Talking About Makeup And Skin Care With My Pre-Teen Niece
4 mins read

Talking About Makeup And Skin Care With My Pre-Teen Niece

During the summer, I spent a week on the east coast for a visit with family. My niece Allison and I love to spend time together – you see, ever since she was five years old, she discovered that Auntie Karen was a makeup girl. A.K.A. girly girl! Every visit, Allison would ask me to apply makeup on her face (with the approval of her mother of course). We would play with a variety of colors and makeup brushes.

As I was applying the makeup, I would say, “always remember less is more, when it comes to the application” and I preached how she should never, ever randomly tweeze her own eyebrows!

Over the years, Allison has become a makeup pro in her own right. In fact, she even makes some of her own cosmetics. But like any 12-year-old, she still has questions and concerns. So we had a conversation about makeup, pre-teens and finding the right balance – how she can take care of her skin and still look age-appropriate. This is what we discussed:

Skin Care

An appropriate skin care routine for a pre-teen would be an easy 3-step routine. I recommend Cetaphil Cleanser 2x per day. Plus a light gentle astringent to close the pores and balance the skin. A good DIY is lemon juice diluted with a little water. A pre-teen is not too young to start applying a Vitamin E Hydrating Stick to the upper and lower eyelids. Also, a light moisturizer a couple of times per week is good and always apply sunscreen in the summer!

Tip: Ylang Ylang Essential Oil helps with breakouts. You can add to the lemon juice or apply directly to the blemish using a Q-tip to target the spot.


I do start seeing girls to shape their eyebrows as young as 12 or 13, but I usually take the absolute minimal amount from their brow, keeping it as full and natural as possible. I tell them, “never tweeze your own eyebrows.” Instead of taking tweezers into their own hands, they should talk to their parents about going to a professional eyebrow stylist. I would suggest a professional brow shaping for your pre-teen once or twice a year.


Allison says it takes her 12 minutes to complete her makeup look for school. She timed herself, practiced and consulted with me on colors and coverage to look soft, pretty and age appropriate.

Here is her palette: Under-eye concealer (flesh tone), a very natural cream base foundation, that she puts on a few areas of her face to even her skin. A trio eyeshadow palette with soft browns and taupe. Mascara (dark brown). Lip gloss (usually, a light pink shade). To add some fun to her look she changes her eye color to match her clothes.

Hair Care

The question came up about hot tools for the hair like curling irons and flat irons. Allison has beautiful, natural beachy waves.  I encourage her to embrace her natural hair. I advised her to use the curling irons or flat iron only once in a while for a change. It will hurt your hair, if used all the time. DO use a heat tamer spray to protect the hair. The most important thing is to keep the hair healthy and trim when necessary. I love to see her in a messy bun and one of her creative updos!

The remainder of our conversation revolved around her dreams about her future and how she was inspired by Talia Castellano, who once said “makeup is supposed to boost your confidence, not be your confidence.”

One day, Allison wants to own her own makeup studio in NYC. In the mean time, she works hard in school, dances and plays sports.

She hopes this article helps other pre-teens, that have some of the same concerns. She says, “be your own person and don’t be pressured by your peers.”

Allison, thank you for your time and I look forward to the day that you put makeup on my face!

Love you,
Auntie Karen

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