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Use makeup to enhance youth, not cover it up

By Al Varela

A caring mom writes: "My daughter is entering the 7th grade in a new school where she will be on the cheerleading squad. What are your recommendations for skin care, eye makeup and lipstick? What are the different stages leading up to full makeup?"

Cheerleading, football games, pompoms, pep rallies and dances are such a fun time in the life of your little girl. An age of discovery and wonder when young impressionable girls begin to take notice of makeup on the stars of rock videos and popular magazines. A time when girls want to look grown up and fashionable and win the approval of their peers.

This is also the perfect time to develop healthy skin care habits and to learn beauty techniques that, with practice, will serve them well into the future.

Basic skin care rules if used now can prevent skin damage that may only become evident many years later. This is an age of many out door activities such as sporting events, pool parties, and picnics. It is important to remember to cleanse, tone and exfoliate the skin as part of an everyday regimen followed by the application of a good sunscreen prior to going into the sun.

There are many excellent moisturizers with sunscreen on the market, that may be worn underneath makeup. Makeup foundations are also available with sunscreen. One of the best I have found is Versace long lasting, oil free, hydrating foundation with a sun protection factor of 12.

Makeup at this age should be used only to enhance an already youthful, natural look, not to cover it up. It should be fun and light. A new exciting nailpolish or some iridescent sparkles in the hair can make all the difference. Stay with the natural colored lipliners, lipsticks and gloss. A lighter colored blush that contains a little shine can help to achieve a look that can be used day or night, in the classroom or at the mall.

While performing as a cheerleader I would recommend a light application of mascara and a deeper colored lipgloss in order to focus and project her facial expressions to the exuberant fans in the bleachers. A tinted moisturizer may be used if needed to even out the skin tone. Remember to use only cream mascaras and avoid waterproof since long term use can make the lashes brittle.

Makeup application becomes more complex with time. Full makeup will be necessary quicker than you can yell, "Let's go!"

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