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Michele Perry: Teen beauty - 12 April

The Teenage years can be full of insecurities, often about our physical appearance. It's also about this time that experimentation with cosmetics comes into our life, here are ten top tips and tricks to help you navigate the makeup minefield.

1. One for the mums

One of the questions mums often ask me is "At what age can my daughter start wearing makeup?" This is toughy.

I think it really depends on the kid. If people are going to look at them and say, "Aren't you too young to be wearing makeup?", then there's your answer. I personally believe when you start college it's okay to wear a bit of mascara and lipgloss out of school.

Dance recitals and school discos are another cup of tea altogether. They call for bit of fun shimmer and glitter. No matter what age, it's a time to shine.

2. Face first

The first beauty product you should apply every day is sunscreen, even if it's cloudy or rainy outside. Why? Good habits start young and if you use sunscreen now, you'll have gorgeous skin when you're a nanna.

3 Top teen tip

Find your favourite feature and play it up. Don't spend hours covering up. Find one thing you love and rock it with confidence. Eyes, ears, hair, lips its up to you, missy!

4. The base

Skip the foundation, young lady. Not only will it cover up your natural beauty, but foundation on a teenager looks anything but natural. Just cover up blemishes with a little medicated concealer and use a tinted moisturiser. Makeup is about enhancing your looks, not masking them. Learn to love those freckles and your natural skin-tone. Orange is for oranges!

5. Mascara and lipgloss - a girl's best friend

Remember to focus on one feature. Try your eyes with a soft shimmery coloured eye shadow and a couple of coats of mascara. Team it with a nude lip-gloss, or if you're a bright lip-gloss girl, mascara and a sweep of natural eye shadow is sweet.

6. Less is more

No matter your age, too much makeup makes you look nasty. If you wear foundation, powder, blush, eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, lip-liner, gloss and the whole kit and caboodle on an everyday basis, then you're overdoing it. It makes you look cheap, not choice.

Tone it down. All you really need is a great mascara, concealer for blemishes and lip-gloss. Gin Wigmore, Taylor Momson and Disney stars like Miley Cryrus look great on the telly and magazines, but they are wearing media makeup (like stage makeup). It's not really appropriate to wear that much makeup in real life, even for an adult.

7. Pimples

Ask a professional. The biggest mistake people with acne make? Not going to a doctor or dermatologist. Don't cover it up clear it up. Getting rid of those pimples will be the best investment you'll ever make. And the only guaranteed way to do it is with a professional, don't waste your money on supermarket products that can make the problem worse go straight to the top.

P.S. Remember, acne doesn't last forever. Some of the most beautiful girls I have ever made up have had skin issues. It amazing how confidence is directly related to beauty.

8. Gross

Don't share your lip and eye products with your girlfriends. Its a surefire way to spread an eye infection or a cold sore. And don't use the testers in department stores directly on your face. I witnessed this recently - it's incredibly unsanitary as bacteria is spread through shared makeup. Also beware of cheap dollar-store products they are often untested and may be made with unfriendly materials. Save your pennies and invest in recognized brands that have been dermatologically tested.

9. Nails

Have fun with your nails. Keep them clean and the same length. If you do want to paint them don't be afraid to have fun with crazy colours. You're only young once - you might as well rock the lime green fingertips!

10. Wash it away at the end of the day

Remember you had the time to put it on this morning. Make time to take it off in the evening. Be kind to your face - it has to last you a long time.

Find out more about the products Michele recommended

Oxygen Skincare
Elizabeth Arden
Smashbox Cosmetics
Bobbi Brown