When's the best time to start wearing makeup?
July 15, 2020

I’m sure that most of us can remember the first time we wore a make-up product. Whether it was a purple eyeshadow, sparkly pink lipgloss, or mascara we stole from our mother’s chest of drawers, our foray into the world of make-up was a pivotal moment in our teenage lives. It’s about more than just slapping some products on our faces: it’s one of the symbols of our coming of age. Furthermore, that brings me to the question, when is the right time to start wearing make-up? The answer is, there isn’t a specific time: it’s different for everyone and is something that’s too nuanced to be reduced to a single age. There are a number of factors that determine when the right time is for you specifically.

Vogue Paris 1970


The first factor is your skin. It’s a well known fact that most teenagers, and even many adults, endure problems with their skin. Certain skin conditions, such as acne and eczema, can be exacerbated by the frequent usage of make-up. Make-up can also make certain skin types be more prone to breakouts. Therefore, if you suffer from any of those conditions or have any of have a skip type which is irritated by make-up, it’s advisable that you start wearing it later rather than sooner, and when do you start wearing it, do so with precaution. Use products made from natural ingredients, remove your make-up thoroughly when you get home, and wear it with moderation. You’ll be glad about it in the long-term.


Shot by Felicity Ingram

Another mitigating factor is price. High quality make-up products can be pretty expensive (or at least unaffordable for those who are not paying for them out of their own pocket), and most teenagers are financially dependent on their parents. Therefore people who come from lower income backgrounds may be less likely to start wearing make-up when they are younger. There is the option of purchasing products from drugstore brands instead, but even that is not financially feasible for many people. So, when that becomes possible, it may be a better time to wait until you explore makeup! It'll be worth the wait, and guilt-free.

The environment and circumstances in which you want to start wearing make-up are another factor. Only wearing make-up for occasions such as parties and family functions is very different to wearing it on a daily basis.Some people find that as they ease themselves into the world of make-up, they prefer to only wear it on more special occasions and not for daily, routine activities, whereas others prefer to wear it on a regular basis. People whose preference is the latter tend to start wearing make-up at a younger age than people whose preference is the former.


The final factor is when you feel comfortable. You should start wearing make-up because you want to, not because of anyone else. Don’t ever succumb to peer pressure. Just because all of your friends wear make-up doesn’t mean that you have to yet. On the contrary, if you feel ready to start wearing make-up but your friends aren’t doing so yet, that doesn’t mean that it’s too early for you to start. Moreover, because it’s something that can be such a big part of your self-expression, make-up is something that should make you feel empowered. So, as a litmus test, if that outcome is not being achieved, then you are most likely not ready to start wearing it yet. Conversely, if the thought of wearing make-up is empowering to you, then you probably are ready to start wearing it.