The Secret to a Simple Beauty Routine That Never Goes Out of Style
Audubon Park, Memphis, circa 1972
“Wash and go” is the offhand way my mother describes her beauty routine. She’s not big on fussing and primping. In fact, she’s proud that she’s never had a pedicure or a manicure, and “tomboy” is still one of her preferred self-identifiers. In the photo above, she was 23 years old, swinging with my oldest brother at Audubon Park in Memphis. You’ll still find her in the park today, about 46 years later, but this time it’s with her grandkids in tow, splashing in the puddles and even hanging on the monkey bars (seriously!). Mom’s been rocking the natural look and giving it her own flair since before it was cool, thanks to a method that’s actually pretty simple: Invest at the salon, use mascara and lipstick every day, keep your skin-care routine easy and consistent, and stick to one perfume (just make sure it’s great).
This wear-anywhere pink is her daytime signature. She sometimes lets her granddaughters swipe it on too.
Buy It: Laura Mercier Lip Glacé in Rose, $26; sephora.com
At night, she goes bolder with a deep pink that she’ll also use as blush in a pinch.
Buy It: Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Pink Velvet, $5; walmart.com
She’s worn Joy for as long as I can remember. The bottle sits on her dresser like a jewel.
Buy It: Jean Patou Joy Eau de Parfum, $190; neimanmarcus.com
Full eyebrows are key to her no-frills look. Mom’s tip: Never pluck above brows; it ruins their natural shape.
Buy It: Brow Gel, $12; merlenorman.com
Mascara is always a must, and drugstore brands are her favorites. She’s somehow even mastered using the wand as eyeliner.
Buy It: L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Original Mascara in Black, $6; amazon.com
“Treat yourself on days when it seems like the world is against you,” says Mom. This is her feel-better treat, and it smells like heaven.
Buy It: Oscar Body Lotion by Oscar de la Renta, $49; amazon.com