What Our Mothers Taught Us About Beauty

When you’re a little girl, there’s something fascinating about watching your mother’s beauty routine. Before seeking beauty advice from the pages of Teen Vogue or watching ‘how-to’ videos on YouTube, your mom was your go-to source for tips. And so, in celebration of Mother’s Day, STYLE Canada’s Linley McConnell asked the women who inspire her most to share what their mom’s taught them about beauty. Scroll to find out what they said.


Anjli Patel, Fashion Lawyer and Trademark Agent – @anjlitoronto

“My parents immigrated to Canada from Nairobi in the early 80s. They had very little money, and that instilled a simplicity and self sufficiency in my mom that she also instilled in me. So her biggest lesson to me has been ‘less is more’ coupled with ‘do it yourself’. Doing as little as possible, really, as a form of self acceptance. The only makeup I’ve ever seen her wear is lipstick and kohl on her waterline, the latter of which is a distinctly eastern beauty ritual. I’ve abandoned both for much of my adult life in favour of wearing no makeup, but I recently bought a lipstick and have been contemplating lining my eyes again.”

Cydney Connell, Improvisor – @Cydconnell

“My mom JoJo emulates beauty. On the outside she is striking, and on the inside, she is kind to everyone and everything. She is compassionate and always finds the best in people – a trait I have yet to master. As for beauty tips I wear patchouli, moisturize my neck and always have my favourite tube of lipstick – Silver City Pink on hand.”

Elise Gasbarrino, Editor-in-Chief of STYLE Canada and Founder of Pink Pearl Canada – @elisegasbarrino

“My mom was never one to push makeup or beauty routines on us. Her parents immigrated from Italy and their mentality was more down to basics when it came to beauty. At most, my grandma would wear lipstick. To this day, my mom still applies this mentality. When I asked her about this feature, she said a little soap, water, and brush of mascara is all you need. And to be honest, that’s pretty similar to the routine I follow, although I do add in a facial oil from time to time.”

Sabrina Zavarise, Advertising Account Director 

“As a nurse in hospice care, my mom works with people and their families during some of the hardest times they’ll face. She’s a great listener and is one of the most selfless people I know. Her approach to beauty has also been one of a certain subtlety and understated-ness. She taught me that when applying perfume, spray on your tummy under your shirt so as not to overwhelm those around you. She doesn’t wear scents every day because of her job, but I have warm memories of her getting ready for special events and holidays and watching the quick spritz of perfume she gave herself as a final touch.”

Sarah Bartnicka, Marketing Writer – @sarahbartnicka

“My mom only recently introduced a one-step skincare routine of moisturizing and has said the key to her youthful glow is ‘probably avocados’. This summarizes her approach to beauty well, which has always been from the inside out. She taught me to dig deeper before turning to products by asking questions like: how am I managing stress in my life? What does my diet look like? I’m 24 and she still buys me skincare from the organic aisle of the grocery store to keep me from going to Sephora.”

Anastasia Barbuzzi, Digital Editor at STYLE Canada – @anastasiabarbuzzi

“My mom has battled rosacea for as long as I can remember and it’s prohibited her from using many conventional makeup products due to the hypersensitive nature of her skin. Though she would love to be able to use a little bit of foundation or concealer without a hassle, she’s always been able to fully embrace a natural look whether she desired to or not. She’s taught me the importance of embracing your uniqueness and a bare face. Beauty tip: Wear your sunscreen.

Raji Aujla, President of Willendorf Cultural Planning – @raji.aujla

“My mom came from a small village in Punjab where modesty and humility were fashionable. She taught us that beauty radiates in a clean body and a peaceful mind. Her adornments were equally simple but skillfully crafted in the details, opting to wear heirloom jewelry, glass bracelets, and natural pigments for makeup like kajal around her eyes or a deep cola on her lips. I’ve carried this philosophy in my own understanding of beauty by being mindful of what I put in and on my body. As for her beauty tips, meditation to calm and bring unity from within is what she believes will give your body a natural glow.”

Kate Ryan, Employer Branding – @kateblairryan

“My Mom taught me that fashion and beauty don’t need to mean high fashion. There is something equally beautiful in hiking boots and a sweater. My Mom’s approach to beauty was always less will take you much further. Invest in a few key staples for your beauty routine and no need to ever overdo it.”

Alanna Osborne, Teacher

“My mom has always been great with makeup. I love how she is willing to try new things, from bold colours to the latest beauty trends. The biggest thing I’ve learned from my mom is the importance of embracing beauty the way that you want to and doing whatever makes you feel the most beautiful. If that’s wearing eyeshadow to the gym, so be it. There is also one thing we will always disagree on: mascara does not go on bottom lashes.”

Linley McConnell, Head of Business Development at STYLE Canada – @linleymcconnell

As for my mom’s beauty philosophy? Nancy (pictured above) has a magnetic energy which gives her the ability to connect with anyone. From a young age she taught me that outer beauty is simply an extension of who you are inside. You shine when you make someone else feel good about themselves. Though my mom used to do a lot of modeling, she rarely wears makeup and uses a ‘less is more’ approach. Beauty tip: If you have to invest in your beauty products, prioritize skincare and makeup brushes.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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