How Old Is Old Enough for Makeup?

    Just recently, a blogger and mother admitted to putting makeup on her 4-year-old daughter. I’m not talking about a little lip gloss while she was playing dress-up at home, either. I’m talking a full face of makeup for events and occasions outside of the home.

    Why do women wear makeup? The main reasons are to look older; to look presentable, attractive, pretty or beautiful; to cover blemishes, scars and birth marks; and to create a consistent skin tone. With these reasons defined, do you think it justifiable for a mother to make her 4-year-old child up with cosmetics?

    Even though this mother has received a lot of backlash, she also has received a lot of support from other mothers who do the same thing (although I’m guessing their show of support may be an attempt to justify their own actions). But isn’t 4 too young for makeup? Aren’t these mothers making their young daughters look attractive, even if it’s unintentional? And if 4 is too young, how old is old enough?

    The answer to this is obviously subjective, but I do think 4 is much too young. I also think age 10 is too young. In my opinion, 13 is the best and most appropriate age to start experimenting with makeup, but to a very limited extent. Why? Here are some of my reasons:

    • A child has no business trying to look pretty or attractive. Her physical self, as far as beauty, shouldn’t be an issue. Her focus should be on behavior and internal beauty, such as being good.
    • All girls should be comfortable in their own skin before making it up and covering it over. If girls get into the habit of wearing makeup every time they leave the house, they’ll never feel complete without it. And that’s just a bad habit to get into.
    • Girls shouldn’t wear makeup to make themselves look pretty. Sure, it can highlight or define features, cover flaws and soften the skin, but if you think you aren’t pretty without it, then that’s a problem.
    • Girls should have stages to look forward to as they grow. Girls have such a limited time as children, but so many years to be a grown up and do grown-up things. I believe wearing makeup should be a fun thing to look forward to when a girl gets older. If girls are wearing makeup and high heels when they’re 4, what do they have to look forward to? What do they have to establish each level of maturity in their lives as they get older?
    • Young skin is very sensitive, especially a child’s complexion, and makeup is not healthy. It clogs the pores.

    I also believe there should be a progression when it comes to introducing makeup into your daily life, and that progression should be determined by your age. I think it’s okay to begin including makeup in your regimen at the age of 13. Following is my progression suggestion:

    • 13 years old–lip gloss
    • 15 years old–face powder, lightly tinted eye shade and lip gloss that enhances your natural coloring
    • 16 years old–foundation, mascara, moderately tinted eye shadows and lipsticks that define your natural coloring
    • 18 years old–eyeliner and more defined eye shadows and lipsticks, including lip liners

    You shouldn’t wear makeup to cover your face. If you look completely different once your makeup is removed, then you’re putting on too much. Makeup shouldn’t mask your face, it should highlight it.

    Ladies, what do you think about moms who let their little girls wear makeup?

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    T.M. Gaouette
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on and .


    1. I am 15 years old. My mom let me start wearing makeup around the beginning of 7th grade, around my 13th birthday. I personally think that she timed it just right. I started to wear brown mascara and lip gloss and a little blush. I never ever thought that I looked bad with out it, I just thought that it was fun to put on and made me feel a little more confident. My mom always stressed to me that makeup was made to bring out your favourite features, not mask them. My mom did not give me certain rules on what I was allowed to wear for makeup, but since she doesn’t weara lot of makeup either, showed me how to put the minimal amount on. My only makeup ‘rule’ was that if she told me i had too much on, i would wash it off until it was to her liking. I think that these makeup guidelines are too harsh and are kind of ridiculous to be applied to teenage girls. Idealistically, they are nice but very hard to follow in this day in age. I started wearing eyeliner around 14, and I don’t think i look bad without it, but it sharpens my eyes a little bit and brings out the blue. I don’t think that makes me ‘not good’. I don’t think wearing mascara makes me more insecure, or lip gloss makes me too focused on looks. I don’t think my use of powder and blush affect my relationship with God, or what his plan is for me in life. Just because I wear makeup does not mean I am not focused on how my inner beauty is presented. I think that God wants me to feel confident and feel beautiful outside and inside.

      • You can’t measure how bad or good it is by just naming the makeup you wear, this is T.M Gaouette’s problem. If you wear a little bit of pink and some lipgloss with ‘just enough’ mascara that brings out your eye’s color, then yes, thats fine for practically ANY age over 9. But on the other hand, if you put on ten coats of eyeshadow in really obv
        ious colors like blue, purple and dark brown, or lather on the mascara so that your eyelashes look like canopies? Or so much lipgloss that your lips are permanently stained that color? Good luck.

