By Genevieve LeFranc
As former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright so deftly put it, “There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women.” With Mother’s Day fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to not only thank the women we love, but to also learn from them. Some of the best beauty advice comes from the women in our lives we respect and admire most for their inner and outer beauty.
This month I reached out to beautiful women I know. I asked them to share their beauty knowledge by divulging favorite products, beauty tips, how they work with their different features and skin types, or a philosophy they swear by. These smart, savvy women tell us where to save and when a splurge is really worth it, which products work for them, and the simple, seemingly obvious rules many of them live by. They represent different ages, races, and ethnicities across a wide beauty spectrum. From students and professionals to new moms and grandmothers, let’s join forces, share the girl power, and trade our tricks!
Dolores M. – 56
On eye makeup and aging: Wearing eye makeup is getting more difficult as I age and wrinkles appear, especially around my eyes. Those fine little wrinkles are places where eye makeup settles and I end up looking like I’ve done a bad job applying eye shadow! As a result I am at the point where I just use mascara to enhance my eyes—rarely do I use eye shadow.
Go-to product: I’ve used Oil of Olay (the original pink stuff) all my life and lately have been using their nighttime firming cream.
Kyle A. – 20
Go-to product: My all time favorite is Maybelline Falsies mascara. This little tube of magic makes my lashes fuller and longer. Who knew I could get million dollar lashes for less than 10 bucks!
Favorite feature: I love my cheeks. To highlight them, I wear MAC blush in a vibrant fuchsia shade which goes well with my dark skin tone. Just be careful with a drastic color like this—less is more.
Her beauty trick: I love lipstick but it dries out my lips and evaporates after 10 minutes. To solve the problem I apply a good lip balm as a base (I use Burt’s Bees) and then lipstick. To seal the color, I apply a little MAC lip gloss—it’s a fool-proof combination.
Sue F. -34
Her beauty routine: As the mother of an active two-year-old, any beauty regimen is out the window for now. My only beauty trick is playing my son’s favorite, recorded cartoon so I can take a shower. I know, very glamorous!
Her beauty secret: Sunscreen, as much sleep as possible and lots of water. Also, quitting smoking was by far the best thing I did for my skin. The difference is amazing. In my twenties I could do anything and it wouldn’t show. Thirties is a whole different story. My skin won’t let me get away with anything anymore!
Judy E. -75
Her beauty tips: Keep your face as clean as possible, but especially before applying makeup. Eye makeup will really bring attention to your face. It is also wise to use just enough face makeup to look as though you aren’t wearing any at all. In other words, take it easy with foundations, powders, and creams. Clean, well-groomed hair is a must, as are well-manicured nails. You’d be surprised how many people look at hands first when meeting you!
Karla M. -46
Favorite skincare products: Philosophy Purity One Step Facial Cleanser and Crème de la Mer moistureizer—definitely worth the money!
Her beauty advice: “Always wear sunscreen, even in winter. I use Laura Mercier foundation with sunscreen—I’m all about saving time and steps in my beauty routine.
Combatting signs of aging: “Consider a skin peel from your dermatologist. I swear by The Illuminize Peel™ from SkinMedica for my combination skin. Exfoliator: fresh Brown Sugar Body Polish.
Her makeup bag: MAC Cosmetics—they all work well. My favorite mascara will always be Great Lash by Mabelline in Very Black. I have long lashes, but they’re light on the ends. This mascara is awesome—never smudges or clumps, and the color is the best I have found.
Her philosophy: Embrace your age!
Janelle O. -21
I am of Puerto Rican descent, with light olive complexion and dark features. So my favorite attribute (besides my long eyelashes—I always get compliments on how long they are and I love when people ask if I am wearing false lashes!) is my exotic looks.
Favorite beauty products: Before I leave the house, mascara and one of my Sephora bronzers. I use a matte shade with SPF 15 in Riviera and a shimmer shade in Blush Me! Apricot No. 11. I love how subtle they are. I’m an on-the-go girl and these make me look awake while accentuating my complexion. I have learned not to wear waterproof mascara—it never comes off!
Leslie L. -53
My credo is “Less Is More”. Aging skin benefits more from less of just about everything: less makeup, less alcohol, less sun. My simple routine includes Philosophy’s Purity (cleanser), Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash (exfoliant), and Hope in a Jar with sunscreen (moisturizer); Dove fragrance-free beauty bar (soap), and Aquafor (body lotion).
I like my face to have a healthy glow but don’t spend a lot of time in the sun anymore to get it. Dior’s Auto Bronzant self-tanner is a great way to get realistic color without sparkle or shimmer. A little goes a long way; it doesn’t dry your skin; and it actually smells great, too.
I stick to a sheer pink-brown color palette for lips and cheeks—just a touch of neutral color enhances more mature skin without creating an overly made up look. When I do use makeup, it’s Nars blush and Laura Mercier sheer lip color. I also use a quality face cream to pamper delicate areas (Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream) and a soothing lip balm (Burt’s Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with Pomegranate Oil) to keep lips smooth and supple. Finally, I think fragrance adds dimension to a woman’s beauty. I’ve worn Yves St. Laurent’s Rive Gauche and Chanel’s Cristalle for years. Find one you like and make it your signature.
As to that part of beauty we don’t necessarily see but know is so important to our overall well-being, I believe it’s critical to: not smoke, sunbathe judiciously, wear sunscreen religiously, eat well, exercise and drink lots of water to hydrate the skin from the inside out.
Her Philosophy: Own what you have to bring out your own unique beauty. I now embrace my curves, my wavy, silver-streaked hair, and the wrinkles that are beginning to appear. It’s important for a woman of any age to realize that physical beauty is fleeting. You won’t always have taught skin or an abundant head of hair. Confidence, a sense of humor and wisdom are, in fact, very sexy and, at the end of the day, the most lasting beauty of all.
Publishers Note: This column is a reprint of the original that appeared in the 2011 Mother’s Day issue. These ladies are all 5 years older now – we wonder if they are still subscribing to these same regimes.