What These Famous Chefs Look Like Without Makeup

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It doesn't matter if you're a movie star, a chef, or a personal trainer, if your choice of profession includes the moniker "celebrity" in its title, there's an expectation of constantly-coiffed perfection. As such, chefs who spend time much of their time in front of the camera are usually dolled up with thick makeup, fake eyelashes, and perfectly curled hair — a feat considering the challenge of maintaining perfect makeup and hair when you're spending so much time standing in front of steaming hot stoves. 

But in the age of social media, #nomakeup hashtags, and government-forced home quarantine, celebrities of all kinds — including TV's most popular chefs — are taking to Instagram and Facebook to share their best in-kitchen tips completely makeup-free. While you might be surprised how unrecognizable some of your favorite celebrity chefs are sans makeup, it's actually refreshing to realize how many of them embrace a natural look, both on and off camera. 

Rachael Ray

With or without makeup, Rachael Ray's high cheekbones and pixie-like chin make it hard to believe she's over 50 years old — her features are clearly timeless. But when the host of the syndicated Rachael Ray talk show and author of more than 25 cookbooks ditched the makeup and turned online to offer #stayhome cooking encouragement on Facebook during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine, it became apparent she's been successfully hiding a few more lines and wrinkles with the help of her professional makeup artist. 

In her personal videos, her hair isn't quite as well curled and her eyes don't pop with smokey eyeshadow and well-placed highlighters. Even her lips fail to shine the same way without a sheen of nude lip gloss. While Rachael Ray has always embraced a "natural" approach to makeup, seeing her makeup-free is definitely a change from her regular look. Not like it matters, she's clearly beautiful with makeup or without. 

Cat Cora

Cat Cora has hosted, co-hosted, and served as a guest judge for some of TV's most popular cooking and food shows including Iron Chef America and My Kitchen Rules. Obviously, with that much air time, she's accustomed to professionally-done makeup and hair, generally preferring a low-key, natural approach with loose curls and just enough makeup to look "done." But when she's cooking at home and sharing her masterpieces on her Instagram page, she's more likely to be makeup-free than all dolled up. Even her clothing choices are refreshingly casual, preferring hoodies and sweats with her hair pulled back in a low ponytail. 

It makes sense, too — with six sons and a wife vying for her attention in the house, who would have time to put on makeup? And the thing is, her strong jaw and high cheekbones make her recognizable no matter where she is or how she's dressed, but when she's makeup-free, she looks like just about any soccer mom on the block. 

Lidia Bastianich

Lidia Bastianich, the popular Italian-American chef who has hosted cooking specials and her own TV show, Lidia's Kitchen, on public television since 2013, could best be described as a welcoming mom-type. While she's not one to don gobs of trendy makeup, her look is always done, with some well-placed blush and highlighter, subtle eyeshadow and a slick of lipstick. Classy jewelry helps pull everything together, making her look perfect for TV, a book-signing, or a PTA meeting. 

Her warmth and Italian-inspired American fare make her appealing to the masses, so it really doesn't matter if she's wearing makeup or not. That said, when she leaves the makeup at home, she definitely looks different, and almost unrecognizable. She's much more likely to be able to go undercover — her celebrity overlooked as she goes about her business with family and friends. It really is amazing how much makeup can change someone's appearance!

Anne Burrell

Chef Anne Burrell, who served as a sous chef on the Food Network's Iron Chef America and as a co-host for the network's Worst Cooks in America, is known for her shock of spiky, bleach-blonde hair and her bold makeup choices, including well-defined eyeliner and bright, bold lipstick. But like many chefs, when she's at home, she favors an all-natural look she's not afraid to share on her social media pages. And like pretty much everyone forced to stay home during the 2020 quarantine, she seemed to embrace going au-naturale without a hint of foundation or coverup to help hide a few lines and wrinkles (you know, those totally normal things that come with life and age!). 

And really, Burrell can get away without using makeup. Her look is eye-catching and her strong features are unmistakeable — Burrell looks like Burrell no matter how much "help" she seeks from cosmetics. 

Ina Garten

Ina Garten has served as host of one of the Food Network's most popular cooking shows, Barefoot Contessa, since 2002, making her easily one of the most recognizable faces in the world of celebrity chefs. Although really, this woman has an "everyday woman" face — appealing to aspiring home chefs everywhere — which could make it easy for her to blend in at a grocery store if you didn't already know who she was. 

This may be one of the reasons why a fresh, makeup-free face is an unusual choice for Garten — it makes her even less recognizable — and she usually opts to "go glam" for her shows and social media posts. Of course, her style of "glam" is subtle, mostly favoring blush and eyeliner, and adding color to her lips with a matte lipstick. But her makeup-free smile is every bit as welcoming as her more "pulled together" looks. 

Sara Moulton

Maybe it's because Sara Moulton's on-camera roles began in 1997 (she worked as food editor for Good Morning America and hosted several Food Network shows in the network's early years) when television lacked the wrinkle-enhancing addition of high-definition cameras, but Moulton has always favored a more natural, low-key makeup look. 

She might play up her eyebrows a little more for the camera, and certainly, she applies foundation and highlighter to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but all-in-all, her makeup-free appearance is almost identical to her made-up look. Sure, there's that clear difference in her cheekbone highlights and blush with a full face of makeup, but otherwise, her makeup-free face is practically the same. Either way, the warm and fun attitude she's cultivated and shared with audiences for decades always shines through. And it's always refreshing to see women of all ages embrace their own appearance without getting done up. Being a celebrity chef doesn't have to mean looking like a Kardashian. 