    2. I started wearing makeup as a present for my 13th birthday, but my dad made me go do an appointment with a mary kay consultant so i would know HOW to put on makeup and not cake it on. at that point, I wore eyeliner, minimal eyeshadow and mascara, and lip gloss.

    3. “A child has no business trying to look pretty or attractive.”

      Er, what? Everyone should be confident in their own bodies, and think that they look pretty. It has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with trying to attract. I’m homeschooled, and everyone in my family works all day except for my brother whom works in the morning. In the morning I brush my hair, do something to make it look nice, then I’ll put on a little bit of pink eyeshadow, perfume and lipgloss. I always keep lipgloss in my back pocket, or in my purse. I don’t leave home without it. Sorry, but this whole post is a joke.

      • I agree with KPriority that ” A child has no buisness trying to look pretty and attractive.” does not make sense. Little girls are not being corrupted by trying to look like a ‘pretty princess’ as long as theyre choices are age appropriate and they know inner beauty is more important than outer.

      • a child has natural beauty,EVERYONE has natural beauty. and a full face of make up,come on,you have to agree that’s just corrupted. but,4-year-old’s like to dress up and pretend they’re going to a fancy ball,i agree with you on that,but a child really doesn’t NEED to look pretty,because they are pretty,and i really agree with the fact a child has no business looking attractive,i mean,that’s a little outrageous. i don’t wish to offend you,but i agree with the article.

      • i dont think so! You can read my comment and seee how much I wear. and alot of times, it doesnt look like your wearing much make up, because if your wearing it right, you re just an “enhanced version of yourself. But really your natural beauty / inner beuaty are wwhat make you beautiful!

    4. I think this is pretty good for everyday events (although I think a little mascara is appropriate starting in eighth grade). I wore makeup for the first time when I was six, but only for a ballet performace. It was just eye shadow, lipstick, and blush, and I’m pretty sure my mom put as little as possible on me.

    5. I think this is kind of harsh. I think that in 7th grade a girl should be able to wear makeup as long as she knows that she is beautiful without it. I LOVE to wear makeup and ezperiment with crazy eye shadow styles (most of which I don’t leave the house before taking off :P) but I don’t do it because I think I’m ugly without it, I just think it really really fun!!!! Also, I think these guidelines are WAY too harsh because God tells us to be “in the world but not of the world.” This means we can live in this world but not let it negatively impact us. The reason I bring this up is because I have found that makeup has helped me realte to other girls that are “in the world” and open a door to share the gospel. Talking about makeup is a part of “girl talk” (along with boys, clothes, shoes, etc) and I have found that being able to talk about makeup allows me to get to know people and grow a realtionship to where I can effectively share God’s word with them. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to be close friends with a person to share the good news, but most people will be more receptive to a person they’ve come to know and trust. I am 15 years old and I wear makeup all the time. I have no problem with going out without makeup because I know that’s not what makes me beautiful. I also know that makeup is something that, especially when worn modestly and in a classy way, can be a conversation starter with others and I can tell them WHY I wear makeup modestly.

    6. I think that like if the four year old was like at a little dress up birthday party, aww that s s so cute, kinda thing its ok andfun. But seriously? Tahts just silly! I started wearing a tiny bit of make up(barely eyeshadow and eyeliner: ok why i did that idk! but i didn’t for very lnog) in 6th grade. I usually wore no amke up until christmas of 7th grade, because i got a super cute make up kit for christmas, that thelady at the counter said was good for young girls to start with. So then i wore blush and eyeshadow and mascara(but not a lot) now i am almost fourteen and I wear: blush, eyeshadow, a tiny bit of blue eyeliner, just on the bottom, and mascara, and someytimes lipgloss. But when I take it off, I look pretty much the same, my eyes are just kinda bare! So i know it sounds like alot, but it doesn’t look like a lot. I am happy with the amount of make up I wear, usually every day, but often, no eyeliner or sometimes no make up at all

    7. i never wear make up unless i’m performing,but even then it’s white face paint,red lip-stick,and black eyeliner. i used to never go out without some lip gloss and blush,but now,make-up just isn’t priority anymore with my struggles and other stuff. but,you know what,to me,not wearing make up is me! i don’t want to cover up a face that God made beautiful,and though i have a hard time believing it,and that i make a complete fool of myself looking in a mirror and wishing that i could have the flawless skin the Maybilline models have,but it’s true,and maybe i’ll come to accept it.

