Natural Beauty Truths From My Southern Granny
Carrie Louise Eagar
Birmingham, Alabama, circa 1940s
My Granny was a natural beauty who didn't believe in trusting beauty to nature. When I think of her, years after her passing, I picture her painting her nails or pin-curling her hair and tying it up in a kerchief (à la Rosie the Riveter). She was always moisturizing, spritzing, brushing, combing, and spraying. It took her a whole month just to plan her look for my cousin's wedding and two days to execute it. She was gorgeous, as always—with Clairol-dark hair in loose waves and curls, an elegant evening dress, and just the right jewelry. She told me once that a man at church had asked whether her hair color was natural. (Apparently, he had a death wish.) Granny's unflinching retort: "It's the color I was born with."
All Wrapped Up
"Granny's hair wrap was a simple scarf tied around her head. For those who lack tying skills, here's a stylish alternative."
Buy It: The Kate Hair Wrap, $67; silkelondon.com
"On a hot summer day, Granny used to say, ‘I don't mind feeling this way, but I sure do hate to look like this.' She loved good-smelling bath powder."
Buy It: Beautiful Perfumed Body Powder, $57; esteelauder.com
"Granny had dark, shoulder-length hair all the way into her nineties. I intend to follow her lead, and I've got the chemicals to do it."
Buy It: Clairol Root Touch-Up Permanent Hair Color, $8; walgreens.com
Always On Point
"She was never a fan of the natural look, especially when it came to her meticulously shaped brows."
Buy It: Almay Brow Styler, $8; ulta.com
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
"I don't recall her brand of moisturizer—but she applied it religiously. This one does double duty."
Buy It: Superscreen Daily Moisturizer SPF 40, $38; sephora.com