Best Teen Makeup for a Flawless Natural Look

Some use it for a natural everyday look while others love full glam and fabulous flair. No matter what you turn to make up for, the beautiful thing is there are no rules and you can accentuate, cover up, or alter whatever features your heart desires. This is something that many teens have an affinity for once they reach the age of 13 and it’s also something that makes parents a bit nervous. Your baby is growing up, and she’s wanting to do so in a way that really makes her look like it, too. Contrary to popular belief, there is plenty of makeup out there that teens can use that won’t make them look twice their age. In fact, there are probably more options that encourage a more natural look than not, and we’ve found some of the best. You’ll recognize most, if not all of these brands, and surely you’ll know they have a strong following with a solid reputation for quality. Your teen doesn’t need outrageous makeup in order to look and feel her best and we’re ready to help you figure out what she needs.

This list contains everything your teen would need to create a daily makeup schedule or create an occasional look that can be for special events or days out. Makeup doesn’t need to be scary for parents and the good news is that it’s a boost to a teenager’s creativity and confidence to let them play with their appearance. There’s nothing wrong with loving the features you have and wanting to bring them out and create your own identity. The key is to help them take it slow and not go full-on makeup face immediately, which is exactly why we’ve found products that are naturally conducive to an “au natural” look. They’ll thank you for encouraging them and it might even bring the two of you closer as you bond over a creative process that has been around for decades.

The Best Teen Makeup

1. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte

1. Maybelline New York Fit Me Matte
Foundation is an important part in any girl's makeup routine. In fact, it's often the first step, which means your teen will need one that she can count on.
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Anyone who's experienced in makeup will tell you that the first step to having a solid makeup routine is finding a foundation that works for you. Foundation is often the very base of anyone's full face and it sets the standard for how the rest of your makeup will perform because it is, quite literally, the first step. While some people will go ahead and put on their eyeshadow first, by putting on a well-blended, even layer of foundation, time will allow it to settle on your skin and look more natural. Maybelline has a long-standing reputation for not only providing excellent quality but for being incredibly affordable as well. Your teen will be getting quite a bit of product in this bottle which is good news for someone who's just beginning and still learning how to blend, spread out, and layer foundation evenly. The foundation itself comes in 40 different shades, which is remarkable for one makeup brand and won't have your teenager guessing as to which matches her skin tone, resulting in a frustrating trial-and-error experience. The formula allows the foundation to dry with a matte finish meaning there won't be any sleek patches or signs of dewiness or oil. To add a bit of shimmer or shine, a highlighter (there's a great option on this list) can be used to combat a bit of the matte finish if your teen wants a bit of extra something.

Benefits
This foundation is great for beginners because it's incredibly easy to use and can be spread out simply with your fingers, a brush, or, most effectively, a damp beauty blender. It provides light to medium coverage which is good news for those who still want to maintain a natural look as it can be built up to create a more glam and flawless appearance.

What We Like About It
The color range that Maybelline has produced is absolutely spectacular. Many makeup brands can't boast up to 40 different shades and we're loving that they cater to any and all shade ranges so no one is left out.
Pros

Easy to blend

Lightweight and even coverage

Light to medium coverage for small blemishes

40 different shades to choose from

Can be layered easily

Cons

The matte formula can be a bit drying on those with dry skin

2. Maybelline Makeup Baby Skin

2. Maybelline Makeup Baby Skin
A primer will ensure that a foundation goes on smoothly and without any noticeable imperfections and Maybelline is one brand we trust for that. This primer offers hydration as well for an extra moisture boost during those dry seasons.
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If your teen is really serious about her makeup routine, a primer is the way to go. This works fabulously with the previously mentioned Maybelline Matte Foundation and is a great way to extend the wear of your foundation so it stays in place all day long. Primer is used as a base for foundation so that it doesn't slide around or become patchy and it can also moisturize skin and reduce the appearance of pores, which foundation can easily settle into. Overall, it'll make the look of your makeup much smoother and flawless-looking, which is a huge plus for teens who might have blemishes or acne that make them self-conscious. Rather than cover up their insecurities, primer and foundation allow teens to embrace their skin in such a way that makes them feel confident and accentuate the other features they love much more without allowing the ones they don't to come through. This primer is great for any skin type which means regardless of whether you have combination, oily, or dry skin, it will be beneficial to your foundation all the same. It's easy to use and won't feel heavy or clogging which is a common feeling left by some lesser quality priming formulas.

