Nancy and Ellen had very similar questions on the Q&A.
I know you must hate answering questions about parenting teens, but what are your rules on makeup for your daughters? ~nancy
Right now, I am in a "battle" with my fifteen year old daughter who thinks she's twenty two over makeup. She really wants to wear mascara and concealer, but I think she is flat out too young. She claims that all girls her age wear makeup. I don't think I wore it until I was about 25.How does makeup work with your daughters? How old were they, and how much did you let them wear? ~Ellen
You know it's funny how parenting changes as I age. Things I swore I'd never do, I've done. Things I swore I'd always do, I don't even remember anymore. I clearly remember being pregnant with Sunny and declaring that I wouldn't have plastic toys in my home. (Go ahead and wipe the coffee off your computer screen that you just spit out from laughing now.) I only wanted natural noises and materials. Ya, I said it. What in the world was I thinking?! Now our home is filled with plastic toys with batteries and all sorts of electronic noises. I'm a different mama than I was in my 20's. And having 4 girls, 2 on each end of my 7 children, I'm sure that I will be a different mama with different rules and guidelines for Mimi and Tess than I was for Sunny and Liv. And I think that's okay, that evolution of parenting thing.
That being said, I was a strict mama with Sunny. She's a girly-girl, boundary pusher in a good way by nature and wanted makeup from a young age. She wanted to shave her legs and tweeze her brows, and snuck bronze moisturizers and mascara in her backpack. And I laid down the rules. I honestly don't remember what they were, but they were rules. And Sunny pushed back. I remember asking a mama who had girls where were an bit older. One of a few moms who I trust with not only MY security but my children's. (Y'all have a select few of those women in your life, right? If not find some and build those relationships. We need them!) And she said, It's only make up. And those words stuck.
Livy followed hot on her sister's heels 2 years later and by then, not only did I have the rules all established, but I also came to appreciate that the rules about makeup really didn't matter so much to me any more. Teens deal with lots of stuff. Lordy be, have we dealt with the kind of stuff that's too much to mention casually on a blog!
So here's how it goes in our family.
1) I encouraged Sunny and Liv, starting from a very early age, to take care of their skin. And by that I meant wash, moisturize and sunblock daily. Although this was introduced before puberty, I wasn't a stickler that it be done, and it didn't catch on until puberty. Honestly this steps takes years!
2) When I saw that skin care was is in the young lady's routine without being reminded, I was more than happy to take the next step, which was likely mascara and lip gloss. This happened for Sunny around age 13 and Livy not till late 14ish. I put mascara in the routine on purpose. It becomes clearly obvious when it's not washed off daily.
3) And when taking care of their skin, the tiny bit of makeup applied, washing and moisturizing each evening, sunblock each morning, is in a set routine, (and really it was about another full year till that happened. Because it's much more work than the girls counted on, and it's ever so easy to be lazy!) then I was more than happy to let them add the rest of the makeup: concealer, powder, blush... Mind you, unlike sunblock and skin care products, ALL makeup is purchased by my daughters. And makeup is expensive. That also helped control the over exuberant daily application. So wearing make-up also seemed to coincide with the 16th birthday, the age they can get a part-time job, and earn a bit of income to spend on said makeup.
So every time my girls asked about makeup, I put the ball back in their court. Did you wash your face last night? Let me see if you have sunblock on today? How much money do you have to spend on your makeup? And they knew they needed a history of doing this to move forwards. The whole process seems to work out with them wearing little bit of makeup at 14-15ish and really not daily wearing makeup till about age 16.
Ellen, most 15-year-old girls in my neck of the woods are wearing make up. So much that you'd be hard pressed to guess that these girls are actually 15 years old! And many of these girls are wearing it beautifully. I'm not saying that they should or shouldn't be. But very often they know how to apply it far better than yours truly. And now that I've had some years under my belt raising teenagers, and lots of "issues" surfacing, you know, the big stuff... I've come to a personal parenting decision that makeup is on the bottom of my list. The bottom of the list of stuff that I'm paying attention to and not going to put too much energy in to. I didn't always feel this way. I may be totally wrong, but that's what's working it the crazy 9 house these days.
And because you know every post has to have a picture, here's Liv at 17 years old... with makeup.