15 old-fashioned beauty tips we learned from our moms

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These days, young girls and women have unprecedented access to information, including skincare tips, makeup tutorials, nutritional advice and more. But for most of us, our younger years were spent flipping through the pages of magazines and watching our mothers (and grandmothers, aunts, and other mother figures) put on makeup, do their hair, and generally prepare to face the daytime. In honor of Mother’s Day weekend, we asked our team members, readers, and friends to share their favorite beauty tips they’ve found from the moms in their lives. Some we still use today; others we remember fondly.

Do any of them sound familiar to you?

“I spent hours watching my mom put on her makeup while I sat on her bed. She always used a straight pin to get rid of the clumps after applying the mascara. It always seemed death defying when I was little Plus, she’s always used a price tag for clothes (the kind you rip off) to protect her under-eye area and avoid raccoon eyes when applying mascara to her lower lashes. that if I walked into her room today, I would still find straight pins and price tags in her makeup corner. — Bridget Martin, StyleBlueprint Reader

“My mom always slept on a satin pillowcase so she wouldn’t slick her big hairstyle. Hers was pink, and I always thought it was so chic. So today I’m doing the same. J love my silk pillowcase. I have a pink one (in honor of my mom) and a silver one. — Mary Breen, Website Designer at StyleBlueprint

Mary’s mom slept on a smooth satin pillowcase to preserve her hairstyle – today, real silk pillowcases are easily accessible and do wonders for hair and skin! Mary loves these pillowcases, available in a variety of colors. Image: Sephora

“Never underestimate the transformative power of lipstick.” — Ashleigh Roberts, StyleBlueprint reader

“Sunscreen even on your neck and chest, and wear a hat when you’re outside. And sleeping on your back helps prevent long-term wrinkles because as you age, your skin just doesn’t “bounce back.” – Carina Jolly, StyleBlueprint reader

“My mother loved the sun, the beach and the sand more than anyone I’ve ever known. As she was naturally dark, she never tanned but went straight for a tan on the first day of her beach vacation. On the other hand, I have light complexions and I would tan only after a sunburn. Back when skin cancer and sunscreen were common words, my mom swore by baby oil and iodine — until Hawaiian Tropic invented its brown label oil. And it worked for her – but it didn’t work for her fair-skinned daughter. I hear him say to me, sunburned and unhappy, “Just take two aspirins!” It will be fine!’ or ‘Here, let me break off some of this aloe plant and put it on your skin.’ Again, in the 70’s we didn’t have any special aloe lotion – we had to use the plant itself! My mother was one of a kind and I miss her terribly on this first Mother’s Day without her. – Melissa Thompson, Account Executive at StyleBlueprint

vintage photo woman sunbathing

Donna Lampley Dale – sun goddess and mom to Melissa Thompson, one of StyleBlueprint’s beloved account executives. Image: submitted

“Never make a bold eye, lip and cheek. As for makeup, choose two out of three. — Sarah Bishop, StyleBlueprint Reader

“My mom always told me to rub your face cream on to defy gravity. She also used to say, ‘Impress people with your personality, not your clothes. Best beauty advice!’ — Cameron Meek, Account Executive at StyleBlueprint

“A little petroleum jelly on your teeth will help keep the lipstick off them. And if you don’t have blush, you can use lipstick in a pinch – or use a real pinch – to give color to your cheeks. — Emmeline Huddleston, StyleBlueprint reader

“I remember my mother telling me at a young age that waxing in the direction of hair growth makes it less painful. For a very hairy half-Palestinian girl, that advice was pure gold. – Alissa Harb, Editor-in-Chief of StyleBlueprint

“Don’t forget to put sunscreen on the backs of your hands. Your hands can age you! — Mary Zingarelli, StyleBlueprint reader

“When I was really little, I used to watch my mom put on makeup, and I found it so fascinating. I remember once sitting there and looking at her, and I said, ‘Mom, you’re pretty.’ And she looked at me, and it was very disturbing. She said, ‘Pretty is like pretty done.’ And that, I think, is Mama Carmen’s go-to beauty tip. But more concretely, she was a great moisturizer. She used a lot of vitamin E.” Noelle Brundidge, StyleBlueprint reader

“After attending a Mary Kay party in college, my mom learned that every night you don’t wash your face, it ages you a week. ‘That’s why I take my makeup off no matter what!’ she says. She also used hairspray on her brows to make them fuller. — Brianna Goebel, StyleBlueprint Associate Editor

mother and child at birthday party

Here’s Brianna’s mom on her 8th birthday, pictured here with her own mom, who preferred a beehive hairstyle to add inches to her height! Image: submitted

“My grandmother always told me to avoid scented moisturizers in the summer because they attract bugs. She also used hairspray on her face to make her makeup last longer. I guess that was the original fixing spray! — Katelyn Zimmerman, StyleBlueprint Reader

“Always use your ring finger to smooth the concealer under your eyes as it is the weakest finger and will therefore be the gentlest on that very thin skin. Doing this rather than using other fingers will help prevent unnecessary wrinkles in the future! Another: you can use beer to comb through wet hair before putting in rollers to make hair more curly the next day. And yes, she did that for my hair growing up, before each roller foam is placed. – Liza Graves, Founder and CEO of StyleBlueprint

“Take all the nude or semi-nude pictures you want when you’re young. You’ll appreciate them when you’re older! — Katie Burnett, StyleBlueprint Reader

“Always remove your make-up before going to bed, even if you are tired.” — Meghan McKeighen, StyleBlueprint Reader

To our moms, the original beauty influencers. And a very happy Mother’s Day to all those who celebrate it!

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