Benefits
There are plenty of things that teens might be insecure about when it comes to their skin. Because their bodies are going through puberty, their skin is undergoing major changes that aren't always welcomed and this is where makeup can help them learn to love their facial features again. Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser helps to even out texture, minimize pores, and allow the foundation to glide over their skin easily.

What We Like About It
This primer does have a moisturizing element to it which is helpful for those suffering from dry skin, especially if they're using a matte foundation. This primer is also water-based which will make it highly compatible with other water-based foundations while also allowing breathability between makeup and skin.
Pros

Lightweight

Easy to spread out and is absorbed quickly

Minimizes the look of pores

Compatible with Maybelline foundation

Moisturizing formula

Cons

There's not very much product in one squeeze-bottle

3. Maybelline Volum' Express

3. Maybelline Volum' Express
Although this mascara might look simple, it offers plenty in the way of volume. This is a great way to introduce your teenager to mascara and they're sure to fall in love with the natural glam they're left with after one swipe.
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Sometimes all a teen needs to feel a bit more confident is a great mascara that will elongate her eyelashes and truly bring out her natural beauty and eye color. Mascara is often the number one makeup tool that many women use on the go and in a rush because it's the one product that pulls double duty as far as beauty goes. Mascara will make your lashes darker and longer and this one, in particular, adds a heaping amount of volume as well. Maybelline is very well-known for their mascara products and is really unparalleled in the world of affordable makeup. The Colossal helps to separate each eyelash and with every sweep of the brush, your teen will notice her eyelashes doubling in fullness and length. This is great for those who might have very minimal or short eyelashes and desire a fuller look in order to bring out their eyes while making them look more awake, feminine, and attentive. This mascara can do all of that while providing your teenager with that glam, chic feeling that you can only get from finding a stellar mascara. It's easy to use, adds fullness, and a great starter makeup product for any teen who is just learning how to create their own signature look.

Benefits
Maybelline promises up to nine times the average eyelash volume with this mascara and they definitely deliver. It's a great option for those who aren't yet ready for eyeshadow or don't like using it as it'll help to draw attention to the eyes without seeming overdone or bold.

What We Like About It
The Colossal adds drama without creating it if you know what we mean! The bristles are well-spread out and designed to hit each eyelash individually in order to provide one nice, even coat without clumping.
Pros

Creates plenty of volume

Makes eyes appear bigger and more open

Comes in two shades of black

Waterproof

Easy to use and won't clump up

Cons

It's challenging to take off without an oil-based makeup remover

4. NYX Professional HD Photogenic

4. NYX Professional HD Photogenic
Concealer is a must-have for those late nights when you're up studying (or maybe binge-watching Netflix!). NYX is a reputable brand with a passion for helping girls look their best and this concealer is an easy way to look a bit more naturally awake and radiant.
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Another aspect of having a natural look is finding a concealer that will provide ample coverage but still looks as though it's part of your skin. NYX is a brand that has gotten plenty of attention lately for having high-quality products that won't come at a high-end price. This brand is used by plenty of professionals and will make finding a daily makeup routine easy for your teenager. This concealer covers up dark undereye spots as well as minor blemishes and imperfections that can contribute to your teen not even wanting to leave the house in the morning. It comes in 14 different shade as well as lavender and green correction shades. The skin shades should be chosen in one shade lighter than your natural skin tone in order to brighten and lift their area that you're concealing. The color correctors go on under foundation in order to counteract redness, dullness, and dark spots. Green correction shades counteract excess redness while lavender is helpful to combat any yellow tones in the skin. Overall, this concealer has been created for all skin types and will provide medium coverage while also helping to hydrate the skin rather than drying and becoming a cakey mess.

Benefits
By having access to so many shades, there's a slim chance that your teen will end up with a concealer that will draw out blemishes rather than cover them. Since dark undereye circles are something that every teen deals with at one point or another, this concealer does the job without feeling or looking heavy.

