Gloss for a cause: Makeup for you and your teen

Dec 5, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. ET

If you are a mom of a tween or teen girl, you have probably visited the makeup counter many times with your pretty and very interested daughter. It is so exciting for young beauties to experiment with makeup, but when moms take a moment to read the color names they love, it can be a shock to realize that many popular product names are suggestive or provocative. While this is OK for adult women, it can be a not-so-good influence on innocent young women. Here are some ways to address these issues while you take your preteen shopping for makeup.

mom and daughter applying makeup

Do your research

Proactive moms should research popular makeup brands to determine which would be a good fit for their daughter. If you know she favors a particular brand, find out what the names of the products are before shopping. For example, if you visit the NARS counter, you will find lip gloss names like Greek Holiday and Dolce Vita. However, you will also find names like Striptease, Super Orgasm and Super Vixen. Other examples include Benefit’s Barely Legal blush and Essie’s After Sex nail polish.

Adults might understand the aspirations and nuances, but most young teens won’t or they will get the wrong message. So be prepared to direct your teen to lines that might be more appropriate for her age group.

Look for makeup lines targeted at preteens

Lip Bliss™ by What’s Your Virtue Lip Bliss™ by What’s Your Virtue was founded by a mother of teen and preteen daughters who was shocked at the explicit and suggestive names found on numerous brands of lip gloss. She didn’t feel it was appropriate for her 13-year-old daughter to put such messages in her pocket, much less on her lips.

According to the creators of the line, the message can even reach beyond preteens  “When Amy, Molly and myself started What's Your Virtue?, we wanted to create a product that gave a positive message to women of all ages,” says co-founder Sara Buntrock. “The message being a reminder that beauty starts from within. Unfortunately, we often lose sight of the positive when we are bombarded by the negativity in our day to day lives. The product result is Lip Bliss, our super hydrating lip gloss. We felt a tube of lip gloss with a positive message would reinforce our goal. With each application of Lip Bliss, we are reminding women of their innate virtue; whether it be Kindness, Devotion or Generosity.”

Teach skin care

As most women grow to learn, skin care is almost more important than makeup. If the canvas is flawed, it becomes so much harder to cover up. Since acne is a concern of most teens, find a skin care line that can meet her needs. Beyond proper cleansing, sun protection is the next important lesson.

If you need some help getting the message to your daughter, check out Lia Skin Care, a product line targeted at tweens and teens. It also offers a community to educate girls about proper skin care early on.

Give her a makeup lesson

It might sound counterintuitive if you do not want your daughter to wear makeup, but one of the main reasons teens overdo makeup is the lack of knowledge on how to apply it. Sign your daughter up (and you too!) for a makeup lesson at a beauty store like Sephora or Ulta and ask them to show her a natural look for daytime with minimal products and another look that she can wear to a special event or prom. Products like tinted moisturizers, light-colored lip glosses and lip balms are ideal for preteens (especially if they contain an SPF). Once she sees how pretty she looks with very little makeup, she can focus on other things like studying and sports, and you might rediscover your own youthful glow.

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