What age to start makeup?

I am a teacher and I teach 4th and 5th grade students. There are 120 different students rotating through my room every day. Every once in a while I will look up and not recognize one or two of my 10-11 year old female students. Mainly cause they have so much makeup on that they appear almost clown like.

Is there an appropriate age to start wearing makeup? ( I have two boys at home so I wouldn’t know.) At what age did any of you beautiful ladies on this board start wearing makeup ( not that any of you even need it) :stuck_out_tongue:

And oh hell, any men on this board that wear makeup can answer this too. :slight_smile:

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Yours truly,

My dad made me wait until I was 13 and then I was limited as to how much. As time progressed I was allowed more, although I have not been one to wear a lot of makeup anyway. The one thing that my dad hated was lipstick. He could tolerate the rest, a little lip color was ok, but no dark colors such as red.

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Um, I take it you don’t have daughters? :smiley:

We told our girls, “The reason a girl wears makeup is so that she can attract a mate. When you’re mature enough to need to attract a mate, then you can wear makeup.” Other than telling them, “You’ve got too much on,” we try not to make a big deal out of it.

Some parents make a purely arbitrary deadline, like 9th grade or age 13. In my experience this nearly always leads to the kid going way overboard when she finally does have permission to wear makeup, especially since those years are deuced tricky to navigate anyway.

IMO 4th and 5th graders are definitely too young to need to attract a mate. But, aha, is it your problem, necessarily? Probably they’re getting out of the house without it on, but also in my experience, if a parent really wants to see that his child is wearing makeup, he does so all by himself. Some parents just don’t care.

Oh, and this is a little off-topic, in our household the girls can get their ears pierced and get contact lenses when they can pay for it themselves. They are also expected to buy all their makeup out of their own money. I tell them, “Why should I pay good money so you can make your face look like a baboon’s butt?” They tell me this sounds hostile. Do you think it sounds hostile, aha? ::: air of wonderment :::


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I had not even heard of makeup until I was 15, and that was only because I moved from New England to Florida. Southern women must have some rule about teaching their daughters about makeup and big hair by the time they are 13.

If I had a daughter, lip gloss and maybe a little mascara around 13 years old; by 15 years old, add just a touch of neutral eyeshadow.

Makeup is for enhancing one’s beauty, not for covering everything up and trying to start all over again.

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I started slapping on the foundation when I was 12 years old. Nobody was ever able to tell, and my dad was always on my case for it. But hey. I quit all that nonsense in grade 10, when I was 14 years old because it was just too time consuming, expensive and gross.

Now I wear mascara. Maybe something more like eyeliner, if I’m going to a wedding or something, but not usually.

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Original post by aha:

No it isn’t but having not had any girls I was just wondering about the other side of the coin. ( plus if they are too occupied with makeup figiting with it in class, it could and does effect their attention to what is going on in the classroom)


Naah they got to learn the value of money a little at a time and that is a good lesson. Course baboon’s butt might be a little over the top. :smiley:

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Yours truly,

I started wearing a little lip stick and light colored eye shadow at 13. Once I turned 16 I was using a little blush, powder, lipstick, and a little eyeliner to bring out my eyes. 10-11 is much too young to wear make up. They’re probably putting it on at school and taking it off before they go home. I used to do that too!

As long as my daughter doesn’t have pink cheeks, blue eyeshawdow, and red lips… she can wear make up when she’s 13-14. I’ll just make sure I show her how to apply it so she doesn’t look like a freak!! She won’t be using more than powder and lipstick though!

My make up routine takes me about 5 minutes in the morning. It’s quick, simple, and natural looking. I may powder my nose and re-apply my lipstick in the afternoon at work but that’s about it. I’m glad I’m not a high maintainence person who has to fix her hair and make up constantly!! That drives me nuts!!

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Hmmm…dig down into the memory banks. I believe I was 13 or so when I first wore makeup, although I didn’t wear it regularly until high school. I agree that 10-11 is too early to have a bunch of makeup on. It would be one thing if it were the play makeup you can buy at the grocery store in the toy aisle, but this sounds like full blown war paint. I don’t know whether this is serious enough to mention to their parents, but if it’s affecting the classroom it might be something to consider.

Lets see… I started wearing makeup at like 12 but that was only a touch of pink lipstick and rarely like special occassions… I didn’t start getting my own makeup till I was about 13/14 and even then I didn’t wear it daily. I only wear it on special occassions a little foundation touch of blush and eyeshadow and away I go. Though when I get a job I’ll probably wear it to work as well.

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Well, I know a little girl who started using makeup when she was less than a month old . . .

She had very pale hair and seemed to have no eyebrows, so her father (a real cut-up) used to draw hilarious drag-queen eyebrows on her with her mother’s eyebrow pencil. It was really a scream (but mother complained it was too hard to wash off). I really hope they took photos so they can embarrass her in front of boyfriends in years to come . . .

I secretly wore hideous green and blue eyeshadow at school when I was 11/12 because I wasn’t allowed to wear it. On several occasions I caught hell from my mother when I forgot to wash it off before I got home.

On my 13th birthday, I got my first make-over: pale eyeshadow, blush, and pink lipstick. Putting all that crap on lasted two weeks before I decided that I just didn’t have the time or patience for that.

