Friday, November 16, 2012

Is Your Daughter Ready For Makeup?

“But Mo--om, all the other girls get to wear makeup!”

I don't know if this is something your daughter has said to you yet, but most parents 'tween' and teen girls hear this (or something like it) at least a hundred times. But how do you answer it? How old is old enough to wear makeup? Her father would probably say “Never”, but what is a more realistic response?

The answer is that there's no 'magic age' after which your daughter is automatically ready to wear makeup. A lot of it has to do with your daughter's maturity level, although sometimes her school may have their own rules. You think she doesn't need makeup and tell her so, but she still might want to try it. When the time comes that she wants to wear makeup regularly, here are a few suggestions that have helped many other parents.
  • Get her some makeup of her own. Many little girls like to play 'dress-up' with their mother's clothes and pretend they are grown women, so your daughter's probably already discovered your personal cosmetics 'stash'. If she's like me, she also probably got into her sister's makeup, causing no shortage of sibling fights! If you don't want her to play with your makeup but she still shows a strong interest, you could always get her some of her own. I remember getting 'play sets' with peel-off nail polish or flavored lip gloss, and some of them also have blush and eyeshadow. I remember it made me feel so 'grown-up' to have my own makeup, even if it wasn't the same as my mom's or sister's. It also helped me learn how to put it on correctly, which is my next point.
  • Be sure she knows how to use it. I'm sure we've all seen girls wearing makeup that makes them look like they're either dressed up for Halloween or looking for the wrong kind of attention. To prevent this from ever being your daughter, you can make sure she knows how to use it. There are several ways to go about this. For instance, you can allow her to wear whatever colors she wants when you're at home, but only let her wear clear polish or lip gloss when she leaves the house. In the meantime, you can take the time at home to show her how to use it correctly. If she is lucky enough to have an older sister, perhaps her sister could show her how to use it. I remember learning a good deal about how to apply makeup from playing 'beauty shop' with my sister. If neither would work for you, you can possibly find a makeup counter at a drug or department store that can teach your daughter how to play up her features in subtle ways. As you see that she knows the proper application methods, you can gradually 'step up' the colors and products you let her wear. At first, you can allow slightly tinted nail polish or lip gloss. Then, you can allow neutral tones of blush or eyeshadow. Then, foundation. Then, mascara or other eye makeup. Let her know that she'll only get to the next 'stage' if she shows you that she can can use makeup correctly and be responsible with it.
  • Teach her proper skin care regimens. Knowing how to wear makeup is only half the picture. While she's learning how to put makeup on, she should also learn how to take it off. This will go a long way in preventing pimples or other skin problems that can result from wearing too much makeup. Teach her to properly wash her face and, if she uses it, remove eye makeup. If you don't know what cleansers to use, drugstore and department store makeup counters can give you tips.
I hope I've given you some tips you can use when or if your daughter wants to wear makeup. More than anything else, know your daughter and use your own instincts in terms of deciding when she's ready.

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