The last day of The Naked Face Project is this Saturday.  I can’t believe how fast the last 60 days flew by – I though that no makeup, shaving, or primping would make time move as slow as molasses!Naked_Logo

Please check out The Naked Face Project website and my introduction to TNFPto get a complete understanding of the intention behind the Project.


Molly Barker stopped by yesterday to discuss our concluding thoughts on the Project, as well as our plans for the final week.  It’s been so fun to go on this journey with Molly – I really respect her for so many reasons (she’s a multiple Ironman, founder of Girls on the Run, self-esteem crusader, generally amazing and honest person).  


One of the things that Molly and I agree on is this:  For us, participation in The Naked Face Project has re-emphasized the fact that there are many ways for women (and men, too) to express their inherent awesomeness, and physical appearance is just one aspect of beauty.  Yes, people do care about what you look like on the outside.  I’m not so naïve that I don’t understand this!  During this Project, strangers in the locker room have given me funny looks because of my hairy armpits and asked if I “feel sick” because sans makeup.  I think that, as a society, we get so trapped by the idea that physical beauty is the primary and most important expression of beauty.  But experiencing this Project has certainly proven to me that it’s not.  There are so many other things that make each of us amazing and special and unique and worthy – we just have to believe it.  After 60 days without a beauty routine and learning so much (from you!) about our collective experiences as women, I know for sure that beauty is far more complex and intricate than what we see on the outside. 


That’s why The Naked Face Project is ending with a Celebration of Beauty.  I hope you will join Molly and I in our celebration this Saturday, March 31.  There are many ways to participate, just as there are many ways to express your beauty.  


Molly created the following list of ways to celebrate:


  • Post a profile pic of yourself on Facebook, Twitter or some other social media website in all of your Naked Face glory
  • Write about your experiences on your blog.
  • Write a letter (or post a comment on the website) to a magazine or television network and let them know you’d like to see more positive messages about girls and women in their publications and on their airwaves.
  • Take an 8 year old out to dinner and tell her how beautiful and amazing she is.
  • Take an 80 year old out to dinner and tell her how beautiful and amazing she is.
  • Send a thank you card to your mother for all she means to you.
  • Send a thank you card to your daughter for all she means to you.
  • Watch TV shows that portray women and girls in a positive light.
  • Put away all pop-culture magazines that make fun of or judge women based on their appearance and find something else to read that shows how strong women and girls really are.
  • Write a letter to a woman in politics and thank her for her service (even try writing the letter to a woman who is running for office on a party ticket that you are not a member of!)
  • Research girls’ empowerment programs and reach out to set up time to volunteer (may we suggest Girls on the Run?)
  • Go for a run or walk and think about your body’s amazing strength.
  • Post an Operation Beautiful Sticky note.
  • Take an hour to just be alone and be quiet.
  • Practice yoga.
  • Do some kind of sport you have never done, but always wanted to.
  • Lift some weights.
  • Wear a costume for no reason.
  • Dance naked in your bedroom to your favorite song.
  • Cook a great meal and eat it with your family on the floor of your living room, picnic style.
  • Have a sleepover with a friend. 
  • Write a letter to your younger self and post it on your refrigerator.
  • Skip down the sidewalk.
  • Do something outside your comfort zone.
  • Smile really big at everyone you pass today.
  • Tell a stranger that she looks beautiful.
  • Dance and sing really loudly in the car.
  • Make a card for someone and deliver it personally.


On that note – Happy Monday! I hope it’s a beautiful day for you.



  • D March 26, 2012, 11:08 am

    C, why are all these acts aimed at women? It’s important to acknowledge that men have societal norms., which can be difficult to obtain, just like women. Why the division?

    • Caitlin March 26, 2012, 11:14 am

      Men can join in the celebration! 🙂 But the entire project has been about our beauty routines (and we’re women, obviously! LOL) and exploring women-specific issues. I tried to only write about my personal experiences during TNFP because I can’t assume what other people feel like or experience. I certainly have no idea what it’s like to be a dude!

      People often ask me why I aim Operation Beautiful at women – it’s not that I want to exclude men; I love it when they participate in OB. But there’s nothing wrong with having women-specific discussions or charity groups, either (just as I don’t mind men-specific groups). It’s not an ‘us vs. them’ thing to me; TNFP has just been a ‘me as a women’ discussion.

    • Catherine March 26, 2012, 12:28 pm

      I think there definitely IS a division between the sexes when it comes to primping. Men are almost encouraged NOT to primp, so a project advocating naturalness is not as relevant to them. But I agree with you that men also have tough societal norms to fulfill. The norms just seem more about their performance (who earns more money or lifts the heaviest weights), rather than their appearance.

      • Kevin March 27, 2012, 12:06 pm

        “Men are almost encouraged NOT to primp”

        Uhm… what? Then why do I spend 10 minutes EVERY SINGLE MORNING shaving, when my wife can get away with shaving once a week? I mousse my hair, trim my nails, iron my shirts, whiten my teeth … I think men absolutely face the same type of appearance-based societal expectations, if not MORE. Or do you think an unshaven, messy-haired man in a tank-top and jogging pants doesn’t attract judging stares in a grocery store?

