Before & Afters Makeup Tips & Tricks

Teen Makeup: Do’s & Don’ts

For a long time I was STRICTLY against doing any kind of “don’ts” lists because I am all about not having rules because no rule really applies to everyone and I hate the idea of people worrying about “breaking a rule” and feeling less confident about their makeup skills as a result. Since then I’ve softened on that rule because many women have told me how helpful they can be.
Sometimes demonstrating a common mistake that is made can really be beneficial especially for women who are just starting out.
These are just ideas and suggestions, at the end of the day it’s most important that you feel confident and beautiful!
Tips for teens, I'm saving this for my daughter!

1. Eyebrows:

A. The Tweezing. Before you tweeze you must take the eyebrow OATH:
When you look back on yourself years from now I promise you will most likely regret the hairs you pulled, not the hairs you didn’t. I hear 5 times a day women telling me that they wish they hadn’t over plucked in high school because the hairs never grew back. Full brows are in style! So clean them up in the middle and grab the stray hairs if you like but other than that, I bet they look pretty great:)

B. The filling. Filling your brows can really be a fun way to frame your face (HERE is an in depth tutorial on how to do that) The products you use are important though. The quickest way to make your brows look like they are drawn on is to get a color that doesn’t match properly. Most of the time the brow products available are too warm . The hair on our face is usually much cooler than the hair on our heads. So be sure to find a color that reflects that. I also use a angled brush and shadow( I use magical MAC Brun on pretty much everyone) in short brush strokes rather than a pencil. It’s sooo easy for a pencil to go on too harsh and angled, shadow does take longer but I think its definitely worth it, especially for beginners.

2. Foundation. I’m partial, of course, to IIID foundation and I think it’s PERFECT for teens because it looks so natural and let’s their skin shine through. But if they choose traditional foundation there are two things that stand out to me the most:

A. Always err on the side of less is more. Don’t feel like you need heavy coverage on your whole face because of  a breakout or a couple of blemishes. You can cover that with concealer and then use a little tinted moisture in addition to that and it might be just right! Your skin is beautiful so you want to let as much of it show as possible!

B. Make sure your foundation matches well. Meaning you don’t want your face to be a different color than your neck and chest. If you are looking to get a little more color instead of using a darker foundation try using bronzer – dusting some on your cheeks and forehead.


3. Lips

I always recommend starting out with glosses or sheer lip colors for two reason, one they look more natural & two they are easy to apply. You don’t have to worry about applying it perfectly or that it might be getting on your teeth or you’re eating it off with your lunch.  Baby lips are so inexpensive and so cute! Once you get really comfortable with those it will be easier to transition into whatever lip colors you want!

4. Eyes
Start simple. For your eye shadow This tutorial on the EASIEST and possibly prettiest eye shadow technique is a perfect place to begin. I also love to use eye shadow instead of eyeliner as well because it is soft and you don’t have to do it perfectly. I demonstrate that HERE.

5. Have fun!

Don’t take makeup too seriously! Experiment with it and have fun, if you don’t like how it looks the good news is it washes right off.

Hope you guys have a fantastic weekend!! I’l headed to North Carolina Charlotte/Raleigh with my boys so if you have any suggestions for things to do/places to eat while I’m there please share!!


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  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 5:10 am

    Love this! Experimenting with make up is key! x

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 5:19 am

    I live 30 minutes from Raleigh! Will you be doing a meet up of any kind? Cowfish (at North Hills in Raleigh) is a popular spot to eat; they have sushi and burgers (odd combo, I know, but good!). The Angus Barn is a great date spot; it is not a chain, has great steaks, and a signature spinach salad with warm honey bacon dressing that is so good! Also, if you a celebrating any special occasion you get a delicious pound cake. My favorite Mexican restaurant in Raleigh is Gonza’s Tacos y Tequila.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 5:34 am

    Hi – thanks so much for the tips – I’m going to send to my granddaughter as she is just beginning to get into makeup (starting high school this year – time flies!!!). I live in Raleigh and there is a great, hands on place that your oldest son might enjoy:

    Have a wonderful time in Raleigh. BTW – I am LOVING the IIID kit I won 🙂

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 5:36 am

    I live in Raleigh! I agree with Catherine’s restaurant suggestions – also Dos Taquitos is a fabulous Mexican restaurant with an awesome atmosphere (sister restaurant to Gonza’s Tacos y Tequila) – and for a cafe, I would recommend Sola Coffee (delicious food, great coffee/tea, and known for their hot mini donuts). For a fresh, healthy, local yet inexpensive meal, I LOVE b. good in North Hills (quinoa and kale bowls, salads, burgers, sweet potato fries) – it’s an order at the counter and choose your own seat kind of place. Have a great trip!!!

