Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Mineral make-up creation for teens!

It's the first day of school and it's not like you're trying to keep them busy now, eh? But here are some ideas about crafting with youth!

One of the most popular classes I offer to youth is mineral make-up creation. The girls love to create their own eye shadows and blushes, and we're going to be doing lip shimmers in the next group (early November in Chilliwack, mid-November in Yarrow). I have seen remarks to the effect that youth do not have certain skills - concentration, dedication, and so on - to make mineral make-up: As you can imagine, I disagree. I think you can modify every single recipe I've posted on this site so they can enjoy that rush we feel when we create products (especially when other people comment on them!).

I think it's a great occasion to teach girls what colours suit them and how to apply make-up in a tasteful way. If you can get someone who can recommend colours, all the better. It's great to spend time with youth on a task - come for the project, stay for the conversation. And if you can pass on a little chemistry, then all the better!

Try this at a birthday party, on the weekend with your or your daughter's friends, or in a craft group!

My suggestions...

Establish what you are going to be making in advance. For instance, we'll be making at least 3 different eye shadows, 2 lip shimmers, and a blush. This makes it easier to choose the colours. Also make it clear that if they make something they don't like, they can trade with someone else who might like it or even throw it away. Again, this makes it easier to take risks and try different things without losing out on taking something home.

I always suggest making a base colour like white, tan, or cream, and making a colour they'd like as an eye liner, like black, brown, or something dark.

Establish very clearly what they can and can't use. I make a point of telling them which micas I had to get from the States, which ones cost the most, and which ones are hard to get. They appreciate knowing this information so they can make decisions about how much to use of certain micas. I also tell them how much packaging costs so they are aware that these ingredients aren't free or cheap!

One girl make a ton of eye shadows in a class then sold them. I don't have an issue with that - I have an issue that she sold them for $2 when the containers were $0.80 each. And she could have charged so much more!!!

Make up the bases in advance. I make this suggestion as most of the youth we work with aren't that interested in what makes up a base! Make a lot of base. I would suggest at least 3 tsp for each youth present. You are going to be using about 1/2 tsp per eye shadow, for instance, so you're offering them 6 different possible eye shadows (remembering they might throw some away...) or at least 1 blush. If you have kids who are interested in making bases, show them!

Have ready a ton of bags and scoops and all your other ingredients. Make it very clear what goes into the garbage, what goes into recycling, and what is going to be washed. Have a container for the washables and make it clear where the garbage is located. Remind them to close bags when they are done or put containers in stable locations so there isn't a ton of spillage. Remind them constantly that cleaning up is a part of crafting and find a way to get them to engage in that process. Since we're in the library and don't have access to a sink, every girl has to put away her own chair, ensure the floor and table is clean, and help put the tables away.

Have some applicators, Q-tips, and mirrors around. The Q-tips are great for trying colours as you blend; the applicators and mirrors are for post-creation application. I get them from the dollar store with a little brush on the end. I think I get about 20 for $1 and it's always fun to try on your stuff. (And remind them to bring some mascara so they can complete their look). If you're making blush, try to have a few blush brushes around as well.

Have a blending sheet available with suggested recipes and some samples of those colours. Show them how to add black to make something darker, add white to make something lighter.

Let them play. When they've made the first one and get a sense of what to do - add base, add colour, squish, then add more, if necessary - they'll want to have some fun with the crazier colours. Give them guidelines. I like to say there should be at least a 3:2 ratio of colour to base. This gives the kids an idea of where to start.

Not everything they make needs to go into a container. I limit the containers because they are the most expensive part of the process. Set a limit - you can have 2 or 3 or 4 containers. Encourage them to play with the colours they've made to decide which ones they might actually wear often. You can provide them with little condiment containers from a supply shop for the ones they've made but aren't putting in a container. I think I bought 250 of those, plus 100 lids, for about $5.00 or so.

I don't suggest making foundations. It's too hard to get the colours. I like to make eye shadows, blushes, and body glimmers with the kids.

Have hand-outs ready. I offer a hand out with the base recipes, even when we don't make it there, and colour ideas. I like to give them links to other websites that might have some great ideas, and I always include a list of where to buy supplies. (If you're doing this at a birthday party or your home, this probably isn't necessary.)

Write down their colour blends and encourage them to name them. I love going around and asking the girls for their colour ideas - I make sure I get the name they want to call it as well. At the very least, next time we make mineral make-up, they might want to replicate that colour. (I joke around that I only hold these classes so I can steal their ideas!)

Have some labels on hand. Some tiny labels from Staples to put on the container with their colour blend name makes it feel like a "real" product.

Have fun crafting with your teens! Heck, get the boys involved - Hallowe'en is coming and the patagonian purple does make a really nice bruise colour when coupled with black!

1 comment:

Mich said...

Great ideas Susan! I'm starting a kid's crafting club, and cosmetics are on the agenda!

For awhile there, all children (boys included) playing at our house made their own lipbalm/gloss to take home. I think some of the boys especially liked it because they could have crazy Bonne-Belle type flavors but not have the stigma of color, shine, or girly packaging when they used it in public.

Thanks for all you do!