        • G. April 1, 2012, 2:53 pm

          Way to miss the point, pal.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 26, 2012, 11:12 am

    These are such awesome ideas! I think I’ll be partaking in more than one of them. Have a great day Caitlin! 🙂

  • Erica March 26, 2012, 11:12 am

    Hey Caitlin– I think what you are doing is very neat! I don’t know if you have seen this video but I thought I’d pass it along because it seems similar to the message you try to teach your girls in the Girls on the Run program

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 26, 2012, 11:35 am

    I’m dying to be a coach for girls on the run, but I couldn’t because of my class schedule this semester and I’ll have to see about next semester. I am, however, running the Chicago Marathon and might look into running as a GOTR SoleMate!

  • Bonnie March 26, 2012, 11:36 am

    I’m early, but I celebrated with yoga and a run today– I met my personal record for a mile too! 🙂

    These are all great ideas. So is Sunday going to be a day of luxury, bathing, primping and such or are you going to continue being naked faced?

    • Caitlin March 26, 2012, 11:37 am

      I’ll write about this on Sunday but I do plan to return to some of my habits… like shaving. I am def not going back to daily makeup though.

      • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 26, 2012, 12:22 pm

        Daily makeup is definitely overrated 🙂

        Love all these idaes, I’ll definitely be doing some of them!

  • Moni Meals March 26, 2012, 11:47 am

    Great Monday post. you look amazing!
    Also, I Love the list! this is how I think, I am so glad I am not the only one, haha!

  • Catherine March 26, 2012, 12:33 pm

    Great list of ways to celebrate! I think I need to incorporate some of them into my everyday life.

    PS: If there’s any truth to the tales, your belly shape sooo says baby girl! 🙂

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 26, 2012, 12:38 pm

    I love those things on your list! I do a lot of those often, actually 🙂 Haha.

    Love the project! I actually love putting on a little makeup-so it’s never been an issue for me, but I see your point. I just think the media puts WAY too much emphasis on the outside and women being sex symbols that it messes with every woman’s head if she lets it….

  • Laura @ She Eats Well March 26, 2012, 12:40 pm

    Love the list. Should be something we try to do every day :).

  • KaraHadley March 26, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I’m sure I’ve said this before, but some of this project seems so strange to me. I stopped wearing make up regularly years ago. Now I put on a little mascara for work sometimes and some eyeliner when I’m going out on the town, but that’s it. I don’t paint my nails or wear uncomfortable heels or spanx and I don’t really wear jewelry. So I guess I’m half living the project everyday.
    But none of these things were intentional or conscious on my part, so I can definitely understand how it could be difficult to make this change.
    I can’t wait to see what, if any, changes you make from this project. And I can’t wait to see how others celebrate beauty.

  • Lisa March 26, 2012, 1:34 pm

    I really love this project and the list. Great idea! By the way, you are truly beautiful inside and out! 😉

  • Amber K March 26, 2012, 2:17 pm

    Wow, I can’t believe those days flew by! Granted, I wasn’t actually doing it myself so maybe it would have felt longer then. But I can’t believe it’s over! Great list of ways to celebrate. 🙂

  • Joy Meece March 26, 2012, 2:26 pm

    WOW – love reading your conclusions after the Naked Face Project. The suggestions on celebrating beauty are perfect for every day of the year.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) March 26, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Inquiring minds want to know…when do you plan to shave…because I know your itching to! I have no problem saying I didn’t join ya’ll on this journey mainly because the ONLY beauty “thing” I do is shave…I don’t use hair products or make-up….don’t do my nails.

  • Kath March 26, 2012, 9:05 pm

    Congrats on finishing the challenge!! Proud of you both!

  • Jen March 27, 2012, 12:22 am

    Love all of these celebration ideas – I am going to make a point to do AT LEAST a couple of them!

    Congrats to both of you beautiful, inspiring ladies!!!

  • Emily March 27, 2012, 12:28 am

    Hey, Caitlin,

    Well done!! The media puts a HUGE emphasis on us looking picture perfect every time. Just once it would be nice to see a cover girl on a magazine from the department store where I work – UNphotoshopped, but alas we have a long way to go.

    • Kevin March 27, 2012, 12:11 pm

      Who would buy that magazine?

      Magazine editors don’t put made-up, airbrushed supermodels on their cover to make women feel bad about themselves – they do it because it sells magazines. If women (it certainly isn’t men!) stopped buying Cosmo, they’d change their habits.

  • Celeste March 27, 2012, 1:08 am

    I admit I didn’t follow any other posts about this project, but just stumbled upon this. I’m in highschool and I’m wondering if I should keep wearing makeup. I only wear under-eye concealer and mascara, but I find that if I don’t take the 10 minutes to “fix” my face, I feel very self-conscious and even ugly….do you have any suggestions? Should I try to wean myself off makeup and get used to my natural self? I’m worried that makeup (or lack of) controls my self-esteem….

    • Caitlin March 27, 2012, 8:20 am

      I think that, if you are concerned, you should go to the beauty desert for a few weeks and see what happens 🙂 I really think all of this boils down to the intention behind our actions, and if you’re not sure if your intentions are 100% healthy (i.e. makeup is fun, it gives me a boost but I don’t NEEDDDDD it), then give it up for a few weeks and see what happens. It can be really transformative!

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