I remember being in the seventh grade and leaving the house without makeup only to apply blue eye shadow and blush in the girls' bathroom at school. My mom disallowing me from wearing makeup made me want to wear it even more. I didn't want my mom to catch me leaving the house with makeup and eye shadow on. The horror! Now it isn't so much that I didn't want my mom to see me with makeup, but how terrible and clown-like I must have looked. I did not know how to apply it with a subtle touch. I looked like Mimi on the old Drew Carey show.
What I learned from my experience is to be open to the conversation when my three daughters expressed an interest in wearing makeup. I want them to feel comfortable enough to let me know what they are interested in and teach them the proper and subtle way to apply it.
First things first
The first thing to teach your children is to properly wash their face. You want to start with a fresh and clean "canvas" to apply any sort of makeup.
Next, teach them never to share makeup with anyone, including sisters. You can transmit an eye infection, cold sore or other virus through infected makeup. This is one of the most important makeup rules in our house. They should never use anyone else's makeup, ever. This goes for testing makeup at the store. You never know who was there before you.
A light touch
For tweens and young teens, less is more. Show them examples of photos you've already scanned through in magazines of teens who have subtly applied their makeup. You want to go for a natural look.
Foundation should only be used to cover up flaws. If they have a zit or two, find a foundation that is good for blemishes. There are a number of brands that cover-up a blemish as it helps heal.
For everyday wear, makeup should be used sparingly. But for a dance or party, a little powder blush can be applied. Get a large rounded brush, sweep it across the powder lightly and shake off any excess before applying. Lightly apply it to the apple of the cheeks and then glide the brush up toward the top half of the ear. To avoid looking like a clown, you want to blend it to the hairline.
Mascara can get tricky. Many teens have oily skin and mascara can run if you don't purchase the right type. Look for sweat-proof and water-proof types. I would only allow this for special occasions, but that's up to you.
Eye shadow and eyeliner is probably the most tricky to apply subtly. There are some fantastic videos on YouTube by a wonderful makeup artist. Search for Michelle Phan. She teaches the subtle application (as well as the more dramatic look for the older teens).
I always emphasize with my girls that they should thoroughly clean their faces before bed. Keeping makeup on overnight can clog pores or smudge those nice sheets. If they have any sort of eye makeup on, they should use eye makeup remover with a puffy cotton ball to thoroughly wipe the mascara and eyeliner. Then properly and thoroughly wash the face and use a toner afterward to remove any further traces of foundation.
Lastly, regularly wash and dry all makeup tools at least weekly. Using a liquid soap, wash all brushes and rinse with hot water. Apply put a few drops of alcohol on the brush and squeeze any excess moisture. Let them air dry before the next use.
Teaching your daughters proper application of makeup is good for their skin and they won't leave home looking like a clown if they know you approve its use and subtle application.
What make-up tips do you have for your daughter?
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