What Are Your Fondest Beauty Memories?

Published in: Guest Post, Just For Fun

My grandma in the mid-'40s

My grandma in the mid-’40s

I bet there’s a place that’s very special to you and was a very special place to you as a child. For me, that place is my grandmother’s house in Moriah, NY, in the Adirondacks on Lake Champlain. I spent so much time there as a child (because she lives five minutes down the road from the house I grew up in), and it has always been a meeting place of sorts for my mother’s side of the family. Our whole group flocks there.

Even as adults, my aunts and uncles and cousins all meet at her house when we come home to visit, and at 91, my grandmother certainly enjoys the company.


Probably the best thing about being at my grandmother’s house growing up with a bunch of cousins who were all older than me was getting to play with their makeup! My cousins lived in the surrounding towns but were still pretty far away, and I have distinct memories of being at the dining room table, poking through their makeup bags (whether they wanted me to or not!) on the weekends and holidays we would spend at my grandmother’s house.

Legs for days!

Legs for days!

Let me explain.

All of my cousins are significantly older than I am because my mother was the youngest of my grandmother’s children, and she had my mom at 36 when my grandmother already had three kids (almost) in their teens.

So being much younger than everyone else, my mom also had her kids much later than her siblings did, so my eldest cousin is in his late forties now, and I’m the baby of my cousins at 25. The only ones younger than me now are the great grandkids, the oldest of whom at 13 is just now starting to wear makeup (which makes me feel old).

Thankfully my older cousins happily put up with me and all of my pestering when I was younger, which I love them for because many teenagers don’t have much use for the little ones at family gatherings (I know I don’t at times). They all treated me more like a sibling than a cousin.

Last weekend I got to reconnect with a lot of my family I hadn’t seen in a while, and one of my cousins even continued to amaze and inspire my beauty habits by bringing me a TON of her collection to go through and peruse at my leisure!

I only took a few things (because, at this point, I really don’t need more beauty products), but I appreciated the thought.

avon, glam glow, mud mask, aloe,

The three products I got from my awesome cousin: The Herbal Answer Herbal Aloe Force The Skin Gel, Glam Glow YouthMud TingleXFoliate Treatment, and Avon Totally Kissable Lipstick in Racy Red

And the products I didn’t take went to my other cousins’ children (13, 11, and 5)! So seeing them playing with makeup and beauty products that an older member of the family brought definitely made me relive a lot of fond memories.

For fun sometimes I like to say that I learned most of what I know from the internet (and a big chunk of it, I have), but I really did learn a lot about life from sitting at my grandmother’s dining room table and from riding in cars with my sister and cousins.

Grandma in the mid-'40s

Grandma in the mid-’40s

What are your fondest beauty memories?

Oh, and have you ever heard of that aloe gel? It’s totally new to me, but I can’t wait to try it!

Marcella Yakalis

Marcella Yakalis is a freelance writer living and working in Brooklyn, New York, with two cats, one snake, and one very patient boyfriend. She writes about family, relationships, and oppressive retail culture. She can also be found on Twitter and Instagram.


Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 10 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Jaclyn levy says:

    Great post! I love the photos of your Grandma. She’s a beauty.

    One of my fondest makeup memories is my oldest cousin painting my fingernails crazy colors: one nail green, another orange, blue, etc. I felt SO REBELLIOUS. This was the early 90’s way before it was normal to wear weird colors on your nails. It was my first experience with make-up being used to make a statement or tell a story instead of makeup used to be pretty.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Some of my best beauty memories took place in the 80’s, and I was just playing with makeup for fun. I must have been five or six. My sister in law gave me an off the shoulder Thriller concert t shirt and I had on blue eyeshadow and my mom’s Avon lipsticks… which had to be red or plum. That’s all she wore back then. I was a sight! lol

  3. None of my cousins were into makeup (or are), so my beauty memories all relate to my mother and her stash.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Garancia Pscht Magique – Do you remember foam parties?

  4. Amy says:

    Sweet post! One of my earliest beauty memories is of my older cousin pretending to give me a manicure in the back of our station wagon in “Newport orange,” a polish color we made up while driving by a Newport cigarette ad. So much fun! Though not an actual manicure! I loved exploring my grandma’s perfume and powder around age five.

  5. What a nice post! It’s amazing how these things stick with us, huh?
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Make-up look | Estée Lauder Pure Color Lip and Cheek Summer Glow in Fuchsia Lights

  6. This is so lovely. You grandma looks so cute in these photos!

    I was the only little girl among my closest cousins, so my grandmother, who sold Avon, spoiled me a little bit. Certain Avon scents still remind me very strongly of her. My mom was also really into makeup & fragrance, and I loved looking at/sniffing her huge perfume collection, but somehow I didn’t inherit her taste in scents or colors.

  7. Erin says:

    My parents worked for a silent film star when I was little and both of my grandmothers were glamorous. My maternal grandmother in a more sporty way and my paternal in a more european meets debutant way.

    They all had tons of perfume, makeup, and tools. I have many many memories associated with beauty.

    My mother was more of hippie and had only one brown lipstick and lots of perfume. She wore Shalimar and Cristalle. She also had a french violet perfume and as the years went on a little more makeup (it was the 80’s) and more bombastic perfumes. Her thing was always her hair and thick black liner, but she stopped lining her eyes when I was little.
    Erin recently posted … Quick Personal Post

  8. Ericca says:

    Your photos of your grandma only made me remember my beauty memories of mine. She always wore soft corals and pinks on her lips and in her pre wig days she wore her hair curly. I will always remember her telling me stop playing in her perfumes that were so mature to me being so young like elementary school young. We only visited her during the summers and seeing her fully made up even at 10 in the morning was wild ( my mom never wore makeup when i was a kid). She is no longer with us but when I think of makeup reflecting a soft appearance or when I see people pick up an Estee Lauder lipstick in like rose, it reminds me of her.

  9. Chris25 says:

    Lovely photos of your grandmother. And it looks like you got some great picks from your cousin — that Racy Red is fab.
    Chris25 recently posted … Review: L’Oreal Silkissime Eyeliner in True Teal

  10. Amber says:

    These pics of your Grama are fabulous! She’s like a fashion blogger of the 40s! Sounds like a fun weekend reconnecting with your cousins!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge