Makeup and Kids

Jane asked me about makeup. I won’t tell you which kind, just that she’s asked to start wearing it.

If done tastefully I think it’s okay, but since she’s 12 I’m pretty sure that it won’t be tasteful.

What have y’all done? I’d like some input please.

As a total aside I’m absolutely obsessed with nail polish. I hadn’t worn it in 13 years and I am hopelessly in love with all things OPI. But really, back to Jane. I ‘d like to know what y’all have done or plan to do.

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  1. I do, and I started wearing it around Jane’s age (well, I started wearing it at 4 when I started Kindergarten and I didn’t think I could leave the house without makeup and I was an ADULT because I was going to school. When I discovered I was the only one wearing blue eyeshadow, I decided it wasn’t a must.)

    I’d find a couple of things for her to wear – like lip gloss. It doesn’t seem like she’d need foundation or blush, she could maybe experiment with an eyebrow pencil (eyebrows make a HUGE difference in a face, but so few people know how to work ’em.) Maybe a fun eyeliner but not for school, and in a really muted tone – no black.

    I’d shop together – so she understands that makeup is pricey, and it’s something you can do together (girl day!) and you can gently guide. Also, a place like MAC or an upscale makeup counter should be able to guide you and be appropriate for her age. If they’re not, find a different counter.

  2. Yargh. Don’t you hate those ‘stop that growing up thing you child you!’ stepping stones?

    I’m weird. No one else except my husband should parent like I do. I let my child dye her hair pink at 7 (it’s hair, it grows back) but won’t let her pierce her ears until she’s at least 10 (it’s permanent body modification, socially acceptable, but still body modification – why is there a difference where the hole is? Does the ear or the nose make a difference? It’s all of 3″ away.)
    So of course I’m weird about makeup.
    I didn’t let her play with it when she was 3 and wanted to do the clownface makeup… oh yeah, I gave in at 3 1/2 as long as she didn’t look that way outside of the house.
    My sweet 3 y.o. started looking like Tammy Faye and Blinkie the Clown’s love child.
    I try to pull her back from the ledge.
    Lip gloss helps. I told her she might get away with a little mascara by the age of 12. Powder blush? Okay. But the minute she looks like some mashup of clown and whore, she will scare me back into years of no makeup. So she had best go gently there.

    Honestly? If it’s pretty and light and non-tacky? I will learn to cope. But she’s not going to wear makeup that makes her look like Amy Fischer looking for a hot date.

    Blue eyeshadow? out.

  3. My daughter’s four and has makeup but it’s part of her pretend play. And she’s not allowed to wear it out of the house.
    I wasn’t allowed makeup until I was 16. Not sure why that arbitrary age but by the time I was allowed I wasn’t really “into” it any longer. It was a huge thrill, though, to get a big makeup case for my 16th birthday.
    I’d say if you decide to go for it, make sure she does do it right. Take her shopping at a proper makeup counter – not the drugstore. Book her in for a consultation and have her shown how to apply it properly, what colours work best for her, etc. You know that’s going to be better coming from a stranger than coming from mom.
    Discuss the chemicals in the products and make sure she’s aware that the cheap, glitsy looking stuff also contains carcinogens and other questionable ingredients.
    I’m kind of looking forward to the day when Teaghan seriously wants to wear makeup. I was never a girly-girl myself but I think learning about it together could be great bonding time to mark that older relationship with her.
    If she put something on and looks ridiculous, take a picture and show it to her – the pictue will point it out more than her mirror will. And explain the difference between stage makeup like Lady Gaga wears and everyday makeup like the women in the Avon catalogue.

  4. I wasn’t allowed until I was 16. I was allowed to wear lipsmacker before that.

    For my girls…I dunno, I foresee the older one probably asking before I’m ready. She’s been begging to wear high heels for years now. Anywho…I would probably make her wait it out a bit.

  5. I think it’s okay to start with some simple make-up. I seem to remember starting my daughter off with some nail polish and lip gloss — not lipstick. The important thing is to work with her so she doesn’t look like a drag queen. I didn’t allow lipstick or eyeshadow until she was older. But be prepared for her to experiment with colors. I also started her off with the petite nate fragrances. It was geared for girls her age and Heather absolutely loved using it. The scent was mild and not long lasting, thank goodness. Good luck and try to have fun with it.

