This Mother’s Day, we’re skipping the usual beauty gift guides in favour of something a little different. This year, we want to celebrate our mums and all they taught us when it comes to looking after our health and our skin.
Our mums teach us so much about taking care of ourselves and impart (consciously or subconsciously!) so much wisdom on how to feel and look our best. Whether that’s exercise habits, embracing and celebrating our bodies, looking after our skin, less-is-more makeup hacks, the art of self-care, or how to eat abundantly, the H&H team want to share the invaluable lessons we’ve learnt about health, wellness and beauty from our lovely mothers.
Much of what I initially learned in wellness, and certainly my passion for self-care and nutrition, has all come from mum. Before anyone even really knew what “organic” meant, mum was standing outside supermarkets waiting for their (albeit very limited) organic food deliveries and this would dictate much of what we ate that week. Her sister, my aunt, was an organic food grower so from an early age I knew and understood the importance of healthy, good food and the downsides of pesticides. Mum and I don’t live to eat but eat to live and the more healthy a dish is the more we seem to enjoy it – this concept is not shared by my husband, nor hers. I have recently moved to the countryside, very near to mum, and am excited to get in the garden and get growing myself. Aside from introducing me to my love of healthy, nutritious food, my mum also championed the importance of self-care. For as long as I can remember mum has also managed to have massages or reflexology as part of her monthly wellness routine. When I was young she would always ask the masseuse if she would give my brother and me five minutes at the end and it sparked a love affair with self-care treatments. We now both share the same reflexologist, who is nothing short of a miracle worker, and treatments with him are one of the greatest joys – I just love it. When I became a mum myself seven years ago mum reminded me constantly to look after myself – especially when I wasn’t getting enough sleep and the juggle between raising a family and growing a business was pretty absurd. Mum taught me it’s not just ok to love yourself, care for yourself and nourish yourself but that it is an essential part of being a parent. You’ve got to put your own oxygen mask on before anybody elses or you’re pretty useless to everyone around you – including you.
Like many daughters, we inherit not just our many little quirks and habits from our mothers, but of course, we also inherit DNA and genes. My skin is just like my mum’s, a little sensitive and prone to rosacea and one thing I definitely learnt from her is to choose skincare wisely! Simple skincare works best, nothing too fancy or elaborate with multiple steps. I learnt from her not to feel the need to be too indulgent and trend lead with skincare. Or to be trigger happy with jumping from one product to the next. Which is all too easy these days. Our complexions require simple ingredients to feel their best and I have to say it’s saved me a lot of skin woes over the years and when I find a product I like, I buy it by the truckload. Another beauty life lesson I unintentionally picked up from my mum follows the same theme. Simplicity. With makeup, I never saw my mum pile it on. It was (and still is) always subtle and almost unnoticeable, which I love. And while, much to her horror, I did go through a heavy eyeliner phase in my teens which was very peer-pressure-led, it wasn’t long before my inclination to adopt the “no-makeup makeup” look began. Honestly, I feel strange when I try and put loads of makeup! I don’t feel like look like myself! I am so used to popping a bit of tinted moisturiser on and a rosy coloured lip balm and that’s pretty much it. My makeup bag is minuscule and often unchanging. I always remember my mum carrying around the same lip gloss for years and years… and as a kid, I’ll admit to sneaking some on my lips while she wasn’t looking! I don’t know how many times she’s repeat-purchased it but I now do the same with my small stash of makeup. She’s taught me to celebrate natural, healthy skin, even when rosacea can make you feel a little insecure some days. Skin is not meant to be perfect! It’s not meant to be all one colour. Just like her, I use makeup not to hide my face but to enhance the natural features I have. The upside? It’s low maintenance and doesn’t cost me a fortune! Thanks for saving me pennies mum!
One thing I have inherited from my mamma is my love for food… every holiday or weekend is always planned around food; where we are going to eat, what we are going to eat.. it’s the focal point around everything we do. Standing around my parents’ island drinking wine while she cooks is one of my favourite things to do… and she is an incredible cook who makes the most incredible meals every single day and takes a great amount of joy in trialling new recipes to spoil us with when we come home. Her food is not quintessentially healthy but everything is always in moderation… ”Lagom” – a Swedish philosophy which roughly translates to not too much, not too little. It is all about balance (other than butter… she loves butter) and everything is always cooked fresh and from scratch. I always learned that you don’t have to go all-or-nothing with every meal. But instead its about eating just enough of what you need or want, whether it’s something sweet and unhealthy, or something wholesome and nutritious. I have always loved all types of food ranging from quinoa to kimchi to burgers and pizza and everything in between but always made from the best possible quality and ingredients and I believe this is one of the many reasons my mother has the most amazing skin and looks incredibly young for age… a daily celebration of good food (and wine).. balanced enjoyment is our family secret to health and wellness.
I’ve definitely got my mum to thank for my love and passion for beauty and wellness. It’s shaped me into the person I am today which has helped me navigate my way to a career path I love. For starters, I’ve had a membership at the same gym as my mum since I was 8 years old, what started as swimming together then evolved into doing boxing classes side by side in my early teens, and now 16 years later I’m an instructor at the very same gym teaching her classes, it’s quite surreal when I reflect! Our family holidays have always involved some kind of fitness activity, from early morning runs in Ibiza to hitting the famous Venice Beach gym in LA. I’m lucky enough to have been taken on many skiing trips thanks to my mum too, she’s an encyclopedia when it comes to ski resorts and knows all the best places to visit. My mum has drilled the importance of healthy eating into my brother and me from a very early age, at the time I wasn’t so thrilled about the abundance of veg on my plate but now I’m grateful for this as it’s ment eating well is just second nature to me now. Before Wholefoods was a thing, my mum would stock up on superfood products from a local independent organic food shop. Growing up, a green smoothie and vitamin would accompany my daily breakfast and I can’t remember a time when dinner wasn’t cooked from scratch. When it comes to beauty and skincare my mum is an absolute pro, I’ve always thought it was obscene the amount of money she spends on products and treatments but now totally understand how much joy it brings! She introduced me to Dermalogica in my teens and I’ve taken care of my skin ever since, if I look half as great as my mum in my fifties it’s all down to her. The tables have turned now, with me being the one introducing her to new beauty products and treatments, thanks to my job. For her birthday I treated her to a facial at Grey Wolfe which she loved! Aside from the more materialistic elements of wellness, my mum has always been there to support me through mental health challanges I’ve faced, which above all has been the things I’m most thankful for. Teaching the art of balance is a lesson that to this day my mum still reinforces…she’s my go-to person in times of crisis. I feel like she is my mum, therapist, nutritionist, gym buddy, life coach and friend all rolled into one!