Evaluating My Motives about Wearing Makeup

Posted on April 30, 2015 by


(If you would rather see this in a 4 minute video format, please click here.)

The past 6 years, God has taught me to do a lot of questioning myself and digging to find my deepest motives for my decisions. For the past few years, I have been wearing makeup with the primary motive of “looking good for Greg,” my husband. In February, I found out that the doesn’t really care much one way or the other about me wearing makeup. I’ve been doing some soul searching about this issue lately and I want to take you with me as I dig into my thoughts and motives on this issue. I often take time to do this same kind of probing and investigating about every different area of my life. But this will give you an idea of the kinds of questions about which we may want to prayerfully ask ourselves and seek God’s wisdom. Here are some questions I have been asking myself:

  • Am I able to give up makeup?
  • How do I feel going out in public without it? If I feel nervous or “naked” or ashamed to appear in public without makeup, why do I feel this way?
  • Why do I wear makeup?
  • Do I really need it?
  • How much am I allowing our culture to define feminity and beauty for me vs. how much am I aligning myself with the Bible to define godly femininity and beauty?

I personally have never been one to wear tons of makeup. But I have worn some makeup since high school – usually every day. I did take a few years off from makeup around 2000-2002 because I had LASIK eye surgery and my eyes were so dry that they would burn and turn red if I wore any kind of makeup at all. Not worth it!

As I studied godly femininity about 6 years ago, I read a lot about wives dressing up for their husbands and dolling themselves up rather than just wearing no makeup, sweat pants, a t-shirt, and a ponytail. There are men who do appreciate their wives/girlfriends making some effort to look good – to be dressed in a beautiful, feminine way, and to have their hair done and maybe even some makeup. So I decided to be more purposeful about wearing makeup to bless Greg and to accentuate my femininity.

Now that I understand Greg’s heart better on this issue – I want to re-evaluate my motives. I have also been studying a bit about giving up worldly things – having fewer material possessions, spending less $ on self, living way below your means, decluttering your home (and your life) so that you have more time, money, energy, and space to focus on God and the things He loves. I cleaned out and organized my kitchen and bathroom cabinets and drawers last week, cleaned and organized our cars, and have gone through a lot of my things to donate to charity.

I love the peace that comes with having less things and less clutter in my life. I also love the extra time that comes from not having so many things to clean and straighten up.

Makeup in and of itself is a neutral thing – it is not holy/evil. This is a matter of personal conviction and personal motives.

Here are some things I have been thinking about this week (you will have your own list – and it may be different from mine):


  • It is socially acceptable.
  • It might increase my confidence to a degree.
  • My husband might like to see me in makeup (I used to think this was the case, now I understand he doesn’t have a major preference either way).
  • It makes my eyes stand out more.
  • I might not look as tired.
  • It can be fun.
  • I might feel more beautiful and feminine.
  • I believe I have freedom in Christ to choose to wear makeup or not.


  • It can be expensive.
  • For me, because of my very dry eyes, I am more prone to eye infections if I use mascara or eyeliner.
  • I do NOT enjoy applying eyeliner!
  • There are questions about child labor being used to make many of the cosmetics we buy.
  • There are questions about possible toxicity of some of the chemicals that are in many cosmetics.
  • I might have wrong motives – to attract other men, to promote self, to be vain, to make other women jealous, etc… (These are things about which I need to repent and pray.)
  • It takes time to apply it in the morning and to remove it at night.
  • It’s easy to smudge your makeup if you rub your eyes or if you cry.
  • I could feel insecure as a woman without it – (If this is a problem for me, I need to take this to God in prayer. My only source of security needs to be Christ.)
  • Wearing foundation might increase my risk of acne.
  • I could be using it to “hide” my real face, or to be a “mask” to avoid being vulnerable or authentic? – (Also something about which I need to pray.)
  • I could feel forced or compelled by our culture into wearing makeup even though it might not be good for me in some ways – (Am I giving up my decisions to others, seeking to please people?)
  • I could be too focused on outer beauty – (Do I have pride or vanity in my heart – do I need more humility?)
  • I could become ritualistic about it, or it could even become an idol to me. (Of course, I could become legalistic about not wearing makeup, too. I can have wrong motives no matter what my choice might be.)

This is a good time to examine my heart for worldliness, vanity, and pride. Am I more concerned about what the world will say than God’s pleasure? Am I more concerned with things that ultimately won’t matter in light of eternity, or the things of God? Can I be confident in myself in Christ without makeup? Can I feel beautiful and feminine as God designed me to be without makeup?

I believe we have freedom in Christ to wear makeup or to not wear makeup. You are completely free to do whatever you believe would most honor God on this issue. You don’t have to agree with anyone else’s convictions in areas where God gives us freedom. The main purpose of this post is to help us think about our motives in this and in other areas.

Something I think about often – is that the closer God draws me to Himself, the less the things of this world seem to matter. I love that hymn…

Turn your eyes upon Jesus

Look full in His wonderful face.

And the things of earth will grow strangely dim

In the light of His glory and grace.

Note:  For those of you from a more legalistic background or who tend to be overly sensitive to false guilt – I believe we have freedom in Christ to wear or not wear makeup. This is an area that the Bible doesn’t speak much about – makeup is mentioned 3 times in passing. But there is no command about not wearing makeup.

I don’t ever want to create angst for one of my sisters when I explore a topic or create false guilt or make women think they have to follow a bunch of rules. This post is just about how I occasionally ask God to help me examine my motives about various things. Makeup is a small issue. People will have different convictions here – and that is totally okay.

My goal is for us to do what we do out of freedom, faith, love for God, love for self, and love for others – not from a sinful motive, guilt, fear, or shame. If you are feeling a lot of guilt or shame about issues like makeup or external things, let’s talk about that!


My Security Is in Christ Alone!  – not in a relationship with a man, or in my appearance or anything else in this world!

The Gift of Modesty – VIDEO