Makeup and The Younger Generation

Playing with sparkly lip gloss was part of most childhoods. Today’s generation are taking it to the next level by swapping dress-up for the real thing. In recent years, makeup has grown significantly as an artform. The internet has made catwalk-quality looks more accessible through online tutorials. This has led to a quicker perfection of skills with people becoming fully fledged MUAs before they’ve even finished puberty. A bit of lip-gloss and coloured mascara no longer makes the cut.  


Makeup used to be a privilege that came with age. New mothers are now raising their children alongside celebrity mothers Kim Kardashian, Beyonce and many more. Beyoncé’s seven-year-old, Blue Ivy, already has a beauty line and Kim’s 5-year-old daughter, North, has been seen wearing makeup on multiple occasions. When these women are role models in other aspects of life, why wouldn’t they influence how people raise their children? 


A 2014 study found that most British girls start wearing makeup at 11 years old. That's three years younger than a decade earlier. It is likely that the current age is even younger. Another survey commissioned by Simple found that more than half of 12 to 14-year-olds wear makeup most days and 17 per cent (nearly 1 in 5) refuse to leave the house without it. 


‘As long as they’re not taking themselves too seriously or holding themselves to a standard I don’t see a major problem with it’ says Sinead McMullen who started wearing makeup properly at 16. 


Young celebrities such as 11-year-old YouTuber, Piper Rockelle, 10-year-old dancer, Coco Quinn and 11-year-old actress, Ariana Greenblatt wear makeup on a regular basis which can put pressure on their audience to mimic them. This can lead to major confidence and self-worth issues later. Many of these young stars wear makeup to emphasise the basic features and prevent washing out the complexion in front of cameras/ bright stage lights. There is a line between basic makeup being used as a necessity in performances and ‘Toddler and Tiara’ style looks. 


‘I think it’s a bit sad. I know for lots of people it's something fun that they genuinely enjoy doing it, but I think at that age you shouldn’t even be thinking of conforming to society’s beauty standards’, says Nicola Smith who started seriously wearing makeup at 17. 


Heavy makeup can play havoc with young skin. Acne is almost guaranteed for anyone going through puberty but facial cosmetics can cause further aggravation. Many teens are not as hygiene aware as adults so will not clean their brushes regularly and share their makeup amongst their friends. This can increase bacteria as well as other problems such as cold sores and sties. 


The major issue with people beginning to wear makeup so young is the context. Are they wearing it to impress others? Are they contouring or just wearing a bit of bb cream? The level of harm varies but it is better to be safe than sorry and avoid makeup at a young age if possible. A time will come when they will long for the days when it wasn’t needed.