When Is Your Daughter Too Young for Makeup?

Mommyish Lindsay Cross

I don’t have kids and I don’t have a ton of experience raising them, dealing with them daily, etc…I’m a big child myself so I can picture myself with a baby of my own, that would be absolute chaos. Their father could sell tickets to the event like it was the circus because hells you know me raising a child would be entertainment at its best.

I don’t claim to know the proper age for makeup and I’m pretty liberal in all my views of life….but maybe…kinda, sorta..four years old might be too young for makeup.

Lindsay Cross wrote an article about how she applies makeup on her four year old daughter for special events and it went viral pretty damn fast. And you know what happens once things go viral, Lindsay started feeling the old Internet backlash….

When is your daughter too young for makeup?

Lindsay points out in her article that she’s let her daughter, …”walk into Church on Easter with sparkling light pink eye shadow, pale pink cheeks and MAC lip gloss…”

Eeep!

One side of me dubs this “awww how cute!” and the other makes me wonder if her daughter may be a little too young to be wearing MAC Lipglass already.

Everyone of course has an opinion mine is somewhat mixed up at the moment.

In some ways I understand a young girl’s curiosity with makeup and pretty things and I also must remind myself this is a REALLY new generation of anything goes. But the very little bit of conservative I have lurking in me says, no, makeup on a four year old is just too much.

What do you think?

Do you have a daughter?

What age is ok for her to start enjoying makeup?

Do share!

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  • 4/30/12 14:30 jenna:

    hmm i don’t have kiddies but i was a little girl myself once upon a time. i was fascinated with watching my mom put on makeup and would beg for just a little lipstick and blush sometimes. it was totally a type of “play” for me aka modelling after mom and i absolutely loved it! i was also in dance so some stage makeup was required sometimes. if a child initiates an interest in makeup, i say let her rock some pink lips the odd time for fun!
    now say your 4 year old refuses to leave the house without makeup.. well then you’ve got a real problem and that type of makeup habit would be inappropriate for that age level.

    Reply

    • 4/30/12 14:33 the Muse:

      jenna valid point ;-D if my four year old started demanding concealer and gloss before she left the house, Houston we DEF have a problem lol! I think it can be fun for a young girl but bringing her out in it…like to say the supermarket or a soccer meet, well, that could be sticky…not sure church is a great place to have your four year old wearing gloss and blush ;-D

      Reply

  • 4/30/12 14:35 Cj:

    Better question. When is your son too young to wear makeup! Lol. I asked my mom this, she said 14. That sounds about right to me :S does that make me horribly conservative??? WAIT I CHANGE MY ANSWER! 13. Yes 13. I think… Yeah. But that’s just for like wearing makeup in public and stuff. It’s all good just playing around the house :)

    Reply

    • 4/30/12 14:38 the Muse:

      I think 14 is a great age tbh for boy or girl. I was about that age when I used a little blush and gloss….I wasn’t heavy into makeup in my teens but I think it’s a nice age for experimenting…but kids are SO much different nowadays so what was our 14 might actually be 10-12 right now…! when did you mom actually let you wear makeup? I don’t think my mom every really forbade me, I just grew into a little blush and gloss when I was in my freshman/sophomore year of HS and she never really said anything about it…but I imagine if I started wearing hard eyeliner and eyeshadow she’d prob have stopped me and said nope, no way…! ;-D

      Reply

      • 4/30/12 14:55 Cj:

        I never had to have that conversation cause I only started getting into makeup and skincare a couple years ago when I was about 18 or 19. And she didn’t even realize for the first couple months till I found her trying to apply some 90 year old cover girl foundation that was about 7 shades too dark. Gave her a makeover :D She’s fine with it, even thought it was kinda cool that I knew so much. I don’t think she likes me wearing eyeshadow every once in a while tho (even tho its always totally neutral and natural!) I guess that’s too much for her lol, even she doesn’t wear it. She’s not really a girly girl, so I actually end up teaching her things here and there

        Reply

        • 4/30/12 15:01 the Muse:

          lol sounds like my mum….seriously my mom isn’t INTO it at ALL! my mom isn’t either, she really loves fragrances but she doesn’t own gloss, foundation, etc…I dunno where the hell I came from ;-D I think it’s wonderful she’s so open with you though! that’s beautiful. More moms/parents need to be as liberal!

