The Make-Up Trap

It was amazing in totally the wrong way. It was exhaustive and saddening to the core of my heart. With one look at that little glass bottle full of gooey “pretty”stuff, the insecurities came back. My beauty and confidence melted and the overpowering addiction for make-up returned.

It was a youth event two weeks ago. The boys were doing “boy stuff” and us girls were doing, well, “girl stuff.” We were supposed to have makeovers. Every one was happy about it and no one could really understand why I wasn’t. After all, make up can get rid of things like zits and pimples, bring out eyes, give a pale face colour, and make a girl beautiful.

As I sat there, watching each girl get her make over done by a professional, I wondered what I should do. At first, my resolution was a firm “No.” I’d made a promise not to wear make up for a year and I wanted to stick to it. But as I watched each girl go up and saw the fun of picking colours out and how they glowed when the artist was finished, I started to succumb. With a little make up, we could all look beautiful.

Suddenly, I became aware of every imperfection on my face. I thought of the skin I wished were clearer. I remembered the red spots and the zits I just couldn’t get rid of. I felt my chapped lips and recalled how my cheekbones could be more defined. Thinking of this, I felt ugly.

I knew that the foundation would wash away my zits. I remembered how a little blush could make my cheekbones look perfect. Make-up, I realized, could make me beautiful.

I didn’t want to believe it, but I did. I’d come to refute the lie many times, but now I gave in. I had been called beautiful and accepted myself and every girl as such, with or without make-up several times in the ten months. Still, I couldn’t help but think that all of the guys would notice me as the odd one out with all the other girls in make-up. No one would think I was beautiful today. Now, with the bottles of foundation and eye liner brushes staring me in the face, I let go of all the beauty, confidence, and joy I had every known. The make-up made me feel uglier than I had ever felt before.

I was trapped that night in the church room with girls getting their make-up done. I was trapped by the lies and misconceptions about beauty. The force of a world without true beauty imprisoned me. I gave in to Satan’s lies that He tries to get me and every woman to believe. I fell into the make-up trap and my beauty disappeared.

But then it hit me, that I was believing a bunch of lies. As quickly as the temptation had come, God’s truth brought me back. I talked to my youth pastor. I looked at myself in the mirror and remembered that God had made me beautiful just the way I was. I realized that if just looking at make-up made me feel ugly, how much uglier would I feel when it was on my face?

There is nothing inherently wrong with make-up, in my opinion. I think that it can be fun to experiment with from time to time and that it is OK to use on a regular basis. I still wear it when I am in a play and will probably use a bit for special occasions like Grad or my wedding day. However, when it consumes you the way it consumed me a year ago it is not healthy. If you can’t live without it and feel ugly when it isn’t on your face then make-up is an addiction, a trap, and something that needs to be cut from your life.

That night, when we all came downstairs, I was happy with my choice. No one noticed that I wasn’t wearing make-up. My youth pastor and a leader even commended my choice. And throughout the night, I felt free like I had the first time I swam again, because make-up did not ensnare me. I didn’t have to worry about it melting off of my face or smudging. Instead of worrying about how ugly I would look without make-up, I smiled in the fact that God had made me beautiful.

What is trapping you today? Is it make-up? Or is it something else? What is holding you from freedom in Christ? I encourage you to take it to God today and fight against any insecurity that is holding you down. With His love, you can conquer your greatest fears.


8 thoughts on “The Make-Up Trap

  1. Good post Elizabeth!
    Our world is a snare, almost anything they classify as beautiful, we know through God will not make us beautiful. Besides, God did make us just the way HE wanted us to be, why change it?
    Oh, and just something I thought of that might encourage you 😉 Any boy that you WOULD want attracted to you, wouldn’t be attracted to you for your face. Would you really want to marry a guy just because he thought your face pretty? I wouldn’t 😉 Keep in mind, it’s what is on the INSIDE that God loves, and other Christians will too 🙂
    Love Sarah Bomske

    • Thank you, Sarah! I totally agree. While I am not against make-up, I know that there is no girl in the world who NEEDS it to look beautiful. God has blessed all of us with beauty, on the inside and outside.

      Your words are so encouraging! I’ve heard that before and I do believe it, but it is great to be reminded of each day! A guy who will love a girl for who she is and not what she looks like is the guy really matters. Personally, I think that getting to know the inside makes a person more beautiful on the outside, too.

      Thanks again for your encouragement!


  2. I loved this post and would like to congratulate you on not giving into the peer pressure. I know that, in middle school, I caved all the time and made myself into somebody so…hideous…simply because my friend wanted me to! It wasn’t until I was with her and a guy friend and I asked her if my eyeliner was curved off too much, and the guy said, “it doesn’t matter…you need to stop painting a face on” that I started to doubt my intentions in wearing it. When I had a falling out with the girlfriend and realized how malicious I was, I was more than happy to wash my face of it for good. For the sake of professionalism, I wear a little bit of makeup…sure, a little foundation if I have dark undereyes, some mascara, maybe some blush. Like you pointed out in this post, not many people notice if I’m wearing it or not, and if I leave home without it, I don’t mind.

    It saddens me to see a lot of young women relying on makeup every day of their lives. . .like they don’t think they’re good enough! I wear a little more makeup on special events, just for the sake of it, but I’m comfortable enough with myself and what God has given me to appreciate what God gave me. There were so many body issues I had in public school…come to think of it, all basing from one misguided and malicious girl. Everything about me, to her, was wrong, and she had no problem publicly degrading me over it. Telling me I was too thin. That my breasts were too small. That I didn’t wear enough makeup. On and on it went. Such a vicious cycle, and I’m so glad I’m out of it!

    That being said, I agree with you…I don’t have any problems with girls who wear makeup. Whatever floats your boat, and your self confidence is your business. But truthfully, so many girls don’t need it, because God has graced us all with incredible looks.

    • Thank you, Kate…for your encouragement and for sharing your story. I hope that lots of girls will read the comments as well as the post so they can see what you wrote. It makes me so sad to hear about a struggle like yours, but I am thrilled that you were able to make a change. Your guyfriend was right and I am glad that he said that to you. I am sorry for the pain that you went through with that one friend. It makes me so mad when people bully like that. I just wish I could stop it all. Anyway, I’m glad you realized the truth and stopped being friends with her.

      Yes, I would agree…God made us all beautiful. 🙂

  3. You are so beautiful for standing up for what you believe in!
    “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” -Psalm 139:13-14

  4. You are refreshing and beautiful. There are so many things I never questioned as a youth, that perhaps were holding me back from freedom in Christ, but were just so much a part of my peer’s lives or the culture around me that I didn’t think anything of it. Thank you, because with your convictions and love for Jesus you will help others see their freedom is waiting for them too!

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