It is not the fact that I have worked in the cosmetics industry, or the fact that I have and still freelance as a makeup artist that makes me feel qualified to write this article. It’s the fact that as a tween and teen, I made every single makeup faux pas imaginable.
In this 5 part article series, I will bestow my hard-earned wisdom about what every young girl needs to know when it comes to the basics of makeup. The 5 parts include Skin, Base, Contour and Highlight, Color and Brows.
5 Keys to Skin Preparation
The key to any good makeup application isn’t a fun vampy purple eyeshadow, it’s the skin. Without proper preparation, you cannot expect the makeup to do all the work. Imagine a painter grabbing a canvas that had spots of oil and tears and bumps. No matter how expensive the paint or brushes, the painting will not turn out.
1. Start with a Clean Face
The first step to any successful makeup routine is to always start with a clean face. What kind of cleanser and moisturizer you use depends on your skin type. I have combination skin, oily on my nose, chin and forehead, but well balanced in other areas, and I use CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser for Normal to Oily Skin.
It is very reasonably priced and a great gentle basic cleanser that always makes my skin feel clean, not stripped but not still dirty. I have faithfully used this cleanser for the better part of 5 years and have no plans on going anywhere. I much prefer it to cleansers that I have spent three to four times the price on. CeraVe also offers a Hydrating Facial Cleanser for Normal to Dry Skin. You can find both on online. CeraVe for Normal to Oily Skin – and Cerave for Normal to Dry Skin –
2. Use a Toner (or a Cleanser with Toner)
Now, the next step in most facial cleansing rituals is the use of a toner. Facial toners were invented to restore the pH balance in your skin after cleansers stripped it clean and left the skin unbalanced. But, cleansers have come a long way, there are additives and new scientific breakthroughs that have made it possible for new cleansers to not require the use of toners whatsoever. If you feel as if you still need a toner to clean away any excess dirt, oil, or makeup your cleanser left behind, find a new cleanser and make sure you’re washing very thoroughly.
As a teenager, I hated when adults told me I had to moisturize. This made no sense to me as I battled shiny, oily skin. The last thing I felt I needed was moisture. I always assumed that moisture meant oil, but in reality I was stripping my skin of essential oils and my skin was overproducing oil because of it. Oil is produced on demand, and as I moisturized every day my skin was producing less and less oil because I was providing enough moisture. As for moisturizer suggestions, I much prefer a light oil-free moisturizer. I don’t like a heavy feel on my face, especially before makeup application. I use CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion AM.
Using at least SPF 30 each day is critical; this is a broad spectrum sunscreen which protects again UVA and UVB rays. Using a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen can reduce your chances of melanoma and other skin cancers by 50 to 75%, according to the CDC. I don’t want an extra step, so I use this moisturizer with sunscreen built right in. This is a chemical sunscreen so it doesn’t leave a white cast or greasy feel. It’s just enough moisture to give my skin what it needs and offers protection from the sun. This moisturizer works great for dry, normal, and oily skin. They also offer a PM formula without the SPF 30 for use at bedtime.
4. Makeup Remover Wipes
If you feel that your tween may be overwhelmed by all these steps, start them off with using at the very least a cleansing wipe morning and night. Teach them to never go to sleep with makeup on because it is so important to give your skin time to breathe! Place the cleansing wipes on their nightstand so if they forget they don’t even need to get out of bed to wash their face. Sometimes making hygiene easy is key, especially at that age. As for wipes, I really, really love Pond’s Makeup Remover Wipes, Original Fresh.
I have used these religiously for years and they remove all of my makeup without my skin feeling totally stripped. They don’t irritate my eyes or dry out my lips like some wipes do. They are sturdy, convenient and you can find them on Amazon cheaper than at the store. They’re great for all skin types. I keep them in my nightstand, in the bathroom, in my car and always travel with them.
5. See a Dermatologist If Needed
I am passionate about pointing out to girls who are just beginning to dabble in makeup that the most important part of good makeup is good skin. When I was a teen, I suffered from cystic acne. There are those kids out there who need more than a good cleanser and moisturizer. I had to see a dermatologist and use a prescription acne gel. If your tween has severe acne or severe eczema or psoriasis, contact a medical professional. Maybe your tween has an allergy to fragrance or glycerin and gets hives or rashes with certain products. Everyone’s skin is different, but basic skincare habits are always a good place to start.
Now that the skin is prepped for makeup application, the next order of business is to apply the base. In my next article, I will discuss facial primers, concealers, foundations and the ins and outs of color matching. Stay tuned!