    8. I started wearing makeup at age 12 only for weddings or something like that when i turned 14 my mo said i could wear makeup whenever and i do i think wearing makeup has nothing to do with age especially if you are 4 to them it is like dress up and we can’t judge what others do because then we would be sinning i think they do it we love the person if we personally don’t like what they do we can do what my pastor always says”love the sinner, But hate the sin” even though in this situation it really isn’t a sin what parents do is what they do i think they have the right to do that however they want, within reason of course.

    9. I agree with you, i started to wear makeupwhen i was 13 (more than just lip gloss, but not a lot. a little mascara light eye shadow) now I am 16 and the amount i wear varies with the look im going for somtimes i will go super natural and other go more bold.
      But yes i agree 4 years old is way too young! that just teaches the girl from a young age that outward beauty is the most important thing, it misleads the way she should think of herself.

    10. When I was 11 I have horrible acne all over my face. We couldn’t take care of it because my skin is so sensitive, that when we washed it, the touch of a rag or our hands made it flair up twice as red! My mom finally then gave me foundation so I wasn’t so embarrassed. I was really young, I know. When I was 12 I got powder and clear lip gloss. When I was 12 1/2 I got mascara and light pink lip gloss. Around that time we had to go gluten-free. Gluten is in a lot of things, but it is mostly in wheat and thickeners. Being gluten-free made us eat so much more healthier, which made my acne clear up a lot. I just had my 13th birthday but I’m still wearing makeup. My face still gets pretty red and I still have some acne. I’m really insecure about my acne, that’s why I wear makeup. I feel really bad when people point out that I wear makeup. I don’t feel truly me when I wear makeup. I wish I had full self confidence even when I had no makeup on. I think my acne is genetic because my dad had extremely bad acne when he was young. I’m starting to ease off using makeup and using a lot less foundation. Please pray for me.

      Sorry for all the Is, I didn’t have a lot of time to write it.

    11. I have been wearing makeup since 7th grade. I’m 14 and a freshman now, and I wear the makeup that (according to the post above) a 16 year-old would wear. However, I believe it’s good to look presentable, and it’s my opinion that once you become a woman (if you know what I mean) then you can start wearing makeup. Whether that age is 12 or 16, you’ll know. Because then you are not risking your childhood to please someone else. However, it’s not good to flaunt makeup, and it’s nice to keep it minimal.

    12. Although I agree that putting makeup on a 4 year old is horrible, I don’t quite agree with the makeup restrictions on 13 year old girls. I started wearing lip gloss when I was 10, because it doesn’t count as makeup. I think, for 13 year olds, it should be mascara, and eyeliner as long as we have no raccoons going on. then moving onto concealer, blush, foundation and concealer. I mean, that was quite extreme.

    13. I have to wear makeup. I do not look any good without it. I am 15 and this is my routine. I wash my face, then apply face lotion. I then put on my concealer on my zits and under my eyes. Then I apply my liquid foundation all over my face. I then put on eyeshadow, normally a soft gray color. Then I put on my black eyeliner and black mascara. I put on a little blush then set it with powder. After that, I put on some lip stain and gloss. I take a tissue and blot my face then I am out the door. If I don’t have makeup on I want to go hide in a closet.

    14. I am 13. I wear lip gloss sometimes, if it’s, like, a special occasion or something, but never on a day-to-day basis. And I feel like I am gorgeous! I think it is sad that so many girls (in my class even) feel like they need makeup to be pretty. They are beautiful without it! Now, I’m not saying they look bad with it, but I think natural beauty is the best kind.
      -here’s to Project Inspired!

