloggers out there who eat healthy and workout for vanity reasons, and I can see how easy it would be to fall into the “blogger comparison trap”. I LOVE that you aren’t afraid to be YOU and show your true beauty like this!

    If you ever feel that your work isn’t impacting others, know that it IS. You are a huge inspiration to women to start loving themselves as they are and to stop wasting their time comparing themselves to others. I read your blog every day and each day I make progress with self love. Thank you so much for all that you do!

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:01 am

      Thank you Trisha!

  • Lu January 30, 2012, 11:10 pm

    This is an admirable initiative. I would love to participate in something like this, but I can’t figure out how that would work for me. I like deoderant. That’s really my only hang up with doing this.

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:01 am

      You can skip the makeup and/or shaving and still wear DEO. Whatever works for you and helps you figure something out!

  • Lauren January 31, 2012, 12:12 am

    My English auntie doesn’t do any of the conventional “beauty” grooming tricks, and she is the most beautiful person I know. By not dying her hair, shaving, or wearing makeup, her inner beauty shines brighter.

  • Alexis January 31, 2012, 12:22 am

    Reading this totally brought back a memory from 3 years ago. I was in grad school and engaged. One day when I was getting my hair cut (I wish I was regular like you, its a twice a year occurrence for me!), I decided to dye it a deep auburn-brown (I have light brown hair). I thought it would be a really fun change, always loved the color on others, and the wedding was still a year off so I wasn’t worried about the risk. I really did do it just for FUN! Well when I came into my office the next day, my professor that I work with said to me “Oh no, are things ok with you and Mike?? Girls always change their drastically when there are relationship problems!”

    This really struck me. First because, who says that?? What if I was having relationship problems? It wouldn’t be her business! But when it kept bothering me, I realized… Why can’t I just change my hair for ME? For fun? Why did she immediately assume that I was acting out because of a man?

    Anyways, random story, but this brought it all back and made me re-annoyed at her for the comment haha:)

    • CaitlinHTP January 31, 2012, 10:02 am

      Hahah that is a really funny story.

    • Eliza February 1, 2012, 1:38 am

      I always find that if I don’t wear makeup/ straighten my hair people make the assumption that I am tired/stressed etc!

  • Melissa January 31, 2012, 12:29 am

    Very interesting. Personally, I looooOOOOoove make-up and beauty products. I find it to be a wonderful medium for self-expression. This is evident just with a casual perusal of Pinterest! I personally celebrate the fact that we have the freedom to showboat or camouflage ourselves at whim.
    To me what is most interesting and insightful is that you formulated a “project” based on not wearing make-up, etc. I don’t mean that in a snarky way. It’s just interesting that what constitutes one woman’s “project” can also constitute one (actually millions) woman’s “everyday life”.
    Oh, and I had to chuckle at all the “I don’t sweat/smell that much” comments. “That much” is relative to what? To men? To other women? Claiming that you don’t sweat or smell “that much” seems like the ultimate feminine delusion. For one, we are desensitized to our own smell and the smell of the people we live with. Ever notice how much more obvious a new perfume smells? You or your hubby might not notice how you smell sans deodorant. But other people might be more than aware! LOL

  • Rachel January 31, 2012, 12:46 am

    I love this. I absolutely love this, and I applaud you for making a public commitment to taking on this project. I was thinking along these lines several weeks ago when I was super stressed out with work and school, and it suddenly hit me – how much time primping gets in my *daily* schedule. I considered doing something similar, giving up makeup and shaving or something like that, but I didn’t have the guts to actually do it. I was raised in the south, where going out without makeup is referred to is going out “without your face on.” (If that phrase right there doesn’t speak volumes about our attitudes about beauty being tainted by patriarchal ideas and corporatism, I don’t know what does!) Major kudos to you – you are inspiring!

  • Mandy January 31, 2012, 12:50 am

    Great idea! Except the no deodorant might be a little over the top… I mean, I find people whose sweat I can smell to be off-putting. Unless you don’t smell. In which case, I envy you.

  • Rachel January 31, 2012, 12:51 am

    P.S. I also find it interesting that in an above comment, “balls” is equated with “confidence.” Having the cojones to do something is strong and confident, the opposite being feminine, lacking the cojones, being weak and timid. Let’s dispense with this language!

  • Jen January 31, 2012, 2:13 am

    Wow…this is amazing! I wish I had the “kahunas” to do this myself (except maybe the deodorant part…that scares me!). Wishing you ladies all the best with this experiment!

