Makeup?At what age do you allow your daughter to play with cosmetics?

Dawn - posted on 12/13/2010 ( 194 moms have responded )

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At what age do you allow your daughter to play with nail polish? My daughter is almost 4 years old and now wants me to paint her finger nails and toe nails to make them pretty. I personally don't paint my nails, but somehow she is now becoming interested in make too. It this too soon??? What do you think?

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Laura - posted on 12/14/2010

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The key word is "play". Young girls learn by imitating what they see either through personal contact or through the media. Most all of us, as moms, played dress-up at some point when we were growing up and this is no different. The difference now is that there are safer products on the market geared toward toddler/young girls. As long as these products are used for "play", then there shouldn't be a problem. Ultimately the choice to allow this play behavior (and associated products) is up to the parent. It is neither right or wrong, just a personal choice.

Janelle - posted on 12/14/2010

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My daughter is 8 but I have been painting her nails since she was 2. Sometimes her dad paints them for her. She has been dying her hair since she was 6. Currently it is purple. I figure, it will wash out or you can undo it later. Let her be girlie, but show her how.

Stifler's - posted on 12/14/2010

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ah i don't think so. wearing make up is fun and little girls look cute when they play around with blush and want to paint their nails and stuff

Katarina - posted on 12/13/2010

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They have specific nail polish for toddlers( non-toxic) that you can buy at most major department stores. Playing with kid friendly makeup while she's playing dress up his okay. I don't have a daughter but I don't see the harm in it. Let her have fun!

Margy - posted on 12/24/2010

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At age 4 she is playing. She is trying things out. I polished my daughters nails and toes and then you went out and climed trees and played on the swing set. it is just part of the growing process. We all like to look pretty. I would not give her nailpolish to play with I would do it for her. I might put a little lip gloss on her lips and that should satisfy her. You might just have a girl day where she does your nails and you do hers. Enjoy it because it dosent last. My little girl is not 35.

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194 Comments

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Michelle - posted on 12/24/2010

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I think that a little goes a long way. Kid friendly polish is everywhere and it will also allow the both of you to have some fun together. I used to do the same for my daughter when she was that age and it is a great bonding experience and gives you memories that you will cherish forever.

Amanda - posted on 12/24/2010

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uhmm my BABY had her nails painted. theres nothing wrong with that. as far as actual makeup goes, id say Jr high. thats when i started. nothing over the top & gaudy just basic coverup. theres nothing wrong with wanting to look pretty

[deleted account]

My daughter is 9 and she is very much into nails and makeup. Since she was your daughters age I have allowed her to paint her nails. It is fun mommy/daughter time. She would love it if I let her wear makeup now but I do not. She has to wait until about 14 before she can wear eyeliner and we will discuss everything else gradually. She is allowed to wear bonnebelle lip gloss now however.

Stacey - posted on 12/23/2010

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I do not have a daughter. I was raised by my old-world German grandmother where we weren't allowed to touch cosmetics until we were 16 (we meaning my sister and I). She did buy us masks and peels for our skin, though. And we could wear clear nail polish. Personally, I would think 4 is too young. If/when I have a daughter, I think 10 would be about ripe. Plastic, fake make up and nail polish is okay for that age. But, that's just my personal opinion.

Tiffany - posted on 12/23/2010

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My 2 year old loves painting her nails. I myself encourage her because its something thats harmless and fun for her to do.

Liesl - posted on 12/23/2010

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My daughter loves to sit and do nail polish too (she's 4 nearly 5) and has been interested in it since she was 3. I use a fast drying type that you can use one coat of (less drying time all round) She just enjoys being girly with her mum sometimes. She also has one little eyeshadow and blush kit that she is allowed to play with when her sister is asleep. If she becomes interested in lippy, just get a clear lipbalm which wil protect her lips in summer anywhoo. Hope this helps - it's hard if you get a girly girl and they want to do things you don't do yourself (I rarely wear makeup and do my nails sometimes - she gets it from her Aunty Neen mostly - and that's nice too.)

