Cosmetics – Modest or Immodest?

Kelli asked last week if I wear makeup or jewelry. I’ll write about cosmetics in this post and jewelry later this week.

The short answer is no, I don’t wear makeup of any sort except plain old Burt’s Bees lipbalm. 🙂 I also have “problem skin” due to hormonal issues so I use a clear acne medication and spf moisterizer in the mornings. That’s it! The last time I wore makeup was for a job interview last August. I still have the bag of petroleum based products and really, according the experts, I should throw it all out.

Cosmetics are a grey area for many ladies. Some wear a little, some wear full-coverage everything along with their coverings and modest clothing. For me, I think the whole kit and caboodle (lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, etc.) proclaims that I am still an object of beauty for the world’s perusal. Jeff actually doesn’t like it when I wander into the makeup aisles in Walmart! He thinks I’m gorgeous without it. Besides, for most Christian covering styles, it just looks silly, in my not so modest opinion.

I can understand having poor skin or a birthmark or some sort of flaw that you would like to cover up or “even out” your skin tone. In time, though, maybe you should give it over to God and consider giving up the time, expense and pretense of cosmetics. Its hard, I know, but the heart issues work themselves out when you want to honor Jesus.

What do you all think about cosmetics? Do you use a little, a lot, or have thrown it all away?


19 Responses to “Cosmetics – Modest or Immodest?”

  1. 1 Judy July 1, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    I’ve gone from a young women who never went out without the whole shebang to a middle-aged grandmother who wears little to none. I’m not legalistic about it, but my skin is better without it and I agree that it’s a little sillly for a women who believes in modesty to “paint” her face. The first definition of modesty in my Webster’s is “freedom from conceit or vanity.” Very occasionally, if I want to be especially attractive to my husband I’ll wear a touch of mineral powder and a bit of mascara on my pale lashes. Since I abandoned most make-up I often catch him stroking my clean cheek. 🙂


  2. 2 Dawn July 2, 2007 at 9:48 am

    Make up, what’s that? 🙂
    Yeah, I agree makeup and modesty / headcovering just don’t go together.
    I have heard so many excuses from many well to do Christian ladies.. “well I only wear modest amounts” , “I look sick without it”, “The Bible doesn’t say we can’t wear it”, and so on and so forth. For the most part I think ladies just don’t want to give it up. I can’t stand when I hear “I never leave the house without my makeup on” Ugh…gag me please! 🙂
    Why hide behind fakeness? Who are you trying to look beautiful for? Many ladies say that their husbands like them all painted up…are you sure? Have you asked him lately?
    The Bible says God beautifies the meek with salvation. You don’t need to hide yourself behind the makeup for that!
    Women are much more beautiful the natural way.

    My face is far from perfect. I have blemishes and 3 small moles. But I am not freaking out in the Cover Girl aisle of the store trying to cover myself up so no one sees me for who I really am.

    Instead of using that money supporting Cover Girl, Maybelline, and whoever else makes cosmetics, use that money to support an orphan, or a family that’s needing a lift.
    Helping others brings out the true beauty.

  3. 3 mamajuliana July 2, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    I have never been a makeup user. I have very sensitive skin-so make up was a no-no. (Except that time when I was invited to a Mary Kay party in the mid eighties…She told me it way hypoallergenic…OH! The results!) I made a dermatoligist quite happy for a while!

    The women in my family never wore makeup…and the women in my husband’s family didn’t either…(his is the Amish/PA Dutch side!) So a lady that shows up at a family function with makeup on gets noticed!

    All that aside-I feel that make up is used to ‘cover’ our true selves. God has created us. Our ‘glow’ should come from the Spirit shining through is not from a makeup compact!

