Please note: The answers on Hawramani.com constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

Makeup is permissible in Islam (with conditions)

I want to know if makeup is permissible? If you apply as natural and light as possible?

According to Ali Gomaa (Egypt’s former chief mufti), makeup is permissible as long as it is not overdone.

From a scientific perspective there are two ways of applying makeup. One of them is to enhance one’s appearance. This type of makeup cannot be easily noticed and is designed to enhance a woman’s natural appearance.

The second type of makeup is the one where a woman applies thick eye shadow and bright red lipstick (or something similar). According to the book Conflicts of Fitness: Islam, America, and Evolutionary Psychology:

It turns out that when a woman becomes sexually aroused, certain physiologic changes take place. Among these changes are dilation of the pupils and the blood vessels in the cheeks and lips.

The book goes on to discuss how through applying makeup that recreates the impression of those physiologic changes, a woman creates the impression of being sexually aroused, and this makes her attract men’s sexual interest.

The second type of makeup is immodest, similar to wearing a tight dress. It advertises a woman’s sexuality. There is not a clear line separating the one type of makeup from the other, it is up to her to decide whether she has put on too much makeup or not, similar to deciding on whether a dress is too tight.

And God knows best.

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