How young is too young to wear makeup?

Young girl applying makeup from Wall-mart's geoGirl line.

“If you’re old enough to ask for it, you’re old enough to wear it.” This was the advice I got from a beauty public relations account executive when I was eighteen and asked if I should start wearing eye cream. I’m 24 now and apply eye cream religiously every morning and night, with the assumption that the key to ant-aging is to start preventive methods early. But, when it comes to makeup, that’s a completely different story. In my mother’s eyes, I was always to young to start wearing makeup, and I had to fight with her to start wearing flavored lip gloss in the sixth grade. Yet, I still managed to get my grubby little hands into her cosmetics pouch when she was no where in sight.

Every female can remember playing dress up as a kid and rummaging through their mother’s supply of beauty products, and applying her bright red lipstick when she wasn’t looking. Last week’s Wall Street Journal posed the question “How young is too young to wear makeup?” after the Personal Journal published an article about geoGirl, Wall-Mart’s new makeup line for tweens. The product line, which consists of lip glosses, blushes, eye shadows and even mascara, is claimed to be all-natural and is priced in the range of $4-$6. But, Wall-mart isn’t the only retailer vying for the pre-teen market. Target began selling Hello Kitty cosmetics geared towards pre-teens last year, and Bonne Bell is expanding their line so that tweens may have more options such as a “shimmer spray” fragrance and press-on nails.

The 8-12 age group has apparently increased their spending on cosmetics, and this will undoubtedly escalate as more retailers and companies market more products towards their age demographic. What do you think? Could this new emphasis on makeup for tweens be harmful girls’ self-image, as it puts pressure on them to care about their appearance at such a young age? Or, are shiny lips and colored lids a fun, harmless way to play dress up?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s