Make up and a 12 year old!

Patrice - posted on 11/06/2011 ( 165 moms have responded )

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OK everyone what do you think of a 11 well almost 12 year old and make up how much is too much. Well On Friday as my family sat down to dinner I notice that my oldest 11 year old was avoiding my husband and I. So as we made conversation over dinner she looked up and I saw why. She looked like a raccoon. I knew and we agreed that she could wear light make up. Well Her dad wasn't to happy I asked her what happen to your face she said oh my friends put it on. Well my husband and I talk after he made her wash it off. And decided that I could show her how to wear it. What do you think! Is this a big deal or did he just kinda freak out for nothing? Do you let your daughters wear tons of make up at this age?

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Jen - posted on 11/07/2011

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I have to wonder how many of these posters actually have daughters that age, because very few girls seem to be restricted to the extent generally being recommended here. I think makeup is fine, if you and your husband agree about it. Teaching her how to do it tastefully is a good idea. I don't wear makeup at all, but I had my sister teach my daughter how to apply it and now she generally sticks to a natural look and not the real heavy stuff (she's 14).

Liz - posted on 11/07/2011

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I didn't start wearing make up until I was 16 and then in moderation. I intend to restrict my daughter to lip gloss and nail paint until 14-16. I agree with the other mothers who think that 12 is too young.

Gina - posted on 11/07/2011

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My daughter is 13,I've only just started to let her wear light pink lip gloss.She has always worn nail polish,and I think that's fine. We make it a girls night thing and do our nails together, though I only wear it on my toes.We both look forward to it.

I feel it's too early for full make up,I've helped teach her about how to care for her skin,like cleansing, toning and moisturiser,she loves that.



If you agree to let her wear make up, showing her how to apply it is a great ideal.that way you can teach her to keep it light,and maybe buy her teen magazines that have advice on stuff like this,my daughter loves Dolly magazine.

Good luck!

Krista - posted on 11/07/2011

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I don't have a daughter, but I do agree that 12 is way too young for heavy makeup. I've seen it on other 12-year-olds, and I just think it looks trashy. When I was 12, my mom let me wear mascara, lip gloss, and nail polish (but I had to keep my nails short), and cover-up if I had a zit. I would follow the same guidelines if I had a daughter.

Giny - posted on 11/14/2011

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Hi Patrice. I was a practicing make-up artist for a number of years and am the mother of a now 24 yr old beautiful daughter. There is a lot of peer pressure out there, not to say that caving into it is a good thing - don't get me wrong. But, when all your friends are wearing some make-up, it can feel very isolating not to for a young lady. I would advise you to definately show her how to apply light make-up to bring out her natural beauty, but let her know there are defined limits. My daughter knew if she crossed those lines into 'too much' or WAY overdone, she would be washing her face before leaving the house. Letting our kids know we are trusting them with a responsibility gives them a feeling of pride. As she ages, she will better know how to set her own limits because of your trust and example. Best of luck!

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165 Comments

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Valerie - posted on 03/05/2012

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LOL.. my daughters were very much the same way at first... so I trained them how to properly do it.. now they are the pros at 16 years old (twins).. :) Dad's often don't like it as it's a sign they are growing up.. (moms too I am sure..), but sooner or later you have to realize that they ARE growing up.. I have learned (the hard way often times..) that we as parents pick our battles.. I choose not to battle over makeup or hair... I would rather care more about homework/grades, not doing drugs, etc...

Sarah - posted on 12/22/2011

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I don't have problems with a preteen wearing makeup to a degree. I would limit the kind/type of makeup until she's a bit older. Maybe like blush and lip gloss (not lip stick). I think at that age, it's part play fun, part wanting to look older, part being cool. Certainly though, you don't want to sexualize them by putting on a full face of makeup. You should also show her how to apply it. Why not host a makeup/pyjama party for her and her friends and show them how to apply makeup in a tasteful manner. It'll get your point across, and be fun for her and her friends. Good luck!