    Also, I LOVE how all the men are on board…this amazes me (in a really good way)! 🙂

    • Jen January 31, 2012, 2:35 am

      Oh, my…hahahaha – I just noticed the comment RIGHT above mine! Oops – sorry if I caused any offense! 🙂

  • Elaine January 31, 2012, 2:55 am

    I am a 20-year-old girl in university, and I have NEVER worn makeup. Ever! No blush, no eyeliner, no lipstick, not even concealer. The most I might wear is some lip balm or moisturizer – but those are purely functional. I don’t shave my legs (but I naturally don’t have much leg hair). Do I have days where I have a giant zit on my forehead (or nose!) and feel a bit awkward? Yes. Do I have days where I feel slightly out of place, surrounded by girls/women who primp themselves pretty? Yes. But this is who I am. I feel much more confident being fully, wholly myself than putting on a layer of makeup between me and the world.

    • Rebecca January 31, 2012, 4:42 pm

      Love this. 🙂

  • Rachel January 31, 2012, 3:57 am

    I think this project is a great idea and I understand you did not go into this project thinking no woman has ever done it before, but YOU have never done it and you want to know what it’s like and how it might make you feel. I don’t really understand why the women who don’t wear make up, shave, etc are all up in arms about it. And judging just by the comments, it appears that most women do wear make up and participate in some form of a beauty routine, not the other way around. I am someone who has worn make up since I was 14 years old. I don’t pile it on, but I wear the usual combo and shave every day, wear dresses and heels, all that good stuff. Having grown up in South Florida as well, I side with you 100% that where you live heavily influences your beauty routine.

    I am currently backpacking around the world with my boyfriend and have had to seriously cut back on my normal routine. I wear mascara, deodorant, and shave every few days, but that’s about it. Before this trip the only time I didn’t wear foundation was to the gym or beach! Now no blow dryer, no skin creams or exfoliation, nada. I also wear pretty ugly practical clothes that rotate every few days. I have to admit that this has been a difficult adjustment for me. At first, I felt very ugly and longed for my usual routine but it just isn’t practical or necessary when you are backpacking for a year. I often saw “regular women” in the cities and felt so ashamed next to them. 6 months later I have come to terms with it and am really enjoying the freedom of not spending so much time getting ready. I am reconsidering the amount of make up I will wear when I get home because I have grown more comfortable in my own skin. However, I do really miss many aspects of grooming at home especially taking care of my skin- it takes a beating when you are crossing through so many different environments. Although I am not going to be a 100% au naturale girl when I get home, I think I will be more confident going au naturale once in a while and wearing less make up, though now I appreciate even more being able to dress well and feel groomed!I think I realized (though I probably already knew deep down) that I wear makeup for other people mostly, not myself. Now I know what amount I can truly be comfortable with. May you have the same clarity!

  • Emily B January 31, 2012, 5:36 am

    I think this is a great idea! My sister won’t leave the house without makeup on but I’m the polar opposite. I wear foundation and a finishing veil if I go somewhere special but sometimes I loathe looking in the mirror without it and put a little on. I don’t wear it to the gym because I sweat it off and “Nude by Nature” an Australian brand is not cheap so for economic reasons I don’t wear it if I’m gonna be sweating too much.

    Excellent project, Caitlin:D

  • samantha January 31, 2012, 6:34 am

    I get the idea of not shaving and not wearing makeup, but no deodorant? I feel like that’s right along the lines of brushing your teeth and showering, just basic hygeine. Doesn’t make you prettier, just not smell like BO. Good luck though!

  • Virginia January 31, 2012, 9:42 am

    You guys both completely rock. This takes guts and will be a fascinating project to read about. I love that all the men in your lives are so on board too! Can’t wait to keep reading and learning from you ladies.

  • Becky January 31, 2012, 11:51 am

    I thought this was a great idea until I read “no deodorant”.
    Having said that, I hope you find the answers you are looking for when the project is done.

  • Cristina January 31, 2012, 12:00 pm

    This is a really interesting project, I’ll definitely be following along!

    That said, there are some beauty rituals that I honestly participate in for fun. Changing hairstyles, wearing jewelry, and wearing make-up are fun for me.

  • Rebekah January 31, 2012, 12:28 pm

    Nice! Good for you Caitlin! I think you’ll find it’s very liberating. I have never regularly shaved my legs — even in high school — because my mom and I have always had frank discussions about the notion of beauty and I never liked the expectations placed on me. You wouldn’t believe how many feelings arose because of it. Especially because people would sometimes comment on it. (“You’re in America, and that’s what women *do* here.”) But why is it that’s what women *do* here? Seems to me it’s to sell more stuff. I have never met a guy who said he thinks leg hair is gross, so being sans beauty products doesn’t really affect attractiveness, if we’re defining attractiveness as the ability to appeal to others.