  4. 4 Kelli July 3, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Ok, thanks for your opinions I did ask for them. I’m still working on the make up issue myself and it may take me a little while to totally do without. I wear a little foundation and some powder and a little blush. I don’t wear eye shadow, I’m allergic to it and mascara also irritates me. The make up I do wear is very natural looking (for Dawn!) and most people probably don’t realize I’m wearing it, but I do have Vitiligo on my entire body and espeically my face is bad. Without some cover up the loss of pigment around my eyes and mouth makes me look just like a racoon. I know God created me who I am but I feel more confident with a little bit on. I’m new to covering (just placed an order with Garlands of Grace) and I guess I’ll have to take it one day at a time. …I do need some advice. If you don’t wear makeup, what do you do if your face gets oily by midday? Especially now that summer is here, its hot in CA, like 104 supposed to be on July 4th. I don’t want to look like a grease pit, and I usually have dry skin but not in the summer, I tend to get oily. For the sisters who don’t wear any make up, how do you control shine? To me a greasy face equates poor hygiene. Kelli

  5. 5 Cathy July 3, 2007 at 6:27 am

    I’m not anti-makeup, but honestly, too lazy to wear it most of the time. I don’t like the feel of foundation either. Used to have very oily, break-out prone skin, but since switching to mainly organic foods and simply using goat milk soap for cleansing, my skin has turned surprisingly nice. When I use anything, it’s Burt’s Bees tinted moisturiser (for a special occasion, such as a ball, family portaits, etc…). For church or appointment days, I usually use only a bit of brown eyeliner and some lip gloss. Also, I do have some samples of the mineral makeup, but have rarely used that.


  6. 6 Deanna July 3, 2007 at 11:15 am

    I think I kept some of these cosmetic companies open single-handedly for a number of years (them, the hairstylist places and Pepsi Cola!) It took me a long time to come to grips with myself and realize that the make-up isn’t necessary. I went cold-turkey…for me, anyway…and stopped it all but the MaxFactor pancake foundation “just to even out my skin tones.” Now, I rarely even do that.

    Bottom line, God knew my skin tones wouldn’t be “even” to begin with, yet He went ahead and made me anyway ;o) A good bar of soap,a touch of sunblock to keep me from frying in the Mississippi sun and heat and I’m good to go.


  7. 7 Amy July 4, 2007 at 1:23 am

    I used to wear it all but now that I stay at home and dress modestly it seems wrong, occasionally when we have something special on DH will ask that I do it but it is rare.

    For Kelli, I live in the tropics and oil and shine was a really problem for me, I found. All I did was for a few weeks while my skin was adjusting I washed it with a cool fannel when I felt it was icky. Also a good mosituriser each morning and night. It was yuk for a bit but now I have less problems then when I was wearing makeup!

    Amy in Australia

  8. 8 Kelli July 4, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    Thanks Amy for the info. I went to work yesterday without makeup and believe it or not, I didn’t scare anyone. ha ha! I’ll check into moisturizer, I’m in my 40’s and should be taking care of my skin. I used to used Oil of Olay moisturizer but when they started to put in the sunscreen, I started getting breakouts. I’ll have to find a good moisturizer that doesn’t irritate my skin. In the meantime when I get hot I’ll try the cool wash cloths! Kelli

  9. 9 Judy July 5, 2007 at 7:56 am


    I agree with Amy. Once my skin adjusted to being bare I have less problems with oil. I found the same thing when I switched to a natural shampoo bar. The first couple of weeks were wild, but now my hair and scalp have adjusted to simply being clean and my hair’s better than ever. I’m a believer in keeping synthetic unprounceables off your skin and hair.

    Judy at Tabletop Homestead

  10. 10 Oxanna July 13, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    I think it, like other forms of modesty, depends on the individual and their heart. Obviously, there are times and places for different types of makeup (or lack thereof), just like clothing. However, I wear makeup. I think it’s somewhat akin to grooming, especially if one doesn’t have clear or non-greasy skin. Then, I see it as a matter of hygiene. Also, it *can* look rather unnatural, plain, and (depending on the individual & circumstances) unfeminine in today’s era. A neat, polished hairstyle and a polished face go together. Powder, moisturizer, foundation, lip balm, and lipstick in natural tones do wonders!

    God also made us with hair on our legs, but we shave. (OK, Europeans don’t always…eep!) He didn’t create us with holes in our ears (or noses), but Biblical women (Rebecca) had nose rings. 🙂 Even “natural” enhancers like a light natural oil for moisturizer, cornstarch for powder to control shine, and berry-tinted lip potions are “cosmetics”. They may be much healthier, but they’re still there to make your skin look better.

    I don’t think sultriness is particularly appropriate, but I hardly think that cosmetics are inherently immodest.

  11. 11 Kristen July 16, 2007 at 5:17 pm

    I myself do not wear make up. I think make up is not really good for you in the first place and it is kinda like telling God that you dont think that He did a good enough job and that it needs to be improved on.

