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When should girls start to wear make up

Teenage daughters

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When should girls start to wear make up?

For generations parents have looked on in dismay – and no doubt some amusement – as their daughter comes downstairs wearing make up for the first time.

We’re not talking about the three-year-old dressing up like Mummy, but rather the older girl who wants to start wearing make up in public.  How you react to this will undoubtedly have as much to do with how much make up is used, where they want to wear it and the age of your child, but unless your daughter doesn’t bother with cosmetics until she reaches her late teens, it could well be something you don’t see eye to eye on. So when should girls start to wear make up exactly?

Your daughter sees herself as being mature enough for a full face of make up and, of course, all her friends are allowed to wear it.  On the other hand, you might be a bit more reluctant, thinking she should wait a year or two and even then opt for the natural look.  After all, she’s beautiful without it.  So how do you deal with the issue without it turning into a conflict?

Ask why?

Firstly, it is important to ask your daughter why she wants to wear make up. Parents often fear the desire to wear cosmetics means their child is growing up too fast, is trying to look older to attract boys and is one step closer to losing all of her innocence. But before you start to panic, consider the idea that she might just want to join in with something her friends are developing an interest in or simply wishes to conceal a few teenage spots that are making her feel a bit self conscious.

Even if you are dead against it,putting a blanket ban on make up isn’t always the answer. Depending on your daughter’s personality you run the risk of her leaving the house bare faced and caking on the make up the minute she gets on the school bus (and mascara applied on a moving vehicle is never a good look, no matter how old you are!).  A better response might be to try to understand why she wants to wear cosmetics and help her to realise that the natural look is often the most complimented.

when should girls start wearing make up

You can help

One of the easiest ways to influence your daughter’s appearance is to go shopping with her.  She’ll hopefully recognise and value her mum’s experience and you can work together to find a look you’re both comfortable with.  Try to steer her away from the smoky eye shadows and towards the lightly tinted moisturisers and barely-there lip glosses.  You may be amazed by the power offering to pay for it has when it comes to persuading teenagers to purchase more subtle tones.  Compromises often become much more appealing if you’re not having to spend your own pocket money on them.  Even if your daughter doesn’t appreciate your input, she will probably listen to a make up artist at a department store counter who can show her what colour’s she suits and teach her how to apply them

Compromise is perhaps the key to keeping you both happy.  You may be willing to let her go a little wilder for a party if she promises to tone it right down for school.  Or swap heavy eyeliner in favour of a nail polish in a funky colour.  Allow her to experiment at home as this is the best way to learn to apply make up well.  It’s better she finds her own style and is able to apply it properly before going out and about with it on.

Whatever feels right

Obviously there is no set age when it becomes appropriate for girls to wear make up.  Ask around and you’ll likely get a mixed bag of answers.  While the majority of parents would agree that a five-year-old is too young to be wearing makeup, the divide grows starkly when asked about a 10- or 12-year-old and even more so for a 15-year-old.  What matters most, regardless of age, is that both you and your daughter are content that any make up worn is appropriate and looks good.  With a few helpful tips and a bit of practice, she’ll develop her own image and become competent enough applying make up to complement her natural looks.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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