So, I get where she was going with this. We are a culture obsessed with youth and beauty and we are inundated by ideas of perfection from every source imaginable. Outward, superficial appearance is everything. What is inside does not matter in the least. This is the message we are so often left with. Absolutely, there is serious sin in vanity, but does coloring our hair, or using a cream really constitute vanity?
When I was a little girl my mother used to quote a scripture that spoke about the importance of being beautiful on the inside: "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7. One evening she found me weeping. An adult had called me beautiful earlier in the day, and I was so worried that if I was beautiful on the outside, I couldn't possibly be beautiful on the inside.
I think as Christian women, it is important for us to not go to the extreme in either direction. We are capable of using our God given intelligence and our well formed consciences to determine if we've strayed into vanity (spending an inordinate amount of time and resources improving our looks or even venturing into dangerous practices to look better or more youthful), or if we've drifted the other direction into spiritual pride (neglecting our appearance to appear more pious and holy).
My husband appreciates my femininity, and my outward appearance is certainly an extension of that. Personally, wearing a little makeup and a pair of earrings makes me feel physically better, more energized, like I'm ready to tackle the day. Silly, I know, to think a little mascara might make me a better wife and mother, but I really do believe it does.