Sandra Lee

Sandra Lee is almost always well put-together with a full face of makeup and perfectly-coiffed hair. Considering her life in the spotlight, including her role as host of the Emmy Award-winning TV-series Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee and her 8-years as First Lady of New York (she was Andrew Cuomo's long-term partner until they separated in 2019), it makes sense that she would want to look pristine whether on-camera or off. But, after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, she took to posting a few more candid shots of her makeup-free lifestyle on her social media pages, especially when recounting her time during cancer treatment. And who could possibly blame a cancer patient for not having the energy or desire to spend time putting on makeup? 

Lee often uses these "throwback" posts to advocate for cancer patients and raise money for breast cancer research. While she certainly looks different without makeup, she's a natural beauty either way (and cancer-free since 2015!).

Ingrid Hoffmann

It doesn't matter if Columbian-American celebrity chef, Ingrid Hoffman, is wearing makeup or not — her natural beauty belies the fact that she was born in 1965, putting her well into her 50s. But true to her background in modeling and acting, the host of Simply Delicioso is almost never photographed out without makeup. Her normal appearance is "full face" with foundation, highlighter, blush, eyeshadow, mascara, and, of course, on-trend lipstick. To top it all off, her hair is always perfectly done with soft waves framing her face. 

The exception? Apparently, scuba diving, an experience she chronicled on Instagram in 2018 — pretty much the only makeup-free picture she's every shared to her social media pages. To be fair, waterproof eye makeup is kind of the worst — going without was clearly the better option. And really, her perfect eyebrows and dark eyelashes look great with or without makeup. She should consider going au-naturale more often. 

Rachel Khoo

If you haven't watched Netflix's Zumbo's Just Desserts, which features Chef Rachel Khoo as co-host, it's time to add it to your watch list. Khoo's cute dresses, sassy red lips, and perfectly curled hair are all important parts of her adorable on-air personality. But when Khoo hits up social media, she often tones down her makeup or nixes it all together. It's clear that having a fresh face is as normal for her as going full-glam. 

The most annoying part? She's clearly a natural beauty either way, with perfect skin and well-defined eyebrows. If anything, she looks almost teenage-like, which is shocking when you realize she was born in 1980 and turns 40 in 2020. Chances are she uses makeup not to hide lines and wrinkles, but to try to harness a more "mature" appearance. A little extra brow liner, blush, and ruby red lips do the trick, making her look closer to her real age. 

Carla Hall

If you know Carla Hall, you probably know her as co-host of the food-centered talk show, The Chew, a gig she landed after gaining popularity with viewers as a contestant on the 5th and 8th seasons of Bravo's Top Chef. She's loved for her big personality and easy laugh (and her delicious recipes), but her big hair, bold lips, and wild glasses are all a part of her well-cultivated look — something she takes seriously. 

While it's not unusual for Hall to tone down her makeup when posting to social media, it is a bit unusual for her to go completely makeup-free. She tends to prefer a little bit of eye makeup, and maybe some lip gloss or nude lipstick when she's sharing content with her fans. But when Hall decides to nix the makeup completely, it's obvious she's still the same Hall — beautiful and glowing from the inside-out. 

Gwyneth Paltrow

Okay, so Gwyneth Paltrow may not be the first person you think of when you hear "celebrity chef," but she's certainly a celebrity-turned-chef who has written two best-selling cookbooks, The Clean Plate and It's All Good. She's also the kind of ageless beauty who is every bit as likely to post makeup-free selfies to her Instagram as she is to post glammed-up shots. 

So what's Paltrow's secret to such flawless skin? Maybe it's her genetics, maybe it's because she has the expendable income available to pay for the best facial products, or maybe it has something to do with the way she cooks and eats. Maybe it's a little bit of all three. No matter the cause, she's clearly able to pull off the makeup-free look in style. And really, given her celebrity, it's refreshing to her aging comfortably in her own skin. She has a few wrinkles around her eyes and her makeup-free eyebrows don't have the same definition as when she's using brow liner, but all-in-all she looks as confident and happy without makeup as she does with it. 

Chrissy Tiegen

John Legend hit the jackpot when Chrissy Tiegen agreed to marry him. Sure, he's a celebrity in his own right, but Tiegen is a supermodel, TV personality, and best-selling cookbook author of the titles Cravings and Cravings: Hungry for More. And clearly, with or without makeup, the model of Thai-descent is a bombshell. You don't need lipgloss, highlighter, and dark, smoky cat-eyes to turn heads if you have the cheekbones and perfect skin of Teigen. And like Gwenyth Paltrow, part of what makes Tiegen so popular is she truly loves to share her day-to-day life with her followers and fans on social media. This includes lots of makeup-free photos of her with her kids in the swimming pool, at the beach, and while hanging out with friends. 

It's almost hard to imagine why such a natural beauty takes the time to apply makeup at all when she can obviously pull off the makeup-free look so well. 

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon, like Gwyneth Paltrow and Chrissy Tiegen, was a celebrity in her own right before penning her Southern lifestyle cookbook, Whiskey in a Teacup, in 2018. And true to her Southern roots, she is no stranger to the makeup-free, girl-next-door look. While most people are used to seeing Witherspoon all glammed up on the red carpet, usually opting for a subtle smoky eye, perfect highlighter on her cheekbones, and a well-chosen lipstick, a quick scroll through her Instagram account proves that the mom of three prefers to keep things low-key when she's not in front of the cameras. 

And who could blame her? There's no need to spend lots of time getting glammed up when you're in your 40s and still look as fresh-faced as a college student without makeup. Plus, Witherspoon's trademark smile shines just as bright whether she's wearing lipstick or not, and her pixie-like features don't need extra highlighter to be beautiful.