  6. I plan on doing what my mom did, because I thought we both won. Soon after my 13th birthday my mom took me to Merle Norman (are those around anymore?) and a make-up lady did my make up, natural looking, without lots of crap and showed me how to do every step. Now at 13 there doesn’t need to be too many steps, damn their youthful skin, but we bought some make up to go home with and use. I was allowed to wear it to school, but not take it with me to reapply. I could take some flavored crap for my lips, but that was the extent. The caveat was if I ever left the house “looking like a street walker” (her words) then the make up would be taken away indefinitely. She “paid for it after all.” I had to pay half of all my make up purchases after and after I ran out of the initial set of make up and saw the cost of replacing it, it lost its allure. I ended up wearing concealer (horrible dark circles inherited), powder, blush, mascara and light lipstick or lip gloss and that is pretty much all I wear today. I think those habits were instilled early and just stuck. I also played a lot of sports and the make up wasn’t worth it during those times. I found that the girls who were severely restricted were the ones glopping stuff on their faces at breaks and didn’t know what they looked like to the outside world.

    One last note, my daughter goes to private school too and they have a very strict dress code which dictates what type of make up the girls can wear and at what grades. I think the most they can ever have is mascara and lip gloss. I must say that is just fine with me. So, maybe your dress code has some guidelines you have to follow? I know when I tell my daughter that the school says it that it has tons more authority than I do. (and they can be the meanies, not me) Good luck and would love to hear what you decide.

  7. My mom wore make-up every day of her adult life. I have no idea why she didn’t give me any instruction in applying make-up. If she had, maybe we would not have had so many arguments about how much black eyeliner I wore in junior high. It is one thing I am trying to do differently with my daughter, who is three-and-a-half. It isn’t like I am telling her that she needs a little blush to perk up — she’s a preschooler — but, she watches me when I put on make-up in the morning. I talk to her about what I am doing and why. I brush a touch of the excess blush and eyeshadow across her skin when I am done. It is practically invisibile, but she is beaming because she gets to do something the same as mommy.

    I will let her get her ears pierced and wear daily make-up when she goes to middle school. By then, I expect her to know what is reasonable to wear in the daytime. She can start getting her eyebrows waxed as soon as she asks for it. Poor thing already has mommy’s monobrow.

  8. I remember having the makeup talk with my mom when I was probably to young to be wearing it. I think the best way to go about it is to make sure that she knows that she’s beautiful and that makeup should only be worn to enhance her features. Take her to a Bobbie Brown counter because they are great about minimal makeup and looking natural. I’d say at 12 if she is really wanting to wear it you should compromise. Maybe tell her that blush, lipgloss and mascara are okay. If those are things YOU are okay with. That way she gets to feel grown up but she doesn’t lose the natural beauty that comes with being 12.

    It might also help to tell her that wearing lots of makeup, like foundation, coverup and powder can clog her pores & lead to breakouts. No preteen wants that. :)

    Good luck!

  9. I started when I was 12, and was allowed to wear lip gloss, mascara, and blush. Everything else opened up in the next couple of years, but only when my mom could see that I could apply with a light hand and had gauged what was appropriate. She showed me how to apply each without looking silly, and made sure the blush and gloss were semi-transparent, softer shades so that nothing looked harsh or high-contrast.

    I’d take her to a MAC counter, and explain which products you intended to buy — and JUST those — and then ask the one with the best makeup to show her how to apply those things. Let them know you want a natural look, and they’ll do a great job of that, along with teaching her about blending and application. Origins might be another great pick.

    My mom also emphasized that I could only take the lip gloss with me to school — nothing else.

    Once I was 14, I could wear whatever I wanted.

    Hair dyeing was MUCH more contentious, because I had (in retrospect) fantastic mahogany hair naturally. I didn’t dye until I was 30, and that to take out early freaking gray hairs, courtesy of my dad’s genes. :)

  10. My daughters started at 12, but then they were in middle school. I only allowed them to use a very light neutral eyeshadow and mascara, and eyeliner. If I felt it wasnt done tastefully I would tell them. My girls have both received compliments on how clean and natural their makeup looks.

  11. I wouldn’t let her wear eye make-up – even mascara.

    When we are young we don’t realize how precious that beautiful, as of yet, unlined, thin skin is around the eyes!

    Eye make-up of any kind means touching, pulling, scrubbing that delicate skin which leads to wrinkles early on.

    When she’s 40, she’ll thank you – profusely!

  12. I was told I wouldn’t be allowed to wear make-up until I was 16; but then when I got my period right before Christmas when I was 13 I think my mom felt bad for me. On Christmas Eve before the relatives arrived, she gave me a pretty little red make-up kit. I wasn’t allowed to wear foundation, or lipstick, both of which I hate the feel of, anyways.

