The Best Makeup Sets for Kids (Top 8 Reviews) – 2019 Edition
Many kids – even young ones – express an interest in makeup. As a parent, you can feel overwhelmed. Makeup sets for kids range from toys with pretend makeup to full, real cosmetic sets rivaling those available for adults. How do you know what’s appropriate and when?
Our complete guide to makeup sets for kids has it all. We’ve reviewed the best pretend kits for younger kids, real sets for preteens and teens, and everything in-between. Plus, our FAQ answers everything you need to know about finding the best set for your kids, and talking to them about appropriate makeup use:
Our #1 Choice – Kids Makeup Palette for Girls by Play22
This complete makeup kit for kids six and older features blushes, eyeshadow, a mirror and more. All makeup is non-toxic and washable.
- Complete makeup kit for kids
- Includes blush, eyeshadow, glitter and more
- Plastic palette easily stores all items
- Features bold, vibrant colors
- Makeup can be difficult to wash off
- Bold colors might be too childlike for older kids
Play22’s palette is a great way to introduce young girls to the world of makeup. Everything you need is here:
- Four blushes
- Six tubes of lip gloss
- Eight eyeshadows
- Eight glitter glazes
It also includes a mirror, a variety of brushes and an eyeshadow wand.
All the gear fits neatly into the Deluxe Makeup Palette, which measures seven by five inches with a three-quarter inch thickness. It’s portable, easy to store and helps keep everything organized.
Younger kids love the bright, bold colors. The palette includes pink, purple and other vibrant hues. All make-up is non-toxic and washes away with water.
Our #2 Choice – Washable Makeup Set from IQ Toys
A portable pack of powders, eyeshadows, polish and more. It’s easy to travel with and keep organized.
- Complete kit includes blush, eyeshadow, lipstick, polish and more
- Glittery silver bag organizes all products for easy travel
- Vibrant color palette with pinks, lights blues and lots of glitter
- Makeup doesn’t always wash off easily
- Better for temporary face decorations than daily makeup
Even adults have difficulty keeping their makeup organized! If your child loves makeup, but leaves brushes and other products all over the bathroom counter, consider this set from IQ Toys.
The durable, lightweight cosmetic bag allows for easy organization. Plus, the bag has a sliver, glittery style which kids love.
The kit includes four blush powders, three eyeshadows, two lipstick tubes, two bottles of nail polish and two tubes of lip gloss.
The color palette is bold, vibrant and contains a lot of glitter. It’s great for birthday parties, princess parties, and other special occasions. All products are non-toxic, safe and wash off with water.
Of course, the bag holds more than makeup. Kids can use it as a real or pretend purse, too. The bag can be a fun toy by itself.
Our #3 Choice – SHANY Cosmetic “Fix Me Up” Makeup Kit
A complete, compact kit of real makeup which is safe and easy for older kids to use.
- Large kit with kid-friendly cosmetics
- A wide range of colors suits practically any skin tone
- All products made with cruelty-free ingredients
- Most colors are bold and vibrant, not subtle
- Kit doesn’t provide much protection from damage
Older kids are typically more interested in actual makeup they can wear every day. SHANY’s Fix Me Up kit is large, high quality and suitable for adults – but with a kid-friendly carrying case.
Don’t let the compactness of the kit fool you. It’s packed with different products including:
- 36 matte or pearl finish eye shadows
- Eight semi-glossy lip colors and four gloss
- Three large makeup brushes
- Makeup mirror
Colors range from bold and bright to various flesh tones. All makeup is true-to-color with super pigmentation. However, unlike many of the sets on our list, SHANY Cosmetics are not water soluble. Instead, you’ll need makeup remover.
Animal-lovers rejoice. All SHANY Cosmetics are made with cruelty-free ingredients and are never tested on animals. The company is a proud member of PETA.
Our #4 Choice – My First Princess Washable Real Makeup Set
Fun, safe and easy to use, this is a great introductory makeup kit for girls as young as five.
- Introductory kit safe for kids five and up
- Includes brushes, powders, lip gloss, eyeshadow and more
- The floral-print bag helps keep items organized
- Fun, kid-friendly designs and bottle shapes
- All makeup is non-toxic and water soluble
- The kit is best suited for younger kids
- Nail polish can be difficult to remove
Inside this designer floral bag is a complete set of cosmetics perfect for beginners and young ones. It includes three blush powders, two glitter lip glosses, eight eyeshadow powders, two lipsticks, and two jars of nail polish.
