My Aunt, the Beauty Icon
Joyce McCranie Rowe, Circa 1940
“Aunt Joyce believed in beauty on a budget—and that worked out well for her, given her flawless complexion, gorgeous bone structure, perfectly arched (untweezed!) eyebrows, and hair that did whatever she told it to. (Most of us did what Aunt Joyce told us to—she was feisty.) Bar soap, drugstore moisturizer, and a touch of mascara were about all she needed. When her daughter, Kathy, went to work, she started buying her mom little splurges, like Calvin Klein's Eternity perfume. But for the most part, Aunt Joyce's beauty routine was as unpretentious as she was. Honest—that's how I would describe her—inside and out."
"Her original formula isn't sold now, but it gave the same dewy look as this newer foundation."
Buy It: Estee Lauder Double Wear Nude Cushion Stick Radiant Makeup, $39.50; nordstrom.com
"She moisturized with Jergens lotion or Oil of Olay. As for me, I'm a sucker for splurge-worthy L'Occitane, but I still keep a little Olay on hand."
Buy It: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, $28; sephora.com
"I still remember Aunt Joyce's nightly ritual. She would wash her face with water and soap—something basic like Ivory."
Buy It: Ivory Original Bath Soap, $3.97 (for 10 bars); target.com
"This was my aunt's signature scent. She was drawn to it, I think, because it smells clean and doesn't overpower."
Buy It: Calvin Klein Eternity Eau de Parfum Spray, $86; amazon.com
"Aunt Joyce wore only clear nail polish. I don't like bright or dark colors either. I guess she rubbed off on me."
Buy It: Revlon Ultimate Shine Top Coat, $7.99; walgreens.com
"She had pretty eyes, enhanced for special occasions and Sunday services with a touch of mascara."
Buy It: Lash Sensational Mascara, $6.74; amazon.com