          Reply

      • 2/28/13 5:45 Kahmei Gaga:

        i started wearing lipstick at 8 i was having fun at home though but at age 11 i barely wear makeup everyday not like i used to at 10 but i do wear makeup on special occasions ONLY like a party or halloween but i am turning 12 this year on april 11th i think 12 is better to start wearing it

        Reply

    • 4/30/12 14:39 the Muse:

      PS I gotta say that I would really be careful if I had a son. kids aren’t nearly as liberal minded as adults so sending your son to school in gloss/makeup could present potential bully situations so I’d probably make sure he was extra ok when he got home from school and just sit and talk to him a lot more than I would a daughter in makeup. I’d probably be too protective if I had a son versus a daughter.

      Reply

      • 4/30/12 15:20 Cj:

        Yeah I get what you mean. I’m so thankful I live in an area and went to a school that was much more relaxed and liberal than some places. I really never had a bullying incident in my high school, not even someone calling me a name or something.

        Tho that could of been just because I was popular and we ran that sh*t like mean girls pre-lohan… lmao :P

        Reply

        • 4/30/12 15:28 the Muse:

          LOL cj! I can imagine I can imagine ;-D!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I never had issues with bullying either, I’m always really astounded when I read about it in the news or see it on the Internet, etc….I can’t believe that some kids are literally forced into suicide over bullying issues. It’s so SURREAL!

          Reply

          • 4/30/12 15:38 Cj:

            I know what you mean! I remember a long time ago around prom time, I was talking to someone over the Internet and I was saying how me and my bf were going, and they were like and the school allows you?? And I thought they were joking but they were completely serious, apparently some places won’t let a gay couple go to prom or dance. I just couldn’t believe that when I heard it. Some places really have it had.

          • 4/30/12 15:40 the Muse:

            you’re kidding? there are schools that don’t allow gay couples to go to prom!? where did they live? under a rock? Jeez…! that astounds me!!!!!!!!! this isn’t 1955!

  • 4/30/12 14:43 Anna:

    Eh…..I was never really interested in makeup as a child. Four years old is a bit too young. I could understand giving her some Chapstick and the occasional manicure, but children are naturally beautiful. Therefore, makeup is unneccassary. :)

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 14:48 K.B.:

    I don’t think a kid should leave the house wearing makeup (excluding dance recitals, Halloween, etc.) other than a light, natural lip gloss, and that’s only because it’s sparkly and kids are like seagulls. If it’s a rainy day and your kids are driving you nuts because they can’t go outside and work off some energy, then by all means, play dress up or put on a play or play beauty parlor or whatever.

    P.S. I read that article, and I can only IMAGINE the scandal if a small child walked into Mass at my Church wearing makeup when I was growing up. Sweet Pete!

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 14:49 Colleen:

    The girl is just having fun! I have always been obsessed with makeup, when i was 2 i drew all over my face with my moms lipstick! I strated wearing makeup regularly when i was 9 due to bad acne but it quicly evolved into eyeshadow and mascara as well. I think if they show an intrest in it then why not let them try it and have some fun? Is a little mascara and lip gloss going to kill anyone?

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 14:58 Bonnie:

    WAY too young. When I was a kid I was allowed to have ‘play’ children’s makeup (i.e. the chalky fake lipsticks that came in plastic crayons–anyone remember these?). Later, in junior high, I was allowed to wear a LITTLE cheap eye shadow and lip gloss. Absolutely nothing else allowed though. Mom said no to foundation, mascara, real lipstick, etc., until I was 16. Might seem a bit much but looking back, I think she was setting good limits.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 14:58 Carrie:

    I think if it’s just a special occasion thing and it’s done on the light side there’s no harm in it. If/when I have a kid, I probably wouldn’t let her wear it regularly until high school

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 14:59 Hillarie:

    My cousin has a five year old and ever since she turned two she has had a love for lip products. Apparently she has an entire basket full of lip balms and clear lip glosses (so nothing too bad).

