Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. There is confusion among us women regarding whether it is permissible to perform the prayer (salah) with cosmetics and lipstick on. Some of us say that a woman may apply lipstick, etc., after wudu’ (ablution) and then she can offer her prayers. Others among us say that a woman's prayer cannot be accepted when she is wearing lipstick. Please explain what is the right position?
Answer (Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi):
Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
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.
Sister, thanks a lot for your question and the interest you show in having a clearer view of the true teachings of Islam. May Allah help you get the right understanding and stand firm on the Straight Path! Ameen!
As for your question, though a woman may pray with clean cosmetics on, she must apply them after wudu’, and she is not allowed to wear them in public where she will be seen by men. If she wears make-up in mixed company, she should cover her face.
In response to your question, Dr. Muzammil H. Siddiqi, former President of the Islamic Society of North America, states:
“To answer your question, I would like to discuss the following two points:
First of all, it is permissible for a woman to use cosmetics and lipstick to beautify herself. She is allowed to pray while wearing her cosmetics as long she has put these things on after wudu'. Of course one has to make sure that the cosmetics one is using do not contain anything that is considered unclean and prohibited in Islam. Some cosmetics might contain products taken from the pig. They are prohibited and should not be used at any time. Women should also make sure to wash all those parts of their body that must be washed for wudu' before applying lipstick or other cosmetics. A woman who neglects her wudu' because she does not want to disturb her make-up is committing a sin.
Wudu' is a necessary precondition for salah. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "The salah is not acceptable without wudu'." Wudu' requires washing both hands, rinsing the mouth, cleaning the nose, washing of the whole face from the forehead to the bottom of the chin and from right ear to the left ear, washing of hands including the elbows, wiping on the hair, neck and behind the ears and washing of feet including the ankles. This is the Sunnah in making wudu'. If any part of the body that must be washed is not washed, then the wudu is incomplete and the prayer thereafter will be invalid.
Secondly, I want to emphasize that although women are allowed to use lipstick or other cosmetics to beautify themselves, however, like all other things in Islam, this should also be done in moderation. Too much involvement in cosmetics and wasting too much money and time on these things is not acceptable in the Islamic value system. Islam wants to develop in its followers, both males and females, a mindset of modesty, moderation and simplicity.
When Muslim women go outside their homes, especially in mixed gatherings, then they should be more careful about their appearance. Their appearance should not be to show off or to invite the glances of men towards them, but to keep their own dignity and honor. They must guard the purity of their own selves as well as the purity of the society around them. Muslim women in America frequently go to their Islamic centers and mosques, and we actually encourage them to do so, because this is necessary for their own and their family's Islamic education, but they must come to the Islamic centers in very modest Islamic dress and appearance.”
Source : Islamonline