9 Women In Their 50s Reveal What They Look Like Without Makeup

Photo: Contributor Photo
before and after photo of woman with and without makeup

To be 50 is entering another realm of womanhood. Many women say that at this age, they feel more comfortable in their own skin, finally feel the confidence they always wanted, and embrace the power to love themselves.

The no-makeup look continues to be embraced as a higher standard of beauty, the new natural. Do women in their 50s without makeup become a more authentic version of themselves? Or are they giving up on the tools that are right there waiting to be used and appreciated?

It all depends on the person. Some of us refuse to leave our homes without some tinted moisturizer, a touch of lipstick, or maybe some mascara. Others wonder why we put in all that effort, money, and time just to take away from the beauty nature already gave them.

To figure out what was going on, we talked to a few friends in their 50s and learned a lot about how these women feel about themselves with and without makeup.

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Here, nine women in their 50s reveal what they look like without makeup: 

1. "I feel much cleaner without makeup."

"I feel much fresher and cleaner and younger when I wear no makeup. It's sort of an oxymoron because I know I look younger with makeup because makeup is a miracle in covering up my old age wrinkles. But the first thing I do when I get home from work is, wash my face and put on comfies. On days that I work from home, I wear no makeup and just feel generally healthier. I also don't have white teeth no matter how many white strips I use, so I almost always wear lipstick to contrast the color of my lips and teeth." —Mindy Beth, 53

2. "I feel great!"

"I take care of my skin, and the older I get, the less I want to wear makeup. When I'm not working, I usually don't wear any. Makeup is fun, and I like it, but I don't wear a lot anyway, so it's not that much of a stretch to be without it. Plus, after you turn 50, it's hard to care about things like this. There are far too many other things I prefer to occupy my time with than thinking about what people like or don't like. I think that being older and wiser gives you a sense of confidence and security, and I love that." — Lianne, 50

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3. "I'm relaxed when I'm fresh-faced."

"You can see the relaxed part of life when you don't wear makeup. I like my age, and I like how I look. Makeup is for work and presenting your outward face: the face that meets new people and starts new projects." —Marilyn, 50

4. "I don't feel that confident in my own skin."

"I thought I looked fine without makeup. Not." —Stacy, 56

5. "As long as I'm having fun, it doesn't matter."

"I go out without makeup (especially after exercising or if I’m on the beach). Since I’m a painter, I do have fun “painting” my face and do enjoy putting on makeup. I like coordinating with my hair when it’s blue." —Robin, 58

6. "Makeup helps people focus on things other than their looks."

"I'm turning 52 in a few weeks, and I have to admit I rarely go out without makeup anymore. Right now, I'm battling bronchitis, and the medication has made my face puffy, so without makeup, you can see all those glorious sunspots that look like dirt on my nose and cheeks. I hate them, but seeing them reminds me of all the softball games I helped coach during which my daughter played, of all the years in the dugout with the sunscreen melting off my face. So I guess I can't hate them altogether. I'm happier with my made-up face. My routine takes just minutes each morning, but it's a little like putting on armor to face the day. I'm not looking to impress anyone anymore (if my husband isn't impressed after being with me for 30 years, I don't know what it will take), but I feel like that made-up face allows people to focus on what I'm saying and doing rather than my looks." —Laura, 52

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7. "Getting older and wiser makes me want to keep it simple."

"I used to wear makeup all the time, but as I got wiser, I started just wearing a little cover-up and lip shine day-to-day. So now when I go out, it's eye shadow, mascara and all." —Cyndi, 51

8. "Skin, not makeup, is the most important thing."

"Healthy skin is always worth working for and is better for beauty than the most skillfully applied makeup. I only wear it when I'm doing something social." — Ellisa, 50

9. "Makeup makes me feel like I'm hiding my true self."

"I feel more confident and alive without makeup. I love my natural look and am often complimented on my youthful appearance when I'm 'au natural.' When I have lots of makeup on and am all dressed up, although I feel pretty, I feel like I'm trying to hide behind something, and that just isn't me." —Lisa, 57

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Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of digital and print publications.