What Does The Bible Say About Makeup

What Does The Bible Say About Makeup?

It might surprise many to learn that the Bible has something to say about makeup. Although it is not expressly stated in the Bible, there is much that we can infer from the scriptures about this topic. This article will try to provide some background information and relevant data, as well as perspectives from experts, so that readers can be equipped to make their own informed decision about the use of makeup–or lack thereof.

The Bible does not speak explicitly of cosmetics or makeup as we understand it today. We must look to the Old Testament for relevant references to our modern-day makeup, particularly those relating to the practices of the ancient Hebrews in their worship and other ceremonial rites. For example, in the book of Esther, Mordecai commands Queen Esther to abstain from wearing her crown and rule her people with beauty and dignity, rather than a show of ornamentation. The key takeaway here seems to be a prioritizing or celebrating of one’s natural beauty over the artificial. This is further evidenced by the fifth exercise of spiritual self-denial prescribed by Moses, which included a ban on using fine clothing, ointment and other adornments found in 1 Corinthians 11:14.

Inscriptions from the ancient Near East also offer insight. One of the earliest known examples described the use of a combination of shade and colour cosmetics made from minerals, pomades and creams. Apparently, such ancient cosmetics were used not only for beautifying the face, but to protect the skin from the dry, harsh environment of the desert.

Christians today have a range of different views on the issue. Some believe that the use of makeup is acceptable within the limits of moderation. Others feel that this kind of embellishment, regardless of its degree, is prohibited by the Bible. There are respected Christian leaders who support both of these views.

Moreover, many believe the answer depends on the circumstances, situation and purpose of the application. If one is attempting to create a façade of false appearances, then it would be a violation of biblical ethics. However, many also believe it is acceptable to use makeup for genuine practical purposes such as protecting one’s skin from the sun’s harsh rays, evening out skin tone, or covering blemishes. Indeed, in 1966, the Christian Medical and Dental Association released an opinion that “moderately applied makeup has no scriptural or moral implications.”

While there is no single and universal approach to the issue, the main message here is that beauty is ultimately a gift from God and should be embraced and celebrated rather than masked. God is the source of all beauty, and it is up to us as Christians to show love and respect for our Creator by taking care of the bodies He has given us, using our natural beauty and strength to reflect His grace and glory.


Ultimately, it is up to every believer in Christ to discern for him or herself how to best honor the Lord in daily life, including the decision to use or avoid makeup. It is only through prayerful reflection on the Word and discussion with spiritual mentors that we can make wise and informed choices about this topic.

Beauty And Outer Appearance

Many people mistakenly believe that the use of makeup, particularly for women, has its source in vanity. It is important to remember that Scripture does not condemn vanity in and of itself but disobedience to God’s revealed will. Furthermore, the Bible does not teach that beauty and outer appearance is unimportant or irrelevant in our lives, although people are encouraged to cultivate the inner beauty of a Godly character and meekness rather than worrying overly about outward appearances.

From Ecclesiastes 3:11 we can see that God has “set eternity in the heart” of man, and has made us in His image with a desire for beauty in all of its forms. This intrinsic desire for beauty is evidenced in many of the amazing creations that we see around us, from man-made works of art such as sculptures and architecture, to the beauty of the natural world evident in God’s amazing ecosystems. As such, it is clear that beauty is an important part of God’s creation, and a reflection of His glory.

Furthermore, even though make-up has been used as a tool of vanity throughout much of its history, it is now commonly used in a variety of ways. Many people choose to use make-up not to make themselves appear more attractive, but to enhance what they already have or make themselves feel more comfortable in their own skin. In the words of Christian author, Nicole Hamel “Makeup can be an art form and a form of self-expression and creativity.”

In addition, makeup can be used by those who suffer from skin conditions such as dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne to alleviate symptoms and gain more self-confidence. In short, make-up can be used for a variety of reasons, not all of which are rooted in vanity.

Therefore, we can conclude from these various arguments that we should be careful not to judge people harshly for the use of makeup. Ultimately, it is for each person to decide for themselves what use of make-up is right or wrong, in accordance with their own convictions and beliefs.

God’s Design of Beauty

It is important to keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and is subjective by nature. But it follows that the Creator of all beauty surely knows best what is truly beautiful and what God intended beauty to be. Then we can see that beauty is, in fact, something very special, and it was designed by God to be appreciated by us. From the words of Proverbs, referring to the beauty of a godly woman, we read: “A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30). “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).

Therefore, beauty was given to us as a tool that can be used to glorify God, not to pump up our self-esteem or be taken strived for as an end goal. We can honor and admire the beauty that God has placed in us, recognizing it as a way of thanking Him for His good gifts.

The ultimate lesson to take away here then is that beauty should not be sought after as a means of obtaining worth or acceptance, but as an expression of God’s incredible love and power. We can see this in the way God has crafted each and every human being and the intricacies of the physical and spiritual personhood we possess.

The important takeaway here is that if we are to use makeup, then let us do so within a framework of respect, honour and appreciation for the gift of beauty that our Creator has seen fit to grant us.

Intention Behind The Use Of Makeup

Finally, it is important to take a closer look at the motives behind the use of makeup. It is important to consider whether the motivation to apply makeup is due to a desire to enhance natural beauty or cover up insecurities. In other words, does an individual’s use of makeup reflect a heartfelt desire to honor and glorify God, or is it simply an expression of self-doubt or lack of self-confidence.

The bible mentions loving and honoring God with our bodies and souls in Matthew 22:37, and so any use of makeup must come from a desire to honor and respect God. God is the giver of beauty, and so our use of makeup should ultimately be focused on expressing gratitude and appreciation for His wonderful gift.

Moreover, in 1 Peter 3:3-4, Peter encourages us to take care of our outward appearance, wisely using the “ornaments of a gentle and quiet spirit”. The takeaway here is that cosmetics should be used to enhance one’s beauty, not transform or mask it.

Another relevant scripture to bear in mind is Psalm 139:14 – “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made”. The emphasis here is on the celebration and acknowledgment of the beauty that God has crafted in each of us. We should consider this when deciding whether or not to wear makeup. Is the desire of our heart to recognize and celebrate God’s creative handiwork, or to create a different-looking person?

Moderation In All Things

In conclusion, when it comes to the use of makeup, we must remember the words of Solomon: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10). In other words, whatever we do, we should do with all our might – but within moderation. We should not strive for perfection and for an altered state of appearance, in makeup or otherwise.

Makeup can be an enhancement, an expression of beauty, or a practical solution – as long as it’s not done to extremes or with ungodly intentions. So it is best to use it in moderation and leave the primary focus on our character, not our outward appearance.

Ultimately, our duty as Christians is to love God and seek to honor Him in every aspect of our lives. As with many other decisions, it is up to each of us to prayerfully consider the best way to fulfill this calling in relation to the issue of makeup.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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