First of all, let me say that I am do not think wearing makeup is sinful.
But . . . . Baltobetsy and lizaanne, if makeup is just “good grooming”, why is the same not expected of men? I do think there is an element of objectification in the use of makeup. Certainly I do not think such objectification is conscious, generally.
I am very aware of this as a father of two young girls, and of the husband of a wife who at one time also felt, and sometimes still feels, that she is not attractive without makeup on (due to the influence of her mother, I think - - mom has that attitude about herself as well).
Let me try to explain where I am coming from.
My bride is so beautiful to me, just the way she is, as God created her - - she is a beautiful person. She used to color her hair - - highlights, really - - we used to joke about her going to the “natural sun machine” as I did not realize she was getting highlights! Then she felt she needed to put on various types of makeup to have her skin tone better match her highlighted hair. Then her skin would get irritated, necessitating various other products to address that.
I suggested to her that her natural hair color, without highlights, was just gorgeous. Lo and behold, when her hair was its natural color, she did not need makeup - - her hair and skin tone went together. No more skin irritation, either. Who would have suspected that God knew what he was doing in creating her, including her hair and skin color?
There are still times when she doesn’t feel like she is attractive or looks good without makeup, but I try to reassure her that she is beautiful, no matter what, the whole person of her is beautiful.
I do not want my daughters to ever get the idea that they are not pretty without makeup. Are there not enough attacks against their self-image, their innocence, their self-cofidence in the media and society without making then think they need makeup to look attractive.
Sadly, their grandmothers apparently do not agree, at least as to themselves, as they have said things like, “Grammy has to put on her makeup, or she will look like Frankenstein” I want to shout Noooo! You are a child of God, the King of the Universe himself, created in His own Image! You have dignity and worth far beyond your physical appearance! Please don’t lay the foundation for self-image problems later, Grammy. Of course, I don’t actually say that, although I do always try to reinforce that they (my daughters) are pretty just the way God made them, and that anyway being kind, loving, etc. is more important than how one looks.
We have fingernail painting, dress up, etc., be something that they do for fun, not because it is needed to look pretty.
I think a lot of women have the idea that, as has been expressed in this thread, they are not pretty or not pretty enough without makeup. I strongly oppose that mindset. I reiterate that there is a component of objectification, as if one doesn’t have worth unless one meets a certain physical standard (completely unrelated to physical health).
I know, I know, I am coming off as a kook, and in moderation I suppose it is innocuous, but I think there is a real danger in this society that it goes beyond moderation to “I need this to look good”, and that a woman’s value is therefore tied up solely or disproportionately in appearance. And I know it’s easy for me to criticize, because I am male, and the standards are different. I just do not want my wife and my daughters to feel that they are less valuable or not pretty because of some arbitrary standard that objectifies them.
Ladies, let the natural beauty Our Lord created you with shine through! You are His precious daughters!