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keiralennox.com and related social media accounts may contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission for clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

seven beauty lessons I learned from my grandmother.

03/25/2014 70 Comments

seven beauty lessons I learned from my grandmother.

03/25/2014 70 Comments

My Nan was a true beauty, inside and out. Full of kindness and grace, she had a way of making everyone around her feel important and loved. She taught me all the best things about being a lady, and while I resisted her beauty advice as a stubborn messy-haired adolescent, I embrace it as a (still messy-haired) woman approaching her 30s.

Here are seven of the most important beauty rules I picked up from Betty Jean:

Keep your skincare routine simple. Nan’s medicine cabinet was always stocked with a gentle cleanser and Oil of Olay beauty fluid. She didn’t bother with overhyped anti-aging products or expensive department store brands; she knew what worked for her skin and stuck with it for decades. Through years of cosmetics experimentation, I’ve found that my skin is at its best with just a few natural, paraben-free products with sun protection (more on that in an upcoming post).

Stay out of the sun. Speaking of sunscreen, my years of sun worship and indoor tanning gave my poor grandmother boatloads of stress. She always encouraged me to be smart about sun exposure to prevent skin cancer and premature aging. I stopped tanning altogether six or seven years ago, and now I never leave the house without SPF on my face, neck and chest. Should you ever find yourself on a beach trip with me, I’ll be the one under a big hat and umbrella, wearing a coverup and lacquering myself with Coola every 20 minutes. 

Don’t forget your neck. From the time I started my first skincare routine (Clinique, age 14) to my early 20s, Nan told me, “whatever you do to your face, be sure to do it to your neck, too.” The skin on our necks is thin and delicate; it’s one of the first places to show signs of aging and the most difficult to fix cosmetically down the road. It’s important to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize it with care every day, just like the face.

Take care of your hands. Nan was self-employed and cleaned homes and offices for a living, but you’d never know it by her soft and manicured hands. She wore rubber gloves for cleaning and washing dishes, stashed apricot cuticle oil and hand cream by her chair in the living room, and always had a pretty clear coat of polish on her fingernails. I’m rough on my hands at the flower shop and never wear gloves, so I try to use a quality hand lotion several times a day and lather up my paws with avocado oil every night before bed.

Leave your eyebrows alone! I love my dark bold brows now, but it was a long journey to acceptance. I tweezed and waxed my eyebrows into all sorts of tortured shapes and arches through my adolescence, and even into my 20s. After every brow disaster, Nan would remind me to just clean between them — no one likes a unibrow — and pluck the stray hairs around my natural arch, which is exactly what I do now. If I could just keep them from turning gray…

Find your signature, and rock it. Nan wore the same shade of frosty pink lipstick for years. Her sweet sisters teased her for never switching it up, but she stockpiled tubes of strawberries and cream and used them down to nubs. I love the idea of a beauty or style signature, like an identifiable fragrance, a special pair of eyeglasses, or a favorite shade of lipstick.

Happy girls are the prettiest girls. Nan always said that it didn’t matter how pretty you were on the outside if you were ugly on the inside. Respect — for others and yourself — and kindness are the most important kinds of loveliness. She also believed that there was greater satisfaction in brownies and cake than a perfect bikini body, and I personally agree.

Cover image: Margaret Berg Wild Poppies

Keira Lennox

I'm a small town lady from the sunshine state with an affinity for bookstores, beauty counters and unfussy style. I spend my days running my flower shop, and my nights blogging about what I love and what I wear.

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70 Comments

  • Carolina Jenkins 03/05/2018 at 7:37 pm

    I always love and learn reading your blog ! Thanks Keria

  • […] I’m lookin’ at you, tanning beds; should’ve listened to my grandmother. […]

  • kkhill74 02/21/2015 at 8:42 pm

    Reblogged this on 18khillphotos and commented:
    all of this is true to the core and i love it!

  • strelatz 12/10/2014 at 7:55 pm

    well said!

