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Women, Make-up and Wedding Ceremonies

By Annabelle Atangakak

“Looking good is good business” so the adage goes, but does that imply that it is necessary for every bride to wear make-up on her big day

As it is so believed by the male folks, make up is the application of foundation, powder, lipsticks and the likes of it, however make-up does not just start or end there. Make-up is the application of any cosmetic whatsoever on the face, even down to white powder or lip gloss. Nevertheless, make up kits are made to enhance the beauty of one’s self.

Before the invention of the present day make-up kits, copper and lead ore were what the ancient Egyptians used to create the world’s first cosmetics to the scientifically advanced products of today that can do everything from hide pores, smooth complexions, and turn the pale green of your eyes a vivid shade of emerald, make-up has been an integral part of humankind for thousands of years.

Over the centuries, women used burnt matches to darken their eyes, berries to stain their lips and young boys’ urine to fade their freckles. They even swallowed ox blood in some misguided attempt to improve their complexions.

Women throughout history put their health at risk with many of their homemade cosmetics. In some cultures, for example, women used arsenic, lead, mercury, and even leeches to give themselves the pale appearance deemed beautiful in the old days. Thankfully, we’ve come a long way from the days of using toxic and deadly mixtures to enhance our looks.

With the advent of mary kay, classic, milani, mac products and so many other, women have the opened opportunity to purchase which ever product suits their skin rather than use those homemade cosmetics that exposed their skin to harm.

Record has it that women have abused the use of makeup in the sense that they wear excess of it leaving the men that comes after them confused because they do not know the true beauty of the woman behind the make-up.

An Algerian man recently sued his wife for damages a day after their wedding, after seeing her without make-up for the first time, saying “I feel cheated”.

The groom was was said to be shocked after seeing his bride’s face the morning after their wedding that he failed to even recognise her, he even accused her of being a thief that had broken into his house.

After realizing it was in fact the woman he had married only yesterday, he decided to take her to court – accusing her of  inflicting ‘psychological suffering’ by ‘cheating’ him with her make-up.

The groom is currently seeking $20,000 for damages.

Make-up has become very addictive for Nigerian women that they feel insecure about their self when they do not wear it in the cause of going for an occasion.

It has however been made a tradition in the country that during a wedding celebration every woman must wear make-up to look glamorous and stunning. It is therefore not a crime to wear make-up so long it is worn moderately.

Recently a Nigerian woman who was mistaken to be Ghanaian, on her wedding day did not wear make-up by choice but her decision was perceived as a violation of tradition by so many.

The bride who was thought to be Ghanaian whom is actually Nigerian is by name Bisola Umoren.

In an interview with Vanguard, Bisola who is married to Philip Umoren said “For a good start, I’m not the make-up type. I don’t even wear ear-rings or like to drop my hair. I don’t like any form of inconvenience or discomfort on my face, my neck and entire body.

She continued by saying “It is not a church thing, it is just me and my personal decision. I can do makeup if I want to. In fact, during my engagement in April, I was so pressured to have makeup on. They convinced me that it was going to be nude. I agreed and went for it. Lo and behold, when they were done, I hated myself because I looked so unlike my usual self. I looked darker and older. The whole engagement pictures were nothing to write home about.”

Being that Bisola did not like her look during her engagement was not a reason for her not wanting to wear make-up for her wedding, saying; Just like I was convinced to wear make-up on my engagement day, I was also told to do same for my wedding. I also planned to go for nude make over. I contacted a make-up artiste and she was on standby.

On that‎ fateful morning, I was in the car and I looked at the mirror and liked what I saw. Meanwhile, because I was already running late, I had begged the make-up artiste to come over and do the make up in the church (inside the car).

After all, it wasn’t supposed to be a serious thing- just small touch here and there. So, as I stared at myself in the mirror, I looked so natural and beautiful; I really liked what I saw. Some church members also came to me and liked my natural look and agreed with me not to make up.

Secondly, to be honest, when my husband first met me, I had not had my bath, but he saw and fell in love with my natural look. My hair was due, my face looked way older, I was even tying nylon on my hair when he came to me on that fateful morning, yet he loved what he saw. So, who am I supposed to be making all that up for on my wedding day? So, that was it. I think God just decided to crown me with early morning beauty the day I wedded. Interestingly, the photographer and the make-up person, were insisting that I should touch up my face a little but I blatantly refused.

In the process, a marriage committee member overheard us and warned that make-up is not allowed inside the Church, “Christ Apostolic Church, Surulere.”

She also added that she had no idea that they do not wear make-up in the church because that’s not the church she worships at regularly.

“We wedded in my parent’s parish, so we were not used to their rules and regulations, I only go to know that morning that they do not permit wearing of make-up to church. Well, because of that we concluded that I would have some make-up on after the church; before the reception. But the picture that went viral, I had no makeup on, not even powder.”

Wearing of make-up should not be a tradition for every wedding ceremony but a thing of choice. Because every woman wears make-up to church on her big day does not mean it should cloud your decision. Make-up should also be worn moderately for it was designed to enhance the beauty of one’s self and not to confuse the men about your true self because at the end of achieving all that we so desire, these men feel cheated by the action of ladies.

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