Girls and Makeup, at What Age is it Appropriate?

Many of you know that we’ve been asked the mascara question regarding my daughters’ eyelashes a million times since we started this hairstyle website back in 2008.  {Viewers often thought that I used mascara on my young daughters.} As you have come to know me and my family, you can see that those are my girls’ 100%natural eyelashes.

This does bring up an excellent question, however… “At what age is makeup appropriate for our daughters?”Girls and Makeup | At What Age is it Appropriate?The answer may vary, depending on the parents and also the child. There really isn’t a right answer, although we can all agree that lots of makeup on girls at a young age isn’t the norm. {Dance recitals, and other events of the like, excluded.}

In our home, my girls have always loved lip gloss and Santa usually provided some each year in their Christmas stockings. By age 12, we allowed Brooklyn and Bailey to wear a little mascara to help accentuate their eyes. By age 13, we allowed them to use a limited amount of concealer or powder to help hide acne.

Today, at age 14, my girls can wear pretty much what they want, and I am happy that they have decided that less is more!

My mantra with the girls is, “Makeup should only be used to accent your natural beauty, not cover it up.”

If you are looking for a little extra help, many makeup stores and counters will have cosmetologists who are more than happy to give you and your daughter a beginner makeup training. {Also, my twins are posting a video series on their YouTube channel, BrooklynAndBailey, where they teach beginner makeup tips.}

To see more about our position on makeup in the CHG home, please click the #MomMinute episode below…

What suggestions do you have on age appropriate makeup for girls? At what age did you start, and with what?

Please free to leave your comments below…

Happy Parenting!

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  1. I was forced to get my hair cut and permed when I was 12 years old. It was not discussed with me. I was tricked into it. My shaggy haircut was my joy and the perm made me so unhappy I wept. This was mentioned in therapy with my
    counselor and not supported. My best friend cried with me at the time. Later, as an adult in therapy, it was suggested that my mother was trying to ‘ clone’ me. My brothers could hardly distinguish us. That made me feel a lot worse. What do you think? Was that appropriate to do to your 12 year daughter? I was in 7th grade …

  2. I played around with lip gloss and eye shadow every once in a while when I was 8-10. When I was 11 I wore lip gloss regularly. At 12 I added in some mascara. At 13 I started wearing acne treatment foundation. Now at 14 my mom lets me wear whatever make up I want. I stick to natural tones.

  3. i fell like that at the age 12-13 we should allow kids to wear a little foundation because some kids will start the stages of puberty and most kids can agree that they get acne so they probably get embarrassed by it and want to cover it up but with my daughter I’ve allowed her to do whatever she wants with her face at the age of 14-15 unless she uses her makeup responsibly

  4. Somaluxe makes a nice subtle lip gloss that i first got for my daughter when she wanted to start wearing lip stick. Its only $12, organic ingredients and not a deep red color, but just gives a nice hint of red. Plus tastes great and she loves it !

  5. Hi Mindy, These are great tips but I want to stress before girls use makeup it’s important they start a healthy skin care routine. The introduction of makeup can cause irritation and leave bacteria on the skin which can cause acne. Using the right products (we recommend Good For You Girls Natural Skincare of course) will keep skin clean and healthy. We would like to offer your followers a special discount. Use code CGH2016 at checkout to SAVE 20% off any purchase at Keep up the great work!

  6. I am 14, and I wear mascara to school everyday, and I apply benetint to my lips as well to give them some color. I rarely use foundation/concealer because it does not look well with my skin (or maybe im just using the wrong color lol). I started wearing makeup when I was thirteen, and I had my friend buy me some makeup and give it to me, while I paid her back. I never really had the conversation with my parents aboout makeup and stuff like that, I just started wearing it. For birthday gifts and stuff like that, some of my friends get me like small makeup sets as one does, and I think my mom has just come to accept it. Like she never said anything about it, she was fine with it. There should not be an age where someone is allowed to wear makeup. You wear whatever the hell you want, whenever you want. Whether your parents allow you to or not, that is another story. You do you!

    1. Well, it’s NOT do whatever or wear whatever you want….it’s a mature age…about 14 to 16…remember your PARENTS are still paying for most of everything you have…light, gas, water, food, clothes, rent, BILLS…etc…..THEY do have a say…even if they say nothing….just be wise about make up that’s all…it is to beautify NOT cover up or hide…..Happy Make up day!

      1. Excuse me, TWA4now. Your parents do not own you. No matter what money they spent on you. If they are age-inappropriate themselves they will treat you as property. Did you ever see Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Sidney Poitier gave a magnificent comeback to his father’s claim that he had to work hard to bring up his son (Sidney’ character). What the actor said after that is right on. IT IS THE PARENTS’ JOB to work their butts off for their children. IT IS THEIR JOB. And we don’t owe them respect unless they have it for us.

