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Good Question: Why Do We Spend So Much On Makeup?

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(credit: CBS) Jason DeRusha
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was not the normal look for the five female hosts of “The Talk” on CBS Monday afternoon. No fake eyelashes, no hair extensions, no foundation, eye-liner or lipstick.

They went makeup-free to start their season.

“Don’t adjust your TV sets; this is what we all look like without makeup on,” said host Julie Chen.

It’s not the first time women on TV have gone makeup-free. Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford did it on NBC’s “Today Show” in 2010, but it still was a shocker to see.

WCCO reporter Aristea Brady commends their bravery.

“I think hats off to them,” said Brady, who agreed to be interviewed without wearing make-up. “It takes a lot. Television women are accustomed to spending an hour in makeup.”

Makeup has been around for thousands of years. It was mentioned in the Old Testament, when Jezebel painted her eyelids. According to Julie Swenson, a St. Paul makeup studio owner and instructor, makeup even pre-dates The Bible.

“Makeup started in Egyptian times. They used it to protect themselves from elements like wind and sun,” Swenson said.

She said the modern understanding of makeup dates to Max Factor.

Yeah, there’s a real guy, it’s not just the name of the brand.

“He was creating makeup for actors. Then he made it consumer-friendly,” said Swenson.

In 1927, Max Factor introduced the term “makeup”, selling his foundations directly to women. Today, American women spend $60 billion a year on cosmetics and beauty products.

The ladies of The Talk aren’t going permanently makeup-free, but it does have some women thinking about their real faces, without makeup.

“It’s affirming the way I am is the way I should be,” said one woman, “I don’t have to change me to be someone else.”

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