Young Girls Putting On Makeup Earlier Than Ever

April Peveteaux

young girls wearing makeup earlierA market research firm found a new pattern emerging with young girls and makeup, and it might make your inner crunchy feminist cry a little bit: Girls are using makeup at much younger ages than they ever have before.

Even grade schoolers are putting on the glitz, which actually doesn't surprise me given my 4.5-year-old's rabid interest in makeup.

The flip side to all of this? Once girls hit 18, they stop being as makeup-obsessed and are putting down the rouge.

Young girls are becoming exposed to beauty routines earlier on -- especially with all the mother-daughter bonding that's going on at nail salons and spa birthday parties -- but that excitement might be wearing off by the time older girls are establishing their own regimen, observes NPD beauty-industry analyst Karen Grant.

Overall, girls in the 13- to 17-year-old range still use more makeup than their younger sisters, but the percentage of the high schoolers using makeup now is less than it was a few years ago, while the percentage of elementary and middle-school girls is higher.

I gave in about a year and a half ago to the occasional nail polish and "lip shine" that my daughter always begs me to wear. I never thought I would have allowed any kind of makeup to be played around with, outside of dress-up time, but the relentlessness of my daughter paired with that inner voice asking, "What's the worst that could happen?" made me give in to manicures as a special treat (done by mom, not the spa) and lip gloss only if she has a good week in school and/or has a special occasion. Like, you know, her friends coming over to play ultimate dress-up.

I knew my attempts holding back the tide of makeup obsession were futile when she came home from a birthday party with a favor of kiddie eye shadow, lipstick, and jewels. I don't like it, but I am encouraged by this study that this early fascination won't automatically turn her into a Tammy Faye Bakker lookalike by age 16.

What are your rules about makeup?


Image via Amazon

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