  13. Oooh, I just remembered “cheating” with my makeup…I was allowed the lip gloss & nothing else when I was 13-14ish. But I used to wear hair gel, and I would put a little on my finger, and touch it to my lashes. It gave them a perpetually wet look…which darkened them! I have almost white lashes (which why I am almost always wearing mascara without fail), and the moisture darkened them enough to make my eyes brighten just a little. It also kept them in the curled position (I never did/have used a lash curler, but the moisture seems to do this on it’s own).

    I know my mom let me wear a little makeup on picture days when I was a teen…but we have such different skin tones that I couldn’t really use up too much of her makeup. Mascara & usually the teeniest dab of lipstick that was watered down with my gloss…my mom wore more browns, I needed pink.

  14. My oldest is 10 and we’ve already had the makeup talk too. Mostly because I wear makeup a lot and I’ve let my girls play in my makeup for fun. So of course my 10 year old would be curious and ask. My rules in my house is everything is a stage. Driving etc. You can do certain things in life when you reach a certain age. So because she is 10 and I knew she would be curious and probably do it when I wasn’t looking I headed down to the store and bought a ton of lip gloss and those flavored lip stick things. You know they don’t really show but it makes my daughter feel like she has her own. I bought face wash and moisturizer for her and clear mascara. I know she doesn’t need mascara..heck she doesn’t need makeup but starting off with the basics and letting her learn can’t hurt.

    I did buy her a thing of eye shadow with various colors and I have sat her down and showed her how to wear it appropriately and apply it correctly. She only wears it on the weekends (by her choice) but I think it makes her feel better having it.

  15. OK, Katie is turning 12 in a month and asked the make-up question this year when she started middle school. I wanted her to feel good about herself but she is too young, in my book, for full make-up. We decided it should come in phases. When she started middle school we let her wear lip gloss and clear mascara. Nail polish (light colors) are also fine. Next year, we’ll add regular mascara and maybe eyeshadow. Overall her makeup will have to be tasteful and natural, I am not afraid to make her take it off if it’s not. Our oldest, 20, went through a black eye- liner phase but in the end she ditched it for a more attractive look.

  16. Thankfully, my daughter got to spend time with a professional make-up artist who taught her how to do it properly. I thought if I protested too much, she’d become one of those kids that would run to the girls’ room and completely transform herself – and do it all wrong! So I let her wear the make-up she was given. It was heavy use for about a week, but I kept my mouth shut. Sure enough, she stopped wearing it as much. Now, she might wear a little eyeliner every so often, but she got over the make-up obsession fairly quickly.

  17. When I was in 4th grade (9 years old? 10?) my favorite aunt gave me a gallon-sized ziploc baggie full of makeup she didn’t want any more. She was childless, so I suppose in her misguided way, she thought it would be fun for me to play with.

    So, I started experimenting with it, and I loved it! I assumed that my very strict mother would never let me out of the house wearing makeup at that age, so I snuck it to school. I wasn’t very good at applying it, and my teacher noticed that I was wearing it. She found a bottle of foundation in my desk, and sent a little note home with me for my mom.

    I was expecting World War 3, but to my surprise, my mom was really understanding about it. She made a deal with me: as long as it looked natural, I could wear it out of the house. That meant no blue eyeshadow, no dark eyeliner, and lipgloss instead of lipstick. Also, foundation was out… it had to be pressed powder. She explained to me that makeup was supposed to enhance what you already have, not to draw on new features. And she showed me how to apply it correctly.

    Now I’m 29, and I find that I need a little more than pressed powder to get the job done. But, I still prefer the natural look to the smokey eye or the sculpted cheekbones. I personally don’t think that there’s anything wrong with a girl your daughter’s age wearing a small amount of makeup, and if you’re the one to teach her how to use it (instead of her friends… talk about the blind leading the blind), then she’ll take that with her down the road. :)

  18. On the first day of 6th grade one girl was wearing lip gloss. On the first day of 7th grade all the girls were wearing lip gloss. I was 11 & 1/2 for the first day of school, and that Hanukah (I’d turned 12) one of my presents was two of my very own lip glosses I could keep in my room and wear whenever I wanted. My mom would give me her almost-finished eyeshadows and blushes.

    I really wish she’d taught me how to use makeup, or taken me to a makeup counter where a professional could teach me. I always felt my mother looked garish when she put on makeup.

    So I just say teach her that “more is NOT better” and if you can’t teach her how to use makeup herself, take her to Clinique or Sephora or wherever to get someone else to teach her how to use it.

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  20. my  daughter wanted to wear makeup when she was 9.i allowed her lipgloss and mascarra.at ten the blush and pressed powder started.now shes 12 and she can also wear lipstick,concealer,nail polish and liner to school.

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