Are You a Monet or a Picasso?

by Gwendolyn Anderson

Make up is a huge part of the female lifestyle. Since the ancient Egyptians, we’ve been painting our faces. Sure there are your granola hold-outs – and good for them – but 90 percent of the girls I know wear make up, myself included. And yet, I can’t help but wonder what God thinks about it. Imagine how Monet or Picasso would have felt if just after they stepped back from their masterpiece, some brush cleaner came along and said, “We could use a little accent here, and a little highlighting there.” Don’t you suppose that God made us just as He thinks we should look?

Whereas I have a hard time arguing that point with myself, I prefer to think of my face as a beautiful canvas and God has made me the artist – make-up being my medium. 

Just like art – there are literally millions of ways to express ourselves with make-up, and just like art, our work can reflect our values. So if God gave us the canvas and we want to fill it with a work that reflects our appreciation of it and our love for Him, what do you suppose God would approve of in terms of artistic style? Personally, I think God would like us to paint our canvas in a way that accentuates the natural beauty of the canvas, rather than something that is hardly recognizable as human, such as raccoon-eyes. That would be about the same as that apprentice walking up to the masterpiece and drawing a big silly stick figure in the middle of Monet’s garden.

In fact, that raccoon-eye thang is one of my pet make-up peeves. Even the most beautiful of eyes cease to look human and instead take on the appearance of a nasty little garbage eater. A bigger problem is that raccoon make-up, calls to mind gothic and emo subcultures. Are these the values you want to convey through your art? Are these the values you want to convey in a job interview? Besides the stereotype confusion, all that make-up around your eyes isn’t good for your skin!

OK, I’ve harshed a lot on black eyes, but that’s not the only way to look unnatural. Let’s talk about foundation. Getting the right shade is important; if we don’t match our skin within a shade or two difference, our faces end up looking either underworld pale or “I fell asleep on the tanning bed” dark – either way, a real mismatch with the rest of our bodies. If we’re going to wear turtlenecks and gloves all day, we can get away with that, but if we’re going to even show some ear lobe, we need to ask a friend we can trust, “Does my make-up match my complexion?” 

Getting the right shade is the first step to laying a great foundation. There’s another biggie that a lot of women skip and it’s another one of my personal pet make-up peeves. We can’t put make-up all over our bodies – we have to draw the line somewhere, and most of us do it on the jawbone, just where the face is ending and the neck is beginning. That’s fine, but please, please, make sure that the line that separates foundation color from natural skin color is well blurred. Cosmetic wedges work well for blending. You can’t blend too much, and do it all the way around the face – we don’t want any hard and fast lines on the scalp either, right?

Lastly, go light on the foundation. Too much makes us look like Barbie – that is, plastic.

Just like other things, make-up can be used for good or “evil.” Our works of art can accentuate our natural God-given beauty or they can make us look fake and creepy. Let’s honor the Master when we paint on His canvas.


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