Chantel - posted on 12/23/2010

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Girls will be girls, I believe if you approach it slowly, it's for the best. my girls use nailpolish (8 & 10 years old)

Lynn - posted on 12/23/2010

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My daughter is 4 and I've been letting her have her nails painted for about a year. I have rules about what kind of colors, nothing that looks too grown up. So pinks and I do let her do some more "wacky" colors on her toes like blues, greens, etc. Honestly she and her friends play so much outside that it almost all comes off almost immediately. As for makeup, except for a Halloween parade that she was in for school where all the kids had some kind of makeup on, I haven't let her go down that road yet. However, she also hasn't shown a lot of interest in it either. When she does I'll probably say yes but only for playing dressup in the house and definitely not for out in public. Hope this helps and Happy Holidays!

Caroline - posted on 12/23/2010

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My little girl is 6 & I let her have nail polish on her toes for holidays etc. She has make up to play with too & lipstick. As long as its in the right spirit, I think its fine

Patty - posted on 12/22/2010

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my daughters are now in their mid 20s but I use to take them with me to the nail salon once in a while. They had special colors and designs for kids and the girls loved to get their nails polished like mommy's. They were probably around 4 when we started this it was about this time they would only wear dresses too. It's a girl thing - go with it and have fun.

[deleted account]

I personally don't wear make-up other than special occations and that is just so I don't have to listen to my mother complain about how I never look girly.

I would probably let experimental make-up at about 10 or 11, except for costumes.

I again don't paint my nails. Mainly because when I have they look horrible. Really I'd rather not have my daughter's nails painted until she's 3 or maybe older. Mainly because if she still puts her fingers in her mouth (she's a finger sucker), it could cause the toxins in the paint to be absorbed into her.

Marsha - posted on 12/22/2010

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My daughter is very much NOT a girly girl. She prefers legos and Star Wars figures to dolls and barbies. But even she likes to have her nails painted. I think my mom painted them for her the first time when she was about 2. I can't paint my nails due to my job, so I don't tend to remember to do it over the summer and vacations, but DD greatly enjoys her painted nails. We do fun colors (purple, teal) as well as pinks. I think this is the perfect opportunity to teach her less is more and to have style and grace while she's experimenting. It's make-up, not life altering.

Arlene - posted on 12/22/2010

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I'm surprised at how many mom's feel nail polish is appropriate for little girls. Despite the claim or toddler friendly or non-toxic polish it is still not something you want your child putting in their mouth. Would you let your daughter chew on crayola crayons? Every kids I know puts their fingers in their mouth. Nail polish and polish remover is poison you should not put in any child's mouth.

Jen - posted on 12/22/2010

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I let my 2-y/o wear make-up on the rare occasions I wear it. She gets VERY light-colored eye shadow and some lip gloss, and the only bottle of nail polish I own is bright pink. She loves being girly, and if we have errands to run, I don't wash it off, because you can't see it anyway. She knows it's there, it makes her happy, and there's no harm in it. Santa is putting lip gloss and perfume in her stocking this year, as a matter of fact, because I feel my perfume is too strong for her to wear. She got a little kit from Wal-Mart that I know she will love, and it will be kept in my room where she can't get to it on her own, but will have use of it.

Milena - posted on 12/22/2010

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I have a 4 year old girl and she just started developing the same interest. I let her do it here and there for special occasions, such as Carnival or today we did nails to be pretty for Santa. I would not want to wear nail polish every day at this age but here and there I think it is ok. Hope that helps a bit

[deleted account]

My own grils, now 42 and 39, were two years old when I started painting their nails and toes. There is no harm in doing this for them. They learned that looking nice and feeling nice were a good thing. Now I paint the fingernails and toe nails of my granddaughter for when she wears her sandals, she is 3 years old. This does not make them want to grow up any faster. I frowned upon eye makeup, etc until they were 16 years old.

Melissa - posted on 12/22/2010

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Girls will be Girls...I think if she doesn't put her hands in mouth it's not to soon. Most little girls mirror their mommies.

Sherry - posted on 12/22/2010

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I am a grandma & my granddaughters love to come over (ages 5 & 3) and I let them put on hand lotion & lipgloss & a little translucent powder(with mom's permission of course)! But no eye makeup, just simple skincare items. As far as nail polish their mothers put that on their daughters occasionally...kids usually chew it off..so get kid friendly polish. It's been a fun bonding time with "my girls"!

