This mum never worried about her little girl digging into her lipstick and blusher. But now she has a teen who won’t leave the house without it.
When I was a teenager, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. At all. Ever.
In fact, not only was it forbidden, my mother seemed to become irrationally angry at the mere suggestion of it. This, of course, only made me all the more determined to buy some and wear it. The first thing you need to know about teenagers – ban it and they will only want it more.
Now that it’s my turn to be mother, I have allowed my daughter to experiment with makeup since she was quite young. I’ve let her dig into my lipsticks and perfume and blusher and ‘make up her face’ for fun.
She started to wear lipstick in her first year of high school and although, I’ll admit, some of the shades she initially chose screamed ‘red light district’, we had a chat and she seems to have found a combination that suited and complimented her features.
In that, her experimentation means she can already do something I can’t – I just do not know how to make my eyes look amazing or apply foundation so I don’t appear to have just escaped a lunatic asylum.
As a now 14-year-old in Year 9, she wears foundation, mascara and lipstick every day. If I thought she was the only one doing this, I would intervene. But wearing makeup at her age is the norm.
But I was surprised the other day when we needed to leave the house in a hurry and she refused to come until she’d “done her face”. She was adamant she couldn’t leave the house without makeup. And for the first time I started to question my loose parenting when it came to 'playing' with makeup.
Had I inadvertently allowed her to become insecure? Did she no longer believe she was pretty without what is essentially a mask upon her face?
From a survey conducted by the Renfrew Center Foundation in 2013, it has been discovered that one in five girls who have worn makeup between the ages of 8 and 18 have negative feelings about their looks when they don't wear makeup.