Make-up or NO Make-up and at What Age?

“Mom? When can I wear make-up?” asked my 11 year-old daughter as we drove about.

I was surprised at how unsure I was.

I was surprised that I was thinking 7th grade would be OK… because I was in 9th when I was allowed to.

Then I started thinking maybe 9th grade, but I remember sneaking my Barbie styling head make-up to school in 7th grade. I would get to school and go put on the make-up in the bathroom.


I digress.

Can we just go back to when she was 3 and asking for more milk in her sippy cup, please???

Ultimately I told Livi that her dad and I needed to talk about it, and I added, “And you know, Livi… you girls are so beautiful… you really, truly do not need any make-up. You are just so very beautiful without it.”

Lucy… my 8 year old… piped in from the very back of the van, “You don’t need any make-up either mommy. YOU are beautiful without make-up!


Livi added her 2 cents and said I look like some comic book villain.

Because she’s a stinker.

I just told Livi she needed to step-up because Lucy was winning.

When we arrived at our destination, Lucy handed me this:

Lucy loves her mama.

She made t while we were driving around.

She handed it to me, looked at Olivia and sang, “SEE??? I”M WINNING! WINNING!!!”

Lucy is such calculating little thing… I don’t give that girl enough credit.

I’m wondering… what are your thoughts on make-up? Have you had to deal with this yet? When did you start wearing make-up? Why does this have to be so hard???


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16 Responses to “Make-up or NO Make-up and at What Age?”

  1. Suzanne says:

    Growing up, we got to start wearing some make-up when we were 13. I was home-schooled, so I didn’t have the option of sneaking into a school bathroom to put any contraband makeup on…and I was a huge tomboy…

    I have tentatively told my girls (ages 8 & 10) that it’ll be when they’re 13, but that we’ll talk about it to see where they’re at – if it’s going to be sooner, it will be because mommy decided and not because they begged.

    I really think it’s important for kids to have milestones and things to look forward to. We have set some ages for certain things – getting their American Girl doll when they are 8. Getting {their own} nail polish at age 10. Earrings at 12. etc.

  2. Diana says:

    My Mom’s rule with me was 16 and that was WAY too old. I was sneaking it by 8th grade and what that meant was: learning on my own and making tons of mistakes. Too much, mostly, I’m sure. Sharing and luckily not getting any eye nasties/mouth nasties/whatever nasties from my friends. I’d rather I have a little more control, more time to show them how to wear it right. Also I think different types of makeup are acceptable at different stages and ages so a hard-set age isn’t appropriate. Subtle lip glosses are entirely different than eye liner. Heck, not-so-subtle lip gloss is entirely different than eye liner. My tween is going into 7th and I’m okay with subtle lip gloss at this point. I’m thinking 8th grade would probably be okay for a little subtle blush or maybe even some brown mascara — but not too much. We’re rolling it out a little at a time and that feels right here.

  3. jennielynn says:

    You remember how strict my dad was. I wasn’t allowed to wear any make-up until I was 16, and then it was just mascara and pressed powder. I was 18 before I was allowed eyeliner, etc.

    We began allowing light make-up in middle school, but I made sort of a production out of it. We arranged a “teen facial” and a make-up session at a local spa, then went and bought the drug store versions of the products the esthetician used. We also got a haircut and had lunch.

    The bottom line is you’ll know when you’re ready. Just be prepared for the hubs to get a little anxious when he first sees the made-up daughter.

  4. Sheila says:

    I like the lip gloss start then gradually into full on makeup. Definitely don’t want my girl sneaking it or sharing. Sharing is already established since age 2 as a no. I hope that one sunk in…

    When would I actually let her? She asks all the time…since she was oh…6 I think, but it’s been a no. Daddy Daughter Dance lip gloss was allowed. But everyday? Well, I’m not sure either. She can’t pierce her ears until 13 so I’m already ‘old-fashioned’. Ha! Who’da thunk it!?

    I do know that when we do allow it, it will be organic choices. The chems are soooo bad. So very bad…

  5. Tracy says:

    I was in 7th grade when I started wearing it, and I wore too much, but it was the late 70’s and a lot of girls did. looking around my 13 year old’s middle school, very few of the girls wear makeup.
    I wasn’t allowed to get my ears pierced until I was 12 or 13. I swore when I had a girl I would get her ears pierced as a baby cause I thought it was so cute. Thank goodness for maturity! I decided to let my daughter choose when she wanted it done, because then it would be more important to her.
    But back to the makeup, I would say maybe 14 or so, maybe 13 for special events. And that will give her lots of time to practice so she won’t have such a heavy hand.

