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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Q&A {Makeup and teenager daughters}


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

and

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.

16 comments:

  1. My daughter is 17 and she started wearing make-up at 14.. I knew if I said no, she would just wait until she got to school and put it on there (probably borrowed from a friend, which meant sharing bacteria also, ew).. I'm glad I let her wear it when she did because it took her a couple years to get the hang of it; heavy eyeliner, ridiculous eye shadows, and lip color that no way at all went with her skin tone.. Now that she has gotten the Tammy Faye look out of her system, she wears it much more naturally; no eye shadow, blush or lip color at all, and lot less eyeliner. She looks at pictures of herself 3 years ago and laughs at what she thought was attractive :)

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  2. love this. with my 13 year old we are working on skin care. she definitely doesn't have the hang of daily face wash and the pimples always tell me the story. so if the question comes up when 14 years old rolls around, I will remind about goals and showing me she can handle the basics. Great thoughts.

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  3. I find this an interesting perspective. I'm 19 now, and still wear fairly minimal makeup - eyeliner, mascara, a bit of concealer/foundation, blush - all pretty natural. It was never an issue over whether to wear makeup or not when I was younger, probably because I've always been a minimalist. However, I was fairly young when I started (very occasionally) wearing mascara - 6th or 7th grade. My little sister, now in 6th grade, wears a bit of makeup now and is probably as skilled as I am now! Most middle school girls are wearing makeup now - 11 and 12 years old. Which I definitely find odd. But there are also plenty of college students who go without, as well.

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  4. Well good golly, doesn't that sound like the most logical reward for taking care of your skin if I ever heard one!!!! Learning responsibility has its rewards in your home...love that. And I also love how much control you give them with respect to how much they spend on said make up. Another bonus. Can I tell you how much I love you???? My precious Madeline loves make up, at age 5. So I will surely be using your approach as my own, thankyouverymuch!

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  5. How did shaving and tweeting brows go with Sunny & Livy? You can't really pay for tweezers and razors and there's not really a reward other than looking better!
    My 13 yo wants to desperately do those two things, but I want her to know she's beautiful the way she is. But she sure hates her brows and legs.

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    1. Oh boy I can relate on that one! I TRIED to deflect all the energy elsewhere, like skin care and then mascara application. But I can't say I was entirely successful. Some girls just REALLY want to do these things! Eventually I gave up on shaving and went for a below the knees until they could show they could do that right. With tweezing I TWEEZED for them (head in lap on the sofa) for years starting around age 15 or 16. They held the mirror and directed me. that helped it stay not over tweezed. I still do Livy's and we wax eyebrows too. I think doing it together I still get to give guidance.

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  6. Glad I'm not the only mama out there who has gone through or is in similar situations with teenage daughters! Thanks Nancy! Hang tight while I go ask my daughter if she wants me to do her brows tonight.

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  7. In 6th grade I used to steal lipstick from my mom's bathroom and apply it at school. It was the most pale, beige, barely visible shade ever, but I loved it. Once I forgot to wipe it off before my mom picked me up and...yikes. By the end of 8th grade, I wanted to wear eyeliner and mascara. It was a huge fight. I was a totally good kid (nerdy, even, the kind that just wants to sit alone and write poetry and listen to music alone) and so my mom eventually caved. I stuck with only eyeliner and mascara through most of eye school. I'm 28 now and still usually only wear eyeliner and mascara, though I started wearing a powder foundation when I was in college. On the other hand, my sister is 17 and has blue hair, a nose ring and wears a ton of make-up. She, too, is a good kid (maybe nerdier than I was!) and when I asked my mom recently why she lets her do all of those things she said "you live, and you learn. And it's just make-up. They're just things that don't matter." Touche.

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    1. Forgive us mamas that live and learn as we grow, Lindsay. We do the best with what we have at the time and try to make ourselves better as time goes by. You're mom sounds amazingly smart. You too sound like you are just as smart as she is!
      ~nancy

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  8. I saw on Instagram that you started a new website for photography! Congratulations!
    What is the URL?

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  9. Karen, It's not quite ready yet. Fingers crossed that the launch happens SOON! But right now we're crossing t's and dotting i's. I'll be sure and announce it here when it happens! I'm getting excited for the launch!
    ~nancy

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  10. Ha, my mom constantly reminds me of my no plastic toy comments while I was pregnant! I love the plastic:)

    Tiffany

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  11. I can relate. My daughter (now 25) so wanted to wear makeup and shave her legs and tweeze her brows when she was in middle and high school. She is my oldest and I was strict. I gave in and let her shave her legs sophomore year of high school but didn't let her wear makeup or do her eyebrows until senior year. I wanted her to believe she was beautiful the was she is (which she is beautiful, but she sure didn't believe it) and so I didn't let her do those things. What on earth was I thinking? I can't imaging the embarrassment of her hairy legs in her coed PE class. Now her first bra is a whole other story. Poor baby. She's forgiven me thankfully.
    My youngest is now a seventh grader and she has shaved her legs since she was a fifth grader and started doing her brows as a sixth grader. She hasn't shown interest in makeup yet though. I am not the mom I was with my first child.

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    1. Francis, was that me writing or you? We are peas in a pod. I mean with age comes SO many things that I look back and say What. In. The. World. Was. I. Thinking? I guess we do the best with what we have at the time and try to be the best we can. It's all there is after all.

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  12. Help me!! I'm 13 and my eyebrows are so bushy. In fact, I have a unibrow no joke. I'm so self conciese about it and my mom won't let me tweeze them, she won't tweeze them, and she won't let me get them done professionally either. My friend offered to do it for me, but I don't want to do that because that's disobeying my mom and Christ wouldn't do that. My moms like "your beuatiful how you are" and I'm like "no I look look like a mad scientist." I hate my eyebrow (note it's not plural) so much. It's so embarrassing. What should I do? Living with it is not an option, nor is rebelling. I've tried and tried and tried to talk to her an explain to her but nothing works. Maybe I should try yelling? I'm soooo desperate! Help!
    Kaitlyn

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    1. Oh Kaitlyn, you sweet thing. I remember 13 like it was yesterday and don't let anyone fool you, it's HARD.

      The first thing I say is you MUST be obedient to your mom. It's okay to discuss, respectfully, but in the end you must obey. Adn doing it with a joyful heart is all the better. We may not always agree with or understand why our parents make the choices they do, sometimes it doesn't make sense till much later, but you are SO smart when you say rebelling is not an option.

      I think you have one amazingly awesome thing on your side... TIME. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to stop time from passing and you WILL get to an age soon when you can tweeze your brows! time passes and it WILL come, I promise. You won't have to have that brow forever.

      And until that day, make SURE you are ready for when you can tweeze. Be sure you take care of yourself because that IS the first step to a beauty regime! Wash your face every day. Moisturize and use a sunblock... every single day. Keep your lips moisturized. And keep your supplies and area clean, put away, organized things like lip gloss. Hair brushes need to be cleaned regularity, towels washed and changed, counters wiped down and mirrors cleaned, spending your money on a great sunblock or moisturizer, rather than Starbucks. I think you get what I mean. And when you're mom sees how seriously you're taking this over a period of time, AND you get to whatever age she thinks is right, I can image that she'd like seeing how you are taking responsibility for yourself and help you learn how to tweeze the best way. Which really isn't that far off. Really!

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