My Personal Journey to a Truth about Makeup

I had often watched my mother apply make-up as a child and have very fond memories of using her old make-up.

I have worn makeup since the age of 14, in fact I was encouraged to by my mother. She proudly gave me my first make up by ”Rimmel” it contained foundation mascara blusher and lipstick. I loved my makeup so in all innocence I repeated the mistake with my own daughter Harriet and bought her a book all about make up by Bobbi Brown when she was 15. She loved it. I never thought about how that makes a girl feel in her own skin. I would never leave the house without make-up in fact my first husband would tell me to put some on if we were going out. I have very fair eyelashes and eyebrows and have always been very self- conscious of this fact.

Consider the meaning of the word mascara. If we just accept the word for what it is, then it becomes its own honest statement from the cosmetics industry. It comes from the word mask, and the word masquerade also derives from it. In essence, to wear mascara is to wear a mask—and to masquerade as something that one is not—for the purpose of vanity and perceived beauty.

Even the word cosmetics has a revealing origin. It comes from the Greek word kosmos, which means “of this world, worldly.” For women to be accepted by the world, they must literally masquerade.

Whilst in South Africa (2007-2012) the Lord brought it to my attention about wearing  make-up so I stopped wearing it, for a few months. However, slowly I drifted back into wearing it again. As usual the Lord does not give up and the Holy Spirit can be very gentle but persistent. So again, in England I stopped wearing it for a while but slowly yet again built up my makeup supply. To cheer myself up I would often buy a new lipstick. I reasoned that I only wore a little bit of makeup, but my female friends you can’t measure sin in quantity, its either sin or not. You can’t be a little disobedient.

This time when the Lord spoke to me about make-up I was listening. I do sometimes listen though I can be incredibly stubborn. The word the Holy Spirit gave me was Harlotry. A very strong word and even unpleasant. I did not want to be a Harlot.

Definition:- Greek: —transliteration: pornai or porné

Meaning: “prostitute,” “harlot” —a woman or girl who sells her body for sexual uses / one who yields herself to defilement for the sake of gain / In the New Testament, any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust.

Egyptian tombs represent the earliest recorded references to the use of makeup. But the Egyptians were by no means the only culture to use it. The Bible uses Egypt as a type of the sins of this world, which Christians are commanded to come out of.

Even before its use in Egypt, the original painted harlot was Semiramis, the mother-wife of Nimrod, and the founder of the Babylonian Mystery Religion.

Semiramis is known as the mother of all harlots. She used makeup, as well as suggestive whorish clothing, for various religious and sexual rituals. The following quote describes the kind of seductive, sensual clothing that she—and later the Egyptians—wore: “Modern knowledge of ancient Egyptian dress derives for the most part from ancient paintings and sculpture, since very few garments have been preserved…The earliest representations of women show them either nude or clad in tightly fitting white linen skirts down to the ankles”.

SO, people might say nowhere in the bible does it mention make-up therefore doesn’t apply to today. However, there are numerous references to harlots and all harlots used makeup to entice the men and women. Therefore, in biblical times no self- respecting woman would have worn make-up its was for prostitutes/harlots who also did not wear a head covering. In fact, up to 80+ years ago makeup was not common among normal women, it only came in due to the movie business. Our grandmothers may have worn lipstick but that was it. No contouring or foundation.

So the term Harlot communicates exactly how God views women who wear makeup based on historical and biblical basis.

Eye make up in the bible is only mentioned with Jezebel applying it before she fell out the window to her death to be eaten by dogs.

Notice what she did: “And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she PAINTED HER FACE, and tired her head, and she looked out at a window” (2 Kings 9:30). Jezebel put on makeup to try to seduce Jehu and escape impending death.

The Hebrew word used here for painted comes from a now unused root meaning “to paintdye (specifically, stibium for the eyes).”

