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Fashion Police

With Lessons, Teen Can Wear Makeup Like a Pro


Dear Fashion Police: My youngest daughter will be entering high school in the fall, and she has asked me if she can have makeup lessons. When I was a teenager, one of our local department stores offered a series of classes in fashion, hair and makeup, but I haven't heard of anything like that recently. I know that there are fashion and color analysis consultants for individuals, but I have heard they are expensive. Other than modeling schools, which are also expensive, I can't think of any other resources. Can you help?


Dear Mom: Although pre-high school may seem young to start using makeup, it isn't. As long as she's not applying two inches of glitter to her eyes and piling on the lip gloss, a little is OK.

But it's better if she learns how to do it right. It's fun to experiment with friends and try to copy what's in the fashion magazines, but that can lead to some funky results.

Your daughter doesn't need a fashion or color consultant, she needs good advice on makeup. She can try the department store make-over route, which may result in good tips and appropriate products, but your daughter can also come home with much more than she needs.

Another option is professional makeup lessons. We'll warn you--they're not cheap, but your daughter will learn makeup applications from pros, and there is no obligation to buy any products.

Mac cosmetic stores offer makeup lessons for $90 for a 1 1/2-hour session. We spoke with Mac makeup artist Kim England in Los Angeles, who said that for a young girl she would "keep it really simple and not overwhelm her with a lot of different colors--just keep it natural and light. As she gets more involved with makeup, she can add new colors and techniques if she likes."

England suggested she start with a tinted moisturizer or powder foundation, some sheer, light eye shadow, mascara, blush, and lip gloss or sheer lipstick.

During the lesson, the makeup artist does half of the client's face, and the client does the other half. Basic skin care is also covered.

For a store in your area, call (800) 387-6707.

The Bobbe Joy Makeup Studio in Beverly Hills also offers one-hour lessons for $75.

"For a young girl, we'd assess her level of sophistication and whether her mother is going to allow her to wear certain things or not," said owner Bobbe Joy Dawson. "We keep them looking as young as possible, but at the same time have a little fun. I teach them how to do it, then I tell them to go home, try it themselves, come back and show me, and I critique it." (The follow-up is included in the price.)

She added: "I want them to be a part of this, so they can bring in magazines and show me the types of things they like."

Skin care and eyebrow grooming are also covered in the session.

The studio is located at 236 1/2 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. For information, call (310) 275-3505.

You can also try contacting cosmetology schools in your area to see if they offer makeup lessons. Find out the level of expertise of the person who will be giving the lesson, how the lesson is structured, what is included and if it's age-appropriate.


Dear Fashion Police: It's prom time and I cannot find anything to wear. I'm thinking about something relatively non-prom-y (i.e., I like Christian Lacroix poufs but not pastel colors). I'm trying to choose between two alternatives: Ivana Trump--circa 1986--excess or Calvin Klein minimalism. Any suggestions on how I can stand out? Also, I have a knee-length leather skirt that I thought would look very rock star-ish with Manolo Blahnik stilettos, but would that be appropriate for prom? And if so, how could I dress the top up? (I decided against the Dolce & Gabbana rhinestone bra.)


Dear Belle: Hold up a minute, hon. You're in high school, and you're trying to decide if you should wear Manolo Blahnik pumps with a leather skirt to the prom? If we hadn't had our coffee, we'd swear we were having caffeine withdrawal hallucinations.

Silly us--we thought teenagers had things like college applications and summer jobs and Blink-182 tickets on their minds, not Manolo Blahnik stilettos. But maybe we've just been living in a happy little bubble.

Anyway, given your preferences and options, we're going to suggest something a little radical. Forget the '80s retro dress-for-excess look and the rock-star wannabe get-up. Travel back with us to 1996, when Sharon Stone caused a ruckus at the Oscars by showing up in a $22 black Gap turtleneck over a long skirt.

There was no backless form-fitting gown, no miles of sequins, no Jennifer Lopez-esque taped-on dress. And she looked fantastic.

Why? Because what she wore was classic and understated, yet feminine. It was 180 degrees from what every other actress was wearing. And she stood out.

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