My oldest son, Dylan, is the typical "oldest child." He is organized, serious, meticulous and extremely attached to me. Did I mention how attached he is? So when my five-year-old decided to spend the night away from home, I was shocked. (Nevermind that he slept at my parents' house, who live approximately four miles away.) With iPhone in hand, I tossed and turned all night waiting for my teary-eyed son and exhausted mother to call me.
However, the call never came. It wasn't until 8 a.m. the next morning, after I insisted on picking him up, that he proudly hugged me and ran into the car ready to go home and see his brothers. As any parent can imagine, I was anxious to hear about his first sleepover. Dylan, however, was more eager to be reunited with his iPad (which he had left in my car). I told him that before watching his iPad he had to answer one single question: What had been his favorite part of the sleepover? He quickly said, "I love Grandma's skin, it is soft and smooth. And she smelled good too."
Was he kidding? Of all the many thoughts (and worst-case scenarios) that had run through my head, I never imagined he would care, much less notice, my mom's skin. As I drove home and thought about my son's remark, I couldn't help but think that he was right, my mom has always looked and smelled good. As a matter of fact, it's become a family joke. The mother of three daughters, she always reminded us to wash our faces, not pick at them and -- at the very least -- to remove our makeup before bed. (Actually, I think she began telling us to cleanse and moisturize, but when she realized how unmotivated we were, she settled on just washing.)
Growing up, I vividly recall being in bed and listening to my mom move around her bathroom. I can still hear my dad snoring as my mom turned the faucet on and off, opened and closed the cabinets and finally turned out the lights. She is a bit of a snob when it comes to skin care: She doesn't believe in plastic surgery and is a die-hard fan of Guerlain products. She has her regimen, which consists of a morning and night routine, which she never EVER skips (even on overnight flights in crammed airplane bathrooms). She is a true believer in good, consistent skin care, and honestly, she looks amazing. (I used to joke that skipping the face routine and getting an extra hour of sleep would probably produce similar results.)
My sisters and I often look at each other and shrug our shoulders when someone comments on how youthful our mom looks. We are proud that she looks like "one of our sisters," and at the same time, we are embarrassed that we have yet to pick up on her good habits. When we were young and on family trips, our mom would take us to the spa and spoil us with facials, lessons, consultations and ultimately, product purchases. We were always eager to stick with the program, but, after a few weeks of confusing the day and night serum and using the eye cream for our lips, we would always give up and fall back into our old habits.
My older sister, always the pessimist, joked "We can't remember to use the damn Cetaphil, so there's no way we will do the ten steps mom wants us to do." Now, as my sisters and I are getting older, and have taken notice of developing wrinkles, sun spots and dark circles, we ask our mom to again tell us what her "secret" is. How does she look so good after having four children?
Her answer is always the same: Good, consistent skin care. As we read the magazines and get sucked into the cosmetic surgery craze, we ask her what she thinks about Botox, peels and plastic surgery, secretly hoping to gain her approval. She scoffs at the notion, and says she doesn't need it, and we certainly don't either.
So, after all the time she has invested in her skin, I can't blame my son for wanting to sleep on Grandma's side of the bed. I am still walking around with my cosmetic bag of skin care products, hoping that my mom's good habits inspire me. It's never too late to start, right?
Click through the gallery below to see the best beauty advice celebrities heard from their mothers growing up.
We’re basically your best friend… with better taste. Learn more