In my family you have to be 13 to start wearing makeup. Near my birthday that year my mom and I went to one of the popular makeup counters at a local department store and the lady there did my makeup and showed me how to apply everything. So exciting! Since then I have been to a cosmetics store one other time to have a make over done because I wanted to try the new mineral makeup. Both times we spent a ton of money and purchased almost everything recommended.
Recently my mom met Noreen Young. She is a local makeup artist with years of experience. She offered to do a consultation with me, for free, and I wanted to take advantage of the offer, particularly because we have been planning this trip to St. Louis for the financial blogging conference and I really wanted to look my best. For some time I have noticed that my makeup just didn’t look very good. I have these dark circles under my eyes that have become more noticeable as I have gotten older (and I’m only 17!). I hoped that Noreen would be able to show me what I was doing wrong and get me on the right track.
Then I had an idea! I asked Noreen if she would be willing to allow me to interview her about ways that teens can save money and get the best skin care and cosmetics within their budget – and she agreed! She knew that I blog about being wise with your money while you are young and was happy to help me (and you) understand where to save and where you really need to spend on the things that will make a difference.
My budget for makeup and skin care is not very big right now. I have to admit that I was a little nervous about seeing a professional like Noreen because I just don’t have a lot to spend. My budget for the day was $75.00 (I had been saving for some time) and I knew that probably wouldn’t get me very much. I was really surprised by how affordable everything was and I have a new appreciation for getting the advice of a true professional. (And I proudly proclaim that I only went about $3 over budget!)
I learned so much from Noreen in the time I spent with her. I’m pretty sure that you may learn something new from this interview and hope that you will be able to put into practice some of her money saving tips!
Me: How did you get started in this industry? Why were you interested in this field?
Noreen: I love helping people look good and feel fabulous! The two really go together and I am interested in both. I was studying to become a nursing nun. But that, obviously, did not work out! I just fell into cosmetics. I was walking in Bloomingdales in New York and somebody asked me if I would like to hand out perfume samples for $15 an hour. I thought that was a lot of money. And then I also got 50% off make-up and perfume! I got all sorts of freebies and perks. I was intrigued by the beauty department and when I saw the guys making up the girls (there were a lot of male make-up artists at that time) I thought wow, they are creating miracles over there! Those women were looking fabulous just with a few colorful touches! It was totally by ‘accident’.
I think that a twist of fate is good and I never imagined myself in this field. But teens should keep in mind that it’s okay to do something different than what you studied for in school. It can be an amazing adventure to have unexpected things happen.
Me: Did you have to go to school for this?
Noreen: Yes, for a couple of years. And you continue to go for additional training because you want to constantly better yourself. Now I am the one teaching the continuing education classes. I get to speak at all of the major beauty conferences and teach salons and other makeup artists as well.
Me: Did you have a mentor or anyone specific that helped you get started?
Noreen: No, I had to be my own mentor, but I did learn a lot working at Bloomingdales. I was passionate about fashion magazines and learned a lot there as well. I also ended up working with a fashion designer. Working with her is how I ended up in Florida. I would never have met my husband without having worked for her. She is someone that I admired so much and it was a wonderful opportunity for me.
Me: What is your number one skin care tip?
Noreen: Don’t go to sleep with your makeup on, and teens are really bad about doing this! Everyone wants to go to sleep with their makeup on – it’s really not good. If you do it over and over it will ruin your skin. My second tip is to wear sun protection, even on a cloudy day. If you bake for 8 hours a day at the beach it is not going to give you good results when you are 40. And be careful about tanning beds. Doctors are saying now that they can be even worse for you than the sun.
Me: Are there the other mistakes that teens make when it comes to skin care?
Noreen: They need to drink water and get plenty of rest. If you hate water then add something to make it taste better so you can get it down! A really important thing is for a teen to see a professional to get expert advice on their makeup but many don’t even know that it is an option for them. They should get guidance from a pro on skin care and also invest in makeup lessons. It isn’t so much about how expensive your products are but the steps that you take, it’s the product mix. Buy effective products instead of one little jar of some miracle cream that is very, very expensive. Cleanser, toner, moisturizer. Every day.
Teens might tend to overdo their makeup. Don’t use so much. It doesn’t have to be a designer brand. Some are better and some may not be that much better. I don’t like to be ripped off and I’m not sure that powder is worth $65 a jar. You are probably paying more for the jar than the powder!
Me: What are your best money saving tips for skin care?
Noreen: If you have large pores you can use hydrogen peroxide on the ‘T’ zone, as well as witch hazel. Both very inexpensive. Witch hazel doesn’t smell great but it is a cheap astringent and skin freshener. Chobani yogurt is one of my favorite masks. The lactic acid exfoliates dead skin and makes your face feel amazing. An aspirin facial is also a good option for girls to do for themselves. You mix the aspirin with water and it really exfoliates the skin – but don’t do it every day.
A wonderful and inexpensive body scrub can be made with a little olive oil and brown sugar. You could also use almond or sunflower oil to make a great scrub. You may be tempted to eat it – but don’t! I love to use coconut oil on the scalp and hair and I give myself a treatment once a week. It’s the same coconut oil that I cook with. Just scoop it out and massage into the scalp.
Me: Where should teens invest their money?
Noreen: In skin care. No question about it. Again. Cleanse, tone, moisturize. Every day. Do NOT use body soap on your face. Use facial cleanser. As far as makeup goes you are probably not going to get very good results with .99 cent foundation or eye shadow. You might get lucky with the cheaper blush or lip gloss. I think that the way to save for your skin care and make-up needs is to skip the $5 daily latte and save that money towards taking care of your skin. Use that money to get good quality brushes. I love a good coffee but I would rather invest in my skin.
Me: Thank you so much for taking the time to participate in this interview! I’m so excited for my makeup lesson!
Noreen: One last tip! Wipe your phone and keep it clean. The whole screen can give you acne!
During my makeup lesson Noreen made another comment that really made a lot of sense to me. She mentioned that many of the department store beauty counter clerks work on commission. They may have great training and know a lot about skin care, but they may be influenced in their recommendations to you based on the fact that their income is directly affected by how much money you spend. That may not lead to the very best advice for you, your skin, or your budget. This leads to purchases that are just a waste of money. You will have to pay for a makeup lesson from a professional but at least that person has been compensated for their time and are giving you great recommendations that really are best for you.
I had never really thought about it in this way before but it makes so much sense to me. Noreen was able to show me a new way of doing my eye make-up that has completely eliminated those pesky dark circles – so exciting! I highly recommend saving your money and investing in a skin care and make-up lesson from a professional makeup artist. It really does make a huge difference.