There's nothing categorically anti-recovery about focusing on, and enhancing, your appearance. Whether it's wearing make-up, getting your hair styled, or buying new clothes, many appearance-related behaviors don't threaten the spirit of recovery.
Some, on the other hand, do. When trying to decide whether a particular beauty service or process is in line with the values of recovery, you might want to ask yourself these two important questions:
1) Does the behavior cause me harm?
2) Can I do without the behavior?
In general, if the answers are "no" and "yes," this is a behavior that is a choice and has no negative consequences. With that in mind, if it's something you want to do, why not do it?
If a particular appearance-related behavior you're considering does cause harm (physical, emotional, financial, etc.), then you might want to think twice. Cosmetic surgery, for instance, might cause physical pain (and come with certain risks) and can create a dependence on additional procedures over time, though certainly not always. Your morning skincare regimen might not cause any physical harm, but it might drain precious resources (time, money, energy), important factors to consider when making your decision.
The second question helps you establish how important the behavior is to you and how much of a choice engaging in it is, versus a need or compulsion. For those who are graying, for instance, and choose to color their hair, could you imagine yourself going without your regular root touch-ups? If so, it seems the behavior (dyeing your hair) doesn't have much power of you, which might provide support for continuing to do it.
Think about other examples: straightening your hair, using cream to reduce skin discoloration, microblading, shaving your legs, getting regular manicures, using injectable fillers. Ask yourself the two questions above to get more of an understanding of any consequences of this behavior and your relationship to it. Many things we do to improve how we look (or how we feel about how we look) can jibe with eating disorder recovery, while some, you'll see, cannot. But still, it's important not to judge the urge (or even the acting on the urge) - in others or ourselves - to engage in any beauty-enhancing procedure, no matter how harmful or compulsive. We've all been socialized to value the beauty ideal.
And yes, you can wear make-up in recovery.
You can find Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder? Challenging Our Nation's Fixation with Food and Weight on Amazon (as a paperback and Kindle) and at BarnesandNoble.com.