Photo by: Upparent

Yes, I am letting my 11-year-old daughter wear makeup to school

by Kristy Pepping of Upparent
Photo by: Upparent

Let me rewind and start from the beginning. My daughter is entering sixth grade, and a lot has changed from the second half of fifth grade to today. She used to wear dresses every day to school, and now she is sporting jean shorts and t-shirts. While she still plays with dolls, she is also getting into more junior high-type activities, like bracelet making and texting with her friends.

Over the summer, she approached me about another change. She wanted to know if she could wear makeup to school this year. While I didn’t think much of it, reminiscing about my days wearing blue eyeliner, clear mascara and bright pink blush in the 80s—that’s me in the above photo circa 1989—I decided to pose the question to my fellow moms over social media. I was shocked by how extreme the reaction was on both sides, pro and against make up for sixth graders. From moms who won’t let their daughters wear makeup until they are 18 to moms who hire local makeup artists to teach proper contouring techniques to their tweens, it turns out there is a very wide range of opinions on this particular question.

After weighing all the comments, I have decided to let my daughter wear makeup, but just stick with a few basics. We went to Clinique and told the saleslady we were looking for just a few products to enhance her already pretty face. We ended up getting mascara, blush (in a neutral color, versus the hot pink 80s-style) and lip gloss in a light shade.

To all those who say kids are growing up too fast these days, I agree. But that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t grow up at all. If wearing a little makeup makes my daughter happy, I am all for it. She is a strong and confident girl that knows her self-worth. So why not add a little color to her already bright personality?

Kristy Pepping is a content supervisor at, a website that gathers recommendations from parents themselves for the best products, gifts, recipes, and local activities and events for families. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three kids.

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