El Maquillaje. ‘Makeup’, but… in Spanish, for some reason.

.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

What is beauty?

Like ‘time’, or ‘goodness’, is it one of those very-important, and yet abstract concepts, which are actually a bit difficult to perfectly verbally define?

Beauty: proportion, unity, harmony. And it’s not only skin-deep, since a Muslim’s beauty is to be found in his/her manners.

“The best among you in Islam are those with the best manners,”

Prophet Muhammad (SAW), according to (Bukhari).

But, when primarily putting matters of… physical beauty under the microscope:

What is it, exactly? Who has it?

So many questions. For me, for example, as a hijābi (and, modesty as a value has been inculcated in me from young, it seems, AlHamduli Llah — to a point where it kind of became… second-nature, basically).

Women… naturally want to be physically pretty. But that need not mean that our beauty is contingent upon how many stranger men outside had seen us as walking sexual puppets.

And I think I’ve come to understand, better, why the Almighty has told us to cover: hair, neck-and-chest region. Skin, and curves. Although we may not be aware of all the beautiful ‘subtleties’ He has equipped womankind with: it’s all there. This is how He has created us. First and foremost, feminine human beauty is kind of… undeniable. God-Given, and -Decreed.

The more I discover about beauty, the more I find there is, about it. It’s: health, which affects such things as… quality of skin, and hair, and whether you have that healthy glow or not. It’s: grooming. How you style your hair, and take care of your skin and so on: hygiene, tidiness, self-care. It’s: confidence, [which is a big thing. Confidence, but not arrogance] and smiling, and playing to your strengths. Oh, and: it’s what you wear. Certain clothes and such will likely suit you more.

I have questions pertaining to… makeup, also. To the ‘beauty’ industry, which seems kind of harmful to me, in certain ways. And they can seemingly tend to market ‘alter-your-natural-appearance’ products as… being connected with the concept of ‘health’. Hence: ‘health and beauty’.

Vitamin C-infused concealer, for ‘radiance’. Argan oil mascara. Foundation with minerals in it, and so on. I’m just not… so sure anymore. And then: these widespread takings to filters on Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok.

I do love the natures that Allah has equipped us, and the various other aspects of this Universe, with. I think I’ve noticed, of myself, that:

If I, say, consume less dairy, my skin seems to look and feel less… prickly. If I am less stressed, day-to-day, things are better on that front too, AlHamduli Llah

I do not appreciate it when people touch my face, also. And, I think I’ve come to realise that… wearing concealer, bronzer, mascara, eyeliner… Although, for a day, or part of it, these products may conceal certain things, while making other things stand out a bit more:

I don’t think the human face, with its pores, with how it ‘breathes’, has been made to be ‘covered’ by such chemical substances. The eye, as well: so sensitive, so significant. You know, for a handful of years, I had this bump on my left eye, until it got surgically removed…

I’m pretty sure I got it as a result of wearing mascara [your eyelids, naturally, have these things called meibomian glands lining them, which secrete a type of oil onto the surface of your eye, to keep them moisturised. Subhaan Allah : the human body, huh?]

Anyway: as a result, a great deal of money had to be paid, and… a needle went into my eyelid. So now I guess I have that experience. But it could’ve been prevented, if it weren’t for that meddling… mascara.

In my personal opinion, makeup looks ‘good’ when… far away. i.e.: in pictures, and… looking at someone from afar. But, up close: what are my pores sayyin’? The actual quality of my skin? I guess I would want a glow, if from anywhere, to come from… a glow of health, contentment, and… Noor. Features ‘defined’ by… smiling. And, eyes ‘lined’ with… all of that good stuff that Allah has made me capable of, like feelings and, in turn, expressions of wonder, and fascination, and the rest.

I can now say that I’ve worn zero make-up to a wedding: my cousin’s, last year. I suppose I got a mixed bag of reactions, as a result. Some: kind comments. Some: just comments. One of my cousins called me “brave”.

I hope it doesn’t come to show ‘a lack of care’, but, rather: its opposite. To just be super content with the ways in which Allah has made us. Why aren’t we telling… boys, and… younger girls, to wear makeup? Because we tend to just… like how they are, already (with the help of a bit of cultivation. i.e. good nutrition and exercise and grooming…)

We might look at, say, a seven-year-old, and just be taken by how adorably beautiful they are. Allah Himself has created them! What beauty, what flawlessness in creation.

Why can’t we look at ourselves, and fellow women, and afford ourselves a similar kind of… appreciative acceptance, and, appreciating the unmatchable artistry of God, love?

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