Saturday, January 21, 2012

Is it our duty to wear lipstick?

Lipstick face

'How much does a tube of lip-stick cost in the supermarket?  I do believe, that being well-groomed and neatly dressed (and that doesn't necessarily mean, "expensively dressed" ), especially when attending Church-related activities, are part of good Christian witness in the community.' - the surprising word's of an older man, whom I greatly admire. 

As I continue to ponder how simplicity might influence my appearance these words stunned me, and yet I think I may have almost agreed with this statement once. I don't believe I wore make up as a 'good Christian witness' but I was never one to leave the house without it on, and my clothes, shoes and jewellery were all chosen with care. The difference now for me, is that my definition of what constitutes 'well-groomed' has changed, and I find I am now more accepting of the appearance of others, perhaps as I better accept myself. (It also probably helps that my husband is very pleased to see me looking more natural and confident - much to my relief.) Where once I may have judged another woman with no make up I now admire her choice to allow herself to be just as God made her. And I have noticed something that I don't think I saw before - her face frequently looks fresh, sometimes even younger and perhaps more honest. It just isn't the case that all women who are not wearing make up have 'let themselves go'. 

Author Penelope Wilcock in her blog - Kindred of the Quiet Way, tells of a discussion that followed her session on Plain dressing at a retreat. She was told that 'they (unlike the Plain dressing people) took great care over their appearance and felt a responsibility to society to do so.' What is that about? Is someone who dresses more plainly or simply less neat or clean or presentable? Do they contribute less to society? Of course not.

Surely makeup and clothes are not the most important feature of a woman. What Penelope goes on to say is that 'what makes us feel good is being loved, being liked - friendship and affection and acceptance',  and that 'a kind face, a ready smile and a joyous heart are always beautiful'.  


  1. Interesting Asta... I'm probably not a good one to comment on this as have never been a big lipstick fan :) love clear lip balms (Burts Bees a fav) as they moisturise and look natural but have always felt overdone with lipstick. Maybe it is a psychological flashback to my piano teacher when I was a kid who used to wear bright red lipstick...problem was it was never just on her lips and she had a moustache, bless her :). The lippy was always in the moustache. Ewwww I still shudder thinking about it.
    Simplicity.....Think you have hit the nail on the head with "natural, fresh, open". Mind you, sometimes bait of heavy eyeliner gives a girl a lift!! ;)X shellfish

  2. Woops...that's abit not bait! :)

  3. I totally agree that appearance has to do with cleanliness and self respect rather than a certain dress code and makeup. I have never been a regular wearer of makeup and so am pleased when I hear that other women have decided to love themselves as they were made...naturally. This is not to say I don't on occasion wear some light eye makeup and even the scantest of lipstick when I know there will be photos taken. One can be well put together without makeup and yes, it provided the opportunity for a more open and honest countenance. I do still believe in dressing up for church, weddings and funerals as a sign of respect. Not in designer duds or over the top but a nice conservative look which adds to the overall occasion rather than visibly detracting. That all being said I am also a firm believer in caution when it comes to what we put on our skin. Many cosmetics (at least in the US)are loaded with chemicals I would never want on my delicate flesh. All points you've made are worthy of deeper discussion.

  4. I had actually written a much longer entry then cut it back - didn't want to bore anyone. I haven't worn makeup in weeks now, but that doesn't mean that I won't wear it occasionally - night out with my husband for example or 'just because'. And in fact I would like to make my own lip gloss with a little bit of colour in it using something like beetroot. The makeup I had been using was as 'natural' as I could get. I have long been concerned about what we are consuming when we wear lipstick and the danger to our eyes with mascara and so on. Chemicals. chemicals, chemicals. I must say that without foundation on my skin my skin never feels dry like it used to.
    And about dressing as a sign of respect - I totally agree. Thanks for the comments Shell and Ellen xoxox Oh and I have worn red lipstick - and I confess I quite like it, it's fun - but that image of red lipstick in a moustache. Not nice. :)

  5. Will keep my eye out for a lovely blue for you Asta :) sf

  6. There are some things that just shouldn't be blue! :)

  7. My mother never leaves the house without applying all her make-up, even for a quick walk to the shop. Years ago, I chose not to be so rigid about it. I wear make-up for special occasions but for day-to-day life, forget it! Yet, because of being brought up by my mum, for years I felt guilty and lazy for going without make-up, as if I was doing the wrong thing. The day I realised this was a matter a choice rather than right or wrong was a great day.
    This was a great post, thanks :)

  8. Paula thank you. I find it is easier to go make-up less on some days more than others. Every now and then I just want to hide behind make-up again - like when I'm unwell or not feeling particularly confident (but I don't). I do wonder about the affect we have on our girls when we can't go out of the house without it on. Asta x