Since makeup is supposed to enhance your looks, not create a mask or a disguise, it makes sense first to take care of your natural appearance and overall health. Maintaining a balanced diet and getting adequate rest and regular exercise may thus do more to increase your attractiveness than any makeup can.
Beauty consultant Jane Parks-McKay further urges young girls “to start with the basics—namely, regular, effective skin care. . . Many people tend to neglect their skin . . . [and then] cover up their less-than-attractive skins with cosmetics in the hope this will make them beautiful.”
Makeup works best on well-cared-for skin. Explains the book A Lifetime of Beauty: “Cleansing the skin is like preparing a wall for a fresh coat of paint: no matter how pretty the color, the paint job will look slipshod if there are dirt and rough spots underneath. Poorly cleansed skin will look dull and flaky.”
A makeup artist thus told Awake!: “In the morning, a girl can wash her face with a good facial cleanser. She can follow this with a facial toner and a good moisturizer.”
Now, take a good look at your face and analyze your assets and liabilities. Are you endowed with expressive eyes, a reasonably clear complexion, or healthy, even flesh tones? Then you will likely need little or no makeup. On the other hand, perhaps your skin is excessively oily (common during the teen years) and acne-prone. Or you may have some facial feature (such as your cheekbones) you’d like to accentuate. A judicious use of makeup just might help.
In Bible times some women wore black paint to give the illusion of ‘enlarged eyes.’ Today, eye shadow, eyeliner pencils, and liquid eyeliners are used for similar effects. Foundation creams and lotions can even out a blotchy complexion. Blush can highlight your cheekbones.
What if you need some help in choosing or applying makeup? There are books available in public libraries that can help. But you may also want to consult your mother or an older friend. A teenage girl named Tina recalls: “Mom took me shopping and had a makeup clerk figure out what colors I should wear.” Beauty consultants in reputable stores can offer advice on what colors go best with your skin tones and how makeup can best be applied. But since their job is to sell you products, take care that you do not purchase products you do not really need. And because of the unique needs of your Christian life-style, you will want to be sure that you do not purchase colors that might work well in a formal evening setting but would be inappropriate for school or Christian activities.
Styles of makeup vary from land to land. But a few general principles can be stated:
Consider Your Skin Type. Since most teenagers have oily skin, you will likely want to stick with water-based, oil-free makeups. These go on lighter, so you will look less made up. Many also feel that oily makeups aggravate acne.
Read Labels. Compare the ingredients of low-price brands with the expensive versions. Perhaps the only real difference is price and packaging. Reading labels is particularly important if you have allergic reactions to makeup.
Use Bright Lighting. If the lighting is inadequate, you may put on too much makeup. Since makeup applied by fluorescent light may look harsh in sunlight, try applying your makeup near a window so you can see how it looks in natural light.
Use Makeup Sparingly. Too much of even a good thing can be harmful. If your face virtually screams “makeup!” you are wearing too much or you are wearing colors that are too strong. Makeup that is overdone cheapens your appearance and may even give the wrong impression as to your moral principles. So stick to subtle, not gaudy, shades. Master the techniques of makeup application so that blush does not look like a painted streak across your face or eye shadow does not make you look like a raccoon.
Cleanse Your Face Thoroughly. Says the book A Lifetime of Beauty: “Never go to sleep at night without removing every trace of makeup . . . Habitually sleeping with a layer of dirt, debris and dead skin cells stuck to your face will leave your complexion looking muddy and dull.” One dermatologist even claims that “you risk infection and irritation if you fail to clean off all makeup each night before retiring.” Use a makeup solvent, such as a cold cream, to cleanse your face.
“Prettiness may be vain,” says Proverbs 31:30, and even artfully applied makeup cannot mask a negative disposition or a shallow mind. The Bible reminds us: “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment . . . Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.