Age-Appropriate Makeup: A How To for Teens

One of my favorite things about being part of Bellacara for the last 18 years is the opportunity I have had to introduce people to products that solve a problem or make them feel more beautiful. There’s nothing more gratifying than having a customer walk in with a question and leave with a solution and a smile.

This happened a few weeks ago when a mother of a teen-aged girl stopped in needing some advice about how to “coach” her daughter about the application of makeup. She didn’t want to squelch her daughter’s natural exploration into the wonderful world of cosmetics, but she also was not keen on her daughter’s use, or shall we say, overuse, of foundation.

Makeup neophytes are bound to make mistakes, it’s a rite of passage: think 80s frosty blue eye shadow with black eyeliner. But, with a little guidance, teens can learn to use makeup to highlight their features, not hide them. Here at Bellacara we offer in-store makeup consultations. This is not simply us applying your makeup for you, but rather a collaborative process in which we consult with the client, assess needs and goals, and recommend products tailor-made for age, event, and skin type.

In the case of this young lady, her mother reported that she was using too much of a foundation that was too dark for her light skin tone. Her acne-prone skin was a source of anxiety and she was covering up the blemishes with thick foundation and even heavier concealer, most likely making acne worse. The result was not ideal for a 16 year old who was sporting this made-up face at school and athletics. It wasn’t working for her.

Young women are blessed with youthful skin that doesn’t need much help. Instead of using a thick, full coverage foundation, we recommend a tinted moisturizer with a sunscreen like Jouer Matte Moisture Tint, which is tinted to even out skin tone, naturally, while providing much needed sun protection. As an alternative to spackling pimples with cover-up, we recommend acne treatment products like Dermologica Clearing Skin Wash or Dr. Dennis Gross Acne Eliminating Pads, which can help reduce and treat breakouts. Girls new to the skincare scene may not be aware of the daily attention their skin needs, so education is key.

Eye makeup on younger eyes is also a sticky subject. Ask any father who sees his baby girl for the first time with fully made up eyes. It’s a little shocking. For this age group, we like a more natural look with a light coat of mascara that won’t easily run or smear. My go-to is usually the Amplified Mascara by Blinc. The brush makes for easy application, without clumps, and allows girls to highlight their eyes without looking overdone. This product is also great because it stays put all day, but comes off easily with just water.

I have noticed that the younger set tends to gravitate toward shimmery bronzers to add color and get that “sun-kissed look.” I have no problem with a little bronzer, but I recommend steering clear of anything frosted or glittery. The Smith & Cult “Book of Sun” has been a popular blush bronzer duo for all ages, but it is especially good for younger women because it is so natural looking. Applied with the right brush, these two can be blended or used separately. An added bonus is the edgy compact girls will love. I like pairing this with a subtle lip gloss like Lipstick Queen’s Frog Prince or a Fresh Sugar Lip Balm with a hint of color. This line comes in many natural shades, which is what a teenager should be aiming for.

Age appropriate make up done the right way, is always the goal. Selecting the right products can make both teens and parents happy. We are here at Bellacara to be a resource for anyone looking for advice on choosing the right makeup at the right age. Feel free to give us a call and schedule your in-store consultation.


  • The latest from Angela
I have been a beauty junkie for what seems like forever, but before I did anything about it, I went to law school. (Yes, my life is a little like the reverse of Legally Blonde.) Then, I worked as a prosecutor in Sonoma County after which I moved to the DC area with my husband in ’97. I served as Majority Counsel to the Senate Banking Committee followed by a year-long stint at a lobbying firm. You get the picture. It was then that I decided to act on my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. Finding my favorite beauty products proved to be impossible without stepping foot in a mall–the horror. So, I decided to bring my favorites to Alexandria. A few trips to New York and a flight to France and Bellacara was born in March 2000.

Located in historic Old Town Alexandria, for more than 17 years Bellacara has been Northern Virginia's preeminent boutique for high end cosmetic, skincare and haircare products. At Bellacara you will find premiere beauty products that have been carefully edited by the store’s owner, Angela Sitilides, who personally tests all the products sold in store. The boutique carries only the best product lines – Kiehl’s, Jouer, Dr. Dennis Gross, Christophe Robin, Moroccan Oil, Bumble & Bumble, Fresh, Molton Brown, Skinceuticals, Smashbox, Stila, Mario Badescu, Clarins, Dermalogica, Kevyn Aucoin, Kai, Child, St. Tropez, Smith and Cult, and many more.

1000 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314


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