    15. I personally think its her daughter and if she wants to put makeup on her then fine…. i started wearing makeup when i was 12 i wore mascara blush lip gloss/lipstick bronzer powder concealer and yeaaahh

    16. i only wear heavy heavy makeup when i have a dance recital (u have to in order for your face to not appear washed out in the stagelight). when i was four and we had to put on makeup for recitals my mom had to practically tie me down to put it on!! 🙂 im better at it now haha. i am almost 13 and i sometimes wear light eyeshadow and clear mascara and sometimes a little powder to even out my skin tone, but i dont think i NEED makeup in order to look “Pretty”; many days i dont even bother to put it on. for me, makeup is just fun, almost like playing dress up but on your face:) my mom showed me how to apply it so that it looked good and natural. i do agree that 4 is WAY too young 4 makeup, but i also think the guidelines set above are a bit too harsh. it should be the girls and her parents decison an the age and amount. but why am i making such a big deal out of this god made u beautiful just the way u are! 🙂

    17. Well, I’m 16. I have been wearing makeup for several years now. It wasn’t much when I started, but I started because of my terrible acne that occurred when I started puberty. I wear it because I don’t like having red blotchy spots all over my face. In my opinion, these guidelines are a little harsh when it comes to girls having extreme acne. Just my opinion though!

    18. I’m almost 16 years old. I started wearing full coverage foundation, lipgloss and mascara when I was 12. I thought I looked okay without it, but I preferred to wear it everyday. Then it all went down-hill from there. By the time I was 14, I was wearing eyeliner, mascara, full coverage foundation, lipgloss and eyeshadow. I believed I was ugly without it, so I piled it all on everyday. A few months ago I realized that I am beautiful without makeup, but I still wear it. I don’t believe it’s sinful to wear makeup, as long as you know you don’t need it and are beautiful just the way you are. I’m not planning to stop wearing makeup, because I think it’s fun to wear it as long as it looks natural!

    19. i will be 15 in 3 months and i only wear eyeliner, mascara, and a little cover-up to cover my acne up, i have deepset eyes so thats why i wear this stuff, so that they look normal sized, if i go out without it im just fine but i prefer to have normal sized eyes, i also agree you shouldnt wear makeup til ur 13 and not too much makeup either, i started when i was 13, but rarely wore any til i was 14. 🙂

    20. it may be late for this comment, but i like this post! 🙂 i am 15 years old and i dont wear any makup unless it is a VERY specia occasion. i like it that way and i think other girls should too. I think that your ages are good and maybe even a little young. Girls may start out wearing makup and not feeling weird without it but i think that inside all of the girls who wear it dont like going out without it. I think God wants you to feel pretty yes, but in the face he gave you, without makup.SOOOO many girls just want to look pretty and even if it doesnt start out with that objective it will verry well go down that path if you arent mature enough.

    21. I’m 14 and in high school, but I don’t wear makeup unless it’s for show choir (I’m a choir nut, in case anyone’s been reading my comments about choir). The purpose of makeup is to appear to have clean, YOUNG skin, so obviously, a little girl has that! A teen may have a little concealer since she’s going through puberty and all that fluff, but I think that and lip gloss should suffice for a teenager.

    22. I’m 13 years old, and on a regular day, I wear mascara and lip gloss, sometimes some blush. But when I have a dance competition, I have to wear a ton of makeup, and I look completely different. It’s also really hard to get off, but sometimes fun to experiment with putting it all on.

    23. If it was the little girl putting on makeup for dance (then again, as little as possible), Halloween, or a little lip gloss for dress-up, then it would be okay. But a full makeover is way too young! I’m 14, and I rarely wear makeup; if I ever do, it’s for show choir purposes.

    24. I’m sixteen and I wear makeup according to how you’re saying an eighteen year old should wear it. I’ve been wearing makeup since I was about 12 and a few weeks ago, I was talking to my Sunday school teacher and we both agreed that we, specifically, just wear makeup for ourselves. We don’t care what other people think about us if we do or don’t wear, we just wear it for us. I think that it should be up to the parents to decide when their daughter is old enough to wear makeup. Anyway, that’s just my opinion.

    25. I’m 16 and I’ve never worn makeup. Even though I’m not aloud to wear it I sometimes wish I could. But then I realize I’m much better of without it! When girls around me wear it all the time I feel like God has given me a gift of not being addicted to makeup.

    26. In June I’ll be 15 and I have only worn makeup once ( Thanksgiving , I had a zit ). But my mom says I can wear foundation or face powder to cover up my acne , although I haven’t done it yet.

