by Elizabeth Dorsey
So you may be wondering what a makeup fast is and why on earth anybody would ever do one. At least, that’s the general reaction I got when telling people about mine.
A makeup fast is just like any other fast except that you go without makeup, instead of going without food. Now you may be thinking, “Well makeup isn’t nearly as important to me as food- so I don’t get it.” If you’re thinking that, then you probably don’t need to do a makeup fast. But if you are thinking, “Wow I really don’t think I could go out with no makeup!” – then you may want to read on.
The reason I decided to do the fast was simple: I was chaperoning a youth retreat and the days were packed so full, and the mornings SO early that, by the third day I didn’t wake up until right before breakfast. I had no time to put on makeup. I went to breakfast and wasn’t embarrassed of what I looked like, but the thought that I wasn’t wearing makeup never left my mind. After breakfast we had some free time and a few of the girls asked me what I was going to do. I told them that I needed to go put on makeup. They all looked at me and told me I was beautiful and they couldn’t even tell the difference from when I was actually wearing makeup. Then a friend of mine told me about a time years ago when she had done a makeup fast and how much it taught her. I thought, “Wow, what I good idea!” and decided in a snap decision to do it.
Three weeks with no makeup. I thought, “This won’t be hard; I know I’m pretty,” and for the rest of the trip I was fine. It felt great to not need makeup remover every night. Not carrying a makeup bag made my purse lighter.
But once we got home I started to feel the pressure. The secure environment of the retreat was gone and the world was screaming loud and clear. Everywhere I looked I saw really beautiful women and wanted to make myself beautiful too. I would get ready to go out with friends and not feel whole. I had many moments when I would say to my mom, “Oh no I have to give announcements at church in front of everyone with no makeup!” or “Oh man I’m going to be in a video with just my face.” I longed desperately for the confidence my makeup gave me, until I realized what God was doing.
Wearing makeup had made become part of my identity. God needed to show me who I was and where my confidence came from. He is my anchor; not perfectly lined eyes and red lips. What’s interesting is most of my friends said they couldn’t tell the difference, and I was getting the same amount of compliments as I did with makeup.
Okay everyone, get ready; I’m about to quote One Direction. I know it’s cheesy but I was driving in the car when this song came on and the lyrics rang true for me in that moment:
“Don’t need makeup to cover up, being the way that you are is enough… everyone else in the room can see it, everyone else but you.”
I realized “WHOA, it really is JUST ME that thinks this way!” I am the only one sees the huge difference in my appearance when I wear makeup. My friends don’t like me because I’m pretty and, I started to realize, I don’t want them to.
Now for all you single girls out there who are feeling the pressure to attract a man, I hear you. But if you are a pursuing a man who values beauty most, that says a lot about his character…you should stay away.
God made us each unique and loves and values each of us so dearly. We need to be able to look in the mirror and see a wonderful, magnificent creation of God.
I am not saying that makeup is evil, but I challenge you to resist what the world loudly speaks to us: That makeup is essential, that we are not OK the way we are, and that beauty can be bought. Those things are not truth and truth is only found one place. Go to the Word of God and find out what God has said about you. You may find that you no longer need an $8 tube of mascara.