This is a personal project, done by me, Candice Lamarand. The point of this project was to photograph women without make up and for them to embrace their natural beauty. I had photographed a group of moms for a project on “real women” a couple years ago and the response was incredible. I had put off doing any other personal projects because of well, life… always too busy, too long of a to-do list, someone needs something first…but after I started talking about it with some friends and receiving encouragement to do it I put a feeler out on social media and was amazed at the amount of inquires I received from women to participate. Some shared their stories of how important this was to them and why, others just said they were trying to do things that pushed them outside their comfort level and this was a perfect opportunity. Some women featured might not even normally wear lots of make up but still being completely exposed can be pretty scary… and it was amazing to see each woman walk in mildly or very nervous and within minutes feel comfortable. A couple others recently had gotten out of a relationship or gone through a big life change and this was a step of empowerment for them.
First, I feel I should share why this project was so important to me. Don’t get me wrong I love make up and getting all done up once in a while but there is such an insane amount of pressure to feel like a woman needs to have her face covered in it to be beautiful and this pressure is reaching young girls that should not even be thinking about such thing. As someone who grew up dancing, in the industry of modeling, photography, and as a hair stylist and make-up artist I’ve had plenty of days listening to all the reasons you need make up; to enhance your features, to cover up your flaws, to change your look, to look like someone else, to feel pretty. Wait…”To feel pretty?” That is not okay. As a child I can remember my mom saying she couldn’t go out, even just to the store because she didn’t have her face on (sorry Mom, but you are beautiful without it, you never needed it.) Make-up should not define you. I never want to deprive myself from something because I don’t have make-up on. I’ll be honest… this took me a while to get to this point.. but the biggest factor was becoming a mom. I may be biased, but my daughter is gorgeous and it scares me to think that because of society she might doubt that one day. I never want my daughter to feel like she is not beautiful. She does not need make up to be pretty and I want my son to always appreciate natural beauty like he does now. He makes me feel beautiful every day and it is not because I have make up on. One of the mammas featured in this post told me how she caught her young daughter putting on make up under her eyes; she asked her why she was doing it and she said that she was because she needed to, that’s what mommy does. Our children take in so much. Let’s continue to show them and others how great they are just as they are. Smiles, laughter, kind words, and true connection will do more for your soul than make-up ever will. Lets #RevealTrueBeauty
To the women featured and to everyone else that wanted to participate but couldn’t… I am so grateful for you. I cried while I photographed some of you and as I read your letters before and after your sessions. Thank you for sharing your stories and allowing me to capture you. You are all so courageous, beautiful, strong,empowering, and inspiring. Keep shining my friends and don’t stop believing in you.
Here are some of my favorites but not all of them thats for sure. Please feel free to share this and thank you in advance for your kind words and encouragement.
Thank you to David Lamarand for taking a shot of me as well, because I couldn’t talk about all of this without putting myself in the same position as my models. I will be sharing more images and stories on Instagram and I encourage you to do the same. You might never know how much you inspire someone. #RevealTrueBeauty