Is less more? Did grandma really know best? The simplicity movement in home decor, fashion, and beauty makes me reflect on what my Grandma Lucy taught me about self-care (nobody called it “self-care back then, heh). Grandma Lucy was beautiful, vivacious, funny, a fabulous Italian cook, and my surrogate mother when my parents divorced. She knew a lot about everything, I realize more and more as the years pass.
Grandma Lucy died at age 63, the age I’m going to be next week. Gone far too soon, I still miss her and her lovely light still warms me. She would have been appalled at all the face and body modifications that are almost “normal” now. Life was too busy and money too short for things like botox, chemical peels, liposuction et al. But here are some things she taught me about beauty:
1. Use a washcloth on your face. She knew about exfoliation, but didn’t call it that fancy name. Just wash your face every night with a soft cloth and it will look fresh.
2. Eat your veggies. Although we had spaghetti with almost every meal, Grandma also pushed plates of olives, tomatoes, beans and broccoli at me.
3. Red lipstick is everything. Grandma had only three or four lipsticks, and looking back I swear they were all the same color. She loved real red, and so do I, especially when I’m feeling washed-out.
4. Pond’s cold cream is the best; just be sure to rub it in all the way, and don’t forget your neck.
5. Don’t pick at your skin! She was so right, of course, about this. I used to be a skin-picker and it always made small pimples into enormous ones.
6. Don’t start shaving your legs; you’ll have to do it forever. This is not scientifically true, but the fair, soft hair on my legs could have been left alone for many years. I just couldn’t wait to use her pink Lady Schick.
7. Wear rubber gloves for house chores. Grandma got her nails “done” about once a month, and for a few days afterwards I had to wash, rather than dry the dishes. She always used gloves for the rough stuff, and so do I.
Some of grandmas’s advice turns out to be not-true: bread crusts don’t make your hair curly; and you can exercise when you have your period. But always true: naps make you prettier.
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