Little Kids Wearing Make Up….

by Lori Dwyer on April 4, 2012 · 40 comments

*Dum dum dum* (Insert dramatic look here.)

Make up for little kids. It sounds so suspect doesn’t it? Every mum I’ve mentioned this product to has, at first, stared at me, eyes wide in shock. I think they’re picturing four year olds in high heels and leather skirts, and I’m not even joking there. The sexualisation of children in the media is blatant and causes the kinds of problems that filter through every little crevice of society.

“Play make-up”, I reiterate hastily. “Like dress ups…?”

My daughter the Bump is two and a half years old and very much the girly girl. She insists on sleeping in her fairy wings and tiara, gets pouty if her hair isn’t done by a certain time in the morning and will only wear “pretty ballerina skirts”.

And she loves make up. Why not? She begin watching me, entranced, at the age of about eighteen months, sitting on a stool in the bathroom while I applied mascara, eyeliner and lip gloss. It was around the age of two that she started to insist on sharing the experience. And that lasted about two months before it got really un-cute and began to annoy just the tiniest bit. Which escalated in time with her demands for “More!”, and was capped off by the unenviable experience of dropping a child off at day care while she still had faint stains of red lipstick all over her face.

Evidently, I’m not the only one with this problem. An Aussie mum with two little princesses of her own has, bless her, come out with a set of totally child-friendly play make up called Pure Poppet. And, being awesome, she sent us some to try.

And we adore.

The full kit contains ‘perfume’- water and lavender in a tiny spray bottle; ‘lipstick’- colorless lip balm that tastes and smells yummy; six shades of powdered mineral make up that is nowhere near as messy as it looks; and some tiny sponges and eyeshadow applicators.

The mineral make up is the most awesome thing since the Internet. It’s a soft, loose powder designed to be shaken out a tiny bit at a time- you control how much they use- and it washes off with a face cloth and warm water. Like, really washes off. No faded remnants and no Twilight-style skin sparkles. It’s free from ‘Ferric Ferrocyanide, artificial dyes, FD&C; colours,talc, Carmine (also known as Cochineal), Bismuth Oxychloride, mineral oil (and its derivatives)and paraben preservatives.’ I do not have the faintest idea what that actually means, but I think it says that it’s got no nasty stuff in it and is perfect for sensitive toddler skins.

Now, before we all start with the “Won’t somebody please think of the boys?!” gender-specific toy panic… chillax. The Chop has just as much fun with the Pure Poppets set as we did. Mixed with a little bit of water, the mineral powders become a light, non-toxic face paint. Meet Choppa Smurf.

I used to face paint when I was clowning so I can tell you, quite honestly, that the Pure Poppets powders mixed with water are good– they look fantastic, feel smooth as silk, and come off easily.

I’ve made the executive parenting decision that this might be one of things that’s only a big deal if parents let it be- wanting to play dress ups, emulating the adults around them, it’s the most natural thing in the world for a child to do. And, really, what’s so bad about make up, when it makes you feel so good…?

The Bump gives Pure Poppet Play Makeup Kit four out of a possible five jellybeans. One eaten due to the expense of the pack (sad, but true…)

Anyway. Let the discussion begin, if there is to be one. If not, leave a comment anyway- that’s the way you win a Pure Poppet set for you and your little girls- or boys. Pure Poppet have mini Play Packs available, but I’ve got three of the full size Play Makeup Kits, valued at $39.95, for you lot to tussle over.

Here’s the t and c’s…

To enter this competition, leave a comment telling me what is your must-have item for your make up and why. Gentleman, your question is the same- use your imagination if you must.

The answer that amuses or confuses me the most wins. My decision is final and no discussion will be entered into.

This one’s open to Australian residents only, sorry OS peeps. Next time.

Entries open at Wednesday 4th April and close midnight Tuesday 17th April.

The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email,
or the prize will be redrawn.

Comments must have a valid email address to be included in this competition.

And that’s that. Tawdry, growing-up-too-fastness… or innocent dress up antics. It depends on how you skew your view of the world.

