Thoughts on Makeup

LipstickI’ve never liked makeup. I don’t use it myself, of course, but I mean that I don’t like it when girls use it. It’s always been something that didn’t sit well with me. Part of this is just my personal preference, but part of it is a valid concern for wisdom in the church. Before I get into my reasons for not liking makeup, let me first say this. I do not believe that the use of makeup is sinful or wrong in any way. I don’t like it, but I would never disrespect a girl or think of her as less of a Christian for using it. Far from it. Some of the most amazingly Christ-focused girls I know of use makeup. These are just my thoughts and ideas regarding a topic that we rarely discuss nowadays.

I Want to See Your Face

When I talk to a girl (or anyone), I want to see her face. I want to talk to the real her. I don’t want to have to work around fake attitudes or emotions. I want to know what she really thinks. I want to know what she’s really struggling with. I want to know what her heart truly beats for. I want to be “real” with her, because I believe it is honest and truthful to do so. I do not enjoy trying to have a meaningful conversation with someone who’s too scared to show herself, whether she’s hiding behind mascara or false happiness.

Part of my desire to see a girl for who she really is results in a personal desire that she wouldn’t feel the need to use makeup. Makeup seems to tell me one thing: Fake. It’s essentially a product designed to hide people’s true faces and give the public something better to look at. But I don’t know what could be “better” or more beautiful than a girl who loves the body God gave her. When I look at a girl’s face, I truly and honestly don’t care how ugly she is; I would much rather love the real them than their public self. And yes, I mean that. I’m actually kind of turned off by makeup, and not because I’m thinking, “Oh, they must be insecure to be wearing makeup! I’m going to deny that they’re pretty.” That isn’t it at all. I’m just attracted to people who offer themselves for who they are, not what they would like the world to see them as. A girl’s face is, after all, one of the most intricate and beautifully designed ways of expressing herself to others. It’s a window to her soul, a medium that Christ can use effectively for His glory. Let us never have it in our hearts that this gift God gave us is insufficient in the way that He gave it.

We should not ignore the fact that makeup can offer a lot of temptation, especially to younger girls. It can become something that makes us prideful in our beauty. It can make us feel like we are less valuable of a person without it. It can make us fear man and try to please others in how we look.

I really appreciate a girl who doesn’t feel the need to impress people. I really appreciate a girl who is convicted that giving all the glory to God in all that He has given her is important. So important, in fact, that giving herself opportunity (no matter how small) for the flesh and pride isn’t worth it. I really appreciate a girl who doesn’t have the urge to do what everyone else is doing just because it is considered “normal” at her age. I am greatly encouraged by those who do not wear makeup for these reasons. They are not missing out on anything. They are guarding their souls, which are more valuable than all that this world has to offer.

Pride Goes Both Ways

On the other hand, there are plenty of wrong reasons for a girl to not wear makeup, the most prominent one being pride and a vain striving after good works as a means of gaining favor with God. This is just as deadly as the temptation that using makeup offers, so we must be careful to be wise in this matter. Let us only ever change our ways from a heart that desperately desires to see God’s name lifted higher, and never to improve our reputation as a “good person” or to pat ourselves on the back in self-pity when others say we are sacrificing for God.

And then there are the girls who aren’t tempted to pride or the fear of man when they use makeup. They just like to look beautiful for people, the same way they choose to wear colorful skirts instead of dirty jeans. That’s great. Girls please their King by upholding His creation of femininity, and part of that can be seen manifested in the way they dress and look. This is a great reason to use makeup for the glory of God as long as we are doing this for the right reasons.

My Definition of Beautiful

As is clear from what I’ve written thus far, I don’t prefer that girls use makeup. But as it turns out, that’s not the real issue here. This isn’t about makeup. This is about the heart. It ultimately doesn’t matter if you use makeup or if you don’t. What matters is that you seek to honor the Lord God in all that you do. Your goal should not be to satisfy those around you in how you look. It should be to satisfy God, whatever that looks like. Look inside your heart, not your mirror. What are your motives? Ask God to reveal any sin you may be ignoring, and to convict you of whatever it may be that you aren’t fully surrendering to Him. Then lay it at His feet, acknowledging that He is Lord, and sin no more. Continue to rejoice in what He has done for you on the Cross, and serve Him with all that He has given you. That’s my definition of a truly beautiful girl, regardless of whether or not she wears lipstick.

