are beauty products sinful?

I am an 18 year old girl, and I am just wondering is it sinful to have makeup products, hair products, lotions, etc? Makeup has been around for centuries, but it is looked at in two ways 1) to enhance beauty or 2) to cover up beauty. When i go out with my boyfriend, or to a restaurant or such, I tend to put on makeup, even if just a little and do something generally with my hair, as most women (even men) do. But is this a sin? Am I altering the body God gave me? Please help.

No , Its not a sin to use makeup. Yes GOD made you beautiful just the way you are - but a little help here and there never hurt anything so long as you understand that GOD also created men who invented makeup and , who knows , maybe even inspired them to invent it. Like anything else , so long as you understand what humility is and do not let looks get in the way of a meaningful relationship or use dress or fashion to bring undue immodest attention to yourself - there is nothing wrong with these things.


Your boyfriend thinks you look amazing without makeup, thus there is no need for it, your only working harder for no reason.

Well my wife wears makeup , not that she has to - but because she wants to look her best for me. I appreciate her efforts and love her all the more for making them.

I’d love my girlfriend just the same if she did or didn’t.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look our best, even with a little help from makeup.

It can become sinful if you are spending vast amounts of money on the stuff to the point your finances are out of balance. Or you base your worth as a woman on the amount or lack of makeup you apply, or even judge other women based on their looks if they don’t like makeup. Makeup can be a tool to being vain, which is a sin, but when used in a moderate manner makeup itself is not a sin.

As a rule, nothing material is sinful. It is all in how it is used. An extreme example is cocaine, which is 100% God’s creation. Used by a doctor or dentist in the course of medical treatment, its use is good. We all know of the flip side, which is abuse.

Makeup is fine unless it leads to vanity. Vanity has always been a danger for us.

My love contiues to grow


No, it is not bad but don’t over do it. First, you have to believe you are beautiful becasue God made you. You are His creation. Believe it : )

Me, I put make up on every day. I am used to it that I will feel that I am missing something if I don’t have make up on. I feel if I don’t have make up on, I look like I am still sleeping… but I know myself I am beatiful becasue God made me. I may not look beatiful to others but I know I am to God: )

Also sometimes we say to ourselves, we look ugly some days and I really do feel bad when we say such things. It hurts me at the same time.

cheers : )

I don’t think nuns should wear makeup. It’s kind of worldly, like jewelry. But as for the rest of us… Well, you’re young, you prolly just wear it for fun, which is fine but you don’t have to. But as women get to be a bit older, sometimes it can be a bit of a “sin” not to fix ourselves up a little. :smiley: People do have to look at us. It shouldn’t have to be a mortification to do so.

My opinion, and what I heard from a traditional priest, is that it’s better not to wear makeup. Not that it’s sinful to wear it, but it’s better not to.

Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Pet. 3:3-4)

The female saints don’t seem to have worn makeup, except Teresa of Avila, who regretted it later.

Questions of morality aside, I always think that older women look much better without makeup. Natural aging is generally more attractive than artificiality; in fact, elderly people can be very beautiful, it’s just a different kind of beauty.

St. Thomas Aquinas addressed this question in the Summa:

As regards the adornment of women, we must bear in mind the general statements made above (Article 1) concerning outward apparel, and also something special, namely that a woman’s apparel may incite men to lust, according to Proverbs 7:10, “Behold a woman meeteth him in harlot’s attire, prepared to deceive souls.”

Nevertheless a woman may use means to please her husband, lest through despising her he fall into adultery. Hence it is written (1 Corinthians 7:34) that the woman “that is married thinketh on the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” Wherefore if a married woman adorn herself in order to please her husband she can do this without sin.

But those women who have no husband nor wish to have one, or who are in a state of life inconsistent with marriage, cannot without sin desire to give lustful pleasure to those men who see them, because this is to incite them to sin. And if indeed they adorn themselves with this intention of provoking others to lust, they sin mortally; whereas if they do so from frivolity, or from vanity for the sake of ostentation, it is not always mortal, but sometimes venial. And the same applies to men in this respect.

There is more but this is the main point. If you want to read the whole section I’ve linked to and are not familiar with the format of the Summa, the parts labelled “Objection” are positions he disagrees with. The “I answer that” and “reply to objection” parts are his own positions.