Angela - posted on 12/22/2010

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My daughter just turned 5 and I paint her nails on occasion. This summer I painted her toenails red and then put black dots on them and they looked like ladybugs! She loved it! I'm going to let her have red nails for Christmas to go with her new dress and jewelry. She loves to play in my makeup but doesn't wear it outside the house. She also wants to wear my perfume, so I bought her a gift box set of Loves Baby Soft. She's getting a light up mirror and cosmetic kit for Christmas to play with.

Gloria - posted on 12/22/2010

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I am a grannie of 64 , my children started wanted there don't roughly about same time but I bought those childrens one for them . They were happy with them till they realize it don't color . I allow my girls to experience make up at a young age, because I know if I said no there would be a fight . Now they barely use make up , they do but not heavy .

Cindy - posted on 12/22/2010

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I think its fine like Wendy said cheap nail Polish your old make up that is about gone will make them so so happy... as long as you have agreements that is very important! ! Tell theology when we go out somewhere we wash it off OK.. any arguments don't let them were it for a day or so.

Cindy - posted on 12/22/2010

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These kids aren't old enough to be asking you to be punk rockers!!! All they are doing is being little girls.. like the one lady saying something about dying there hair ggeesshh what Are you thing.. I'm sorry if that sounds rude, but my kids are all grown up now focuusing on my 5 grandkids 3 boys and 2 girls I only really get to see on of my granddaughters

Kala - posted on 12/22/2010

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I agree with the hair dying thing! thats crazy! they should wait until they are like 15 or sixteen to dye their hair!

Kala - posted on 12/22/2010

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I think its okay to paint her nails and toenails, they are curious and think its pretty :) maybe get her fake make up, but real make up maybe not, its kinda early....

Wendy - posted on 12/22/2010

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NO! It is fun! Go and buy some REALLY cheap polish in all different fun colors, and paint each nail and toe different colors!

Gayla - posted on 12/22/2010

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I have a 4yr old and she has played with play make up since she was 2 1/2. I painted her fingernails and toenails for her since the 1st time she asked me to. I also painted them when she was a baby too lol.

Liz - posted on 12/22/2010

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I think it's a real shame girls have to put makeup on at such a young age, what will be left for them to do when they are older. Save it for then, and they'll enjoy it at the appropriate age. I think it's wrong to dye a child's hair - if it's the real dye it has peroxide in it which is a harmful chemical, personally I think that's irresponsible, but I'm from Australia and things are done a bit differently here, we may be a bit more conservative on these issues, my daughter is almost 3 and I wouldn't dream of putting anything on her, baby dolls and strollers are just fine.

Kristin - posted on 12/22/2010

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My daughter just turned 3 last Sunday, and ive been painting her nails for probably about a year now... Either me or daddy paints them... and she can wear whatever color she wants! We've got Turquoise, Cotton Candy Pink, Bright Green, Orange, Purple, Blue, and our newest ones are Dark Green & a Dark Sparkly Red for Christmas!!! She LOVES it! I dont see any harm in painting her nails ANY color she wants... its only nail polish... she hasnt shown any interest in make up... and shes never really put her fingers in her mouth... so i havent worried about her eating the polish either...=)

Harsimrat - posted on 12/21/2010

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same here.....................but m enjoying this by telling that when u ll become like your muma then do it bcz small good babies cant do it. U r grown up baby.u should nt do this

Sandra - posted on 12/21/2010

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My daughter is 4yrs old & she likes nail polish & my clear lip gloss, she always asks me to give it to her when it's almost finished. I don't see any harm in it, kids like to experience alot at that age.

Bobbie - posted on 12/21/2010

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I am a grandmother and I only had boys but I do paint my grand-daughters nails but always with a light pink polish and she can wear lipgloss her parents are okay with this ,she wants red polish like grandma's.

Tina - posted on 12/21/2010

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My daughter is seven and she is only allowed wearing make up on Christmas and that only started this year. I don't believe it right for babies to wear make up. I have been doing her nails since she was 4 or 5 and she loves it.

Rachel - posted on 12/21/2010

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My daughter is two. I rarely wear makeup. However, she suddenly started turning every scrap of cardboard and qtip into a makeup compact. Every kid is different and who knows where they get their desires. I say its harmless...

