Preteen Friendly Makeup + Skincare

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I was recently asked for some suggestion on makeup products for a preteen and I thought what a great blog post topic that would make. A lot of girls start to take interest in makeup and beauty around their junior high years. I know I personally was not allowed to wear anything until I was in seventh grade. If this is something your pre-teen or teenager has expressed interest in, I hope this post is helpful! There are several factors to keep in mind when picking out a young woman's first makeup. To me I take into consideration: budget friendly, age appropriate, easy for beginners, and trendy. No 12-year-old really needs makeup that is $50 or bright red lipstick to wear daily. But keep in mind that she also has an idea in her head of what is "cool" and in right now and what she is picturing may be very different than what mom has in her makeup bag. I'm going to cover all areas, but before I get into the makeup part I wanted to stress the importance of skincare and teaching your daughter/sister/niece/granddaughter the importance of it.

Skincare Routine


I remember my junior high years well, and I suffered from breakouts, like every other teen. Proactive was my best friend until it stopped working. If your teen suffers from acne this is completely normal, but the harsh reality is that makeup can worsen it. If your teen is going to start wearing makeup it is really important to make sure she is taking proper care of her skin. Along with makeup clogging pores, most girls participate in athletics, cheer, or some type of sport. Sweat + makeup = a bad time! Here are my tips as well as my recommended products. For a more in-depth skincare post read my post Emergency Skincare. And a little disclaimer, not everything will work for everyone. We all have different skin. If your teen already has a skincare routine then that is fantastic. Use whatever works for you personally.

1. Makeup wipes are your best friend. I prefer Target's Up brand. These are the first wipes I have  found that completely remove all my makeup in one cloth. e.l.f. is another great option. Neutrogena is great, but a little pricey for how fast I go through a pack. Another great idea is to buy in bulk at Sam's or Costco. There are other makeup removing options like oils, but wipes seem to be the most effective and convenient method. Use these before cleansing at night and throw a pack in her gym bag so she can remove her makeup before practice.

2. A gentle, daily face wash. My go-to drugstore face wash is and will forever be CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser. It was recommended by my dermatologist and I have used it for years. Make sure she is using this every morning and evening, but also right after practice or a game when she sweats.

3. Keep pillowcase, phone, and makeup brushes clean. Keep hands off face/avoid picking. Make sure that her pillow case is getting washed at least once a week. Sanitize cellphones with a clorox wipe and clean those makeup brushes every two weeks. There is a simple trick to cleaning brushing on my Drugstore Dupes 2 post.

4. Spot treatment. Everyone's skin is different, and what works for some may not for others, but this is one of my favorite drugstore products for spot treating acne. Neutrogena On The Spot Acne Treatment .

5. Moisturize. As we age and with the use of more skincare products, our face tends to dry out. Harsh products can strip our face of oils, both good and bad, so its important to hydrate skin so that it doesn't overproduce oil, causing even more breakouts. My favorite is Garnier Gel Moisturizer. 

Starting Her Basic Makeup Kit


1. BB Cream or Mineral Powder

A BB cream is a great option for someone who is just starting to wear makeup. It's not as heavy as foundation but will still give good coverage without looking cakey. This page has the best drugstore BB creams and details what each one is best for. 7 Best Drugstore BB Creams

The other direction I would suggest is using a light mineral powder. Some people are not fans of liquid makeups and foundations and powder is their preference.  I would suggest NYX, L'Oreal (this is what I use), or Neutrogena.But there are several good drugstore powders. If your teen has oily skin, she may want to use a sheer powder over a BB cream.

2. Concealer

Concealer is basically magic, just teach your teen that it is for concealing blemishes and tiny imperfections, not covering the entire face. All it takes is a dab and a little goes a LONG way. At this link there are several great drugstore options. Best Drugstore Concealers. I don't recommend the stick concealers (the kind that looks like it's in a lipstick tube) To me they go on thicker and chalkier. 