All gear fits neatly into the included pink and red floral-print bag. It’s durable, portable and helps keep all products organized (and off the bathroom counter).
The color palette is bold and vibrant. You’ll find plenty of reds, pinks, and purples – and there’s plenty of glitter, too.
Aside from the cool colors, kids love the fun designs. The nail polish bottles are shaped like hearts, while the eyeshadow containers are shaped like peace signs.
All makeup is non-toxic and safe. It washes off with water. Products are recommended for kids five and older.
Our #5 Choice – Pixie Crush Pretend Play Makeup Kit
This pretend kit is great for little kids who want to roleplay adults. It has safe, soft foam “cosmetics” for creative play.
- Pretend kit is perfect for kids too young for real makeup
- Toy cosmetics look and feel real
- All products are safe and non-toxic
- Eco-friendly foam is used as a fun makeup substitute
- Not real makeup
- Nail polish toy can be fragile
No real makeup here. It’s a pretend makeup set safe for little ones three and up. Preschool princesses love it!
The set includes nail polish, foundation, eye shadow, a compact, lipstick, brushes and more – all pretend. Toy cases are filled with colorful, eco-friendly foam instead of real makeup. It’s 100% mess-free.
All items in the set are safe for little ones to use around their face. The toys have a realistic look and feel but no sharp edges. Additionally, all items comply with U.S. toy safety standards. They’re free from lead, cadmium, phthalates, and toxins.
Our #6 Choice – Glamur Girl Makeup Kit from BR
This svelte, durable makeup kit is great for beginners who want to experiment with colors.
- Over 58 colors total!
- Includes eyeshadow, lip gloss, applicators and more
- Stylish, durable carrying case keeps kit organized
- Most colors only suitable for creative play (not school)
Kids love variety, especially when they’re first learning about makeup. BR’s Glamur Girl makeup kit has a ton of fun in a tiny package.
The kit features 48 colors of eyeshadow, four types of gloss, six tubes of lip gloss and more. It also includes applicators and a mirror.
Over 58 total colors are available. The wide color palette is perfect for creative play and dress-up, although most of the colors aren’t appropriate for daily use.
The kit is great for kids because it’s durable, lightweight and easy to carry. It holds all makeup and applicators. The case is six inches across with a pull-out drawer.
Our #7 Choice – Girls Makeup Set with Two-Tiered Case
A fun kit of play makeup for younger kids with an easy-to-carry two-tiered case.
- Portable, durable and secure plastic case
- Fun toy makeup which colors skin
- Includes eyeshadow, lip gloss, glitter, and more
- Makeup is only toy quality
- Case is small
This two-tiered case from IQ Toys is packed with toy makeup. To be clear, the makeup does color skin, but it washes away with water and is designed for play.
The set includes eyeshadows, lip gloss, lipstick, glitter and more. Most of the makeup does leave a mark except for the nail polish, which is completely fake.
The cool two-tiered case makes play even more fun. Kids can unfold the case for easy, organized access to the makeup. Because it’s so portable, it’s a great toy for taking on trips.
Our #8 Choice – Kids Vanity Table and Beauty Play Set
A pint-sized vanity with a stool, mirror, and variety of fashion and makeup accessories.
- Toy vanity with lighted mirror and stool
- Safe for kids two and up
- Includes toy jewelry and makeup
- Includes kid-safe working hair dryer
- Hair dryer requires adult supervision
- Stool and vanity are small
Girls as young as two will love sitting at this kid-friendly vanity table. It’s made from durable, pink plastic with a princess theme. Little ones can sit at the vanity and play with the toy accessories. The table is 31 inches tall and 17 inches wide with a seven-inch stool. Assembly is simple and requires no tools.
The set includes toy necklaces, earrings, combs and more. There’s even a working hair dryer! All accessories are pink or purple with a princess theme.
The set is designed for kids between the ages of two and four, although adult supervision is recommended for the hair dryer. All plastic is non-toxic and BPA-free. Plus, the plastic is soft with no sharp edges.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kid-Friendly Makeup
Makeup can be a tough subject for parents to tackle. Many kids, especially young girls, develop a fascination with makeup at a very early age. Parents frequently face confusion about when their kids should start wearing makeup, how much makeup they should wear and what safety issues to be aware of.