What We Like About It
Color-correcting can really add a flawless finish to any makeup routine. The first step to having a natural look is ensuring that your skin is looking at its best without looking too full-on. The NYX Professional Concealer helps provide coverage without taking away too much from your child's natural skin appearance.
Pros

Covers a decent amount

Lightweight and doesn't feel heavy

Comes with options for color-correcting

Plenty of shades to choose from

Hydrating formula

Cons

Can look heavy on those who have dry or flaky skin

5. Covergirl Smoothers BB Cream

5. Covergirl Smoothers BB Cream
BB Cream is a great alternative to foundation especially if a natural look is what your teen is after. Covergirl Smoothers packs SPF 15 into this formula as well, making it great for beach days or day trips outdoors.
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BB Cream is something that many people have heard of but not many actually know about. It stands for "blemish balm" and can be a miracle for girls who hate the heavy feel that foundation often gives but still desire that nearly-flawless finish for their skin. BB Cream is much lighter than a foundation which means it won't provide the same full coverage but will provide just enough to make skin appear glowy, bright, and evenly toned. You'll often find that these creams are formulated with sunscreen and/or a moisturizing formula in order to appear dewy and smooth and Covergirl is known for their face products such as the Smoother Lightweight BB Cream. It comes in three skin tones: fair/light, medium, and dark. Finding your perfect match isn't as important as this formula is much more like a facial moisturizer than a foundation and won't stand out or leave a foundation line like the wrong shade of foundation would. It can be applied with the fingers and simply just melts into the skin to provide an even more flawless look. This cream is essentially a tinted lotion and will provide a hint of color in order to provide light coverage, but not enough that everyone will know your child is wearing makeup.

Benefits
Smoothers Lightweight BB Cream comes with an added SPF of 15 to protect your teen's skin from the sun which is so important, especially when they start wearing makeup and might skip sunscreen. This formula also has added moisturizers to keep skin looking vibrant and dewy all day long.

What We Like About It
Covergirl calls this cream a "skin enhancer" and we'd have to agree that's exactly what this BB cream does. It provides a super light coverage without being heavy at all or making it look as though your teen is wearing tons of makeup, as can often be the case with many foundations.
Pros

Incredibly lightweight

Contains moisturizer and SPF

Great alternative to a full-on foundation

Three shades make choosing a color easier

Allows skin to maintain its natural look

Cons

Provides little to no coverage for noticeable redness

6. FCTRY Unicorn Snot

6. FCTRY Unicorn Snot
It sounds totally gross and unappetizing but looks truly spectacular. This vegan and cruelty-free glitter gel is a totally rad way to add some extra glitz and glam to any teen's life.
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Every girl needs a little bit of glitter in her life, right? This glitter gel is a bit of fun and a bit of glam all rolled into one. Unicorn Snot is attention-grabbing not only because of its outrageous name but also for its disco-like glitter glow that will truly help your teenager to stand out. Makeup should be used to accentuate as well as have fun with your features and glitter can be a neat, harmless way to add a bit of flair to an otherwise fairly boring makeup routine. This gel can be used on the face, on the body such as shoulders, arms, and collarbones, and even in your child's hair for a pumped-up vibrant look. The gel itself is easy to use and can be applied with the swipe of a finger. It comes in six different colors which all contain rainbow sparkles in order to provide your teen with all the glitz they need in one small container. A little goes a long way and this is such an awesome look for concerts, parties, or special occasions with friends.

Benefits
Unfortunately, animal testing is a process many makeup companies use in order to perfect their formulas. Unicorn snot is completely vegan and cruelty-free which means that not only is your child getting a high-quality product, but they can feel good while using it, too.

