For many of us, our first memories of anything beauty or make-up related stem from our mothers. We recount a few stories in honour of Mother’s Day.
It could be the first time she let you try out her lipstick, the perfume she used to wear when she dressed up for dinner or even a blue eyeshadow she loved (that in hindsight was absolutely hideous).
Usually it is something particular like this that we remember so vividly, the smell of Chanel Coco always reminds me of my Mum when she was dolled up to the nines, as she saved it for special occasions.
My own mum has always been very into hair and beauty, on her wedding day being the envy of everyone in the 1980’s with her huge curly mane. She still proudly tells me how jealous everyone was because hers was natural and not permed.
We have always bonded over our love of beauty, both being known to spend hours in the beauty halls of department stores, swatching, trying different colours and scents before enabling each other’s lipstick addictions.
The first time it ever really clicked how much she loved make-up was when my little brother was born. Instead of grabbing her hospital bag and heading straight out the front door once she knew it was time to go, she made us all wait while she reapplied her lipstick.
Despite being in a fair bit of pain and already in labour this was something she just couldn’t leave the house without. Everything happened quite quickly and she almost had my brother in the car on the way there!
To this day… she still doesn’t go anywhere without her make-up on, and neither do I.
Lauren Heskin, digital editor
I was a bit of a tomboy growing up so never really took much interest in makeup, but I remember the morning of my First Holy Communion. The morning of, my mum was so worried I was going to ruin my (borrowed) white dress if I was left alone, so she dragged me into the bathroom with her while she did her makeup.
I sat on the edge of the bath while she put her mascara on, and, seeing me watching her, she knelt down and put a little on my eyelashes, whispering “don’t tell your father” at the same time. It’s weird how much that moment stuck me after all that time, a little female alliance in a house full of boys.
It lasted a few hours, until she found me climbing a tree with my cousins in the borrowed dress.
Dominique McMullan, editorial director
My mum loves her curlers and when I was young, every time she washed her hair, the ritual of putting the curlers in and blasting with the hairdryer would ensue. I loved watching it.
I remember her picking me up from school and being so embarrassed because she had forgotten to take a curler out on the back of her head. She would also often be found with a curler or two attached to her clothes, which the older I got the more hilarious I found.
I have a photo from my wedding day, when it was pouring with rain. She is standing in the middle of the courtyard, belly laughing with a head full of curlers. I’ll treasure it forever.
Marlene Wessels, Art director
My mom always loved perfume. Whenever she goes abroad she would treat herself with a bottle of perfume – that would be her memory of her holiday.
Even still today, she loves perfume and would not even go to bed without a little spray.
My mum is a very glamorous woman so will always have her full face of makeup even if she only popping down to our local shop. I remember when I was studying makeup in college we had to bring in a model for a mature skin makeup exam. I bought in my mum.
The brief was the mother of the bride, we were advised on what kind of makeup we needed to do, a neutral lip being a part of the brief. So when it came to the end of the exam when I was doing the lipstick, my mum refused to put on the neutral lip and insisted I used her new bright pink YSL lipstick.
I failed that part of the exam because the lip ‘I chose’ was ‘too bright’. Thanks Mum!
This piece was originally published in 2019.