A new look in beauty is emerging. It's as old as time, yet definitely of the moment. You have seen it before, but it seems futuristic. It's utterly uncomplicated, although not every woman can pull it off.
It's called the naked face.
That means a face devoid of ominously dark or feverishly bright shadowed eyes. That means no swatches of rouge worn like white sidewall tires. That means no spider-web layers of mascara. No poetically named shades of color for your lips.
What it does mean is a touch of Vaseline or Chap Stick on the mouth and a bit of moisturizer on the skin. Now you walk away from the mirror and out the door.
Some beauty experts report that when women remove the masks of cosmetics they wear, they are telling the world they feel free to be like and to look like themselves.
"Everyone's always hiding something," says Caroline Graham, West Coast editor of Vanity Fair, who avoids wearing any makeup at all.
"At least I look like me," she adds.
"I think the no-makeup trend goes hand in hand with the progress women are making in their professional lives," says skin-care authority Ole Henriksen, who reports that increasing numbers of his clients are going without a trace of artifice. The list includes actresses Nastassja Kinski and Maud Adams, who, Henriksen says, "strive for the bare nothing.
"I was in Denmark last November," he adds, "and I was really impressed by the beauty of women there who wear little, if any, makeup. I don't know if it actually makes a woman's skin glow more, but she definitely looks more relaxed, cleaner and fresher. Less is better," Henriksen concludes.
What enables many women to get away with less, experts concur, is the healthy lives they lead. It's believed that an awareness of proper nutrition, regular exercise and conscientious skin care, including regular cleansing facials, is reflected in a woman's skin tone. "Now the trend is no alcoholic beverages either," skin-care specialist Aida Thibiant says. "That's another reason why they glow."
Although all agree that a light makeup base and touches of color are essential at night for a more dressed-up, dramatic effect, they also agree that foundation worn during the daytime tends to expose imperfections, such as tiny expression lines.
"Foundation tends to sit in a line and make it more visible when a face is expressive during the course of a day," Henriksen says. That's as opposed to a clean skin plumped with a layer of moisturizer, which gives the complexion a more hydrated and firm appearance, he adds.
So why would anyone want to cover up?
Many women don't want to.
"Women don't need as much makeup these days," skin-care specialist Aida Grey says. "The accent today is on the figure more than the face, as long as the face is clear."
The women shown here are good examples of the no-makeup trend, including photographer Berry Berenson Perkins, who took these photos and who counts herself among the bare faced.
"I basically always felt it is how you feel from the inside out that's important," she says.
Mariska Hargitay, actress and daughter of Mickey Hargitay and the late Jayne Mansfield, says she never wears makeup base.
"But if I'm going to a fancy thing I wear some mascara, rouge and lipstick at night." On makeup in general, she says: "My dad doesn't like it, my boyfriend doesn't like it and everyone says I look better without it."
Luciana Klosterman, wife of sports businessman Don Klosterman, faces the world every day with a veil of moisturizer, Chap Stick and nothing more, except possibly some blush "if I get very pale. I don't think makeup improves me a bit, and I hate the feeling of anything artificial."
Actress Paula Prentiss even avoids moisturizer. A dancer too, she believes that when she perspires she is naturally moisturizing her skin. Prentiss says she can only recall wearing makeup during periods of her life when she was "sort of distraught. The more makeup I wore," she explains, "the less sure of myself I was."
Going with less, Prentiss says, is a sign of personal strength and confidence.
"It's funny that men are now starting to wear makeup," she adds.