    I have to say though, sometimes I get tired of forever being on the defensive so I’ll shave when I go swimming or to the beach, just to feel more comfortable and less like I’m being stared at.

    I’m interested to see where this takes you! And think of all the extra time you’ll have if you’re not spending it “fixing your face!” 😉

  • Sarah January 31, 2012, 12:52 pm

    Caitlin! Gosh, how I love this project. We need to challenge what the world thinks it means to be beautiful. We need to challenge ourselves to redefine our beauty. We need to challenge our communities to value what’s underneath and what matters most about us. I can’t wait to follow along on this journey!

  • Leslie January 31, 2012, 1:06 pm

    I am really looking forward to seeing how your self-image changes in the next couple of months. Also, I’m sure someone else has already mentioned this, but I am very curious to see how much $ you save!

  • mi-an d. January 31, 2012, 2:44 pm

    i grew up in provincial parts of the philippines and noone really wore make up. until i got here in US i started wearing it. but to this day, i still don’t wear it that much. the only time i wear make up is when i go to weddings/other big fancy events. i shave my pits every 3 days, i shave my legs once a month or so… i’m asian so not really that hairy. as long as i have my sunscreen, healthy food, lots of sleep, my yoga and other fitness routine, i’m good to go. i think it’s great you’re doing this! if you think about it, so many underdeveloped countries in the world don’t even know what exfoliate means! i went to peru back in 03, met this lady probably in her 80s, she had the most beautiful wrinkles all over her face. i thought she was so beautiful. 🙂 good luck with the project!

  • Carly D. @ CarlyBananas January 31, 2012, 3:48 pm

    I’ve been thinking about whether I was going to comment about this since yesterday and I just feel like I need to say I don’t get it. I do understand what you’re doing but if it’s something that’s for you, I’m just confused about the project aspect.
    I don’t wear make-up to work normally – I do if I have a big meeting or if I just want to feel fancy but it’s not necessary in my office. But I do feel like it’s necessary for me to get my hair done every month (yes, every single month I get it colored professionally because it started going gray in HS) and tweeze my eyebrows because I look unkempt if I don’t. I also would completely stink if I didn’t wear deodorant. My sweat absolutely stinks. But I’m getting off on a tangent here…I know you’re saying that it’s just for you but the project aspect seems to conflict that. I do hope you get what you’re looking for from this, but I guess I’m just not sure what that is?

  • Klue January 31, 2012, 3:56 pm

    Thank you so much for doing this and shedding light on a really important subject that doesn’t seem to be discussed enough! I showed this to my partner and he and I had a really great chat about makeup, self-esteem and body comfort! I’m 18, so I’m so often surrounded by peers who place an unbalanced value on physical appearances instead of on the mind and heart. I haven’t worn makeup regularly in a few years and just recently stopped plucking and shaving, and feel fantastic but am still getting used to the weird looks sometimes…Here’s to making natural and confident the new normal!

  • Ashley January 31, 2012, 8:31 pm

    What a great idea, its creative. As a young womam, I personally enjoy doing my makeup and often have fun with different styles of eye makeup. I love the way my eyebrows look when they are waxed and shaped and it gives me confidence. I do not enjoy shaving but love my legs smooth. Overall, I dont feel the need to do any of these things but I enjoy them and the confidence I have, when I feel I look good is amazing! Sometimes thats with makeup and my hair done and other times its when my face is naked and fresh and my hair is pulled back.

  • Kristina January 31, 2012, 9:55 pm

    You now have hundreds of comments, but what the hell. I’ll add one more. I think it’s an interesting project. I’ll admit that while I wear makeup and conform in a lot of ways to society’s ideals or standards of female/feminine beauty, I cannot imagine wearing make-up every day for the past x years or even worrying that much about shaving. I don’t mean to insult people who do see makeup and their appearance as a highly important aspect of their identity, but that does seem a bit like a prison sentence to me!
    I actually like compartmentalizing, at times, aspects of my life (work, play, formal event, hanging out with friends…), and makeup and other ‘beauty regimes’ are a part of that. Not to say that these different parts of my life don’t contribute to define the person that I am, but I enjoy using or not using makeup and dressing a certain way to differentiate a moment or experience or how I feel. For instance, I am interviewing someone for a position, and while makeup doesn’t really come into play in terms of how professional I look or don’t, I do believe that I need to show this candidate an amount of respect by not looking like a slob and I also want to look as though I have some authority, and clothes often can give one somewhat an air of authority. In the same vein, as a teacher, I love spending summers in sandals, super casual clothes and zero make-up because it confirms that I’m taking a total break from that “professional” identity that I do cultivate for 9 months. I’m not saying that all professional women need to wear makeup every day, and there are plenty of days when I don’t, but I do see makeup and dressing professionally vs. not wearing makeup and enjoying a more casual lifestyle as a line in the sand, distinguishing different aspects of my life.
    And one final comment – I’m psyched that my husband digs my silver hairs. That is going to save me tons of time and money in the long run!