Cassi - posted on 12/22/2011

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My daughter is around the same age, and some of her friends are wearing makeup that is completely inappropriate. I have approached the subject with her in a way of personal hygeine. I am divorced, and her dad is not a part of her life, but she knows from pictures and such that he had horrible skin when he was her age, and then scars that followed him through his life. I let her know that the first step to being responsible enough to wear makeup was to maintain a healthy skin cleansing routine. Until she could do this, the makeup was not a good idea because it would clog her pores and possibly cause her to have acne like her dad had and lead to permanent scars.
Hope that helps. Chloe is mature enough to understand, which helps. Maybe you can gleen something useful from this. ;-)

Christen - posted on 12/20/2011

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also my daughter whis is 4 asks to wear makeup like her sister. he idea of makeup is chap stick and being that she has dry skin anyhow i dont see tha big deal. both girls know they are beautiful without makeup. they know they dont need it and there for the only reason the 12 y/o half sister wears any at all is because of acne. they are both confident, strong willed girls. im very proud of them and because they are so confident everynow and then is fine by me. they know whats acceptable and what's not and this makes both mommy and daddy happy and the girls too.

Christen - posted on 12/20/2011

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clear or light pink lip gloss very small amt of light blush and maybe clear mascara for a girl that age and maybe on special occations some eyeshaddow. nothing over the top or too dark. but with a girl you have to meet half way. my daughter has a 13 year old half sister and this is all she is aloud to wear. and she is ok with it because other girls arent aloud to wear any. she doesnt look all grown up but she thinks she does. also when she goes to school or church ONLY lip gloss is aloud. and a bit of translucent powder to cover up some of the blemishes.

Megan - posted on 12/19/2011

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each to their own, as long as you reassure her that she is beautiful without makeup then I dont see the harm in light makeup. after all they watch us apply it and get dressed up from time to time and it is only natural for them to want to do the same.

Tonya - posted on 12/13/2011

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It sounds like they were just playing...makeovers or dress-up. I think it's very normal and nothing to worry about. Make-up doesn't equal sex (or whatever the worry is here). I started wearing light make-up in junior high, age 13. My parents never told me what I could and couldn't wear, but at that age most girls only wore mascara and lip gloss anyway. It just wasn't necessary. I would say junior high is the appropriate age if she wants to wear it. Teach her how to put it on, teach her what is too much and overdone, etc. It should really be a mother/daughter thing.



Also, I think as your child ages, you have to accept that they are their own people and they want to express themselves and figure out who they are. For example, f they want to be "goth" for a while, you have to let them. It's usually just a phase anyway. As a parent you should just accept them for who they are. If they're wanting to wear really revealing clothing, that is a different issue, but hair and makeup should be their choice.



Being overly controlling in that area will only lead to rebellion and angst. Plus, they will just put on the make-up when they get to school anyway.

Jessica - posted on 12/05/2011

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I haven't read all the replies, but I just wanted to mention that my 3 year old loves to wear makeup. Whenever I put it on (which is not often) she needs some too. She will sit super still and let me brush on a little eye shadow and blush. It looks hilarious on her, and we wash it off at night. As to your situation, I think 12 is a little young, but if she's going to do it anyway showing her the understated way to apply makeup nicely is probably your best bet. I was not into makeup until almost college, as none of my friends really were either. I think you need to look at your individual situation and do what's best. And it's always Dad's job to tell his daughters they are wearing too much makeup (and that their skirts are too short)! :)

Cheryl - posted on 12/05/2011

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I agree with Sandy teaching is key! Once they learn how and see how it looks without having to look "trashy" they will appreciate it. They are are not 7 they are pre teens.

Michelle - posted on 12/04/2011

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Amie, you are very lucky if you have a daughter who always obeys your wishes and listens to reasonable explanations for why she should not wear makeup against her mother's wishes and never sneaks around behind your back. You must be a genius, because as far as I'm concerned parenting is far and away more difficult than rocket science.

Sandy - posted on 12/04/2011

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I let my daughter wear it 11-12 and made sure to show her the proper way to wear it so she didn't wear "tons". That way she knew the difference between raccoon eyes and eyes that had the proper amount of make up. I personally wasn't allowed to wear anything other than foundation until I was 16 and I remember feeling rebellious about it. I figure this way I had some control over it and she and I had a great time with it.

Toni - posted on 11/28/2011

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I say it is up to the parent, I will not allow my 12 year old to wear make up... starting at a young age only destroys your skin and tends to make you age faster. I say special days it is okay. daily use doesn't give you anything to look forward to.

Eunice - posted on 11/27/2011

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To be honest with you, my children are in their 30's now and the answer is no. They never wore any make up until after 20 years old. The timing may be will be different in those times. You have to decide for yourself what will they gain from it. If it is peer group influence then have a one on one chat with her and see her reaction without hurting her feelings.