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{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

Spagsy April 18, 2012 at 11:06 pm

Lori, maybe I'm daft but where can I buy pure poppets? My must have item is a lip tint and gloss I got from the body shop in 2007 (don't judge) despite all the advice to throw make up away after a year this little ripper is like a bottomless pit!! A little goes a long way and i didn't have a word for it until reading a tweet where you talk about your lucky lippy. This is mine, it brightens me up people say and I just feel like struttin when I wear it… *Cue stayin alive*


Anonymous April 15, 2012 at 7:31 pm

I have to pick ONE thing…. I NEED my foundation, powder, concealer, eye shadow, mascara, blush and lipstick on otherwise i look like one of the un-dead lol but if i have to choose one thing it would have to be my gold glitter eye shadow. My 2yr old loves it and rubs it all over her face. Its MINE *pouts* I don't like to share it lol. It gives my eyes a real lift and I don't look so spaced out anymore. My 2yr old girl and my 7yr old SON (yep son) love makeup. I try to sneak into the bathroom every morning and get my face on as quick a possible so i don't have to do their makeup for them as well. Always end up in a fight with my 7yr old, No you cant wear makeup to school lol


Justine April 15, 2012 at 3:33 pm

Love everyone's tips on must have makeup items – if I can manage to remember them I might be able to improve my appearance somewhat! My must haves are eyelash tinting & eyebrow waxing – then when I don't have time for make up (always) I still look like ive tried! Mineral bronzer would be my next fav :) love the sound of this stuff! Great giveaway!
Justine dot Holmes at gmail dot com


Justine April 15, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Love everyone's tips on must have makeup items – if I can manage to remember them I might be able to improve my appearance somewhat! My must haves are eyelash tinting & eyebrow waxing – then when I don't have time for make up (always) I still look like ive tried! Mineral bronzer would be my next fav :) love the sound of this stuff! Great giveaway!
Justine dot Holmes at gmail dot com


MaliMali – Smile! :o) April 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Ohhh WOW!!! I have struggles for years ( I have 4 young girls) to keep their grubby little hands off my MAC Makeup – NO BODY touches the MAC except me! (My obsession) ha ha What I would do to win this awesome gift!!! And the added bonus of no nastys for their little skin – it would be heaven in a box and many hours of glamorous FUN. :)


Cath April 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I love this … I have twin 6 yr old girl who would die for this!!!

My to die for make up is Nutrimetics Nutri-Rich Body Satin it is this gorgeous spray can of moisturiser and it has a little shimmer to it as well it always makes me feel soooo pretty when I have it on …

C xxx


donna Jones April 12, 2012 at 9:28 am

Color the little Miss happy… like a rainbow according to her


wjcsydney April 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

My must have make up item is Mirenesse mascara. I have been "blessed" with stumpy blonde eyelashes. Without mascara I look like I am currently having chemo. Mirenesse washes off in water.. love love love love it…

My now-17 year old barely wears makeup, apart from a little eye pencil. She has her dad's long dark lashes… and she was never into it as a small girl either.


Georga April 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for their great feedback and thoughts on Pure Poppet. We have lots of safe, dressing up fun play makeup and face paint in the range with lots more planned. An even bigger thank you to RRSAHM for a wonderful and honest review, we are so pleased you enjoyed the products and really appreciate your support.


Youna April 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm

As strange as it might sound, my 'must-have' make-up is a tube of Rectinol haemorrhoid cream. I dab a bit under my eyes if I've had a big night, and it instantly reduces puffiness. Combined with Clinique eye concealer, and bags are banished (at least until you take your make-up off).

My 5-year old would absolutely adore this giveaway


Anonymous April 5, 2012 at 7:51 pm

Well, I know my 4 yr old daughter would love her own makeup set as I have none in the house because I don't wear any (I know, shock horror !) She waits until she visit's her Grandma and then does the girly make-up thing at her house. Grandma has introduced her to the blush & lipstick so far …. such a cute little bonding experience for them.


sarah braaksma April 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm

I like watching my girl play dress ups.. its all in good fun!!

A red head must have mascara AT ALL TIMES!! lol!!


