Is Your Daughter Ready to Wear Makeup?

Tips for determining when you’ll know, and how she can start
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Photo courtesy of Irina Bg/

It happens in the blink of an eye. One day, your daughter is asking you to read another bedtime story in her footed pajamas. The next, she’s experimenting with eye shadow and trying to find the perfect shade of lipstick — and you are left wondering how it all happened so quickly. It’s not an easy transition, but Kate Paquin, a family coach based in Apex, offers advice for navigating this coming-of-age milestone.


Maturity and Makeup

At what age is your daughter ready to wear makeup? “It’s not really about age,” Paquin says. “A young girl is ready for makeup if she is responsible with her things, as makeup is expensive,” Paquin says. This usually happens around middle school. Does your daughter practice good hygiene such as regular face-washing without being prompted? That’s also a good indication that she’s responsible enough to manage makeup.


Enhancing Instead of Correcting

Paquin also says that before teaching your daughter makeup basics, have a conversation about why she wants to wear it, and ensure that she wants to enhance her natural features rather than correct perceived imperfections. 

“I asked my middle-school daughters what they really loved about their face,” Paquin says. “My oldest said eyes, so we started with mascara. It added a little something to a part of her she already loved rather than trying to change or fix [it]. If you start with something you need to ‘fix,’ then you will use too much, and makeup will become a mask, not an enhancement.”


Striking a Balance

Less is best when it comes to makeup, but you should also give your daughter the freedom to experiment to discover what makes her feel her best. How do you find this middle ground? “Make a scenario game,” Paquin says. “What would you do if you were going to a party? What about just a school day? Look at magazines and makeup she likes and [talk about] why. That will give you the stepping off part. The maturing young woman will sometimes go back to dressup like she was when she was little, so you must teach her balance.”


Choosing Colors

What if your daughter wears bold colors that don’t necessarily match her skin tone? Having a beauty expert determine the best color scheme is one option, but Paquin cautions parents to avoid being overly critical. “Is she happy? If the answer is yes, then let it go. Peers will fix it as will maturity.” Your daughter should be given the freedom to experiment with what works best for her.


Online Tutorials

If your daughter needs help with blending or tips for correctly covering acne, turn to YouTube channels, where there are plenty of online resources. “That is their language,” Paquin says. “They can watch it repeatedly at their pace and even watch while applying.” Paquin recommends Chloe Szep and NikkieTutorials channels on YouTube.

Paquin advises parents against overly encouraging the use of makeup before a teen is ready. “If she is feeling good about herself, then by all means, let her thrive,” Paquin says. Don’t make your issue her issue. When she mentions it [makeup], make it a positive only.”

Find more of Paquin’s advice at


Myra Wright is a freelance writer and mom of three, including a 15-year-old daughter who prefers not to wear makeup.


Categories: Family, Lifestyle, Solutions