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Back-to-school makeup

Learning how to properly apply makeup is a fun milestone for teen girls. Most teens learn from their moms or other female role models in their lives, but if you aren’t that makeup savvy or your teen just isn’t interested in getting makeup advice from her mom, here’s an option she’ll love!

Pre-teen applying makeup |

Makeup for young teens and beginners

Teens already spend a good portion of their time on the computer and love YouTube, so why not turn to the internet to get tips for makeup application? YouTube user Anna has a back-to-school series that’s perfect for beginners. She uses affordable products that are available at local drugstores and provides step-by-step instructions on how to get her flawless look.

The natural look

Getting professional advice from a makeup artist doesn’t have to cost a fortune. In fact, it’s free thanks to people like Marlena, who posts her best tips and tricks online. Marlena runs the popular makeup site Makeup Geek and shares over 400 videos filled with how-to instructions, product reviews and full looks ranging from natural to Hollywood-inspired. She covers the basics of proper face-cleaning, contouring and finding the perfect foundation shade for your skin tone.

Colourful makeup

Most makeup beginners shy away from using bold colours, but vibrant shades can work as long as you have a little direction on how to apply them. YouTube makeup tutorial guru Mel shows that anyone interested in bold, colourful makeup looks can find one that works for them. In over 150 videos, Mel takes us through easy-to-follow steps and offers advice for getting a chic, colourful look anyone can achieve, even makeup newbies.

Safe makeup

Jane Iredale makeup |

Avoid makeup that contains chemicals, and stick to the more natural products. They might be slightly more expensive, but harsh chemicals can irritate skin and make conditions like acne worse. The good news is that these safer, chemical-free products are becoming more available and easy to find. Palo Alto Medical Foundation has compiled a list of common makeup ingredients that should be avoided, including butyl acetate, formaldehyde and petrolatum. Teach your teen to read ingredients labels, but one of the easiest ways to avoid harsh chemicals is to shop organic brands, such as Pure + SimpleJane Iredale mineral cosmetics and Vapour Organic Beauty.

Proper cleaning techniques

Mac Brush Cleaner |

Learning how to care for makeup and brushes is just as important as learning how to apply the makeup. Be sure to go over the basics with your teen.

1) Clean your brushes: Using brushes or throw-away sponges is the most sanitary way to apply makeup, and you can typically get more even coverage. Clean brushes with a mild soap (like dishwashing liquid), or buy a brush cleaner that’s safe to use on makeup, brushes and your skin. Try MAC Cosmetics brush cleanser (, $17). Brushes should be cleaned once a week.

2) Don’t use expired makeup: Yes, it’s true; makeup can expire just like food. While many products have long shelf lives, it’s important to keep track of when you purchased your makeup and how long you’ve been using it. Products can harbour germs and bacteria that can be transferred back to your skin. Items like mascara are especially prone to harbouring germs and can cause eye irritation or infections, so it’s important to throw out old products. On average, it’s recommended to switch out mascara every three months, foundation and lipstick every year and concealer at 18 months.

3) Don’t share your makeup: Makeup can be expensive, and when you see a product you’ve been wanting to try in your friend’s makeup bag, you might want to borrow it from her. Don’t: Sharing makeup is not safe or sanitary. Avoid sharing sponges, mascara wands and lipsticks, and if your friends use their fingers to apply other types of makeup, the product is likely full of germs too. As a general guideline, don’t raid your friends’ makeup, no matter how badly you want to try their new lipstick shade.

More on makeup

Makeup tricks to brighten your face
3 Classic makeup looks every woman should master
How to look great with “no” makeup

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