MAKEUP! What’s OK on Shabbat


Ten women, ranging in age from 20 to 60, leaned forward, focusing intently as Allison Chait carefully dusted a finely ground makeup powder across the cheeks of one of the women.

“It doesn’t look like color by number even though the colors are not touching,” another woman pointed out.

The women, some in hats or wigs, some without, gathered at the Five Towns Jewish Community Center for a two hour class in the application of makeup on Shabbat. They came to learn what is approved for use and how to use it.

Chait, a resident of North Woodmere, has been a makeup artist for ten years. She currently works out of Quorum, a salon on Central Avenue in Cedarhurst.

She demonstrated the use of the various mineral-based powders on the faces of two volunteers from the class, using a different brush for each powder and maintaining a separation between each area colored by the different pigments. She explained the Shabbat technique, contrasting it with her weekday makeup application methods.

During the week, a base coat or foundation on the face as well as other cream or moist coverage for the eye area can be applied to help retain the makeup applied on top. On Shabbat, the face and eye area must be clean and dry and each finely powdered approved color must be applied with its own brush, no sponges, applicators or fingers, to each isolated area. Colors cannot be mixed or blended.

She proceeded to demonstrate the application of powdered bronzer, blush, eyeliner, concealer, eye shadow, lip powder and the various brushes to apply them with. She also demonstrated the use of an eyeshield, used to isolate each differently colored area from its neighbor to prevent the blending of colors.

“I get the powder in my eye with contact lenses,” commented one observer. “I get it in the corner of my eye,” said one of the makeup “models.”

As Chait worked, she dispensed advice and information in general as well as for Shabbat makeup use. “It takes a while to learn,” explained Chait.

When she came to Quorum five years ago, she was unsatisfied with the Shabbat makeup line then in use. “I felt it was not the best quality and wanted to come out with a line of high quality makeup to use for Shabbat.

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