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What Does the Bible Say About Wearing Makeup and Jewelry?

The Bible’s answer

While it does not discuss this subject in detail, the Bible does not condemn the wearing of makeup, jewelry, or other forms of adornment. However, rather than focusing on physical appearance, the Bible promotes “the incorruptible adornment of the quiet and mild spirit.”​—1 Peter 3:​3, 4.

Physical adornment not condemned

  • Faithful women in the Bible adorned themselves. Rebekah, who married Abraham’s son Isaac, wore a gold nose ring, gold bracelets, and other expensive jewelry that she received as a gift from her future father-in-law. (Genesis 24:22, 30, 53) Similarly, Esther accepted “beauty treatments” to prepare for her potential role as queen of the Persian Empire. (Esther 2:​7, 9, 12) These treatments apparently included the use of “cosmetics,” or “different kinds of makeup.”​—New International Version; Easy-to-Read Version.

  • Bible illustrations use jewelry in favorable comparisons. For instance, a person who offers good advice is compared to “an earring of gold . . . to the receptive ear.” (Proverbs 25:12) Likewise, God himself compared his treatment of the nation of Israel to that of a husband who adorns his bride with bracelets, a necklace, and earrings. This adornment made the nation “extremely beautiful.”​—Ezekiel 16:11-​13.

Misconceptions about makeup and jewelry

Misconception: At 1 Peter 3:3, the Bible condemns “the braiding of hair and the wearing of gold ornaments.”

Fact: The context shows that the Bible is highlighting the value of inner beauty in contrast to that of a fine appearance or adornment. (1 Peter 3:​3-6) This contrast is also made elsewhere in the Bible.​—1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 11:22; 31:30; 1 Timothy 2:​9, 10.

Misconception: The use of eye paint, or “eye shadow,” by wicked Queen Jezebel proves that wearing makeup is wrong.​—2 Kings 9:​30, footnote.

Fact: Jezebel, who practiced sorcery and murder, was judged for her wicked deeds, not for her appearance.​—2 Kings 9:​7, 22, 36, 37.