No one is more surprised than my family that I write for a beauty and style blog because I was the dirtiest little tomboy in my youth. Dresses? Prissy. Makeup? Prissy. Nail polish? So prissy.
But, try as I might, I couldn’t escape everything grooming-related. I remember how, after a bath, I’d sit on the stool in our old kitchen while Mom would brush detangler through my locks and then blow dry it. I used to complain that the heat from that devil machine was hurting—burning!—my ears and scalp, and Mom would tell me, “It hurts to be beautiful.” I’d say, “But Mooooom, I don’t want to be beautiful!” But I was going to be beautiful, dammit.
So, while my mom’s twisted style advice was that looking attractive might be liable to cause me pain and discomfort— she’s right about stilettos— read on to hear crazy tricks other mommies have taught us over the years. Remember: It doesn’t have to hurt to be beautiful.
“Always wear mascara to the grocery store. You never know who you are going to meet.” —Teresa
(From a Canadian) “When crossing the border to get my first visa, my mom actually suggested that I undo the top button of my shirt. I got the visa!”—Stacia
“My mom always taught me a lady wears pantyhose. As a kid, I just thought she was fussy, especially for Florida. But now that baby is all grown up with thighs that touch, I realize she was just trying to save me from the pain of chafe-age and exposed cellulite. She clearly knows best.”—Sally
- “Never wear cleavage to lunch. It’s tacky.”
- “Put on some lipstick—you’ll look less deathly.”
- “You should always wear a bra. It isn’t healthy not to.”—Taylor
“Hands are the first thing you extend to someone. You don’t want to be shoving a gnarly nubbin at them. So, every week you have to push back your cuticles, even up the edges with a file, and brush on some paint. Now that’s how you look polished!”—Margie
“When I was a teenager, I had really bad acne, and I was really bummed about it. My mom told me to put on a honey mask because I was sweet, and it was good for my skin. I always thought that she was just trying to make me feel better, but I recently read that honey is a natural antiseptic and good for breakouts—that lady was on to something!—Yvette
“It doesn’t matter how good you look if you don’t show up on time.”—Ashley
“My mom always taught me to take off my makeup with a cotton ball and cold cream, not with soap and water. I do this now but with Cetaphil and cotton pads, and I think it helps keeps my skin nice and dewy.”—Rachel
“My mother has always told me ‘Try everything once.’ But when she saw I got a tattoo, she was shocked and said, ‘I didn’t mean that!’”—Kelly
“Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. And a hat, too. Sure, I look like a freak on the beach next to the Brazilian bikini wearers of the world, but at least my skin won’t burn off my body.”—Rachel
“Go light on the make-up!”—Kim