Wearing Makeup at a Young Age

I’m completely aware that it’s been a while since my last post. I’ll save you the “my students have been keeping me too busy to pee” explanation, and head right into a post that I’ve had in my drafts for a while now. Since my blog is based most of the time on health and beauty (with some of my own rants and to-do lists tossed in), the idea of wearing makeup at a young age has been on my mind for a while now and we also had a great discussion on this in my class the other day. You’d be surprised at how many of my young, liberal, and open-minded students were appalled by the idea that mothers allow their daughters to wear makeup. I’m also wondering where other bloggers stand on this issue, especially those of you who, like me, have a passion for new products and love buying them.

For me, I first wore makeup when I was 4 and it was for dance. I danced ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe from the age of 4 until I was 18. Makeup was a thing! We had to doll up for pictures, competitions, and of course for our end of the year recitals. I never thought makeup was a big deal because my Mom did it for me, and it was just something that I was used to. It was nothing different than simply doing my hair for a dance number (but that’s another blog post). I didn’t start wearing makeup to school until I was about 9, and in third or fourth grade. I was allowed to have my Mom put a little bit of blush and lipgloss on, but that was about it until 6th grade when I decided it was time to go with the 90s trends of dark eyeliner (as inspired by the raccoon living in my yard at the time) and nothing else. Today, I wear makeup on a daily basis for work, but to me it was never something I abused because I was taught to do it naturally, and because it was just part of my young life. I feel like when makeup is treated as something forbidden that’s when young girls want to try it out for themselves and it becomes more of a problem. I also think that depending on how parents show and put makeup on their children makes for another problem, typically with what I see on the “Toddlers and Tiaras” shows and the multiple spin-off’s of young pageant girls and their overbearing Moms.

Simply stated, for me, makeup is something that is fun and can be very age appropriate depending on how the concept of makeup is introduced in the household. I also think that guidance is key when it comes to how parents and guardians introduce it. My Mom introduced me to makeup and it was something that was done for dance until I was old enough to ask if I could wear some to school. It was introduced with restrictions (No, you cannot wear my Chanel Lipstick to school for 4th grade photos), but there was a balance (Why not try your Bonne Bell clear lipgloss instead?).

Here are two pictures of me in the 3rd grade at about age 8. One is of me “au natural” for school pictures, and another one is me all dolled up for dance. Are the differences really that stunning?

Either way, I think that letting your daughter experiment with makeup is just fine. There was nothing better than trying out my Mom’s Shalimar or looking at my Mom’s eyeshadow and trying to “look like her.” Moderation is key, and I think that if we can moderate how we introduce makeup into our young girl’s lives there’s nothing wrong with doing it.

What do you guys think? How old were you when you first wore makeup?

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16 thoughts on “Wearing Makeup at a Young Age

  1. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup until I was a teenager because my mom was very allergic and she was afraid I would become allergic too. I was allowed to wear lipstick occasionally though. Even when I was old enough though, and now, I don’t wear much because I don’t like the feeling of something on my face. That and I’m terrible at applying the stuff, though maybe both would have been remedied by letting me wear makeup earlier. I think 12ish is a good age to start experimenting. Like you said, it’s fun. At least at like s,reporters or for special occasions.

  2. I wasn’t ever really interested in makeup as a younger kid, so realistically, I was probably actually about 21 or 22 before I started wearing it regularly every day! Pretty old, lol!

    I still don’t tend to wear very much, usually like foundation, mascara, lip balm and sometimes eyeliner.

    Of course, I am/was also involved in theatre, but stage makeup is kind of a different thing again. :)

  3. That was a very interesting article. I don’t think I would want my daughter wearing makeup until she was in Junior High at least. I think that when I was in grade 1 I put some of my mother’s lipstick on before school. Some older boy on the bus asked me if I was wearing makeup and laughed so I never wore makeup again until I was older. Even now I don’t wear that much makeup. Just some eyeliner and mascara usually.

  4. i agree this has been a very hot topic lately. hmm…i think using makeup isn’t bad if it’s for a performance or something (like in your situation) but if they are using it on a *daily basis* (meaning eyeliner and foundation, eyeshadows, etc). i agree with you, moderation. they shouldn’t be depending on it and wearing it everyday and everywhere.

    the problem with that toddlers and tiaras is that they’re made to look into adults on a daily basis…and that’s not healthy. it’s kinda gross… @_@

    i first wore makeup when i was in High school! haha my parents & family never encouraged using it and would always talk about how bad it is and when i did start using it (my older sister didn’t), they’d always say how bad it is for me. they stopped now though…since i’ve been using makeup for the past 5 years or so.

