Q: At what age should young girls be allowed to start wearing makeup?
I was watching a video by Zoella on her Youtube channel, which showed an old footage of her vlogging at just 11 years old. In this video, she is packing for her holiday and makes reference of bringing “makeup”, which consisted of lip gloss and glitter body butter (hardly makeup). However, some comments on Youtube attacked her for wearing “makeup” at such a young age. With the advance of Youtube and exposure of makeup to young girls in todays generation, we have to really ask ourselves what age should girls start wearing makeup.
Molly, 20 | The Rose Beauty Files
Amy, 40 | The Makeup Case
I started “seriously” wearing makeup (eye shadow, blush, lipstick, etc.) when I was maybe 13. Before that, I really wasn’t allowed to wear anything more than lipstick/lip gloss and nail polish (unless it was Halloween or I had a dance recital as we had to wear heavy makeup so the stage lights wouldn’t wash us out). I didn’t even start wearing like foundation until I was 16 or 17. This was back in the 80s but even now, I feel if you’re not a teenager yet, you shouldn’t be wearing makeup (unless it’s for something super special). Lip gloss and nail polish on occasion is ok but anything more than that is too much for young kids because they don’t need it.
Vanessa | Say Hello to Gorgeous
I hate to give the typical answer, but it depends. To me, there is nothing inherently wrong with wearing makeup so the age you start wearing makeup in general doesn’t matter to me. What would worry me if I were a parent, would be if the makeup made my child look much older. For example, if my daughter was 13, but rocking a red lip/ smoky eye combo that made her look 21, I’d be concerned. Having matured early myself, and looking older than my age from the time I was 11 on, I personally wouldn’t want my child to dress in a way that attracted attention from adults. That being said, I don’t think all makeup makes girls look older, so if a little girl wants to wear sparkly body butter and a lip gloss, go for it!
I deemed my mother to be completely unfair and unreasonable when she said I could only wear clear gloss when I was eleven. Now that I have my own daughter, I completely empathize with my mother’s decision. The simple reason being is “everything in its season”. There is amplified pressure on young girls to emulate a certain ideal standard. I am sure we can all agree there are negative outcomes that can result when a young girl “grows up too fast”. I think clear gloss is acceptable for a “tween”, but beyond that I feel it is simply too young of an age to be wearing more makeup than that. Listen to your mothers, they truly know it all!
Do you agree with the early teens argument? Tweet @enterspree, using #ESBeautyQA
Apoorva, 18 | That Weird Girl Official
This question always hits home because I recently started using makeup, when I turned 18 last October, and I still got to hear things like ‘you’ll ruin your skin’ and what not. Growing up in a small town, what I knew makeup as was a stroke of lipstick, a hint of mascara and a dab of face powder. When I started my blog 7 months ago, I faced products that I didn’t even know existed. So while cruising on the beauty boat, I came across makeup gurus who were no older than 14, tutoring newbies like me to use foundation and concealer correctly. I believe that makeup is a tool for hiding your imperfections, covering your flaws to feel confident and there is nothing wrong with that. Nonetheless, what I really believe in is that makeup should be used according to the need of your skin and not as a marketed hype by the companies. I do not wish to offend young girls out there, but 14 is not the time you should be caking yourself in layers of foundations. No matter how costly the product is, most of them consist of parabens, SLS/SLES, propylene glycol and other such chemicals that ruin your skin and affect your health in long wrong. I don’t know what the right age should be though what I do know is that I wouldn’t advice anyone who has a good skin to ever cover it with makeup. Let your skin breathe.
Caryl | Caryl Almelor
That depends on the young girl’s upbringing. I know when I was younger my parents forbid me from wearing makeup until I finished high school and I was 18 years old then. However, there was an exception, I was allowed to wear makeup for special occasions like weddings. If we’re talking about young girls wearing makeup on a daily basis, I don’t think it’s right to be wearing under 16 years old. As a new mother, I wouldn’t allow my daughter (if I had one) to wear makeup at such a young age even if she watched me wear makeup now. There’s a time to wear that and influencing young girls bring many different issues. An example would be those children’s beauty pageants or that show toddlers and tiaras. There has to be boundaries set for girls. Makeup is fun, but it’s not something that girls at 11 years old should be worrying about or playing around with.
Brianna, 23 | Online Beauty Finds
I don’t think there is necessarily an exact age when girls should start wearing makeup. Also, makeup has different degrees; it’s not black and white. My first “makeup” item was a tinted lip balm at age 8. When I was 12 years old I took my mums black eyeliner and would sneak to the girls’ bathroom at school and apply it to my waterline. She soon found out but did not mind; I think it was because both my mum and older sister loved makeup. I then slowly added mascara, liquid liner and foundation to my makeup routine in high school. I think if a young girl wants to start wearing makeup it should be gradual and used sparingly so that she still looks her age.