Clarke’s Commentary gives important explanation: “She [Jezebel] endeavored to improve the appearance of her complexion by paint…This casts light enough on Jezebel’s painting…and shows sufficiently with what design she did it, to conquer and disarm Jehu, and induce him to take her for wife. This staining of the eye with stibium and painting was a universal custom, not only in Asiatic countries, but also in all those that bordered on them, or had connections with them”.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary of the Old Testament

“When Jehu came to Jezreel and Jezebel heard of it, ‘she put her eyes into lead polish (i.e., painted them with it), and beautified her head and placed herself at the window’…It is prepared from antimony ore…which when pounded yields a black powder with a metallic brilliancy, which was laid upon the eyebrows and eyelashes…the object was to heighten the splendor of the dark southern eye, and give it…a more deeply glowing fire, and to impart a youthful appearance to the whole of the eyelashes even in extreme old age.”

Here is the sequence of events. Joram went to meet with Jehu, who had been appointed by God to replace him as king of Israel: “And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of your mother Jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many?” (2 Kings 9:22). After this discussion, Joram attempted to flee, but Jehu caught and killed him.

Jehu then immediately went to Jezreel to execute Jezebel. Her makeup failed to seduce him and her abominations came to an end when Jehu had her thrown from a window. The dogs did, in fact, eat her flesh as God had declared!

Then once you know all this, you just must obey.

Well for me it’s a no brainer, I am always happier when I follow the Holy Spirit, it’s not legalistic so much as enriches my life. God honours obedience and can bless us in ways we never could imagine. I have learnt this from the head covering experience.

What amplified the whole thing was I went to a Christian meeting with lots of women there, there were only 2 of us wearing makeup out of 20. I was obviously one of the few who hadn’t got the memo. It took a lot of courage to stop wearing make-up and more to even write this post. I know I will receive a lot of criticism and some women will take this very personally. It’s a very difficult subject to talk about. Women will justify their stance by saying that when God talks to them about make-up, they will take note. God sometimes talks to us through our peers not always out loud face to face so to speak.

Certain things struck me, if all women stopped paying into the multibillion-pound industry how much money could be spent on the, missions, feeding the poor, looking after widows and orphans and enriching lives in a Godly manner.

So, I braved the world with my natural face. Satan got too work straight away. I visited a Christian friend who had a beautiful cosmetic bag with Clarins makeup just for me just a few days after I had made the decision to stop wearing makeup. At this point I hadn’t wanted to discuss my feelings with anyone as to why I had arrived at a makeup free face. This was a testing time. I kindly said I didn’t want the make-up and wasn’t going to be wearing it in the future. Her reply was telling she said “but you love make-up” I replied maybe that was the problem did I love makeup more than honouring God. Next I was at the beach when a reporter asked me to go on film about seagulls. My immediate response was no because guess what I had no makeup on. A sharp word to myself got me over that hurdle. This is always a good sign that you are doing something right when you immediately get attacked.

Vanity is just awful. It has taken me a long time to get used to the face staring back at me in the mirror. To learn to love my fair eyelashes and eyebrows. Not wearing makeup is huge to me but the benefits are huge. The freedom to be myself as God intended me to be, to love myself. To go swimming in the sea without ruining my mascara or worse rubbing off my eyebrows with a towel, no lipstick left on glasses.

My beloved husband has been supportive and said something really telling when he mentioned he had seen me without make-up a lot more than with it on. It made no difference to him at all. God has blessed me with a halo of white hair around my hairline and fringe that matches my fair eyelashes and eyebrows and to me I now match, I am gaining confidence. If more women took a stand it would be liberating to all of us. We could support each other and men I am sure would rather kiss us than get a mouthful of lipstick.

One thing I have now noticed is just how much make-up women wear nowadays and how young they are when they start wearing it. It has taken me about a month to throw out my make-up, as keeping it in the drawer was a reminder of the old me. Now if I want a lipstick, I can think about giving the money to a good cause instead which is more pleasurable.

Me at 57 with no makeup at all!

Your sister in Christ

Sarah Clements

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