Kids makeup kits and makeup toys (the latter, if you’re not into lipstick smears all over the place, even if they are non-toxic) are a fun way for little ones to mimic their parents. After all, that’s how my own child became interested in the stuff. Every morning, I do my makeup, and even though it’s been optional — especially throughout 2020 — it’s always been part of my routine. In trying to strive for normalcy, I kept everything the same as it was before the health crisis. It’s not much — normally just a little foundation under my eyes and some mascara. But, it’s a ritual my 3-year-old daughter caught onto.
Eventually, she was curious about her own makeup. Namely, why doesn’t she have any of her own? I told her (as I’ll tell all women) it’s something she doesn’t need. But, I’m not going to pretend the act of applying makeup isn’t at least a little bit fun. If it helps boost confidence, or it makes us feel like a different person for a few hours (their favorite princess Disney cartoon character, perhaps?), then what’s the harm?
Of course, I think she’s a little too young for actual makeup. And, that’s why her “kit” consists of one Minnie Mouse chapstick. Still, she has fun every morning applying it, even though she’s aware it doesn’t do much. (In her own words, “I look the same!”) I have no problem buying her play makeup in the future and have been on the lookout for the best kids makeup for some time. Remember, it’s about fun, not appearances.
Expert Tips On Kids Makeup
But, when it comes to introducing your little ones to makeup, what do experts have to say? Christina Milano, Co-Founder and lead aesthetician at Mobile Meraki can relate and shares a few great points. “I have so many kids in my life and most of them LOVE makeup!” she says. “I always avoid conventional makeup brands and lean towards clean beauty.” She adds that setting boundaries is also important if there’s a specific time and place you’ll allow your kiddo to dress up their face. “Have your own rules with them and be clear on what is okay to wear for playtime/dress up or to wear out of the house,” she suggests. For instance, in her experience, “I started wearing makeup at 10 years old, but my mom said only pink and natural tone eyeshadow colors, lip gloss, mascara, and concealer (because I started to have acne at 10 years old).”
Milano adds that your child’s first lessons in makeup are also great times to start good hygiene habits. “Remind them to wash their face to take the makeup off!” she says, and suggests using natural, gentle cleansers.
Her final point is to show youngsters that applying makeup provides an opportunity to tap into their artistic side. “Also, remind them that makeup is fun and can be used in creative ways,” she says. “Sometimes having all these makeup tutorials on Instagram or Youtube can be helpful, but can give us a mental block on being creative with our own makeup looks.”
With all that said, if your child is interested in playing dress-up or make-believe with makeup, read on. Here are eight of the best kids makeup kits and sets online — aka, our favorite “you’re-too-young-for-makeup” makeup that’s just for play.
Best Kids Makeup Kits
This particular kit is fantastic for plenty of reasons. For one, it includes a bunch of basics — nail polish, lipstick, lip gloss, and eye shadow. But secondly, it’s washable, which is wonderful when that nail polish, lipstick, lip gloss, and eye shadow end up on their face, then transfer onto your sweater. It’s also non-toxic, and a great way for them to explore self-expression.
This box is straight up cool. I don’t know what it is about having layers of makeup drawers, but it’s always very appealing, especially for older kids. Aside from the box, this set also includes eye shadow, nail polish, blush, lip gloss, blush wax, lip gloss, lipstick, and of course, a mirror. It’s also non-toxic, and recommended for kids 3 and up.
Does your child like rabbits? Then this kit will be an adorable fit. The makeup is washable and non-toxic, and includes an impressive amount of brushes that’ll make them feel quite mature. “This was a Christmas present for my 5-year-old niece and she absolutely loved it,” writes Amazon Reviewer Evie Drae. “As soon as she opened it, she disappeared to the bathroom and came out glammed up.”
If your child has a *sparkling* personality, this washable set may be a great bet. It’s non-toxic, colorful, and a hit with parents. “This make up kit exceeded my expectations,” said one reviewer. “I bought it as a gift for my little 4 year old niece. She was ecstatic and absolutely loved it! The colors are bright and she loved all the options, the little pull out tabs on the side were a fun little surprise for her.”
The TOKIA set is great for parents who want to introduce their kids to just the basics, as a method of fun. The non-toxic, water-based makeup is real, but it’s also not extravagant. Kids can try the lip gloss or paint their nails with adult supervision. This is definitely geared more towards older kids who may be more interested in the real deal. BTW, 74% of the people who bought it had no trouble giving it five stars.
Best Pretend Makeup Toys
This play vanity set is unlike some of the others, as it also includes hair care. And even better, the hair dryer actually works. (That is, as a toy — not as an actual backup if yours breaks, as incredible as that would be.) “It was perfect for my 2-year-old and I didn’t have to worry about her getting makeup all over her face,” raved mom and Amazon Reviewer Cathy Mannone.
Like the idea of makeup, but not the mess? Then the Banvih makeup set may be the perfect match for you. These are great for building imagination and making children feel included if they want to “do their makeup” alongside you. Bonus — it comes with a purse and a crown.
This is another make-believe makeup set for parents who aren’t ready for the actual thing just yet. The 18-piece collection is made of non-toxic ABS plastics and is safe for play and make believe. “I gifted this to a 4-year-old girl at her birthday party and she started playing with it right away,” said Amazon Reviewer Morgan Wenberg. Definitely a favorite for little glamazons.
You can’t go wrong with this realistic-looking pretend makeup set, which has over 3,500 5-star reviews. In addition to makeup pieces that look like the real deal, there’s a set of bristled brushes and a compact mirror — all tucked away in a chic little faux leather bag. P.S., the listing has a $4 off coupon that you can apply.