Getting a Professional Make-Up Job

This is a terrific question that came to me way back in June, 2013:

Subject: Very Important Funerals
Message: Hey Peacebang!
I hope that you’re having a great time at your General Assembly.

I’ve just started a position at a church that has a “Very Important Member” (big-city mover/shaker) who is 100+. Her (already planned) funeral will be at [public secular arts venue], and a lot of the nuts and bolts of the event have already been worked out to be implemented the moment she passes away.

Here’s my question: I always strive to be professional and dignified in my dress/makeup/hear when I’m performing sacred duties for my people. It occurs to me, though, that at this Very Important Funeral, it may be necessary to go the extra mile in regard to appearance. Do you think it be appropriate to get my hair and make up professionally done ahead of the funeral? Should I find a stylist now and work out the face/hair stuff so that when the funeral is nigh I can just pop in and get it done with minimal stress?

I’d love your feedback on this.

Dear Very Thoughtful Minister,

I checked in with you the other day and you assured me that your Very Important Member is still with us, which gives us an opportunity to address this question before the event.

I see from your photo that you are a beautiful woman who clearly knows how to do her own hair and make-up. So let me say from a personal consultation viewpoint that I think you are perfectly equipped to get yourself ready for this occasion without professional help from your local equivalent of Kevin Aucoin.

That said, let me ask you this: would it help you feel more grounded, confident and faithful to get your face and hair “did?” Would doing so feel like a tribute to the grande dame whose life you will be lifting up? If so, it’s no one’s business but yours if you slip away to a salon and let pros get your ready for the service. Lordy, haven’t we seen how disgraceful it appears when an officiant clearly has no sense of occasion and utterly fails to rise to the formality of a funeral? All funerals are public, and the one you anticipate is ultra-public. You are wise and responsible to consider your appearance ahead of time. There will be photographers there and there will likely be video cameras as well. A word to fellas: this applies to you, too. Get your rump in the barber’s chair for a fresh shave and coiff before an important occasion. It’s the respectful thing to do.

Here’s what I would recommend: do a trial run. Plan your outfit, plan your hair and make-up and do it all just the way you intend to do it the day of the funeral. Sunday morning seems a good time to do a dress rehearsal. Have someone get you on film and check everything to make sure you approve of it all. If the hair was difficult to do and you think it may be a problem on the big day to repeat your ‘do, take your stylist into confidence and arrange to have it done privately the day of or day before the funeral. Or you may have a friend who’s good with hair who will arrange to come over at short notice and replicate your style.

Make these preparations prayerfully in the spirit of “making all things ready” for a rite of passage that will place an inordinate amount of pressure on you to exemplify the dignity and grace of the Church in a secular setting. If it’s one less thing to worry about, why not hire someone to do your face and/or hair?

Smart gal. Some may scoff and say, “Oh GEEZ, E., just write a great eulogy and get your robe dry cleaned and, like, use some hair spray!” But I say that this thoughtfulness and care on your part is a way of showing love and respect to the woman whose life you will be honoring and whose soul you will be praying into the arms of the Eternal. Do whatever you need to do to bring all the beauty and shine you can to this very important occasion for this Very Important Member.

Blessings and a kiss of peace, PB

2 Replies to “Getting a Professional Make-Up Job”

  1. Not to the level of getting my face done, but I have had my hair redone (color and cut, not styling) for such events, and it always made me feel better. Doing less than the folks in the pews is letting down the side.

  2. I have done a BIG HUGE PUBLIC service for one public official, as well as a smaller one designed for family-only of another (this took place a week before the BIG HUGE PUBLIC.) Both had their satisfactions. The second was def easier to dress well for!

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