Okay - can I just say - although I would never ever give any child under the age of 10 makeup as a gift -I'm more into music and books as gifts- that I have never ONCE controlled what my kid did with a gift. I set limits on what they do with the gift - i.e DD was once given a very tight shirt that had "I've been a bad girl this year santa" and I told her that I did not want her wearing it out of the house with family. She could wear it in the house, she could wear it with friends, I just didn't want her wearing it while out with her little siblings. Hey; it was a comprimise :) BUT I have never demanded her to return gifts or throw out gifts or regift them. I find that tacky and rude. I have never done it for any of my kids. Sure I might hate you for giving my kid a musical toy that they play with ALL day that plays the same 8 bars repeatedly, but I would never throw it out. I may not replace the batteries but I won't throw it out. My great aunt sent my DD a mini makeup set every year since she turned 10 and I've never once told her she couldn't have them. DD (who has MILD aspergers) was very anti breaking school rules so she refused to wear it to school, and was too afraid that people would notice her more with makeup on. But she loved wearing it at home, wearing it to the shops, out with friends, etc.
My point is, unless I have rung you up personally and said "Do not give my daughters makeup for their birthday" or ANY object - I despise Bratz dolls they're on my 'banned' list - then I have no right to throw away what you have brought my children. If I feel the present is innappropriate I may put it in the back of their/my cupboard for a while; and heck, if my child mucks up and your present is something that makes her straighten up, I'll even confiscate the item for awhile, but I believe that kids need to "own" and "control" something of their own. With that said; my makeup rules are: No wearing it to school, No playing with it in bedrooms, No placing it where younger children can use it; and if I think it looks slutty you bet your ass I will march you into the bathroom and watch you wash it off and start all over again. When do I think it's appropriate to start wearing it? at least 13. I believe that your teenage years are about starting to take control of yourself, your body (within reason - no sex) your actions, your schoolwork, your friend choices, etc. Do I have hard firm rules that I won't budge on? Yes. But I feel that if you give children enough freedom and control over what they do, they'll respect the hard firm rules more than if you're overcontrolling and overbearing.