In a day and age where virtually everything is accessible through the Internet, it isn’t any surprise that children are maturing way before their age. No longer are the traditional heart-to-heart sit-downs occurring between parents and kids because adolescents can answer any and all of their burning questions with a search on Google.

I’ve seen swarms of girls under sixteen years old with more makeup on than I have ever worn and the question must be asked: what age is too young for girls to begin wearing makeup?

During her appearance on The View, First Lady Michelle Obama revealed that she and daughter, Malia have started to discuss makeup: “Malia’s like, ‘Mom I need to talk to you,’” Michelle recalled. “And it was 10:30 [at night], and we talked, and we talked, and we talked. We talked about makeup, actually.”

Michelle said President Obama seemed to have mixed feelings on his little girl growing up: “He says he’s cool … but, you know …” Michelle said, laughing. “The first time Malia went out for a party … she had her hair done, and she’s tall, and she had on a pretty dress, you could see him, he was sort of like … ‘gulp.’ And I was like, ‘Easy, dad.”

Malia is just twelve years-old and I’m sure her mother will limit what kind of makeup she wears and how much. And in those cases, makeup can be light-hearted and fun, and even a bonding moment between mother and daughter.

But are there different rules on makeup for young girls when it’s unsupervised and excessive? What’s your personal opinion on wearing makeup at a young age? Would you let your daughter experiment with makeup in her early teens if it was under your watchful eye? Should makeup be reserved for older teenagers and adults? How old were you when you started wearing makeup?

-Faith Cummings


  • Bronze

    Depends on the girl and at what age they start puberty and how fast their body matures.

    Example: Tootie from The Facts of Life. She had a woman body @ the age of 15. I would have hated to see her with lipstick, mascara and blush. Maybe gloss but when your that young….why rush it. I wish little girls understood that you gonna be old forever. Enjoy your youth.

  • http://www.BlackGirlsdontCry.blogspot.com CurlyInTheA

    This is an issue that we are going through right now. But @Bronze, I see your analogy, but Tootie was on TV (different standards) and I remember her makeup being done very tastefully. Anywho, I had to be 15 to wear makeup. I have two tween girls and let me just tell you that most girls today begin wearing makeup much earlier than I started. Hate to put race into it, but Caucasian girls tend to wear makeup earlier than Black girls. I have seen 10 year olds with full faces of makeup — powder, blush, eyeshadow, mascara. Things were so different back when I was a child and I admittedly let my girls do *some* things, that I didn’t do, but I think you have to look at your daughter(s) and modify as needed. We have allowed my girls to wear lightly tinted lip gloss and I’m considering letting the oldest (almost 12) wear mascara this summer. No eyeshadow, powder and everything else, because I do think she should, 1. Learn how to wear it properly AND with a light touch and 2. She doesn’t need a full face of makeup while in middle school, even though some of her friends do.

  • http://www.thegleemanifesto.wordpress.com Maroushka

    I think your approach is on point. I laugh thinking back on how I had to start off with some good old fashion vaseline on the lips before I could even think of a tinted gloss. I think with young girls this subject should be handled with caution because you want them to grow self-esteem based on their natural beauty and not have them become relient on makeup. That’s what my mom did with me and I can say to this day that I look and feel confident without makeup.

  • dvine

    my daughter is 17 and she wears eyeliner.. i tell her don’t over do it.. but i’m comfortable w/her being 16 wearing just the liner..

    i remember i wore red lipstick… lol.. my mother was like why u wearing that red lipstick like you a hooker.. i was like ok then and took it off.. i’m grown and the most i do is line my lids and mascara and some VS lip gloss. nothing else unless it’s a wkend and i’m going out..

  • http://birdiztheword.blogspot.com Jay

    Whenever I have a child and if it’s a girl I don’t think I’ll have an issue with her playing in makeup. To me, it’s one of those fun things you get do to being a girl and I wouldn’t want to take that from her. I will however TEACH her the proper application techniques and allow only the minimal things at first and as she ages we’ll get into the mascara and smoky eyes .

    I think the problem is when mother’s don’t teach their daughters how to wear it the right way (because they don’t want them wearing any at all) and let them go off and do whatever. That’s fine for the weekends but if she’s wearing it to school, the girl needs to look half decent. For me my mother wasn’t totally into me playing in makeup so unfortunately I was the girl waltzing around Jr. High trying to cover up acne with a cream something or another in a shade way too red. I would like to say that was a fail on my Mom’s part.
    That whole saying “everyone in JH/HS has pimples” is a lie. Everyone doesn’t and all I was trying to do was make my face look “normal”. Eventually she came around when she saw how serious I was about my makeup and acne problems. By the time I got to highschool, I was doing hers and my sisters makeup for special dates =)

  • mzpetit

    I believe that everything should be in moderation. I am 21 and wore makeup for the first time when I was 17 going on 18. That’s if you dont consider lip gloss to be make-up. I was not too girly I guess. I was never too interested in anything more than a cute lip gloss. Now I love experimenting with eyeshadow. I wore mascara for the first time last year and I gotz to say I like it alot. Still have other stuff I think of trying like blush etc.

    Anyways, if I had a daughter who was a preteen and wanted to wear makeup I’d limit it to lipgloss. I may consider light and natural looking makeup for extra special occasions, but I would make it clear to her that this will not be the norm. I think a part of it also has to do with maturity. If she is mature, I may even give her a bligh at age 15. Of course, at a younger age I believe more natural looking make-up is appropriate. As she gets older she’ll definitely have more freedom to experiment with bolder shades and tones.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com chic noir

    well I think 15 should be age a young woman can wear makeup. The exception of couse is if she’s a model or actress. My mom allowed me to wear makeup when I turned 16 and I haven’t looked back since.

    Now I was allowed to play around with makeup in the house before I turned 16. I could beat my face pretty well by the time I turned 12.

    on young girls I don’t like heavy foundation and overly shinny lip gloss.

  • http://www.chicnoirhouse.blogspot.com chic noir

    but they can’t have their ears pierced. for the life of me I don’t get that.

  • ARosenBklyn

    I think high school is about right for girls to play around in make up. If I have a daughter, she can feel free to spend her allowance at the drug store building up her make-up palette, but she’s on her own, because I don’t know the first thing about make-up application. lol I wasn’t allowed to paint my nails until I was 10 years old. My idea of make-up in high school was Bonne Bell glittery lip-gloss! I’ve since graduated to eyeliner and mascara, for a night out on the town, but ummmm, that’s about it. lol

  • Nevans

    I’m a make up artist. My daughter is 5 and I have nieces who I’ve helped raise, they are 11 and under. I started wearing make up around the age of 13, aside from ballet performances when I was younger. I was always impressed by it’s transformative powers. I think self expression is a wonderful thing and, as a parent, I’m excited for everything my daughter does to express her individuality, it shows me she’s beginning to know who she is and what she likes. Even at this age, she has an understanding of applying make up, but what I stress with her and my nieces is their skin care. Nothing is wrong with them playing with a little color, as long as there is childlike intent. If I were raising them with the impression that make up was a tool for seduction, I believe this would be a different story. Here, lipstick is an earring or a hat. You can be to young to wear the big earrings and the red lipstick. Old enough may be 14 or 15, but I think that depends on who my daughter is at that age…if she’s flirtatious and boy crazy and her grades aren’t up to par, she won’t be the girl wearing make up.