At what point does vanity become mortal sin?

Mostly in terms of focus on appearance, I guess.

For example, if I have an hour to get ready in the morning, and I spend 20 minutes doing hair and makeup (in additions to getting dressed, making breakfast, ect) meaning that I have less time to say morning prayers (but I still say them) is that being overly vain?
Or if I stay up a later than usual trying to figure out clothing to wear, thus possibly damaging my health, is that overly vain?
If, let’s say I oversleep and end up looking bad all day, and I feel too uncomfortable in my own skin to be as productive as usual, is that placing too much worth on appearance and thus being overly vain?

I don’t want to let aesthetics rule my life, but on the other hand any time I try to really put less focus on my appearance, I just don’t like it; it doesn’t feel like I’m seeing the right person when I look in the mirror. I feel like I should confess having been vain, because I have spent quite a bit of time and effort on appearance, but I know I shouldn’t because I don’t really have real plans to change anything at the moment.

I have often wondered if my preoccupation with my appearance also was bordering on vanity. I care very much about how I look to the extent that I take care with my appearance even when I am not planning on leaving the house.Having said that,I do spend time in prayer every morning.So,as long as you place God first in your routine,I think it is ok to care about your appearance:)

I often wondered about that! But I think we can be better stewards of God if we look good and pleasing to those around us. We feel better which in turn I think creates positive energy that we allude from us. Sometimes while putting on make up I thank God for my eyes that I can see and each feature while I’m working on it. Also, the fact that I am healthy enough to actually do that. I think cosmetic surgery is borderline though. To spend all that money on altering your looks is considered vain. My opinion. Not sure how “sinful” it is though, if at all.

Vanity refers to that which is disordered, immoderate. One must judge as to what is reasonable and what is in excess. There can be a reasonable concern for personal aesthetics. Even in terms of for the good of others - say ones appearance for work or for a spouse.

An immoderate desire to be thought more beautiful or more strong then we know we are is of itself a venial sin.

Hum examples of mortal vanity…lets see. If a man wanted to appear more strong so he robs a bank or a girl wants to be beautiful so she seriously injures her health…

(Reference for much of the above: See Living the Truth in Love, Benedict Ashley OP).

Vanity refers to that which is disordered, immoderate. One must judge as to what is reasonable and what is in excess. There can be a reasonable concern for personal aesthetics. Even in terms of for the good of others - say ones appearance for work or for a spouse.


An immoderate desire to be thought more beautiful or more strong then we know we are is of itself a venial sin.

Hum examples of mortal vanity…lets see. If a man wanted to appear more strong so he robs a bank or a girl in her quest for beauty seriously injures her health or perhaps a person wants to appear cool so they put their lives at serious risk. (the essence and some wording from Ashley OP)

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