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5 Tips for Dealing with Tweens Who Want to Wear Makeup

5 Tips for Dealing with Tweens Who Want to Wear Makeup

Noticing mascara or lip gloss on your daughter's face for the first time can really catch you off guard! As Circle of Moms member Marie C. shares, this moment came for her when her 10-year-old daughter told her that "she's the only one that doesn't wear makeup in her class . . . .I was shocked."

Another mom, Patrice J., had her surprise moment at the dinner table one night.  "As my family sat down to dinner I noticed that my oldest, my 11-year-old, was avoiding my husband and I. So as we made conversation over dinner she looked up and I saw why. She looked like a raccoon. . . . I asked her what happened to your face she said 'oh my friends put it on.'"

Marie and Patrice are far from the only Circle of Moms members wondering how to handle a makeup suprise. These days, girls as young as nine are telling their moms that they want to wear lip gloss and mascara, and moms say they want to know how to respond. If your daughter has reached this stage, here are seven great tips, all suggested by Circle of Moms members, for helping her develop a healthy, moderate, and hygienic approach to wearing makeup.



1. Explain the Health and Hygiene Issues

Many Circle of Moms members, including Monica W., want to discourage their young daughters from wearing makeup. As Monica explains, "When girls start to wear makeup at such a young age it actually can age their skin. . . The constant applying and removing can be very harsh on the face." She is teaching her daughter how makeup is made and what's in it: "Most of us don't really want to know but if it is something being applied to the face, why not know what you are putting on it?"

2. Communicate, Don't Just Forbid

If you're ready to let your daughter experiment, several Circle of Moms members, include Angela H., recommend taking a proactive approach. Angela began by sitting down and having "the conversation about make-up" with her daughters. As she explains, "Every child is different, and forbidding it only makes them use their friends' make up when away from you. Open communication is the key to trust on both sides. . . . Children feel like you're letting them grow even by letting them wear simple lip-glosses or body fragrances.

3. Set Limits

Several Circle of Moms members handle their daughters' interest in makeup by only allowing certain kinds and only at certain times or places. Krista E. suggests allowing makeup for parties, school pictures, and other special events. "In my opinion, 10 years old is too young for daily makeup, except maybe for some lip gloss." And Alisha A. suggests limiting 9- and 10-year-olds to hand creams, bubble bath and "suitable perfumes made for young girls" as well as clear, flavored lip gloss, nail polish and stickers  "but only on weekends and school holidays."


4. Allow Only What She Can Pay For

Makeup can be expensive and many Circle of Moms members cite the costs to deter their daughters from jumping on the makeup bandwagon. "I have a 10-year-old daughter that she knows that she is not allowed to wear makeup at school (unless there is a play)," says Joyce S. "She knows that she will be allowed to wear makeup when she can afford to buy it herself."

5. Start Slowly

Angela H. also required her daughters to prove over time that they wouldn't abuse the privilege of wearing makeup: "We explained that make-up has steps and responsibilities. We started with face wash and explained that they had to wash and take care of their faces for six weeks without hassling them to do it. Then they were allowed to use clear lip-gloss. After showing responsible behavior with that we moved up to colored lip-gloss. Now my oldest is working on a pale blush.

Many Circle of Moms members agree that going slowly and trying things one at a time, at home, is a smart way to  introduce makeup. As Kayla L., who is mom to four girls shares, "We started them with mascara and pale lip gloss at home when they started 8th grade. "We played with makeup at home to find out what was most flattering for each girl. One they were older in high school, we allowed scant eye liner. (No raccoon eyes allowed!) So far we haven't had to fight too much about them wearing too much makeup, because we've always tried to teach them to how to use and wear it, and focused on taking care of their skin first and foremost. You just can't beat glowing clear skin!"

Related Reading: When to Allow Your Daughter to Wear MakeupDo you let your tween daughter wear makeup?

Image Source: animoi via Flickr/Creative Commons

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

Join The Conversation
Tracebooks Tracebooks 5 years
We homeschool, too, and I do see far fewer homeschooled girls of around age 9-12 or so wearing much makeup. My own daughter started wearing makeup around age 11. She had been having to wear it for ballet performances since she was 6 anyway, and she had started having weekly performances at age 8. Just before she turned 11, her ballet school, which is the school for a professional ballet company, brought in a makeup artist from MAC to show kids from about her age and up how to properly apply it to get exactly the look that the makeup designer for the production of Nutcracker wanted (MAC was originally makeup for stage and runway). The particular design for her group was a very young, fresh, but enhanced look, because they were playing the young girls at the party in the first act. So it wasn't a really brash or "stagey" look. That got her interested. She turned 11 a few months later, and she was growing like crazy and developing, and looked a couple of years older than she actually was. On her own, she started looking up makeup videos on Youtube, and came up with her own look that is pretty natural and enhances what she has. After experimenting a little with foundation she decided to go just with eyeliner, mascara and eyeshadow, and a little blush sometimes, and lip balm. I do think that not being pressured, either by peers or by me, had a lot with how sensible she was about it. She has also been great about hygiene. She started washing her hair daily before it ever got that greasy look; she started using deodorant early enough that I never noticed she needed it; and she started shaving before I thought she needed to. I do think this was partly the influence of her ballet school (which was a couple of hours daily at that point), but she has always loved beauty, so I think part of it was also her not wanting to be smelly or un-beautiful.
VanessaWagner VanessaWagner 5 years
This where homeschool really can help. There's so little peer pressure, but then they do still eventually grow interested. I would probably follow my moms example and not get on her about it. "Pick your Battles" is what my mom would say. It's true make-up is not life or death. Like so many things that will work themselves out. I remember my nephew used to do this girl like screaming thing at school. We tried to tell him it sounded bad but he ignored it. He finally stopped when a girl he had a crush on said "that's annoying" I also remember my brother with green hair-my uncle "ignored it" and since he didn't get a "rise" he didn't do it anymore. With make-up at the most maybe just show them how to use it. Take the mystery out of it. If its "forbidden" it'll be more interesting.
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