Wisdom from a “Beauty”ful Grandma!
Grandma Belle was a resilient and memorable woman. At 51 her husband of just over 30 years passed away. The mother of 6, with ages ranging from 27 down to 5, had to learn very quickly how to muster up the courage to move on to the next phase of her life: “single-motherhood.”
Grandma was no stranger to sales. Before selling make-up, she sold Encyclopedias. She also hailed as a local journalist and Teacher at her Temple religious school. Whether it was educating her clients on the benefits of the encyclopedia collection, educating her students or parting wisdom in her articles, the essence of education was always an inspiration to Grandma Belle.
One fateful day a friend from her synagogue invited Grandma to a Fashion Two Twenty make-up demonstration. Up until now, although Grandma was always a stylish lady, her make-up routine consisted of Maybelline eyebrow pencil and a bit of lipstick. She came home from that meeting looking and feeling like a movie star and intent on educating others of the benefits of this product line. She even enlisted her husband, Papa Al, a salesman at Filene’s clothing store, to recruit his clients to join the business. Soon several husband and wife teams were touting the benefits of a good cleansing cream and moisturizer!
Thankfully, her make-up business was established and growing when Papa Al passed. Grandma continued to drive her burgeoning business forward selling such a huge volume of product that she was earning new cars and winning trips to Caribbean Islands. She even won a trip to Hawaii that she so generously gave to my parents for their honeymoon.
Now in my 40’s, I do not remember a time when visiting Grandma that we did not fill an order, make a delivery or hear a skincare success story. For Grandma beauty began with skincare. My favorite piece of advice that Grandma bestowed upon me was: “Never leave the house without a base-coat of moisturizer.” This was her mantra. No matter your beauty regimen or economic status, this should be, and is still mine to this day, your “foundation” (yes she did sell foundation too – several thousand bottles of it!). Today moisturizer not only provides moisture to the skin to fight wrinkles but also shields against the harmful rays Mother Nature shines upon us.
The right moisturizer should accompany a complimentary skin cleanser. There are many products on the market. I recommend testing a few before settling upon the right combo. I actually moisturize twice a day. Once in the morning and then after I cleanse my face in the evening apply a thicker night cream. If nothing more, consider moisturizing at least once a day!
This month my family and I are celebrating Grandma’s 10th Anniversary of her passing with a family reunion. There will be photos and skincare stories and laugh’s about Grandma‘s wit and very literal candor! As I write this blog, thoughts of Grandma dictating an order for me to pull off her shelf–“1-CC (cleansing Cream), 1-Moist (moisturizer), 1- #22 (A medium foundation!)…” dance lovingly and nostalgically around my head.
As I dutifully apply my moisturizer morning and night, I always think, Grandma would be proud to know I am carrying on her wisdom.