Girls and Makeup: How Young Is Too Young?

FlickrRecently, I told my 6-year-old daughter it was make-up picture day at her school.

"We get to wear makeup?" she shrieked. "YAY YAY YAY!"

Imagine her disappointment when I told her that wasn't quite what "make-up picture day" meant!

Punky loves to play with makeup and occasionally at her request, I'll brush a little powder and blush on her face and let her wear some of my lip gloss.

But I often wonder how she's reading my mixed messages -- I tell her that she's beautiful without makeup, yet I myself don't leave the house without it.


I thought about the issue yesterday when I happened across this adorable video of a 5-year-old on YouTube "reviewing" makeup products:

Making a video of your daughter trying on makeup seems like harmless fun, right? And I have to admit, I thought it was too cute when my daughter and her friend attempted to give each other makeovers last summer.

But where should we as moms draw the line? Will allowing my daughter to dabble in makeup now make her want to use it at an earlier age than she should? And at what age is it appropriate to wear makeup to school?

And should this even be an issue? After all, I remember when a kindergarten friend snuck a bottle of red nail polish to school and gave us all secret manicures in the bathroom. Sure, she was on the early end of the makeup craze, but she grew up to be juuuust fiiiii ...

Okay well actually, she grew up to be a drug smuggler and spent a few years in a third-world prison. BUT ANYWAY.

I think my own mom handled it right. In sixth grade, when looks started to matter to me, I was allowed to wear lip gloss and a maybe a little powder. In seventh grade, Mom took me to the Clinique counter for a makeover and let me choose three things to buy afterward. Clinique makeup was perfect for the junior high years (and it was all I was allowed to wear). It was barely noticeable. And as an aside, do you remember Clinique's Mauve Crystal lipstick, which we all HAD to have? I remember they even kept the sample lipsticks in that color locked away, because tweenage girls would steal them!

How are you handling your daughter's makeup desires? How do you plan to handle them? I'd love to hear what you have to say!


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