Here at YouBeauty, we adore makeup. We never underestimate the confidence-boosting power of a bold lip, we love when women express their personality through makeup, and are endlessly fascinated by science that shows why makeup works and how it makes women look younger.

BUT. We certainly don’t think that anyone has to wear makeup. Women are busy, self-assured, and have myriad priorities, and we completely understand the new heralding of the no-makeup movement. If you don’t want to wear makeup, why should you? Do whatever makes you feel beautiful, and don’t be afraid to let your no-makeup flag fly. Leandra Medine (of the “Man Repeller” blog) recently bitch-slapped someone who called her ugly in a post titled “Why I Don’t Wear Makeup.” Celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyoncé have taken to posting bare-faced selfies. And even some brides—women not usually known to embrace subtlety—are forgoing makeup on their big day. We turned to our readers and asked, do you go makeup-free? And how does that make you feel beautiful? Read below to hear real-world women who don’t think makeup is necessary for beauty, and please share your own feelings about makeup in the comments, or in our community no-makeup thread.

YouBeauty reader stories: I rarely wear makeup on a daily basis, but I’m obsessed with good skincare so I think I can get away with it. I don’t like wearing mascara because I love the fresh, Downton Abbey-feel of a bare eye. (Mascara wasn’t invented back then!)—YouBeauty Executive Editor Courtney DunlopAs a teen, I experimented with many makeup looks. They all made me look like either a circus clown or like I was insulting drag queens all over the world. My experimentation continued and I found in my late twenties that less was more. By 30 years old, I became a skincare activist and have been natural ever since. Makeup makes my skin feel imprisoned.

Going makeup-less provides freedom, which is beauty.YouBeauty reader ZenWomanI really just never got into makeup when I was younger—I always sort of identified it with phoniness. I used to occasionally put on cheap/borrowed mascara and lipstick before going out on a Saturday night, and, to be honest, it did always make me feel special. But the next day I felt just as comfortable, if not more so, as my regular, natural self. Now that I’m an adult and more conscientious about what I consume and apply to my body, the idea of adding layers of nonsense to feel marginally more beautiful just doesn’t make sense to me.

And more beatiful to whom? I think (I HOPE) I can be a beautiful person in other ways. So even though I sometimes shame-spiral over my splotchy, uneven skin, I like to give my my ruddy face credit for being free of costly chemicals, minerals, pigments and animal-cruelty. This is just the way I look!—YouBeauty reader LauraMy mom never really wore makeup so that was the norm for me.

She wore it on special occasions, which is exactly what I do now. I’ve always been very comfortable in my own skin and I do feel pretty most days (I think everyday is just an unrealistic goal). There are certainly times I envy what some girls can do with makeup but not enough to make me think it’s a necessity for each day. I think about makeup the same way I think about getting all dressed up to go to a fancy event or night out: It’s a lot of effort but sometimes I do it and really enjoy it.

Most days I embrace being fairly simple.—YouBeauty reader DanaI have never really had an interest in makeup. As a kid I tried it but just didn’t really like it. I have clear skin and a beautiful face—I just don’t feel as if makeup is needed. I have as an adult let a friend talk me into going for makeovers but I all I could think of the whole time was PLEASE don’t put another thing on my face, and afterwards I didn’t like that it didn’t look like me. I see women made up and love the way it looks on them but it’s not for me. I love me natural!—YouBeauty reader LatoyaSWhen I was a teen in the 1980s, I wore blush, lip gloss and eyeshadow.

I never wore mascara because I had hard contacts. That is not a good combination. I never wore powder or foundation. It felt gross to me. I have good skin. I never had acne. When I went to college, I did not have money for makeup so I stopped wearing it. I never started again. I am now 47.—YouBeauty reader margot annI used to wear makeup every day, before I started realizing that I felt really uncomfortable going out in public—even to school or the grocery store—without it, and then I started wearing less and less.

At first I hated it, but after a while I got used to wearing no foundation and only a little bit of eyeshadow and mascara, and now the most I ever wear is a little bit of tinted lip balm. I realized that before, I was wearing makeup because I wanted people to think I was beautiful, not because I felt better with it on, so now I love the feeling of being comfortable in my own skin and knowing that if someone thinks I look good, it isn’t due to a mask I put on my face every day.—YouBeauty reader sb2 Makeup-free makes me feel confident about my exterior, that I am not covering up my flaws and yet people still accept me for who I am. The only thing I hate about being makeup-free is my shiny forehead. When I go out of the house, I make sure to pat it with loose powder during restroom breaks.—YouBeauty reader MonalisapisaI’m 25 and go makeup-free regularly! It started as bad time management but then I realized that my skin was thankful for the breather.

Now I go makeup-free at least three days a week.—YouBeauty reader AlexJCI honestly only wear makeup when I have a special occasion. My sensitive skin and lack of patience keep me from having to wear it. I have had it done professionally in the past and it made me look great but I feel it is not who I really am; sort of like lying—YouBeauty reader GEEGGI only wear makeup on special occasions.

I’ve never felt the need to wear it and now I don’t have the time, so it isn’t an issue to me. However, I’m sure that if I did wear makeup it would be to “hide” my face and try to make other people think I’m prettier, which would be terrible for my self-image. I think not wearing makeup helps you accept your real, natural beauty better and make you feel comfortable with yourself all the time.—YouBeauty reader microimperium