  5. I remember trying on Chapstick (or really, just using it) when I was about four. My dad was completely against the idea, and I had gotten in trouble. To put it bluntly, I never touched it again until second grade when I was in drillteam and had to (to avoid looking like a ghost out on the field or something!).

    I wore it in sixth grade because I wanted to. It was Mary-Kate and Ashley brand, as I was a hee-uge fan, and I was actually allergic to it all (still am). I wore it anyway, though, because I really cared about what I looked like. It was the second semester of sixth grade, and I was twelve, and I wanted my classmates to take me seriously/stop making fun of me. My mom had never taught me how to fix my hair or anything. She always either 1) did it for me and/or 2) just left it as it was. …which was quite embarrassing for me! Because of that, I am now extremely paranoid about my hair [always].

    /** Also, on my website URL is some text. I didn’t know which blog you’d prefer. P:
    6birds.net is open again, mymelodies.org is a collection of notes and seekliza.me is quite personal. \**

  6. I agree, moderation is key. I remember i was in elementary school and would sneak into my mom’s room trying out her lipstick or powder lol! It was definitely forbidden which was what led to my curiousity hahah. I also feel like kids these days are wearing makeup wayy to early.. I mean it’s really bad when kids start in middle school. I started after high school. It’s probably better to start late though so the skin’s condition doesn’t age so fast…

    -Joyce
    carouselstreet.com

  7. I honestly don’t think I wore make-up until I was like 13 and that was for my aunty’s wedding. I have to wear make-up now because I’m going through the bad acne stage as a teenager. Without foundation I don’t have much self confidence which is terrible really. Hopefully I will grow out of this.

  8. I was honestly extremely apprehensive about the idea of you wearing makeup at such a young age until I saw the comparison photos of you with and without — I think I was expecting a whole pageant momma thing going on until I set my eyes on the visuals. Whoops! Haha.

    Personally, I didn’t start wearing makeup until I was about fifteen … Although I’m not sure if it counts, considering I didn’t learn how to properly apply it until a couple years ago, LOL. :)

    PS: Not sure if you know already, but I’ve started posting blog entries again! :D

  9. Like you, I did dance from the age of 5 until I was in junior high and I had to do the whole makeup thing (or my mother did, really). I actually hated wearing makeup. My mom always wore way too much makeup and it was always a turnoff for me. The only time I ever wore makeup besides that was at slumber parties when my friends and I did each other’s makeup with the cheap little makeup I had in my little makeup kit.

    I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup to school besides lipgloss but I never wanted to anyway. When I was in high school or junior high maybe I went through a phase where I wore sparkly eyeliner, face powder, and lip gloss for a while but that stopped.

    I don’t wear any makeup today besides lip gloss or chapstick.

    • Oh, I should probably add too that I have no problem with it as long as it’s natural looking at younger ages and they’re taught how to apply it properly. I have no problem with makeup at all – even those who wear a lot of it (I’m jealous of how beautiful some people can apply makeup). It’s just not my thing.

  10. I was a tomboy until well into high school. I didn’t start wearing make up until college, and even then it was just concealer, some tinted moisturizer, mascara and lip gloss/balm. As a matter of fact, that’s still all I wear. I don’t have anything against women who wear more makeup, as a matter of fact I think if it’s well done most women look great wearing makeup.

  11. Because schools here in Singapore don’t allow you to wear makeup, little people do in Singapore. The first time I wore makeup would probably be when I was five or six – I had to wear makeup for a play (Noah’s Ark as Noah’s wife >.<). I don't wear makeup often now, but I love trying out the occasional blush and foundation for fun at the store with all the makeup samples around nearby my house. :)

  12. This is an interesting post. :) I started wearing make-up when I was in high school (I think). But not “full make up”, only pressed powder, lip tint, cheek tint, and eyeliner.
    I agree that moderation is the key. :) A child’s skin must not be exposed to the chemicals in the make-up products.

  13. It’s funny I came across this today actually! My older sister owns a children’s online store, and we were actually discussing today about selling children’s play makeup sets. Some people would never support the idea – but like you, I think it is fine!

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