Of all the things that our mothers ever told us, ("Your face is gonna freeze that way," "Don't sit so close to the TV," and "Only introduce him to me if you think he's husband material"), we probably paid the closest attention to generational wisdom of the beauty variety. Sure, our moms may be nags when it comes to learning to cook and bundling up in the cold, but their (constant) reminders to wear sunscreen and take off our makeup before bed have definitely improved our skin. To capitalize on adult advice that clearly works, we found 11 cool NYC beauties whose effortless glows also owe much to their mamas. Since we wanted the dirt (or really, lack thereof) on their natural radiance, we hit up these girls to share the beauty secrets of the women who raised them. Turns out, mother really does know best.
Check out the tips, products, and pics of these beautiful gals and their equally glam moms (plus, one fetching grandmother)!
Joanna Hillman, Senior Fashion Market Editor, Harper's Bazaar
“My mom told me: Besides the obvious — taking care of your skin — that she believes physical activity is probably the most important. She plays golf five times a week and carries her clubs. She also bikes, swims, and in winter, she works out, cross-country skis, and does yoga. Creams and cosmetics will only do so much. Keeping physically fit is the most important beauty secret.”
Photo: Courtesy of Joanna Hillman
Jessie Randall, Owner/Designer Loeffler Randall
“My go-to makeup, just like my mom's, is just simple Rosebud Perfume Co. lip balm, Nars blush, and a little eyebrow pencil. For me, the one day I'll end up wearing mascara is the day I'll end up bursting into tears. So I just don't wear it. It's a superstition thing!”
Photo: Courtesy of Jessie Randall
Jeanann Williams, Director of Public Relations, True Religion Jeans
“These are the lessons my mother taught me: First, less is more, so keep it natural. My mom always kept it simple, and I do the same. Second, drink lots of water to keep skin hydrated and get your beauty sleep to avoid puffy eyes. Also, wash your face every night before bed. A good moisturizer is a must (don't forget your neck and chest!). Third, just smile and you will shine. Audrey Hepburn said it best: "the happiest girls are the prettiest girls." But the main lesson my mother taught me was that beauty lies within — if you focus on that, then the rest will come.”
Photo: Courtesy of Jeannann Williams
Annabel Tollman, Celebrity Stylist
“My mother used to use raw egg on her hair as conditioner. I remember once she used hot water to rinse it off by mistake, and it cooked in her hair, leaving bits of scrambled egg in her locks. Unfortunately, I have my father's baby-fine blonde hair rather than my mother's thick curly locks, so it's something I've never actually done.
“My grandmother, Nana Sadie (pictured), was very beautiful and glamorous, and told me how to do my eyebrows. I have similarly shaped eyebrows to her (and my mother) and she told me exactly how to comb them for maximum arch (I usually end up explaining this to makeup artists.) Comb the inner half up, and then round off the arch where it will be sticking out and looking odd, but the outer half doesn't get combed down, because it makes you look old."
Photo: Courtesy of Annabel Tollman
Juliette Daley, Reporter for NY1 News, Sports and Noticias
"My mom is Colombian, but my dad is Irish. I got the Irish coloring, so my mom and I have very different skin tones. But, we both love a slicked-back pony and swear by any Olay products under the sun. Also, we never underestimate the power of using Vaseline on your lips and face (especially before bed)."
Photo: Courtesy of Juliette Daley
Anne Vincent, Vogue Director of Special Events and Marketing
“My mother's mantra has always been cleanse, tone, and moisturize. For cleansing, my mother only ever used soap and water, and still swears by it, to this day. The toning trick was Rosewater and Witchhazel, which in England at the time, you had to have the pharmacist mix together. Now, thank goodness, you can buy it off the shelf! Apart from being an excellent toner, it smells amazing. We grew up as a very outdoorsy family in England, so my mother was a huge fan of moisturizing — she loved Vaseline as a lip balm, moisturizer, and also a healer of cuts and scrapes. Today, she is a big fan of Clarins Multi-Regenerant.”
Photo: Courtesy of Anne Vincent
Collier Meyerson, Writer for The Nation magazine
"My mom and I both agree, after you're done taking a shower, lather on the baby oil before you've dried off with a towel — it has helped to keep me wrinkle-free! Purchase glycerin and rosewater separately, and then mix them in a plastic spray bottle in equal parts. It gives a light, distinct smell, and keeps your skin fresh and smooth."
Photo: Courtesy of Collier Meyerson
Meredith Wing, Publicity and Marketing Coordinator, YMA Fashion Fund
"My mom always said to put lotion on your hands and sleep with gloves on in the winter, for soft skin, and to smile when applying blush to the apples of your cheeks. Another genius tip is to wear those fuzzy tennis wristbands when washing your face, so the water doesn't drip down your forearm!"
Photo: Courtesy of Meredith Wing
Megan Bowman Gray, Stylist
“Other than attributing her skin to genetics (half Italian and half Irish), my mom opted for a homemade oatmeal facial and an occasional martini instead of of dancing all night at Studio 54. Living in California by the beach, my mom makes sure to never leave home without her Neutrogena sunscreen and oversized hat. She gets a facial once a year and uses DMMD products created by her dermatologist, Daniel McKenzie. She uses a gentle face wash, DNA repair, and a day and night cream as well. My mom also eats a healthy diet of fruits and veggies, but never turns down a delicious dessert or a fine glass of wine. You have to live a little!”
Photo: Courtesy of Megan Gray
Tansu Akman-Duffy, PR Coordinator, Club Monaco
“As a very proud daughter of a very proud Turkish mother, I’ve taken on many of her culturally traditional beauty habits. Although some are questionable at first, her beauty is proof that they work. For example, eating plain yogurt with (almost) everything. Not flavored yogurt — just simple and plain. As well as being a great source of calcium, eating one cup a day helps to heal wounds, keep skin healthy, keep breath fresh by killing bacteria and plaque build-up, and slow down digestion. It definitely helps keep me in my skinny jeans, and her in those banker-chic tailored pantsuits. I take it a step further and love to apply plain yogurt topically — it makes for a super-quick DIY cleansing face wash (just mix with sugar, lather & rinse!) or a killer hair refiner when mixed with a stirred egg and left on for 15 minutes.
“My mum is a no-mess, no-fuss type of woman, which is reflected in her makeup regimen. She keeps her makeup minimal, with hints of eyeshadow and lipstick at work, and lip balm on weekends. As I also appreciate a colored and moisturized lip, I fell in love and immediately introduced her to Fresh’s Sugar Lip Treatments as soon as I discovered them, when we started selling a couple of Fresh products at our Club Monaco stores last year. We love the Passion color for a tinted hint of hue, and the simple Sugar for an easy subtle shine — we’re constantly stealing them from one another!"
Photo: Courtesy of Tansu Akman Duffy
Annie Greenberg, New York Editor, Refinery29
"And lastly, I needed to include my own mom who tells me, 'my must-haves are definitely Giorgio Armani foundation, Lancome eyeliner, and Cetaphil cleanser. I always love a look that doesn't come from trying too hard — it's all about balance! Also, when asked how old I am, I always add five to eight years to my age. The response is always: 'Wow, you look soooo great!'"
Photo: Courtesy of Ella Greenberg