Archive for Monday, August 16, 2010


Tween beauty: New study suggests girls using makeup sooner - then tiring of it

Jessalyn Grant, 12, of Eudora, visits Rejuvene Spa, 13 E. Eighth St., for a manicure.

Jessalyn Grant, 12, of Eudora, visits Rejuvene Spa, 13 E. Eighth St., for a manicure.

August 16, 2010


Marcia Butell, owner of Rejuvene Spa, applies lips gloss to Jessalyn Grant, 12.

Marcia Butell, owner of Rejuvene Spa, applies lips gloss to Jessalyn Grant, 12.

Twelve-year-old Jessalyn Grant, of Eudora, thrusts her hand out, showing off her fingernails: They’re painted a vivid pink with a hint of orange, and they seem to radiate cheer.

“I like the colors,” Jessalyn says. “They’re bright.”

Grant knows her way around a beauty salon. Manicures, pedicures, eyebrow waxes — they’re second nature to Grant, whose mom has been bringing her to Rejuvene Spa, now at 13th E. Eighth St., since she was a girl.

It starts with gloss and polish, then it’s mascara and eyeliner. To parents, it might seem as if their girls are wearing makeup overnight, but sales figures show that it’s a steady progression from essentially toddlers to teens — with a surge of interest during the tween years.

But engagement with color cosmetics is waning among young women, age 18 and up, according to market research firm The NPD Group.

Starting sooner

Young girls are becoming exposed to beauty routines earlier on, especially with all the mother-daughter bonding that’s going on at nail salons and spa birthday parties, but that excitement might be wearing off by the time older girls are establishing their own regimen, observes NPD beauty-industry analyst Karen Grant.

Overall, girls in the 13- to 17-year-old range still use more makeup than their younger sisters, but the percentage of the high schoolers using makeup now is less than it was a few years ago, while the percentage of elementary and middle-school girls is higher.

By age 18, these young women are looking to keep their skin healthy and enhance their appearance with a handful of tried-and-true cosmetics, Grant explains, but their experimental phase is largely over.

“You’ve got girls asking, ‘Do I really need this?”’ says Grant. “Maybe it’s not that exciting anymore because they’ve been using it since they were younger.”

Marcia Butell, owner of Rejuvene Spa, says there’s truth to the idea that beauty products become less alluring to girls as they age. She often sees girls shelve interest in makeup and skin care as they enter high school and college.

“They think they know everything by then,” says Butell. “That’s the problem. Even in college, the girls end up spending more money on partying than they do on skin care.”

Butell says interest in beauty products perks up again around the time skin spots and wrinkles show up.

“They don’t understand that what you do today will show up 20 years from now,” says Butell.

All about the lips

Lip products are the most used cosmetic item across all ages, with younger girls using balm, tweens and teens using gloss and then adults wearing lipstick. But mascara is the second most important category for teenagers — replacing all the bath washes and gels that younger girls like — and women largely have a commitment to using mascara through their mid-60s.

Among 8- to 12-year-olds, 18 percent are wearing mascara on a regular basis; 47 percent of 13 to 17-year-olds; and 56 percent by age 18, according to Grant.

Compared to 2007 levels, that is an 8 percent increase in usage of mascara by tweens, while lipstick had a 5 percent increase. Both products saw a drop in usage, though, among 13- to 17-year-olds from three years ago.

Jessalyn doesn’t wear mascara. She finds dark and heavy makeup unappealing. A competitive cheerleader for nearly eight years, she is often expected to wear lots of makeup for performances.

“I don’t like having it on, and I want to get it off,” says Grant.

Besides fingernail polish and eyebrow waxes, Jessalyn usually only wears lip gloss, something she may have picked up from mom, who also wears light makeup.

“Girls see mom and they want to imitate mom,” says Johanna Mooney, director of beauty products for Disney Consumer Products.

What’s age-appropriate?

The balancing act as a manufacturer, she says, is age appropriateness. “Our view is a 10-year-old doesn’t need anything to be beautiful, but they want to be playful and aspirational. They want a little fantasy, and we want her to feel that she is feeling good.”

Jessalyn says her friends are attracted to heavy makeup: blue eye shadows, dark eyeliners, bright red lipsticks. Girls start caking it on in the fifth grade, she says.

“They start out light, just lip gloss,” says Grant. “But by the time they get into the sixth grade, their parents don’t care anymore so they go heavy.”

Someone definitely needs to tell girls not to try to look too old too fast, says Teen Vogue’s Eva Chen. “Teenagers have this glow, this beauty, that adults try to reproduce. They are very lucky to have it. Don’t cover it up!” she says.

She doesn’t have to twist Jessalyn’s arm. She prefers the natural look. When asked what she thinks heavy makeup?

“I don’t like it,” she says.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


CHKNLTL 7 years, 4 months ago

None of the good brands they made when I was in junior high are still around.....and the cosmetics now are way too expensive to invest in the way I'd like. And manicures, waxes, etc,? I don't have time! Plus, men don't care too much about a girl's pretty face anymore.

Danimal 7 years, 4 months ago

I do, I care a lot! If I would've known the woman I fell in love with was going to become a makeup-less hag by the time she was 24 I would've made some different decisions in life. I'm not saying she has to plaster it on everyday, but when you have a huge blemish on the side of your face throw on a little of whatever it is that women cover these things up with before we go out to dinner.