        1. You asked what was an appropriate age. I said 14 to 16 depending. Like it or not, parents are still in charge of their kids until legally 18. I know it goes beyond 18 at times. 14 to 16 was my answer. Thanks!

  7. I’m eleven and I asked my older sister today if I could start wearing makeup or when I should start wearing makeup. She told me that she wore makeup in the fifth grade. So we went shopping and we got a few brushes, translucent mineral powder, and a six piece neutral eye shadow palette. She told me that she will show me how to use makeup after Christmas because that when I’m getting the makeup. I wear a little powder and Chapstick or baby lips or eos sometimes. But the main thing is to not make your self look like a clown, and start off natural.

    1. I am the same age as you and my suggestion is to ask an older sister when they started wearing makeup and if you don’t have a older sister remember that your mom was 11 at one point so just ask her and I’m am sure she will be very supportive

  8. im 13. I do wear makeup, but i dont put foundation or anything of that sort. i wear the thinest line of eyeliner and a very thin coat of mascara. in the summer ill wear translusent powder or a matte tinted moisterizer .(i tend to get oily in the summer)and if its for a special day like picture day or a party, ill wear a very sheer and neutrual lip stain. My mum is very supportive. she has taught me to only enhance my natural beauty rather than cover it all. also, my school doesnt allow makeup till the 7th grade (age range: 13-14)
    but they dont allow heavy makeup. and another thing is i only wear makeup when i go out for dinner or a movie with friends. To all those girls my age or younger; Makeup can be fun, but you need to know the basics and understand that its not for covering up your natural beauty, its to enhace it. & only wear it when needed. If you have acne that day, wear concealer. If you have oily skin, wear powder. & its okay to experiment !:) but start off light and very neutrual. (:

  9. I’m 11 and I wear a little bit of concealer (to cover up some blemishes), mascara (on special events), some lipgloss/chapstick, and an all over color stick which gives your face some sparkle. Some of my friends wear a lot of makeup but I don’t find the need to at my age. When I’m 12 I think I’ll start wearing a little bit of mascara regularly to school and maybe a natural eyeshadow. The only time I wear a full face of makeup is when I have a dance recital.

  10. I’m 12. I think my age is far too young to start wearing makeup! But it doesn’t help when you go into school and there are all these really pretty girls and they all wear makeup. But , they all wear far too much! I don’t know if it’s their self-confidence or what but it’s ridiculous! They look like a doll! I mean, I don’t like the way I look but I don’t wear makeup! At my age I don’t think you should worry about makeup at all and just think about sports and like… Not getting fat!

  11. My mom always let me wear lipgloss (she never thought of it as a big deal because I pretty much used it like Chapstick). When I was 13, I started wearing eyeliner only (I was going through a Goth phase and my mom just let me run with it even though she told me I looked like a raccoon). When I was 15 and got my first job (and had grown out of that goth phase), she let me start wearing full makeup. The only thing was that my mom never wore makeup, so I had to learn how to do it all myself (thank goodness for the Internet).

    I’m of the opinion that high school is when to let girls start wearing full makeup (as long as they can be responsible with it and don’t clown themselves up) because at that age they’re going to want to do it for high school dances, to cover up acne, etc. But definitely teach them how to do it (whether its yourself, a professional, or even some Internet tutorials) so they know how to make it look natural.

  12. I’m 15, and I only wear make up if I’m going out somewhere. And by make up, I mean some lip gloss, powder, and a little bit of blush. I started wearing lip gloss at twelve, and when I turned 13 I started wearing powder and blush to cover up acne. My mom says that now that I’m 15, I can wear more make up if I’m doing something special, but I really don’t feel the need to wear more until I go to college 🙂

  13. Even though I’m a teenage girl, I don’t really like wearing makeup. It feels all gross to me. I occasionally put hair conditioner on my eyelashes and that looks like mascara without making my lashes stiff. I heard brushing cocoa powder on your skin works like foundation, but I’m not too sure…Were I to ever wear makeup, it would all be the natural stuff. The “real deal” feels so goopy, and impossible to get off. Does anyone else feel that way? Also, a tip – I’ve found saliva gets mascara off really easily.

  14. Wow, 12 sounds very young to me :/ I wasn’t allowed to use any makeup products until high school, and even aged 15, I could only wear mascara ^^ I never ever used any foundation products but I started using eye makeup and lipsticks at 18 years old. I believe it’s quite dangerous to allow teenagers to use makeup, as they’ll grow up with the idea that makeup is a necessity… whereas it’s not!

