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Makeup on Shabbos applied by gentile


My daughter is a kallah. Since she became engaged she has broken out with a severe case of acne. Needless to say this has caused her a great deal of distress and anguish. Without makeup, her face is unsightly red and pocked to the point of looking disfigured. She is panicked by the prospect of not being able to apply makeup on shabbos sheva bruches. Would there be a way to permit us to hire a gentile to apply makeup on shabbos morning? So-called “shabbos” makeup does not provide sufficient coverage. We would make all arrangements prior to shabbos and my daughter would sit perfectly still and allow the gentile to apply the makeup without assisting in any way.


This sounds like a serious and difficult situation. Before we even get to the halachic aspect of things, she should go to a skin doctor ASAP to investigate the cause of the acne, it could be because of hormonal changes etc. and to see if there are any ways to treat it to alleviate the problem. However from a halachic standpoint, under the assumption that you are asking regarding having the gentile apply foundation, cover up and blush, but not for lipstick and eye makeup, because she most probably does not have acne on her lips or eyelids. Besides which there are 24 hour lipsticks that she can put on before shabbos, also eye liner and mascara that was applies before shabbos will last without a problem, so that this will not be an issue.

Regarding applying foundation and blush in the form of a lotion to her fore head, and cheeks, R’ Y. Zilberstein shlit”a said that in this very needed situation you may have a gentile apply the makeup to her cheeks and forehead etc., and we are not afraid that she will move and help the cosmetologist, because it is just being applied to a straight area and there is no need for her help.

H-shem should help your daughter that she should be zoche to buildshabbos a bayis neeman b’yisroel, and I hope everything goes well.

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