It seems the cosmetics industry has become its own worst enemy. They need to teach girls to use makeup sparingly and appropriately, and not paint themselves up like whores. That way they won't be burned out on wearing makeup by their early twenties, and the men of the world won't have to suffer their "natural" appearance. The world is an ugly enough place already, lets not make it any worse.

mom_of_three 7 years, 4 months ago

Wow, really. Sounds like you are the high maintenance one

Mari Aubuchon 7 years, 4 months ago

"a makeup-less hag by the time she was 24" "the men of the world won't have to suffer their natural appearance"

And you say that you "love" this woman???

All I can say is that some men are the marrying kind, some were made for divorcing.

TheEleventhStephanie 7 years, 4 months ago

But the world is already suffering your "natural" appearance (unless you wear makeup, that is), so what's the difference? Bet she's naturally prettier than you are anyway!

notajayhawk 7 years, 4 months ago

My daughter can start wearing makeup at the same time she can start dating - or driving, for that matter.

As soon as I'm dead.

jonas_opines 7 years, 4 months ago

I would think that would provide your daughter with some unsettling incentives.

Danimal 7 years, 4 months ago

She's much better looking than I am, I'll be the first to admit that. However, I've been blessed with beautiful, smooth and unblemished skin. There's nothing wrong with my appearance that can't be fixed without surgery. She has the ability to take a couple minutes and drastically improve her appearance by covering the occasional blemish. The real problem is that she's kind of a tomboy (tomwoman?) and pretty much always goes sans makeup and dresses pretty shabbily. Which isn't generally a problem, except that it's getting worse with each passing year. I wouldn't want a super-girly, simpering princess, but I don't think expecting her to throw on a little makeup and something other than a t-shirt and jeans once a year when we're going to a nice restaurant for our anniversary is asking too much.

I think this is a real hot button for me because a lot of women do this, get a man tied down and get comfortable and stop caring about their personal appearance. I do more now to take care of myself and my appearance than when we met (or anytime previously in my life for that matter). We don't have kids and we're not poor so the only conclusion I can draw is that she simply doesn't care about our relationship anymore.

Aileen Dingus 7 years, 4 months ago

Do her a favor and dump her. Let her find a partner who isn't so superficial.

calwt262 7 years, 4 months ago

"It starts with gloss and polish. Then it's mascara and eyeliner." Then it's Homer Simpson's makeup gun. Anyone?

Cait McKnelly 7 years, 4 months ago

Funny. I think more men ( a la Adam Lambert) are wearing makeup now than women.

Joe Hyde 7 years, 4 months ago

“That’s the problem. Even in college, the girls end up spending more money on partying than they do on skin care.”

So...this is a problem? I always thought of it as the solution!

cj123 7 years, 4 months ago

I know times are changing but I remember when I was 12. I had no boobs, played with barbies (didn't want to admit it), and never wore make-up. I was more concerned with having fun with my friends rather than spending my day at a salon. I am almost 30 years old and some 12 year old girls look more womanly than I do!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 4 months ago

Quite a few beauty products have toxic ingredients...... beware. Need to read those labels then go online for more data.

The natural look is okay and beautiful.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

Unbelievable! On the same day, publishes 2 different, (but related) studies. This one, suggesting that girls start wearing makeup sooner and this one: "Teen sex not always bad for grades."

Am I the only person that thinks this is irresponsible? I don't even know how the LJWorld believes that this coincidence is even defensible! To suggest that 12 year old's wear makeup in one story and then inform them that making the decision to have sex won't affect their grades in another? On the same day???!!! What are you thinking about? Where are your brains?

denak 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes, you are the only one who thinks this is irresponsible for several reasons.

1) The studies are not related. Just because both studies had females as subjects does not mean it is related.

2) The article did not suggest that 12 year olds wear makeup. In fact, the gist of the article is that even though some girls go through a stage where they wear makeup, many of those same girls then stop using it when they get into high school. In fact, from my dealings with young girls, most of them don't wear makeup to improve their looks anyway and they certainly aren't doing it to attract boys. Most 8-12 year olds want to wear make up so they can play dress they can be a princess. They want to be glittery, sparkly and "sunshiny," not tawdry. And trips to the beauty parlor are seen as bonding experiences for mom and child. Surely, one can't argue with parent and child spending together and if they want to get their nails done while they spend time together, more power to them.

3) The study on teen sex did not say that sex won't affect their grades. What it said, is that for some teens, those who are in serious, committed relationships, sex does not always lead to academic failure and that for some sex can have a positive effect on them and their GPA. It also said, had you read it, that for those who engage in casual sex, defined as 4 or more partners in a year, that there does tend to be a decrease in GPA when compared to their counterparts who abstain. And if I remember correctly, there was more of a decrease in GPA for males then for females.

I'm willing to bet that those girls, who had those bonding trips with mom to the beauty parlor, and who are later strong enough to reject the advertising b.s., are the same girls who are strong enough to go to mom and dad and say, "hey I need to talk to you about sex."


HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

Ok. I will concede that maybe the articles are not exactly related, but that's about the only concession that I'm willing to make. I think the rest of everything that you said was pretty much full of crap. Like you are trying too hard to justify your bonding trips to the spa with your tween daughter. Maybe you are starting to notice skin spots and wrinkles, and so you figure that by risking your daughters health 20 years into the future it is a fair trade off. Yeah. If you had read the article you might not have missed that little point. Good lookin' out!

denak 7 years, 4 months ago

lol here is a little word of advice..... stick to the relevant points made and don't reduce your "argument" to personal attacks especially if the person you are attacking doesn't have a teen daughter...or preteen daughter or even an infant daughter..... you just makes yourself look like an idiot.

HaRDNoK9 7 years, 4 months ago

You accuse me of not reading the article, I accuse you of getting a little older, You accuse me of being an idiot attacker? Color it any way you want.

denak 7 years, 4 months ago

Yes because obviously it is the same thing.

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