Ecclesiastes 3:6 says there is “a time to keep and a time to cast away.” Well… March is my time to cast away makeup.
People think I’m crazy. A teenaged girl going an entire month without a stitch of makeup? That’s ridiculous… right? This was my second year of participating in No Makeup March, and, truth be told, it even seemed a little ridiculous to me sometimes. What’s the point of letting the world see every little imperfection? Well… we’ll get to that.
Let me be perfectly clear: I don’t think there’s a thing in the world wrong with makeup. Like I’ve said before, it’s fun to put on the pretty dress, a dash of eye shadow, and some lipstick and feel like a million bucks. As long as we’re being modest, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look our best. However, there are a few reasons why taking a step back from this kind of material beauty can be good.
Going without makeup boosts self-confidence.
I know what you’re thinking. “What? Boosts self-confidence? Yeah, this great big zit on my face is really a confidence booster.” But take a look at what God has to say about your appearance. Take a look at Psalm 139:14. In this psalm, David is talking about how well God knows him: so well that He knew him before anybody else did. To emphasize his point, he says, “You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.” God made us without any makeup on our faces… and God’s works are wonderful! Why do we need to add on to God’s excellent creation? Really, this doesn’t build confidence in ourselves, but confidence in God’s perfect works.
Going without makeup allows us to focus on our inner beauty.
Take a look at 1 Peter 3:3-4. I’m sure you might have heard this before, but it’s God’s Word! We can’t hear it too many times. The text reads, “Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, and putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” There are a few things I want to notice. First, note the word “merely.” When I was a little girl, I always thought this verse meant that it was wrong to braid your hair, but now I realize that’s obviously not what Peter was saying. It’s fine to want to look pretty, but that can’t be all we’re focusing on in terms of beauty. Next, look at “but let it be.” The word “but” implies a “rather” or “instead”. We are to let our godliness be our most noticeable adornment. I also want you to notice that Peter emphasizes the eternality of this godliness. Proverbs 31:30 tells us that “beauty is fleeting, but the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.” Unlike material beauty, godliness lasts long after our bodies begin to age and decay. This last part is my favorite: “precious in the sight of God.” In the sight! We wear makeup and other material things to be pretty in the sight of people, but we want to look pretty in God’s all-knowing sight.
Let’s change gears a little and turn to 1 Samuel 16:1-13. If you would, just go ahead and read the whole thing. Here Samuel is getting ready to anoint the next king of Israel, whom God will appoint. Let’s focus on verse 7 for a minute. The Lord tells Samuel, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” We love to idealize this verse. We love to say, “It doesn’t matter if you’re not the best-looking person in the world—God loves you anyway.” But I love contrasting that idea with verse 12, talking about David’s appearance: “Now he was ruddy, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance.” See what God did there? David, at least how I picture him, looks like a king, but God JUST emphasized to Samuel that He couldn’t care less what people look like. God doesn’t care if we’re ugly… but He doesn’t care if we’re pretty either! He cares about our hearts.
Finally, going without makeup can open doors to evangelism.
Depending on who you are, going without makeup for a month can attract a lot of attention. Truth be told, a lot of people didn’t notice that I wasn’t wearing makeup, because I don’t normally wear very much anyway. However, I have a friend that ALWAYS wears makeup kinda heavily. People noticed her (and her stunning natural beauty), and she got to tell them what was going on. That God made her, and God doesn’t make anything that’s not beautiful. That she wanted to focus exclusively on her inner beauty for a while. That a lot of other girls in her church youth group were participating. She invited people to church as a result of them asking about No Makeup March.
I realize it’s another year until No Makeup March, but try it for even just a day. See what results you get. See if you don’t feel beautiful, confident, and close to God. If you’re focusing on Him, I guarantee you’ll feel awesome.