I was asked by a reader to talk about how I’m managing the world of makeup with my teenage daughter. I will be quite honest, it sort of snuck up on me. She had a friend who wore makeup when she was 13, but all I was comfortable with at that point was lip gloss. I figured it was good for my daughter to stay young as long as she could, and makeup seems to take you straight out of girlhood and into womanhood, so I balked at the notion. I was also looking for signs that my daughter could handle the responsibility of applying makeup, and about the time she turned 15, I felt she had arrived. So, we embarked on a simple and modest makeup routine, that didn’t look fake and was easy for her to apply.
Let me start by explaining exactly what I was looking for in her behavior and demeanor before allowing makeup.
1. Maturity in how she handles herself around others – kind and courteous, thoughtful of others. To me, this would show maturity in her reasoning for wearing makeup – it wasn’t to show off, or to be “prettier” than the other girls, etc.
2. Maturity in her wardrobe – clothes match and looked presentable and well-thought out. If she can choose clothing that is suitable and lovely, then she should also be able to make good makeup choices.
3. Maturity in her motor skills and impulses – careful and focused. She needs a steady hand for applying makeup, and she needs to not be given to rash decisions that could easily affect how she perceives herself and others.
I also wanted her to know that makeup doesn’t make the girl. You can’t “cover up” who you are – it will shine through, and you need to be comfortable in your own skin with or within makeup.
Your requirements may be entirely different, but this was what I was looking for because I felt these things showed a definite progression toward womanhood that deserved the privilege of wearing makeup.
We started off slow. I showed Megan how to apply a few different types of makeup, but she ALWAYS had to ask before putting any on. After about 6 months of asking and showing me that indeed she was responsible with it, she was able to make her own choices about when and what to put on. (Nine times out of ten, she chooses only a small bit of mascara and some lip gloss. Again, this shows me she truly was ready to wear makeup because her choices are very mature and well-thought out.)
I do want to stress how important it is to SHOW your daughter how to wear makeup and not just expect her to understand it from the start. It’s not an easy task, and young girls are often unsure of themselves. I made a video where I was showed Megan all the steps – minus a cleansing routine (more on that in a moment). You can watch that video below:
As for a cleansing routine – this is highly important! If you buy nothing but cheap makeup, please consider buying a really good cleanser and moisturizer that fits your daughter’s skin type. As I say in the video, Meg and I have extremely dry skin, so having great cleansing products on hand keeps our skin hydrated and looking happy and clean.
I have a few resources for you that will help you and your daughter on this makeup journey!
The first one is a simple one-page breakdown of the order of the Simple Makeup Routine you saw in the video.
The second is a free Beauty & Makeup Unit Study.
The third is a coupon code to the Reclaiming Beauty Webinar from the Botkin sisters. This was a fantastic resource Megan and I went through several years ago. I highly recommend it! Use coupon: ARROWS-RB20 for 20% off the Reclaming Beauty study course and/or the print study guide (a hard-copy duplicate of the PDF study guide included with the course).