Back to School - Teen Queen II

This Pro is not only a makeup artist, but I am a mom too and more importantly, I have teenagers! In a past IMPO post titled Teen Queen, I mentioned a few of my “pet peeves” when it comes to teen girls who must put loads of makeup on their pretty faces in order to feel confident or to “fit in!” This post will be a little different, it is time to go back to school and that means it is time to help your teen get prepped for the upcoming year.

As parents we shop for new clothes, school supplies and other back to school “must haves,” but have you ever stopped to consider that now is the perfect time to replenish your teen’s supply of skincare and makeup?

Go through your teen’s accoutrement of facial wash, moisturizer, sunscreen and all cosmetics. Throw out the gross, expired, crusted, stinky product and shop for some new items. And, it is o.k. for your teen to express herself when it comes to her individual look. Embrace her differences, encourage her to play up her most outstanding features (eyes, lips, skin) and help her cover those areas that she feels are embarrassing, like acne or other skin issues.

When I was a teenager I wanted to change my looks so badly! I didn’t like my face, my hair or the fact that I was 5 feet taller than everyone else! Instead of being guided to appreciate my gorgeous green eyes, high cheekbones or the fact that I had perfect skin at the age of 14, all I wanted was to look like someone else! I hated my nose, my hair was not blonde enough, I was too tall and it took several agonizing years before I was able to be thankful for what I was born with!

Junior High is the worst time for teens! High school is a little easier, but not much. Your teen is in desperate need for a parent’s approval and attention, but at the same time, she or he wants their independence and privacy! Others who are huge influences surround them and if you are not careful, your teen will latch on to someone they think is the ultimate and that can spell disaster.

I try hard to be the “cool” mom by listening to my teenager’s needs; feelings, anxieties and I try to help however I can. Sometimes all I can do is listen and offer good old mom advice like, “tomorrow will be a better day!” And one of the most important things I do is to accept and inspire my teen’s individuality.

Now, I am not an expert and I am not here to lecture anyone who is reading this blog post, but I am going to advise other parents in my position to set aside a few dollars and go shopping for products that will boost your teen’s confidence and help them brave a new school year.

It is worth every penny and it is an investment in the one person who will not appreciate your effort on the outside, but on the inside loves you more than you know! That is tough love, but I’ll take it!

This Pro has tested more beauty products for teens than I ever care to admit and I will tell you that most have gone straight into the garbage because they either clog the pores of the skin or they damage the hair or they make beautiful, young ladies look like tramps.

But, there are many products that I do love and have given to my own teens to wear and use with much success. Here is a list of the “goods” that have this Pro’s seal of approval:

Jan Marini Teen Clean – this skincare line is top notch and helps to fight all adolescent skin concerns. This is a 3-step program that includes a wash, lotion and daily face protectant. It is amazing on skin that is changing and developing and that may be suffering from more major acne issues. Jan Marini says, “most sun damage occurs before the age of 10 and at least 80% of sun damage happens before the age of 18!” I cannot stress enough the importance of giving your daughter or son a good skincare regime that includes proper sunscreen. Think about it – did your mom make you wash your face every morning and night and apply sunscreen before you left for school? How do you feel about your own skin right now? Enough said!

Dermalogica Clean Start – this product line does not have a bejeweled jar or glittered packaging like most teens love however, what it does have is a star-studded following and user base like the cast from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody and Wizards of Waverly Place. The kit contains a foaming cleanser, toner, scrub, two daytime moisturizers, a nighttime moisturizer, spot treatment for blemishes and a lip moisturizer. It does not have a sunscreen so you will want to purchase a facial protectant to accommodate this regime. I like this line for more dry to normal skin with few acne issues.

It is important to instill in your teen the effectiveness of cleansing and you must show them how to maintain, prevent breakouts and protect their skin everyday. Starting them off with good skin habits will last a lifetime and when they are in there 30’s they will thank you for nagging them!

Foundation, concealer and powder are part of the skincare team and it is mandatory to purchase good cosmetic formulas that are made to work along side your skincare and not against it! Mineral lines are great for teens and the only line that I approve of is Purely Cosmetics.

Purely Cosmetics is great for teen skin because it contains 100% natural ingredients that have no bismuth, talc, micronized minerals or other skin irritants. This product line is formulated by hand to match the exact skin tone and it will effectively cover minor to major skin blemishes without clogging the pores. Purely’s color line is not full of sparkles or glitter so allowing your teen to wear the latest colors from the runway won’t be as intense (even though that is what she wants)!

One of the tricks that I have taught my teens is to use an all over neutral wash of color on the eyes from the lid to the brow bone – like a warm vanilla shade. Then use a more vibrant and fun color to line the top lash line – like a sapphire blue, amethyst, emerald or gray. Black liner will always be a parent’s nemesis, but it is time to make peace with that enemy and either encourage your daughter (and now your son with guy liner) to only line the top lash line or inside, bottom water line and use more neutral colors as eye shadow.

Mascara can be any drug store brand that is easy to remove with soap and water or eye makeup remover. It is up to you which formula you allow your teen to wear and with many mascaras debuting colors for the fall season, you may find that using a pretty blue, green, purple or gray product really makes your teen’s eyes pop instead of the traditional black or brown.

Neutral blush is very important and it is crucial that you encourage your teen to choose a light color in a peach or pink tone or wear no blush color at all opting for the natural flush of their skin tone to show through.

A highlight is not recommended for teens because they tend to go overboard when they apply something with more sparkle and that can be an overwhelming look on any young person (like they were playing in their mother’s makeup)! I don’t want my girls looking like Brooke Shields a la Pretty Baby!

This Pro makeup mom loves the Sephora brand of cosmetics because they have a wide range of color in all textures with great prices! My teens feel as if they are shopping like grown ups instead of being treated like little girls! However, the testers at some of the Sephora stores do not meet with my approval and so I have forbidden my girls to place a “tester” product directly onto their face and insist they use the backs of their hands in order to test product prior to purchasing.

Lipgloss is the only approved product for teens. I do not like the look of a heavy lipstick and lip liner on any young lady. I allow my teens to use pretty colors from M.A.C. or LancĂ´me Juicy Tubes also score big points from my girls. Even though your teen will constantly be applying and reapplying lipgloss (especially if it smells and tastes like chocolate, strawberry or watermelon), we parents have to pick and choose our battles and as long as the gloss color is not neon yellow, orange, green, blue or red than I say, let this one go!

Now get out there and bond with your teen over a trip to the mall and enjoy the one-on-one time you will have with your offspring! They are growing up fast and you never know, they may end up teaching you a thing or two about beauty products!


If your teen suffers from very oily skin after they have washed their face properly, have them apply at mattifying product. This Pro loves Eve Pearl’s Anti-Shine product, which goes on after skincare, but before cosmetic. Also, have them use blotting papers during the day to control the shine instead of constantly powdering their face. I love Rodan + Fields UnBlemish blot papers with Zincidone, they will absorb oil without adding product to the face!


Up next on IMPO: Spotlight on Julie Hewett! Ever wonder what Annette Bening, Jodie Foster, Nicole Kidman or Mandy Moore wears on their face? Step into the world of Julie Hewett and discover exquisite beauty!

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