  6. Jo says:

    The Girl was 13 when we started letting her wear lip gloss and 15 when we started letting her wear eyeliner and mascara. I think it’s different for every child/teen. I always said I’d make her wait til she was 16, but that didn’t happen. I’ve seen 10 and 11 year old girls at our church with blush, lip gloss, eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara on and to me that is just way too young. Maybe I’m just too ‘old school’, but I think girls should keep their innocence and pureness as long as they can…not that makeup makes them impure, I just mean untouched by the adult world, you know what I mean? I’m always telling The Girl, be a kid as long as you can…you never get to for back once you’re a grown up! Take care. xo

  7. Lisa mom of muppets says:

    I have to say that we are lucky that our kids have experimented early and my daughter really isn’t into it. She gets to wear it all in her plays, as does my son! And he is h o t!! As for everyday?? I’m thinking 8th grade and then I pick it out!!!
    maybe I need to poke her in the eye more often to make it a trauma….lol.

  8. Lucrecer says:

    My parents did not have hard rules about make-up. Could be I was not very interested in it and did not start wearing eyeliner until I was well into my teens. My oldest (19) does not wear any and never asked. The most I ever see her wear is lipgloss. My middle daughter, who is 11 has not asked. Again, lipgloss is the most she has ever put on and she quickly loses interest. I think you decide what she can wear or find out what “make-up” means to her and decide from there.

  9. trish says:

    I have not been asked yet…so let me know what you decide and that will be MY answer. Thanks Friend.

  10. Wendy K says:

    I was allowed some lipstick in 6th grade– I was in middle school. And we’re talking LIPSTICK–whatever color I wanted. I had huge fat lips so it was fun to try all of the colors out. I wore mascara (my eyelashes are blonde and practically nonexistent) and some eyeliner in 8th grade. I don’t think it’s really a big deal. I think middle school is a good time to start if the subject ever arises with my daughter. She has amazing thick, dark, lush eyelashes (I’m so JEALOUS!!) so I don’t think she will be begging for that. To me, it’s just makeup. It washes off. It’s not permanent. We wear makeup for halloween. I think the more you make a big deal out of not allowing it, for whatever reason, that’s when it suddenly is a huge issue and then before you know it– you have a 12 year old sneaking it to school and putting it on like Niki Minaj.

  11. Olivia says:

    I wasn’t allowed to wear make-up as a teen, and I didn’t sneak it (yes, goody two-shoes right here). It’s only been in the last year that I wear it with any regularity, and only if leaving the house. I just learned 2 months ago how to put on eye liner without looking like I’d been pummeled. I’m 37.

  12. Michele says:

    My daughter just turned 12 and I went out and bought her a light stick blush and lip gloss, a little eye make up color, and a simple mascara. The present also had hair clips, a brush, a mirror in a little container for her to have as her own. She did not really ask for it but this I felt would allow her to dapple a bit for fun before it becomes for real. I told her I’d like to give her a little lesson about the eye make up and she said, “but not for school, right?” and I agreed. Navigating their world today is so difficult, make-up seems the least of my worries.

  13. Michele says:

    Let her dabble now for fun before it becomes too real. My daughter just turned 12 and I gave her a container with a light stick blush, some sweet eye colors, mascara, and lip gloss. She tries a little bit here and there; looks at herself and smiles and goes on her merry way. Growing up today is difficult this can just be a sweet step towards maturing, go with it!! Teach her how to use it well.

  14. Emily G says:

    My Mom let me wear some eyeshadow (nothing gaudy; eg, a light, shimmery lilac color) and a bit of lipgloss at age 13. Anything more intensive, like foundation or mascara, had to wait until grade 9. And at that point, she showed me the proper way to put it on. I was instructed that it was to ENHANCE, not COVER UP. If I had too much on, she would make me wipe some off. 🙂

  15. Andrea says:

    My mom allowed us to play with make-up at 5. By the time all my friends were wearing it, I didn’t care. In fact, the summer before my Sophomore year, my mother made me go make-up shopping. I think because she noticed all my friends wore it.

    I let my girls start playing with it at 3. My hope is they will feel as I did. I don’t have to have it, but when I decide I want it…tread lightly.

    In fact, I’m more worried about my oldest wanting to straighten her beautiful curly hair.

  16. Jen says:

    When my 13-year-old daughter would not stop pestering me about it (“But, MOM!!! Evvvverybody wears makeup!!), I decided to do a trial run. I was about that age when my mom let me start wearing makeup. I took her to the store and let her pick out a few things. She wanted liquid foundation (No), pressed powder (Sure), eyeshadow (Light colors only. No, lime green doesn’t count.), mascara (OK, but you’ll poke your eye out), and eyeliner (Nope. Not even. NO….. OK, OK, fine… but you can only wear it on the top lid).

    Cut to a few days later — my first born, my baby, comes out of the bathroom looking like some kind of battered, drunken raccoon. She can keep the powder and the pink eyeshadows, and I’ll buy her all the lip gloss she wants. But that eyeliner and mascara are mine for a while. Now that I think about it, though, I probably looked the same way when I was circling my eyes with black Cover Girl.

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