    My mom let me wear makeup once I started middle school (so I was 12) as long as she gave her approval before I left the house, but I didn’t start wearing makeup every day until I was almost 16. And now that I’m in college I wear makeup when I am going somewhere off campus, but otherwise I don’t see a point in wearing more than that.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 15:04 AnaA:

    I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong, but I have to agree with what was said near the end of the video: when she says that she likes to wear make-up because it makes her pretty. There are so many wrong concepts in that.

    If she wears it because she likes to pretend she’s older, because it’s fun, because she wants to be like her mom… that’s ok and quite normal (my mom sometimes let me paint my nails… ok, fingers… just because I wanted to be all grown up when I was 4).

    But if at the age of 4 she starts believing the only way to be pretty is to wear make-up… nah, it crosses the line right there.

    Soft make-up on youngsters is ok, needing make-up to feel pretty isn’t.

    Reply

    • 5/3/12 17:58 Tiffany Martin:

      I don’t think we can protect daughters from “wanting to be pretty”, they’ll wear dresses to be pretty, they’ll comb their hair to be pretty, they’ll choose garments and shoes that are pretty.

      We may not like it, but if we dress them in paper bags, cut their hair to bald, and shun makeup that’s the closest we’re going to get to avoiding “pretty.”

      Reply

  • 4/30/12 15:15 Mia D:

    Until a kid reaches 13 they should only wear lip balm/gloss. To me make-up was only put on (under the age of 13) for Halloween or dance recitals. Instead of letting us wear make-up my mom would apply nail polish when we were younger. I think 13 is a good age. They don’t need it when younger and I don’t want a 10yr old worrying about mascara (my daughter is 8yrs old).

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 15:21 Cas:

    This is such a hard question nowadays, I’m currently 8 months pregnant with my first daughter. My twins boys currently model and act, so I imagine my daughter will too, and its hard for me to say when its too young for her to wear makeup due to the industry. I don’t know when they start applying makeup to children honestly, but I don’t think ill let her start wearing serious makeup outside or to school until high school.. Unless its “onset”. I guess we’ll just have to distingush that the camera is pretend time.. Lol.

    Reply

    • 4/30/12 16:43 Littlecreek:

      I think you’re spot on with this. Theres a difference between wearing makeup for theater (or dance or dress up) and wearing makeup to go out, even if it is a holiday.

      Reply

  • 4/30/12 15:23 Lucy:

    I never played with makeup when I was young. I was never particularly interested in the stuff. I remember buying my first rimmel brown eyeliner and my first cheap white eyeshadow when I was 13/14. Around that time till I was 17 I was just wearing black kohl eyeliner. At 17 I bought mac fluidline and 166 and then I just began to love makeup :D

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 15:49 harleygirl:

    I have a fascination with make-up today and with Sephora and I can’t really explain why. I don’t wear much make-up. I’m 35 and only now starting to explore products that I think might enhance my look, but I’m not as bold as some and even though I love bright colors, I won’t wear them. I find that there is some fascination with the colors or the application (because it’s like painting) or in the case of Sephora, the organization of colored items (damn, they are good at knowing how to market their stuff). But even as a kid, I remember the Kissing Barbie and I remember Angel-face Barbie and I remember trying on my mother’s heels and digging through her drawer to find that sample of Avon lipstick that she kept for years and years (which was a horribly gaudy red and VERY waxy). And I think there is an element of “drama” if you will: A child needs imagination and it’s likely that they want to do things that their mother does and that might include make-up.

    I don’t have issues with a little girl wanting to try on make-up – I think it’s just one of many things that they’ll want to imitate. I think I would have a bigger problem if they felt that they had to do it in order to fit in or to look pretty. My daughter will sometimes watch me apply lipstain and ask what I’m doing. I would never tell her that it is to make me prettier. I think as a parent, I have a responsibility to expose her to many things, not just make-up. She should grow up with a fascination with books, painting, music, woodworking, fishing – you name it. There shouldn’t be a limit.

