How to introduce your teenage daughter to makeup

Nikki ParkinsonBeauty, How to 20 Comments

Hands up if you have a daughter?  Keep them up if she’s played with your lippie. Keep them up still if she’s old enough to be “borrowing” from your makeup drawer.

My hand is well and truly up. As you know.

My daughter is almost 15. And thankfully this has been an easy path for me to navigate with her.

I think partially that’s because most of her life there’s always been A LOT of makeup and beauty products around her. I’ve been writing about – and receiving beauty products – to review for about 13 years.

I’ve thrust that many lip balms at her that I think she was well and truly over the whole makeup caper long before the time most girls are starting to get obsessed.

We’ve seemingly bypassed the “heavy eyeliner” and the orange makeup phase.

Her school has strict rules about not wearing makeup to school, which I’m a fan of, because no matter how much I LOVE makeup – and beauty products in general – I think there’s is plenty of time for girls to embrace a “full face”.

Having said all that, I do know that not everyone has it as easy with their daughters, so here are my top tips for making Makeup 101 as painless as possible:

1. Don’t ban makeup altogether. That’s just crazy. If she’s going to experiment, she’s going to experiment. As soon as you say no, it’s like a black eyeliner to an goth or emo. They’ll be even more determined to do it. And be hanging out at your local shopping centre on a Thursday night. Just because. That’s. What. You. Do.

2. Get someone else to teach her how to apply it. Repeat after me: mums know squat. My daughter did a grooming and deportment class when she was 13 and learned to apply her makeup from a makeup artist. It took me till I was almost 40 to learn how to apply eyeliner correctly. She nailed it that Christmas holidays … but has rarely worn it to that extreme since.

3. Buy her makeup. There’s strategy in this. For starters, you’ll get to “direct” her into age-appropriate products and she’s less likely to covet a drawer full of makeup (ie, yours) if she’s got her own supply of essentials.

Now, on that third point, I was excited to hear about Ere Perez’ launch of Princess makeup kits especially for young girls.

Ere Perez Princess kit $60

Ere Perez Princess kit $60

Young skin should be treated to natural, harmless and healthy products.  And you can rest easily, knowing that she hasn’t piled on a stack of makeup that will have a counter-effect on her delicate skin.

The kit ($60) contains three essential products: Natural Carrot Balm in Healthy, Natural Rosehip Oil Lipbar in Love and Natural Chamomile Eye Colour in It’s a Girl!

Natural Carrot Balm is a multi-purpose balm that’s great to use as a lip colour, cheek tint and eyeshadow primer and suits all skin colours; Natural Rosehip Oil Lipbar has just a hint of pink and keeps lips healthy and moisturised with SPF15 for additional protection; Natural Chamomile Eye Colour in It’s a Girl is a lovely light pinky ivory eye highlighter and peachy-nude eye shadow.

I’d also add in Natural Calendula Tinted Face Dust $39.90 for a great, natural foundation base that will create a flawless finish but not clog pores with nasties.


Since I wrote this post back in July (last school holidays!), my daughter has been treated* to a smorgasbord of skincare products. On the facialist’s advice we also pulled back on the extreme skincare she’d been sharing with her brother, who has a way bigger zit farm. The result has been amazing.

Apart from a few bumps on her central forehead, her skin is now generally clear. And beautiful.

Don't you wish your skin still looked like this?

Don’t you wish your skin still looked like this?

So, what’s been a part of her routine?

She started off with Clinique’s tried and true 3-step introductory set ($49). I got a bit nostalgic seeing the Dramatically Different Moisturising Lotion in the bathroom as Clinique was my first foray into regular skincare as a teenager. It no longer comes with the soap bar but the principle is still the same. I love that it is three steps. Easy to remember and easy for a teenager to actually carry out on a regular basis.

And for the past month she’s been more than a little spoilt, thanks to the good people at Elemis sending her these products to trial (all were recommended for her sensitive skin after her facial at Ikatan Day Spa).

Elemis skincare products prescribed for her sensitive skin

Elemis skincare products prescribed for her sensitive skin: Elemis Soothing Chamomile Cleanser $49; Gentle Rose Exfoliator $48; Soothing Apricot Toner $49. Stockists: 1300 820 430

I’ve warned her not to get too attached as the price is a little outside of a teenager’s skincare budget but I’m in danger of falling for them myself.  Particularly the Gentle Rose Exfoliator. The jojoba beads are rounded and super tiny.  Cucumber extract is the key ingredient and source of antioxidant vitamin C and it works to give you a fresh look every day.

