Hi all! When trying to decide what to concoct up next for our amazing fashion blog, I (Savannah) felt compelled to write about a subject that is terribly misunderstood in several ways when it comes to fashion. I have tried to put it in a short, simple way which, I won’t lie, has been a major challenge because there is just so much to cover! Writing this and digging deep has really helped me understand more, and I hope that it will shed some light on the subject for you as well! This mysterious subject is… (drumroll please) … makeup!
Some girls are crazy about makeup, some are totally against it, and some fall into the category that I am in where we would really rather not think about it and could care less! All these categories are okay!! Sometimes, I find myself asking, “Does God even care about something so small and insignificant like makeup?” I am sure, though, that if makeup is what you are thinking and starting to car about, God definitely cares, too. He cares because you do!
In our house, when you turn thirteen, you can start to freely wear makeup whenever you want. To a young dreamy girl, especially when your older sister started to wear makeup and look so ‘polished’, I literally counted down the days until my own thirteenth birthday! (three thousand and two… three thousand and one…) Yet three years later, when the big day came and my mom asked me if I wanted to start wearing makeup, I had absolutely no interest at all! For so long I felt like I needed it, but when it actually came down to wearing makeup my enthusiasm totally dimmed. I was surprised and downright confused to discover makeup has absolutely no magic at all!
I think, though, for us to decided on our own what we believe about something, we should search for the whole picture and travel to its roots. Where did makeup first come from? What was its use? Who were the users? If you’re anything like me, the results might surprise you!!!
Cosmetics are quite ancient and can be traced all the way back to 3500 BC, where the first trace of makeup use was recorded in ancient Egyptian tombs. Egyptians used powders to whiten the skin: kohl to darken the eyelids, eyelashes, and eyebrows; and rouge for the cheeks. The Assyrians, around the same time, resorted to black dye for eyebrows and hair: whereas the Persians used henna , which produced an orange-red color, a style that existed around 1900 BC. Gold dust, gold thread, and scented yellow starch were also sometimes used in the hair for festive occasions.
What about the wearer? Wellllll… The first women to wear makeup were prostitutes. Changing ones appearance by facial paint is a custom ancient prostitutes have dictated to the modern age. Sadly cosmetics were pretty much just used by harlots to teach men to break the Seventh Commandment. Back then, makeup, along with the beginning of revealing clothing, demonstrated a rebellious nature and the departure from modesty and virtue. Painting the face was accepted as evidence that a woman had loose morals. So, generally only bad women wore makeup.
All throughout ancient history, women only applied makeup to change their appearance, however, it wasn’t until later during the early 1800s in Imperial Rome that women started using cosmetics to highlight their beauty. It was then that makeup took on a new role. If a woman wore makeup it was an indicator that she was high in society, healthy, virtuous, youthful, and innocent. Women were encouraged to use cosmetics in a way that underscored rather than cover their natural beauty. So, all throughout history makeup has signified many different things.
It is probably wise to tell you that in the past many religious groups have outlawed its use because of what makeup first stood for. Undoubtedly, we should look at what the Bible has to say about it!
The Bible mentions makeup in three places:
“What are you doing, you devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why highlight your eyes with makeup? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they want to kill you.”
2 Kings 9:30
“Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair and looked out her window.”
“They even sent messengers to men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, applied eye makeup and put on your jewelry.”
Things don’t look very positive do they? Even if you aren’t familiar with the other two verses, most people do know Jezebel, one of the worst girls of the Bible. Jezebel was full of pride, and in this verse she was going to die like the great queen she believed herself to be. Her makeup gave her a sense of deceitful dignity.
All these verses imply that these women were striving to hide their real appearances. They were lying to themselves by hiding under their pasted on mask. Now days, girls do the same ‘hiding under’ that protective artsy makeup mask! We don’t just enhance our personal appearance; we try to change it! Now don’t get me wrong, I love art, and painting is amazing, but painting your face is hiding the real you! You are taking the unique, beautiful you and twisting it to fit Hollywood and fashion’s definition of beautiful!
Girls! Your face is not your masterpiece; it’s God’s! Why do we try to hide the natural, real beauty of God’s masterpiece? He is, literally, the KING of beauty! ♥♥
Now you’ve heard many ugly truths and traps that makeup can bring (traps that we should avoid). So you can definitely see what God is telling women not to do… I am now going to start on the positive! (*sigh of relief*) And I’ll try to touch on some of the reasons and motivations that girls should have if they have decided they are going to wear makeup…
I absolutely cannot talk about makeup without mentioning Esther, a pure and beautiful woman! Esther had multiple beauty treatments and, though the Bible doesn’t actually mention it, I’m sure she wore a great deal of makeup in the King’s harem and later as a queen!! Yet Esther’s makeup wasn’t for deceit, and her beauty lay inside her as she remained close to the Lord throughout all her trials!
One of my favorite and one of the best verses in deciphering how God thinks, has been:
1 Peter 3:2-5 “…When they see the purity and reverence of your lives. Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves.”
First order of business… does this verse mean that godly young women are to try as hard as they possibly can to be out of style and unattractive? UH….NO! It is the total opposite! God created everything beautiful! In fact, He absolutely DELIGHTS in beauty! All we need to prove this fact is to consider the beauty He created all around us: the majesty of a waterfall, a unique smiling flower, an endless pure blue sky, to a single drop of dew on a leaf. Every time you stop to take in one of these breathtaking scenes displayed all over God’s creation, you can’t help but be completely convinced that He delights in beauty! And think of this, that same Creator that created you beautiful and called you VERY good! How could there ever be a doubt in your mind?
But here is my main point: We are created in the image of our Creator and each one of us has this proclivity to make things beautiful!
That means, when we decorate our homes, or plant a lovely flower garden, or seek to add some form of beauty to our surroundings, even when we attempt to enhance our personal appearance (makeup)- we are actually imitating and delighting in the works of our great Creator!
God says in this verse that our beauty shouldn’t lie in our outward adornment! That is the most important thing every girl should understand! Your beauty should lie inside of you, in that gentle and quiet spirit, and should shine outward, revealing to everyone where you have put your trust!
Doesn’t the importance of makeup and outward adornment seem to pale in comparison to this? Human beings love beauty; and highlighting God’s beautiful masterpiece isn’t bad! That isn’t where the real beauty is, though, and when you know that is there really any right or wrong answer to the question “Should I wear makeup?”
I sincerely hope this blog post has helped answer some of your questions and cleared up some of the confusion you might be feeling!
Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
Makeup? Or no makeup?