When your tween daughter asks if she can wear makeup, how should you respond? If you’re like other Circle of Moms members, your instincts are probably screaming that your little girl is way too young for smoky eyes and sultry red lips. On the other hand, you may be concerned that instating a zero-makeup rule will result in your daughter primping behind your back. To help you solve this cosmetics conundrum, here we're sharing a selection of approaches that Circle of Moms members have shared for handling the introduction of makeup.
The Waiting Game
"I am making my girls wait," says Chastity T. in the Kids Aged Over 10 Yrs Old community. "They are beautiful without it!" She's one of several moms who believe that makeup simply should not be introduced until girls reach high school. Wenona C. is of a similar mindset: “You are her mother, not her friend. Set ground rules. 16 is old enough to start wearing makeup."
If you want to go this route, many Circle of Moms members encourage explaining why you want her to wait, rather than simply giving a flat-out no. Do be aware, however, that this choice does pose some risks. As Suzy B. cautions, your child may end up putting on makeup behind your back and without your guidance: "Honestly, when I was eleven, I just snuck putting it on at school and wiping it off before a parent saw me."
Discussing Her Motives
Before making a decision, several moms advise having a thorough discussion with your daughter about why she wants to wear makeup. Is it peer pressure? A desire to appear more attractive or feel more grown-up?
“When my daughter went through this phase, I had discussions with her about her youthful beauty and the reasons why people (including me) wear makeup," shares Deb D. "I then asked her to tell me why she wanted to wear makeup…and what she hoped to gain from wearing it…Asking enough questions and respecting her answers gives her the feeling that she is in control and has responsibility for what she wants and asks for.”
A Little Compromise
Many Circle of Moms members say compromise is the best route to take. Instead of refusing all makeup, consider allowing specific types, such as lip gloss or subtle eye shadow. As Stacey C. shares: “My daughter was allowed to start wearing light neutral colors when she was 11. I didn't allow her to wear mascara or eye liner. But I see nothing wrong with light makeup at that age. A little bit of eye shadow and light lip gloss.” Gayle S. agrees: “Allow her to wear make up but only if it is light and natural. This way you are compromising with her as well as letting her feel like one of the crowd without letting her go overboard.”
In addition to limiting the types of makeup and colors she can wear, another way to encourage only baby steps into the makeup realm is to allow makeup only on special occasions. For example, Kristy A. allows her 12-year-old to wear lip gloss and mascara to events like parties, but not to school: “I told her that we could revisit wearing make-up to school in eighth grade. My daughter was fine with this. A little compromise went a long way.”
Bringing in the Experts
Whenever you decide to allow makeup, many Circle of Moms members encourage openly discussing appropriate colors and proper application. Shavaune advises: “I would make sure you go with her to buy it so you can guide her with the right colors.”
Other moms, like Debbie P., suggest scheduling a tutorial with a professional makeup artist: “Have a makeup artist or someone that can enhance her natural beauty… show her how to apply it.” As Marcy S. notes, you can even consult with the expert in advance to set boundaries: “When I made the appointment, I talked to the makeup artist about my wishes [for] lighter colors and to accentuate her natural beauty. She agreed to follow my wishes.”