12 PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR USING COSMETICS AND ‘MAKE-UP’ FOR THE DEVOTEES!
Actual Question from a girl devotee (Name hidden):
“Hare Krishna Prabhu . I have a question but wish to remain anonymous. Im still learning about Krishna consciousness and the way of life. I used to use make up so i have learnt about make up and now using animal free make up however i also tint my hair blonde and wanted to know if i can i use tilak. Im pure inside however very fashionable and young living in this material world. So i was wondering if i can use tilak when go temple with the blonde hair. (People tint their hair when its grey to black however i prefer blonde. Being doing this for many years but now that im following Krishna consciousness i want to use tilak however was wondering if i can and Is there any rules. I am not an Initiated devotee but i am a vegetarian for 2 years now going onto 3.”
Actually, we can’t totally refuse doing simple make up for the body because every devotee is expected to be clean physically. Only if we keep our body clean and healthy, we can practice devotion properly.
Clean and healthy body does not mean making excessive care for the external outlook. A simple make up can be done to have a pleasing and neat outlook, not for attracting others.
A girl is expected to be in a dress and make up that pleases her husband, not others. If she is unmarried, she may follow a decent way of dressing and make up.
Same applies for men.
Let us see some basic points about make up for our body:
(1) A man or woman should wear a decent dress that closes the body completely without the exposure of any sensitive body parts. Vedic system recommends saree for women and dhoti for men.
(2) A woman may choose a dress that suits her body according to whether she is fat or slim, like a Salwar/ Chuditar or Saree. These three are considered to be the dress suitable for girl/ woman devotees. If it suits the body, a girl may also wear a long skirt that covers till the feet. Because, even the residents of Vrindavana wore such long skirts and sarees. Short skirts is not good that it may have some exposure. The point is that the body parts should be completely covered. However, while wearing the Salwar/ Chuditar/ long skirt, it is advisable to wear a dhupatta that freely covers the chest completely.
It is advisable for women not to wear a dress that is too tight exposing their body structure. They may use free size dress that do not show the actual shape of the body parts.
For this same reason, wearing only the jeans is not healthy and if you wear, you may also wear a long kurti and dhupatta.
(4) Women may use hair oil or moisturizer for dry skin if it does not contain animal ingredients. There are natural preparations that can be prepared even in our home or can be bought from the market. A simple coconut oil willalways be good for both men and women devotees.
(5) A men or women who crossed thirties need not colour their hairs because hiding the age is not necessary in devotional life. Try to be natural and the hair coloring may show an artificial outlook of being young in spite of our age. Why should we hide our white hairs? It shows our age and experience. However, if the hairs became white even in young age (for example, in twenties) because of acidity, health problems, etc, you may treat them first, but, if it does not help, you may use a natural hair colour to suit your country’s natural hair color. But, the consciousness should be to just be comfortable, not for attraction.
(6) Women may use a gentle nail polish if they feel fresh of the colour that resembles the natural colour of nails and that do not apparently show an appealing look, but, coloring the nails is not necessary. Try to be natural looking. Instead of nail polish, using mehanti is good for women. It is natural and even during vedic period, mehanti was used.
(7) Sorry to say, using lip sticks is an unnecessary addition. However, if the women feel the broken lips or very dry lips may use lip moisturizers that do not contain animal ingredients.
(8) Using shampoo or soap is alright and during vedic period, the people used Shikakai (a herb that cleans the oil in the hairs). They may also use hibiscus flower paste for hairs that is natural. However, the devotees should never use the cosmetic products that contain tulasi.
(9) Women are recommended to always wear kumkum or red tilak on their forehead. However, when they wear tilak of gopi chandan, no other tilaks are necessary.
(10) Wearing gold ear rings, steads in their ears and chains, necklaces are allowed for women, but, it is advisable to wear them in limited quantities that do not show the richness. Too much of gold wears make the appearance materialistic and gold is a residence of kali purusha. Therefore, use gold in limited quantities. Even artificial ornaments can be kept in limited quantities.
(11) Applying creams or oils for broken feet, broken lips, broken nails, etc are allowed if they are not made up of animal ingredients.
(12) The length of hairs can be allowed as per the tradition followed in every country. However, during the vedic period, the women had long hairs because it is the gift for women. However, oiling the hairs and controlling them with clips is recommended and it is advisable not to allow the hairs to scatter and fly uncontrolled. It gives a materialistic approach.
The above mentioned points are just recommendations and you need not consider them as control. In devotional life, we are expected to follow a devotional approach and having a materialistic appearance may disturb our consciousness and preparedness to follow all the devotional practices.
When we show ourselves as a devotee, we will be approached by like minded devotees. If we have a highly materialistic appearance, we will be approached more by materialistic people.
Hence these suggestions, nothing else.
Hope this reply helps you.