Can you believe it’s been nearly seven months since we wrapped up The Naked Face Project?  I certainly can’t.


The Naked Face Project was a sixty-day challenge to give up all forms of feminine primping – I went two months without wearing any makeup, jewelry, fancy clothes or high heels; I stopped shaving entirely; and I even gave up deodorant for a few weeks (and then I realized that deo is most definitely a hygiene product and not a beauty product). 


The thought process behind TNFP is explained in depth here, and I encourage you to read the original post, but basically, the Project was not necessarily a commentary on the habits themselves – I wanted to discover why I engaged in these habits and how I would feel if I didn’t.   At the end of the project, I immediately jumped in the shower and shaved my legs.  But seven months later, I haven’t returned to wearing daily makeup.  The project was extremely freeing for me and really helped me feel even more comfortable in my own skin.  Sometimes I put on makeup for special occasions, but I usually don’t, and even if I look ‘better’ with makeup on, I prefer my life this way.  I never even think twice about posting less-than-flattering photos of myself on the blog because – heck – it’s what I really look like sometimes!  Just trying to keep it real.  Thus, in general, my outlook really hasn’t changed since I wrote my conclusion post.


But what I really wanted to talk about in this post was how two women, Kate and Krisula, at Whitworth University used The Naked Face Project concept to drive discussion and encourage a more positive outlook about beauty on their college campus.  I spoke at the college on last night to kick the week off, and for the next six days, hundreds of students have pledged to go makeup-free.  The school is also hosting a panel discussion called “The Guy Panel” in which ten men will take questions from the audience, discuss how they feel about makeup, and share their feelings on the pressures they feel as men to look and act a certain way (I LOVE that they are getting men involved).


The coolest part about Whitworth University’s project is their amazing Facebook page.  On it, they have posted over 120 photos taken by a student photographer named Tanner of students with half-naked and half-makeup/Photoshopped faces.  The images are so striking, and I asked if I could repost a few of Tanner’s photos on the blog.  I hope you enjoy them – I found them so interesting to look at. 

the naked face project (8)

the naked face project (4)

the naked face project (1)

the naked face project (2)

the naked face project (3)

the naked face project (5)

the naked face project (6)

the naked face project (7)

In conclusion, I really admire Kate and Krisula for taking The Naked Face Project concept and running with it.  They’ve gotten a huge portion of their campus involved and created some really interesting dialogue with various student groups. 


And isn’t that what it’s really all about?  Talking, sharing, discovering, exploring!



  • Mandy Barrington @ Eat Pray Grow November 14, 2012, 9:21 pm

    I was thinking today about how and why I went from wearing makeup daily to only wearing it a couple times a week. I think a big part of it has to do with transitioning to natural products (almond oil for facial moisturizer, etc) and realizing that my chemical-filled makeup is kind of a turn-off. But, it has taught me that nothing really changes when I go out with a naked face. As long as people see that I’m comfortable in my own skin, they are comfortable too.

  • Caroline November 14, 2012, 9:21 pm

    Wow- how fantastic that they’ve taken on this project too! I know that image and confidence in self are huge issues for college students, and i hope this movement will be really helpful there!

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 14, 2012, 9:29 pm

    I would LOVE to hear what they say on the Guy panel! I always wondered how guys feel about make up!

    • Kelly @ Femme Fitale November 15, 2012, 7:35 am

      I was thinking the same thing!!
      I feel like it’s one of those “He’s Just Not Into You” moments where we ladies think we know what guys would say…but do we really? I’d also be interested in hearing more.

      • Caitlin November 15, 2012, 8:05 am

        They are going to try to record it.

  • Kris November 14, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Love this! I wear pretty minimal makeup at this point, since I think as a middle-aged woman that too much makeup can be aging. But, I couldn’t go without at least filling out my eyebrows! I’m struck by how beautiful the girls in the photos are without makeup. Good for them!

  • Abby November 14, 2012, 10:11 pm

    These are super cool photos! In my opinion every single woman is beautiful without the makeup.
    I took on the challenge back when you started…I have not used makeup since! Shaving, can’t break that habit but care a little less about it.
    What an inspiration you and Molly have been!

  • Katie November 14, 2012, 11:21 pm

    This post made me tear up. I am so proud of what these girls are doing on their campus. I just went back and read your conclusion post and it was awesome too.