  • BahjaThinks 11/02/2014 at 5:50 pm

    Reblogged this on Bahja's Blog and commented:
    Well except for the eyebrow bit (which I believe people should never wax or pluck, ever) I love this! Please do give it a read!

  • muslimah 11/02/2014 at 5:52 am

    Reblogged this on Dpressedmuslimah.

  • Deanna Joy Hallmark 07/06/2014 at 1:57 am

    Even though I still need work on my hands, fingers and nails and did a lot of plucking to shape my eyebrows into a more feminine appearence as for the rest, I could have been you grandmother’s younger sister except that I was born transgender and didn’t begin my Male to Female transition until I was almost 63 years young. Still I told myself from the beginning that I wouldn’t focus on trying to “pass” as a woman on the outside and that my first priority was how I felt about myself internally. I still must shave my gray whiskers daily which laser hair removal could remove and I can neither afford the expense time or the pain of perhaps years of electrolysis which would cost far more than my main priority of gender reassignment surgery which I have happily completed,and shaving is a constant reminder of my previous life, I am certainly not the only woman who must deal with this inconvenience and it has just become a daily part of my beauty routine which now takes less that ten to fifteen minutes which is about how long I must dialate which I can do simultaneously. My commitment to this way of thinking actually allowed my hard work to be almost effortless because as I transitioned myself on the inside, my outward transition followed in kind and within nine months I was regarded as just “one of the girls” as if I had been seen as one all of my life..

  • amybareham 06/06/2014 at 8:04 pm

    Betty Jean sounds like one stellar woman. I’m sure that runs in the family ;)
    Taking care of the neck is something I’ve never heard before, but I need to remember to love on it just as much as my face!

  • diybyamy 05/31/2014 at 1:15 am

    This is a beautiful post with wonderful tips. So inspiring I may have to do a post similar to this!

  • katieelaine22 05/24/2014 at 5:39 pm

    This made me very happy. Thank you for posting! :)

  • Bee 05/20/2014 at 8:52 am

    I’ve a lovely mental image of my grandmother and your grandmother sharing a high-five over this. She sounds like a wonderful, intelligent woman, and she definitely makes a lot of good points that my own grandmother always used to give me. I’ll have to make sure they stick in my brain this time. <3

  • […] with high hopes that lots of moisturizer and SPF will guarantee good skin for the long-haul. It worked for my grandmother, so fingers […]

  • cassierusso 04/15/2014 at 11:36 am

    Great post! I love how simple the advice is, but how great of an impact each one has.

  • La Vida Stylish 04/10/2014 at 12:52 pm

    Love This!!! :) Thanks for sharing!

  • happygolucky 04/03/2014 at 3:35 pm

    Great blog! Skincare especially hands,neck and face is so important! I’m afraid of aging!

  • The Wild Arrow 04/01/2014 at 12:44 pm

    Thanks for sharing this…I swear grandmas always know the best tips and tricks! Just found your blog and I love it!

  • Old Souls 03/31/2014 at 7:50 pm

    Love this post & wonderful tips, I totally agree, I always forget to moisturize the neck area!

  • pearl jolly/pretty mayhem 03/30/2014 at 9:56 pm

    Great tips, grandmothers always know best :) I always forget to moisturize my neck so this was a great reminder to to do it in the future!

  • katespadegirl 03/28/2014 at 5:53 pm

    What a wonderful post, your Nan was oh so very wise. Thank you for sharing her wisdom! I love it!

    <3 Jules

  • makeupyourcupcake 03/27/2014 at 6:06 pm

    This is such a helpful post! I feel like these lessons are exactly what my grandma tells me all the time

  • YearAwayFromHome 03/27/2014 at 5:27 pm

    So sweet!! And such great tips :)

  • graciasumariva 03/27/2014 at 4:19 pm

    Please visit my blog if you can!

  • graciasumariva 03/27/2014 at 4:11 pm

    Reblogged this on .