    My daughter told me yesterday that one of her school friends told her that she needed to wear nail polish because that’s what girls did (my daughter is 3.5 years old and her school friend is 5). I don’t wear nail polish and I don’t mind if my daughter wants to wear it (though admittedly, I think 3.5 years is too young to care about these kinds of things), but I don’t want her to wear it because she feels as if she has to do it in order to fit in.

    And I find it unfortunate because the examples that little girls have seem rather limited. Just looking at toys alone, Bratz are like mini-hookers, Princesses never seem to show their tough, intelligent, independent side, and Barbie has started attending princess charm school and is a fashionista (don’t get me wrong – I’m still a Barbie fan, just question some of Mattel’s choices). Girls just need to be exposed to more than just pink-thinking.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 15:54 JJ:

    4 is way too young for makeup; the only time a 4 year old should use makeup is play time and inside the house only. Sending a 4 year old out of the house in makeup for any occasion is sexually said child. How does this woman not get that she is sexualizing her child for sick perverts to drool over?

    I think lipgloss at 12 is fine anything else you should wait till 16. Which is the age I started wearing it at, and i’m currently 21.

    Reply

    • 4/30/12 21:51 k:

      omg how is some eyeshadow and blush and gloss sexualizing a child, i wear that every day and i’m not ‘sexualizing’ myself for any male gaze whatsoever. she’s young but the lil girl is having some fun with mommy’s makeup, that’s all i really see.

      if pervert men see that as ‘sexual’ it is NOT the fault of the little girl or the mother–it’s the fault of that pervert, and the society that says women put on makeup or get ‘pretty’ only to attract male attention.

      Reply

      • 5/1/12 23:44 JJ:

        Having fun with mommy’s make up is fine, but this little girl is already saying she wears it to be pretty. What’s next? Her needing foundation at 12 to be pretty? Or Breast implants at 16 to be pretty? Playing around is one thing like I said but this girl is already showing a self esteem problem by equaling makeup with being pretty.

        Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:16 Ruth:

    I don’t have children either but if I did, i’d lose them like my cats! But, if the daughter wanted to mimic her mommy in the house with play make up, more than fine. A bit of glitter in her hair and clear gloss to go to an event, sure. But a full on face of products at the age of four is bit young. maybe in 7th grade as a child is maturing from childhood into a young teen, more products can be added such a natural shadow and mascara, however that is still too young for a full on dark, smokey eye.

    As for a young man beginning to wear cosmetics, unfortunatly a lot more has to be taken into consideration. for example, how liberal is the area? are their peers at school to going to make fun of the them to the point where they can’t take it anymore? first and foremost is personal safety, cosmetics will be there later in life when it’s more accepted by other adults.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:31 Linda:

    Lipbalm or gloss at any age I think is ok. For some sort of stage event full makeup would be ok. That’s part of the fun. For everyday I think it should be in steps. My mom let me have blush when I was like 13. Then around 14 I was allowed mascara, then later a little eyeliner and foundation to cover teen acne. I don’t think I used eyeshadow till like 18. Just didn’t look right on me.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:31 Sara elisabeth:

    I have a 7-month-old daughter and I will never allow her to wear makeup out of the house until she’s 14, especially if it costs more then a few dollars and doesn’t come from Toy-R-Us. To me, a four-year-old wearing MAC is crazy. Kids needs be kids. Though I think I may be fine with letting my little one playing with some of my makeup as long as she doesn’t wear it out of the house. I will have to see when she gets older.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:42 Chels:

    I started wearing foundation(okay okay heavily tinted sunscreen) in 5th grade. But this was mostly because I started having major acne issues when I was seven and I was becoming waaay too self conscious about it.

    Granted, I didn’t get into that whole blush/eyeshadow/eyeliner game until I was in at least my 3rd year of high school(age 17ish). And even then, it was only “will I wear eyeshadow or blush or eyeliner today?”. Wasn’t till college that I started the “whole face” look.

    So, I think that unless there are extenuating circumstances(like acne at a super young age and it’s affecting the kids emotional centers), kids are better off waiting.

