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The Best Bridal Beauty Advice We've Received from Our Mothers and Grandmothers

They knew what they were doing!

Contributing Writer
bride with mother
Photography by: KT Merry

We recently watched a video from when one of our staff member's mothers got married in 1981. Although the wedding took place in the era of "more is more," we were struck by the intimacy of the affair and the subdued elegance of the bride herself: You'd have never known it took place during the '80s, the time of sky-high hairstyles, over-the-top makeup, and bold fashion statements, because the bride wore her mother's silk satin wedding gown from the 1940s, had an effortless, natural makeup look, and wore a half-up hairstyle with a barrette. Who better to ask for timeless bridal beauty advice, then, than our mothers and grandmothers? So that's just what we did. (Most of them agreed on everything, and—spoiler alert—listed skincare as a top priority.) 

 

Related: DIY Wedding Day Makeup

 

Leave your eyebrows alone.

"My mom always told me to never let anyone but a professional touch them," says Gabriella Rello, Senior Digital Editor. "I didn't listen, naturally, and regretted it for the many, many years I spent letting them fill back in." Adds contributing writer Elizabeth Swanson: "Mine went so far as to say never touch your eyebrows at all—that's one piece of advice I actually have followed, and am hugely grateful for it."

 

Always wash your face.

"Forgetting to can cause premature wrinkles!" says Social Media Manager Christina Park's mom. The trick is to do it before you get tired—Rello's mom "washes her face right after she gets home from work."

 

Don't skimp on moisturizer.

Digital Director Jennifer Cress' mom applies facial moisturizer with upward strokes to avoid wrinkles, while Rello's knows that it's worth spending money on quality moisturizers and eye creams. ("She's in her 60s and has better skin than most people I know in their 20s and 30s," she says.)

 

Protect yourself from the sun.

"Baz Luhrman and my mother said it best: sunscreen," says Real Weddings Editor Shira Savada. Find a trusty hat, too, like Swanson's grandmother: "She had fair skin and never left the house without a chic straw hat—especially in the summer. Her skin stayed soft and smooth her entire life."

 

Skip the spray tan.

"It can leave you uneven and blotchy," says Digital Editorial Assistant Emily Platt's mom. Instead, liven up your face with a little blush (or "rouge," as Senior Marketing Manager Mara Van Geldern's mom calls it).

 

Related: 16 Beauty Tips Every Bride Needs to Know

 

​Stay true to yourself.

It can be easy to lose yourself in today's Instagram-saturated world. But, as Platt's mom says, "Don't let others sway your vision. Not grandmothers, not mothers, not friends. Look like yourself." In the same vein, Associate Digital Editor Sarah Schreiber's mother recommends "choosing a flattering lipstick you can wear every day after the wedding." (In fact, the lipstick she wore on her wedding day is the same one still she puts on every morning. "It's a miracle it didn't get discontinued," Schreiber says.)

 

A little mascara goes a long way.

Associate Marketing Director Olivia Spadafore and Swanson's mothers agree that mascara is a must-have product: "It's a little detail, but really helps to open the eyes," Swanson's mom says.

 

​Confidence is key.

"Always hold your head up. It makes you look more confident and radiant," says Park's mom.

 

Drink warm water for a glowing complexion.

Park's mom swears by drinking warm water with lemon and honey, while Swanson's mom sometimes just drinks hot water in the morning for a circulation and energy boost. ("She doesn't even drink coffee, and has more energy than anyone I know," she says.)

 

And one last tip for good measure?

"Don't let the groom hit you in the face with cake. It's not good for your hair and makeup," says Platt's grandmother. (Noted.)