My teenage years were difficult to say the least. “Finding yourself”, hormones, boyfriends, exams and group dynamics; are a few of the world ending catastrophes that trouble many teens. (Don’t get me started on friendship groups of three!!) And those are all things I can’t help with I’m afraid! However, hair, make-up, beauty, and general appearance, happen to be my forte!
Although my teenage years aren’t far behind me, (I am 24) things have already changed massively since I was younger. I think I am part of the last generation that went through the blue sparkly eye shadow phase? However, that might not be such a bad thing! Lots of teenage girls are contouring from the age of 14 and could create a cut crease in their sleep! I have 3 sisters, two of which are teenagers and roughly the same age. Sister A, is like me- a total makeup addict and every time I see her, her face is painted like she is ready for a night out and she is really, really good! Sister B, is slightly older and reaches for a touch of concealer and mascara on a daily basis. They are both completely different teenagers, completely different people, going through completely different things, but… both interested in changing their appearance.
What are your teenage years for, if not questioning who you want to be, what you want to look like and how you want other people to see you? I fully support ‘the tiny bit of mascara look’ and ‘the full face look’ in equal measures. It’s experimentation, it’s an art and it’s self-expression. I have been through so many different styles over the years, (including a short-lived Goth phase), that have all lead up to who I am now. I encourage all parents, friends and carers to allow teenagers to go through that right of passage; we all deserve the freedom to explore. Your teenage years are already filled with to many ‘don’ts’, if they are trying something new just let them! That being said, still be there for them with some great advice. It’s up to them if they want to listen to you or find out their own way.
Here’s a quick guide to some teenage advice you can have on hand, if your opinion is welcome!
- Hygiene: I’m talking taking a shower everyday, always have clean hair, clean body, clean clothes, clean teeth. If you do nothing else with your appearance, please let this, at the very least, be your beauty regime. Clean hair will also help prevent a spotty face!
- Don’t pluck your eyebrows!: Take it from me and probably every female adult you know, that it’s not a fashion statement you’ll want to sport forever. Luckily, we seem to be living in the age of the brows and not too many young girls are over-plucking. If you feel like you need some shape go to a professional eyebrow threader. It’s more delicate on the skin than waxing and more accurate. Try to always go somewhere that has good reviews or, get someone who you admire the look of their brows, to personally recommended somebody.
- Hair Down There: Times are changing and so is the opinion of pubic hair. Boys and girls are trimming it, getting rid of it, styling it and shaping it. My personal opinion is to do whatever you want with it, it’s your body. My advice is to use a shaver responsibly and when the time comes that you want to try waxing, (if that day comes), make sure you see a professional beautician. First time waxing should never be tried at home!!
- Limit your use of foundation: You have your whole life to wear foundation and your skin will never look as young as it does now. Save foundation for special occasions and focus on good skin care and a touch of concealer should you need to cover a break out.
- Don’t wear celebrity endorsed perfume or cheap body sprays: They are too sweet, overpowering and smell like a school locker room. Not to mention whichever celebrity is on the bottle will have had little to no involvement in developing the product. Invest in a lovely perfume that makes you feel gorgeous inside and out when you wear it.
- IMPORTANT: CLEANSE: The most important thing you can do for your skin. Especially when you have teenage hormones messing around with the balance of oils and sebum in your skin. Cleanse, (clean!) your skin twice a day and NEVER sleep in makeup. Like EVER. You’ve been warned.
- Protect your skin: Sunscreen probably doesn’t feel that important to your right now, especially if you like to have a tan, but most sun damage occurs before your 21st birthday. It may seem like a boring chore that you don’t ever see yourself doing but believe me, you’ll save yourself hundreds of pounds in anti-ageing creams when you are older. Prevention is better than cure. To delve into the topic a bit more see my previous blog post http://www.thebeautyumbrella.com/the-truth-about-sun-cream/
- Don’t go on a sunbed: Don’t be tempted. Sunbeds inflict TWELVE times the level of UVA (the skin-ageing rays) on your skin. It surprises me, in this day and age, that they are still legal. *Blog post about fake tan coming soon!*
- Don’t use too much heat on your hair: Curlers and straighteners are great for styling but everyday use can create split ends and dehydrated hair. On days where you haven’t got much on, opt for plaits or let it dry naturally!
- Don’t Bleach your Hair: Changing your appearance will be at the top of your priorities but so should keeping your hair healthy. Whilst you are young, try not to use harsh chemicals on your hair as this will damage it, making it thinner, easily snapped and dehydrated- all of which isn’t easy to work your way back from.
- Hair Extensions: Clip in hair extensions are a great way to change up your look but don’t wear them everyday. Trust me. Between the ages of 15 and 18 I wore them everyday and it thinned out my hair so much. I’m 24 now and my hair is still fairly thin and falls out a lot. Same goes for glue in hair extensions, bonds and weaves. Anything heavier than your natural locks will take its toll!!
- Be kind to your skin: It’s your body’s largest organ and certainly the most attractive! Value it, look after it, respect it. Keep it hydrated, don’t scrub too hard, and please don’t start smoking! You only need to look at the difference between two people the same age, one smoker and one non-smoker to know why.
- Don’t get a tattoo…yet. I love tattoos, I have four. I love three of them. The ones I spent a long time thinking about, the ones I planned out, the ones I drew in different ways, the ones I got when I was older, are the ones I love. The one I got in a rage after an argument with my mum, only a few days after my 18th birthday, that one is embarrassing. Don’t ever do it in a rush or when you are angry. Wait till you meet the right artist, you have the money to pay for a professional and you are 100% sure that’s what you want on your body forever!
- Experiment: Before the constraints of adult life start to make you feel self-conscious about your appearance, (I truly hope they never do) try whatever you fancy and get creative!
The Beauty Umbrella offers bespoke packages for teenage makeup parties and one-to-one lessons. We take age into consideration and focus on teen appropriate lessons such as finding the right shade of foundation and creating a skin regime that can help problem skin. This can be a great gift to inspire and educate teenagers in the world of beauty.