  • Eliza February 1, 2012, 1:40 am

    This is interesting, I have been thinking about it because whilst my first thought was that I FEEL better when my legs are shaved, hair is straightened etc, but this might not necessarily be that I feel better for me, but because I feel like I need to do these things to be accepted.. it will be interesting to see what you discover about yourself with this project.

  • Eliza February 1, 2012, 1:43 am

    Also, I wonder if you will feel the need to ‘justify’ your unshaved legs etc, by mentioning the project. I know that myself and other girls often feel the need to point out that we are not wearing makeup etc and why.

  • Arlene @ Adventures in Weight Loss February 1, 2012, 4:13 am

    Interesting concept, Caitlin.

    Would you hate me if I said I’ve been doing your Naked Face Project for years?

    I tend to avoid shaving my legs, unless it’s spring or summer, when they’re likely to be bare. And I rarely bother with makeup more complicated than lipstick — and that only half the time.

    I do, however, like my deodorant. And I have lots of jewelry (most of it costume jewelry, and much of it now unworn).

    • CaitlinHTP February 1, 2012, 8:40 am

      No I would love you for doing it for years 🙂

  • Charise February 1, 2012, 8:38 am

    What an interesting idea for a project! I think it’d be hard to go cold turkey for that long, but I do think it is nice to have a balance and feel like you are making the choice to participate in all the beauty rituals rather than because you “have to”. I definitely go out a couple/few days a week without makeup, and am fairly lax on the shaving (maybe once a week, less in the winter?). But I’d also like to point out that it is often the days where I’m feeling my best and most confident that I WANT to look more pulled together and wear cute clothes/do my hair/etc. When I am in a funk or feeling blah, I tend to not care about my appearance. So I guess it can go both ways?

  • Martia February 1, 2012, 10:13 am

    I love this project!
    I have been looking at this issue myself recently, but coming at it a bit from the “other side”. I have a 5 yr old daughter and a daughter about to turn 1. I feel I’ve “let myself go” and have been concerned about my lack of attention to my appearance.
    With the recent pregnancy and my time home with the baby since she was born, I easily go 60 days or more without make up or styling my hair; and it’s been almost two years since I wore any cute/sassy clothes – in my case because I still don’t fit into them, not a well thought out choice…
    I DO: get my hair cut and dye my roots at home, and I always have a good pedicure which I do myself at home. I’ve said to my husband that I have to hold the line somewhere and my hair and my toes are it. I hear myself say that and I wonder – what “line”? What do I think this all means about me?
    I have also found myself wondering what kind of message this is sending to my daughter – am I inadvertently demonstrating a lack of pride in and respect for myself by not making an effort to present myself as best I can and wearing my yoga pants with the holes in them to the grocery store? What message does this give her? My recent circumstances have led me to the way things are – no more a conscious choice than when I did get up, primp, put on make up, get dressed and go to work every day. But it has led me to a similar set of questions – why? Why did I do what I did before? Why do I not do it now? What message does it send? How much of it is how I define myself – is looking cute part of who I am? Does not making the effort define me? I hear myself wonder “Have I become one of those mom-women who don’t make an effort because life is now about the kids not me?” “What does this say about me? I never thought that would be me.” …and I realize in my view of the world there are “those women” and “other women” and underneath it is some kind of value judgement about everyone…where did that come from?
    And I do partly define myself by locating myself in one group vs another… what is that all about?

    I love that you are doing this and am inspired by you and eager to hear everything you and Molly discover along the way.

    I love the idea of getting behind what drives it all and having freedom to choose what we do/don’t do and being clear about why we do what we do.

  • Jen February 1, 2012, 5:15 pm

    I think this project sounds very interesting. I have similar grooming habits to the first person to comment (rarely wear make up, shave once a week, hair cuts twice a year, etc). I would love to see the counter point to your experiment: someone take on all of YOUR daily/weekly/monthly habits to see how it affects their self esteem.

    Good luck!

  • Erin February 1, 2012, 10:04 pm

    I don’t get the using a blowdryer! I never ever use one and I have quite a lot of hair. It would be a momentous occasion for me to blow dry my hair. That seems more beauty than function to me.

