After years of pleading tears and pitiful begging, I had managed to convince my parents that having a couple of little gold balls in my lobes would not be the first step on a path to teen pregnancy or delinquency. I promise-promise-promised that, even with holes in my ears, I would still choose good friends, be on the Honor Roll and clean my room.
(And, actually, I'd probably do these things a whole lot more effectively with the added confidence and self-assurance one can only achieve wearing a pair of green, plastic m&m studs.)
Whatever the argument, Mom gave in. Or maybe she just let me think she was giving in. It was my twelfth birthday and I got her all to myself as we drove to Castleton's Department Store for the Big Event.
(Moment of silence in memory of Castleton's, please. You SLC gals of a certain age know what I'm talking about. Was it not THE place to shop? Smaller than ZCMI, classier than Penney's and the nicest salesladies, ever. You could pay for your entire back-to-school wardrobe of Espirit camp shirts and chunky cotton vests with mountains of crumpled babysitting dollar bills and they wouldn't bat an eye!)
Anyway, Mom walked me to the jewelry department, held my hand while the deed was done and then (wonder of wonders!) announced that she'd like her ears pierced, too. The rest of the summer we were religious about using hydrogen peroxide and twisting our studs. We went earring shopping together, too. I felt beautiful and grown up and thrilled that I was sharing it all with Mom--the most glamorous woman I knew.
I think my mom was smart to share beauty secrets with her daughters. While other mothers were tsk-tsking about miniskirts and Maybelline, Mom would sit down at the kitchen table with a stack of fashion magazines and clothing catalogs. While her teenage boys were drawn to the Doritos in the pantry, her teenage daughters were drawn to J.Crew and marie claire. As we girls flipped casually through the pages , Mom was subtly sharing classic style secrets, encouraging modest clothing choices, and getting the lowdown on life at the high school. It's amazing the profoundly life-changing discussions that can occur while leafing through the Nordstrom summer shoe circular.
Instead of treating makeup like forbidden fruit, Mom took me to the Clinique counter. She spent hours looking for clothes to suit my hard-to-fit shape. We got our colors "done" together and took an aerobics class and made facials out of eggwhite. I had so much fun with Mom that I forgot I was supposed to be a teenage rebel. Of course, I made plenty of hair and fashion mistakes (it was the Eighties, after all) and, of course, my mom was still the Strictest Mother Alive when it came to being home on time, respecting adult authority and helping around the house.
But it's a whole lot more fun helping around the house when you're wearing navy blue mascara.
This Mother's Day my mom gave me a beauty book. It's fun and light and helpful and the perfect kind of reading when you're sitting at baseball practice or waiting for piano lessons to end. The book is full of tips and products and fun "insider" stories. Still, all my tried-and-true glamour tips come from Mom. Here are a few of the beauty secrets she taught me:
- Red shoes go with everything.
- Spend the most money on the clothes you wear most often.
- An organized closet will save time, money and space. (Check out her closet...she practices what she preaches!)
- If you're old enough to wear makeup, you're old enough to wash it off every night.
- Don't try to look like anyone else. Emphasize your own beauty assets.
- Beauty is not about size or age, it's about style and attitude.
- The goal of looking your best is to feel confident, forget yourself and focus on others.
What are your beauty secrets?