Model Naomi Campbell

By Erickka Sy Savane

There was a moment a few months ago when I was getting ready for
an event, standing in the mirror with a tube of lipstick, wondering why I
was about to paint my face. I’d done it a zillion times without
question, but this time, I just felt silly. What I really wanted was to
go completely as I am. Now, I don’t mean butt-naked, but naked-face. Is
this what it means to get older? Still, I went ahead and did it, and
when I got to the event and posed the question to a few friends they
looked at me like I was smoking crack. Wanna clear a room? Start talking
about age. My bad.

Continue

However, as Alicia Keys has continued to pop up all over the place sans
makeup I feel vindicated. I mean, Alicia is a mom, like myself,
and she’s getting older, plus she’s got a lot to ‘lose’ by showing up as a star without the perceived ‘shine’ (makeup to give her that ‘glow’). So really, I feel the need to ask, how do we feel about makeup?  Does saying no come with age?

Alicia Keys

I start with one of my favorite California girls, Angie B. T.
A model back in the day, Angie never left home without a fully made
up face. In fact, sometimes she wore makeup to bed. How does she feel
about it today, now that she’s in her forties?

“I still love makeup, and lashes, and adorning myself with jewelry,”
she says, “but what has changed is I don’t feel the need to wear it all
the time. I appreciate my beauty without it.”

She says the change wasn’t so much an age thing, but more about the
different changes in her life. She broke up with her finance, her mom
and sister both passed away in the same year, and not long after she
fell, fracturing both of her ankles.

“It was hard at first, not to feel sorry for myself,” she says
looking back, “but being in that space where I was literally crawling to
the bathroom with no makeup on for such a long period of time stripped
away all the pretense I had in my life. I had to find my inner strength
and what re-emerged was this beautiful woman that I am today.”

Wow, what don’t break you makes you stronger. She does still have two makeup must-haves…

“I have to wear a little concealer under my eyes and I must fill-in
my eyebrows because I never had any growing up, and without them I look
like an embryo,” she jokes.

Okay, so now I’m thinking about my partner in crime, super-producer
Sidra Smith. Not because she looks like an embryo, but she is
all about that face- no makeup, no hair, she don’t even care. Talk about
a natural beauty. Has she always been this way or has it come with age?

“I’ve always been this way. Even back when I was modeling I was never
that girl to run around after a shoot in full makeup. The only time I
do feel a certain pressure to wear it is on the red carpet and making
appearances with my twin,” she says. Ironically, her identical twin sister is ultra-glam actress Tasha Smith, and the two couldn’t look more different, and yet the same.

Sidra and Tasha Smith

So would she ever do red carpet appearances bare-faced?

“Absolutely!” she says with conviction. “I get more compliments and
feel more beautiful without it. If anything, makeup makes me feel
cheesy.”

She nailed it because, looking back, cheesy is how I felt at the
event that night. Why did I ultimately do it? Vanity, and wanting to fit
in. But when I really think about it though, it’s not so much about age
or whether to wear makeup or not, but the freedom to live the way we
want to live. Today, I put on bright green socks when I went for my
morning jog, something that I’ve been wanting to do for weeks, but would
tell myself that it didn’t match, and what would people think? It’s
nice to know that I no longer care.

How do you feel about makeup? Is wearing it a must or does it depend?

Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing…wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or ErickkaSySavane.com