I used to wear a lot of makeup (like…everything) and then quit it all.
It wasn’t easy the first bit of time, to be honest I felt pretty ugly. Over time, I stopped feeling this way and now I’m very happy without makeup. I feel like I accept myself more, I’m more confident about my appearance, not less (this only came with time), and I save a lot of money this way. (Makeup is expensive!)
The reasons I did this were spiritual for me. After I made my Total Consecration to Our Lady, I came home from church and began putting on my usual heavy eyeliner, and I suddenly felt like Our Lady didn’t want me to and that I was changing how God created me. It was a very sudden and strong impression and it made me think. I had something similar again that eventually lead to a little “fast” from makeup, but I always ultimately returned - I missed it too much.
Eventually I came across a revelation of Jesus to a Saint and He said, that it offends Him when people paint their faces to make themselves more beautiful than how He made them. I suddenly saw it from the Creator’s point of view… And it made such an impression on me that I couldn’t wear makeup again. I did once again to an interview, but it felt strange and distracting.
I have to say that after quitting makeup like that, my prayer life really grew. I began to concentrate more on my interior life whereas before all my attention was on the exterior. It helped me to fight vanity and also eventually to accept myself as I am. It was hard at first though, very hard at times.
I realise not everyone would agree with me here. Some may ask, are you saying all the women in makeup are in mortal sin? No, I’m not saying they all are. Our Lord also said to the Saint it could be a venial or mortal sin. I do believe it is our vanity that leads to it. I think in our culture especially, many women are almost bullied into it, its like a social expectation. So I’m not commenting on anyone’s soul or intent. But I can’t now agree with the practice.
It might be interesting to note that in the Summa, St Thomas Aquinas actually says that moderate jewellery and adornment is ok for married women or those interested in marriage, but he disagrees with makeup even for married women. There’s a section about that. He says the only acceptable use is to cover up a disfigurement - but most makeup falls under decorative use. I was very surprised he mentioned this. Later I found quotes by early Church Fathers being VERY strict against makeup. Maybe because unlike jewellery, it actually changes the face that God made? That’s just a guess. I know people here said its totally ok but St Thomas Aquinas did write on the subject. I can provide the link if anyone is interested:
"Cyprian is speaking of women painting themselves: this is a kind of falsification, which cannot be devoid of sin. Wherefore Augustine says (Ep. ccxlv ad Possid.): “To dye oneself with paints in order to have a rosier or a paler complexion is a lying counterfeit. I doubt whether even their husbands are willing to be deceived by it, by whom alone” (i.e. the husbands) “are they to be permitted, but not ordered, to adorn themselves.” However, such painting does not always involve a mortal sin, but only when it is done for the sake of sensuous pleasure or in contempt of God, and it is to like cases that Cyprian refers.
It must, however, be observed that it is one thing to counterfeit a beauty one has not, and another to hide a disfigurement arising from some cause such as sickness or the like. For this is lawful, since according to the Apostle (1 Cor. 12:23), “such as we think to be the less honorable members of the body, about these we put more abundant honour”
The early Church Fathers were much more strict :o
Anyways even if you disagree with me, women have no obligation at all to wear makeup, it is just an invention of society, and not all women wear it
Also to make it clear I’m not condemning women who wear makeup. That would be utter hypocrisy anyway, for me I know there’s tons of pressure on us. I feel it to. But saying no to societies expectations has sort of freed me from them. This helps to be more confident and changes how we act with others.
If anyone feels called to marriage and is worried how this would affect them - there are many women I know who don’t wear makeup and found a great husband. You can still look put together and nice by choosing tasteful clothing. Just be yourself, be confident and joyful when you meet people, it goes a long way. God bless you