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Pamela Anderson shares heartbreaking reason she’s ditching makeup

The actor called going makeup-free ‘freeing, and fun, and a little rebellious too’

Olivia Hebert
Los Angeles
Monday 21 August 2023 19:59 BST
Pamela, A Love Story trailer

Pamela Anderson revealed to Elle that she has been living a makeup-free lifestyle, but not for the reasons people may think. The Baywatch star explained to the magazine that she chose to forego her famous ‘90s glam after her makeup artist, Alexis Vogel, passed away from breast cancer in 2019.

The loss of Vogel altered Anderson’s perspective on makeup. Without Vogel, she believed there was no point in wearing it anymore.

"She was the best," Anderson said of Vogel. "And since then, I just felt, without Alexis, it’s just better for me not to wear makeup."

In recent years, makeup trends have gone maximalist, with elaborate eye looks inspired by HBO’s Euphoria reigning over social media. Anderson says her decision to eliminate makeup altogether is typical of her. "I did notice that there were all these people doing big makeup looks,” the former Playboy model noted. “And it’s just like me to go against the grain and do the opposite of what everyone’s doing.”

Anderson said that she feels her new minimalist aesthetic is "freeing, and fun, and a little rebellious too," especially when there’s so much pressure on women to look a certain way as they get older.

"I think we all start looking a little funny when we get older," the actress remarked. "And I’m kind of laughing at myself when I look at the mirror. I go, ‘Wow, this is really ... what’s happening to me?’ It’s a journey."

And what a journey it has been, in the past few years, Anderson has gone from former Hollywood pariah to an icon in her own right. Her reputation in the pop cultural consciousness has been vindicated after Gen-Z-ers began to rediscover and emulate Anderson’s iconic ‘90s style on social media. Pamcore, the aesthetic dedicated to Anderson’s style, saw a resurgence not only after Hulu’s controversial biographical series, Pam and Tommy, aired but also after the release of Anderson’s version of her story on Netflix, Pamela: A Love Story.

It’s not just young people who have taken a page from Anderson’s book. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian have revived her signature updos and affinity for leather and latex. Anderson was unaware of Pamcore until her sons explained what it was to her, admitting: "My kids told me about it because I don’t have these apps on my phone or anything. I refuse to.”

Looking back at her "wild and uninhibited” ‘90s style, Anderson isn’t quite sure what to make of it: "I don’t know if it was a defense mechanism or what. I just thought, ‘I’m going to have fun.’"

Her sons, Brandon, and Dylan Lee, have been instrumental in reclaiming her narrative after her infamous sex tape debacle with then-husband Tommy Lee all but ruined her acting career at the time. Brandon produced Pamela: A Love Story.

When asked about the documentary process by Entertainment Tonight last January, Anderson called it “very, very touching” and “emotional.”

“I mean, he’s such a great kid, and so creative. And really, just put this whole thing together.” The actress continued to gush about her eldest son’s work, "He’s really ... it was the reason it all kind of happened. This all feels so meant to be, it’s like this divine timing. It feels surreal to me, but I’m very proud of him."

Lee called it “a great honor” to help his mother reclaim her story.

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