    Reply

    • 5/3/12 17:48 Tiffany Martin:

      Acne issues should get an exception, I mean if you don’t build self confidence because you’re just thinking about your acne that’s terrible.

      I suffered from acne and my parents didn’t let me do makeup so it was great when I finally got my own. I felt a lot less anxiety and I felt like I was able to relax and participate in school at last.

      Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:43 Becky:

    I have four kids and my girls are 12 and 4. My 12 year old is in 6th grade and I would be ok with her using a little now (mascara?) but she isn’t interested. We will see when she goes to jr. High in the fall how that plays out. She will use it on the weekends sometimes and as long as the eyeshadow isn’t crazy then she can go out with it on.

    My 4 year old loves to play ‘makeup’ but she can only wear it in the house/playing outside.. Not going to the store or preschool. Her version of eyeshadow is my glitter UD, not a smokey eye and I don’t do mascara.

    Gloss doesn’t bother me for either girl, I have like eight in my purse and if one of them wanted some (it’s all lighter shades) then that is fine with me but they don’t ask very often. I have bigger things to worry about than gloss on their lips.. :)

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:46 Amanda Elisabeth:

    I didn’t start wearing any makeup besides mascara until I was 15.

    When I was young my mom let me wear her old lipsticks and blushes and I was allowed to have those dinky eyeshadow palettes that Walmart used to sell around the holidays. I had lip glosses and lip balms too. They all barely had any pigmentation.

    Nail polish I think is fine at any age, there’s no harm in it.

    I don’t think it’s a bad thing for a young girl to want to have makeup, but it should be age appropriate.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:47 breyerchic04:

    I’d much rather my kid wore MAC or better yet korres or something natural, than the stuff from Toys R Us or hell-mart. And I think for easter or going out to the ballet or something, a sheer pink gloss with some shimmer is totally ok. Eyeshadow also ok, no mascara or liner or anything on their complexion.

    But I would absolutely not let my child wear makeup to school, or just normal wear until middle school at the earliest. I have done classroom observations for my college classes and seen nine year olds putting on makeup before school in the bathroom or hallway. ICK no. Never. Mom gets final approval till kid is 18.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:52 LeAnn:

    Here’s the thing, it’s none of anyone’s business except the parent themselves to decide when their child is “too young” for something. Children have different maturity and intelligence levels at different ages. If you let other parents dictate when your child is “too young” to be wearing makeup, you let them decide everything- what age they should be to start dating, or watch R-rated movies, etc. It’s highly inappropriate for anyone except the parent of the child to try to participate in parenting.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 16:53 Littlecreek:

    My mom handled the makeup thing brilliantly. As a kid I only wore makeup for dance recitals. Once in middle school (12-14) I was allowed neutral lip gloss and natural colored eyeshadows (pinks and browns that were close to my skin tone). Then in high school she let me choose my own products, but the overall look had to be approved by her so I didn’t walk around looking like a ho. It was socially acceptable in my town for highshoolers (even freshman) to wear a full face of makeup so I had plenty of examples of what not to do. :) Most 15 year olds do not have mastery of a foundation sponge.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 17:04 tiny:

    I paint my 8 year old daughter’s nails all the time.. just something to do that’s fun and girly while we catch up at the end of the week.. A bonding thing.. My two year old LOVES lippies *or pretties as she calls them* and if I’m doing my makeup I’ll pretend to put some blush on her.. But actually WEARING wearing makeup is a “nooooope Chuck Testa!”.. I personally believe it’s more important to stress their inner beauty and natural beauty before teaching them that they need to enhance it.. Makeup should be done because you enjoy it and it’s fun, not because you NEEEEEED it.. Don’t get me wrong.. there’s times where I feel like I need it.. but it’s for me, not for anyone else.. “Don’t wear makeup to feel better, wear makeup to feel EVEN better!”

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 17:21 Sarah:

    over-sexualization of children is bad mmmkay?

    Reply

    • 4/30/12 21:57 k:

      assuming makeup is something inherently sexual to look pretty or to attract someone else is also bad mmkay. some women wear makeup for themselves, not to attract men. looking pretty or dressing up does not have to be sexual. how is a child wearing some pink blush and lipgloss ‘sexual’?

