At the beginning of May, Rorie Weisberg, an Orthodox woman from Monsey, sued cosmetics giant Lancome claiming her makeup, advertised as 24-hour coverage, did not last the full 24 hours of Shabbat.
Some saw Weisberg’s suit as ludicrous or just plain old litigious, but others are seemingly sympathetic. The Orthodox makeup problem is apparently a real one, with observant women facing the problem not only on the Sabbath, when applying makeup is forbidden, but even worse, during two- or even three-day holidays.
What is a religiously observant women to do? Spray hairspray on her face, of course.
That’s the advice Maddy Borch got from her sister, according to the New York Post. Hairspray, the stronger the better, hardens makeup on the face so it lasts longer.
Other Shabbat beauty advice includes sleeping with your hair in a sock to keep it shiny and glamorous. And, if applying toxic spray to the face isn’t your thing, use a permanent marker instead of eyeliner. It might not look quite as good, but it will last.
Other more sensible tips include sipping soup with a straw so as not to smudge lipstick, or applying make-up with a “drag queen” thickness, or simply layering the makeup.
It’s tempting to dismiss this as absurd, but as a man who does not claim to understand the social demands of beauty, I’ll hold my tongue. After all, ingenuity, regardless of the context, is still ingenuity.