  • Reply
    Natalie Robertson
    May 22, 2015 at 6:35 am

    In Charlotte, it really depends on where you are staying. In the south side of town check out the free live music at Blakeney on Friday and Saturday nights. There’s a playground and lots of food places nearby. Very family friendly. You can also pack a picnic and bring your own wine/beer. If you’re staying elsewhere, I’d love to point you toward fun stuff if you need advice. Drop me a DM if you need me…@FangirlNatalie or @MamaNatalie

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 6:54 am

    Cara, would you be willing/able to put the actual products used on the “Do” face? They look like they’d be perfect for my daughter! Thanks!!

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 7:32 am

    You are coming to Raleigh! I feel happy that we will be in the same town for a bit.

    When we have visitors from Utah we like to take them to Beasley’s Chicken and Honey, for some good southern chicken and waffles, which Beasley’s does SO well. Don’t knock it til you try it. It’s hip but affordable, and kid friendly. We also LOVE Bida Manda, which is a loation restaurant, tastes kind of like thai food to me and it is amazing. For dessert (although, I hear dinner is fabulous there also), Hayes Barton Pharmacy has mile-high pies and cakes you have to see to believe- also, it is in a very charming area called Five Points. Also, Fresh Ice Cream is yummy (it’s in my neighborhood, delicious local ice cream). In Durham, if you have a date night there, go to Mateo Spanish tapas, it is to die for.

    I also second the notion for marbles kids museum, but in my heart Pullen Park is my favorite kid spot. It is not as busy/overwhelming as marbles (which gets CRAZY) but it is a lovely outdoor place with paddle boats, a couple of little rides, the best carousel (it was made in 1900!), a train, and a yummy food stand. Admission is free, rides/activities are just $1. You could spend an hour or all afternoon there.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 8:29 am

    This is perfect! Thank you for sharing. I’m going to have my 13 year old daughter read this so these suggestions don’t come from Mom.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 9:03 am

    The eyebrow oath is key. I am one of the females that regret the over pluck. I just starting filling in my brows and it has changed my life. People laugh at me when I say I am going to take my unborn daughter (although not sure if were having a girl or a boy) to get her brows done when she hits puberty, because i dont want her making mama’s mistake and over tweeze and regret later! May be traumatizing for her at first, but she will thank me later I’m sure. lol! great post.

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I live in Raleigh! I definitely second Marbles Kid’s Museum in downtown Raleigh, my parents took me there as a kid and I have great memories of it! Honestly, I would probably still enjoy it!

    I work at Bonefish Grill in North Hills Raleigh, so you should totally stop by 😉

  • Reply
    Kristi Craig
    May 22, 2015 at 11:41 am

    Great tips! I’m glad that I didn’t wear very much makeup as a teenager, so that I didn’t make a lot of these mistakes!


  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 11:42 am

    After couple years of using makeup I am still kind of insecure when it comes to eyebrows cause I want them to look as natural as possible. I would say that with practise comes perfection so small steps

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    It is race weekend in Charlotte! The Nascar Coca-Cola 600 is this weekend. Be careful driving past the speedway on I-85. Speed street in uptown Charlotte is lots of fun with tons of live music and food, food, food!

  • Reply
    Kristi Henricksen
    May 22, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Beautiful model 😉

  • Reply
    May 22, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Great tips! My daughter Analisa is in the 6th grade & she has a friend who actually wears makeup, but definitely could use your tips! I will pass this along for sure. I love the look, I want to do it for myself! It’s too pretty. 😉 I wish I would’ve had these tips as a teen. Absolutely no one taught me to do my makeup, I did it all on my own. I did ok, but wow if I would’ve known about this I would’ve been the foggiest of the foxes there ever were!!! Oy!! It pains me. My sister’s and I bought a lot of Cover Girl and Wet n Wild makeup. My favorite Wet n Wild product was this bright pink lipstick that I just couldn’t get enough of! Scary to think of now. 🙂 But I’m a little nostalgic these days for that time. Which explains why I can’t get enough of Etsy!!! I am addicted to Etsy, but what a fun addiction! Lol 😉 Have a super safe trip, ok? Bring back some new fashion ideas & the like! Take lots of pictures & pick up some new cool items & souvenirs on your way. Take pics of peeps with great fashion sense & share like the beauty mags do! I’ll be sure to send my angels to help protect you on your fun journey! Enjoy your time! North Carolina is a place I’ve been wanting to visit! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 22, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Sorry for the typos! My phone is having too much fun with me. 😉

