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Pamela Anderson Explains Going Makeup-Free at Fashion Week: "Not Trying to Be the Prettiest"

The actor decided to walk the carpet bare-faced and without the help of a stylist.

In the past year, Pamela Anderson has shown the world unseen sides of herself in her Netflix documentary Pamela, a love story; in her memoir Love, Pamela; and through the evolution of her style. During the '90s, the Baywatch star was known for wearing some outrageous outfits, teased hair, and heavy, glam makeup looks. But recently, the 56-year-old has embraced the natural look, even going completely without makeup in public, including at Paris Fashion Week events. In a video for Vogue France, Anderson explained the many reasons she has been deciding to forgo makeup and the "freedom" she feels stepping out without a full face. Read on to find out more.

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Anderson wants to challenge the concept of beauty.

Vogue France filmed Anderson getting ready for the Vivienne Westwood show from designer—and Vivienne Westwood's widower—Andreas Kronthale. (Westwood passed away in 2022.) The Barb Wire star explains that she let her hair dry naturally for the show and that the only makeup she will wear is mascara.

"My mom always told me, at some point in your life you're not going to want to wear makeup on your skin, and she's right," Anderson says. "You kind of have to challenge beauty sometimes. If we all chase youth or we're chasing our idea of what beauty is in fashion magazines and everything, we're only going to be disappointed or maybe a little bit sad."

She also said that going without makeup is a way she can push back against expectations people may have of her.

"I thought, you know, this is the time for me to kind of be, again, probably a little rebellious," she says in the video. "But I also feel as a woman, and as a woman of my age, and a woman in the public eye, I just kind of think it's also your job to be a model of, um, everything… just all sorts of choices. So, I'm just being me, just kind of who I am." She added, laughing, "In all these great clothes running around Paris, so I'm very lucky."

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She went without a beauty entourage.

Pamela Anderson at the Victoria Beckham show in Paris in September 2023
Marc Piasecki/WireImage via Getty Images

Anderson explains in the video that she didn't "have handlers or a glam team" or a stylist, which means that her fashion week preparation was "peaceful."

"I love the time to myself," she says. "I'd rather be walking in the park in Paris and come home and have a nap and wakeup 15 minutes before I have to go somewhere … 'Cause a lot of people that are here at Fashion Week are in a makeup chair for two, three hours and have all these people around. I feel blessed I get to experience Paris in a more simple way without a lot of people and everything around. I've done that. It was fun. But I prefer just roaming around on my own."

She didn't plan on making a statement.

Pamela Anderson at the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood Paris Fashion Week Dinner in September 2023
Dave Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Vivienne Westwood

Anderson has been sporting more simple makeup lately—with a glam look still thrown in here and there—but she tells Vogue France that she didn't go to Paris Fashion Week intending to go makeup-free.

"I didn't come to Paris Fashion Week and think, 'I'm not going to wear any makeup,'" Anderson explains. "Something just came over me and I was dressing in these beautiful clothes and and I thought, 'I don't want to compete with the clothes.' I'm not trying to be the prettiest girl in the room. I feel like that's just freedom. It's like a relief … It's an experiment. I thought, I'm not going to wear any makeup—at Fashion Week in Paris, which is insane." Anderson also says in the video, "I think I'm the happiest I've ever been in my own skin."

In addition to the Vivienne Westwood show, Anderson was photographed at Isabel Marant, Victoria Beckham, and The Row.

Anderson's new look has a more heartbreaking explanation, too.

Pamela Anderson at the Isabel Marant show in Paris in September 2023
Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Clearly, Anderson has a number of reasons for wearing less makeup in public. One that she doesn't mention in the video is the loss of her longtime makeup artist Alexis Vogel, who died of breast cancer in 2019. Anderson told Elle in August, "She was the best. And since then, I just felt, without Alexis, it's just better for me not to wear makeup."

But while part of the reason for her more subtle look came from tragedy, Anderson also talked to Elle about her changing feelings regarding cosmetics.

She called wearing less makeup "freeing, and fun, and a little rebellious too." She continued, "Because I did notice that there were all these people doing big makeup looks, and it's just like me to go against the grain and do the opposite what everyone's doing."

Other celebrities praised her decision.

As reported by E! News, Anderson received lots of love for going makeup-free at Paris Fashion Week, including from other celebrities. In an Instagram post, Jamie Lee Curtis shared photos of Anderson and wrote, "THE NATURAL BEAUTY REVOLUTION HAS OFFICIALLY BEGUN! @pamelaanderson in the middle of fashion week with so many pressures and postures, and and and, this woman showed up and claimed her seat at the table with nothing on her face. I am so impressed and floored by this act of courage and rebellion."

Chelsea Handler commented on the post, "That's pretty iconic." Michelle Visage wrote, "And she was GLOWING." Selma Blair posted, "Love this. Beautiful self assuredness." Alyssa Milano commented, "So gorgeous." Kyle Richards wrote, "Beautiful." And Kristin Chenoweth simply left a fire emoji.

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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