When to Start Wearing Make Up

Updated on February 20, 2015
J.H. asks from Westfield, NJ
11 answers

Especially for mamas with pre-teen and/or teen girls, when did your girls start wearing make up?

I can see a lot of my daughter's friends are wearing makeup, but the amount of makeup is across the spectrum - most wear just a little bit but a handful wear way too much for 7th grade.

My daughter has just started wearing mascara every once in a while (and zit cover up when needed), and has expressed an interest in lipstick. I've told her I'd be okay right now with tinted lip gloss for a little color but to hold off a bit on actual lipstick.

I'm too old to remember when I started wearing it (or I've mentally blocked out the middle school years!). I was just wanting an informal poll on what others are allowing.

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So What Happened?

Thanks everyone - I was curious as to what others experienced.

Micky - you are pretty much right on the money with what we are doing. Luckily she has no desire to wear foundation - she notices a friend of hers wears way too much and it looks weird. She's asking about eye liner but that is one I may make her wait a year or so before trying.

Gamma G - you'd be surprised at how many of these girls in middle school ARE wearing full-on lipstick. Maybe it's the Taylor Swift effect? I'm holding her to tinted lip gloss for now - she and I have talked about how too much can make you look like a girl playing dress up.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

Mine was in middle school when she started. I didn't set specific limits on it - just told her to stop before she looked like Mimi from the Drew Carey Show.

4 moms found this helpful

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answers from Phoenix on

I was going into 7th grade, the first time make-up was allowed by the school. My mom took me to the Clinique counter, her make-up brand, and had them teach me to do age appropriate eye shadow, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick (I have never worn foundation). She bought the products and I left with a good base for doing my own make-up without looking like a 40 year old or a drag queen.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

My 11 year old daughter wears a light color lip gloss and neutral eye shadow. No eye liner or mascara. When I went to her middle school, I was dumbfounded at the girls her age and the make up they were wearing. I don't wear that kind of makeup! My dd didn't wear it but wanted to since everyone else was. So we had a long discussion about doing things to be like everyone else and doing it because you want to. We came to a mutual agreement about the make up. We are both happy with it. Best of luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Girls are starting younger and younger - and often they look ridiculous.
Mascara - save it for stage productions - girls experiment and come out looking like racoons.

Tinted lip gloss or understated lipstick colors are fine.
Doing nails is something else - but be careful with the acetone removers - my sister stripped the finish of a corner of a living room table when she spilled some.

Keep a handle on the cost for all this stuff.
People are suppose to discard 'old makeup' (like anything over 8 weeks old) so there's no bacteria build up - but they don't do it and end up with zits and eye infections from it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My daughter is a competitive dancer and from the age of 6 learned the difference in stage makeup and every day makeup. I only wear mascara myself. So she is 11 and in the 6th grade, but she doesn't have interest in that right now. But if she wanted to, I would trust her to put on the right amount and not look like a clown.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I wore make-up in stages. In middle school I could wear lip gloss without color. My freshman year I could wear lipstick, Sophomore year, blush, junior I could wear all make up. My 8 year old is interested in make up all ready. Someone gave her kids makeup for Christmas so she plays with it. I told her it would be awhile before she can wear makeup. Good luck with your decision.

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answers from New York on

It was chapstick until high school when I started, with that blackish color called blackberry. It was grunge. It was not pretty. It was not glamorous.

Never really took to it. wore some early in my career because I thought it made me look fully dressed. within 5 years, I gave it up completely.

Set what limits feel right to you. be aware she might well buy and keep some in the locker and wash her face before seeing you. talk to her about good makeup hygiene (not sharing, not letting it get too old, and the risk of infection).

F. B.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I'd say 14 is a perfect age to start wearing make ups. I remember asking my mom for make ups when i was in first grade and she didn't let me. i was not happy about it for a long time. but now that i think of it, i thank her for not letting me try it out that young.

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answers from Minneapolis on

My daughter is now 17 and a junior. She still doesn't wear heavy makeup, but I really don't either. She was wearing some makeup at that age, as were most of her friends. My advice is to find a lipstick that is acceptable to you. Lipstick isn't a huge deal unless you make it one so find something that isn't too much for a girl her age and she'll be good with it.



answers from Los Angeles on

As a teen, my mom kept saying no so in 7th grade I'd put some on when
I got dropped off to school. I'd go in the bathroom & put it on then wipe
off before being picked up. It was eyeshadow, blush & lip gloss.

Here's what I would do now as a mom, allow them to wear light makeup
in 7th grade. I'd take her to the grocery store & let her buy a couple of
things like mascara & lipgloss (not liptsick).
I don't think powder or foundation is necessary at this stage.
I might allow a neutral eyeshadow like beige but not blue etc.
I'd get a sm inexpensive makeup bag (kind of like a rite of passage) & let
her know this is it for now & not to be heavy-handed with it. Show her
how to apply the mascara so she doesn't get it in her eye.
Lipgloss in a muted color.
Not a fan of blush at this age as they tend to be heavy handed & look like
a clown.



answers from Oklahoma City on

Hardly anyone wears out and out lipstick anymore. Only older women who probably work all day and need that to stay on without being constantly put on again and again. I truly don't know anyone who wears lipstick. They all wear dye or gloss or something like that.

So lip gloss is fine. I'd say anything on her lips is fine regardless of what it says on the label as long as it's lighter in color such as pinks and corals and nothing red or darker.

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