BuTTeRfLy BaBy BluE April 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm

When i was a little one, Mum told me never use her makeup as it would give me pimples. I snuck in and used it…and she was right!!
Although back then there were way many more nasties in make up products.
My must have is eyeliner and mascara i love it!!
On the other hand my grandaughters absolute favorite is black texta, its nasty lol. She must have a stash somewhere because we try and keep them from her but she always seems to find the strays.


Claire April 5, 2012 at 7:15 am

What a fabulous kit! My make up fave has to be mascara – anything which means I look more awake on a dreary November Thursday *has* to be worth it!


Wanderlust April 5, 2012 at 1:03 am

Those pictures of the Bump are adorable! My daughter does the same thing — puts makeup all over her face! And why not?

Hope I'm not messing up your system by leaving a comment on a giveaway I'm not eligible for!


Pipsqueak April 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I'd love to win so that I'm no longer forced to share ( or pretend to share, depending) my supplies.
My current can't leave the house without product is my vanilla and tonka bean perfume simply 'cos it smells yummy ( and yes I'm closer to 40 than 4!).


Melissa April 4, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Bahaha! "Choppa smurf" made me laugh this morning. I can't enter – as I live in the US, but for your amusement purposes only – my favorite/most necessary beautifying item is Garnier nutrisse Ultra lift daily targeted wrinkle treatment – which I apply between my eyebrows prior to the application of foundation – it miraculously smooths out that "irritated/frustrated" mama furrow that has formed there these last 4 years.


Salz DummySpit April 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

my toddler loves make up. how do i know u say. well after going out by my self, which rarely happens, i bought a bunch of make up to top up my stash. lipstick, eye shadow, eye liner. walk into my room and its all gone where? all over the toddler. i mean all my red lipstick eye shadow on the floor drawings with the eye liner. i had to replace them all again.

so to your question the product i love is eye liner. need to have that to make your eyes pop.


Jodie April 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Love, Love, Love this! Every little girl needs to experience "dressing up" along side mum, complete with powders. My little Miss 4 Loves playing "dress ups" and "Hairdressers" but as a sufferer of eczema i don't allow her to "apply" make up. I refuse to buy her nasty play make up full of nasties that will literally make her skin crawl! As much as she wants it, she understands this. The pretty packaging sans the disney princesses is a big bonus too!!
As for the routine/product i can't live without well, I don't wear a lot of make up but with fair red lashes I get a eyelash tint every 5 weeks or so, so I can quite literally just moisturise and walk out the door


The Mummy Hat April 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm

If I were to be serious, I would have to say I can not live without my NATIO Ageless Primer. Makes my make-up last all day and into the night.

If I were to be deadly serious I would have to say these days, I can not leave the house without some liquid illuminator to brighten up my dead tired eyes and disguise the blank stare across my face as I weigh the pros and cons of sneaking an afternoon nap in…

6 weeks until Princess #2 arrives and the combination of pregnancy insomnia and exhaustion has left me drained. On the positive side, I've had plenty of time to check out Zoe Fosters tutorials on how to make myself look smoking hot for my two kids as I change dirty nappies, marvel at how beautiful my daughter is and wonder if I'll have to put out in exchange for the hubster cooking dinner…


Sarah April 4, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Nothing, cos I'm pretty enough without makeup. Bahahahahahahaha. I'm also hilarious, but you already knew that :P


Anonymous April 4, 2012 at 3:09 pm

My must have item is my Kabuki makeup brush, a necessity to apply mineral foundation.
The trouble with it is that my kids seem to have a special connection to this brush also (which means it often 'magically' disappears for short periods of time). It's so little and cute, as well as being soft, fluffy and gingery in colour. I believe that because of those characteristics, they have been led into thinking that it is a PET of ours (a very well mannered one at that) which needs to be taken care of. Downside is, some mornings i just can't find it to put my makeup on. Upside is,
no need to ever get a cat or dog :D
Lee (


Cherie April 4, 2012 at 3:06 pm

My Niece would die for this!
My must have makeup item is my car rearview mirror for without it I would never be able to put my makeup on during my one and a half hour drive to work every morning.

