WOMEN
10/15/2015 01:23 pm ET

Women Go Bare-Faced In Stunning Celebration Of Natural Beauty

Dare to go bare.

A photographer is on a mission to take pictures of women embracing their natural beauty, sans makeup.

For his "No Makeup Series," photographer Steve Osemwenkhae has captured the natural beauty of more than 100 women. He told The Huffington Post that the idea came to him on his way to work when he noticed a fellow Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) passenger applying her makeup.

"As she layered her face with lotion and foundation, I started to think about a makeup-less photo session and how to showcase natural beauty," he said. "At that moment is when I decided to take on the project with a few friends."

"I love and hate makeup, just like I love and hate anything that is both creative and destructive. Treating women’s fac
Steve Osemwenkhae
"I love and hate makeup, just like I love and hate anything that is both creative and destructive. Treating women’s faces like art is a beautiful idea, but attaching our worth to a mask of ourselves is absolutely destructive. Each woman has to find her balance.” -- Amanda Beattie

Though Osemwenkhae initially planned on showcasing five to 10 of his friends in his series and sharing their thoughts toward makeup, the project has become much bigger. The photos are featured online, and Osemwenkhae is currently working on grants to create a book and a traveling gallery. 

Osemwenkhae also hopes to hit the road in the future to photograph as many people as possible. His goal for the project is to help others understand the various ways women relate to makeup, social pressures and concepts of beauty. 

"I want everyone to have their own voice when it comes to the narrative of beauty, and hopefully I can continue to do that within the next few years with these photos and videos," he said.

See more women embracing their natural beauty along with excerpts from their thoughts about makeup below.

  • "A person's face is like a blank canvas. Makeup is the paint that dictates the mood of the piece. Everything a true artist cr
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "A person's face is like a blank canvas. Makeup is the paint that dictates the mood of the piece. Everything a true artist creates is from the soul. Love, pain, joy transcends through every piece that is created as does makeup on a person's face." -- Vanessa Ly
  • "My mom never wore makeup, and she always told me I didn't need it and wouldn't let me wear it. So I never got in the habit o
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "My mom never wore makeup, and she always told me I didn't need it and wouldn't let me wear it. So I never got in the habit of putting on makeup. I don't hate it or love it, I just really value my mom's opinion." -- Kayla McGarrell
  • "I would say that I enjoy makeup but I feel we rely on it too much. We forget to embrace our natural beauty because of societ
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "I would say that I enjoy makeup but I feel we rely on it too much. We forget to embrace our natural beauty because of societies' standards on how women should look." -- Isadora Laveau
  • "I wear makeup to the degree that it pleases me; I always think about who I am doing it for and what it does for me." -- Hala
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "I wear makeup to the degree that it pleases me; I always think about who I am doing it for and what it does for me." -- Halah Ahmad
  • "I think makeup is a beauty enhancer and to each is own. However, the less I'm wearing the prettier I feel." -- Olivia Connor
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "I think makeup is a beauty enhancer and to each is own. However, the less I'm wearing the prettier I feel." -- Olivia Connors
  • "I love makeup because it gives more definition to your face and how it looks. I hate makeup because it doesn’t show wh
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "I love makeup because it gives more definition to your face and how it looks. I hate makeup because it doesn’t show who you really are and it has some people think of you in a different way." -- Angelita Gillette
  • "Happiness is beautiful. If makeup makes you happy, then wear it! If not, then don't worry about it. Regardless we should all
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "Happiness is beautiful. If makeup makes you happy, then wear it! If not, then don't worry about it. Regardless we should all strut our stuff, be confident, and be happy, because that's what true beauty is." -- Sioned Kay Kirkpatrick
  • "More or less, we all use the same makeup, so how I wear it gives me a say in which parts of me make me up and if that means
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "More or less, we all use the same makeup, so how I wear it gives me a say in which parts of me make me up and if that means not wearing makeup, that too says something about me. Whether or not I wear it in itself speaks for my inner self and what it wants to look like." -- Reejuta
  • "Makeup can help to make a woman feel like a more polished version of herself. It allows us very strong, busy moms, executive
    Steve Osemwenkhae
    "Makeup can help to make a woman feel like a more polished version of herself. It allows us very strong, busy moms, executives, multi-taskers to create the illusion of an 8 hour sleep even though not many of us ever experience that. When we feel good about ourselves with or without makeup, we are unstoppable." -- Lisa Roche

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