Not really,after all ,beauty is but skin deep anyway but if by daubing here and there a bit you feel more self confident go for it…but work on your personality also for thats the way to go. As a life long bodybuilder I can well attest to the fact that a sound mind in a sound body is time better spent then money coviering up this and that. I have know people who at first you just walk past as if they were a coat rack…but after getting to know them …wow,what a blessing…be yourself,care about others and if your running for a pass try to catch it…for the goal is not far behind.

I wonder if your “traditional priest” thinks that it’s better to not comb one’s hair? After all, it all comes down to vanity, doesn’t it?

if people were often getting caught up in combing their hair, then it might well be better to not comb it, for sake of preventing any likely obssessions/sins associated with that particular vanity.

From what I recall, one of the sermons below touches on it make-up so to speak, but I do not recall which one.

Some of the reasons cited against it I have read: incitement to lust/sensuality, opposed to modesty, dishonesty, touching the work of God, attire common to harlots rather than Christian women’s… and so forth.

Honestly… there’s vanity… and there’s modesty… and they both go opposite directions. In one, a person is busy with the appearance to please others and the self, in the other, the person is covering the appearance and making it plain and simple. To overcome vanity we should praise people for their modesty, not their external beauty. That is what is truly good and worthwhile.

“I hold that not only virgins and widows, but also wives and all women without exception, should be admonished that nowise should they deface God’s work and fabric, the clay that He has fashioned, with the aid of yellow pigments, black powders or rouge, or by applying any dye that alters the natural features. . . They lay hands on God, when they strive to reform what He has formed. This is an assault on the Divine handiwork, a distortion of the truth. Thou shalt not be able to see God, having no longer the eyes that God made, but those the devil has unmade; with him shalt thou burn on whose account thou art bedecked.”

St. Cyprian, Father of the Church

‘To dye oneself with paints in order to have a rosier or a paler complexion is a lying counterfeit.’

St. Augustine, Father and Doctor of the Church

Yes. Proverbs 7:20: “Behold a woman meeteth him in harlot’s attire, prepared to deceive souls.”

“In like manner women also in decent apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, not with plaited hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly attire, But as it becometh women professing godliness, with good works.”

1 Timothy 2:9-10

‘I must disfigure the face which contrary to God’s commandment I have painted with rouge, white lead, and antimony. I must mortify that body which has been given up to many pleasures. I must make up for my long laughter by constant weeping. I must exchange my soft linen and costly silks for rough goat’s hair. I who have pleased my husband and the world in the past, desire now to please Christ.’

St. Paula

We must be very careful how we read the Fathers, Doctors and other holy writers. They have to be read in context and they have to be read with the mind of the Church. First of all, not everything that they wrote became part of the deposit of faith. Most of it is not. Most of it is simply put, good advice and pious thinking. I’m using the term pious in the good sense, not as in fanatical.

Secondly, on this particular subject, the concern has always been to preserve chastity. I believe that word is easier for the 21st century young person to understand. The idea of embellishing ourselves for the purpose of seduction is not new. It goes as far back as cavemen. Obviously, such behavior is in conflict with the call to be chaste. To make it easier to understand what I mean, I would point everyone to what we see in movies or on TV. Characters (acting obviously) talk about how they are going to get their man tonight or get their woman, whichever. The point is that the use of makeup, jewelry and clothing has an ulterior motive that is contrary to virtue. It is to this that Christian writers and OT writers are referring.

Third, there is no sin in wearing makeup, jewelry, nice clothing and accessories simply because they are nice, because they please you or they please someone else. God is not against pleasure. He created pleasure and he created beauty. It was God who put color, sounds and texture in the the world. The Church has always been the protector of beauty. Just look at our architecture, artwork, vestments, items that we use at mass and even some of the habits of certain religious congregations. The Madammes of the Sacred Heart wore, what was at that time, a very elegant outfit usually worn by upper class widows. It had all kinds of details that you would not have found in the habit of the Poor Clares, who wore whatever was available. We don’t look back at St. Sophie and point the finger at her because she was one of the best dressed women religious in history.

There were many saints who were members of the upper classes and the royalty. We have three famous Franciscan saints who wore the Franciscan habit under their street clothes: Thomas More, Elizabeth of Hungary, and Luis IX. They did not wear their Franciscan habit where it could be seen, because it was inappropriate for their social standing to be dressed as beggers. Other Secular Franciscans did wear the habit externally, but Francis made special provisions for those who were members of the upper classes to wear it under their street clothing. They had an image to uphold and a role in society. Another famous Franciscan who wore her habit under her clothes and dressed up on the outside was Joan of Arc. In her case, she did not wear pretty dresses and makeup. She dressed as a man, because she was a soldier. Those who saw her at a distance thought that she was a boy. It is said that her armour was splendid. Don’t ask me what makes armor splendid. My guess is that it must have been polished to the nines and her boots were well cared for.

