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Do Little Girls Really Need to Wear Makeup?

makeup for girlsI remember when I was first allowed to play with makeup — Avon, I think, after my friend’s mom had an Avon party at her house. I followed the booklet’s suggestions for eyeliner and shadow ideas, and I tried to match my (perfect) skin to various foundation colors. I was about 13 at the time, probably, and I still couldn’t wear the makeup out of the house.

But, I mean, I was a teenager. It was fun and playful, and yet it was almost like a rite-of-passage reminder that I was getting older. And that was so cool!

How young is too young to start playing with makeup? Have the rules changed? Because Luna Star has a makeup line for children starting at (gulp) 3 years old.

And apparently that’s a pretty common market. So common that Luna Star Naturals decided to create makeup sets that are healthier than the chemical-ridden play sets that little girls normally use. Their mineral-based makeup line (eye shadow, blush, and lip gloss) is made with only clean, natural ingredients — including odor-free nail polish, which is pretty cool.

But do little girls between 3 and 10 really need to be playing with makeup? As much as I love the idea of healthier options and the fun makeup sets that range from Princess Fairy to Soccer Star, there’s something unsettling about normalizing makeup at such a young age. It just seems like an unnecessary playtime activity for 2nd graders when there are so many other ways to play pretend and princess and tea party. There are so many other activities for 4th-grade sleepovers. And do preschoolers ever need to wear lipgloss — minerals or not?

Then again, a 6-year-old girl I know recently went to a Monster’s High birthday party where all of the girls had their makeup done up. And even though her parents were a little disturbed with her final appearance, most parents didn’t bat an eyelash.

Is this our new reality? Are little girls playing with makeup?

And are we okay with that?

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