Here’s a closer look at everything you need to know about buying an appropriate makeup set for your kids:
What’s the Appropriate Age for Kids to Start Wearing Makeup?
Let’s start with the most common, and often trickiest, question: How young is too young for makeup?
Parents, and parenting experts, have debated this question for decades. Truthfully, there’s no one right answer – but there are several wrong ones.
In 2014, the Escentual beauty company conducted a massive survey of parents in the U.K. about their attitudes towards makeup. It’s the largest survey of its kind – and both Marie Claire and Glamour Magazine devoted tons of space to the topic. Here’s what the survey revealed:
Eighty-nine percent of women agree with the following:
- Girls should be at least 12 before using lip gloss
- Girls should be 13 or older before using eye makeup
- Girls should be 14 or older before using eyeshadow
Unfortunately, young girls often have different views. The study also found that more girls than ever before start wearing makeup at the age of 11. More 11-year-old girls wore makeup in 2014 than 14-year-olds who wore makeup in 2004.
These trends have continued upwards, with more girls expressing a desire to wear makeup at increasingly younger ages.
What’s the Problem with Wearing Makeup at Too Young an Age?
Sixty-two percent of survey respondents said they felt young girls might develop an unhealthy obsession with their appearance. Parents felt this was the biggest potential risk.
After all, while makeup can make a person feel confident and beautiful, it can also make someone focus on their perceived flaws.
Thirty-eight percent of survey respondents said young girls use makeup to feel more grown-up. Other common reasons girls use makeup are because they want to emulate their parents or because they want to fit in with their peers.
What Should You Do if Your Child Asks to Use Makeup?
Sooner or later, your daughter is going to ask about makeup – and it may be sooner than you think! Brace yourself because you might hear this question at the age of 11, 10 or even younger.
First, don’t chastise your child. She certainly doesn’t understand all the potential pitfalls of using makeup at a young age. Never make her feel bad for asking about makeup.
So, what answer should you give her? It depends on a few factors:
Parenting columnist Jan Faull, as well as many other parenting experts, draw the line at elementary school. Kids shouldn’t wear any makeup until they’re at least in junior high.
Now, this isn’t to say elementary aged kids shouldn’t wear makeup ever. Faull and others just recommend not wearing makeup to school, formal events or similar situations. Makeup is still okay to wear at home for play purposes.
In fact, pretend makeup kits and adult-supervised makeup application can have important developmental benefits. Younger kids often base their play around the daily activities they see mom and dad doing. Putting on makeup, playing dress-up and other types of pretend play help kids learn social roles and develop their imaginations.
Also, face painting is different than daily makeup use. Young kids absolutely can have their faces painted for birthday parties, Princess Parties, and other dress-up events.
Her Reasons for Wanting Makeup
After junior high, it’s really up to what you feel is best. As indicated in the survey, most parents permit some makeup use starting around the age of 12.
Lip gloss and nail polish are commonly allowed around the ages of 12 and 13. By the time girls are 13 or 14 most parents are comfortable allowing eye makeup and eye shadow. By 15 or so, girls probably don’t need too many restrictions on makeup, but you want to emphasize the idea that less is more (we’ll explain how to do this later on).
Girls might not always know why they want to wear makeup, but when thinking about what to allow, you want to consider both her age and her reasons for wearing makeup.
Are all of her friends starting to develop an interest in makeup? Do they have fun comparing polish colors and types of gloss? Do they like to hang out and shop for makeup together? Makeup use is usually fairly harmless if it’s a fun, social activity with friends.
However, does she want to use makeup because she’s unhappy with her appearance? Does she feel like she needs makeup on before going out? Younger girls shouldn’t use makeup if they’re trying to cover up perceived flaws. Doing so can damage her self-esteem in the long-term.
How Can Kids Learn about Healthy Makeup Use?
Your daughter just asked you about makeup – and she wants to wear a lot more than you’re comfortable with. What do you do?
First, don’t get angry and don’t freak out. You don’t want her to feel bad for asking. Rather than saying “no way” right away, start a negotiation instead.