What We Like About It
This glitter gel is fun for any occasion. A little goes a long way and it's fun to use every once in a while to add a bit of glam to any normal look. The fact that it's so versatile only boosts our love for the product; anything that can go from your skin to your hair is a win in our book!
Pros

Vegan and cruelty-free

Provides a fun flair to any look

Can be used on the skin or in hair

Easily washed out

Easy to use and not overly heavy

Cons

Can't be used on or near eyes

7. Physicians Formula Happy Booster

7. Physicians Formula Happy Booster
We can't guarantee that it'll take away your teen's attitude, but we can guarantee that they'll look gorgeous when they have it! This blush can be built up and provides a little pop of color that's perfect for any makeup beginner.
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Believe it or not, Physicians Formula actually claims that this blush is responsible for improving the wearers' mood via plant extracts that have been shown to boost happiness. Whether or not that's true depends on who's wearing it, but we can all agree that this blush is stunning. Physician's Formula has been around for quite some time and creates products that are long-lasting and vibrant in color as well as shimmer. There are several various hues of pink in this blush that all work together to create a beautiful shine and glow that looks completely natural. The blush itself does contain a violet scent that's soothing and pleasant without being overwhelming, in addition to the plant extracts that naturally improve moods. This blush also comes with a mini brush that helps to apply blush evenly and quickly for a fast morning application or touch-up on the go. As a blush, it adds a light, rosy shade to light skin tones and creates a subtle pink glow on darker shades. It can be layered for a more dramatic effect but is super versatile overall.

Benefits
This makeup has been dermatologist-approved which means it works well on sensitive skin and won't cause any irritation. It's hypoallergenic so even if you are prone to skin irritation, this blush will provide you a natural glow without being too heavy or uncomfortable.

What We Like About It
Aside from its mood-lifting properties, this blush is also subtle but buildable. It's the perfect day-to-night transition product that can easily be slipped into a purse or backpack.
Pros

Mood-boosting properties

Light and natural glow

Several different shades create a "glow from within" effect

Dermatologist-tested

Lightly scented

Cons

The brush isn't outstanding quality

8. Jcat Beauty You Glow

8. Jcat Beauty You Glow
Highlighter is totally in right now and for that perfect, lit-from-within glow, J. Cat is the way to go. It packs a vibrant punch when layered and gives a subtle radiance when used minimally.
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There's definitely a difference between a baked highlighter and a pressed highlighter. Whereas a pressed highlighter is compact and can vary in sheen, shimmer, and texture, a baked highlighter often has a very intense shimmer or glow that can be layered. The texture of a baked highlighter is similar to an eyeshadow in the sense that it can be powdery which is helpful for an all-over glow. It can be layered in order to achieve a higher intensity or placed on the face minimally to create a more natural, subtle hint of glam. This highlighter comes in a neutral shade that won't add much extra color which is great for those who already use blush and don't want another tone interfering. It also works well for girls who seek a natural look without any added pigment and regardless of your skin tone, this highlighter will provide the same radiance for everyone. This is highly recommended for teens simply because of how easy it is to use; since it is baked, the texture is smooth and should glide on easily without picking up on texture or enlarged pores.

Benefits
Teens don't need super intense highlighters in order to look glowy and radiant. You Glow Girl provides just enough shimmer without being overwhelming and since it's baked, it's fairly easy to blend and mistake-proof.

What We Like About It
The neutral shade makes it skin tone-friendly and also kid-friendly, and since there are no extra pigments then there's no chance of layering on too much and making it obvious that your teen is wearing makeup. It can be built up without running the risk of your teen looking like a disco ball... Unless that's what they want!
Pros

Neutral pigmentation

Can be layered easily

Lightweight and not too bold

Provides a subtle and natural glow

Easily blended

Cons

Applying with a brush can take away from the shimmer

9. e.l.f. HD Under Eye

9. e.l.f. HD Under Eye
No, it's not a product made for elves. e.l.f. stands for eyes, lips, face, and it's a brand that has gained a following because of their high-quality affordable makeup products -- Including this clever concealer.
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This neat two-in-one by e.l.f. is something that should be in every teen's makeup arsenal. The dual-ended container features a lightweight concealer on one side that's intended to help cover dark undereye circles while the opposite side contains a subtle highlighter to accentuate eye brightness. While it looks complicated, this product is incredibly easy to use; simply dot the concealer under the eyes and blend with either your finger or a damp beauty blender, then do the same with the highlighter around the corners and over top of the eyes. This highlighter/concealer combo can also be used as a solid base for eyeshadows as well, making them brighter and providing excellent lasting power. e.l.f. is known for being an incredibly affordable, high-quality brand and one that has become extremely popular over the last few years. What began as an online-only store has slowly grown into its own international brand and its one that we love for teenagers especially.

