For most things in life there is an age band where an action is considered appropriate (drinking alcohol, having children, throwing tantrums etc) but sometimes the lines get a little blurry. Wearing makeup is one of those things where people differ greatly in opinion, and most often they have very good reasons as to why they believe a certain thing. So is there an answer for the question When is it okay to start wearing makeup?
Another question that can be raised, is "Does good application make up for someone being very young?" What I mean by that, is if you saw a ten year old with orange foundation, heavy eyeliner and bright red lipstick I imagine you would frown upon their parents for letting them wear makeup. However, if you were to pass a ten year old wearing a light tinted moisturiser, colourless lip balm and perhaps even a coat or two of mascara, you probably wouldn't think so poorly of them (or their parents), if you even noticed it at all. By applying their makeup well, can someone gain 'rights' to wearing makeup at a younger age than their peers with shocking application skills?
I know for me that was certainly the case, at least with my parents. When I was about twelve I remember taking an interest in tinted lip balms, gradually moving on to glosses. I remember making a deal with Mum that I could wear a light pink (practically non existent) gloss only on the weekends, and I could use a colourless lip balm as I pleased. I remember thinking that this was a brilliant deal. As time moved on and others around me began wearing makeup of a more serious nature (like mascara, eyeliner and foundation) I too wanted to give it a try. Not confident in what I was doing, I sought lessons from Mum who was happy to teach me. The way she saw it, when she was teaching me how to apply makeup tastefully, I would be able to wear all the makeup that I wanted (which was not a lot) and I would look nice, instead of trashy like all my peers who seemed to have broken all the unwritten rules of makeup application.
I really appreciate Mum doing this, because it allowed me to experiment and have fun with makeup without people looking down on me and judging both me and her. I wore tinted moisturiser that tricked people into thinking I had gorgeous glowing skin, without even realising that I had sought the help of a tinted moisturiser. I wore one coat of mascara that served the purpose of separating, lengthening and defining my lashes. No one ever thought I was wearing mascara, they just thought I had to-die-for lashes. As for the lips, I wore natural shades of pink in every kind, and whilst people could tell I had something on my lips, it was never something to be frowned upon.
My good application skills meant that I was able to get away with wearing makeup at what I consider to be quite a young age (about 12). As I got older I began to wear more makeup and incorporate a wider variety of products into my daily 'look' but in the beginning it was simple, natural and sweet.
Coming back to how old one must be to start wearing makeup...I really don't think there is an answer to this. Some people start young, others start wearing makeup in high school or university. Some never wear makeup for their whole life. There is no right or wrong, however I do personally think that Primary school aged kids (5-12 years) is a bit young, although by 12 years you are in that awkward stage where you are either too young for everything or too old for everything, there is nothing in between.
I wouldn't think anything of a 12 year old wearing what I did when I was that age, and I would in fact praise whoever taught them how to wear makeup because they have instilled good taste into their child in terms of makeup from the start! Seriously though, I avoid judging people that age because there is no right and wrong. I do think that when you see tiny little girls (like those in the awful beauty pageants) wearing a full face of makeup (or even just a little) that it is quite heartbreaking more than anything.
No five year old would express an interest in spending time applying makeup every morning - they have important things to worry about like finding good hiding spots for hide and seek and which clothes to put on their doll for the day. In those situations, it is the parents who are forcing the makeup upon the child, and that makes me sad. The poor child is being introduced into a world of never looking good enough and where beauty is all that matters. You really want kids to view makeup as a fun confidence booster, not a compulsory 'face' that is the difference as to whether they are ugly or attractive.
When I see those photos of the celebrities whose 5 year old daughter is wearing shocking red lipstick, I find it strange and perhaps even a little uncomfortable. Sure, little kids loving playing with Mummy's lipstick at home every now and again, but I can guarantee my Mum would never have let me out in public with perfectly applied red lipstick before I was even old enough to go to school! Even nail polish was one of those things where I could only wear it on my fingers once I was about 8 years old!
Well that was a remarkably long post - I guess I have a lot to say about this topic! I would love to know your thoughts, especially considering that it is one of those topics where people differ greatly in opinion (I know some people who think that 18 is the age that one should begin wearing makeup, because it is an 'adult' activity - I guess I broke that law then!)