Arecia - posted on 11/27/2011

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Patrice, as a mom of an almost 18 year old, she wanted to wear makeup at 12 too. I compromised at 13 with eyeliner and lip gloss. At about 14, she decided that "goth" was her thing and started to wear her eyeliner heavy and that's when I put my foot down. I showed her how to wear it light but beautiful and she then started wearing it the "correct" way which made me and especially my husband ok with the idea. Start small and let her know you approve but just not so much! Ciao!!

Nancy - posted on 11/24/2011

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My granddaughter is in 6th grade, will be 12 in a couple of weeks, and wears mascara and light lip gloss. She wears nail polish of all colors. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. My 85 year old mom has beautiful skin and has always worn makeup, so I don't believe it ages you. Actually, most foundation has sunscreen in it! The sun ages you! Yes, let her experiment at home. Our school has middle school dances, 5th - 8th, and I allow her to wear very light eye shadow to the dances, but it has to meet with my approval. She has had to wash it off and start over at times, but she's agreeable to do so. I asked her teachers about it last year, as she was interested then and I wouldn't let her, and they told me a lot of girls wore some; to set limits and not sweat the small stuff. I also thought it was too young, but really, I started wearing some in 7th grade at a religious school, and it was allowed.

Michelle - posted on 11/24/2011

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If you make a big deal about it she will rebel and just start borrowing make up from friends at school which is only teaching her to lie and hide things from you. Teach her how to put it on properly telling her that less is more by that age many girls are wearing a little eyeliner and tinted lip gloss. She is just trying to be like her peers so allow her some freedom with some restrictions that you and your husband can deal with.

Katherine - posted on 11/24/2011

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I used to sneak my make-up to school when I was 12 because my parents wouldn't let me wear it.
Then I'd wash it off before I got home. At the time 12 didn't seem young, now it does. I mean if she has acne yes. But otherwise no.

Lisa - posted on 11/24/2011

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I think 12 is too young. I have a 10 year old daughter and she is curious, but I only allow her to wear lightly colored lip gloss. That is ALL she will be able to wear until she is about 15.

Cheryl - posted on 11/24/2011

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I have a 15 year old and a 12 year old ,both of them girls and this is a difficult age! I think if she wants to wear makeup it should be ok as long as its worn appropriately. My oldest showed my youngest and she had learned form me. They will resent you for not letting them and will only put it on at school anyways so if they are taught how much and how to I think it is fine.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/22/2011

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No and he did not freak out. My daughter would have been lucky if that was all she got. Mine is only allowed lip gloss and light colored lipstick and nail polish till she is 13. Then I'm planing on taking her for a make over where some one can tell her what colors are good for her and then she might be allowed to where eye shadow and blush. She is allowed to play at home with it. As long as it is washed off before we go anywhere.

Maureen - posted on 11/22/2011

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Why do adults wear makeup? To look better, and let's face it ladies, sexier. No reason in the world for a CHILD and a 12 year old is a child, to wear makeup, A little lip gloss and that's about it until they are about 15 or so. Let them stay kids for a while and learn to gain confidence in themselves without all that stuff at least until high school! If your child feel like she is ugly with out it or wants to wear it because "everyone else is", (and they are not)...then you are not doing your job as a mom. Instill confidence and teach them to shrug off peer pressure.

Jessica - posted on 11/22/2011

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As long as you show her what is acceptable and not acceptable then I dont personally feel ot is a big deal! I have an 11 year old who wears too much and I had to instruct her and my 12 year old wears it the way I feel is acceptable!

Amie - posted on 11/21/2011

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Also, the veiled "your children are monsters and won't listen anyway" I have read is crap.

If you have raised a child who is secure in themselves, who has learned how to say no, has learned to respect their parents - they won't bow to peer pressure. It's really not rocket science!

Saying no and leaving it at that is not the way. If that is the way a person parents, no wonder there are children who don't listen to their parents and sneak around. Children needs reasons, they can understand - it just needs to be taught to them. Again, it's not rocket science.

Amie - posted on 11/21/2011

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No. My 11 year old does not wear make up. There is no good reason an 11 year old needs make up.