Benefits
This concealer comes in several different shades that work well with most foundations. It can be blended very easily and provides lightweight coverage that's not heavy or too obvious.

What We Like About It
This product is a winner when it comes to a natural look. The concealer itself isn't incredibly heavy so it won't create such a heavy, full-on look like many others. It glides on easily and won't settle into pores or lines.
Pros

Lightweight

Light coverage for a natural look

Includes a subtle highlighter

Helps to balance out skin tone around eyes

Great for beginners

Cons

It can melt easily in hot environments if not set with powder

10. Neutrogena Moistureshine Lip

10. Neutrogena Moistureshine Lip
Lip gloss will never go out of style because it's a convenient way to add a subtle pop of color on days when you need something extra. Lip care is also important, which is why lip gloss with SPF, such as this one by Neutrogena, is so important.
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With all this talk of face makeup products, we can't forget about the lips! While teens might not be interested in lipstick, lip gloss is still something that seems to be in every teen's starter kit for makeup. Neutrogena is a brand that's known for providing very natural makeup with great quality. All of their products go above and beyond in providing that extra little something to make it helpful as well as beautiful. Their Moistureshine Lip Smoother Gloss is a great way to provide your teens with a bit of subtle color and shine while also giving them a way to protect and moisturize their lips. When it comes to makeup, lip care is just as important as face care. This gloss contains SPF 20 as well as a cool agent which helps keep lips hydrated and shining, all day long. There are four different colors that provide a bit of pink or red to the lips without looking too bold or full-on, making it perfect for teenagers.

Benefits
This lip gloss can be used repeatedly throughout the day without feeling too heavy or sticky. It provides a natural pigmentation while still packing in all the moisturizing power that's often needed in the summer and winter months.

What We Like About It
Lip gloss is the perfect in-between for teens who want a bit of glam without wanting to make the commitment to a liquid lipstick or regular lipstick, which can often get messy and be challenging to apply. This lip gloss provides subtle color without all the hassle of a lipstick that they don't have experience with quite yet.
Pros

Adds a subtle pop of color

Contains SPF 20

Formulated with a cooling agent

Comes in four different shades

Can be reapplied easily throughout the day

Cons

The applicator can be a bit messy and isn't always precise

Criteria Used in Evaluating the Best Teen Makeup

While many parents may agree that wearing makeup too soon can have adverse effects on your teenager, using the right type and kind of makeup can alternately produce the opposite effect. Makeup is a tool of encouragement and also of creativity, two things that we’ll explore more of in just a bit. In order to find the correct types of makeup for teenagers, however, we had to go through a bit of a research process. We understood that teens don’t need full-on glam for high school (excluding special occasions such as prom or events) and instead only need makeup that’s conducive to a natural look. Teenagers have no need to fill in wrinkles or cover up age spots, which meant the makeup we were seeking had to be lightweight, minimal coverage, and be very easy to use. This led us to find makeup that was trusted by women everywhere and had a reputation for offering products that weren’t too outrageous or bold. We also took into consideration the price point for each product and decided that everything needed to be super affordable, while maintaining the highest quality possible. Our reasoning for this was that teens would be just starting out with their newly-found makeup routines, therefore, higher-end makeup products could be something for parents to consider further down the line. Many teens also purchase their own makeup, which meant that we had to find the best quality products that were also within a budget. All of this led us to find only the essentials for a full face of makeup with viable options for subtle accents while also bringing to light products that would help to accentuate your child’s naturally gorgeous features.