Cherie (


Amanda Hardy April 4, 2012 at 3:00 pm

*grins* The competition ending before it finishes fits in excellently with the surreal nature of my child induced sleep deprivation.

My boy is now two and a half, so just learning to make his own sentences of things I've never told him that pop out of nowhere.

One of the first times he used this new skill was to tell him "Mum, you forgot your eyebrows".

I used to be blonde, but when my hair went dark as a teenager my lashes and brows didn't follow, so I have blonde eyebrows and use an eyeliner to give them definition. If I don't I suffer the indignity of my two year old telling me I'm walking out without my eyebrows on.

Amanda (


Miss Pink April 4, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I was actually sent the pitch for this, and didn't respond because I was all "But I have boys :(" And I am NOT one of those mum's, my kids have a doll house and live in their toy kitchen and we have tea party's all the freaking time, but I was like "This isn't even worth the fight with Mr Black, I let them put on a little of my Mac eyeshadow, and my lipgloss when he's not home, I can't slip a kids make up kit past him".
I'm really bummed now because I didn't have the imagination or foresight to think of using it as a facepaint! (Now that I CAN justify!)

I love makeup and have lots that I really enjoy, but the one thing that gets used multiple times a day is my Maybelline Babylips Lipgloss. It's so yummy, it's clear and not sticky or overly greasy, and it doesn't clog my pores. WIN!


Mandi April 4, 2012 at 12:56 pm

This would be the best Easter present for Miss 6 who loves to do lips & nail polish! I have been looking around for something that's not toxic & leaves that horrid pinky red tinge for days after being removed! (hello Barbie) this looks lovely & skin friendly as my little miss gets a rash from some baby wipes if we wipe her face with them!
My must have make up product is my Napoleon Perdis camera finish as it makes my skin look fantastic & smooth with a lovely natural colour!


SJ April 4, 2012 at 12:46 pm

I don't leave home without using my beloved concealer-the bags are mighty!! My boys would enjoy playing dress-ups with the makeup, think of the mess they could create :)


Denwise aka Denyse Whelan April 4, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I got some of the sample packs and passed them. Onto another mama blogger… I had no idea of the great packs … I would like to win one of these for my, ahem, grandkids who are here twice a week. The dress up suitcase has all kinds of bits n pieces but not face paint & makeup.
Here's my essential item.
MY GLASSES!! without putting them on to check my makeup I have no idea of how much or little I've applied.
Love the pics of the kids. Kids having fun in a safe. & imaginative way. Go you!


she-sleeps-here April 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

Although I'm the mum of 1-soon-to-be-2 boys (and thus unlikely to need it in my own household – though you never know….), this product looks great and I have a couple of friends with little girls who luuurve dressing up so this would get me in their good books :)

My must-have makeup product is good quality removal wipes, otherwise I'm left with raccoon eyes for days. And honestly, who wants to spend ages after you get home from your big night out (which usually come far and few between as it is) trying desperately to scrub off those last traces of your (likely childless) good time when you know the kids will be up at 6am and oh god, it's midnight already?

Lys :)


Kylie April 4, 2012 at 11:40 am

My must have is remover! I'm not a big make up wearer and like to take it off as soon as possible – something that endlessly disappoints my girly girl aged 6. BTW – I'm sure the competition doesn't end 17 March….


Claire Chadwick @ Scissors Paper Rock April 4, 2012 at 10:27 am

What a brilliant product. My Miss 4 has just {in the past 6 months} become obsessed with makeup. When it's all fun & games & for dressups, I think it's wonderful fun for them.
As for me…my must have item is a splash of mascara to jazz up my sleep deprived eyes & a coat of lip gloss. I rarely leave the house without a quick application of these 2 babies :)
Great giveaway x


Samantha Mawdsley April 4, 2012 at 10:20 am

My must have make up item is mascara. I NEVER leave the house without it. That's often my entire make up regime, but I always take pride in my presentation. I think it's important. My idea of "dressing up" is putting stuff that isn't mascara on, like lipstick & powder. I never put foundation on because I have freckles & it looks ridiculous to try & cover them up.
I have a two year old goddaughter who I plan to impart the wisdom of more is less & putting a full face of make up on is just for fun, not for substituting a positive self-worth. :)


dachlostar April 4, 2012 at 10:11 am

My must have for makeup is my mirror because if I don't have one it looks like my children have done my makeup for me. Not good.

