I was asked today how I handled makeup with my girls. Here are my thoughts:
1. Talk about it way before they want it.
2. Play together with makeup (emphasis on together). Girls like makeup. When you play, use soft pretty colors so they will start to see the beauty in a more natural look. Put the dark stuff away so it is not even a choice.
3. Praise their natural beauty so they develop confidence in themselves without makeup.
4. Train their artistic eye and taste in makeup. As they near the age when you will allow makeup, casually point out to them appropriate and inappropriate uses. Stay away from criticizing women you know. You can use magazine pictures. You can say things like, “That dark color makes this girl look angry.” Or, better yet, point out the positive uses of makeup around you, “See how that soft color on her eyes makes her eyes look huge without taking away from her face?”
5. Practice with a professional. All the department stores have makeup artists who will do your makeup for free. Find a good one by asking around or trying one out on your own. Make an appointment for your daughter and have a fun date together. Tell the artist you would like a soft everyday look. Do this several times. The artists give great feedback and compliments while they work and your daughter will gain insight and confidence. Plus, if you’re like me, you will learn while you watch. (And at my age, I could use a little tip or two!)
6. Make it a treat. When I took my girls to have their makeup done I always splurged and bought them one thing. Now whenever they have a big dance or need to buy makeup they want me to come (not just for the splurge, I hope!) My involvement has kept their choices balanced versus going with friends who might have different taste and might pressure them.
7. Start slowly. I recommend mascara and lip gloss for the first year. Then for special occasions you can add other types of makeup.
I hope this helps. Looking back I think we just had fun with makeup and learned as we went so it never became an issue. It was more like an ongoing discussion of, “Mom, do you like this?” or on my part, “Girls, how does this look on me?”
It always looked better on them!