Famous models who are unrecognizable without makeup

There are few things in life more freeing than going willfully and gloriously makeup free. Whether to the store or around the house, it's enormously satisfying to feel as though one is flouting society's well-established patriarchal "rules" around female beauty standards. When wearing makeup is part of one's job, it must be even more incredible to throw off those shackles and go completely bare-faced. 

The most famous, and stunning, models in the world are making something of a statement about showing off their natural beauty on social media. And rightly so; they don't get plucked from obscurity or chosen to headline the most amazing fashion shows in the world for nothing. Even so, there's something wonderfully satisfying about comparing the made-up looks of catwalk-strutting superstars with their laid-back, at-home, #wokeuplikethis vibes. This is what some of the most gorgeous models in the world look like without makeup (spoiler: they're even more beautiful). 

Kendall Jenner

Reality TV star and supermodel Kendall Jenner isn't one to wear a heavy face of makeup in her day-to-day life — unlike younger sister Kylie, who's made an entire career out of gloriously painting her face. If anything, fans are more accustomed to seeing Kendall out and about without any makeup on, especially considering she started appearing on Keeping up with the Kardashians as a fresh-faced kid. Suffice it to say, when she steps into the hottest couture or struts down a runway, the results are staggering (rightly so, since it's her job to look amazing).

Kendall isn't shy about sharing her gorgeous, makeup-free face online, but one particular selfie caught fans' attention for showing a little more than they expected: a whole heap of freckles. As noted by Teen Vogue, Kendall showed off her beautiful natural freckles even before they became the hottest catwalk trend. Now that is seriously ahead of the curve. 

Bella Hadid

Along with fellow supermodel and older sister Gigi, Bella Hadid has taken the modeling world by storm, with her meteoric rise culminating in getting those all-important wings at her second Victoria's Secret fashion show in Shanghai towards the end of 2017. Although Bella is most well-known for boasting some seriously stunning facial features (those lips, which she's consistently had to defend), and is frequently spotted out and about all glammed up, when she scrapes it back to basics, her true beauty really shines through.

Hadid took to Instagram to post a stunning makeup-free selfie while vacationing in Greece, noting she was a little sun-burnt at the time (though it was hardly noticeable). The model and It Girl has always had great skin but took a step towards looking even more luminous when she very publicly quit smoking. She announced the news on Instagram with a photo of her looking glamorous mid-puff — which made the rejection of that unhealthy prop all the more meaningful. 

Ashley Graham

If there's a more body positive role model and supermodel than Ashley Graham, she's yet to make herself known. The anti-Photoshop, pro-curve queen has made her mark everywhere from the cover of Sports Illustrated (making her the first "plus size" i.e. over a size 12 model to ever do so) to judging America's Next Top Model. She preaches the gospel of being real, even using un-retouched paparazzi shots for a swimsuit ad campaign, and letting her rabid Instagram fans know there's nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to their bodies.

It's no surprise, then, that Graham is proud of showing off her natural beauty, including her skin. Although Graham is proudly body positive, she admitted to the New York Times that there's one instance where Photoshop is okay, telling them, "If you're going to reshape anything on my body, I wouldn't let you do it. But if I have a big fat juicy zit on my forehead, please take it out." 

Jourdan Dunn

Considering Jourdan Dunn was discovered in a Primark store, it's unsurprising that she isn't too fussed about always looking perfect. She's an icon for a multitude of reasons, and Dunn credits becoming a mother at just 18 as the driving force behind her career. She was the first black model to walk for Prada in more than 10 years, back in 2008, the first black model to make the Forbes top-earning models list in 2014, and the first solo black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue in over a decade the following year.

Considering she worked until she was six months pregnant, and returned to the catwalk less than a year after giving birth, it's obvious Dunn doesn't let anything get her down — certainly not going makeup-free. The most surprising thing when this gorgeous Brit posts a clear-faced selfie is that she's maybe even more eye-catching without all her so-called slap on. It's no wonder she was plucked from obscurity years ago. 

Irina Shayk

Victoria's Secret superstar Irina Shayk is no stranger to going makeup free. Even knowing that she's frequently shot by paparazzis, she lives her life without feeling the need to drown herself in foundation, lipstick, and eyeliner. And why should she? Shayk's career relies on her looking fabulous, so she must revel in that time when she's running errands or chilling with friends and she can just let her face breathe.