    God bless

  12. 12 Sarah Joy Albrecht July 17, 2007 at 12:32 pm

    I enjoy taking off my apron (which has kept my clothes clean), spritzing with perfume, and putting on a little blush and mascara right before my husband comes home. Re-doing my ponytail (getting rid of those wispy stray pieces (growing back from the post-pregnancy hair-loss) that stick up in the humid weather) (wee-hoo!) I love it when he says, “ah.. my lovely wife”. I don’t get out much, but I make it a point to look lovely for my husband as a way to bless him. And yet, he loves me without makeup, without perfume, and with hair that hasn’t been combed since I woke up!

    Let’s face it – combing our hair, wearing clothes, wearing deodorant… these are all things that are improvements to how God made us.

  13. 13 Julie March 29, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I wear makeup every day and try to be tasteful about it. My husband prefers it, and I do want to obey his wishes.
    When I was growing up, my mother had short hair like a man’s, wore my father’s clothing, and no makeup or jewelry. My father ended up leaving her for a much younger woman who “dolled up” every day, with long hair, makeup, and pretty clothes. I do believe this had a great impact on me and my desire to be pretty for my husband, although it is certainly not my entire focus by a longshot.
    If you are lovely without makeup, or have a husband who prefers you without it, then you are blessed. If you could use some help in the feminity department, I believe makeup is okay, if done tastefully and with a heart to please God and your husband. Makeup can be a real blessing and gift to your husband, somewhat like polishing furniture until it shines! No amount of polish will beautify rotting wood, however. Make sure your real beauty radiates from the Savior dwelling inside of you!

  14. 14 Maggie July 28, 2008 at 8:52 am

    As an artist, I like playing with makeup for the fun of playing with color. I really think at the end of time, the last thing I will be worried about is eyeshadow, but perhaps that because I know my heart is right with Jesus.

  15. 15 Armee September 2, 2008 at 12:30 am

    Wow! I read alot of your responses. I am a true woman of God and I wear my makeup. I am not one of those who can/t live without it…but I wear it with all the right motives to please my husband and myself. As for the woman who say that woman like myself can’t be christian and wear makeup that trips me out b/c there are plenty of women who wear dresses down to their ankles but have a suducing spirit up to their eyeballs. If you know that you have all the right motives wear your makeup just don’t be outrageous. Do it with class and taste.
    Those of you who don’t like it ans don’t wear it please don’t judge lest you be judged.


  16. 16 Donna February 21, 2009 at 11:16 am

    A preacher once told our congregation, “Ladies, if the barn needs painting, then paint it.” His viewpoint was that some women will want to wear makeup and some women won’t. As long as the makeup is sensible and does not cause a stumbling block for others, there should be no problem.
    Personally, I do not wear much makeup, because it is expensive and because there are other things to do besides apply makeup. I do not believe that anyone under the age of sixteen should wear makeup, because the obsession with personal appearance can distract from focusing on Christian training.
    Thanks for reading this!

  17. 17 Laura March 13, 2009 at 5:48 am

    Hi all

    I’ve really enjoyed reading everyones responses and there are some interesting points.

    As for me, well, I’m 24 and I’ve worn ‘proper’ make up since I started work at 16. I’ve got quite dark circles under my eyes (they run in the family rather from than sleep deprivation) and whenever I don’t wear make up people comment on how ‘ill’ and ‘tired’ I look which is something noone ever wants to hear! Lately though in an attempt to be a bit more natural I have toned down how much foundation and concealer I use and I have to say I’m feeling so much better about myself. I’ve also given up eyeshadow and I find myself looking a lot brighter because of it.

    I really admire those who don’t wear make up and I think they look beautiful. But on the same hand it doesn’t bother me if ladies do decide to wear make up just so long as they’re not ‘caked’ in it and it looks natural.

    God bless

    (from the UK)

  18. 18 sandy saucedo September 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    I would really like to understand about the modesty in makeup

  1. 1 The Space Between My Peers » The First Ever Carnival of Modesty Trackback on July 13, 2007 at 1:41 am

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"I can't say I don't believe in your God, but I don't believe He meant the world to be as it is." ~Nicholas Higgins. North and South.

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you are licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what." No idea where that last quote came from, but I like it!

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