13 Feb 2019

On Repeat: Mothers Know Best

Generational beauty we’ve got on repeat.

As a child, like many young girls, watching my mother apply her makeup was one of the greatest forms of entertainment.

Watching as she added each carefully chosen layer, building up what was already her beautiful face into something even more radiant.

Naturally, as my own journey into beauty began, my application skills were not particularly quite on par with my mother’s.

However, it was these small steps, tricks, and tips that would soon transform my beauty routine; processes I would cherish and make me feel close to my mother.

We learn so much about beauty and skincare from our mothers and this is something we all want to share.

My mother taught me the importance of skincare and to this day, her skin is still as soft as a baby’s and always smells delicious. She learnt from her mother.

My dear grandmother, an incredible Spanish woman, taught me the art of being ‘classic’, a word perhaps overused in recent times. Her regime is still my favourite way to dress my face.

Here’s What She Taught Me

Spanish beauty, much like the French, champions the natural look, and something my Abuela always taught me was to embrace my flaws, exemplify them and be proud of them.

Use my lipstick as blush also. A little rouge on the lips and cheeks never hurt anyone.

Chanel No 5 is the greatest fragrance in the entire world.

Don’t over-contour or go too heavy on bronzer. Your cheekbones are your best friend but not an easel.

Always blot your lipstick.

If you have curls, embrace them, let them be free and wild, the way nature intended.

Moisturise, moisturise, moisturise. Dry skin is breeding ground for fine lines.

Always wear SPF. Skipping it is not worth the damage later.

And smile. Happiness is the best beauty trick of them all.

I might not remember this beauty wisdom all of the time and sometimes the classic look just doesn’t cut it; the bright pink lipstick or another fragrance wins out and seems like a better idea.

However, it’s these staple steps that’ll always make me feel a little bit more like myself, a little more confident and happy.

Mothers really do know best.

We would love to hear the tips and lessons you cherish from your mother or grandmother.

On Repeat: Mothers Know Best

charlotte tilbury lip and cheek stick  ||  chanel no 5  ||  kevyn aucoin sculpting powder  ||  giorgio armani matte lipstick

*this feature contains affiliate links.

images, matt irwin, courtesy verdura, mario sorrenti, helena christensen

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Taste of France

No women in my family wore makeup, other than lipstick. I watched my mother roll up her hair, but was intent not to waste my time doing the same (written with velcro rollers trying to get bangs to go in the right direction…but a five-minute fix is one thing, since it avoids damaging my hair with a straightening iron; I draw the line at sleeping with curlers).
My grandmother was incredibly strong, both in character and in muscles. I remember her, at 85, sitting at her kitchen table, complaining that she knew it was going to rain because (and she gracefully lifted her leg, knee straight, to shoulder height and touched her ankle without bending her always-straight back) her ankle hurt. I just thought “Goals.”
OTOH, I learn so much from my daughter!


Me too… from both mine!
My mother coloured her hair and work make-up until 100 years of age… she would say to me never to go without my lipstick, it fixes everything… ha ha… it kind of does..
As for my hair… if she could have seen it I don’t think she would have been a fan ;) She had poor eyesight in her last years so she was saved from my grey escapades :) :)


MY MOTHER Pointed OUT what a GREAT CATCH MY ITALIAN would BE!!!!!!!
Told me to get rid of the HIGH HEELS as he is CUTE CHARMING and HE CAN COOK!!!!!!!!


My mother was a natural, dark haired beauty. She washed her face with Ivory soap and applied cream. That was it! She wore no makeup other than red lipstick. I have no memories of watching her apply makeup or giving me tips. What she did do is say ever so gently “ Why not put some lipstick on? It’ll give you some colour.” I grew up in the late sixties/early seventies when the natural look was in. Other than washing my face with Ivory soap, I was completely makeup free. Even today, I wear only a tinted bb cream, mascara and lipstick – not red though. I haven’t found one that suits my pale complexion and blonde hair. One day…


You will Joanna for sure…
I know the “give you some colour line” … sounds very familiar :) :)

Terrel Drendel

Vicki, This is so timely. Yes, lots of memories of my mother applying makeup in the bathroom mirror during her life. When she passed away 5 years ago, we found over 50 lipsticks in one drawer in the bathroom. All the girls in the family took some home, those amazing vintage lipstick tubes, to put in our bathrooms to remind us of her. But… the other day I was standing in line at the pharmacy and saw bottles of Witch Hazel on the shelf. I googled it up right then and found out it is one of the main ingredients in many high end beauty products. For those of us who remember Ponds Cold Cream, it is loaded with witch hazel. All the claims that I read seemed to good to be true, but as I had run out of toner and this was 4.50US for 16 ounces, I bought a bottle. In 2 days I noticed a difference in my skin. It was enough of a difference that I emailed my girlfriends. Surprise, my sister said she remembers our grandmother telling her that was what she used as a toner on her face. Same thing with another dear friend. It appears a lot of our grandmothers were way ahead of their time. It seems to be perfect for our very dry and cold winter.


My grandmother had witch hazel in her bathroom… I had forgotten all about it… I shall search some out…


My grandmother wore foundation and my mother wore powder. That was it for the both of them. When I was six my aunt put bubblegum pink lipstick on me, and my love for lipstick was born. I never have less than 20 tubes at all times. I learned how to wear makeup from magazines and television.

Mary Mac

My Mother inherited great skin…she had a heart shaped face with lovely big blue eyes and blonde hair. Her parents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia and her mother (my grandmother) and her 6 sisters (my great aunts) all had that same creamy complexion! I remember when all my great aunts and grandmother gathered together, I was always mesmerized by their beauty. Luckily, I also inherited great skin and was taught to always wear a rimmed hat when gardening outside in the sun. I can still remember my mother, grandmother, and 6 great aunts tending all their flower gardens with their big straw sunhats!!!! Since the age of 14, I have religiously followed my mother’s 3 step skin regimen (soap, astringent, and moisturizer) every night before bed and at the age of 69 my wrinkles are very minimal! .I would also watch Mother apply her make-up with great interest and I guess that started my beauty regimen in my early years. It only takes a few minutes each day, but I have never regretted taking the time and effort….


VICKI!!!!!!! Wait……I just learned something new about you that you and I share, “skin deep”…..you are Spanish? SO AM I! Well, Mexican-American to be exact, but my father’s great-great grandfather were straight from Spain! Goodness, how fun this is to learn!

I totally visualize your story here. I remember watching my mother apply what little makeup she wore: powder from a compact and red lipstick. And myself?Well, in my adult years, I’ve only used eye shadow, mascara, eye-liner and of course, red lipstick. I too learned from my mother (also of Spanish and I just learned a few years ago, also of French aristocracy descent in Mexico) that beautiful skin should be seen and not covered up. I prefer the healthy glow of happiness, good nutrition and daily care and yes, that final touch of red lips! Happy Valentines day from us here in the US!!!


Anita… it’s Mary who has Spanish blood :)
She kicked off our “Mother’s Know’s Best” talk … I am chiming in here in comments .. ha ha… can’t help myself, love talking to you all… :)
Happy Valentine’s Day… off to finish writing my thoughts about this .. ♥️ ♥️ ♥️


My mother is still so pretty today and has beautiful skin which my one brother inherited! My mom loves makeup and I get a lot of her hand me downs (I know we’re not supposed to share but she uses something once or twice and then decides it’s not for her. She loves to experiment!). My mother moisturizes her hands and feet religiously. I wish I could be so disciplined! My grandmother used witch hazel as well. I might check it out too! And my great grandmother always wore Chanel Number 5. Fun topic!


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