    27. Hi there overseas!
      I can still remember my first makeup things: The very first product was a brown eye kohl. The second was brown mascara, the third was concealer. I got these when I was 14. Back then I only worn makeup on bigger occasions, and later whenever I felt the mood for being suuper pretty.
      Now I’m 20 and I have all the fancy stuff in my inventory, but I still don’t wear makeup on a daily basis. And whenever I get the feeling, and there’s nothing special going on, I still use just some eyeliner, mascara (only switched “everyday” mascara color from brown to black last year!), concealer for my dark circles, and adding some tinted hydrating cream and powder to mattify my face. But when I perform, or there’s a very special occasion, I can do a full theatrical makeup. I always fear that someting goes messy on that 🙂
      But I still disagree with the list above in some points:
      Eyeshadow without mascara? I should never wear eyeshadow or liner without mascara. (I used to, see above, and it doesn’t looks good, unless you have naturally very dark lashes).
      I personally doesn’t really like lipstick or lipgloss. They are pretty, yet they are sticky, they get everywhere and disappear when you speak or eat. I personally don’t recommend using lipstick ’til you are a full adult.
      And lipgloss as first makeup stuff? Well, lipgloss without anything else… I think it can look weird. But it’s just my opinion.
      About the age: Makeup only looks good in adult women. It is totally unnecessarily on a child, and looks weird and confusing in adolescent girls (about age 10-15). I think the appropriate age for makeup is the age when your body shape approaches the shape of a mature woman. (In the other way, I can agree with an earlier comment that says you can wear makeup, when you “become a woman”). It’s also just my opinion.
      About makeup and God: Thanks to Eve, our body is imperfect, so personally I have no problem to conceal imperfections.
      But our body is also the temple of the Holy Spirit, so someone prefers to decorate the walls, while others like pure whitewash. Either wear or not to wear, the Spirit is important, not the walls. So if you have a question, ask God, and your pastor, your friends, family, etc.

      Well, sorry for all the linguistic mistakes I made,
      Blessings from Budapest!

    28. Oh gosh. 4 is *way* too young for makeup. But I think, as always, TM Gauotte’s idea is a little extreme. Not EVERYBODY wears makeup because they want to look prettier. Katie Gregoire–and I–do it because it’s fun, and it’s girly. I don’t think I need to look “prettier” than I do, and the pretty that other girls are trying to achieve is just the Photoshopped Covergirl images at Walgreens–*their* definition of beauty. It’s a ploy for money.
      However, I do not really agree with the progression she stated, though I do think at 13 a girl should be allowed to wear makeup and experiment with what she likes.

    29. Why do women wear makeup? Honestly I doubt many wearers I makeup do so to look older. If you need makeup to feel pretty and worthy, that is a problem. Nobody said that happened to this four year old girl, or anybody in this case. Nobody said she was masking her face. At four, she is playing. Makeup will not clog your pores any more than your own oil if you wash your face well every single day. Per usual, I think Gauoette’s opinion is rather extreme. The girl is not your child.

      My guidelines are as follows:

      4: Lipgloss and pale eyeshadow for everyday. Lipstick in nude colors, clear mascara, and light blush for special occasions.
      10: Foundation, darker mascara, light eyeliner, darker eyeshadows, medium shades of lipstick.
      12: Highlighter and dark lipstick.
      13: Everything.

      I don’t wear any foundation or concealer unless I absolutely must. (I haven’t worn it since last November, in a play). My skin is in no way clear but I don’t care. I like eyeshadow but have zero skill in it, so I don’t wear it. The only eyeliner I wear is small amounts of pencil liner. I haven’t worn it in months. I wear brown mascara about twice a week. My favorite type of makeup is lip makeup. I wear the darkest, brightest candy apple red (or purple, or electric pink) lipstick available and nothing else A LOT. (I’m 13).

    30. If I choose to wear makeup, it’s super natural, with the mascara and eyeliner (tightlining, not liquid) being more brown than black. I don’t do contour or eyeshadow. The only thing that I change is my lip color which ranges from a matte nude to a darker red, but not crazy dark. Just changing the lipstick for me is enough to highlight my features while still paring well with the outfit!

    31. I think that its fine for kids and teens to wear make up, but it has to be for the right reasons:
      For example, its not ok if a 5 year old decides she needs to wear make up to be beautiful, or if a 8 year old decides she needs to wear make up for boys or whatever. However, I see make up as an art form. So, like, if a 10 year old loves doing make up and loves being creative with it, and it helps her express herself, I honestly think that is fine. I’m really not conservative on this kind of thing, I think you should wear whatever makes you feel confident and helps you express who you are on the inside! 🙂

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