It all depends on a young girls upbringing. Agree or disagree? Tweet @enterspree, using #ESBeautyQA
Julia, 21 | Elegant and Relevant
I don’t think there can be a definitive answer for this question, considering factors like location, how mature she is, etc. It all depends on what her parents believe is appropriate. If it were my own daughter, I would hold off on mentioning beauty products or makeup until she brought it up to me, expressed some interest, or started doubting her self-image. A clear or light pink lip-gloss and mascara are harmless. Young girls are increasingly pressured to look beautiful and put together all the time, so a light gloss and mascara could definitely increase their self-confidence. While I don’t think that a full face of makeup and red lipstick are necessarily appropriate for a girl before she enters high school, a little bit of concealer to cover blemishes and pimples might make a girl feel a bit better about herself. I had pretty bad acne in middle school, so I was thankful for the little Neutrogena concealer my mom bought me at CVS! It essentially eliminated the fear that all of the cute boys would be staring at my pimples all day long. Some day if I have a daughter of my own, exploring makeup and beauty products together will be exciting and fun. The more important thing is making sure that their values haven’t been skewed by the often ugly American media, and their confidence stretches beyond outer beauty
Nicole, 17 | Nicolish
I think that people should start wearing makeup whenever they feel like they want to. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to want to wear makeup, it doesn’t harm you. Even if you are only 10 years old, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. In my opinion it’s not an adult only thing or something like that. If someone wants to or enjoys putting on makeup, I’d say go ahead. If something makes you happy, just go for it.
Tifa, 33 | Blog Creatifa
To answer this question, we first need to establish what exactly is classed as makeup? Girls as young as three or four wear glitter lip gloss and nail polish, which I think is fine, in moderation. I first wore makeup (face powder and lipstick) aged thirteen or fourteen, because I had an older sister, so her makeup was easily accessible to me. It wasn’t until I was at university (aged 19), that I went to Selfridges and bought myself a whole bunch of makeup – foundation, concealer, powder, eyeshadow, mascara, and lipstick. The first time I wore false eyelashes was on my wedding day, at 24 years of age! I know times have changed, and I don’t want to sound patronising, but I think girls nowadays wear too much makeup, too young. I personally know teenagers who wear false lashes on a daily basis! If I had a daughter, I don’t think I’d let her wear a full face of makeup until she was 16 or 18… maybe not even then! 😛 Girls should be able to wear makeup at whatever age they feel comfortable, without getting any flak, as long as they wear it responsibly.
Paige, 27 | She Be Chic
This is quite a difficult question because young girls can look a lot older wearing makeup which can attract the wrong sort of people but then you shouldn’t feel discouraged to wear make up if it’s something you want to do. As a teen I wasn’t interested in make up. I’m not sure if it was because I was a tomboy or because I was at school to learn not to impress anyone but even with peer pressure I just wasn’t interested, it wasn’t me and I didn’t feel comfortable. I think you should wait until you’re comfortable. It doesn’t matter that everyone else does it. Do what’s right for you. Everyone’s different and that’s not a bad thing.
What exactly is classed as makeup? Tweet @enterspree, using #ESBeautyQA
Lizzy, 25 | Louboutins n’ Lemonade
This question is being asked a lot recently; children are definitely looking and dressing older today. I always think ‘I never looked like that when I was 11’. People blame the media, the entertainment industry etc. which I do agree with but I don’t think that it’s just down to them. Personally I started wearing make up when I was about 14. It wasn’t full make up, just a bit of mascara and lip gloss and I for sure had body glitter just like Zoella, and my parents were fine with that. If I was wearing this at 11 though, I’m not sure I would have been allowed out of the house! In terms of the age I think is okay for girls to wear make up, probably 13 – not a full face of make up but lip gloss, mascara, and nail varnish, I don’t think that hurts anybody!”
Katy, 33 | Schoolrun Beauty
Manisha, 22 | Manisha Amar Makeup
I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually start wearing “makeup” until I was 17/18. It had nothing to do with peer pressure but it was just the simple fact that I was not interested and it wasn’t really pushed down your throats. However a lot has changed over the years and this is not necessarily the case with a number of girls these days; celebrities have an influence over the global trends especially amongst young girls. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, I’m all for live and let live but I don’t think young girls (12-16) should really wear mass amounts of makeup; they’re just too young. I’m talking from a skin care perspective here more than anything. Your skin is going to go through sooo many changes and adding things such as heavy foundation, concealers, contouring powders and creams will only clog your pores. As a makeup artist, the difference between a good makeup look and a GREAT makeup look is the skin; it’s so important to look after your skin.
In addition to all that, social media is crawling with “goals” so it doesn’t come as a shock when a young girl talks about the pressure she feels to look a certain way because society wants her to. Social media only portrays the good in people’s lives but the impact it has on the wider audience is vast so if young girls feel like they can’t be seen without copious amounts of makeup because they don’t look like those Instagram girls, that is an issue. In summary I think girls should start wearing makeup around 17, but there’s nothing stopping them from applying mascara, lipgloss and even powder foundation (think mineral) because it will still let your skin breathe. I personally believe that around 17/18, you’re older, wiser and hopefully more accepting of your bare face to choose wearing makeup for the right reasons.
What do you think? What age do you feel girls should start wearing makeup? Leave your comments below or Tweet Enterspree! Don’t forget your hashtag #ESBeautyQA
Please note that the views expressed by women in our Beauty Q&A Sessions are their own, and do not reflect the opinions and views of Enterspree.