    Something I find interesting is that I do not have enough fingers to count how many guys have told me they like girls with minimal makeup. Sometimes they say no makeup and while I get a little cynical about that and think they unconsciously mean “the perfect girl with no makeup”, I really believe many, many men don’t like a face caked with makeup.

  • Anne @strawberryjampackedlife November 14, 2012, 11:53 pm

    Wow! I put my hand up to look at each side of the pictures, and sometimes it doesn’t even look like the same person. Most often, the person looks younger without the makeup.
    I’ve never been a daily makeup wearer, although I wear it for special occasions or when doing performances (musicals, etc). I remember looking at my face with my stage makeup on thinking “wow! This looks better!” Still can’t make me get up 15 minutes earlier though . . .

  • Meg November 15, 2012, 12:17 am

    Woo-hoo my alma mater! Was so, SO bummed that I didn’t check the site for a few days, I would have gone in a heart beat, but a teething toddler will do that.

  • Carrie @ The Cook's Palette November 15, 2012, 1:03 am

    Wow, this is incredible! The photos are so intriguing. I honestly prefer each woman’s face without makeup in every single one of them. This might sound strange, but in a way, I feel like I can connect with them better. Like they’re more vulnerable, yet empowered at the same time.

  • Carrie November 15, 2012, 1:21 am

    Inspirational stuff! I think they are all naturally beautiful without the makeup, in some cases even better 🙂

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 15, 2012, 5:54 am

    Wow, that is so, so cool! Yaya for social activism! Those pictures are so powerful; each woman looks beautiful without makeup, and I hope they feel the same.

  • Nicole@ November 15, 2012, 7:33 am

    These photos are so beautiful! That is awesome that they are getting guys involved too…it would be very interesting to hear what they had to say.

  • Anne November 15, 2012, 7:42 am

    Weird. I only put mascara, and lightly conceal only the imperfections of the moment, very minimal ; I never understood the big make-up thing…

  • Amanda November 15, 2012, 7:47 am

    Having two babies has seriously altered how I go about my day, I just don’t have time or need to apply makeup anymore. My Husband doesn’t care either way, even if I don’t have time to shave my legs. I used to think I really needed to at least wear foundation and mascara but I am so much more comfortable now, though it is still fun to get dressed up. Funny thing, since I stopped wearing make up it takes me about twice as long to apply it when I do put it on now than it used to!

  • Christina November 15, 2012, 8:08 am

    Very cool and very interesting. But why are they wearing such bright lipstick?

    • Caitlin November 15, 2012, 8:24 am

      I think for the contrast 🙂

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human November 15, 2012, 9:17 am

    Those pictures are so cool. I love the contrast!

  • Katie November 15, 2012, 9:40 am

    Thank you for posting an update! These pictures were so beautiful!!!! I rarely wear makeup and I love that other people are embracing the idea that natural is beautiful!

  • Leslie November 15, 2012, 10:25 am

    I love the naked face project. I must say though that some of the above pictures look like at least a few of them have makeup on the side of the face that is suppose to be the naked side. It appears as though there is a just less makeup on one side. I don’t bring this up to be catty, but I worry that maybe that some of the girls maybe are not totally ready to go naked faced. Maybe over the course of the project they will learn that they are ok with or without.

  • KSW November 15, 2012, 11:08 am

    This is amazing and inspiring. I wish every high school and college would undertake this.

    Another vote here too for a husband who doesn’t like makeup. In fact it’s one of his frequent comments “she would be much more pretty without all that make up”.

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt November 15, 2012, 12:42 pm

    Love these photos of half makeup/half no makeup! I’ve been a long time reader and I remember the Naked Face Project. I actually talk about it a lot when I bring up your blog in conversation. Love the last sentance, it is all about sharing, discovering and exploring! 🙂

  • Elise @ Expeditions of Elise November 15, 2012, 5:44 pm

    Hi Caitlin! New blog reader over here.

    Thanks so much for sharing this! These photos are incredibly powerful. I am a student at the University of Missouri and I would love if some students here did something like this.

    • Caitlin November 15, 2012, 6:35 pm

      You should start it!!!

  • Christy Jen November 15, 2012, 8:52 pm

    i stopped wearing makeup bc my husband said i didn’t need to. at first i was hesitant about not wearing any, but deep instead it was a huge relief! i hardly ever wear makeup now and never looked back. im so glad that my husband reminded me that natural is most beautiful!

  • Heidi - Apples Under My Bed November 18, 2012, 4:19 pm

    This is really fantastic, great work, all!!
    Heidi xo

Healthy Tipping Point