Bobbi Brown
Photo: Ben Ritter
Turn on the TV, and there are the gorgeous Gossip Girls. Flip through a magazine, and all the models are airbrushed. This pressure on young girls is nothing new, but it has evolved. When you were a teen, did you upload your picture onto Facebook to share with all your peers?
Makeup artist Bobbi Brown says she sees a trend of girls wearing more makeup at a younger age. "I used to reserve black eyeliner and a little bit of a smoky eye for 18-year-olds, but there are plenty of 15- and 16-year-old girls that wear it now," she says. "Ten years ago they would never, but almost every girl now wants black eyeliner."

Brown isn't against makeup on young teens if it's done the right way. "All girls are beautiful—what it takes is time," she says. "Find what makes you special." Then, use makeup to enhance that natural beauty.

Brown suggests looking for role models who are truly beautiful, like tennis champ Venus Williams, golf pro Morgan Pressel and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"Strong is beautiful," she says. "Skinny is not."
Bobbi Brown
Photo: Ben Ritter
Step-by-Step Teen Makeup

How young is too young? Brown says 13 is an appropriate age to start wearing makeup in small amounts. "Middle school is the time to start, not fifth grade," she says.
  • The first step is to skip foundation altogether. "I don't think that girls need a full face of foundation," Brown says. 
    Instead, lighten up just the undereye area with a yellow-based concealer.
  • Next, even out skin tone using a tinted moisturizer with SPF. Sun protection—along with eating well, exercising and not smoking—are Brown's biggest beauty musts.
  • To cover any redness and blemishes, Brown recommends a cover stick. Find one as close to your skin tone as possible—not white, pink or ashy. Apply a small amount, blend with your finger and finish with a dusting of powder.
  • Lips and cheeks can be enhanced with a cream-based rouge. Dab it on as a sheer lip tint and a blend across cheeks for a flush of color.
  • Apply mascara to lashes. For special occasions, Brown says a smudge of shimmer eyeshadow is just right.
  • A clear pink lip gloss is the perfect finishing touch for all skin tones, Brown says. Teens should avoid dark and matted lips. 
The end result is a natural look that highlights—not hides—a teen's best features. For girls who love wild colors, Brown says to experiment with nail polish, not makeup. "Purple, black, blue—anything goes right now with nails," she says.
Do you allow your daughter to wear makeup? What rules do you have? Share your comments below.


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