Wisdom, experience, and maturity are things most of us want in a beauty icon. This is exactly why everyone should be asking their grandmothers for beauty advice. Your grandma's beauty tips may just be all the beauty inspiration you need. Sometimes there's no need to scrounge the Internet for hairstyles or look to the stars for makeup tips, because the chances that your nana knows a thing or two about both of those categories are pretty darn high.
I can definitely speak from personal experience here. My mother's mother and my father's mother were both gorgeous women who maintained their beauty routines no matter how badly their health treated them in their later years. I've also recently made acquaintances with Ma, my S.O.'s grandmother, who maintains her own beauty routine with pride. These women have experienced every peak and valley of beauty, so they have each acquired unique and golden advice for how to navigate any and all beauty disasters out there.
And so I've collected information from my own grandmothers, who have unfortunately passed, and my S.O.'s nana to compile a list of 11 grandma beauty tips that actually work. After all, you never know what amazing, helpful beauty advice is lingering just two generations before you until you ask.
1. Don't Use Soap
Ma has the most flawless skin I've seen in this world. So it makes sense that her first and foremost beauty tip is to "take care of your skin." But the biggest takeaway from her notes was that she avoids soap on her face as much as possible.
Soap, like exfoliating cleansers and drying lotions, can sometimes be "too harsh" for gentle, sensitive faces. Instead, she opts for light, oil-based cleansers and light moisturizers with SPF coverage. It's a perfect option for an effective yet gentle cleansing routine.
2. Sleep Is Very Important
If there's one thing the older ladies in my life have taught me, it's that getting enough sleep is a crucial part of one's beauty routine. From my grandma to my mom to my older sister, they have all known that if you're not getting enough rest at night, your skin and hair will likely look exhausted.
While it may be difficult to get enough sleep every night, remember that doing so is a big foundation for healthy-looking skin. And then maybe turn off Making A Murderer a little early and actually catch some snooze time.
3. Quality Over Quantity
There was no need to ask Ma about this, because all I really had to do was take a look into her makeup drawer. As you can see, the woman loves her Chanel beauty products, and for good reason. "Cutting corners with your products won't work," she tells me, explaining that if you're going to spend money on beauty products, you might as well spend an extra few bucks for quality ones with long-wear. Wise advice, Ma. Wise advice.
4. Don't Over-Stress Your Hair
Ma, as well as my own grandmother, know better than to over-stress one's hair. Most of us are aware that chemicals and treatments can take a big toll on our strands, but our hair's natural aging process will also factor in. My grandma's hair thinned out so much, likely because of countless dye jobs and the natural aging process, that she ended up wearing a gray wig to really do up her mane. While Ma's hair is still plenty voluminous, she recommends keeping your product count low and only doing treatments when you feel it's absolutely necessary.
5. Wash Hot Tools With Vinegar
I honestly never thought to wash my hot tools at all, yet I've always wondered where that grime on my curling iron comes from. But with Ma's advice, I now know to wash my hot tools every month or so with a wash cloth and vinegar. According to her wisdom, it's usually a safe, damage-proof, effective way to wash hot tools. The vinegar will take away all the gross grime and ensure your hot tool stays working properly.
6. Get A Good Beautician
This tip is something I think many of us wish we could do. "Get a good beautician," Ma tells me. "I've had the same colorist for 25 years and I wouldn't trust anyone else with my hair." There are so many benefits to developing a relationship beyond client and professional in the beauty industry. With time, a set stylist can get to know your taste, your needs, your wants, and exactly how to perform any given service. And just like Ma, that relationship could even turn into a friendship. What's better than having a friend in the beauty industry?
7. Take Baths More Than Showers
I am a shower kind of girl, but according to my grandma and Ma, I need to be taking more baths. Whenever she has time, Ma says she'll take a bath so she can relax all while stripping away dead skin, moisturizing her skin, and calming her nerves. That doesn't sound horrible in the slightest. In fact, it sounds like a really good excuse for a weekly bath, no?
8. Know When To Look Presentable
Both of my grandmas were always of the philosophy that walking out the door means looking your very best, whatever that means to you. While I've definitely gone out in public wearing sweatpants and no makeup, I know my grandmas would have scolded me for it. Maybe it's an outdated tip. But there's no denying that looking and feeling your best before leaving home is a good philosophy for any beauty routine. Just be sure to define your own terms!
9. Wash Your Makeup Brushes Thoroughly
Make sure you're regularly washing your makeup brushes, just like Ma. Some makeup brush tips suggest washing it with specific brush-washing products, or even with baby shampoo. Whatever your tactic, just make sure you're cleaning them, because those babies can carry a lot of bacteria that you do not want on your face.
10. Avoid Styling Hair When It's Wet
Ma lives by the hair rule that you should never style your mane when it's wet. From her experiences, "Hair will break more when it's wet than when it's dry," she tells me. So she recommends lightly blowdrying it or letting it air dry before using any kind of styling tools. Considering the luscious state of her hair, I'm willing to take her word for it.
11. Do Something For Yourself
Even when my grandmother was applying her eyeliner on the middle of her lid because her eyesight wasn't good enough to get it at her lash, she still wore eyeliner. One thing my grandmother always believed in was taking time for yourself, and Ma shares the same sentiment. Life's too short to push aside "treat yo' self" time, so go get your nails done or your hair did. Time spent on yourself is never wasted.
Clearly, grandmas have more golden beauty tips than most of us could ever have imagined. Stay away from soaps, take more baths, and maybe getting old won't be so bad.
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Images: Melodi Erdogan; Courtesy MaryEllisSmells/Instagram