Our Girls and Makeup

Though I speak often in emails and in person with moms about daughters and makeup, the amount of questions I have received regarding this topic have recently gotten numerous. So, rather than email this out multiple times, I am going to share our views in a post!

The makeup question often comes in one of these forms:

  • What age do you allow your daughters to start wearing makeup?
  • How do you view little girls and makeup?
  • How do you decide what makeup to allow?
  • Do you allow your girls to wear nail polish?

We do not allow our girls to wear makeup or nail polish until they are 13 years old. That’s it. At 12 they are introduced to the much-anticipated path of growing up into a young woman and the makeup adventure by allowing the frosty colored lip balm.

At each birthday, beginning on their 13th birthday, they are gifted with a new item of makeup.  By their 16th birthday they will have received all of the different kinds of makeup they need (i.e.:  foundation, powder, eye liner, eye shadow, mascara, etc.)  and be instructed on how to properly use each one.

This is how it lays out at each birthday:

  • 12th- frosty colored lip balm (we love Burt’s Bees)
  • 13th- light-colored lip balm (pink or watermelon), mascara, and they are now able to paint their toenails with young, fresh colors (light pink, light purple, light blue)
  • 14th- now we add light shades of eyeshadow that are the appropriate colors for their skin tone and eye color.  If their fingernails are kept clean and in good repair we will now let them start wearing nail polish to match the colors they have on their toenails.
  • 15th- this is the birthday we add eyeliner and allow for slightly darker and brighter nail polish.
  • 16th- at this birthday each young lady now can use all items of makeup and is fully instructed on how to wear foundation, blush, and powder.  I take the time to teach them about their season, their coloring, what matches their eye color, and how to apply each stage of makeup.

We view make up as a privilege and an important part of a young girl growing into a young lady.  I don’t want to take away the excitement and joy of their first make up experience and each new one as they cross the threshold from little girl to young lady by giving it to them at too young of an age.  Each birthday from 12th to 16th has such anticipation.  By slowly adding new makeup each year, the amount of makeup they are wearing corresponds with how they have matured over the year.

I don’t want to burden them with feeling the need to “put their face on” or worrying about mussing their makeup when they are 9, 10, 11 years old, when they should be focusing on having fun with their friends, riding bikes, playing games, and enjoying the freedom of being so young.  All of the privileges and steps in the journey of growing into a young woman are not going anywhere.  There is no need to rush through such exciting and beautiful experiences.  Once you’re grown up there is no going back!

Do I think parents are wrong for letting their little girls wear makeup and nail polish?  No.  It is not my job nor my place to tell anyone how to raise their daughter(s).  What you choose for your family you do so because you know it is best and what you want for them.

We have put a lot of thought into planning out and guiding our six daughters on this adventure.  We want our daughters to realize that God made them beautiful without makeup, and we feel that making them wait and allowing new makeup over the course of their teenage years helps them to stay grounded in that.  They do not need makeup to be beautiful!

Our oldest is 16 and can wear any makeup she wants, though she usually keeps it simple with eyeliner, mascara, and lip gloss.  Our second daughter will be 13 in September, and the excitement over her upcoming introduction to makeup is palpable!  I find myself in almost as much anticipation as she is!  *grin*

Have you already been through this experience with your daughter(s)?  Are you soon facing it?  What are your thoughts?  Any advice or encouragement for moms who are looking to hold off on makeup until the teen years despite the media pressure to apply makeup younger and younger?  I would love to hear!

All for God’s glory,

~Rhen

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3 responses to “Our Girls and Makeup

  1. nicely shared. We approach it slowly too, but since I only have one girl (out of 6 children), I based the time frame on her maturity rather than age. She is 11 and in the frosty lip balm stage. On her 12th birthday we will begin to add a touch of eyeliner. ;^)

  2. Great post. We have been trying to figure out the make up thing recently as our 12 year old has been asking off and on when she get’s to wear make up. I grew up with older sisters and we never had an age limit on make up. One of many ways I ended up growing up/looking older too fast. Thanks for sharing!

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