As a professional makeup artist, I’ve had plenty of time to question the moral correctness of makeup. A YouTube tutorial ends with a completely different person describing their technique after an hour-long application. Some commentators have described these transformations as “false advertising,” insinuating that makeup artists are producing a distorted image of themselves. Nikki Tutorials, a well known beauty vlogger, started an Instagram campaign known as ‘The Power of Makeup’; which shows makeup artists and makeup fanatics alike baring their half made-up faces in an effort to empower women. The partly naked face says they are confident before and after the cosmetic metamorphosis. However, when most women crack open mascara in their everyday lives, do we believe Psalm 139:14 that we are “fearfully and wonderfully made?”

To delve into this moral dilemma on the value we place on beauty, I sought the wisdom of the Bible. The lie of any adornment is that we aren’t made intentionally without it. Perpetuating an impossible beauty standard creates a society unable to appreciate the differences that make us all beautiful. Makeup is a valid and respected medium for self-expression. Yet, how can the pursuit of facial uniformity be artistic? Some of the greatest painters of our time are recognized for their honesty and fearlessness in depicting everyday life. Rockwell, Goya, and Rembrandt are a few of the artists that allowed us to see beauty in the seemingly ordinary. Recognizing the allure of what God has already made beautiful invites us to enjoy His intention in making it. Everything that makes you different was made on purpose to create a perfectly wonderful you.

But makeup is fun. The reason to question wearing makeup is to ask our intention. What does it mean to count on idealized beauty to give us value? The deceit of all trends in makeup, hair, jewelry and clothes is that they make you beautiful. Although these embellishments are allowed in the eyes of God, nothing should cloud our reverence for what He has made us to be. Paul spoke to the church of Corinth about moderation, saying “All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) Striving for the worldly ideal of beauty may undermine this call for restraint.

In 1 Peter 3:3 we read “Do not let your adorning be external,” which references styling your hair as well as the wearing of jewelry and fine clothes. This verse can also be used to describe any other adornment such as makeup. Peter was speaking to women about avoiding the beautification practices of the Egyptian women, who spent hours perfecting their appearance instead of their hearts. The current trend on social media is contouring, a process in which lighter and darker foundation shades are used to exaggerate the cheekbones and other high points of the face to produce a more chiseled structure. This has become the norm for many women, as they make it part of their daily beauty regimen and share the results on social media. The naturally unachievable nature of this practice begs the question “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’” (Romans 9:20)

Our confidence should come from the fact that God made us deliberately,  in His own image” (Genesis 1:27), with our talents and shortcomings, for His kingdom. As women who want to be pleasing to God, our greatest call is to love all of God’s creations with their faults; including our own. Creating an image for the world that is unrecognizable from His blueprint for us proves we didn’t trust Him to make us correctly. “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) He made us more than charming and externally beautiful, which the Bible says are deceptive and fleeting, respectively. Although social media and trends decide what is beautiful to the world, your beauty, as Peter put 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.” (1 Peter 3:4)

 

The art of makeup is a beautiful thing. However, we must constantly examine our hearts to ensure our intentions for embellishments don’t define who we are, but rather help us express who we are. Do you believe that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? How can you live out that truth today?

Celeste Fondeur
Celeste Fondeur

Celeste is a Brooklyn-based makeup artist and student with a heart for sharing important truths. When she isn’t writing, you can find her doing yoga or trying new vegan recipes. She finds God in the little beauties of life, from a perfect sunset to a kind word.

See Author Profile

But wait, there's more...

Additional Resources
Curated Collections


©2015 - 2019 Grit & Virtue ®. All Rights Reserved

Pin It on Pinterest