There is nothing wrong with liking color, accessories and anything that is beautiful or that makes one feel better about one’s appearance or that one enjoys because it is simply nice. Just as a man may wear a certain hair style, mustache, beared or no beared, certain types of suits and shoes, so too women may wear color, accessories and clothing that makes them feel pretty and look pretty. The concern of all three traditions: Jewish, Christian and Muslim has always been with chastity. I deliberately bring the Muslims and the Jews into the discussion, because this is a question that they too have grappled with. It’s rather interesting that all three monotheistic faiths have discovered the same thing. They discovered that we must protect ourselves from vanity (thinking we’re more than others) and from seductive thinking and planning (trying to lure others into impure thoughts or situations). No one condemns makeup and elegance. However, manipulating others for our own satisfaction is always wrong. Enjoying the beauty in color, texture and creativity is good and noble.

I just remembered something that one of the early friars wrote about regarding Clare and Francis. He wrote that on the day that Clare made her vows, the one thing that made Francis sad was to see her beautiful hair cut off. Even these holy men knew how to admire beauty and recognize it for what it was. They saw it as a gift to be cherished, not a tool to manipulate others. Therefore, they admired the beauty of Clare’s hair. Celano, one of the earliest and probably holiest Franciscans, speaks about her beauty at great length. Clare wore jewelry and makeup. She liked colors and textures in her clothing. None of that is judged as sinful by the early biographers. On the contrary, they admired her elegant and good taste. You see, one has to learn to be elegant with good taste. I think that’s the key.

There is a difference between a man or woman who is elegantly dressed and adorned and one who is dressed and adorned as a . . . let’s just call it a working person, if you get my meaning.


Br. JR, OSF :slight_smile:

Thank you, Brother JR, for this wonderful advice. So many people read the works of the saints of past ages and try to apply what they read very strictly in their own lives. Of course, this doesn’t always work out well, because the intended audience for the counsel was different.

And thank you also for your good thoughts on makeup and clothing. Presenting oneself elegantly makes for a more credible witness to one’s faith.

Ah yes, I also forgot…

‘. . . Now, observe, my daughter, the contrast between the luxurious dress of many women, and the raiment and adornments of Jesus. . . Tell me: what relation do their fine shoes bear to the spikes in Jesus’ Feet? The rings on their hands to the nails which perforated His? The fashionable coiffure to the Crown of Thorns? The painted face to That covered with bruises? Shoulders exposed by the low-cut gown to His, all striped with Blood? Ah, but there is a marked likeness between these worldly women and the Jews who, incited by the Devil, scourged Our Lord! At the hour of such a woman’s death, I think Jesus will be heard saying: "Cujus est imago haec et circumscripto. . . of whom is she the image?" And the reply will be: “Demonii. . . of the Devil!” Then He will say: “Let her who has followed the Devil’s fashions be handed over to him; and to God, those who have imitated the modesty of Jesus and Mary.”’

St. Anthony Mary Claret

I think one thing to ask oneself is… are you going to look at things through eyes different than the world? Where what is everyday accepted, in fact, might not be acceptable or pleasing or best?

To a degree – are you going to pursue modesty, or are you going to pursue pleasure in your appearance and others admiration thereof. Or are you going to walk on an unknown borderline if such a place exists…

Are you going to read what is said and take it as it is, and pursue an understanding unpopular with the world, or are you going to interpret until you are saying the opposite of what the saints have said boldly?

There will always be people who will tell you to take the easier course.

It’s up to you as an individual whether you seek to understand the good in one that is not as lax.

I will say, that the proper and most fitting penance for anyone who has sinned in any excess, is to give up not only the sin, but also some of the good related to that area of life. So that, if a person sins by overeating, to give up not only gluttony, but good food as the proper penance and medicine – a person who has sinned by immodesty and vanity, should give up not only immodesty and vanity, but in fact excel in modesty beyond the minimum.

And truly, what God loves in people especially is I think virtue that is more than a tiny amount. :slight_smile: Especially in times where these virtues are hard to find, and reparation needs to be made and demonstrated love needs to be shown.

If you want the happiness of Heaven shining down in happiness in your life, be very virtuous. :smiley:

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