What I Learned About Beauty From My Abuela

Written by Maureen SheenSep 14, 2023

Read time 5 min

HHM Abuela GettyImages-963933856

Abuela knows best. Throughout Hispanic culture, there are few more universally beloved and revered than the grandmother. Affectionately known as ‘abuelita,’ they are the pillar of every Hispanic and Latinx family, often passing down their wisdom and experience to not just one generation, but two or more. And for many, abuelas are instrumental in shaping their views on beauty and wellness. They’re the OG DIY-ers with an arsenal of tips and tricks to rival any Instagram influencer or TikTok-er. Here, leading beauty professionals and founders share what they learned about beauty from their abuelitas.

Sherly Tavarez (@sherlytavarez), Founder & CEO, Haus of CurlsMy grandmother from my dad's side always said that she wouldn't take a photo without lipstick on. Whenever I would come over and ask to take a picture with her, she would say to me, ‘Wait, first I have to get my lipstick.’

She worked at a beauty salon, and every day she would wake up and get ready, never leaving the house without her lipstick. My mom always said I resembled my grandmother when she was younger, and I take that as such a compliment because she was and still is so beautiful!

Ericka Jimenez, Matrix Regional EducatorMamá Pepa was always so well put together.

She loved makeup and skin care. For sure, she was the most influential person in my life when it comes to beauty and selfcare. She would tell me, "You have to take care of your face and hair. Your clothes have to be pressed, your shoes clean and always have straight posture.

Tu imagen es tu carta de presentacion (your image is your business card). Put lotion on, you don't want wrinkles on your face or dry elbows. And don't forget your lipstick, you don't want to look dead." Before going to bed every night, I would see her pin curling her hair. She would massage her face with lotion upwards so your face won't sag-and apply Vicks VapoRub on her feet because 'it will make your feet nice and smooth.' That was her routine.

Tanya Marie Acevedo (@tanyamarie_beautystylist), L'Oréal Professionnel ArtistApart from cooking homemade meals every day, both of my abuelas always taught me to never leave the house without a presentable polished look, while still favoring a minimalistic beauty approach and embracing my natural beauty.

Setting my hair in rollers and sleeping in them was a reoccurring routine as a child as well as always

having a little something on my lips even if it's just clear.

Alfa Romero (@alfa.romero24), CND EducatorMy abuela had great skin, but dry skin was her enemy. Moisturizing was key. She was all about olive and almond oil for skin and hair.

And she had beautiful nails. Every time I use CND Shellac in Rosebud, it reminds me of her.

Angela Soto (@asotodoeshair), Matrix EducatorWhat I learned about beauty from my abuela was that she was a fan of hair oils and so was my mom. I was the only child of three with curly hair so the struggle was real. My "nana" believed that leaving hair oils overnight in my hair would boost hair growth and nourish my hair. She used to apply Alberto VO5 Conditioning Hairdressing oil to my hair, and also taught me a trick to straighten my hair overnight by wrapping my hair around my head with bobby pins. The famous

"Doobie," I still do this to my hair and think of her and all the memories every time I do."

 Karla Valenzuela (@Kolor.Me.Karlaa), Redken Artist and Sam Villa AmbassadorMy abuela, Mamá Chela, lives in Mexico. She didn't grow up with much so she lives a simple lifestyle, but that has never stopped her from looking her best.

She's always been interested in cosmetics and haircare. Even if she isn't buying the most expensive products, she believes it's important to keep up with a skin routine and spending time on her hair-doing that makes her feel good and she enjoys it. And it shows because she looks great at 74!

When my mom turned 15, my Mamá Chela taught her the importance of a good skincare and haircare routine. My mom then passed it on to my sister and I. We enjoy all things beauty and through my Mamá Chela, and I learned that you can still find products that work for your skin and hair without needing to overspend.