As cosmetic firms cash in on tween demand, is ten too young to start wearing make-up
Cosmetics brands and wily entrepreneurs are cashing in on the growing trend for make-up for girls as young as seven.
The tween market is exploding as beauty-savvy seven-to-14-year-olds are creating a demand for products beyond what they steal from their mothers' dressers.
New lines such as Material Girl Beauty and Willa are actively targeting the pre-teen market with offerings that are distinctly different from more adult ranges.
Too young The tween beauty market is exploding thanks to demand from cosmetic-savvy seven-to-14-year-olds
They are enjoying success thanks to demand from a generation of youngsters plugged into blogs and magazines like the
Zoe Report and Teen Vogue, where they are seeking inspiration.
Make-up artists, like New York-based Kimara Ahnert, regularly work with bat-mitzvah girls and high society tweens who regularly attend dinners and social functions with their parents.
During a make-up lesson with Ms Ahnert, 12-year-old Sloane Kratsman told the New York Times: 'Everyone at least has lip gloss. Benefit is the hot brand right now.'
While the youth of the new consumer
group is sure to raise some eyebrows, industry representatives are quick
to distinguish between age and maturity within the cosmetics market.
Janine Coppola, senior marketing director of Pacific World, the company behind GeoGirl explained: 'Our target demographic is actually the beauty beginner.
'We created more for stage and not an age.'
'Some girls are hitting puberty at 9 or 10 years old. They're popping up with pimples. It makes them self-conscious'
But though GeoGirl, which uses natural
ingredients like licorice and green tea as its sales hook,
ten-year-olds are buying the products, begging the question: should
girls so young be feeling the need to improve their looks
New York mother Jolie Novak, admits her ten-year-old daughter's love of make-up worries her.
She told MailOnline: 'I want her to spend as much time as possible feeling good about herself naturally.
'Sadie has wanted to wear make-up since she was a toddler and we always though it was fine for her to play with children’s make-up as it is so overdone that it was just funny and sweet. Now, it’s different.
'She is actually really talented at applying it and loves to do makeovers with friends… and I am fine with all of it EXCEPT when she leaves the house.'
She said that though she now allows
Sadie to wear clear lip gloss in public, she, like many other parents,
has concerns about letting her daughter get carried away.
Cashing in: Madonna and daughter Lourdes, 15, launched Material Girl Beauty in August last year
'I am torn about what message I am giving her with allowing her to experiment,' she continued. 'But I do not feel that it is appropriate for her to walk out the door with make-up on.'
Ms Coppola, however, says teenage insecurities are hitting younger than ever before.
'Some girls are hitting puberty at 9 or
10 years old,' she told the paper. 'They’re popping up with pimples. It
makes them self-conscious. And
that’s why we have a concealer that covers up the acne.'
Much of the drive behind this new market is coming from tweens themselves – with the guiding hand of an entrepreneurial parent too.
Christie Prunier, a former Hollywood executive, now based in Greenwich, Connecticut, conceived of her own tween beauty line with daughter Willa Doss.
The 43-year-old told how she came up with the idea for the Willa range when searching for products for the then eight-year-old, and had been horrified by the poor quality on offer.
Willa herself, now 11, it seems, was very involved in the development of the range, stipulating that the tinted sunscreen needed a 'dry' finish, and tat the packaging needed to be sleek and minimalist.
'Sparkle hearts No one would buy that!' she exclaimed at the launch.
Madonna and daughter Lourdes Leon, 15, who co-founded the Material Girl fashion line, also launched a beauty offering,
under the same label.
Lourdes admitted to the New York Times: 'I was mostly using adult products before [like] Bare Minerals, Benefit and MAC.'
Pixi, meanwhile, is cementing its position in the market by collaborating with Disney on its new Tinkerbell range, to launch next month.
As Jose Barra, senior vice president for health care and beauty for Target, which will stock both Willa and the Pixi Tinkerbell line, explained: 'If you think about what the tween is doing, she is trying to figure
'She wants to use what her mom and older
sister are using, but it has to be low-cost for her because she's more
on a budget. For it to work, it has to be a brand that can take her into
puberty and maybe even college.'