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Ask Rene: Make-Up Misery With My Tween

Hi GEM,

Here’s my problem!

I’m in the middle of a full-blown battle with my daughter at the moment over the issue of make up!

Claire is 12 years old and I just don’t think it’s appropriate for a girl that age to wear make-up. But of course she’s responding with the ‘everyone else is wearing it’ line and casting me as the worst mother in the world for holding back her budding social life.

I’m an ‘older’ mother – I’m in my early 50’s – so I sometimes worry that I’m out of touch with the times. What do you think Rene? What are your make up rules for Casey?

Desperately in need of advice!

Rachel, Miami


 Ask Rene:
Make-Up Misery With My Tween

Hi GEM,

Here’s my problem!

I’m in the middle of a full-blown battle with my daughter at the moment over the issue of make up!

Claire is 12 years old and I just don’t think it’s appropriate for a girl that age to wear make-up. But of course she’s responding with the ‘everyone else is wearing it’ line and casting me as the worst mother in the world for holding back her budding social life.

I’m an ‘older’ mother – I’m in my early 50’s – so I sometimes worry that I’m out of touch with the times. What do you think Rene? What are your make up rules for Casey?

Desperately in need of advice!

Rachel, Miami

Hey Rachel!

I think there is a way to strike a balance here. On the surface this is a discussion about make-up but it’s really about your little girl growing up and trying to exercise a bit of individuality.

With that in mind, I have three suggestions:

THE HYGIENE CONVERSATION

Picture 1 of 4

A discussion about make-up should really be part of a larger conversation on personal hygiene. You can teach Claire that you can’t put make up over a dirty face so we start with teaching how to properly cleanse and moisturize. This could also open the door for the shaving/deodorant discussion, the latter of which seems woefully underutilized in this age group!

11 Comments

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  2. america

    June 28, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Rachel
    I’m from the age where any color on the face was WRONG!! I’ve been trying to break from that but have found that there are alot of things out there that would give the feel of makeup without really having any one. Like MAC has a lip gloss thats called AMPLE PINK, when u put it on…it blends so well it looks like cherry chapstick, and there is also clear lip glass. Masscara The Body shop has a clear one as well it feels like you have something on without looking like you do. I had a girlfriend who’s mother was as strick as mine and now she lets her daughter go WILD with the makeup. This would have been fine except for the fact the girl was trying to put some on in a dark theater!!! Seriously lets get real WHO’S WATCHING YOU ???? NO ONE!!! That was a bit extreme but you can start off super slow and with her.

    When I was in the military (Army) I said they had soldiers that happen to be female. There were regulations on what we could and couldnt wear; which mad no sense what so ever and mgmnt was quick to tell you when something was TOO DARK OR TOO LOUD OR JUST NOT RIGHT. Well the Marines are diffrent they teach their females soldiers how to look like female soldiers with makeup on. I’m saying this to agree with Rene teach her how to wear makeup properly and slowly with the colors enjoy being clean faced RIGHT NOW.
    America 🙂

  3. Wanda Reese

    June 28, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Agree with and support GEM’s recommendation.
    I did essentially the same with my daughter, now 26, and it worked beautifully. I knew ahead she would want to get into makeup, possibly early (she did–at 6!) since she was watching Mommy on TV do the news for several years.

    Since she was an editorial and fashion show model as a very young child and began playing violin at 6 and had recitals and concerts frequently and required head-shots and the like, she began a little earlier in the process than most.

    As an early teen I closely monitored what she wore, in what way and how much–but also allowed her to make some (minor) mistakes since experience sometimes is the best/most lasting form of learning. But she turned out wonderfully–has exquisite taste in clothing, hair and makeup now, and as a new, working actress also does hair and makeup for others as sideline work. She’s quite good at it.

    Can certainly also relate to Rachel’s concerns and reluctance on the level of the generational issue–I’m now 58–and wasn’t allowed to wear even lipstick until I was almost 16. So, I had to step back when my own daughter began asking years ahead of that. It will be okay, though.

    My daughter was wearing pearl-ized lipgloss at 6-7yrs old, so at 12, yours will be just fine. Just follow the steps GEM outlined.

    Believe me there are much greater challenges to come! LOL
    Wanda

  4. Angel

    June 28, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Great advice Rene. Taking small strides helps, such as wearing a light lip gloss, or pink nail polish, and then growing from there, and a big emphasis on skin care, as well.

  5. Mike

    June 28, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    I love how you give great advice and elicit a laugh or two along the way. GREAT STUFF!!!!

  6. Dwala Aiken

    June 29, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I must respectly disagree with you all, the child is only twelve yrs. old. there would not be a battle, the answer would plain , and simple NO. i guess i come from the real old school, where as what your mom said went, and that was the end of discussion! i would take the time to explain to her that, all that stuff will come in it’s on time, but a little lip gloss is o.k. and yes i do have children, both are adults now. and yes i do have a daughter, been there done that, i believe that you can rush some things , and it’s up to us as parent’s to shield their inoncence as long as possible. my daughter once wanted to attend a high school dance, while in middle school, eigth grade, i said no, then i explained to her that she wait until she was in high school, because if she did all the high school stuff now then there would’nt be much to look forward to once she got there. i can’t believe it, but she actually understood where i was coming from. Well she’s almost thirty now, and has a family of her own, and to this day she said you were right, especially when she got to high school. you see what they want sometimes, is not allway’s denied. but delayed.!!!

  7. jacki marie

    June 29, 2010 at 7:59 am

    As a mother of three daughters, now 18-22, this was obviously a topic I had to deal with a few years ago. Rene’s advice is exactly what I would have given and is what I did. We talked about hygiene and self esteem. Teaching them HOW to wear the make-up was key. I didn’t want them to repeat the “clown” look from my teen years.

  8. Amanda

    July 1, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Everything Rene suggested is wonderful! I remember when I hit that age, I wanted make up so bad, and having a mom who was a Mary Kay consultant, watching her paint pretty colors on people made me want it even more. When I hit that age where acne started, she brought home a set of skin cleanser and moisturizer (I still use the same set from Mary Kay….well the same type, believe me, I emptied those first bottles already) and then after we were certain I understood how to keep my face and skin healthy she brought me into a beauty supply house and had them help me pick out colors of foundation, neutral eyeshadow, and a nice lipstick/gloss to wear. I remember sitting on that high stool, my legs swinging, feeling both nervous and giddy because I knew I’d be leaving with my own make up bag, my own make up brushes, and my own make up. I was excited to show my friends. The lady who helped me complimented my skin, she probably spent the whole time talking about how nice my complexion was, telling me that my eyelashes were so long and so dark that I didn’t need mascara, she showed me how to high light my natural beauty. Make up isn’t a mask, it’s something that heightens the beauty you already have, showcasing who you are. My friend’s were jealous, wishing they had my skin, begging to know my secrets, and I said that I washed my face every night and that I used only a little make up, they never believed me, and I watched them ruin their faces spackling on layers of make up trying to create that “perfect” look. I’ve grown to love my natural skin, I still only use eye shadow (I like the shimmer), lip stick/lip gloss (if I’m going out), and a dab of concealer for those darn pimples I still haven’t grown out of, but past that, scrubbing your face and caring for your skin will make it look more radiant and beautiful than any amount of make up out there.

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