      Reply

      • 5/3/12 17:44 Tiffany Martin:

        I agree k. I like to look nice, that’s all makeup is for me. It’s not for other people.

        A lot of people just make things sexual if you’re a female no matter what you look like.

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  • 4/30/12 17:40 Felicia:

    Hey Muse,

    I don’t have a daughter, but when I was a little I always wanted to play with makeup, but my mom said she won’t let me until I was 16. Actually, she let up when I was 13, when I got my first eyeliner. I think being deprived of makeup when I was a lil kiddo made me crazy about makeup now!

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 21:31 Meg:

    I have a 5 year old daughter who loves makeup. She loves watching me put it on and she loves to dig through my makeup collection. Sometimes we’ll play “makeovers”, as she calls it, and I’ll put a light colored eyeshadow and lip gloss on her. I don’t let her wear makeup outside of the house. She knows it’s just something fun we do together, and she considers it a playtime activity.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 21:59 k:

    the mother seems pretty damn level headed, the girl might be a little young but honestly having a little fun with some light pink eyeshadow and blush and lipgloss doesn’t seem wrong to me. also the mac lipglass is probably one she borrows from her mom, no that mom bought it for her.

    and the mother herself says she doesn’t want her daughter to think makeup makes you ‘pretty’ and without it you’re nothing. she just wants to let the kid have some fun and feel special, i say let her. she even says it’s only for special occasions they do so anyways.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 22:02 Barbara:

    Ehhh I find it hard to draw the line.
    I got my first lipgloss from a friend when I was 14 or so but I never used it so I suppose that doesn’t count LOL
    I bought my first makeup item (concealer) when I was turning 17. Now I’m 18 and what I wear to school consists of concealer, sometimes eyeliner, and mascara. All of them disappear by the end of the school day though, and they’re all very natural looking :P
    If I had a child I wouldn’t let them wear makeup until a bit into high school. Kinda stretching it but I never liked the idea of kids wearing makeup.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 22:31 Grace:

    stories like this one always disturbs me and makes me want to call child services on the mother…

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 22:49 jojo:

    I have a four year old daughter. It’s always been a fear to me that she would play with my makeup since I was pregnant with her since I have such a big collection. It came to my surprise that she would listen to me when I tell her not to touch my makeup. Now I will finally let her wear a lip balm just for fun when she wants, and I tell her only mommy can put it on her. I keep telling her that this is for fun at home and she does not need to wear any makeup until she is an adult. She listens very well and I am lucky! :) I think the key is to balance and not to over do it. A full makeup to go to church is just unnecessary to me.

    Reply

  • 4/30/12 23:00 Julia:

    I was always raiding my Mum’s makeup when I was a kid (I also had an incident where I used her lipstick to draw on the white bathroom walls; but the cat and I looked stunning wearing matching lip colours) and started to wear a full face when I was 12 and it hasn’t affected me in any way. I still wear a decent full face most days.

    Granted, I also love the makeup from Bratz the Movie and anything Monster High, so I’m probably not the best to ask ^^

    Reply

  • 5/1/12 0:39 Quinctia:

    You know what? Some pink shadow, a bit of blush, and some gloss on Easter doesn’t strike me as too different from my grandma buying me a dress with a white hat, some new white shoes, and dabbing on some of the lipstick she was wearing that sunday on my lips after I asked.

    Assuming makeup at all is acceptable in your denominaion, if there were any day where one gets especially gussied up for church, it’d be Easter.

    So, if it’s a few times a year, Mom applies some low-key, high quality stuff from her own collection on a little girl, I don’t have a problem with it. No, I don’t think anyone should buy a four year old her own MAC stuff, but if that’s what Mom wears, that’s what she’s got on hand.

    I think on very young girls, most of the time balms or mostly clear glosses and the occasional bit of polish is all they should ever need. Very special occasions like holidays or weddings might be different. I think that if she shows interest in makeup entering adolescence, it should be allowed with some guidance.

