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Tween makeup: Sweet or slutty?

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. She writes Kids in the City Kids in the City a weekly column and blog for the Staten Island Advance, contributes to SheKnows, Time Out NY Kids Time Out N...

Age-appropriate primping

We all did it as little girls. You know, sneak into Mom's vanity drawer and gorge our faces with the delicious bounty of lipsticks and eyeshadows, blushes and cold creams. Little girls love makeup -- and as they start to grow, it becomes a key player in forming their grown-up identities. But for moms, it's not easy. How do you draw the line between the fresh, pretty-girl look... and that of the hot, sexy nymph?

Some take-away tips for moms

Be celebrity-savvy

Find a celebrity both you and your daughter like who wears makeup you'd be comfortable with your daughter emulating. Find out what products they use or what colors they wear and show them to your daughter as an example of a look you're comfortable with.


Be aware of the trends, along with which makeup products her friends are allowed to wear and what they're actually doing. It isn't always the same thing. If everyone in her peer group is allowed to wear makeup to school, perhaps it's time you compromise with your daughter so that your strong stance doesn't backfire. You don't want your daughter to be that girl in the class who caked on makeup the minute she got to school, only to take it off before heading home. (Note: If you're friends with the moms of your daughter's friends, it would work to all of your advantages to have a set of guidelines you all agree to abide by with regard to your makeup rules.)

Be consistent

With regard to makeup rules, it's important to be consistent. Both parents need to be on the same page across time. Don't say "yes' sometimes and "no" other times. Also be consistent across children. If your older daughter had to wait until a certain age to wear makeup, hold steadfast to the same rules for your younger daughter.

Pick your battles

At the end of the day, you don't want mascara to come between mother and daughter, so it's important to decide what you feel most strongly about and to compromise on the rest. If your daughter wants to wear lipstick and you're against all makeup, perhaps a barely-there pink gloss would satisfy you both.

For more on teen beauty and fashion trends:

Tips for dealing with disastrous teen fashion
Teen piercing trends: Earlobe gauging, stretching and body piercing
Top 10 Teen Celebrity Hairstyles of 2009!

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