dear abby

My oldest niece recently had her birthday, and her parents now feel comfortable with her wearing makeup. It was fun for me to pick out some products to give her, but I also started thinking about all she has to learn about makeup, skincare, and outward appearance generally. At least for me, these are concepts I mostly had to learn through personal experience. But there are some things I wish people would have told me earlier. So I developed a list of tips I want my niece to know, and I think they're universal enough to share with anyone who's new to makeup.

Be You. 

If you want to wear makeup, do. If you don't want to wear makeup, don't. I've sometimes been told I wear too much makeup. One of my best friends is in her late-20s and never wears makeup. We're both doing what's right for us. The world of beauty is not one-size-fits-all, and you're the only you there is. Don't lose her trying to match trends or fit someone else's idea of pretty.

Be Kind to Your Eyes.

You're still so young, but before you know it, you'll be my age and wondering how you got so many wrinkles under your eyes. Aging is natural and you'll learn to embrace a lot of aspects of that process, but that doesn't mean you need to speed it up. While you're young, learn to be gentle with your face. If you decide to start wearing eyeliner, learn a technique that doesn't require tugging the corners of your eyes. Use gentle and effective eye makeup remover that doesn't cause you to rub your eyes too much.

Love Your Skin.

Along the same lines, take care of the rest of your skin. Wash your face every night. Find a mild cleanser that fits your skin type. As you get older, moisturize. Every day. And a word about acne: Drink lots of water. Try not to touch your face throughout the day. Listen to people when they tell you not to pop your zits, but that doesn't mean you should ignore zits either. Use medicated wipes, cleansers, or spot treatments. It's okay to try different options and decide what's best for you.

Start Small. 

There will be plenty of time when you're older to worry about covering up your face, but for right now, just highlight who you are. Use mascara, a faint lip color, maybe some eyeshadow. Don't worry about foundation, eyeliner, bronzer, and all that jazz. Master the basics, and then try new things.


And speaking of trying new things, there's no wrong way to do makeup. If you want to be on-trend, follow instagram accounts, blogs, or youtubers who will teach you what's hot. If you don't care about trends, be your own inspiration. Try different techniques and colors. If they work, keep using them. If they don't, move on. There isn't a day that I don't mix products or vary something about the way I did my face the day before. And that's why I love makeup so much. I have often explained to people that I don't do my makeup for others; I do it for me. It's a hobby, a passion, and some might say a talent. So, experiment. You never know when you'll stumble upon something beautiful.


  1. This is really sweet, Wendy! Also these are some great tips. Abby is so lucky to have an aunt like you!

  2. Wend, this is so sweet of you. Love it. ❤️


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