I’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