Humankind is clearly enticed by visuals, which strongly carries over to external appearances. I don’t know if you could ever watch through all of the makeup tutorials on YouTube. They are innumerable.
I have nothing against anyone who wears makeup (in fact, several of my friends do), I just wanted to discuss a perspective I don’t see very often. Feel free to jump in via the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or disagree.
I got rid of all my makeup because…
#1 — My mom
For the majority of my memory, my mom has not worn makeup. It’s fun to see older pictures of her where she embodies the visual connotation of “classy,” but I know her as a gardener who doesn’t mind getting dirty or care about wearing paint-splattered pants to Walmart.
When her ebony black hair started to lose its color, my dad appealed to her not to dye it. Her now salt and pepper locks are the envy of many (to many fun exchanges and humorous memories).
I attribute this presence of hers in my life as the reason behind my value for raw, natural beauty. Nature princess versus runway model. Sun-lightened hair, a constellation of freckles, the heart in tear-stained eyes.
Shaping influences have a huge effect on one’s values and beliefs. When I asked my sister why she doesn’t wear makeup either, she said, “I don’t see the point. Daddy says I’m beautiful just the way I am and I believe him.”
#2 — I don’t care anymore
Up until my first semester of college, I rarely pulled my hair back outside of my immediate family. One fall morning, however, I didn’t feel like doing anything with it so I left it in the ponytail I had slept in.
A friend of mine was pleasantly surprised by the change and I shared that I only wore my hair pulled back if I was either (1) super comfortable with my company or (2) didn’t care.
A little over a year later, I was finally on the exit ramp of an incredibly difficult season where God crushed me. I was spent and exhausted on multiple levels so I ceased putting energy into fixing my hair.
I started wearing it up all the time, for convenience rather than fashion. I didn’t care if it wasn’t the most flattering look. I had more painful, pressing matters to deal with.
There’s another benefit of heartbreak: you no longer care about being “cool.”
#3 — It’s expensive
Studies show that the average woman spends anywhere from $40-313 on makeup and beauty treatments per month. That’s $480-3,756 per year. Quite a chunk out of the budget! But money isn’t the only price.
The average woman takes anywhere from 11 minutes to two hours a day to apply a full face of makeup, totally up to weeks of her year.
I have always been keenly aware of the brevity of time, but my grandpa’s passing launched my mind into eternity. I became hypersensitive to how I am spending my most valuable asset and, since I don’t find makeup to be a worthy investment, it was soon eliminated.
“The world has enough women who know how to do their hair. It needs women who know how to do hard and holy things.”-Ann Voskamp
Again, I am not holding anything against those who wear makeup, I have just personally come to the place where I prefer to put my energy where I have found the most worth to be: growing closer to Christ and seeking to be the best version of myself.
#4 — Comfort
Anytime I’ve worn makeup I’ve felt constrained. I can’t rub my eyes because I’ll smear the mascara. I have to be careful about how I drink so lipstick stays where I put it. I can’t rest my head for fear of getting foundation everywhere.
I had the privilege of being a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding the summer before I graduated from college. After the ceremony, I was pulling away from hugging an old friend when I discovered his black sports jacket to be covered in the powder I had put on.
Apparently makeup means I have to watch how I embrace people as well.
On this point, makeup makes sense where good posture is exemplified and greetings are formal and at arm’s length, but most of those contexts exist in our history books.
Today we generally live in a relaxed world where public crying, for example, does not bring shame. But makeup puts its wearers in a box only broken if one loses care about looking streaky or smudged.
As someone who actually enjoys the release of crying, makeup caveats my otherwise unhindered freedom.
#5 — Attracting a spouse
I am not looking for a relationship but, if I were, not wearing makeup increases the likelihood that I would attract a suitor who possesses the qualities I would look for in a future husband.
I don’t want a man to be attracted to whatever beauty I may possess in the prime of my life. The smoothness of my skin and the color of my hair will and are fading, but my character (by the grace of God) is only getting stronger.
I would want a future spouse to fall in love with who I am as a person, to hold the same beliefs as I do, to admire my character and find joy in my personality. External appearances are a temporary bonus. It’s the structure and foundation of a person that will last.
I’m sure that not wearing makeup has saved me from many silly little romances because—to liken people to billboards for a moment—I am not advertising to the crowd that would jump on whatever pretty little bandwagon caught their eye.
I want my future spouse to be surprised when I put makeup on, not when I take it off.
There is nothing innately wrong with wearing makeup. Cosmetic tools are within the all-encompassing realm of God’s creation. But if you wear makeup, I would challenge you to take an inward safari and determine the exactitude of your reasoning.
Are you putting makeup on because you are complete and worshipping, or are you putting makeup on hoping someone will finally be attracted to you?
If you apply makeup for the sake of looking nice, that is not innately wrong. God created us to love beauty and want to be presentable, but we often twist His good intentions. Be wary lest your heart slip into the camp of pride, insecurity, or fear.