  • Reply
    Megan Mattinson
    May 22, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    Oooh! Go to Cabo Fish Taco in the NoDa neighborhood of Charlotte, then walk a couple blocks to Smelly Cat cafe for a latte, then you can drive about a mile down to Amelie’s for the most amazing!!! salted caramel brownie. All crazy good and easy on the wallet.

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 1:45 am

    I second the brownie! You NEED to go there! I’m from Germany, but my cousin took me to Amelie’s last time I visited. They are amazing. Sadly they’re too far away, but I found the recipe online and sometimes if my husband and friends are very lucky, I make a batch.

  • Reply
    Ingrid @ I&L Photography
    May 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    These tips are EXACTLY what our clients always ask! (We are photographers, and gosh, these girls worry A TON!) And its grad season, and San Diego (our hometown) has been acting crazy with the weather! Girls don’t know what to use, so we made a post yesterday and it was so amazing that you had this one Cara! Hope it’s ok, but we kinda just sent everyone here, so they can hear it from the professional makeup artist 🙂 ! Here’s the link:

    Ps.- Still loving my IIID foundation! The difference between the first generation and this one, is huge! You made it definitely perfect this time, my face thanks you 🙂

  • Reply
    May 23, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    I definitely recommend the Farmers Market Restaurant in Raleigh for breakfast or lunch!! Such a great place with incredible food! For supper I recommend Beasleys Chicken and Honey for some of the best Mac and Cheese!

    Cowfish is also really great if you love sushi and burgers. Plus, they have an awesome fish tank and are super kid friendly!

  • Reply
    Teen makeup dos and don'ts - I&L Photography
    May 24, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    […] Today’s topic is so hot that a really practical site named Maskcara had it too! And let me tell you, Cara (the sweet owner and author of Maskcara) is so knowledgable! She has some amazing tips for your everyday makeup, specifically for TEENS! Woohoo! We thought it would be neat to send you guys over to her post, because as a makeup artist she has a better way to explaining everything! You can view her tips by clicking HERE. […]

  • Reply
    Teen Makeup - 4 Your Skin Care
    May 25, 2015 at 4:38 am

    […] Read more ….. […]

  • Reply
    May 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    hi cara,
    thank you so much for these great tips!
    do you have any tips for cleaning make up brushes? i’ve been breaking out more lately and have a hunch part of the problem is build up in my brushes. thank you for all you do!

  • Reply
    May 26, 2015 at 12:39 am

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    May 26, 2015 at 3:14 am

    Thank you very much for sharing it with your readers, such an informative information regarding teen makeup dos and donts. 🙂

  • Reply
    The Gift Of Gab
    May 28, 2015 at 11:09 am

    I feel like a lot of people make these common mistakes. Nothing like playing around with your look and getting expert opinions to amp up your makeup game!

    The Gift of Gab |

  • Reply
    Anna Boettcher
    June 23, 2015 at 12:45 pm

    Hey Cara, I love this post! Could you tell me which Baby Lips you recommend? There are so many types, colors, etc. I really like the one you used on the girl on the top of the pic you included in this post. Which one is that? Thanks!

  • Reply
    July 29, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    I love your blog and am reading it all the time! Would absolutely love to see a post featuring cruelty-free brands 🙂

  • Reply
    August 15, 2015 at 10:33 am

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  • Reply
    December 7, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Great tips for teens — especially “less is more.” I wore makeup as a teen, and while it wasn’t very much, I could have worn less. I got into makeup mainly because of blemishes. I wanted to cover those and play up my eyes to distract from my skin. I think an article about teen skin care would be helpful for teens to avoid that dilemma I myself was in (lots of makeup or redness/blemishes?) Proactiv was too harsh for my skin as a teen, and I eventually found that non-irritating and sensitive-skin type products were best. Thanks Cara!

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