The other must have is nail polish remover. I'm out at the moment so my son had to go to school today with blue glittery nail polish. He was last seen going into class with his hands deep in his pockets.

Letting kids play dress-up with makeup is fun not sexualisation. Doing it for them so they look like they stepped off the set of Toddlers and Tiaras is just plain wrong.


Sharon @ Funken Wagnel April 4, 2012 at 9:47 am

I am extremely against sexualisation of children (stay with me!) but I do like to look at makeup as simply dress-ups as well.

Sexualisation of kids is a problem, but really, I think makeup is the least of our worries. It's fun to express yourselves.

I would have to say that my must-have item for my makeup is my napoleon foundation brush. I always had issues putting my foundation on properly before this, then saw a youtube tutorial, bought myself this brush and now it looks almost airbrushed when I put foundation on. It looks lighter, wastes less foundation and looks younger than if I'd just done it with my fingers.


rex April 4, 2012 at 9:29 am

Bloody brilliant post.

I wear very little make-up but my 4 year old has been obsessed about it since she was 2. So a year or so ago I went on the hunt for PLAY make-up. it was so hard to find any. But eventually found a natural brand from somewhere but it was just 5 different lightly coloured sticks which did not really satisfy her imaginative needs.

So pleased to see a child friendly set here. I also have no probs with the dress up and make up for kids as long as it does not come in the form of a barbie or Hanna Montana shrouded item.

So in conclusion I have not really entered the comp, but I am so pleased to see a cool product such as this. So will have to order my own for her next birthday.


Teresa Lawrence April 4, 2012 at 8:53 am

What a wonderfully sensible article. You are obviously painfully aware of the fear of the sexualization children so prevalent now and being able to model healthy behaviour for them.

Using make up has been going on forever. The Red Tent (fab book) makes reference to using it in Biblical times – not that I'm religious, don't panic! But what I mean is, it's something we all do; a ritual. In Africa, in India, in Asia, in Australia….Having grown up in the 70s, I had a dreaded fear of the unnaturalness of using make up. Until I finally got sick of walking around with zits on my face that I could have easily have covered up with a bit on concealer!

My favourite make up staple these days? My Nars blusher called Orgasm. It's beautiful and makes me feel so too.

Cheers and thanks for a great piece.


Ai Sakura April 4, 2012 at 8:48 am

Nooooo! Too bad it is just for Aussie residents!
My Lil girl would definitely love this! Haha
She watches make-up tutorials on YouTube almost everyday :p

Ai @ Sakura Haruka


LOUISE April 4, 2012 at 8:44 am

What a fabulous idea, my 4 year old daughter and 2 year old son harass me every morning whilst I apply my make up, so I have to pretend to do their faces too. Amazing how much joy it brings to their little faces applying a tiny dab of gloss to their lips. Gutted I live in the UK so can't enter this competition x


Christina Johnston April 4, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Ooh what a fabulous review!!!

I have yet to find an appropriate play make up for my 2 year old princess!

My must have makeup item sadly doesn't exist. But if it did it would be a magic applicator that could make me up in under 5 minutes and ensure my cheeks aren't too rougey, that my eyeshadow doesnt look like ugly splodges and my lipstick isn't too ridiculous. So while I wait for this to be invented I shall continue to use mascara and colour free gloss – safe and versatile!


Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures April 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm

I am so entering this one, and not for my darling Miss E either, as although she loves make-up, she much prefers to draw 'tattoos' on herself with texta to be like her Dad.

This one would suit Master S to a tee!
I'm a big nail polish lover, but unfortunately due to work I'm not allowed to wear it, so I painted my toenails regularly just to keep my feet looking happy.
Since becoming morbidly whale like courtesy of pregnancy, I have found a willing participant in my need to be polished and my beautiful son paints my toenails (and my feet/legs) while I paint his. It's fantastic and I'd love to win this for him… and so I can't paint him up beautifully. HAHAHAHA :)


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