Carla - posted on 12/21/2010

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My daughter is three and we have dress up days, were she will paint my nails and help put makeup on me, and then I paint her nails and toe nails, and put make up on her. She loves this. We found some fun nail polish at Walgreens that is one color inside and when you go out in the sun it changes color. My daughter does not chew on her fingernails, so I let her wear it for a few days before removing it. The makeup comes off as soon as we finish playing dress up and never gets worn outside of the house. It is all what you are comfortable with. Good Luck and have fun.

Linda - posted on 12/21/2010

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I have two girls 17 and 10, the 17 year old didn't show interest into real makeup until she was about 15 and my 10 year old had a spa day with her friends for her 10 B-day. I've been buying the play makeup kit for them since they were about 8 years of age, but girls are mainly interested in nail polish and lip gloss

Miranda - posted on 12/21/2010

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I started painting my daughters toes when she was 2. I do on rare occasions paint her fingers but she still at age 5 bites her nails. I let her wear lip gloss when we are getting ready together. I will sometimes put the lightest pink eyeshadow on her eyes, you cant even tell but it makes her feel special. She will get Mascara when she goes to the 6th grade like I did and some eye shadow and proper face wash.

Jennifer - posted on 12/21/2010

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My daugher is four also. My sister started painting her nails around age two and now she is also into chapsticks and body sprays....I guess its never too young...its just a form of dress up for them

Meredith - posted on 12/20/2010

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Like some of the other mom's I've been painting my 3 1/2 year old's nails since she was about a year. As far as make up, I'm kinda like you I'm not sure what to do. I let her play with lip gloss and I bought her cosmetic brushes and she pretends to put her make up on when I do. I have a 2 year old step daughter who is allowed to put on her own make up and wear it in public. I think that's a bit much and we wash it off of her when she is here. I think it's more what you're comfortable with. What does dad say?

Crystal - posted on 12/20/2010

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painted nails is perfectly normal for any little girl!! I was basically a tomboy as a child, but I LOVED the times I got to paint nails with my grandmom.. I now have a little girl of my own who is 7, and as soon as she stopped putting those little fingers in her mouth and wanted 'pretty nails' we started painting!! Under supervision of course!! :) Make-up is another thing, that's fine for play time around the house or whatever, but going outside all made up is for those show biz moms!!

Krystal - posted on 12/20/2010

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Lol. My 2 1/2 year old has her toes painted right now! lol. Santa is bringing us gift certificates for pedicures too! I've been painting her toes since she was about a year old. She's gone to get pedi's with me as well she loves the water. lol. Finger nails I have not done because I don't think she's old enough (she still sometimes sticks her fingers in her mouth) but when she stops doing that I will. Make up though I'll probably wait until she's four or five though.

Victoria - posted on 12/20/2010

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If it makes her feel pretty, girly or fashionable to do so, I say let them do it. However, with that said, it is up to you to exercise your taste and judgement on what is the appropriate color and designs(if that is her thing). My husband used to take our youngest when she was 3 to lunch then off to the nail salon on Fridays. It was a fun bonding day for them and I continue it to this day and she is 7.

Amanda - posted on 12/20/2010

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I remember my mom painting my nails when I was little but only every now and then not all the time it was just for dress up and to look pretty like mommy and she didn't let me wear that much make up either till I became a pre teen around 11 or 12 and every one started to get me make up for christmas and then she taught me how to use it properly but I don't see why not and only a little...i know people who have painted thier childs nails at two...i don't see the big deal as long as your not over doing it and putting the works on her...i know a mom who let her 9 year old wear not just nail polish but every thing! eye shadow, mascara, lipstick and it was not done well either and she looked rediculous...almost clownish cause her mom didn't teach her how to do but for playing or dress up is one thing. I have a daughter and I have no doubt that I am going to be putting nail polish on her when she is four...but its up to u.

Sherylene - posted on 12/20/2010

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It's never too early to pain the toes Mommy! Just use pale pink on the fingers..:)

Amy - posted on 12/20/2010

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I painted my daughter's toenails when she was about 2 just because it was the only way i'd get her to hold still to trim them! My daughter just turned 4 and had three flavored chapsticks and a light pink eyeshadow that I'd never used. We also give her a puff and some plain ole face powder. She used the powder like blush, eyeshadow and foundation. It's mostly just something fun for her to do. It could pave the way for an artist, you never know. :) Kids love colors. no harm in it at home. We just would never let her outside all decked an inch thick in makeup. lol

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