For women, the ladies in our lives who came before us are typically the ones we learn beauty secrets and tips from – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, stepmothers, and any other female that helped to nurture and rear us.
They’re the first beautiful women we know. They are the ones that not only teach us how to be strong, loving, kind, and independent, the things that give us “character,” but they also teach us how to put our best face forward.
My mother spent a lot of time with her maternal grandmother Zudie, who was born in 1883. From the time my mother was in first to third grade, sitting in the same chair every morning, she French braided mother’s hair.
Zudie didn’t wear much makeup and as mother got older, she would tell her, “Don’t wear too much color, but you do need a little on your lips and cheeks.” Zudie didn’t wear any eye makeup, but she did wear a touch of rouge and lipstick. She put her lipstick on lightly with her finger to make sure she didn’t get too much.
When big hair/teasing became the rage, my mother would spend a lot of time looking in the mirror to make sure her hair was perfect. My grandmother would say, “The front of your hair looks great, I just can’t believe you are leaving without looking at the back!” (rats nest).
Grandmother was a hoot! My mother never even considered the back, as all she felt that mattered was what was in the mirror. Good advice, always take a look at the back of your head.
I used to watch my mother and her younger sister, who lived with us for a short time when I was about 5, sit and do their makeup in their lighted mirrors. I would watch with wide eyes and fascination at all the fun products they got to use and long for the day I could too. I wanted to be as glamorous as they were.
My paternal grandmother was ahead of her time and practiced yoga and took lots of vitamins. I remember her giving me papaya vitamins, a rich source in antioxidants. They tasted like candy! She also ate from the garden she grew. I have always admired those qualities in her and enjoy many of the things she did to have a whole and healthy body.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “It may be possible to gild pure gold, but who can make his mother more beautiful?” Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who have shaped our lives, passed along beauty advice, and have helped make us beautiful inside and out.