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My Mother Never Taught Me A Thing About Beauty

My mother was a natural beauty.

My mother was a natural beauty.

One thing I love about being a hairstylist is that I get to talk to a wide variety of people every day. People come to me for a new cut, color or make up service, but also for advice on how to recreate these looks at home. One sentiment I hear a lot is that many women wish their moms had taught them a little more about beauty.

Like many of my clients, I didn’t learn much about grooming from mother. She was and is a natural beauty. My mother has never regularly worn make up, styled her hair, or painted her nails. She doesn’t shave or pluck. She doesn’t worry about anti-aging, rough cuticles, or calloused feet. Everything I learned about personal maintenance, I learned from friends or much later in beauty school.

I appreciate my mother’s all-natural sensibilities and I think she’s gorgeous. She’s probably the reason why I don’t feel the need to always be “done up.” At the same time, I wish I had known more about hair and makeup when I was younger.

But it’s a slippery slope teaching our daughters, in particular, about beauty. How do we give them a few handy tips to enhance their natural beauty and simultaneously give the message that they are beautiful just the way they are?

As the mother of a son, I will definitely teach him the benefits of a healthy diet and regular exercise. I’ll make sure he knows how to style his hair and some skincare basics. I’m sure at some point, his father will teach him how to shave. Of course, there is a lot more that can be taught to girls from hairstyling to make up application to hair removal. Young women can be so insecure; bringing these topics up may appear critical. On the other hand, giving them a few tools may help improve their self-esteem.

Because of my history and the nature of my career, if I had a daughter, I do think I would teach her about beauty routines. I would place the emphasis on health whenever possible i.e. “I’m going to teach you how to properly take care of your skin so that it is protected from the elements and the sun.” For purely aesthetic tips, I would be sure to emphasize that they are optional and just for fun or special occasions. Finally, I would hope that I would be a good example of balance willing to rock the natural look as well as the spiffed up version.

What do you think? I’d love to know how much you plan to share with your daughters as they become young adults. And do you wish your mother had shared more of her knowledge?

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