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Beauty Byte: Little-Girl Primping Is on the Rise

High-maintenance beauty routines for girls are nothing new, but the New York Times highlights the growing phenomenon in today's paper. The story begins with an off-putting anecdote about a three-year-old going in for a pedicure, and from there, the statistics are amazing. For instance:

  • A survey shows that fifty-five percent of six- to nine-year-old girls said they used lip gloss or lipstick.
  • Nearly two-thirds of girls the same age said they used nail polish.
  • Club Libby Lu, a mall-based chain, did about a million makeovers of girls last year.
  • Dashing Diva, a nail-salon chain, offers girls virgin Cosmos in martini glasses to go with their pedicures.

I'm all for little girls enjoying themselves, but I won't lie to you — the idea of kindergarteners having Hannah Montana makeovers freaks me out a little bit. Should we be encouraging girls to spend so much time with their appearance at such a young age? Even if they enjoy it? Tell me what you think.

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fashion4ward fashion4ward 8 years
Only the cosmos goes too far. I think EVERY girl has worn nail polish, regaurdless of their age...
gbychan gbychan 8 years
I think that the idea's nice for a girls birthday party or some other special event!
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
I don't see anything wrong with lil girls having their nails painted, i see it all the time in my nail salon and i think its cute. now as for wearing makeup thats just a tad ridiculous, using it while playing dress up is one thing but an every day thing - no way. I used to play with all the bonne bell stuff when i was younger but it never made me want real make up quicker. The most i ever did when I was younger was paint my nails except for dance recitals and then i had to get made up which i actually hated. Even now, the most i wear is lipstick and eye shadow and thats very rarely. I stick with the natural make up free, if you take care of your skin properly younger you won't need makeup when your older.
quietriott quietriott 8 years
i always walk by the dashing diva near my university's campus, and i have never seen anyone other than adult women in there....maybe cause they offer relatively cheap mani/pedis? it explains why it looks like it does if it is really marketed towards children/tweens. my experiences with makeup when i was little were usually with ballet recitals, in which we had to wear our hair up with curled bangs (if we had them, but it was the 80s), blue eyeshadow (once again the 80s), pink blush (lots of it), and bright pink lipstick. my mom or a helper backstage would put it on us, and looking back in the pictures they are pretty hilarious. oh the 80s... and if i was allowed to paint my nails i could only wear light pink until i was probably about 11 or 12 years old. and i distinctly remember my little cousin staying with us who was about 5 at the time and my mom letting her paint her nails red while she would still make me only wear ballet slippers and i was so mad! in retrospect it really didn't matter, but at the time it was a big enough deal to induce tears. oh the trauma!
juliarose23 juliarose23 8 years
little kids should not be worried about how they look o primping themselves! i didn't even have my first manicure until i was 12, and even then i picked colors like blue and green...this is just way too weird!
socialitebabe socialitebabe 8 years
The girls of today will grow up to be the low self esteem women of tomorrow...
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
Just like the article said, we are creating consumers at a very young age. And by the look of that Hannah Montana wig, not very discriminating consumers at that.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 8 years
Lets look at who the Kiddies are looking up and or playing with nowadays shall we? Bratz Dolls, which are basically toddler prostitutes what have gigantic heads and feet that come off. Miley Cyrus- while not a bad influence per se, she does wear a wig to play Hannah Montana and lots of makeup. Popular culture: Lindsay Lohan, Paris, Britney…all are on our magazines TVs and talked about constantly and we all know that all those girls need to get their mouth washed out and a good old babtism in make up remover. At Disney world here in Orlando florida they can go to the “bippity boppity boutique” and pick out a Disney princess makeover. Girls three and older can choose from three hair styles — Fairytale Princess, Disney Diva and Pop Princess and let me tell you they come out looking like Mickey is the pimp.
fcseamstress fcseamstress 8 years
Wow. I would say I can't believe this, but I totally can. I've got no children of my own, but I do have plenty of nieces and I have seen this behavior in them. My niece Dani has always been a girly girl, playing with makeup and wanting to be like auntie, and for a while it wasn't abnormal. Then by 7-8 years old she was wearing eyeshadow and lip gloss, a little much, but nothing too red-flag. Now, at 9 years old, Dani's had her hair dyed and is talking about dieting. THAT'S why this kind of stuff is a problem, it totally damages a girl's self image and worth. And my bro and SIL are pretty strict about what she watches and plays with (they have a NO BRATZ policy on toys, they get donated if they get given to their daughters). I'll admit, I did the lip gloss thing when I was little, but the only time I was allowed to wear makeup outside the house was for dance performances, and even then it was neutral colors only. When my mom said I could wear makeup at 11, I had no interest in it, didn't even start wearing it regularly until about 16, and even then not everything. I'm barely wearing everything regularly and I'm 24! I wasn't allowed to dye my hair until I was 14 either, and I've gotten over that because I ruined my hair. Oh, and I've never seriously thought of dieting (I'm about a size 11 now, probably will lose a size through the summer NATURALLY) and I'm even getting married this year, isn't that when women are supposed to want to diet most? I won't even get started on the virgin cosmos, but I will say those are the equivalent of candy cigarettes in my eyes... They seem cute and harmless, until you're hooked on the real deal. Childhood is sacred, we only get one shot at it. Let's help our daughters say, "Yeah, I remember that fun innocence," without the tagline, "but I felt so bad about myself when it was all over." Because let's face it, these 6 year olds don't know they're not supposed to look like Hannah.
msdyanelk msdyanelk 8 years
Thank you, Bella! It's a tough job but I am up for the challenge. I cannot give up/in to her and too many other MAMAS are doing just! that!
maddiekayxoxo maddiekayxoxo 8 years
