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Adolescents & Cosmetics

If you are a teen (or even new to wearing make-up), you are probably wondering what you  should buy and where to begin. 

Market research shows that adolescents are using personal care product including cosmetics, make up and hair care for  a variety of purposes :

  1. As a means of establishing their sense of identity
  2. To fit in with their peers
  3. To experiment and have fun

Adolescence period will play an important role in performing long-term personal care preferences and habits. Teenage personal care use is largely driven by their wish to distinguish themselves as an individual but at the same time they need to be accepted within their peer group. Insecurity is a problem plaguing adolescents and the desire to be different is tempered by the fear of rejection or exclusion.

Engulfed by a popular culture saturated with images of idealized, air-brushed and unattainable female physical beauty, women and girls cannot escape feeling  being judged on the basis of their appearance. As a result, many women feel chronically insecure, overweight and inadequate, as these beauty images apply to an ever-shrinking pool of women. Moreover, the diet, cosmetic and fashion industries are often too willing to exploit these narrow beauty standards so women and girls will become cradle-to-grave consumers of beauty products, cosmetic surgery and diet programs.

For an insecure teen girl (and is there any other kind of teen girl?), it can all be a bit overwhelming.
Girls grow up with dreams of their lives just as you have dreams for them. For many girls, the reality can seem harshly different than their dreams. They find, quickly, that they are not indeed Paris Hilton or Beyoncé, or maybe not even the sports star or queen of the school they so wanted to be. Helping your daughter understand who she is and what her wonderful strengths are is a key job for mothers in these years.

As parents, accept that there is a good chance your teens is going to want to wear some make-up. Help your teens learn to care for her skin and look lovely without make-up for these early years. Make the investment in good skin care products and encourage her to let her wonderful, changing self shine through.

Make sure you purchase her quality products that will help and not hurt her delicate skin.
Make-up is not permanent; therefore, experimenting with make-up will not cause any long-term, negative consequences. However, the improper, unsanitary use of make-up can lead to some significant health problems such as infections, and allergic reactions. For this reason, parents will need to help their teens learn to use make-up in a safe and sanitary manner.

For starters, teens should never share make-up, especially lipstick and eye make-up, as these cosmetic products can easily transfer the bacteria and viruses that cause colds, flus, pink eye, and cold sores (Herpes Simplex I Virus). For the same reason, teens should not use saliva as a means of thinning cosmetic products such as mascara. Make-up should be replaced frequently so that it does not spoil : if make-up has an unusual odour or changes colour, it has probably expired and should not be used. Many cosmetic manufacturers also recommend washing hands before applying any make-up, particularly when applying a lotion or other product that is dispensed by touching the fingertip to the opened bottle. This practice can lead to the introduction of bacteria into the bottle and its contents.

While most cosmetics are considered safe, heavy fragrances and preservatives can irritate sensitive skin, cause allergic reactions, or aggravate health conditions like asthma. Furthermore, the more products that are used together, the greater the likelihood that multiple products may negatively interact with each other. Teens should be taught to read the product label, particularly warnings about allergies or product interactions, and to follow the package instructions about testing for a possible allergic reaction.


Many people are interested in make-up but don’t know how to use it properly. This article will show you all the steps in applying make up from washing your hands to removing your make-up.


  1. Wash your hands and face!
    Before touching your face, always wash your hands with an anti-bacterial soap and warm water. Make sure your face is clean before applying make-up. To clean your face properly, get a good cleanser from your dermatologist. If you can’t afford a dermatologist, try a lot of different products and see which one works better for you!
  2. Hydrate your face.
    Putting make-up on can dry out your skin, creating a less than professional look. Moisturizers can make your skin smooth and healthy.

