How to choose make-up for a teenager – Part 1

story of cosmeticsThis guest post is written by my fifteen years old daughter E, who recently discovered what it’s like to buy make up for the first time. Her experience couldn’t be more timely as “The Story of Cosmetics” by Annie Leonard will be released today. See the video after the article.

How to choose make-up for a teenager – Part 1

Many girls start to play around with make up when they are young. But when they become older in their teens, they start to want to use make up more “professionally” than when they used make up for Halloween or dress-up. Every girl has a different reason why they want to wear make up, for example, curiosity, want to look grown-up, or for a party.

sephora makeupSome teens might ask their moms first about what make-up to use rather than researching on their own. But when I wanted to start wearing make up a few months ago, I researched before I asked my mom. I didn’t even think to ask her permission whether I can even wear make-up! I don’t know what I was thinking. But when I approached her with the subject, my mom said I could wear make up, but under one condition; the make up had to be natural and organic. Whoa! Did she say, “Yes?” Whoo hoot!! But wait a minute. Natural? Organic? Oh no. All the ones I researched were NOT organic or natural. All those hours of research for nothing!!

I pouted and stomped my feet but I knew she was right. So I let her show me a website that states the ingredients in products and how dangerous (or safe) the product can be for your health. The website is called cosmetic database by I was so surprised that there were websites like that. It was cool. It was easy to use. You just plug in a company or a product, it shows you what ingredients they use and if they are harmful or not. It was so easy to find out why a chemical was bad. So, I checked many make up products I was interested in. Nothing I chose was good for me. Yuk!


Later that night, my mom and I looked at Sephora on line. Sephora is a well-known cosmetic store that are in many popular malls. There is a store near where I live so I knew we can go there if I found something I liked and I can try them. has a separate link for everything that is natural and organic and they are indicated by green labels with a small word, “Natural” on them. We were looking at mineral make-up by Bare Minerals and Josie Maran’s Natural line. Many of the natural make-up has the same appearances and colors as other non-natural make-up except they are made with better ingredients.  Some natural eye shadows have shimmer and some are just matted colors. I like the matted colors better without all that sparkle.

My mom and I decided that I would start slowly and try eye shadows and mascara first. Josie Maran MascaraAnd once I get better and still like wearing make-up, I’ll try other products like blush and eye liner. I think that’s a good idea since I’m still learning about make-up. Also, I found out that just because Sephora and other stores have highly presented products, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe to wear. You should always shop for makeup with caution and do a thorough research before going to the store.

My mom says I’m all grown up. I think I might be.

Tomorrow, I will tell you what happened when we went to the mall to buy make up.

Oh, yeah, please watch this video, “The Story of Cosmetics“. My mom says she is not the only who says chemicals in cosmetics are bad for me. Annie Leonard says it too in this video. Alright. I’ll watch it. But you have to also.

NOTE: The information in this post is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Dr. Karen disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information. Opinions and statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. The information is for general consumer understanding and education, and should not be considered or used as a substitute for medical advice and it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. I am not your doctor and you should consult with a qualified health care professional on any matter relating to their health and well being on one-on-one basis with thorough physical examination. Dr. Karen encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. Products Dr. Karen recommends and their properties have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition, consult your physician before using the products. For more info, visit the Disclaimer page.