A total makeup ban, especially for girls in their last years of junior high or their first years of high school, probably isn’t going to work. She’ll likely go behind your back and wear makeup at school and around town anyway. Allowing some makeup use opens the door for you to talk about what’s appropriate and what’s not.
Also, always tell your daughter how beautiful she is – with or without makeup. Encouraging remarks from a parent help balance all the pressure she’s feeling from popular culture and mass media to look a certain way.
Young girls don’t always understand concepts like Photoshop and the difference between advertising and real life. You’ll want to help her navigate what can feel like a confusing world with beauty standards she can’t possibly like up to.
What are Some Basic Makeup Techniques?
If your daughter is in junior high or early high school, here’s a basic starting guide. These five techniques are easy to apply and appropriate for younger girls:
- Use colored or tinted lip balm to add color and hydration (daily)
- Add a touch of glittery lip gloss to the fullest part of the bottom lip (special occasions)
- Curl eyelashes either with no or clear mascara (daily)
- Dust powder over the tops of the cheekbones (special occasions)
- Use blue mascara to highlight your eyes (special occasions)
- Place glitter to your eyelids for evening events (special occasions)
How Do Makeup Needs Differ for Pre-teens and Teens Differ from Adults?
They’re actually very different. Teens should use significantly less makeup in general than adults.
Teens should focus heavily on good skincare routines. Healthy skin creates a natural glow which requires no makeup enhancement.
Skin Care Routine
Developing good skin care habits at an early age helps sets kids up for a lifetime of beautiful, healthy skin. Here’s what pre-teens and teens should do:
- Wash skin each morning and night with a gentle cleanser
- Apply sunscreen daily with an SPF of 30 or above
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water
The early teenage years can be hectic on the body. Skin can be dry one day and oily the next. Work with your daughter to choose skin care products which match her skin type.
What’s the Best Way for Kids to Learn about Makeup?
Makeup Play Kits
Pretend sets are a great way to introduce young kids to the basic concepts of cosmetics. You’ll find several options on our list above.
Sets for younger kids have kid-sized brushes, mirrors and more. Typically, you won’t find any potentially dangerous gear like pencils or eyelash curlers.
These sets will usually have makeup – but it’ll be a bit different than adult makeup. It’ll be easy to wash away with water. Plus, the colors will usually be bolder and more vibrant.
Makeup for younger kids isn’t meant to be worn in public. It’s for playtime and parties only. Kids learn how to hold brushes, apply colors, use a mirror and other basics.
Teach Her Yourself
Are you a makeup pro? Passing along your know-how to your little ones can be a fun bonding experience.
Watch YouTube Videos
YouTube is filled with makeup tutorials. It’s one of the platform’s most popular topics. You can almost always find a video no matter what specific makeup technique you want to know more about. However, the quality of the advice given can vary significantly.
Check in with your daughter viewing habits. Make sure she’s not listening to bad advice. YouTube can be a valuable and fun resource for kids who love playing with makeup but be sure the channel provides safe, accurate info.
Throw a Makeup Party
A makeup party is when you hire a professional makeup artist to come to your house and teach a group of people about makeup. There are tons of makeup artists who specialize in throwing parties for groups of pre-teens and teens. It’s a great idea for birthday parties and other special occasions.
Do Makeup Sets for Kids have Potential Dangers?
Generally, makeup sets for kids are safe. However, there are two potential dangers to be aware of:
- Toxic or harmful ingredients
Read the ingredients carefully. All makeup should be non-toxic and safe for use on skin. Avoid ingredients such as coal tar dyes, parfum (a type of perfume with heavy oils) and synthetic fragrances.
Even pure, high-quality ingredients can cause an allergic reaction. Before applying any makeup to your child’s face, first apply it to a small test area on their wrist. Wait about an hour for redness, itchiness or other signs of irritation to appear. If their skin remains clear, they probably don’t have an allergy.
Makeup use for kids, preteens and teens can be challenging. Your kids might approach you with a desire to wear makeup at a much younger age than you were expecting.
Makeup-themed playsets and toys are often a great, and mess-free, introduction for younger kids. As they grow older, they can start using real makeup products in moderation. It’s important for parents to help with this transition by teaching kids about appropriate makeup use.
Makeup sets for kids can help improve self-esteem and be a shared activity to bond over with both parents and peers.