I still only wear makeup to weddings, funerals, and any other event that requires me to wear pantyhose. Don’t get me started on what I think about pantyhose.

[hijack]So, what do you think about pantyhose?[/hijack]

I don’t know what anybody else thinks about pantyhose, but I think they’re the invention of the Evil One. Except, of course, that garter belts are even worse. I switch back and forth between gartered stockings and pantyhose depending on how I want to be uncomfortable that particular day.

I started wearing makeup at around 14 or so, which seems about right to me. I wore a lot for a while in my early 20s (though I learned how to put it on so it didn’t look like a lot, which is the paradox of makeup). Now I just wear the same pale eyeshadow, gray eyeliner, powder every day; no lipstick, blush or foundation ever.


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I think I may have worn lip gloss a few times, starting when i was maybe 12.

I think I started wearing foundation and powder (which is all I wear til this day) when I was maybe 14 or 15,I know it was some time in high school. I had no interest in putting on eyeshadow, blush, lipstick, etc. I still dont wear a lot of that stuff, never blush or lipstick, sometimes eye makeup (if I’m going out, trying to attract a mate!)

These young girls today even amaze me, and I’m only 22. The clothes they wear, the makeup and jewelry, it all seems so high-maintenance to me.

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I have 3 daughters, all teenagers now (light a candle for me, please).

Our family ‘rite of passage’ involved getting their ears pierced on their 13th birthday, and being able to allow makeup, closely supervised by mom, for special occasions.

It seems to have worked; my 16 year old buys and does her own makeup, and only occasionally comes off looking like Tammy Faye.

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We have one daughter, who is now 15. When she turned 14 I started letting her wear a very pale eyeshadow and lipstick on occasion. Now, she pretty much wears what she wants, since she chooses to stay with soft, neutral colors and pale to medium usually brown lipstick. Most of the time she doesn’t wear any, and when she does, it’s hard to tell, except for her eyes and lips. And she rarely looks like Tammy Faye, thank God!

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I was one of the girls wearing makeup at 10-11. It was pretty much just concealer and a little powder (had acne problems…well… still sort of do. In fact, my mom was the one that incited me to wear it, rather than forbidding me. I started wearing full makeup in about seventh grade. I’m 17 now and I wear foundation, concealer, powder, blush, eyeliner, mascara, and brow shaper. I’ve become comfortable enough with myself now that I don’t feel I always have to wear it, but I just like the way I look with makeup (I don’t go overboard). Besides…my mother nags if I try to go anywhere without it. I think she has just a little tiny hangup on it…
Now that you’ve all heard my life story, I’m kind of the opposite of the 10/11 year olds you guys have mentioned. I don’t recall really wanting to wear makeup, but my mom introduced me to it and had me wear it.

My daughter is 12 and wears lip gloss (though she really does look pretty in a brighter color lipstick she doesn’t seem interested). She left for school several months ago wearing dark blue eyeshadow because “everyone else is wearing it”. So we had a conversation wherein I advised when she wears the full war paint then she can wear a dark eyeshadow, but until then it looks sort of silly. So I bought her a nice eyeshadow compact of pale shades and she’s happy with that. I was probably in my mid-teens when I started wearing full makeup, back in the days of Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton and white Yardley lipstick - oh, how I adored my collection of Yardley cosmetics, they smelled so delicious and it was so much fun putting that stuff on! Now I wear foundation, powder, and a dark bronze lipstick for everyday, eye makeup on special occasions only since I gave up contact lenses after 30 years and went back to glasses. I still love makeup and I look much much better with some on. If my daughter wants to wear it , then it’s OK with me, but it can’t be clownish or outrageous at her age. She wore blue lipstick for a while and it was all I could do to keep a straight face - and black for the “Goth” look - but once was enough!

I used to wear colored mascara when I was in kidergarten. But that was only to go out to eat. I had very pale blonde hair, eyelashes and eyebrows then. My guardians let me start wearing lipgloss and pale eyeshadow when I was in 6th grade. By the time I was in high school, I was tired of putting the mess on every day and taking it off at night. Also, I had gotten involved with horses and makeup with dirt is yuck!

I did something similar with my daughter. I let her wear light makeup when she was in 5th grade. I knew that she and several other of her classmates were applying makeup when they got to school. I wanted her to put on the makeup correctly and not look like a clown. She is now 19 and she uses makeup very sparingly. She doesn’t need a lot anyway.I think because I let her start earlier and supervised it, she didn’t think it was such a big deal.

my 2 cents.

4th and 5th, aha? When I was in elementary ('76-'82) girls were forbidden to wear any cosmetics, even mascara. So of course we went overboard in middle school.

I don’t see anything wrong with a 12 year old girl wearing cosmetics, but until they’ve finished puberty and their complexion has settled down somewhat, they should only use the “lighter” products made specifically for that age. “Heavy” cosmetics, like Max Factor, can clog the pores, and girls that age are acne-vulnerable enough. I would actually recommend that a girl starting middle school should practice applying cosmetics, not for the sake of vamping, but so that she doesn’t end up in her twenties saying, “Everybody says I would look so good if I wore makeup…but I don’t know how to put it on!” If she learns how to use it subtly, there shouldn’t be a problem.

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