💄 A new makeup trend is attracting young kids thanks to social media

💄 One NJ mental health expert offers advice on how to address concerns

💄Kids often feel like they don't fit in if they don't have the current look, she says

It’s called the “Sephora Kids” trend and it’s fairly new, only around the past six to nine months.

When you hear Sephora, you think of makeup, right? That’s pretty much what the trend is about.

“Sephora Kids” is a trend in which children, sometimes as young as 10 years old are swarming expensive beauty stores like Sephora and Ulta regularly to buy the latest and elaborate makeup and skin products prompted by social media makeup tutorials and influencer-sponsored advertisements.

These kids feel like they need to fit in with the latest trends, said Sonia Rodrigues, a psychotherapist and Senior Director of School and Community Based Programs with Rutgers University Behavioral Care.

There is a lot of pressure from social media on kids and their appearance. “I think with the need to be constantly on Facetime and SnapChat, there’s a lot of pressure on how kids look. As they are watching TikTok videos and Instagrammers, they’re needing to feel like they’re staying in the trends, along with their friends, are getting the latest products,” Rodrigues said.

Beauty Battle

The problem is that an 11-year-old girl looks more like an 18-year-old because they’re trying to keep up with makeup and skincare trends that are not appropriate for their age group, but if they don’t keep up with the trends, they can often be ridiculed by their peers, she said.

They’re feeling a lot of pressure to keep up with trends and their friend groups, leading to anxiety and depression, Rodrigues added.

So, how can parents deal with this properly? Rodrigues said parents should talk to their children and find out why these makeup and skincare products are important to them.

Don’t just shut them down and say no. If after hearing why they want these products, parents still don’t fee they are age-appropriate, then Rodrigues said to provide alternatives.

“It’s super important to say this might be an alternative product that you can use for your age group, as opposed to this product that you’re hearing about on social media,” Rodrigues said.

Parents should also remind kids that when social media influencers are highlighting certain products, it’s not always for every age group, she said.

Ulta Beauty, Brick (Google Maps) NJ stores open closed Thanksgiving
Ulta Beauty, Brick (Google Maps)

“Make sure they’re opening up communication with their child and to not shut their ideas down even if they sound crazy sometimes. Have those conversations, learn about why this is important to them, who in their friend group is using this product, and then educating them about which products might be a better fit for them,” Rodrigues explained.

If parents just shut their ideas down and blatantly say no to using certain makeup products without offering any alternatives, Rodrigues said this could lead to kids lying to their parents, buying products behind their parents’ backs and applying them in secret.

While it’s not illegal for stores to sell expensive high-end makeup to young children, Rodrigues said she knows of some store representatives in New Jersey who try to encourage kids seek out products that may be more age-appropriate.

Early morning makeup routine and products on vintage shabby chic pink wood table. (ThinkStock)

She said it’s a good idea for parents to accompany their kids into these beauty stores and tell a representative that their child saw this trend or tutorial on a social media platform.

Ask the rep their opinion. Is it appropriate for this age group or can they recommend an alternative? The hope is that the store rep will steer the parent and child towards products that resemble the trend but are much more age-appropriate, she said.

Rodrigues said she has seen an uptick in the “Sephora Kids’ trend among both girls and boys in New Jersey schools as both genders are trying to keep up with the latest trends.
She wants to remind everyone that this is a time where kids, especially tweens are trying to figure out who they are. Identity formation and trying to find what makes sense for them are challenging.

With tweens, it’s hard to find beauty products and clothing that are appropriate for their age group so that’s why they flock to these social media trends that are most likely geared towards older people. So, any guidance a parent or a store rep can lend, would be helpful.

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