3. Mascara or Clear Mascara

This one is debatable based on personal preferences, but I suggest skipping out on eyeliner and instead teaching how to use mascara. Maybe I'm biased because eyelashes are my favorite beauty feature to enhance. I have an entire post on mascaras including drugstore options! Let's Talk Lashes Post. If you don't think your are ready to give mascara yet, clear mascara is what I started out with. (I thought I was hot s*** too!) It's a great way to learn how to apply it before diving in completely. Covergirl and Maybelline both make this and it runs about $4.

4. Lip balm or lip gloss

 By now, most girls have had their share of  Lip Smackers and Baby Lips, and maybe even a few hand-me-downs from mom. It's time to give your girl something a little more grown up and special. NYX and Maybelline both make great lip glosses that have several shades. Stick to nudes, soft pinks, and rosey colors.

5. Highlight/Contour (Fun Stuff)

Go to any Instagram makeup page or beauty blogger's YouTube channel and I guarantee the words "highlight" and "contour" are going to pop up. This is a fun beauty trend used to really shape your face and exemplify your features how you want. Contour is all about shaping your face. Making your cheek bones more prominent, or your nose to appear more narrow. Highlighting is adding shine where the sun/light would naturally hit your face. Another fun trend is color correcting. This is when you use colored makeup to balance certain flaws. Green helps to correct redness, while orange helps to cover dark circles. None of this is really needed in young pretty skin, but I can promise your teen will be interested in these makeup techniques. Here are some budget friendly products for them to play around and learn with.

Things To Avoid

1. Harsh, dark, or bright lipsticks. With the exception of dance and cheer competitions, I would stay away from brick red lipsticks or anything too bright or dark.
2. Heavy eyeliner or eyeshadow. If I had the opporunity to go back and talk to 13-year-old Lindsey I would tell her two things. Stop slicking your hair back, you look like a boy and heavy eyeliner on top and bottom is NOT cute. Skip the liner and use mascara instead for an open-eyed fresh face. If she really wants liner, only apply on the top lid in a nice thin line. When I was in high school, dark smokey eyeshadow was the big thing. Now when I look back at photos we look like a bunch of racoons. Stick to neutrals or skip eyeshadow for now.

3. Bright pink blush. Remember this is a young lady, not a little girl. Bright flushed cheeks are good for ballet and pageants, not for school or every day.

4. Over-plucking brows. One more thing I would like to discuss with my teenage self is ruining my eyebrows. My oldest sister has the most beautiful natural brows! Avoid over waxing or plucking, she will be so grateful when she's older. Of course, still do basic brow grooming, just don't go crazy. If your teen has thinner or blonde eyebrow she may want to fill them in. I suggest an eyebrow powder or brow gel rather than a pencil as it is easy to get heavy handed. Filling in brows will be a more challenging technique to learn.


What age should pre-teens be allowed to start wearing makeup? This is totally up to you as a parent. If you are reading this for your sibling, niece, or granddaughter, etc. be sure that you have mom and dad's ok first. Everyone is different and some girls don't express any interest in makeup, which is totally ok!

Share your wisdom. Teach some basic techniques as well as going over hygiene. Remind them not to share with friends to avoid nasty breakouts or styes and to clean makeup brushes and replace old stuff.

Gift a cute makeup bag. If you are starting them out, include everything in a cute little makeup bag to make it more personal and organized.

Make it fun!  This is a really exciting milestone for some girls. You may be thinking, its just makeup its not that serious, or that teens are too young to start wearing it. Everyone opinions will differ and that is perfectly ok. I would not push for anyone to wear makeup who was not interested. These are basics for a teen who is ready and excited to get her first makeup. And always remember, makeup is not for covering up, being fake, or hiding things. It is used to enhance the natural features that God blessed you with and it is supposed to be fun! I hope you found this useful, please feel free to ask any questions or share your thoughts! Don't forget to subscribe so you never miss a post and can get new posts sent directly to your inbox! OH and the best honor of this post, I bring you, Makeup Disasters of My Youth. And this is just what I found on Facebook. Thank goodness MySpace is gone! Haha!!


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