Celebrity gossip blogs have all but eclipsed the standard supermarket tabloid these days, so it’s pretty infrequently that you will find me flipping through the pages of Us Weekly or In Touch in the checkout line. There is, however, one headline that is sure to get me to pick up a magazine (and it has nothing to do with Justin Bieber). It’s “Stars Without Makeup.” There are a few reasons why I love a good no-makeup feature. On one hand, you get to see some of your favorite celebrities looking utterly dejected as they do the walk of shame without their faces on. On the other hand, though, it’s actually wonderfully refreshing to see a real live human face—one that isn’t completely covered up under layers of foundation, eyeliner, and mascara. Stars-Without-Makeup pieces largely function to show famous people in a state of vulnerability, but there’s something fantastic about that vulnerability. It shows that the unadorned can actually be beautiful and, perhaps, true beauty lies in simplicity.
This logic certainly works for human beings, but it can be applied to furniture. Although I love a good makeover as much as anybody else (bring on the bold color and shellac!), I have to admit that oftentimes, the best thing to do with an object is to give it a make-under. Stripping off paint, refinishing, or simply cleaning can work just as much magic (if not more) than extra paint, finishes, and hardware. Underneath the layers of paint, dirt, or dust—there might just be something beautiful. To prove our point, we’ve chosen ten of our favorite Make-Unders from our Before & After archives. Check them out after the jump! —Max
1. Vanessa’s Refinished Dresser: What started out as a dingy, bulky dresser was completely transformed after a good strip and waxing. See the full Before & After here >>