Additional Factors to Consider: Why Makeup Can Boost Confidence

There’s a difference between using makeup to cover up perceived imperfections and using it to accentuate your best features while pushing others to the background. This is the difference that teens must understand in order to use makeup successfully and to be comfortable wearing it. If they only try and hide their blemishes, acne, or scars, they’ll end up with a face of makeup that often looks cakey or heavy, which is not natural at all. By taking a moment to decide what they love best about their natural features — whether it’s their eyes, cheekbones, eyelashes, smile, skin, etc. — they’ll know what to focus on and what to try and bring out, rather than immediately focusing on hiding many of their less-loved features. When it comes down to it, makeup shouldn’t be something to hide behind or used to cover up what you’ve been given. Makeup should be used to bring out all the features that you love and this is a wonderful lesson to teach your teenager. Teen years are hard enough as it is and if teens start out on a confident foot, then they can continue on their journey through self-discovery without the need to constantly spend hours in the bathroom altering their appearance. A great way to ensure that they understand this is to provide them with makeup slowly. If they really love their eye, mascara can be an excellent option and will show them that even if they have a pimple that day, mascara can counteract the attention on their face and instead draw it to their eyes. The opposite also works; if you provide them with a lightweight foundation, they might immediately notice a difference in how lovely their other features are once their skin tone is evened out a bit. By playing with facial features as individual components, you can help your child to realize that they are beautiful, regardless of what products are on their face.

How to Achieve a Natural Look

This is something that can be more challenging than it looks. It’s so easy to go overboard with makeup which is why starting out without eyeshadows and lipsticks is a good idea. All of the products on our list can be controlled and don’t provide a look that’s too over the top, making them very teen-friendly. Even if all of these products were used together, they’d still provide a look that’s flawless, yet natural. By using certain combinations, such as mascara, a BB Cream, and a lip gloss, your teen can play around with her own features while using tools that are designed to bring out natural beauty rather than cover it up or turn it into something drastically different. Eyeshadow is something that needs to be blended and worked on which is why you won’t find it on our list, however, a highlighter can be used just as easy to add a bit of color or shimmer to the eyelids for some glam. Similarly, foundation or concealer can be applied to the eyelids to even out their tone and provide a neutral base so that when mascara is applied, teens will still have that natural, flawless appearance. There are plenty of combinations here that don’t require a ton of products or work in order to achieve something that’s pretty and subtle.

Setting Boundaries

If necessary, you can set certain rules for your teen’s makeup use. Simple compromises such as lip gloss over lipstick, mascara over eyeliner, BB Cream over foundation, etc., can be helpful in teaching your teen moderation and how to accentuate their natural beauty first. As they get older, they’ll have a basis from which to begin building their own personal makeup routine thanks to rules that were set in their teenage years. Some teens might not even have the desire to use a ton of makeup, in which case, anything on this list will suffice to provide a natural look.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are any of these waterproof?

A: Yes. The Colossal mascara by Maybelline is very waterproof and is best taken off with makeup remover. The foundation and BB Cream aren’t waterproof but are best removed with a face wash designed for makeup or makeup remover in order to keep pores clean and clear.

Q: At what age is it appropriate to give these to my child?

A: We’d recommend ensuring that your child is over the age of 13 before encouraging their interest in makeup. Of course, you can wait longer, but many girls become interested as soon as they enter their teenage years.

Q: What other products would be useful in putting this makeup on?

A: A beauty blender is a useful tool for just about everything on this list. It can be used (and is recommended) damp for a foundation. It can also be used dry to apply highlighters and blush. While brushes are helpful as well, they can rough up the skin and must be cleaned with a brush-safe solution. Beauty blenders can be cleaned with a bit of dish soap and olive oil, then rinsed with warm water.

Q: Do you need a primer for use under foundation?

A: While it’s not necessary at all, it’s helpful. Depending on your teen’s skin (whether it’s dry, oily, or in-between), a foundation can have a habit of sliding or sticking to dry patches that can be avoided with the use of a primer first.

Q: Are all of these products cruelty-free?

A: Many brands will list on their product page if they are vegan or cruelty-free. The only one that we have listed here is Unicorn Snot.

Q: How can you test these first to ensure your child won’t have a reaction to them?

A: A simple way to test for irritation is by putting a bit of the product on your child’s wrist or forearm, where the skin is more sensitive. If there’s no visible reaction after several minutes, try using in a small spot on the face (away from the eyes and mouth) and if no reaction occurs, you should be good to go.