24 Women Share Their Ideal Ages For Wearing Makeup

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.
As a beauty editor, I get asked a lot of questions — and they tend to vary based on the age of the person doing the asking. My mother's friends ask about anti-aging skin care, for example, while my close friends ask about Tom Ford lipstick. But if I'm talking to younger girls — as in, high-school age or younger — I always get the same question: "How old were you when you started wearing makeup?" That's quickly followed by: "At what age do you think girls should start wearing makeup?"

Now, that's a loaded question. There's a lot wrapped up in the concept of young girls wearing makeup — from sexualization to self-expression. So, I decided to speak with some women, to see if they could arrive at any kind of consensus. I asked them when they started wearing makeup, and when they think girls should start experimenting with it. As expected, their responses were varied. Some didn't believe in set rules, others had clear opinions, and many were conflicted. It seems that the only consistent theme was that wearing makeup is a deeply personal experience.

Click through to see all the responses, and let us know where you stand in the comments.