You have a daughter who thinks she's ready to wear makeup, but you don't want to send her to school looking like an eye shadow palette exploded on her face. Here are 5 points to consider when first talking to your teen about makeup.
No amount of makeup is equal to a happy girl with a beautiful smile. Keep makeup in its proper place. Make sure your daughter is getting enough positive love and attention that isn't related to how she looks or the makeup she's wearing. Proper rest, nutrition and exercise will do far more for her beauty and self-esteem than spending hours in front of a mirror analyzing her looks.
If wearing makeup causes too much stress or too much excitement, you're not approaching it from a healthy point of view. Mothers and daughter shouldn't argue constantly about makeup or turn the issue into a power struggle.
Give your daughter freedom to make her own choices as far as styles and colors are concerned. Take her shopping and let her choose her makeup; then she'll be more willing to listen to your input on how to wear it best.
Timelessness wins every time
Remember when everyone was excited about peach? Or when cat eyeliner was trendy? Makeup fads come and go very quickly. One of the best ways to get started using makeup is choosing a timeless look: nothing overly done and nothing trying to make a big statement.
Start with the basics. There are great "Makeup for Beginners" tutorials online, but if you are still unsure where to start, just begin with a little color on the eyelids, cheeks and lips. See how it looks and how she feels wearing it.
The key to your daughter feeling confident in her skin is to listen to her input. Don't try to turn her into a mini you. Flip through magazines together, and have her point out a specific look that inspires her. Let her try it out.
Less is not always more
Now that she has a little color on her eyelids, cheeks and lips, it's time to assess if she's ready for a bolder look. Go ahead and experiment with bright colors as long as you put them in the right place and don't "color outside the lines."
This is where having a magazine cut out for inspiration really comes in handy. When mothers know the look their daughters are trying to recreate, it makes communicating about makeup that much easier. If your daughter knows you are willing to let her experiment with different looks, she will be more willing to let you help her execute those looks in a way that is age appropriate and flattering.
Makeup should be used to enhance natural beauty and never to cover up a beautiful face. It can be used to camouflage acne and scars. One of the best ways to show your daughter the mistakes people make with makeup is to recreate them for her on your own face and let her be the judge if the makeup enhances or distracts from your beauty.
Teaching your daughter how makeup is not a mask can be as easy as the two of you standing in front of a mirror and you demonstrating to her how ridiculous you look when you overdo the smoky eye or when you wear such a heavy lip that Ronald McDonald would be jealous. But this should never be in reaction to how she is wearing her makeup or a way to make her feel bad. Have fun and don't make it about what's she's doing wrong.
In all matters of fashion, but particularly with makeup, young girls cannot be told too often they are far more important than their makeup, clothes, bodies, etc. Compliment your daughter on the wonderful qualities and skills she has that are unrelated to her outer appearance.
This isn't an excuse for the two of you to never change out of your pajamas or take your hair out of messy buns, but reaffirm to her that you just enjoy the simplicity of the two of you spending time together. She'll grow up so fast and grow into her own style of fashion and expression, whether or not you have spent time enjoying these teenage years. Remember to have fun and not take makeup too seriously.
Alicia is a mother to four children, including identical twin boys. She is also a former high school English teacher. She writes about family and home on her blog. She enjoys the funny things her children do and say and is the author of Motherhood or The Widening Gap Between Showers (available on Amazon).