With Mother’s Day coming up on Sunday, for this edition of our ongoing series posing questions relevant to indie beauty, we asked 42 beauty entrepreneurs and executives the following questions: What role did your mother play in introducing you to beauty? What role did you play in introducing your children to beauty? What do the differences say about the beauty industry today?
Co-Founder, The Route Beauty
I have been in the beauty industry for over 30 years, and it really is all because of my mom! She recommended this as a path I explore after college, introduced me to some of her friends who were executives in beauty and the rest is history.
My mom also always encouraged me to take care of my skin and really taught me how. I vividly remember being around 15, and the two of us going and buying all of my skincare basics consistently at the Clinique counter in the local department store. We purchased makeup at the drugstore—there were no Ultas or Sephoras back then—and I remember the frostier the shadow and lipstick were the better.
My daughter, Bel, is 13 and has been very exposed to beauty as a result of my career. Most of her life I was with Urban Decay, so she loves makeup. I allow her to be creative and experiment. She owned her first James Charles palette at age 10 and regularly wears false eyelashes to school for fun now.
She is so much better at it than I am and now gets ready for school on TikTok Live with her own makeup tutorial or watching someone else do theirs. Ulta and Sephora and the rise of social media completely changed the landscape of beauty from when I was a teen to now by offering more choices, accessibility and education.
My nickname growing up was “Fancy Nancy,” so when the book by the same name launched, naturally I received 25 copies! I mention that because my mom is the opposite of me. She calls herself plain Jane. She is very simple, fresh faced with no makeup except for barely a hint of lipstick, maybe. Not at all a glamour girl, but nevertheless so lovely and so kind.
How did she raise me, a self-proclaimed glamour nurse who lives for and loves all things beauty? I have no clue except for the fact she let me be me fully and unconditionally. As a child, she sewed my clothes so we would pick out material and patterns, and she made the bows bigger and the taffeta brighter at my request. She allowed me to buy makeup with my own babysitting money, when she deemed me old enough to do so. First purchases: white eyeshadow and roller ball lip gloss. Ha!
I learned makeup on my own, and my mom would marvel at the transformation. A highlight from my teen years was watching "Style with Elsa Klensch" every Friday night with my mom. I know she wasn’t that interested in it, but did it for me anyway I loved the show and the time I got to spend just with my mom.
When my own darling daughter was born, just about 16 years ago, I secretly wished for a girly girl, but would love any and all sides of her obviously, and I wanted to share my love of skincare, makeup and fashion as well as education, finding your passion and spreading love and kindness (because kind is the most beautiful thing to be).
I encourage her to be open-minded and explore all interests, and I nurture her independence. She is welcome to experiment with any beauty products I own as long as she does so with cleanliness and respect, with the exception of lipsticks and eyeliners, those she must personally own. The nurse in me cannot fail to teach her about avoiding infections from products that touch our mucous membranes, the mouth and eyes?