Body Positive Challenge #1: My face without make-up.

Nicky Champ, without make-up.






I have a love/hate relationship with make-up; always have.

One of my first experiences with makeup, besides dipping my chubby fingers into my mother’s apricot and lilac Revlon eyeshadow duo at age five, was lending a hand in the makeup room for my Year 9 school play.

And when I say ‘make-up room’ I mean a dingy backstage area with four ‘make-up assistants’ sharing the one palette of stage make-up that could’ve been anywhere from two to 10 years old.

Strangely enough it didn’t turn me off: I’d been witness to the transformative power of make-up and I was hooked.

Not surprisingly, my first gig out of high school was as a make-up artist. I’d trained for six months and worked across catwalk, film and stage and photography. For years I relished the opportunity to create characters and transform faces. Seeing women light up at the ‘reveal’ part of the process was one of the most satisfying parts of the job.

A quick note: This post is part of Mamamia’s Body Positive Project, which we’re bringing to you in partnership with Fernwood Fitness. This post has been written 100% in the author’s own words.

I never wore make-up to work, I had the benefit of youth and good skin genetics on my side and as I’d often have to be on set pre-dawn the last thing I wanted to do was put the stuff on my face. The fact that I also started to call it ‘stuff‘ was an indication the infatuation was over.

Fast forward a decade and one baby later, I’m more in love than ever.

What the contents of Nicky’s handbag looks like.

I’ve fallen so hard I’ve publicly declared my love for a concealer over social media, I wear it on a daily basis, it clutters my handbag and in my spare time I seek it out, lingering at make-up counters in department stores and pharmacies wanting more.

I’m trying to remember when exactly it was that I stopped being able to leave the house without a lick of make-up on.

I never wanted to be the woman who was that person. In my day job I obviously love finding out about and testing out the latest products and have to present myself well but it’s really since I became a mother that I have become infatuated with make-up again.


Completely unawares, I’d fallen into the trap of trying to present a perfect, always together image.

It began in the maternity ward, my daughter was born prematurely and was placed in the special care nursery and to hide how terrified I was, I began using make-up to present a front.

If I looked the part, I’d hoped feeling the part would soon come after. For awhile it worked but then the sleepless nights and exhaustion of motherhood started settling in on my face. I had under eye bags to rival Jack Nicholson’s and I’d notice new crows feet and lines every time I managed to quickly smear some eye cream on.

The thought of taking a makeup free selfie absolutely terrified me and that’s when I knew I had to change the way I used make-up and work on my self esteem and start looking after my own health more.

So here’s my face in all it’s make-up free glory, straight after waking up at it’s most unflattering (I’m also wearing a onesie) but don’t think that I didn’t take 18 shots to find a flattering angle, consider cheating the #nofilter tag or desperately want to cover up that gigantic pimple that popped up overnight.

I did but you know, baby steps.

Body Positive Challenge #1: Simply snap a photo of your mug (sans make up) and upload it to the social media platform of your choosing (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc) with the hashtag #mmbodypositive

Alternatively you can email your photo to us on or you can upload the photo directly in the comments section. We will then collate the images and bring you an amazing gallery of beautiful faces, as they were meant to be.

You can learn more about the Body Positive Project and read about the other upcoming challenges here.


For nearly 25 years Fernwood has been helping women feel fit and fabulous through pioneering health and fitness programs and expert advice.

With 70 clubs Australia-wide, Fernwood Fitness are modern full-service fitness clubs with a huge range of group exercise classes, top of the line equipment and cardio gear, passionate personal trainers and food coaches, and a friendly motivating environment.

All of our clubs offer FREE breakfast and toiletries which adds to the unique Fernwood exercise environment.

Contact us today to experience the Fernwood difference.