Like Beauty

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We asked gransnetters to let us in on the pearls of beauty wisdom bestowed on them by their mothers (or, in some cases, their daughters) through the generations.

Whether it's always having lipstick handy or letting your inner confidence do the talking, it looks as though mothers everywhere have stood their daughters in good beauty stead for years. Here are just a few of those gems of advice.




1. “My mother always told me that your 'beauty sleep' is the time you have before midnight, so early to bed is the secret to looking good!” 

You know that old saying, 'an hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after'? Well, take note. Going to bed earlier means getting more sleep at the lowest point of your circadian rhythm (between 10pm and 5am) - which is when all the best quality sleep happens.


2. “You can wear the finest clothes ever but you have wasted your time if your hair is a mess."

Let's face it, even messy chic requires a little effort...but there's good news. Even if you're really short on time, there's always a quick fix. Flyaways? Spritz a bit of hairspray onto your comb before brushing it through gently. In need of a wash? If your hair's long enough, create a deeper parting than normal, then sweep the hair back into a sleek low knot and secure with hair grips. And if it's past time for a visit to your colourist, try a concealing spray to help cover up grey roots. They come in a range of colours and are easy - and, most importantly, quick - to use.

mother and daughter

3. "From my grandmother: brush your hair with 100 strokes a day. From my mother: always moisturise. From my daughter: always use a primer. From me to my daughter: use as little makeup as possible." 

The importance of a good base for make-up shouldn't be underestimated - and a good base also means you can comfortably use less makeup in general. Make sure you use a moisturiser that suits your skin type in the morning, followed by a primer, which helps to create a smooth surface for make-up and give it some added staying-power. Make-up setting sprays are also relatively inexpensive, but very effective.

mothers and daughters

4. “She sent me to ballet classes, as she said it would mean I always walked gracefully.”

Holding your shoulders back and lengthening your neck creates an instant impression of grace and confidence and, happily, you don't even need to don a tutu to perfect your elegant stride. Adult ballet classes are perfect for improving posture and are (mostly) tutu-free. If you're not sold on approaching the barre though, Pilates is a great alternative.

point shoes ballet

5. "My mum's best beauty tip was to smile - she always smiled and still does. She used to say smiling instantly makes you look and feel better, and makes others feel the same way." 

True, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown, but it also releases mood-enhancing endorphins that give you a little lift. And that spring in your step that you get from having made someone else smile isn't bad either.

a picture full of love kiss

6. "My granny, who passed away at the age of 90 last month, was so elegant. She always wore perfume, makeup and nail polish. Her hair was always styled so beautifully. She was and still is my hero." 

Just an extra five minutes here and there can really add up when it comes to looking polished - sometimes, it really is the little things that make a big difference. Add a bit of your daytime perfume to a travel atomizer and keep it in your handbag, use a light CC cream for even skin without the heaviness of foundation or spend 20 minutes in front of the TV giving yourself a manicure. It all adds up.

vintage scene

7. “Never leave the house without make-up and smile. My mother's only beauty tip!” 

If you're short on time or don't like to wear much makeup, let these be your three exceptions: define your eyebrows, conceal any dark circles or unevenness and use a subtle blusher. Doing just these three things will make you look brighter and feel more confident - all in about five minutes.

brush cosmetics necklace

8. "My mum told me to always look my best because you never know who you might bump into!" 

You can guarantee that the time you run out to the local shop for a pint of milk is the time you'll see the one person you cringe to stand in front of with unkempt hair and the trousers you wore to do the gardening. Not only that, but when you know you're looking your best it's almost impossible not to feel it too.

women walking

9. "As you get older, less is more as far as foundation goes. Don't slap it on, apply it lightly and accentuate eyes or lips - never both." 

Apply foundation after using a primer to prepare and smooth the skin's surface and go for a bright lipstick during the day, leaving the smoky eye look for evening dos. Sadly, sporting both at the same time could leave you looking a bit OTT (don't say we, or Nettty's mother, didn't warn you).

women with her mirror beauty

10. "My mother always said it was either your face or your figure as you got older and that it was better to be slightly plump to avoid a scraggy neck. A very comforting thought when faced with cake, as happens so often on Gransnet."

Well, we at GNHQ have never been ones to advise against cake - eat moderately, eat healthily and get a bit of exercise and there's no reason not to indulge in a slice or two now and again. It'd be rude not to, really...

woman in red