    If I had a daughter, though, I’d probably buy her some makeup once she hit middle school age. Would definitely hope it was something we ended up discussing, at the least. I skipped a grade in school and was in advanced classes, so all my peers were a bit older than I, and I always ended up sneaking things of my mother’s before she realized I might want them. Some makeup in 5th/6th grade, razors once I hit 7th, tampons after I hit puberty because she assumed I would prefer pads, so lots of things, haha!

    Reply

  • 5/1/12 1:00 sherlock:

    hmm makeup is bad for the skin, so i would say no. Also, I’ve seen 4 year olds with winged eyeliner and i thought they looked horrendous. But anyway, where i live in, makeup is not allowed to be worn in school until you’re in college. So its not much of a problem at all.

    Reply

  • 5/1/12 1:59 Amy:

    I always had play makeup and Mom did us up to play ‘dress up’ but it was never worn past my back yard. My parents are very old fashioned and traditional and so in my family 16 was the magic age when a girl transformed into a lady. It was a big deal. Mom took us out to get our makeup done and spoiled us with our first pair of really high, sexy heels and Dad made sure to be the first man to place a diamond ring on our fingers. We were given free reign to dress and do our makeup however we wanted as long as everything was covered and we didn’t look cheap. Mom was merciful and relented on this rule a little when I turned fourteen and broke out in a big way. She allowed foundation, concealer, powder, and later added a barely there blush since she thought I looked dead without it.

    Reply

  • 5/1/12 2:16 Fuuka:

    No way. That is asking for sexual predators to find your child. Clear flavored lipbalm that’s it. I wore/rubbed on Clinique foundation when I was 12 and got really bad acne, but nothing more. haha, Sunday’s episode of MadMen also brought up this issue. Sally wore make-up, and Don told her she couldn’t leave the house until she took it off.

    Reply

    • 5/3/12 17:38 Tiffany Martin:

      Sexual predators are typically people the child knows and trusts (if they were creepy they wouldn’t succeed!). Coaches, spiritual leaders, babysitters, uncles, boyfriends, etc. We know that wearing makeup does not increase the chances of a person being victimized, and it seems silly to apply that even further from a fictional tv show.

      Just because Don’s sexist doesn’t make him right, does it?

      Reply

      • 5/3/12 19:12 Sarah S.:

        Oh no no no, Fuuka. There is no such thing as “asking to be a victim of a sexual predator.” This is a very outdated way to think and rapists try to use that as an excuse all the time. Women anywhere in the world (and girls, boys, and men!) have the basic human right to wear whatever makes them happy and falls under the laws of decency (so, not completely naked) without the risk of harassment or assault. Sexual predators have nothing to blame but themselves.

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  • 5/1/12 9:09 Sarah S.:

    My mom had to wear makeup to her office, but never really wore it otherwise (out to fancy events, maybe?). I, on the other hand, was crazy about makeup and started wearing concealer, powder, lip gloss, and mascara in middle school (and I thought I was weird, but really wanted to try to hide my acne… then I found out on the 8th grade trip that all those girls I thought had “perfect” skin were also wearing concealer and powder!). For me, my daughter can wear concealer/powder/foundation as early as she wants if she’s got breakouts. Lip gloss any time. Eye makeup I’d rather she wait for 8th grade or high school. I’m surprised how many people say 14 or older! Subtle makeup you can’t even really see is fine, and I don’t think makeup always means “sexualization” at all.

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  • 5/1/12 10:26 Amandale:

    I love make-up, so the second my daughter tells me she wants to wear some I’m letting her. Now on that note I don’t mean full on eye shadow, blush, etc. Maybe I’d have her help me pick my things out for me to wear and let her pop on some gloss OR a little light colored blush, just to make her feel involved. I don’t want to shun her completely but still keep it tasteful enough for her age, whatever that may be at the time. But, I still have a while to as she’s only 3 months old >_< Good question though Muse!

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  • 5/1/12 11:18 Keri:

    I think junior high – so about 12? I started wearing horrendous blue eyeshadow in 6th grade and didn’t really wear anything in 7th and 8th. Kids here aren’t allowed to wear makeup in elementary school anyway, so that pretty much takes care of that.

