Make-up is an ancient art form, faces are canvases and the hues of pinks and reds, tones of browns and beiges, tints of golden shimmer are the pigments. Since long ago, women have adorned their faces and enhanced their features with make-up. Few can resist exploring the colours and textures that exist in the make-up industry…and even fewer would deny the beauty of make-up. The four corners of the world all have their fair share of bold makeup artists exploiting this art. With every passing year comes new techniques and trends. Almost every month sees the launch of new product to help you up your game. Masterclasses are developed and taught world-wide. But all of this comes at a price…
Firstly, the pain in our pockets riveted by the extortionate prices of make-up. Although it often feels like we desperately need that new lipstick even though we have many of a similar shade, but in our eyes, no two are the same; so, we really do need that new lipstick…or do we?
Make up is permissible in our religion and even encouraged in certain circumstances, but with conditions to regulate its use. Just like everything else make-up can have devastating consequences if left unchecked.
Back to the pain in our pockets; Allah has blessed all of us with varying quantities of wealth, which is a trust. The rich should care for the poor, a binding duty upon them. However, spending on one’s personal luxuries has taken precedence over caring for others, which has become secondary. My sisters, invest your money in more lasting channels; your make-up will eventually finish, or you will leave it behind when you die, so invest in something that will continue even after your death. My dear sisters, do not become addicted to buying every new product that lines the shelves, becoming extravagant. There is no harm in buying make-up, just ensure you have a balance.
Satan has made fair-seeming to us everything that could lead us astray. He begins small, with the little things, he makes one become attached to things of this world, such that he or she loves it, and fears death. This is called wahn; an affliction which has plagued many of us today, except those on whom Allah has mercy. We must be cautious of falling into this trap; as much as we love our dear make-up, we must have a limit.
Narrated Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Let the slave of Dinar and Dirham, of Qateefa and Khamisa (i.e. money and luxurious clothes) perish for he is pleased if these things are given to him, and if not, he is displeased!” (Bukhari)
My dear sisters, beware of becoming a slave to make-up; that you become pleased when you have it, and feel empty when you don’t. Don’t let the make-up industry rule you. Alhamdulilah, Allah has blessed us with abundance, and we are able to afford these little treats, but we should not become hoarders.
My sisters, as beautiful as you may look with your make-up on, you should never be dissatisfied with how Allah created you. You were designed by the Best of Creators, The Fashioner, and He knows what is best for you. You should never let the popular image of what is beautiful as propelled by the media affect your self-esteem, and make you feel any less than what you are. Everyone is unique, everyone is beautiful in their own way. Don’t ever feel ‘ugly’ compared to the media’s beauty standards. True beauty starts from within; and within your heart is iman; that makes you more beautiful than models who don’t posses an inkling of faith.
Next point to note; while it is encouraged for women to adorn themselves and make themselves beautiful for their husbands, a muslim woman should cover her beauty whenever she leaves the house, or if she appears before non-mahram men. We have been commanded by Allah to conceal our adornments, and make-up is most certainly a part of our beautification. There is no point in donning a hijab only to sport it with a cake-face! Similarly, is the case of wearing niqab with eye-slits only to wear a tonne of mascara and a dramatic cat-liner. My dear sister, the purpose of the hijab/niqab is to protect you, and to cover your beauty so that you are not taken advantage of. Wearing make-up with the hijab/niqab is a juxtaposition.
One final note, is the issue of men wearing make-up. Many youths have been sucked up by the trends, and we may find even amongst muslims, men who wear make-up. For men to do so is an imitation of women, which is not permissible, men have been created with masculinity. Things that are effeminate are not appropriate for men. You can read more on this subject here.
In summary, we have touched upon a few guidelines regarding make-up use; firstly, that we should not be extravagant in buying makeup, secondly that we should not become hoarders, also that we should cover ourselves properly when leaving the house and not make a display of our beauty; and that we should be satisfied with how Allah created us, and not feel ‘ugly’ or imperfect. Last but not least we briefly looked at the issue of men wearing make-up. With social media bursting with make-up trends and everyone’s make-up stash exposed, the epidemic of make-up hoarding, buying, and exposing one’s beauty has become a norm. Let us remember that we are muslims first and foremost and we have guidelines to follow.
We ask Allah to help us come closer to Him, and do only that which pleases Him.