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Makeup for Women: Permissible?
What is the ruling on wearing certain makeup products called contouring in which a dark powder is applied under the cheekbones to make the face look thinner and more defined? Does it come under the ruling of changing the creation of Allah as it makes the face look much shaped and thinner than originally. Also, this trend was started by the West but now it is common all over the world Muslim or non-Muslim. If so, then isn't all makeup doing that as it is supposed to enhance the features, for example, using eyebrows pencil to fill in the brows without plucking them or wearing concealer to hide imperfections. That is shaping as contouring does. I'm really confused about this.


In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 


All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.


In this fatwa:


There is nothing wrong with using cosmetics with the following conditions:


1- They should not contain anything that is harmful to the user.


2- Using it should not involve imitation of disbelieving women.


3- That no impure substance is added to its components.


4- That the woman should not flaunt herself wearing those cosmetics in front of non-mahram men.


There is nothing wrong with using cosmetics subject to certain conditions:


1- They should not contain anything that is harmful to the user. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:


“There should be neither harm nor reciprocating harm.” (Ahmad and Ibn Majah)


2- Using it should not involve imitation of disbelieving women. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:


“Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Abu Dawud)


What is meant by imitating is that if this is something that is unique to disbelieving women, or a woman does that in imitation of a particular disbelieving woman.


If that is widespread among Muslim women, and is not unique to disbelieving women, and it is not done for the purpose of imitating disbelieving women, then the issue of imitation that is prohibited no longer applies.


3- That no impure substance is added to its components, such as fat from improperly slaughtered animals or pigs, unless it is a very small amount that is fully absorbed into the other substance or transformed (chemically) into another substance.


4- That the woman should not flaunt herself wearing those cosmetics in front of non-mahram men.


This is not regarded as changing the creation of Allah, because it is not permanent. Rather it is like henna, wars [memecylon tinctorium, a plant used for dye]  and so on.


Hence there is also nothing wrong with using eyebrow pencils, or using cream to hide blemishes, so long as that is not done to deceive a suitor and the like.


The female Companions used to put wars on their faces for the purpose of beautifying and brightening their faces.


It was narrated that Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: We used to put wars on our faces to hide freckles. (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)


Al-Iraqi said: “Wars is a yellow plant that grows in Yemen, from which a cosmetic for the face is taken.” (Tarh at-Tathreeb, 5:49)


Ibn al-Jawzi said: “With regard to medicines that remove freckles and beautify the face for the husband, I do not see anything wrong with them.” (Ahkam an-Nisa’, 160)


What is the ruling on using creams to whiten the skin; is there anything wrong with that for women?


If they whiten the skin permanently, that is not permissible, because that is akin to tattooing, filing the teeth and creating gaps between the teeth.


But if it whitens the skin for a certain length of time, then when it is washed, that effect disappears, there is nothing wrong with it. (Fatawa Nur `ala ad-Darb)


In conclusion, the makeup products called contouring come under the same ruling as wars and henna which are permissible.


This is in contrast to substances that are injected under the skin or bone which, if their effects are permanent, come under the same ruling as tattoos and are not permissible unless they are used to treat or remove a defect, not for the purpose of beautification or enhancing beauty.


 Almighty Allah knows best.