All-natural is having a moment. From Aerie Real to "No Makeup November," an industry obsessed with Photoshopped perfection seems to be embracing true beauty for the first time, well, ever. And now, Mila Kunis has partnered with Gemfields for the 2014 campaign, called Beauty by Nature, which showcases a stripped down Kunis, purportedly sans makeup.
The images, shot by Peter Linderbergh, feature a natural-looking Kunis pictured in black and white, a stark contrast with the bold gemstones sprinkled throughout the frame. She wears no jewelry, highlighting that Gemfields is a gemstone supplier and not a retailer.
In an official statement, Kunis claims to have worn no makeup for the shoot:
I didn't have any make-up on; I didn't have my hair blow-dried — so I felt a little bare. But he made me feel the most beautiful I have ever felt, and he was able to capture a very honest moment.
Of course, Kunis looks stunning. And she does look stripped down, far more natural than we see in most advertisements. Still, some don't quite buy the idea that she's not wearing makeup in the photos. At The Gloss,Samantha Escobar writes:
I get it, celebrities — you woke up like this. You naturally have curled lashes, sexily tousled hair and perfect brows. No, wait, never mind Mila; you are so clearly wearing eyeshadow, mascara, brow powder, possibly brow gel, lip balm and what I’m going to guess is either BB or CC cream. All of which add up to “wearing makeup,” regardless of how natural it looks.
Upon closer inspection, Kunis could be wearing some light makeup around her eyes and lips. Since the photo is black and white, we can't really tell. Gemfields has the right idea in wanting to do a natural campaign, but if she is actually wearing makeup, the company nullifies the larger cause, making them no better than magazines that relentlessly Photoshop their models.
A lot of other celebs have been joining the no-makeup conversation of late, many using social media to do so. A few months ago, Cameron Diaz and Heidi Klum made the news for posting makeup free photos to their Instagram accounts. Snooki, Rihanna, Jennifer Aniston, and Demi Lovato have also taken to the Web with natural selfies.
Why the obsession with makeup-free celebrities? The answer could be that we simply want to see what these women, whom we are supposed to idolize, and look like when they first wake up in the morning. We want to see if they look like us. This might seem empowering, but going nuts over images of celebrities without makeup is a form of asking permission to be our own makeup-free selves. If even these gorgeous women have bags under their eyes and frizzy hair, it must be okay for us to also look this way.
The way to really be empowered is to stop asking for permission, to stop caring what Mila Kunis looks like without makeup. But that's a tall order. So for now, we have Gemfields' new ads. If that's not enough, there are always these photos of makeup free celebs to make you feel great about your fresh-out-of-bed-head.