Ours has lip balm but that's it. She has worn make up, for things like dance recitals but not as an every day thing. It is not needed. She has a regular face wash she uses, which keeps pimples and such away. She does need that, she's hit puberty hard. Just because she's old enough to be defined a woman by biology's standards though, does not mean she's one in any other form.

Make up is used to enhance our features. For some they use it to feel better about their appearance for whatever reason. (To hide scars, etc.) Children do not need make up and an 11 year old is a child.

I am teaching mine how to properly apply it but she will not be one of them wearing it at school.

Rachelle - posted on 11/21/2011

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My daughter is also 11 and wears makeup. I showed her how to put it on properly so she doesn't look like a clown! Lol. She just wears mostly a light foundation, eye liner and mascara. Just enough to see it, but nothing heavy.

Amy - posted on 11/21/2011

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I think that is to young to be wearing that much make-up. Maybe some light lip gloss.

ANGEL - posted on 11/21/2011

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I have a 12 yr old and since she was 11 she has been wearing lip gloss. I have allowed her to wear that but nothing more until shes 17/18 yrs old. I tell her shes beautiful without makeup.

Gina - posted on 11/21/2011

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I let my girls wear make up at 12, it had to be light. I showed them how and they looked very pretty, never had tto scold them to lighten it up. If you try and stop them they will do it out side of home anyway. So show them how to look good, and not look like clowns,

Stephanie - posted on 11/21/2011

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My daughter has to wear makeup for dance comp., but at home 0, when we go to the theatre a bit of mascara and llite lipstick. She's 13 and knows less is more, I think you did the right thing, they just try to grow up to fast:(

Danielle - posted on 11/21/2011

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Ok, 12 years old is definitely too old to be wearing make-up. I am a mother of seven and nine year old girls. They will be allowed to wear make-up at 16 years old, which is when I think they are old enough to handle the attention that comes form the make-up. This is something my girls and I discuss quite often. As the media continues to portray the images of young women with loads of make-up on and promiscuous clothing, I think it is important for us - parents - to instill in our girls a love for themselves aside from make-up. Not to mention, I also have 15 and 17 year old sons and they tell me that young men are more attracted to the "Natural" look of a young lady. Just a thought.

Linda - posted on 11/21/2011

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i have a 12 year old, i dont let her wear make up for school. but i let her wear it if shes going to a party or something just a small amount like you i had to show her how to put in on, i dont see any harm in letting them wear a bit of make up

Cindy - posted on 11/21/2011

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Just wondering what is wrong with nail polish?? I have been painting my daughters' nails since they were little.
As far as 11 or 12 being too young, that depends on the amount of make-up. I have a 12 and 13 year old, so I have just been through this. They both started out with neutral color eye shadows. Then I let them add mascara right before entering 7th grade. They both have the choice to wear eyeliner as long as it is not too dark or thick, both they both agree that most girls this age look trashy with eyeliner, so they don't wear it. They hear the girls that look trashy get called sluts, so they are smart enough not to look like that. I have also stressed all their lives is that make-up is to enhance their natural beauty and not to make them pretty. So yes, basically my two only wear light eye shadow and mascara. And yes, their dad did make comments the first time he *noticed* either girl wearing make-up. When he questioned what was on their face, they responded make-up, but I've been wearing it for about a month now. Seriously, he did it with both of them!!!! So obviously it wasn't over done if it took him so long to notice.

Kelly - posted on 11/21/2011

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Dads want to protect their little girls. I think most girls start wearing some make-up in 7th-8th grade. Anything sooner I personally believe is pushing it. Dad also needs to be sensitive because at this age the girls tend to get it worng. they are just learning how and often think more is better or they just plain do a lousy job putting it on. Time for a Mary Kay (or other name) slumber party! Find a consultant willing to come have a party and teach the girls about color and tastefully applying the make-up. Let the consultant know that you want them learning fun things that are appropriate for their age. If your daughter and her girlfriends are on the same page, so to speak, then you won't find them sneaking into the bathrooms at the beginning of school to create more racoon eyes. Talk to the moms and explain your goal in the make-up party. Also Kudos to dad. Some dads would not care as much and those are the girls who get lost and seek male attention other places and have no strong role model in a father.

