Makeup…too young to start?

For all your beauty advice…

I have an 11-year-old daughter. I work in makeup. She is around this stuff all the time and sees how much fun I have with it and she became intrigued. “Can I start wearing some, mom?” she asked me one day. My first thought was no, you’re not ready. After all, I was just changing her diaper and watching her take her first steps, there’s no way she’s ready to put makeup on…is there? Then I reflected on my life and realized, I was 11 when my mom started letting me put on a little makeup. I remember how excited I was, I remember feeling like my mom had a different level of trust in me by handing me the reigns and letting me give it a go. I still had mixed feelings on this subject, so I decided to Google it…then I thought, that’s crazy, Google doesn’t have any kids…what do they know? I had to listen to my gut on this one.

I went ahead and let her put on some mascara. She has pretty blue eyes with thick lashes and that mascara made her eyes look even prettier. I let her wear it out of the house, to school this week. Wow! Has it raised some issues!! My husband told me he 100% disagreed with me, my ex-husband told my daughter he 100% disagreed with me. I have some friends that tell me 11 is way too young and it’s one thing if I am going to let my daughter wear it in the house, but to leave the house with it…no way. Seriously?? What’s the big deal?

Here’s what I don’t think people understand. My decision to let her do this was based on my past and the relationship I had with my mom, which was amazing! If you read my first blog post, you will read how I have been intrigued with makeup my whole life. My mom understood and trusted my judgment at age 11 and let me start wearing some. That is why I thought it was ok to go ahead and let my daughter try some on. I admit, I didn’t consult with my husband and get his thoughts. I didn’t consult with my ex husband and get his thoughts, either. Why? Because they have no experience on this subject at all. They don’t wear makeup, they never have, therefore they don’t know the thrill behind it. Honestly, I didn’t think this was going to be such a big deal, so I just didn’t ask their opinion. Maybe I should have, maybe I shouldn’t have, but the fact remains, they’re men…they don’t wear makeup. End of story.

Here’s why I think it’s ok. First of all, it’s mascara people! It’s not a full face of makeup she’s leaving the house with. It’s mascara…get over it. If you observe women in a Sephora store or in cosmetics in a department store you notice something. They are happy and they are bonding…something about this stuff makes us giddy. I just wanted to share that with my daughter. I did not force this issue on her. She asked me; I saw no harm. This is a rite of passage for girls, a bonding experience with their moms. She’s on the edge of hitting the “I hate my mom” stage; I am trying to be open and understanding so we can have a relationship with communication. I would much rather approve of her wearing makeup than finding out she went to school and applied it behind my back.

Here’s what I really don’t get. Parents think it’s ok for kids 11 years old to have a cell phone, but not wear makeup. Really, who are you calling? I am 36 and even I’m not that important! Parents think it’s ok for kids 11 years old to have their own computer, but not wear makeup. And my favorite…parents think it’s ok for kids 11 years old to wear padded push-up bras, but not wear makeup. I guess my bottom line on this subject, and why I truly didn’t think this was going to be such an issue is: this was between her and I. But, because of the negative reactions I received, I didn’t get to have any satisfaction from what I thought was going to be a special time in our lives. I mean seriously, would I rather have her enhance her breasts or her eyelashes? I thought I chose the safe one.

Clearly this post isn’t a product review…it’s a random rant. But, it’s something that raised a lot of opinions. Share yours with me. What are your thoughts on this? How old were you when you were allowed to wear makeup and not have to sneak it on at school?

You’ve Been Beautified!

4 thoughts on “Makeup…too young to start?

  1. Kristine Kautz

    OK. I have recently started letting my 11-yr-old daughter wear some make-up too. My main reason for doing so was probably my own. She didn’t ask me. She has a 14 yr-old sister who plays with make-up on her and she always looks so cute. Recently, my tom-boy daughter has been growing out a shaggy, layered, very straight haircut and is often mistaken for a boy. She is amused rather than insulted by this and laughs when I tell her to correct people and tell them she is a girl. During one Taekwondo class her boy partner asked her if she was a dude and then, since he didn’t believe when she said she was a girl, proceeded to be a bit rough during their sparring exercise. I went out the next day and found some fun colors of liquid eyeliner from Wet ‘N Wild and some blue mascara. You and I didn’t have the best example of how to wear make-up at such a young age since our mother thought of make-up as more of a burden a form of self-expression. I think if girls are taught how to apply it and what is appropriate for their age, then 11 is a good age to allow them to wear it. I have limited what she can wear to fun, young colors of eye liner and mascara, and a little sheer lip gloss. I have also been pulled aside by two different teachers in the school thanking me for keeping her looking like a young girl while she starts experimenting with make-up. One said to me that so many girls her age start wearing make-up wanting to look like a grown up and that’s when it’s just too much and becomes a bit inappropriate. The aqua eyeliner and blue mascara I chose for Rhiannon are fun, make her eyes pop like you wouldn’t believe, are feminine and she feels good about looking like a girl and not having to give up being a tom-boy.

  2. Debbie

    I think if it’s going to make your daughter feel ‘pretty’, LET HER wear it. Like you said, it’s mascara, for pete’s sake. It’s not a tattoo, or a piercing. There is a bond brtween Mom and daughter that NOBODY knows. So they shouldn’t interfere. Mom’s know best!!!!!!!

  3. Kim

    I admit, I was one of those girls that snuck my mom’s makeup bag to school, would apply it there, and then of course forget to replace it once I got home. This led to many fights as you can imagine, cause my mom wore Estee Lauder back in the day. Not cheap and here I was ruining it for her. I was never taught how to apply it properly and pretty sure I’m still doing some things wrong to this day!
    I don’t have children and can’t imagine the tough decisions you moms have to make on a daily basis, but I absolutely agree, there is so much worse they can be getting into. I do believe that opening that door of communication w/ your child is key; If she feels she can come to you and ask if she can start wearing it (rather than sneaking it) now, this will lead to other open discussions in the future.

  4. I’m trying to remember when I was ALLOWED to versus sneaking it on after my mom left the house…Hmmmm…

    I don’t even remember when Sydney started wearing it. Her stepmom and aunt knew more about make-up than I did. Heck she started her period in 4th grade at age 10. I know make-up was NO big deal whenever it was.

    Have fun. Enjoy her growth. You are a great mom!

    🙂

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