LIKE MOTHER…Sylvie (left) with daughter Olivia ChantecailleFrom childhood days spent trying on her lipstick to her advice on the value of a signature look, there is nothing so easy as learning from your mother. The world’s top beauty names share stories with EDWINA INGS-CHAMBERS
Even with a giant portion of love on the table, I can’t claim my mother is the most fastidious of women. But when it came to how she looked, from her clothes to her lipstick, she was exemplary – so easy and laid-back. So when people talk of a beauty inheritance, I don’t think about the large green eyes we have in common, or that raven hair of hers which I would trade for my golden lengths; rather that she has bequeathed to me a certain ease – both about how I feel about my looks and how I dress them up.
My beauty routine itself isn’t all about my mother. As with anything, we find our own way of doing things. But certain points have become part of our shared story as women. Long before rock-chick looks ruled the trend books, my mother’s main beauty secret was to sleep in the day’s makeup. Not all of it. Or not necessarily; she was never too precise. The main point was, she said, that eye makeup looks better the next day: “softer, less harsh” once it’s been slept in. I still swear by it.
“My MOTHER has bequeathed to me an EASE about how I feel about my LOOKS and how I dress them up”
But mothers and daughters are different. So while my mother encouraged the lived-in look, over in Paris, Christine D’Ornano, part of the Sisley clan, was learning the importance of being soignée. “From a young age, I was taught to always keep my nails and hair clean and groomed, and to cleanse my skin before bed,” says the impeccable D’Ornano. Well, trust the French to have a word for easy grooming. And though my mother also insisted on these things, I don’t remember them being taught as a ritual or given a name. But maybe that’s beauty’s continental shift. It seems what our mothers generally pass on beauty-wise is practicality. They have figured out what works and, while we may want to fightcredits
Photograph: Courtesy Chantecaille