As for a moisturiser, we haven’t been able to go past Cetaphil Moisturising Lotion.  It’s hydrating, works on her breakouts and doesn’t cause any extra redness.  Oh, and it’s very easy on the budget too.


Do you have a tween or a teen daughter? Is she into makeup? How have you kept it under control so she doesn’t appear to have grown up too quickly? 

* The products mentioned above were sent to my daughter and I for review consideration.  She considered, I reviewed!

Comments 20

  1. As a teenager myself, I know the pressure to wear at least a bit of makeup from your peers is a major influence. I’m 13.7(nearly 14!) and just began wearing makeup a month ago. My mum panicked a bit, but in general she’s been great. I usually just use mascara, blush, eyeshadow and eyeliner. The eye makeup is more out of nessecity, so my eyes don’t disappear behind my thick framed glasses! (Which I do love, make no mistake!)

  2. My mom doesn’t really wear makeup, so when I started wearing makeup she was fairly horrified, then I became a makeup artist which didn’t help. hahaha! TAKE THAT MOM! I kid I kid… But yes too many teenagers with too much eyeliner on and too much face on. LESS IS MORE KIDS LESS IS MORE!

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  3. SNAP!!! My daughter is also nearly 15! She loves makeup and especially eyeliner. Not surprising I guess as she does have really amazingly beautiful, large, green eyes (half her luck). I have had a couple of my friends look askance because of the amount of makeup she wears, but I figure a smart parent chooses their battles wisely. Makeup really isn’t that big a deal in the overall scheme of things. Drugs, promiscuity, self harming – now they’re a big deal. I’m sure she’ll become more sparing with the makeup as she matures. Or she’ll become a model!

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  4. This made me want a daughter. How fun! My parents left for work long before my sister and I left for school so we always did our makeup then, but i’ve never been a heavy make up wearer. Luckily.

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  5. Great post! My mum wasn’t a makeup person, so I really introduced her! I think I own more makeup than she ever did in her life. I think that for teenagers like myself, skincare is the most important. A tinted moisturizer is great if your a bit skin conscious and a light mascara is good to! I think the most important thing for teens is to encourage them to do their research and make their own purchases, its made me value makeup and skincare so much more!
    Grace xx

  6. Great post. Our eldest daughter is 13 and is generally only interested in lip balm/gloss at this stage which is good. I have encouraged her to keep her skin clean though with a cleanser/toner and moisturizer. And am making sure she is aware NEVER to sleep in makeup – always wash before bed which only applies at the moment for dance concerts etc. But I’m sure the next couple of years will see some more experimentation and then there’s 3 more girls to follow her!

  7. When i was young and just getting interested in makeup, nutrimetics was all the rage. My mum organised a little demonstration/party thing for me and a few friends. The woman spoke to us about skincare and makeup and taught us how to apply it properly. I loved it and learnt a lot. I think it was probably one of the best things my mum could have done for me! I also got given a nice little beginner make up kit too, which was part of the deal. Your guidelines are great and i hope to do the same for my daughter – in about 15 years! very good advice. x

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  8. LOVE this post! I was just thinking about this yesterday as my nine year old already constantly rummages around my makeup. Excellent advice that I will keep in mind, and hopefully will not need for at least twenty years (ahem).
    P.S. Your daughter is gorgeous, and SO much like her mum! (But don’t tell her that if you are, like, totally uncool and all…)

  9. I also have a nearly 15-year-old and good skin care has been drilled into her by me and her older sister who suffered terrible acne for years (but that’s another story).

    I tend not to fight the make up issue and let the teachers do that as our state school also has a strict no make up policy and is well supplied with baby wipes to enforce it.

    My daughter has tried to teach me how to apply eye-liner – these girls have such a steady hand they could seriously consider becoming surgeons.

    She has embraced mineral make-up and has learnt for herself that her skin looks and feels better when she doesn’t overdo the makeup. Although I do think she has developed a serious mascara addiction. I am now buying it whenever it is on special …. but it has to be the blackest of blacks to gain her appreciation! thank goodness maybelline is reasonably priced and can be thrown in with the groceries so I don’t realise how much it really costs.

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