    • liz February 2, 2012, 10:36 am

      I agree, and I think Caitlin could try going without blow-drying her hair, too! I live at elevation in New England, where the morning temps in winter are regularly in the single digits, and I never blowdry, even after a morning shower. It doesn’t take all that long to air dry, and I have quite a lot of hair too! Hair dryers always seem like a waste of time and energy to me.

  • Cathy Hasty February 2, 2012, 9:24 am

    I love this project. I saw the writeup in the Charlotte Observer and immediately looked you up. I let go of makeup years ago and rarely primp in other ways. Also I wear “sensible” shoes that are better for my feet. Want to add that one??

    This project can save women so much time and money, threatening the big business of marketing to women’s fears and insecurities. Also it offers the time to focus on our more deeply held values, beliefs, ideas and projects. The fascinating book on Femininity by Susan Brownmiller challenged me in graduate school to see the link between looking like a pre-teen child and our images of beauty. Here is a quote from her website: “Invariably and necessarily, femininity is something that women had more of in the past, not only in the historic past of prior generations, but in each woman’s personal past as well in the virginal innocence that is replaced by knowledge, in the dewy cheek that is coarsened by age, in the “inherent nature” that a woman seems to misplace so forgetfully whenever she steps out of bounds.”
    Great work!

  • Lori February 2, 2012, 9:49 am

    I’m sure that someone has alerted you to this blogger’s project by now, but if not, please see
    The author vowed to go for one year without looking into a mirror. She’s not avoiding make-up, but I think some of the underlying reasons are much the same.

  • JillianRose February 3, 2012, 6:15 am

    I think this is an unbelievably brave and telling project. Although I would like to consider myself a strong, free thinking, independent woman the thought of joining you on this challenge is just short of terrifying. It is hard to admit how much I am controlled by our societies expectations for women’s grooming and beauty.

  • Shell February 3, 2012, 11:15 am

    Can’t wait to hear how this turns out!

    I have to admit- I could never go without shaving my underarms for a month. The rest of it, I think I could do, but that is one thing I make sure I do daily, just for me- b/c it makes me uncomfortable to have any hair there!

  • Just me February 4, 2012, 9:28 am

    Ohmygoodness, I LOVE this! … well I’m not sure if going without deodorant is all that necessary because to me that seems like a hygiene thing – but no make-up YES YES YES! Stick with it – I promise it gets easier! I gave it up last April and have not looked back – it is the most freeing thing I have ever done (!!
    Excited to follow your progress on this!

  • David February 19, 2012, 10:16 am

    I have since about the age of ten despised make-up (I’m thirteen, but for the sake of maturity, I’m 17 at least) my mother is a beautician, and when I’m at her shop, I am often seeing people walk out worse than they went in, not because of a dodgy job, but because they look fake… inauthentic… the others mostly get a spray tan, waxing or a manicure, I don’t understand most of those, and I can’t tell the difference, the tanners are just wearing light clothing, the waxers have red and raw eye-brows, and the nail-polishers are worried about accidently touching anything with their painted nails… its all very pointless in my mind, and so I support this 100%, and I encourage all women to at least try going without make-up for a month, or at least I would, but I don’t, as no-one listens to 13-year-olds.

    • David February 19, 2012, 10:20 am

      “or at least I would, but I don’t,” I would encourage others, that is

  • Lisa February 21, 2012, 2:40 pm

    I just spent the last week and a half not able to wear make up because of a severe allergic reaction. I feel liek I have learned a ton just being able to face the world, flaws and all. Luckily I have a loving fiance that supports me and reminds me of how beautiful I am no matter what. I encourage everyone to take a week to go without make-up. Just because you can!


  • deborah February 23, 2012, 6:05 pm

    This is what women did in the 60s … I was one of them. We didn’t shave, wear makeup, get haircuts, wear any clothes we didn’t want to (some gave up bras but not as the media has glorified the ‘bra burning story’ and chose things for comfort and fun. I’m all in favor of your project, gotta point out it’s another recycled 1967 hippie idea though. 🙂

  • deanna September 26, 2012, 5:13 pm

    your project sounds a little like this…..

    and this….

    not saying anyone copied anyone. just a reallllly weird coincidence.

    • Caitlin September 26, 2012, 7:39 pm

      Never heard of you before but so awesome that someone else had a similar thought! Did you just do naked face pictures or a challenge like we did?

      • deanna October 3, 2012, 10:11 am

        just the pictures. i asked readers to submit a photo of themselves fresh from the shower. no makeup or photoshopping. just to encourage others that we are beautiful the way we are.

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