Friday, September 22, 2006

From Modesty to Vanity

I bought new makeup last weekend. Now, I know most ladies would read a statement like that and wonder why in the world I would devote my time and energy to writing something that is pretty standard for a woman's list of necessities. When my mom was visiting this summer, she recommended a line of makeup that I try. This is my mom who used the same brand of makeup for about fifteen years, and even she was convinced to make the switch. So after much debating, I decided to throw my cheap products in the trash and go with something totally new. As I said, this may not be all that intriguing to your average individual, but for me this was a significant move on a number of levels.

I tend to be what some would consider almost too frugal when it comes to buying clothes and makeup for myself. I've just never been a big shopper for such things. You will often find me deciding on new books or scrapbook materials to buy before deciding whether or not to purchase a new shade of eyeshadow. The same makeup has been sitting on my dresser simply because it is inexpensive, not because of it being of significant benefit to the look or health of my face. I go into stores like Ulta and have a feeling comparable to dizziness as I don't even know where to begin looking for specific products. Well, when my mother was in town, we had this discussion about my skincare, and I was convinced by the end of our talk that it was time to invest in skincare and makeup that was really worth my money. I've been using this new makeup now for just over a week and while I am not one to advertise products, I must say that this is one of the greatest purchases I have ever made when it comes to any kind of cosmetics. It is so fresh and illuminating, I oftentimes forget that I am wearing makeup at all.

There is something to be said about products that can give you full coverage, but still let you be comfortable in your own skin. This is particularly significant for me due to the skin problems I have had and will have for my entire life. Due to the nature of my condition (tuberous sclerosis), I have an assortment of issues with my skin. The most noticeable areas to the public eye are those on my face. Rather than being comfortable in my own skin, I have often tried to mask the problems. As an adolescent, even my clothing choices often reflected just how modest I was. I was so concerned with my own opinions of how my skin looked to the outside world that I covered up. I was concerned about how any article of clothing would cover me, from bathing suits to the pants I chose to wear. Looking back now, I think I was defined by how modest I was in my choice of clothing, and I saw it as some great virtue held throughout my adolescence. But when does modesty become vanity? The concern with young girls is often immodesty, but when does the extreme of that become just as great of a concern? I was more than defined by my decision to dress modestly: I was consumed.

When you look at the pattern of idols in our hearts, even modesty can become vain. Something initially desired and viewed as good can quickly turn into a form of self-worship. Modesty becomes vain when I am defined by such while simultaneously shaking my head when another woman tells me the truth that I am a child, a daughter, of the King. "'Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.'" (Matthew 23:25-26, ESV) The Lord was gracious in showing me over time that my heart is what people see. No matter how modest I may appear outwardly, others will know whether or not I truly possess a spirit of gentility and grace. If there are heart issues consuming me, such as constant concerns with my skin problems, no measure of external modesty will mask the real me. This pertains to my face as well. No amount of makeup will cover up the real blemishes--the lies regarding how I look to others, the lies that tell me that how I look outwardly is essential--those idols sitting comfortably on the throne in my heart.

PRAISE HIM that I am wonderfully made, bought with the precious blood of Christ and not based on my own choosing, but according to His glorious grace and sovereign will! Praise Him according to His glorious grace, for we are made new, forgiven, redeemed, and intricately created in His image.

Make me over, make me new ~ Make me a mirror, a reflection of You ~ Take me all apart ~ Take me to Your heart and pull me closer ~ Sweet Savior, make me over ~ I am only made of Your imagining ~ I'm dust and clay on the wind ~ Wash me in the river of Your sacrifice ~ Until I'm changed, purified ~ Take me all apart ~ Take me to Your heart and pull me closer ~ My Jesus, make me over (N.G.)

"Those who look to him are radiant,and their faces shall never be ashamed." (Psalm 34:5)


sajini said...

So what line of makeup did you buy?

GloryandGrace said...


As I said in my post, my mom used the same makeup for years, and because of the skin problems I have (some related to my skin condition) I've been trying different makeups for a long time. When she switched over to it, I thought it must be good and clean for her to start using it, so I went up to an Ulta here in Louisville and tried it for myself!

Thanks for posting a comment! :)

Grace and peace~

sajini said...

So... I just went and shelled out some money for some bareminerals!!! I throw my makeup out once a year has gone by!! So I AM LOVING IT!!!! Thanks for the tip girl!!

GloryandGrace said...

Haha, that's great! Now, given my experience using it thus far, I'd be surprised if something else came along that convinced me to switch! Glad you're enjoying it!!