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.


  1. says

    Great job- I’ll be sharing this and the next article with my 12 year old who is asking about make-up. Also LOVE the video- i’m sharing it too.

  2. says

    As per Emily after reading your comments……”Wow, this makes me feel good that people are reading what I wrote. :)”

    Thank you for your encouraging words. She worked hard on writing this (and the next post) and looks forward to “experimenting” with her make up.

    @Mary: I saw that site too! In fact, my son will be using that site soon. Thanks for the link.

  3. says

    Great post, Emily! And I commend you for being so thoughtful in your transition into wearing makeup. A few months ago, I found out about a group called Teens for Safe Cosmetics. They are now called Teens Going Green, as they have expanded their focus to include organic food as well as green cosmetics. Here is their URL, in case you are interested

  4. says

    This is very interesting. My older daughter is almost 12 and I know that in a couple of years, she’s going to want to start wearing makeup too. Thank you for sharing your research with us.

  5. says

    Very nicely done! I would love to know what you chose to get. I have been using a line called RMS Beauty, they are all raw and organic products. I wish you the best in your search :)

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