  3. Apply moisturizer.
    Before starting, always use sunscreen, especially if you have problems with hyper-pigmentation (when your skin is healing and is slightly darker than the natural skin). It’s better to get a moisturizer separate from your SPF because then your SPF will be stronger. If you have very low melanin amounts you need to use SPF 45. If you have olive, dark skin etc. then just use around SPF 15.
  4. Smooth.
    With a concealer brush or foundation brush, gently stipple that’s one shade lighter than your skin tone under the eye to cover any darkness. Also use your concealer on zits, red spots or other imperfections. Now blot it in using your middle finger. Make sure you dab, rather than wipe with your finger, otherwise you will take all the concealer off. Also, you can use foundation as concealer, but using actual concealer will give you better results.You don’t necessarily need a full face of foundation especially if you are starting to wear make up. Just use a bit of concealer where you feel you need it and apply a very light layer of powder over it to set it.
  5. Pat.
    If you have acne mineral make-up it’s much better for your skin than normal foundation since it is light, won’t clog pores and can be used all over the face without looking cakey. Remember your skin is your biggest breathing organ! Girls with oilier skin might want to stick to powder, and girls with drier skin might prefer liquid/cream foundation or tinted moisturizer. More oily skin can use matte gels or silicone based primer which help to lower the level of oil produced
  6. Comb.
    Using a brow brush, clean mascara brush or toothbrush, comb your eyebrows up and across, and softly apply eyeshadow (matching your eyebrow colour) to fill in brows, making them appear fuller. If you have full eyebrows, skip this step. Set your brows in place using a brow brush with gel, clear mascara, or a brow brush with hairspray. Again, this isn’t imperative, but one of those extra things you might want to do before a date or another occasion you want to look your best.
  7. Shadow.
    Use a brush to apply a creamy coloured and slightly iridescent and glowing skin tone shade. If you are going for a tan look, use a soft bronze colour. If you are going for a cover up colour, use a soft skin tone one. Some shimmery white crisply lining the eyes can open them up.
  8. Blush.
    Apply gel blush to the apples of your cheeks. Smile, blend up and in a circular motion, always blending towards the temple. You can also follow your cheekbone. Blend, blend. You can also use a powder blush, but be careful as they tend to pack more of punch. Less is more. You can also use lipstick – rub it between your fingers so it’s warmed up and then apply it directly to your cheeks.
  9. Curl
    Although it is hardly necessary, you can sometimes use an eyelash curler, even when applying clear mascara. It can make your eyelashes look very professional. Mascara goes on top and bottom lashes- always apply it thicker on the outer lashes. It makes your eyes look big and sexy. Apply 1 or 2 coats on the top lashes, and use what is left for the bottom lashes. Another way to curl your eyelashes is to get a very small eyebrow comb, and carefully comb your eyelashes.
  10. Hydrate your lips.
    You wouldn’t want your lips to go bare and chapped Apply lip balm. Fill in entire lip using a tinted lip balm. Then, using your finger or brush, spread gloss on top. Find out your skin tone, and the colours that match it. Always use a transparent gloss over tinted lip balm.

  11. Apply lip gloss.
    Lip Gloss is great for a light, glossy look. It’s cute enough for school and adds a perfect glow to your finished look. Just apply it on your lips and love it through the day. You might need to apply more, if it begins to wear-off. Use it over your tinted lip balm or light, natural shade of lipstick. Keep in mind that the right colour depends on the occasion. For example, if you know you’re going to be eating or sweating, go light on the lip gloss. Never wear lipstick, especially if it is your first time wearing make-up, because if you make a mistake it’s almost impossible to get remove. Also, most of the time the colours aren’t what they claim to be. Lipsticks are less clear and metallic than this. Put on a clear or light lip gloss to highlight your natural colour.

  1. Lightly apply on eye shadow.
    Many different colours of eyes require different colours, you should fit your colours to different colours for different outfits, too (except when you have one good look to complete your face and match everything!). From light blue to deep brown, the safest way to go is with a colour matching your skin tone. For the full look- put your medium shade on just your lid, then sweep a darker colour across crease, then dust the lightest shade in your inner eye corners and beneath your eye brow. Be careful not to open your eye too wide, you might crease it, leaving an extremely visible mark!
  2. Lightly apply on eye shadow. Eye shadow.
    First, put white shadow all over your eyes to highlight and power-up your eye shadow colour. Then, choose a colour you like and apply it underneath the crease of your eye lid. Keep the colour light and natural. Purple, gold, blue and tan/beige tones are good eye shadow colours for brown and hazel eyes. If you have blue eyes, blue, purple, gold, silver, or darker shades of your skin tone look good. Green eyes look good with everything. Many different colours of eyes require different colours, you should fit your colours to different colours for different outfits, too (except when you have one good look to complete your face and match everything!). From light blue to deep brown, the safest way to go is with a colour matching your skin tone. For the full look- put your medium shade on just your lid, then sweep a darker colour across crease, then dust the lightest shade in your inner eye corners and beneath your eye brow. Be careful not to open your eye too wide, you might crease it, leaving an extremely visible mark!
  3. Put on mascara.
    Wear mascara and curl your eyelashes to make your eyes look bigger and more open.

  4. Remember that less is more.
    If you’ve gone overboard on your eyeshadow, blush, or lipstick you can use toilet paper or tissues to dab away some colour. Make sure to keep in mind that light and fresh make-up is in, while caked-on make-up isn’t.
  5. ALWAYS wash-off make up at the end of each day!!! Removing make-up.
    Always remove your make-up before you go to bed, to help keep your skin healthy and wrinkle free. Use a moisturizing cleansing cloth or wash and clean your whole face evenly (including the places where there is no make-up).

Parents need to be a countering force to help youth to resist this pressure, while still being able to enjoy the benefits of products they need. When parents help their teens to become wise consumers of beauty-enhancing products, and to selectively choose only those products they need, parents bolster teens’ self-confidence by communicating their children’s worth is greater than their physical appearance. There is also a very practical reason for helping youth to set limits on these purchases. All of these products can be extremely expensive, and many families cannot fit this additional expense into their budget.

Last Reviewed : 28 August 2020
Writer : Datin Dr. Hjh. Zil Falillah bt. Mohd Said
Accreditor : Dr. Norharlina bte. Bahar
Reviewer : Dr. Nazhatussima bt. Suhaili