Monday, April 18, 2011

Makeup The Reversal

A little over three years ago I declared myself makeup free, and glad to be there.

I never wore a whole lot of makeup anyway, but I'd become convinced that 'good Christian women' didn't wear makeup of flashy clothes, etc. Makeup is really sort of a non-issue in the Bible. There's something like three passages that mention it at all, and in the context it's not saying yea or nay, but just mentioning it as in: she put on some eyeliner. Only Biblically.

If it's important for you to know what passages speak of makeup, they're: 2 Kings 9:30, Jeremiah 4:30, and Ezekiel 23:40. Those didn't really enter into any argument that I saw, however. The verse that I saw used, was 1 Timothy 2:9-10: Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.

You'll notice that there's no mention of makeup in that passage. So why is it used? It's more of an extrapolation, an extension of the idea contained within the text. The passage, as I understand it, is basically saying, don't bling yourself out.
However, some people take it farther (and I was one of them) and wear very plain, dark clothes. No jewelry, no makeup, don't do anything fancy with their hair, etc.

I think, now, though, that it's not really about whether or not you wear jewelry. Aesthetically, there's such a thing as too much jewelry, too much makeup and then it becomes tacky and *waggles hand* ugly. But really, I think the passage is more about the importance of such things. As a Christian woman, it's not the shiny things that you wear that make you precious or good in God's eyes. It's the good works that you do, the hungry that you feed, the poor that you clothe. That's the 'jewels' you wear for God. The other stuff, wear as suits your tastes, and what is tasteful. I don't think God cares either way. Though He may cringe at some of the things we wear just because they're in such poor taste. :)

So that's my new rule of thumb. It's allowable, as long as it's tasteful, not tacky.

Which is a long way of saying, I'm wearing makeup and jewelry again.


  1. I've come to really love the saying, "God loves beauty". So beauty in all its forms is to be treasured, not avoided. Beauty in character definitely should come first, but I can't imagine God created eyes like ours to only see drab colors. I've gone back and forth between wearing makeup and not, dying my hair regularly to not even cutting it for years on end. I actually met my boyfriend during a period of abstaining from makeup! I now try to follow a middle road, because for me its no longer about hiding, its about enhancing what I got. Makeup only looks good if you like your face without it. But putting in that effort to doll myself up a little reminds me to feel like I'm worth the effort, you know?

  2. Another interesting biblical reference is the name of Job's daughter in the last chapter. Keren ha'puh means "a horn of eye paint." The containers used to store kohl at that time were shaped like small horns. A stick was used to apply the makeup.

  3. Yes, that's how I always thought re: that passage from the NT. It's just a matter that beauty is really from within. We've all met people with beautiful faces that are really ugly,mean-spirited and so forth. I've never taken this to mean we can't braid our hair or wear gold.

    Enjoyed the post! Annnnd I think you need to show us a picture of you with your tastefully-applied makeup.:)

  4. I love to wear a touch of make up. and love good earrings. a little colour next to your face, as in a necklace can really lift your skin and your outfit.

  5. Sophia,

    I agree. We're made to see and appreciate beauty, so why would God want us to limit our expression of it?

  6. Stacy,

    Huh. I did not know that. Interesting. Thanks!

  7. Susanne,

    Ah, but I was going through a very literal phase. :P

  8. Slice,

    Exactly. A little makeup, a little jewelry goes a long way.

  9. literalist!! :-D


  10. I KNOW! I'm so ashamed of myself! *weeps* But I know better now. :D

  11. Awww :)

    I agree with the other commenteres that God loves beauty. Any and all kind of beauty. And yes, beauty from the inside and through character is definitely most important, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to look nice. And I find it makes me feel better about myself too when I put in a bit of effort.

  12. God gave us the capacity for art, and makeup is a subtle form of art. :)


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