Media these days has hyped the importance of needing makeup to attain beauty.

Extensive tutorials exist to teach us how to have the perfectly blended bronzer, fabulous smoky eyes, and lusciously pumped up lips. Society’s standards of ideal beauty seem to go hand in hand with the attempts of covering up who we truly are.

Perhaps if we, as a society, stopped obsessing over these ever increasing cosmetic demands, we could regroup and begin enhancing some of the more important beauty standards that seem to be lost on many these days.

I’m not saying that all makeup is bad, and it can be fun to play around with it sometimes; the problem is when we allow it to become an integral part of our identity. There are some women who refuse to be seen without their makeup for fear that they won’t be considered attractive anymore. Their self-esteem is directly correlated to what other’s think of them and the value that other’s place on their looks.

Thus, the first step towards enhancing your natural beauty is to look inside yourself and learn to feel comfortable in your own skin. You are not defined by your looks nor are you defined by anyone else’s imposed ideals and standards. Each of us has unique qualities that we should embrace. When we shine from the inside it will show on the outside. Confidence is something that we must attain ourselves and it is based on an honest assessment of the best characteristics in each of us.

When we love our inner selves, we can begin to take better care of our outer selves. Our beauty can be enhanced through proper self-care, diet, and exercise. Wearing sunscreen, keeping your face clean and moisturized, drinking plenty of water, eating healthy food, and getting plenty of exercise are as important to your beauty routine as any makeup tutorials. In fact, using too much make up every day can lead to clogged pores and leave your skin very unhealthy. There is a balance between health and beauty that we walk each day.

We don’t have to use makeup to hide from the world, we should actually just let it enhance the beauty that is already inside us. We can challenge the societal pressure to have a “flawless” appearance and embrace our natural selves.

Alicia Keys inspired some celebrities take up this cause, encouraging others to post photos of themselves without makeup to show that there is nothing to fear by letting the world see you as you are. “Bare and Don’t Care” was a trend started by Keys to encourage other women to showcase their inner beauty.

Hats off to all the fantastic ladies reading this article in their bare faces. You are beautiful and keep the confidence going.