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5 Lessons in Beauty I Learned from My Grandmother

gramI was fortunate enough to grow up with a grandmother who was very active in my life. She was at every recital, play, and Sunday dinner. We had a very special bond, partially because I was the first of 5 grandchildren. As a result, I had my fair share of one on one time with her. When I think back to my favorite memories with her, they often involve us “beautifying.” There was the time she permed my hair (I’ll never forget that smell), when she took me to the Estee Lauder counter for my first makeup lesson at 13, and the hours on end that we played beauty parlor, painting each other’s nails and styling our hair. I could go on and on. She passed away 2 years ago, and although it’s still hard for me to think of her and not tear up, I can’t help but smile when I imagine her in her bright blue eyeshadow and red lipstick. Here are the 5 most important beauty lessons my grandmother imparted:

1. Every Woman Should Have Her Own Scent: Grandma always smelled amazing. I loved nuzzling up next to her and just breathing her in. I think she wore the same fragrance for most of her life. She smelled like white flowers with a hint of spice.

2. Blue Eyeshadow Never Goes Out Of Style: Somehow, the woman always knew how to make blue eyeshadow look good. She applied just enough so it wasn’t tacky, but then just enough so it made her eyes pop.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Wear Red Nails: I’ll never forget the time that we drove from Northern California to Southern California to see my great aunt. I was so excited because it was just the two of us. That first night away, my grandma pulled out a bag of nail polishes and said, “Pick one out.” I, of course, picked the bright red, but my great aunt thought it was inappropriate for a young girl to wear red nail polish. Grandma dismissed her opinion and said, “It’s perfectly appropriate!” I haven’t stopped wearing red nail polish ever since that day.

4. Nothing Is As Important As a Good Hair Day: Every week, Grandma went to the salon to have her hair washed and set. Think Dry Bar, but instead of a blow out, they would wash and then set her hair in rollers. She wouldn’t wash her hair again until her visit the following week. At the end, when she wasn’t well enough to leave her house, she had her home nurses wash and set it for her. Let’s just say that wherever she is now, she looks good.

5. Beauty Comes from Within: Most importantly, Grandma showed me that inner beauty is the real secret to what makes you beautiful. You can have all the makeup in the world, but if you don’t shine from the inside, you won’t from the outside. She treated everyone with grace and respect, and she never let things get her down. She wore a permanent smile that warmed your heart and lifted your spirits if you were feeling down. She’s the inspiration for my blog Inside Out Beautiful.

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