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Teaching your child about makeup and beauty

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Ideas of beauty surround us all in society, and children pick up on these surprisingly young. Some of the media’s messages about makeup’s purpose aren’t necessarily what you want your child to agree with. So it’s a great idea to take the lead role in teaching your child about makeup and beauty in a positive way. Here are some tips on how to do just that.

DEMYSTIFY MAKEUP

Chances are your little one has seen you applying makeup and is curious about it. If you refuse to let your children learn about the beauty products in your bag, they’ll only become more intrigued. So answer their questions about what each thing does, and they won’t attach any great significance to them. And they’ll be less likely to go exploring on their own.

EXPLAIN ALL ASPECTS

Before jumping to the fun part and teaching your children some makeup tips, make sure they learn about practical hygiene aspects, like not sharing makeup with other people and when they should throw away each kind of product. And don’t forget to explain how important it is for their skin to keep beauty tools clean – if you need to learn how to clean makeup brushes, click here.

As with all kinds of different activities, it’s great to instil an understanding of the whole process when talking about beauty. This includes those less than glamorous but necessary tasks that go hand-in-hand with owning makeup, like how to clean makeup brushes and beauty blenders – which should be cleaned thoroughly as to protect the skin from any germs, dirt and old makeup residue. So, don’t skip this knowledge!

MAKE IT FUN

If you explore makeup together, you can safely guide your child through the beauty products you own. Teach them what goes where, and why certain things should never go in their mouths or near their delicate eyes. This will help them be safe around these potentially hazardous products. But you can do this in an entertaining way!

You can give each other makeovers now and then, as a fun way to explain where makeup is used. If you teach your child the correct way to apply products like nail varnish and mascara (on your own lashes, rather than theirs), then there’s less chance they’ll do damage with their own naive experiments. You could even use child-friendly products that are non-toxic, if they’re really interested. And you can wipe it all off, so it stays a game you play at home.

Haleyface / Flickr

PROMOTE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

A lot of the discourse surrounding makeup is that its purpose is to correct faults or flaws, and it’s tied up with insecurity and vanity. You can instil confidence and acceptance in your child if you give them a different view from a young age. If you talk about makeup as a fun thing adults sometimes use, they won’t think about it in terms of correcting appearance.

You can do this, for example, by showing your child a lipstick and explaining that people use it to give their lips a different colour. But then add that their lips are already just right and they don’t need to use it. Talk about it being fun to play around with how we look, but that appearance doesn’t matter, it’s what’s inside that counts: true beauty comes from within.

Makeup can be a fun thing to explore, and your child is likely going to be as curious about beauty as they are about everything else. You have a great chance to give them a positive attitude about the way they look, setting them up for being a confident adult!

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