Should I Let My Toddler Wear Makeup?

Cynthia Dermody

My daughter always asks to wear my lipstick and lip gloss. I quickly change the subject or offer her a cookie.

She's also begging me to paint her fingernails and toes ("But, Mommy, Jessica's Mom lets her wear nail polish ...") and pierce her ears ("Well, Sweetie, my own father didn't let me pierce my ears until I was 16, so ...").

Yes, it's a perfectly innocent and normal request, now. But I wonder if a smear of gloss or dab of acrylic is "gateway" makeup. Give in now and she may ask to start wearing makeup much earlier in adolescence. (I actually know parents who've highlighted their 4-year-old's hair, but that's a whole other issue ... )

So, are you cool with your little daughter playing paint-my-face now and again? At what age do you think you'll let your her wear cosmetics in public?

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