Three weeks before Dani Richmand got married, she ditched makeup to let her skin breathe as her wedding approached. A month and a half after the big day, the 26-year-old publicist’s face is still free of heavy products — and she says her complexion is clearer.
“I had been wearing foundation every day,” says the Upper West Sider. “Now, I just wear tinted moisturizer, and only occasionally.”
Alicia Keys created buzz when she announced she was quitting makeup in late May — not just in her daily life, but on the red carpet and as a judge on “The Voice,” eliciting “How brave!” comments on Twitter and beauty sites. Kim Kardashian followed suit in early October, appearing at Paris fashion week with just moisturizer and a swipe of lip balm, while other boldfacers such as Gwyneth Paltrow are snapping makeup-free selfies.
And although the celebrities’ glow is the result of various skin treatments and natural-looking balms, lotions and serums, their fresh-faced aesthetic isn’t all that unusual. New York women have embraced the makeup-free trend over the past year, either ditching powders and creams altogether or seriously paring down their look — although getting that look can be time-consuming and come at a hefty price, especially if you’re not an A-lister or a dewy-faced 20-something.
Liz Cintron, a senior aesthetician who works for celebrity facialist Joanne Vargas and bounces between Williamsburg and Los Angeles, says her skin-care regimen started with regular facials from age 13. She rarely wears makeup, thanks to an intensive routine that includes a $100 oil-based rejuvenating serum and $75 brightening face masks. She says more friends and clients are following suit. “It’s about authenticity,” says the 32-year-old, adding that a woman feels more like herself when her skin, rather than a face full of foundation, is on display.
Vargas agrees. “People, more so than ever, are focused on the skin being the story rather than the makeup, because you want to feel like yourself,” she says. She’s treated both starlets and New York’s elite, and says her clients are requesting procedures that let them shun makeup more often.
“People want to look as glowing as possible, they want to look like their skin is nice and tight, and they want to look like their skin is poreless,” she adds — a natural glow that’s hard to mimic with foundation and other makeup.
Plus, the very makeup women rely on to even out their skin can make it look worse in the long run, clogging pores and causing acne. “If someone wears makeup, it’s evident straight away. I see [the bad complexion] in two seconds,” says celebrity aesthetician and Elemis ambassador Georgia Louise. When clients ditch makeup, she says, skin texture smooths out on its own.
Whether using costly serums or just soap and water, feeling confident sans makeup can be daunting — especially when years of sun, cigarettes and other causes of aging have taken their toll.
When Vargas’ clients want to go makeup-free for a big event, for instance, she starts preparing them at least a month in advance. Clients come in first for a cleansing Triple Crown Facial ($550 for 60 minutes with Vargas) and LED light therapy ($150 for 20 minutes), which boosts collagen production and fights inflammation and acne, before beginning radio-frequency facials ($850 for 90 minutes with Vargas). She’ll also have them slap on a $75 brightening face mask right before a big event for extra radiance. Louise, meanwhile, sees some VIP customers once a week for facials that cost $300 to $600.
Still, many women say the effort is worth it. Ramona Singer of “The Real Housewives of New York City” has loved her look since recently ditching makeup. “If you’re packing on makeup, you’re clogging your pores — it’s not healthy,”Singer, 59, tells The Post. In lieu of foundation, she uses tinted moisturizer to smooth out sun spots and other discolorations. (She does, however, rely on regular treatments, including peels, to stay fresh-faced.)
While chucking makeup may seem like a youthful luxury, Singer says it actually makes more sense for aging ladies. “As we age, less makeup is more attractive and more youthful,” she says — bright lipstick and eye makeup can look gaudy on older skin, and powders often exacerbate wrinkles.
Francine Cohen, the 50-year-old founder of food site InsideFAndB.com, rarely wears makeup but doesn’t feel the need to splurge on skin-care treatments.
“I used to be an Ivory soap girl,” says the Upper West Side resident. “Now I rinse my face with cool water, moisturize, and wear sunscreen — nothing extreme.”
She doesn’t go makeup-free for empowerment, but because “I always felt [I] was perfectly pretty without makeup,” she says.
“It simplifies my life, not wearing makeup,” she says. “There’s less to fuss with.”Bare necessities Not ready to ditch makeup for good? Ease into the look with these toned-down options:
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October 23, 2016