For many of us, our mothers and the maternal figures in our life served as our first introduction to beauty and wellness. As children, we’d watch them with curiosity as they curled their hair or applied lipstick in the mirror. And as teens, we often raided through their makeup, skincare, and haircare stash (perhaps without their knowledge).
While we may be the ones doling out beauty tips and tricks to them now, we have to give our moms props for being the ones to introduce us to some of our first products. From mascaras to hair lotions, many of their must-have products naturally became staples for us throughout our teenage years and beyond. Ahead, Team Byrdie reminisces on the beauty and wellness products we used (and sometimes still use) because our moms did too.
Olivia Hancock, associate editor
As a child, my mom would braid my hair every morning before school. Sometimes she'd style my hair in a single braid, or if we had more time, she'd do an elaborate zig-zag part with four braids. But no matter what hairstyle we were going for, there was always one product that my mom kept within reach: Luster's Pink Moisturizer Hair Lotion. The classic leave-in styling lotion kept my hair hydrated, promoted shine, and allowed my mom to slick and smooth my thick curls. Because it was the first hair product I can recall using, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.
The first skincare product I ever used was Noxzema's Classic Clean Original Deep Cleansing Cream. My mother kept a jar in the bathroom, and I'd always see her apply the thick white cream on her face. So, naturally, I did the same. Throughout middle school, this was my go-to cleanser. The eucalyptus-infused cleanser always refreshed and invigorated my skin. If you've used it before, you know that feeling I'm talking about.
Madeline Hirsch, news editor
My mom and I have been hot yoga devotees since I was in high school. Anyone who practices will tell you that a no-slip matt is essential for sweating in +98 degree heat. She introduced me to this mat almost 10 years ago, and I've never looked back. If I hadn't left it on the subway a few years ago, I'd probably still have my original mat from high school today. Rest assured, I purchased a replacement only days later. And yes, we still go to corepower classes when we're together.
Makeup remover seems like a no-brainer now, but when you're a lazy 13-year-old experimenting with eyeliner...not so much. My mom always goes to bed fresh-faced following a cleanse and a cotton swab of this Neutrogena mainstay and strongly encouraged me to do the same throughout my teenage years. I still use this product to this day.
Karli Bendlin, senior editor
The Olay Classic Moisturizing Lotion was a mainstay on our bathroom counter growing up. My mom applied it constantly and never left the house for more than a few hours without it. When I first started getting interested in beauty as a preteen, she bought me my own bottle, and it became one of the first products I relied on. I've since graduated to fancier formulas, but when I'm in a pinch or traveling and need to purchase a drugstore moisturizer, it's still my go-to.
While I'm sure almost every mom has a jar of vaseline lying around somewhere, I doubt many moms use it as frequently or as universally as mine does. It's been her lip balm, makeup remover, night cream, and general do-it-all solution of choice for as long as I can remember. I always keep a jar in my own medicine cabinet now—partially for the nostalgia factor and partially because it really does come in handy more often than not.
Kathryn Vandervalk, editorial & strategy director
My mom started her skincare journey later in the game after I started working at Byrdie and recommending her products. Now she's a regular Byrdie reader and bought Supergoop's Unseen Sunscreen on her own after seeing our rave reviews. Immediately, she told me I had to try it. "I don't get it," my dad said. "Is it sunscreen or makeup?"
My mom insisted it was both—SPF 40 with the blurring properties of a primer—and I decided I had to get a bottle. My mom and I both love the no-makeup makeup look, multi-tasking products you can swipe on with your fingers, and Supergoop is right up our alley. The cult-favorite Unseen Sunscreen is amazing, but we've expanded into their Shimmershade Eyeshadows, Daily Dose Vitamin C serum, and PLAY Lip Balm. To answer my dad's question, only some of their products technically qualify as makeup, but they all make us feel ready for the day and protected from the sun.
Lindsey Metrus, editorial project director
At 63, my mom has incredible skin. Along with diligent sunscreen application and genetics, she swears that Murad is partly to credit for her smooth, plump complexion. I began using the line in college when my skin was at its worst (large cystic breakouts along my cheeks, the result of hormonal changes, and a diet of Easy Mac and cheap beer) and have found the same affection my mom has for Murad's nourishing, gentle-yet-effective products. My favorite items are the Renewing Cleansing Cream and the Age-Balancing sunscreen. The glow my skin gets after using these is unmatched.
Tiana Crispino, visual editor
The beauty product my mother introduced me to was an eyelash curler. Nothing fancy, but we both have dark lashes that she describes as "straight as an arrow," and a little curl just brings them to life.
Hallie Gould, associate editorial director
My mother has never been into makeup, but she always used Nars' iconic Blush in Orgasm. As soon as I saved enough allowance money, I went out to buy it for myself at the local mall. The peachy, golden-shimmer shade is subtle and universal; the perfect flush. I'll never forget watching her swipe it on in front of her mirror, the gold specks flying. I still use it to this day when I want a boost in serotonin.
I have visceral memories of my mother using this thick ointment to soften and cushion her feet before heading out for long-distance runs. I would sit on her bed as she applied it, covered it up inside her socks, and went on her way. I didn't know what it was at the time, I figured it was something all runners used for reasons that escaped me, but that didn't stop me from buying it myself at the pharmacy whenever I spotted it on the shelves. Since, of course, I've realized its value. It's an original skin-healer, a square tin of lanolin-based balm to soothe skin irritations. My mother used it to prevent blisters, but I use it to keep dryness at bay on my heels, elbows, knees, and cuticles. Sometimes I'll even glob in on my feet, just like she did, and pull my socks on for a warming, mask-like experience.