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'” – Galatians 5:13-14

“Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” – 1 Peter 3:3-4

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

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9 thoughts on “Thoughts on Makeup

  1. Hannah Best
    April 20, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I don’t have time for a long comment now, but I just wanted to say that I think it’s interesting you put up a post about makeup on the very same Sunday I try eye makeup for the first time. 😛

    …Other than that, it was a great post!

    1. April 20, 2014 at 9:43 pm

      Oops. 🙂 Well, thanks for the positive feedback!

  2. Abby Rider
    April 20, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Nicely put, i personably never liked makeup because it truly is just made up. It’s a mask hiding Gods true creation. However, it sometimes is fun to put on makeup and pretend to be someone I am not, it just reminds me that God made me beautiful just the way I am. I also find it to be a big waist of money.

  3. Andrew Thompson
    April 20, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Excellent post! It is interesting how most guys I’ve known also prefer no makeup, even though it’s worn to “look good” (Not to say nobody likes it). I do agree that it’s a matter of motive, as opposed to it being inherently evil to use. Same with the whole “jeans vs. skirts” debate. I believe it should be a debate on the motivation to wear something (which stems off into modesty).
    Oh, and by the way ladies, I’ve heard a few “rumors” about what is put into most makeup nowadays. I havnt done the research myself, but it might be good to look it up before your next makeup session, for healths sake.

  4. Grace Mieczkowski
    April 23, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Thank you so much for writing your thoughts on this topic, Luke! I appreciate both the practical side of your position (i.e. you want to be talking to the real person), as well as the conclusion (the heart motive is preeminent). I’ve also specifically observed in my own life that when that heart motive is right, there are certain lengths that one simply does not go to in areas of makeup/dress/hair/etc. I recently re-read an article on this topic that is very helpful: http://www.girlsgonewise.com/what-not-to-wear/ Sometimes when living by the letter of the law rather than the spirit, I think we tend to excuse things that end up being excessive or immodest, just because it “doesn’t violate” the specific standard that has been set.

  5. Grace Johnson
    June 1, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    This is very interesting. It totally answers a few questions I’ve been having about makeup, worldly standards about good looks, and what some Christian people think about true beauty. I’ve never worn makeup very much and when I do, it’s never a lot. I want to be the way God intended me to be and just be beautiful in His eyes. And besides, I get comments about how I look even if I’m not wearing makeup and that’s good enough for me. Thanks, Luke!

  6. Kayla Turner
    November 5, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    Hey Luke! We met at work in the Gallery the other day, and you gave me your card. This was the first article I read on your blog, and I just have to say that I really appreciate it. Though I do use make up fairly often, it is encouraging to find someone who recognizes that beauty is not on the exterior but instead in the interior. I think you are absolutely right. We should be confident in the fact that we, being created by the great Creator, are masterpieces. No girl wants to stay hidden behind a mask forever. It is sad that we should ever have to feel that way. No matter what the world tells us, it is God that gives us beauty. As Christians, we can offer support and encourage one another to remember this. Your writing does just that, so thanks!

    ~ Kayla

    1. November 8, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      Thank you for your thoughts, Kayla! I appreciate it greatly.

  7. November 8, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Luke,

    This is quite an article. I think I agree with you as well, though I do have some thoughts that might give you a new point of view! 🙂

    So personally I wear makeup. I try not to do it heavy and caked, but I do wear it almost daily. There are seasons though that I will not wears it for weeks. I think that the good ole quote “If a barn needs paint, paint it” really relates to this subject. If a girl has an achene problem, then she would feel the urge to cover it up to make her face more presentable. Or maybe she is a toe head, and her eye lashes are so light, she might feel the urge to put on mascara. I think that by doing this, with pure motives, would be fine and God honoring.

    The part in your article that you mentioned that makeup is kind of a fake you. Kind of like an extension? I have spoken on this matter countless of times, or have been challenged with this makeup debate, and have thought this every time: Then I would need to stop putting product in my hair because it changes the way God made it (frizzy to calmed), I would then need to stop curling or straightening my hair, I would then need to stop shaving because that is taking away from what God gave me, I would then need to stop painting my nails because it is not showing my real nails, I would then need to stop wearing perfume because that is a fake smell of me…..

    Now I am not disagreeing with you, nor do I want to debate or cause tension. I simply wanted to give you something to chew on. Though I must say, I do honestly agree with 99.9% of your article and appreciated your opinion! 🙂

    Your Sister In Christ,
    Shamber

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