Author Erika Katz with QVC-famed makeup artist Laura Geller and celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel at the Bonding over Beauty Mother’s Day event in NYC

In the wake of the wonderful Mother’s Day weekend spirit, I’d like to introduce you the beautiful, blonde, bubbly bond-maker Erika Katz, author of Bonding Over Beauty. This mother of two has filled an important niche with her little pink book, written to help moms open up communication with their daughters while doing fun beauty and spa activities. She’s been on The Today Show and The Doctors among other shows as an expert on how to use get-pretty rituals for critical bonding between moms and their blossoming young daughters.

On Saturday, Erika hosted a Mother’s Day bonding/press event at Laura Geller Makeup on the Upper East Side in NYC. As part of a Mother’s Day present, I brought my mom for a fun afternoon of makeup applications with QVC makeup star Laura Geller, hair with celebrity hairstylist Julien Farel, with some added bonding over yummy cupcakes and mimosas. The engaging, blue-eyed Bonding Over Beauty author wore a tight pink Michael Kors dress and lit up the room with her contagious energy and passion for mommy-daughter bonding.

“If you can spend a little extra time with your daughter bonding over beauty, it will open the door to a great conversation,” Erika emphasizes as the #1 thing she wants to share with moms everywhere. “When your daughter comes to you and says ‘mom I want to wear makeup’ or ‘mom I want to shave my legs,’ instead of saying ‘no, not till you’re 15,’ ask her why she wants to. And hold her hand through it. As a mom it’s your job to guide her–this is the fun part!”

So, how exactly should you bond over beauty with your daughter? When it comes to spa and skin care rituals, how young is too young? Which products are best for tweens?  I chatted with Erika for a while, and here are 10 takeaway tips for how to take advantage of beauty with your little lady:

1. HAIR: Many girls have different hair than their moms, so it’s very important to learn how to do your daughter’s hair. Your hair may neeed to be washed every day, but maybe hers needs it every other day. Use hair time as bonding time–girls love when moms put their hair in ponytails or hot rollers.

2. LIP GLOSS: Girls love lip gloss – whether she’s 5, 10 or 25, she feels good putting it on. There are lots of sparkly, flavored lip glosses that are fun for little girls. She’s not going to look done up in lip gloss but she’ll feel beautiful and mature. Erika recommends Covergirl Wetslicks Fruit Spritzers Lipgloss, which feels like a lip balm and has a hint of shimmer to give a tween shine with a nice fruity taste for only $5.99.

3. MASCARA: If she’s really into makeup at a young age, get a clear or neutral mascara, the same color as your daughter’s hair, so she can feel glamorous but look natural.

4. BLUSH AND OTHER MAKEUP: Walmart is soon to launch a new beauty brand specifically for tweens and even younger girls, called GeoGirl, all with light pigmentation for young girls to get the full makeup experience without risking looking overdone. A good blush to try now is Maybelline’s Mineral Powder which comes in nude, pink or peach and is very light with no oils, talc or fragrances to irritate the skin.

5. AT-HOME PEDI: Do a pedicure for your daughter at home. Make it a special experience for her. Get a little bucket–you can even use a baby bathtub they send you home with from the hospital, soak her feet, put some great bath salts and bubble baths in there and do her nails.

6. THE SALON: “I started bringing my daughter to the salon 5 – it’s cheaper than a babysitter and there’s nothing more fun. That’s the whole point of being a mom! You can take her to the salon and put her hair in a ponytail.” If you bring your daughter to a salon, Erika suggests always bringing your own tools to avoid any germs from the utensils.

7. FACIALS AND ACNE: Facials can start as early as puberty–at 16 or whenever she starts getting pimples, Erika says. Also, she recommends Neutrogena SkinClearing Blemish Concealer which dries up pimples while it covers. If she doesn’t have pimples, a good option is Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 concealer for eyes to hide dark circles or a freckle she’s self-conscious about.

Stone brought mommy flowers for her big event. What a gent, he totally deserves that massage he’s been begging for!

8. MASSAGE: Erika’s (adorable) son Stone is 10 years old and has been begging for a professional massage, but Mom thinks it’s too young—she says 14 is a good age to start, if you have the money to do it. “I think it is fine to have a light facial massage by a technician in front of mom or a hand and foot massage with a mani-pedi,” Erika says. “However, I do not think a ten year old should be taken to a a private room, nude, and massaged by a masseuse who typically works on adults.  A masseuse who does not specialize in children could possibly work the muscles too deeply and hurt the child.  Best leaving the massage to mom or dad so the child is comfortable and safe.”

Psst: I asked Stone how he knows he wants this professional massage so badly… and he told me a secret: Once he got one for 10 minutes in a hotel, and his dad found out but they didn’t tell mom. Shhh!

9. WHAT ABOUT DADS? Dads can bond over beauty too! Erika says this is her favorite question and most popular blog post. The key for dad? Humiliate yourself. Make a mask at home, put cucumbers on your eyes, do facials together and take silly pictures. Show her you’re going to get down and dirty. Learn how to do her nails. Make lip gloss by using Crisco and kool-aid. If dads take the time to do the girly things she’s interested in, she’ll feel you’re really listening to her and think you’re really cool.

10. CREATE A DAILY SKIN CARE RITUAL: Start young to get your daughter into healthy skin habits at an early age–this is all part of the bonding too. Use a little wet sterilized cotton to cleanse skin, and always moisturize before bed. It’s not that a 5-year-old needs moisture, but washing her face and moisturizing will get her in good skin habits early. Use a Eucerin or something fragrance-free, something light before bed. Always do a patch test on her arm to make sure she’s not allergic.

Happy bonding!

Above, Erika Katz with tweens (including her 8-year-old daughter Summer) and another mom with her munchkins. Below, Erika with me, my blogger friend Aly Walansky, our mommies of course! We’re not little girls anymore, but this day certainly goes to show you’re never too old to bond over beauty.

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