Coming Clean: A Three-Week Challenge - Part 1 - - ABC13

Coming Clean: A Three-Week Challenge - Part 1


Reporter: Shelley Basinger l Videographer:  Jemon Haskins

Lynchburg, VA - Two women in North Carolina have made national headlines for giving up the things so many women can't live without.

It's called "The Naked Face" project, and the faces behind it are Molly Barker and Caitlin Boyle.

They decided to go two full months without primping. The challenge included no makeup, hair products, shaving and wearing uncomfortable clothes like high heels and tight skirts.

"I ended up really liking it. The project's been over for a month and a half now, and I really haven't gone back to a lot of the habits at all that I thought I would go back to.  It was a really, really life-changing experience for me," said Boyle.

ABC-13 News decided to play off their project and find two women to agree to a more limited version of their project. The women were asked to go three full weeks with no makeup or hair products.

"Growing up, I remember my mom putting on her makeup and thinking that's so cool," said Johanna Calfee. "She used to sell Avon, so she had all of the little trial lipsticks and I used to play with those as a kid."

Pretty soon though, Calfee got tired of just playing around.

"I really started wearing it at 14.  And it's kind of been a love affair ever since to be honest with you.  I mean I love products, face lotions, the whole nine yards," said Calfee.

As an adult, makeup and hair products became an even bigger part of her life. Calfee worked for a TV station as a reporter, anchor and weathercaster. It's a job that requires a lot of time in front of the mirror.

"The airbrushed makeup, the eyeliner, the fake eyelashes... the full mask, every day. You get to the point where you don't even identify with what you look like without makeup on," said Calfee.

After leaving TV four years ago, Calfee admits she's scaled back a lot, especially since the birth of her daughter. But she still knows how to put on the heavier stuff for freelance commercial work. And even on the most casual day, she'd prefer not to be caught bare-faced.

"If I'm out in public and I have to run into the store for milk and I don't have a drop of makeup on, I am very aware of it," said Calfee.

Amy Bonebright's makeup memories started a little later than Calfee's.   

"It was Christmas of sixth grade and it was a big deal.  My mom and best friend's mom had made plans to buy us caboodles," said Bonebright.

A Caboodle was a popular makeup case for young girls in the 80s and 90s. The makeup in hers was minimal and it stayed that way through her teen years.

"It was just little bits here and there.  And I played a lot of sports in high school and I tried not to wear too much," said Bonebright.

It was really in adulthood that she started to feel insecure.

"That is one thing that I've learned in all the jobs I've had is that people judge me by how young I look. And so I do want to look a little bit older," said Bonebright.

Bonebright is a communications professor at Liberty University.

"I definitely do strive to look older than my students, because I know there's not that much of an age gap there.  There is... more than people think," said Bonebright.

She tries to widen the age gap with makeup.

But for three weeks, both of them will have to put it all away, everything from foundations to hair sprays.

"I am nervous.  I don't want it to look sloppy and I think that sometimes it may be perceived that way, just because of our culture," said Bonebright.

"I worry about what people will think.  And that's stupid, who cares? The only one who doesn't care if I have makeup on is me," said Calfee.

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