  15. I’m 13 and I don’t wear any makeup at all. Well except for Chapstick if I’ve got some handy but that’s more of a health/hygiene thing than makeup. I don’t know about you guys out there, and everyone has their own opinions, but if someone wants to wear makeup, here’s what I think is appropriate for different ages:
    under 12-no makeup (except for Chapstick or maybe clear lipgloss)
    13-lip gloss
    14 to 16-lip gloss and mascara
    17 and older-up to them!
    Honestly, I think that wether you’re just starting middle school, or are a grown-up or even an elder, makeup just isn’t necessary, especially in all those colors! All people need, I think, is Chapstick. It’s awesome.

  16. I am 12 and I wear: Toning Spray, moisturizer,eos,light lipstick (Which I also use for blush) clear gloss, I shimmer my eyes, and I wish I could wear mascara!!!!!

  17. I’m 13 and I don’t wear makeup except for chapstick but that’s not exactly makeup, lol… 🙂 on occasion i might wear mascara.

    1. Im going into 7th grade and I have some acne. I think makeup should be used to enhance not cover. The makeup I will be allowed to use is practically just neutral but the most makeup I would EVER use most likely is just some concealer for acne tinted lip balm some dark brown eyeliner and some mascara. Makeup can be bad for you so you definately shouldn’t go to town on it!!!

  18. I was about ten when I would have to wear makeup for dance concerts and competitions. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup to school and I didn’t really like wearing it but had to for those events. I would wear makeup in my teens to dances and things like that and when I started working and after I graduated from school with my further studies. I didn’t wear it all the time and since I have become a mum I don’t really wear it.

    My daughter is eleven and wants to wear makeup. I am not against her experimenting but I am against the chemicals that are put into the products these days. They tend to damage this skin so I encourage her in the direction of products that aren’t so built up with the harmful ingredients. She has so far used nail polish and lip gloss and has with some products realised that she needs to avoid some brands as they irritate. I think for now this is the extent and we will see what happens within the next couple of years.

    Great post.

  19. I was 10 when I used pink eyeshadow from the makeup-doll palette. It looked awfull haha. I just loved to play with it. When I was 11 I started wearing lipgloss and mascara. At 12 I added eyepencil and sometimes a bit powder. Later I added different kind of things like foundation, concealer, bronzer etc. I started doing my brows at 14 because I have really almost no hairs. Now I am 20 and I use makeup wehen I go to things like work, school etc. When I am home or doing groceries I don’t wear makeup. greets from the netherlands.

  20. Except for performances, i’ve basically never worn more than lipgloss and lipstick out before~
    My mom never introduced me to makeup so i only started when i was about 19 which was when i started having access to Youtube and financially able to buy makeup~But even so, i only have a couple of items and so far they are only used at home to play around with~I’m still not confident enough to wear them out (which is pretty weird since many girls use makeup to boost confidence) and plus i’m just plain lazy to do my makeup before going out XD
    Btw, i’m turning 20 this year 🙂


  22. I’m 16 and i started wearing make up at that age. i use foundation almost everyday when i go to school. i ussualy use eyeliner when i hang out with my friends.

  23. My nine year old has permission to wear mascara and lipstick in neutral tones. She followed in my footsteps by applying it religiously for 2 weeks…sporadically for a month more and now she applies it for organzised social events rather than for day to day wear.


    1. You shouldn’t try to convince her, 12 is definitely too young to start using makeup!! o_o I can’t see anyone that young using makeup in France… we usually start at 16.

  25. I let my 3 year old daughter wear a little bit of eye shadow and mascara to church… which may seem very young, but we never go over the top with it and we always do it just for fun. She knows that she is beautiful and I am beautiful, but we like to wear make up for fun – not because we aren’t beautiful without it.

  26. I started wearing mascara at 11, but wore a lot more but the time I was 12, now I’m 14, but only in these past few months did I learn how to wear makeup properly since my mom never taught me

  27. I started wearing mascara in 6th grade so I was 11 or 12. Eyeliner on my waterline came in 7th grade. Freshman year I started using powdEr. Not until this year (my senior year) did I starting using liquid foundation and tinted lipbalm(baby lips). I will use lipstick and eyeshadow on special occasions. But every day I just use is some mascara, eyeliner, And powder, sometimes foundation depending on my skin. Makeup was never an issue in my house. It was up to me when I started and what I was allowed to wear.

  28. I am 11 and I am embarrassed to talk to my mom about wearing makeup. I think it is very interesting but I am not sure how to talk to my mom about it. Do you have any tips?

    1. Hi! I’m your same exact age. DO NOT be scared to ask your mom. Remember, she was one an 11 year old, just like you! You can just simply ask her when she started wearing makeup and ask for tips. She’ll probably get the hint that you’re interested and talk about it with you. Remember, ease your way into talking about it if you’re embarrassed. Hope I helped! 🙂 ~ Kyla

  29. I’m 13 and I don’t wear makeup I don’t like the way girls my age like to wear tonnes of makeup an they don’t realise how odd they can look, I have eyelashes like cgh 3 and I’m proud of them!!

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