Clearly, the woman glows from the inside out. When questioned by W magazine about what she does to keep her skin looking photo-ready at all times, Shayk revealed an odd little tip, "In the morning, I always use a cube of ice on my face — it gives me a natural lift." She also advised staying out of the sun and applying a higher SPF on the neck, hands, and face, as those areas age faster and are more sensitive.

Adriana Lima

Brazilian supermodel Adriana Lima is the closest thing to a real-life superwoman, returning to the hallowed Victoria's Secret catwalk just two months after giving birth to her second child, daughter Sienna. Lima is upfront about just how much work it takes getting back into shape post-pregnancy, sharing with her social media followers the grueling workouts she undergoes on a regular basis.

Although the Brazilian beauty isn't shy about revealing what goes into keeping her body and face looking great, she got real on Instagram after having to work through an illness. "Sometimes, people question, that model life is easy, and that's wrong, we work as hard as any other individual. Today I had 10 hours of work day, shooting with a very bad cold, coughing no stop and a massive headache. That did not stopped me on doing what I love," she wrote. The supermodel went on to say that coming home to her family made it all worthwhile, noting that hers was the real face of a hardworking model. 

Emily Ratajkowski

Model-turned-actress Emily Ratajkowski played off her natural good looks opposite Amy Schumer in rom-com I Feel Pretty, particularly during a sequence in which her character reveals, after being unceremoniously dumped, that she's actually quite insecure underneath it all. Ratajkowski herself is known for strutting around L.A. and NYC makeup-free, so clearly she's at least a bit more confident in real life. 

Unafraid to make light of her super-sexy image, Ratajkowski memorably shot none other than Lena Dunham for her swimsuit line, Inamorata Swim, with the results gleefully shared by the Girls creator on Instagram. When it comes to her own social media accounts, however, the Gone Girl actress keeps it super-sexy, even when she goes makeup free. She admitted to the New York Times that facials aren't really necessary since breakouts aren't terribly common for her, and that heavy makeup isn't necessary due to her "big" features, which would explain the lack thereof on a regular day.  

Chrissy Teigen

There's nobody more willing to flout the universally-accepted rules by which women are bound than undisputed queen of social media, Chrissy Teigen. The model, cookbook author, mother, and proud wife of musician John Legend isn't shy about oversharing on social media. Whether it's breastfeeding, post-pregnancy weight gain, or bizarre cravings (that last one is particularly unsurprising considering her own book is called Cravings), Teigen bares all.

The hilariously outspoken Lip Sync Battle host even took on Facetune in a memorable Twitter rant, leading fans to rally around her and post their own makeup-free selfies in support of the charge. It was Legend's sharing of a gorgeously barefaced photo of his lady that really caught the attention, and warmed the hearts, of Instagram fans as he sweetly captioned the shot "No filter necessary." Given how outspoken Teigen has been about feeling inadequate due to the perfection she sees online, her hubby's support meant even more. 

Cara Delevigne

British model, actress, and all-round cool chick Cara Delevigne is, much like her buddy Kendall Jenner, known for being a bit of a tomboy. When Delevigne turned her attention to movies, memorably starring alongside Dane DeHaan in sci-fi epic Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, her abilities as a chameleon were even more evident.

Delevigne and her amazing eyebrows appear in many a no-makeup paparazzi-shot, as well as a multitude of her own social media pics. But her most memorable barefaced photo almost saw the Brit overshadowed by an actual icon — albeit, one who's never had a Rimmel contract. While hanging out in the Louvre, the It Girl posed in front of the Mona Lisa, before requesting a date with the lady herself via Instagram. Unfortunately, it didn't go well, with Delevigne brutally rebuffed by the lack of a response. Oh well, maybe she could try her luck with the Eiffel Tower?

Bar Rafaeli

Israeli stunner Bar Rafaeli is unfairly most well-known for having dated actor, and leader of the eponymous Pussy Posse, Leonardo DiCaprio for a minute from 2005-2011. However, in reality, there's so much more to her, from an acting career in her home country to leading the charitable charge for less plastic bags and more water conversion in Israel, not to mention hosting Tel Aviv's Gay Pride party back in 2013. She's also a massively successful model, the highest paid in Israel as noted by Forbes that same year.

As a busy working mother, Rafaeli isn't bothered with being perfectly made up all the time, particularly when she's at home with her family. She swears by facials — especially those of the solid gold variety, as she memorably shared on Instagram back in 2014. If her best beauty secret involves bathing her skin in pure gold, then it's unlikely regular folk will be able to get the same effect. But the fresh-faced freckled look is something everybody can achieve, thankfully.