Sharon - posted on 11/21/2011

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Personally I feel 12 is a bit young for make up. I know a lot of the programs they watch have the young actresses smeared in make up and more likely than not this is a big influence on our young girls. At 12 I think the most they should be wearing is a light colored lip gloss. They need to be proud of their natural beauty. As for myself, I didn't start wearing make up unti l I was 14. My mother permitted a little bit of blush, eyeliner and light lipstick. I looked my age. Too much make up at times can cause a young girl to look much older than she is and attract trouble. Good luck!

Krystal - posted on 11/21/2011

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I think I remember wearing makeup n putting too much on just cuz I didn't know n wanted to dressup like my friends ...I believe my dad was outraged the first few times I wore makeup..its a reality check that their daughters are getting older .my stepmom was very fair I think n I was allowed to weqr mascara light blush and light eye shadows .girls are goin through puberty and making a lot of.transitions.I think if you compromise with your daughter she won't be apt to try to hide or qvoid you with not only makeup but other transitions.I say this from experience so you don't find your dqughter sneaking out with too much makeup n questionable clothing ...I do believe your husband freaked out .qnd makeup is fun for women. They even sell .little kids makeup .if its an issue I suggest hqve her wear.it around house until he's comfortable..men just don't like change with their daughters.hope this helps

Irene - posted on 11/21/2011

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I alliwed it I brought good quality and showed her how to apply it. She used to wear it all the time now she will only put a little make up on for special occasions never for school

Mindee - posted on 11/20/2011

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My mother let me start wearing natural toned lipstick when I entered middle school. (11 years old). Around 12 years old my complexion got really bad so I started wearing foundation, cover up, etc. I don't think 12 is too young at all. That's when they're most self conscious. I think teaching how to wear make up and how much is too much is a great idea. Be there for her in this and she won't go around behind your back caking on the eyeliner.

Maureen - posted on 11/20/2011

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No makeup until about 14 and then only on special occasions. By 15 or 16 she could wear it regularlly. Take her to the makeup counter at a department store and allow them to teach her how to apply her make up to accent her best features. Most offer this at no cost if you buy one product. - - Don't rush things!!! 12 is way to young. I have two girls who are now 19 and 21. Both can apply their makeup beautifully and neither one needed to wear a ton i high school. Let alone...middle school!

Sharon - posted on 11/20/2011

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Not at all, I agree with your husband. they are still children why let them grow up quicker than they have too!

Wanda - posted on 11/20/2011

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My 13 year old (8th grader) can wear any color nail polish she choses. But I've explained that heavy consistent make up on the face can have not so good results later in life. So, she's only wearing lip gloss. Girls' nights in, we can experiment. But "real" make up will have to wait until she's 15 or 16. However, i see plenty of girls at her school with heavy make up on. To each his/her own...

Nikki - posted on 11/20/2011

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I think that is to young.. I am going through this with my eleven year old. I told her wearing make-up has a responsible.

Karen - posted on 11/20/2011

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When my daughter turned 12, I had a Mary Kay consultant do a make-up/facial party at our house. My daughter invited 4 friends. I had the lady demonstrate and discuss with the girls what was appropriate for their age. They learned about skincare and what possible make-ip would look best for each at their age. The girls felt good about themselves and solved the problem for me. Soon after my daughter wad wearing little to make-up.

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I'm sorry but that's just too young to be wearing makeup. I remember not being able to wear it until I was 16. And even at the age of 16 the amount of makeup I was allowed to wear was minimal. She's still a child, remind her of that!
I do have a daughter myself, who will be 7 here in a couple weeks. She desperately seeks wearing makeup as well. I will only allow her to wear "pretend" makeup during "beauty shop" shop time. But when we are done playing beauty shop I do make her wash it off. I inform her that makeup is only for grown ups, and we pretend we are grown ups while playing beauty shop.

Shelly - posted on 11/20/2011

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I think you are doing the right thing. Show her how to properly use the make up lightly. Then comment positively about it to her, I think it will make all the difference. Oh and make sure your husband tells her that he thinks she looks pretty with it applied lighter. She will enjoy the compliments and continue to use it correctly.

Gloria - posted on 11/20/2011

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Patrice, I think she is old enough to learn about good skin care and to wear some light make-up. A little blush, some mascara and a lipcolor. Dads never want their little girls to grow up. You don't want her to sneak out and do it and you don't want her to feel left out by her friends. My daughter is 27 and I did let her wear light make-up at 11 or 12. I am a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and I really believe in good skin care habits!!!

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