    I was in Sephora a month or so ago and saw about 3 little girls who looked to be 9/10 or so. They were going around to all the samples and putting on makeup – and actually doing a pretty good job!!! While they had on way too much makeup to be running around like that every day, it was clear they were just having a little fun trying on all the “free” makeup while their mom/friend’s mom wasn’t paying much attention.

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  • 5/1/12 11:31 CupK8:

    I think this article is more interesting from a feminist mother perspective – how do you teach your daughter to combat images that you yourself have accepted, despite the fact that you know they can be damaging to a woman’s agency? The fact that the mother is struggling with that question shows great insight as a mother. I’d be more concerned if she didn’t question it, but I still wouldn’t judge, because the programmed messages we receive about beauty are very difficult to challenge, and there are many women who just accept them without question.

    It seems to me that Cross and her daughter regard this as part of the ritual of getting ready for a special occasion – and it also sounds like they are in the performing arts, so some of it is for performance purposes. I’ve been a performer for years, and I also have that ritual, even when not in performance. I do it when I get ready to teach, or for special events. So I completely understand this.

    If I have a daughter, and she wants to wear makeup for a special occasion, I’ll probably let her. Because if she wants to be part of mommy’s ritual, I would feel comfortable letting her take part in this one.

    I also think generalizing all makeup as sexualization is more damaging to the young female psyche than letting her wear makeup because that’s what you do for fancy events.

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  • 5/1/12 12:10 Harshleen:

    I have a 3 year old daughter and I can’t imagine making her wear makeup at 4….of course, she looks at me curiously when I apply makeup. Until she’s 13-14, I won’t feel comfortable letting her play with any kind of makeup.

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  • 5/1/12 13:37 eleanor:

    I am perfectly fine with a little girl “playing” with makeup, like we all did as little girls. I think it is part of figuring out what it means to be female. And I preferred that my daughter use my makeup, since the play makeup from China was dangerous.
    When my daughter hit puberty, which was at 10, I started using concealer to cover some of her worst blemishes, but I put the concealer on, not her, and it was only for when there was a particularly bad one. Now that she is 18, she is free to do as she wishes. Even through she loved a good lipstick, she is very conservative with her makeup. I think things turned out great.

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  • 5/1/12 15:34 christmas:

    I had cystic acne when I was around 7, so I started wearing concealer or foundation a few years after (probably around 10). Since I was taking antibiotics or on retin-a, I had to wear sunscreen anyway, and I used foundation with sunscreen.I didn’t get into other types of makeup like mascara till I went to Japan when I was 17. My friend’s mom took me to the Lancome booth at a shopping mall and proceeded to make me over to make me look “more mature” (I had just graduated highschool and was going to college hahaha, but this was my first real makeup experience). My mom wears some makeup but isn’t adventurous, and my sister just does foundation and a fierce cat-eye liner every day but I like to wear different colors of eyeshadow and lipstick every day!
    I personally don’t think makeup causes breakouts despite what everyone said to me, and I don’t think there is really too young an age for something like concealer or foundation if your skin is bad. I tried everything, not wearing makeup to wearing it, and nothing really helped so pleh, they were judgmental.

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  • 5/3/12 17:34 Tiffany Martin:

    I know we’re totally biased because we’re makeup people, but this seems like a total non-issue in this case.

    The child seems to know the difference between “what we wear everyday” and “dress up.” I’ve seen worse behavior normalized in areas where pagentry is popular.

    In addition, when I was little I played with that stuff and it was fun. My brother and I had a blast. Honestly, I wish I was taught makeup skills earlier because that takes a lot of practice, and I’m still learning how to do it right!

    I think if this were a mom saying things like “you have to learn to wear it or you’ll be ugly” or emphasizing it as important that’d be messed up. But that’d be true of offspring at any age–especially teens.

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  • 1/2/13 15:35 Kahmei Gaga:

    Hi There I Think 4 Is Way Too Young To Do Makeup I Will Say Wait till she is 11 to 13

    Reply

  • 2/28/13 5:49 Kahmei Gaga:

    now in these days kids are getting more lucky they are aloud to wear makeup at 12-14 omg

    Reply

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