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Compass B e au t y BARE BEAUTY A measured refutation of the contentious conviction that a woman is only beautiful when encrusted in cosmetics, the look du jour for this season? Bold and bare. TEXT BY HUGH MARCHAND PHOTOS BY METROVELVET.COM/JC PARRA For decades — nay, centuries — the beloved beauty industry has declaimed dictatorially just what beautiful is. And although fads may metamorphose and foci may fade, one reality can’t be argued: Beauty takes work. It takes scaffolding. It’s an expedient of effort similar to the raising of basilicas or the shaving of stone sculptures. But where in our industry is the beauty of towering redwoods? Of icy fjords? Where’s our beauty in the raw? Responding gainfully in the last couple of years, more and more celebrity countenances are relying on a clean-cut style relevant, refreshing and, in a neat coup-de-grace of common-sense cosmetic policy, honest. Of particular Noten? The signature stark models of Designer Dries Van Noten are an annual reminder that cosmetics don’t incept beauty; they enhance it. As heartened as we may by this change in direction, it would be a lie to say some questions didn’t niggle. Is this aloof aesthetic truly the liberating look it’s proclaimed to be? Will natural looks subsume and supplant potentially damaging standards of what society stratifies as beautiful? Or is this just another modish makeup mode destined to go the way of the dodo? Only time will tell. 32