Cosmetics (Photo credit: My Sight, as You See.)

“Before he finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milkah, who was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor. The woman was very beautiful…” Genesis 24:15-21

What struck me about this passage was the last sentence, “The woman was very beautiful.”

I don’t know what Rebekah looked like, but I bet she didn’t wear make-up and invest in hair spray. Her hands probably had callouses from chores and carrying water to and from the well. I doubt she shaved her legs or arm pits. Probably no one on television would have put her on the screen without a hair and make-up session. Some agent somewhere probably would have suggested plastic surgery. Rebekah was beautiful without make-up, plastic surgery, or hairspray.

Make-up is expensive. I used to wear the full entourage of make-up and buy hairspray. Now I wear minimum make-up (eyeliner and eyeshadow) and only use mousse; the mousse lasts several months. The make-up lasts a year. For special occasions, I might get out the mineral make-up and put on a full face, but usually I am comfortable in my own skin enough to be content barefaced. Not all women feel that way.

An average woman, ABC News reported, spends thousands of dollars a year on beauty and salon treatments. “That’s about 160 hours of grooming and primping.” The report went on to talk about the woman who went without make-up for a year. While I wouldn’t stop shaving my legs, I did agree with her on not wearing make-up. The woman puts a bit of gel in her hair and walks out the door. When I think of the 160 hours an average woman spends grooming and primping herself, I think of how much life is missed spent in the bathroom. Make-up on a hot day could look cakey, or on a rainy day washes off. But there’s nothing wrong with wearing make-up. For me, though, I have my morning routine down to ten minutes a day.

This frees up my time and allows me to enjoy a slower morning or get other business done before I start my day job. Interestingly enough, I once complained about wearing make-up to my former boss. She asked me why I felt I had to wear make-up.

This made me think. Nothing in any employee book had ever said women must wear make-up in their dress code. So who started that obligation? Why do we think we have to wear make-up? Foundation doesn’t really do anything except smooth the skin. All your blemishes look worse with make-up over it. Eye make up is okay, but when you add up the price tag for just the eye make-up, well, it’s enough to buy movie tickets. The only reason people look good with a lot of make up is because of the air brushing and photoshopping which make them look natural, while in person, it would look like they wore too much make-up. Today’s Christian Woman interviewed another woman who also went barefaced:

“We’re products of our culture. Only after going without makeup for a month did I realize how silly it can be to think we’ve got to have all these colors and dark lashes and perfect lips. Going deeper, I’m learning that we focus on beauty (or whatever else becomes our god) to avoid contending with disappointment. If I can make my appearance the reason people do or don’t like me, then I have an easy way of avoiding the fact that some people simply aren’t going to respond to me the way I wish they would.”

Rebekah was beautiful barefaced…just the way God made her!

What’s your morning routine like?