Any time I enter a Sephora now, at age 30, I get a mini flashback to those years. The world of beauty is something I still love and revere. While I usually enter the store on a mission, there’s a hint of that excitement and opportunity to play. Even when I’m going to get something as simple as shampoo, I’ll swipe on some eye shadow, explore some lip shades, or sample a new perfume. I let myself have a bit of fun and lean into that feeling of girlhood — even in the utilitarian experience of restocking my skin-care or makeup essentials.
With the hyper-presence of social media in the lives of tweens today, their relationship to beauty is a little bit different than mine was at their age. There is a greater expectation to look made up than we did — and they can do it well. After all, kids have better access to learn makeup techniques with internet tutorials. As far as hobbies go, experimenting with Rare Beauty blush and Benefit liquid liner seems pretty harmless. Kids should be allowed to play and express themselves with color and their personal style. Where they may need more guidance is in the realm of skin care. Tweens should focus on developing healthy habits like cleansing their faces and using sunscreen. The popular products meant to combat signs of aging that they’re flocking to are usually too harsh and can destroy their young skin barriers.
I don’t think we should ban these pre-teens from going to Sephora, but I do think we should do better at educating them — and not by scolding them online for being curious about retinol or drawn in by fun packaging. Parents can teach kids the rules of exploring a space like Sephora with respect. Beauty influencers and dermatologists on social media could understand their audiences and let them know what products are helpful to their age demographic. We can still allow younger people to explore, dress up, and fall in love with beauty. Let’s just maybe steer them away from the Drunk Elephant aisle.
Now, do some product discovery of your own:
14 Best Makeup Bags for All Your Beauty Organization Needs
The 21 Best Face Moisturizers for Hydrated, Healthy Skin