  • Ashley 03/27/2014 at 1:24 pm

    What a great post! Sometimes we forget the most simple things are the most important.

  • Jess 03/27/2014 at 1:02 pm

    Reblogged this on My Best Self Challenge and commented:
    A well-written piece from A Pretty Penny on two of my favorite things: family & beauty. I love this blog!

  • rose 03/27/2014 at 6:44 am

    wow! this is amazing! feel free to follow my blog at http://justrosesarered.blogspot.com/ :)

  • The Sartorial Coquette 03/26/2014 at 10:12 pm

    your grandmother gave great advice!! staying out of the sun is hard sometimes though, because it is so tempting to try to get a thorough tan ;)
    thesartorialcoquette.com

  • clee920 03/26/2014 at 8:00 pm

    I love this post!! Any suggestions for good facial SPF lotion for sensitive skin? I used clarins for a long time but find myself breaking out a lot now :(

  • jubilantrendezvous 03/26/2014 at 4:00 pm

    Great post! Thank you for sharing. I believe every women should know these.

  • thesparklinprep 03/26/2014 at 2:55 pm

    Love these tips!

  • theheartshapedlife 03/26/2014 at 1:54 pm

    Oh how I love this post! My grandmother said many of the same things.

  • beautybychick 03/26/2014 at 1:42 pm

    This was an awesome post. Your Gran sounded pretty darn cool!

  • meyonie 03/26/2014 at 10:28 am

    Thank you very much for this awesome post ! Great picture and nice article.

  • jugendschrei 03/26/2014 at 9:15 am

    Cool!

  • Erin E. 03/26/2014 at 8:30 am

    Your grandmother sounds like a wonderful lady, and all of these beauty tips are spot on! Thank you for sharing them with us.

  • Amy 03/26/2014 at 5:39 am

    Thanks for sharing this. Grandma have the best advise.

  • mandytoombs 03/26/2014 at 5:32 am

    Aw this is so very lovely to read. I love the wisdom from a beautiful and dignified lady. This reminded me of my own nan who I miss dearly and was always so elegant even despite being the most active lady I’ve ever known. She always had apricot cuticle lotion too! (The smell just came flooding back to me as I read this!)

  • Soma Sinha Roy 03/26/2014 at 2:40 am

    Hi Keira …. found your blog very intriguing. This post appealed to me. Since early adulthood my mom was dead against parlour visits, as a result I have developed an aversion towards salons for any beauty treatment. However I am very concious about the way I carry myself. I donot follow fashion. To me style is more important because it sets an individual apart from the crowd. I am quite stylish and my motto is “less is more”. I believe in good skin care regimen that enhances natural good looks and not on cosmetic looks. Therefore I found this write-up very interesting.
    I must admit that the lady was absolutely a diva on her own terms and was much ahead of her times.
    :)

  • SweetCandyDreamer 03/26/2014 at 2:08 am
  • Dionne Wilson 03/25/2014 at 8:04 pm

    Love it…especially the happy girls are the prettiest girls part…so true. A lovely post about your grandmother.

  • itscarly 03/25/2014 at 7:58 pm

    Reblogged this on Love and Looks.

  • dragonflyzia 03/25/2014 at 7:32 pm

    That was beautiful, thanks for sharing your grandmother with us. :) The take care of your hands….I’m horrible and it was even a resolution. I must be better!! This was just the inspiration I needed….

  • lruthnum 03/25/2014 at 4:48 pm

    Such a lovely post and all such a great advice – the same my nan gave me to live by! xx

  • Carolina E 03/25/2014 at 4:48 pm

    Good tips ! Enjoy this post.

  • Bead Charmer Girl 03/25/2014 at 4:32 pm

    You wrote a lovely tribute to Nan. Thank you for sharing her wonderful advice with your readers.

  • vestitini 03/25/2014 at 3:29 pm

    nice post… thank you!

