Belfast Telegraph

Nikki Reed: I had a perm before I was five

Twilight star Nikki Reed was so into beauty when she was a little girl, she had her tongue pierced before most of her peers were wearing earrings.

Twilight star Nikki Reed used make-up before she could ride a bike and had her first perm before she was five.

The 27-year-old actress has started to appreciate natural beauty, something which has taken her completely by surprise, as it hasn't always been that way. Her mother was a very relaxed parent when she was growing up and allowed Nikki to express herself as she wanted, which usually revolved around changing her appearance.

"Mom gave me my first make-up kit, a hand-me-down from her best friend, Alex, before I could ride a bike," Nikki wrote in her new beauty and nutrition column for "I had a perm by the time I was five years old. I was the first girl in third grade to have magenta hair. I even got my tongue pierced around the ripe age most young girls were trying on their first pair of earrings."

All of this meant the actress became obsessed with cosmetics; she would rock sparkly eyeshadow and spent three years of her school life with a full face of foundation.

"I learned how to put on my own false eyelashes in the backseat of a car," she added. "I enjoyed every part of the process."

At this time, Nikki's favourite compliment was to be told she looked older than her years - something she'd be horrified to hear now. As time has gone on she's realised she actually favours a less-is-more approach to skincare and make-up, regularly using only a homemade lotion when she isn't due in work.

The star is also more about taking care of her body for health reasons than changing it so it's slimmer or closer to the 'Hollywood ideal'. This is the thing she hopes to impart to her young fans too - that it's normal to have body concerns, but they shouldn't cause you to obsess.

"Finding a holistic approach to skincare and the products we buy begins when we stop succumbing to the gloss of advertisements and we start glorifying old photographs of our mothers and grandmothers looking perfectly imperfect, their natural beauty on full human display," she said.

"So if there is one message I could have given my younger self, it would've been this: be gentle with yourself. Know that every girl your age has acne, that it's OK to feel insecure about your height, your weight, or the size of your boobs. Don't beat yourself up about it."

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