Dare to bare

Dare to bare

The Video Music Awards (VMAS) once again hit the headlines this week; who was wearing what, who kissed who, Kanye West (yawn – seriously, who gives that guy a stage?), and, this year, Alicia Keys. 

Keys grabbed a plethora of column inches thanks to her decision to attend the glamorous soirée completely devoid of any make up. Brave? Mad? Trend pioneer? All of the above in my opinion.

Photos emerged of Keys attending an after party with her musician husband Swizz Beatz. In the image she stood shoulder to shoulder with four other glamorous hip hop WAGS and stars in their own rights: Beyoncé, Cassie and the selfie queen herself, Kim Kardashian West. All looked stunning, of course, but it was clear they’d spent a fair few hours in the glam chair working on the perfect contour and channelling the ideal lip shade.

Did Keys look out of place or any less of a star? In a word – no. Not only did she shine just as bright as the other big names, she was the vision of self-confidence, which I’m sure you’ll all agree is where true beauty really comes into its own. And what are Keys’ thoughts on the media attention? A message posted to her Twitter account pretty much summed it up; ‘Y’all, me choosing to be make-up free doesn’t mean I’m anti make-up. Do you!’ Well said, Alicia, well said.

However, the VMAs wasn’t the first time this ‘dare to bare’ no make-up trend has reared its head of late. Mila Kunis has previously gone au naturel on magazine covers while global singing sensation Adele opts for a product free face on a regular basis, posting make-up-free selfies on her Instagram account. But does this mini trend have legs? Should the beauty brands be worried? Well, we all know that trends have to start somewhere, and if Kylie Jenner can do it (see the August Allure cover) there’s certainly something in it.

But the industry is a game of two halves. While Jenner has coveted a no make-up look once or twice, her multi-million dollar Kylie Cosmetics enterprise, promoted heavily through her social media channels, relies on the young consumer’s beauty product obsession – what Kylie says goes, it seems. Likewise beauty vlogging is hitting new heights and product sampling (more on that next week) is being seen as the next big advertising craze. Fret not, the thirst for beauty is still strong.

But with role models such as Keys, Jenner and Adele all happily opting for a hassle/make up free life – whether that’s full time or on the odd occasion – it’s certainly something beauty marketers should keep a keen eye on. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail and all that. In fact, I’d certainly recommend a contingency plan and I’d bet my bottom dollar there’s a fair few marketing teams working on a promotion or campaign that will capitalise on this no make-up movement as we speak.

In the meantime I’m off to wash my face and brave my Mummy coffee date fresh as a daisy. Pah! Did anyone just see a pig fly? #allhailesteelauderdoublewear