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Navigating makeup and my tween

Last Friday, my daughter attended her first middle school dance. This was just a casual dance, not a boy-ask-girl type thing. She was very excited to be meeting up with her friends and picked out a simple black dress.

This is somewhat of a surprise because Lexie isn’t a girly-girl. She doesn’t wear dresses, fuss with her hair or care about fashion or typically her looks. But I know the day is coming when she might want to do some of these things. She is after all 11 years old.

And we got just a hint of what is to come last Friday evening. She got dressed and fussed over her hair, combing, styling and worrying about fly away hairs. We got that under control, and then she mentioned makeup.

She wore just a touch at Halloween as part of her costume and, yes, she played with my makeup when she was younger, but she proudly will tell you she isn’t a girly-girl, so I was a tad surprised she wanted a hint of lipstick and to use some concealer.

We picked out one of my lightest lipsticks. She still thought it looked too dark. So, after wiping some of it off and adding a light layer of powder, she was satisfied. She used my concealer on the darker skin under her eyes and whatever blemish that she could see (that I couldn’t).

Now, I know she doesn’t want to wear makeup all the time. (She said as much.) But I wondered when she would be ready. I recall being just about her age when I started wearing makeup. Of course, that was in the 80s and big makeup was popular. I just remember buying purple eye shadow (still one of my favorite colors though way subtler now.)

I recently volunteered during lunch time at her school. Most of the 6th graders weren’t wearing makeup, or if they were, it was subtle. Some of the seventh graders had makeup on, but it was the eighth graders whom I really noted the makeup use.

Looking online, it seems that many girls start between 13 and 15 years old. But 11% of 10 and 12-year-olds are wearing makeup. As with many things, it is a personal choice between tweens/teens and their parents.

I have no problem with her using concealer (as pimples and blemishes are certainly coming) and tinted lip balm. I don’t think she needs mascara and anything beyond light eye shadow. I certainly don’t want her to go crazy with makeup (at this age or really any age). I don’t think she needs it.

But I am also a realist. It is coming. And I don’t want her sneaking around and putting on different clothes and makeup when she gets to school. And she needs to use her own makeup. I know it isn’t good for her to share my makeup, and her skin is paler than mine so what works for me won’t work for her.

With this in mind, for her Christmas stocking this year, I have picked up a light concealer, translucent powder and two different tinted lip balms. I don’t expect her to use this daily, but she will have it for those occasions she wants to use it. And when she is ready to advance to different makeups, I’ll take her to the store and help her select some that will compliment her skin and age. And that day will be here before I know it!

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