*these
maddiekayxoxo maddiekayxoxo 8 years
What's wrong with having your nails painted as a little girl? I mean getting them done at a salon is a little rediculous but I think my mom started painting my nails at the age of 5. And the lipgloss thing is harmless too if you think about it. At age 9 your a 5th grader about to become a big middle schooler and probably thinking about boys. The lipglosses there girls are wearing are probably clear. Club Libby Lu "make-overs" are more like dress-up. I have a friend that works there and they pick out princess outfits and get their make-up done and their hair styled then they perform a silly little song and dance for their parents. It's just a cute idea for a themed birthday party(probably averaging 5 to 7 girls a party that adds up) The whole Cosmo thing is rediculous though.
Pistil Pistil 8 years
This is why I'm terrified of having a daughter
lindac lindac 8 years
The Club Libby Lu stuff turns my stomach. The girls look like little glitter whores when they leave. My 8 yo likes to have her toe nails painted when I do my nails but sticks with pink or sometimes some off-the-wall blue or purple. I've heard some 10 year olds talk about dieting for goodness sake. Serious "weight loss" when they don't need it dieting conversations. It's scary. The emphasis on appearance at such an early age is disturbing.
legalbeagle legalbeagle 8 years
honestly.. virgin cosmos???????? that is the most irresponsible parenting i have ever heard of!! sure, my mom let me order shirly temples when we went out to dinner, but this sounds like the parents want to see their little girls re-enact a sex and the city episode as for the make-up... tinkerbell nailpolish and blue lipstick is one thing, its fun at a sleepover and stuff but dying my daughters hair and sending her out the door in eyeliner and lipgloss at 10 years old is something i will never be willing to do... these kids are growing up WAY too fast as it is, they definetly do not need encouragement
xxxxxxy xxxxxxy 8 years
wow. i cant stand seeing three year olds in full makeup. thats why pageants disgust me.
kaenai kaenai 8 years
I think it's one thing to play with makeup, or to have fun makeovers, but I think in this day, where everything is oversexed, having young girls wearing so much makeup, looking older than they are... Well, things are a little (though not much) different than they were when I was a pre-teen (which was over 20 years ago). If I had lipstick on before I was 14, it was probably a special occasion - a recital or something. Nowadays, as was said in earlier comments, kids half that age are wearing it on a regular basis. Kids should be kids as long as they can. That said, my daughter is 13, and only allowed to wear lip gloss in either clear or very pale colors. There's no reason for her to put on the full war paint for math class. :/
Bookish Bookish 8 years
I don't think there's anything wrong with playing around with makeup. I think the problems start when little girls are told (or begin to think) that they have to be made up to be pretty, when there are so many other things to think about when you're a kid. I thought my mom's approach was very reasonable. Nail polish and lightly tinted lip balm were never off limits. When I was 13, I could have real lip gloss, when I hit 14, mascara. I think 15 was eyeliner and shadow, and at 16 I could wear foundation and real lipstick, as well as color my hair- but it was such a gradual introduction that I never felt the need to go crazy and make myself up like a clown. The only thing my mom didn't count on was my younger sister stealing my makeup and getting very VERY made up on the sly.
emalove emalove 8 years
My sister and I were always little girly-girls, always played with our mother's makeup and had huge collections of Bonne Bell. I don't really think it's a big deal if it's just for fun...a lot of little girls watch their moms and big sisters put on makeup and get all dressed up. They just want to be like them. I think people overanalyze this stuff sometimes.
puddlesworth puddlesworth 8 years
I LOVED playing with makeup when I was really young and I still do! I always went into my big sisters room when she wasnt home and painted my nails and put on dark purple lipstick and used everything in her bag. She caught me a few times. Gooooood memories.
sugar_me_sweet sugar_me_sweet 8 years
i used to look for my mom's make up and used it secretly when she was at work, but i never went out with it. if she caught me with it, she would tell me to take it off. i bought mascara and clear nail polish when i was 13. i didn't start wearing make up when i was 14. fadeastride, that scene in disney sounds so disturbing.
fadeastride fadeastride 8 years
There's a Libby Lu place at Downtown Disney. I had a friend who worked at Disney and she said that creepy men sit outside the store and watch the little girls. More than one man had to be arrested for, um, pleasuring themselves outside the store.
musewings musewings 8 years
My six-year-old daughter watches me apply makeup and begged me for her own, because I won't let her play with mine. I bought her real (drugstore) makeup--a blush, shadow, and clear gloss--for her birthday. Buying neutral colors that would blend with her skin tone was, to me, preferable to buying her garish play makeup. I showed her how to apply each product properly. She went through it in about a month, and only occasionally asks me to wear a little makeup, now. She has moved on to styling her hair. I have taken her to Club Libby Lu once for a hairstyle. She thought she was smokin' with her fake ponytail and purple streaks. I think the key here is moderation. Excessively indulgent parents are going to indulge across the board. I don't see the big deal in having a makeover party; it's a fun treat for a special occasion. It would be excessive if a little girl was going in for weekly manicures. My grandmother started bleaching my mother's hair at age twelve (this was in the 50s), and my mother is pretty low key when it comes to makeup and hair. I started experimenting with serious makeup at about the same age, but didn't wear it on a regular basis until about 14, by which time I was fairly skilled at application. Makeup is still something I consider a creative outlet and a hobby. My mother, an artist, would have never discouraged that. My daughter has terrific self-esteem. I hope this is because I encourage her to explore and pursue what interests her, which, I'll add, includes sports, superheroes, crafts, and cooking, in addition to hair and makeup.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
:OY:
arcticpuppet arcticpuppet 8 years
kids should love the way they look at an early age, not try to change it. Parents need to reinforce that
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