Celebrities are eschewing make-up for bare-faced beauty and causing a media frenzy as a result. Jemimah Wright wonders what the consensus is for Christian women.
As Christian women, should we wear make-up? You may immediately think, don’t be ridiculous, we are not Amish*, of course a bit of make-up is alright….but bare with me.
Is it ok to follow the Kim Kardashian school of contouring (i.e. a lot), or should we be fresh faced and natural, knowing that our beauty comes from, ‘..the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.’ (1Peter 3:4).
At the end of 2023, Pamela Anderson, 56, went make-up free to the British Fashion Council’s fundraiser in London and the reaction was, predictably, huge. It is very unusual for anyone in the public eye to have their naked face ‘unmasked’; exposing the fact that they are actually ageing in front of the world. Pamela, in my opinion, looked beautiful, but very different from the fully made up version of herself.
Pamela, in my opinion, looked beautiful, but very different from the fully made up version of herself.
Pamela Anderson is by no means the first to make headlines for refusing to conform to cultural norms. Singer, Alicia Keys famously went make-up free almost a decade ago, in 2016. These days she is less strict with the ban, saying she eventually realised her journey toward feeling comfortable in her skin was “not about make-up.”
In November 2023, recently baptised singer, Lisa Maffia, originally from So Solid Crew, posted on her Instagram account next to photo of herself bare- faced: ‘Hey I’m Lisa Maffia, I’m 44, here’s me with no make-up, hair not done, grey hairs, no designer clothes, no filter! I’m laying myself bare for no other reason then to boost confidence that none of the above will EVER DEFINE YOU! What’s on the inside does.’
I know there have been ‘no make-up Monday’ movements, however most people run back to the comfort and security of a foundation and blusher in their day to day lives.
Our very own editor, Tola Doll Fisher has not worn make-up for years. She says: ‘I am pretty meticulous with my skincare regime which means my skin is in really good condition.
’The only thing I wear every day is lip balm and on special occasions I’ll whip out mascara and a carefully chosen lipstick but that’s it. The last time I wore foundation was over a year ago. I don’t mind if someone else is doing my make-up for me on a special occasion, but even then I know I’ll be counting down the hours until I can take it off. ’
There have been ‘no make-up Monday’ and unflitered selfie movements, however many people run back to the comfort and security of a foundation and blusher in their every day lives.
Personally, I would prefer not to wear make-up, mainly because I am lazy, and don’t see the point if I am working from home alone (although I do have online meetings most days and I don’t put it on for them). If I do wear make-up, it is generally tinted moisturiser, mascara, and perhaps eyeliner and I use an eye-brow pencil. I like that the tinted moisturiser evens out my skin tone, and when I wear mascara, that one ”helpful” friend doesn’t say, ‘you look tired’, so much!
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There is no judgement here if you like make-up however much or little, but I guess my question would be why? Do you believe that you won’t be pretty enough without it? Or even, good enough?
That’s a hard place to go to, as it is looking at self-worth, identity, and potentially the masks we literally and metaphorically put up against the world. If we are honest, to some extent I imagine all of us hope putting make-up on our faces will make us more attractive to others.
But deep down, surely we long to be loved for who we are inside, not for our outside appearance? And the truth is, no amount of make-up can make a difference to who you are inside.
So, my summary? Wear make-up if you like, but know you are loved and accepted by your heavenly father even if you don’t. Proverbs 31:30 says, ‘Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.’ Focus on what is inside, and I think what is outside becomes more beautiful.
*One reason the women in Amish communities don’t wear make-up is that they believe that modesty is important, both in terms of clothing and appearance. Wearing makeup would be considered vain and immodest. Another reason is that the Amish believe that simplicity is important.