  • slpuckett 03/25/2014 at 2:52 pm

    Smart lady!

  • thelittlethingsdiy 03/25/2014 at 2:45 pm

    Love this!

  • StyleBlog'N 03/25/2014 at 2:36 pm

    Great tips!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Shreya 03/25/2014 at 2:18 pm

    wow awesome tips and tricks ! thanks for sharing dear

  • Anna Macaluso 03/25/2014 at 2:17 pm

    This is all so true, especially the last point… Loved it! Keep smiling :)

  • Giulia 03/25/2014 at 12:50 pm

    Thanks for sharing such great tips :) Loved this post!

  • brittney 03/25/2014 at 12:48 pm

    I absolutely love this, so endearing and so true. Thank you for sharing!

  • sarahcoughlan 03/25/2014 at 12:27 pm

    Reblogged this on Sarah Coughlan.

  • MoniqueMonica 03/25/2014 at 12:23 pm

    I agree with all the points you have made here. My grandmother and my mum are also strong beautiful women and these are pieces of advice that they have always given me. Being unique and find your own beauty and embracing it is the most important. Then, take care of it.

    Moniquemonica.wordpress.com

  • KhoaSinclair 03/25/2014 at 12:19 pm

    Wow great post and she was lovely!

    http://www.khoasinclair.co

  • marieltan 03/25/2014 at 11:44 am

    These are amazing tips!! Olay works so well!!

  • ranchcookie 03/25/2014 at 11:36 am

    As I read this it made me remember I needed some hand cream! Haha thanks for the reminder!

    • keiralennox 03/25/2014 at 11:37 am

      Tokyomilk Dark makes my favorite hand creams!

  • Brittany 03/25/2014 at 11:18 am

    Thank you for sharing great tips and special advice from your nan this really hit home for me and brought so many memories of my nana and things she has taught me. I am definitely calling her tonight and thanking her for her advice :)

    • keiralennox 03/25/2014 at 11:21 am

      Aww, please do. I would give anything to be able to call my Nan just one more time and chat with her :)

  • Merrissa 03/25/2014 at 11:08 am

    My grandma used vasoline (even though they frown on this product nowadays) on her face/neck everyday and when she passed at just 80 years old, she didn’t have a wrinkle on her face. She also taught me to keep my lipstick in the fridge to make it last longer!
    Great post! :)

    • keiralennox 03/25/2014 at 11:23 am

      Two of my closest girlfriends are sisters, and they say that their grandmother used vasoline as moisturizer for decades! Her skin is incredible.

  • Elizabeth 03/25/2014 at 10:50 am

    Fantastic post!

  • Fashuun Village 03/25/2014 at 10:46 am

    What a great read, especially love the last paragraph :) xx

  • TheRecklessRomantic 03/25/2014 at 10:29 am

    She must have been an exceptional Lady. :)

  • divinemzm 03/25/2014 at 10:27 am

    Wonderful post. This reminds me of my grandmother – oh, how I miss her. She also used Oil of Olay, always wore rubber gloves when cleaning, and believed in keeping her nails neat. I cannot remember a time when she didn’t have nail polish on and her nails neatly filed.
    http://www.divinemzm.com

  • Stacey 03/25/2014 at 10:27 am

    What a great tribute to a beautiful lady….one of the best I’ve ever known. Miss her so much, Keira! I know in my heart that she’s so proud of you and smiles down on you every day.

  • CL Mannarino 03/25/2014 at 10:27 am

    Thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to hang on to these. :)

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    keiralennox.com and related social media accounts contain advertising and affiliate marketing links from ShopStyle; I earn a small commission from clicks and/or purchases of linked items. keiralennox.com is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

    Any gifts or services that brands/companies send to be featured on this blog are clearly disclosed as “Courtesy Of” or “c/o” in each applicable post. All views and opinions are my own, and if I wouldn’t use/purchase a product or service myself, I won’t feature it on the blog. Because friends tell each other the truth. Cool?

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