The Best Beauty Stuff Is In Your Childhood Home
There’s probably someone out there who checks a bag when they go home for Thanksgiving—but between the airport traffic and unavoidable delays, who has time to wait for baggage claim? So we throw our TSA approved 3-1-1s in a clear plastic bag and say a hail Mary that there will be something—anything—to use on our faces when we get home. A regress to our teenage years (and teenage beauty routine) isn’t the worst thing in the world. Actually, you may be reminded that, gee, the cleanser you swore by in high school really is that good. Or that, for all your beauty expertise, maybe your mom does still have a thing or two to teach you. We’ll be drudging out our beauty routines from underneath the sinks of our childhood homes this weekend—here’s what we’ll be using.
A Consistent Philosophy
“Whenever I go home I pack plenty of stuff for my mom (Philosophy’s Amazing Grace, some kind of eye cream undoubtedly, color-treated hair goops), but nothing for me. No room. You won’t catch me in these skies paying checked luggage fees. Besides, my parents always have the good stuff anyway. There’s Dove body wash to get clean with and Vaseline’s Cocoa Butter lotion so I don’t embarrass myself with the only possible thing to get embarrassed by at home: ashiness. I cleanse with Philosophy’s Purity because that’s what my mom has (she really loves Philosophy), and moisturize with Philosophy’s Miracle Worker with SPF because of her aforementioned obsession I mean affinity. If I need to wash my hair I use whatever I left my mom on my last trip, which is always some color-enhancing product that, as I’m doing a number on my scalp, makes me wonder: will my dark brown look browner when I’m done? But nope, always the same. Half the time I just leave the conditioner in my hair for the duration of the trip—this is not a time for me to go glam. That same reason is why I don’t bother with makeup either. I mean, these are my parents. Trust me they’ve seen worse.” —Ashley Weatherford
The Surprising Skincare Upgrade
“It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation: did my family get into skincare because I’m a beauty editor, or was I into skincare because, well, everyone in my family already is? With my brothers, I think the interest was organic: they both struggled with teenage acne (blame all those hormones!) and have robust routines to show for it. While they sleep in… like, till noon… I use the Kiehl’s Calendula toner, Sunday Riley UFO, Neutrogena Hydro Boost and sometimes, if I’m lucky, Goop Instant Facial in their bathroom. My mom, on the other hand, is a skincare monster of my own device. From her I steal a cotton round of P50 and some vile-smelling Biologique Recherche serums she says I’m ‘too young for’—elastine, placenta… You know, things that really freak my dad out. Maybe I’ll even slap on a little Masque Vivant while I binge watch TLC in the living room. The world is my Rescue Spa! All of that is to say, I don’t bring any skincare for myself when I go home. And anyway, just being in the Miami humidity, and taking a dip or two in the ocean, fixes me right up. I do however bring makeup for when I inevitably run into the Jewish mothers of boys I made out with when I was 17. Will I ever grow out of loving being told I am beautiful and their sons are schmucks? Probably not.” —Ali Oshinsky
Old-School And Still Got It
“When I go home for break, there’s a 90-percent chance I’ll forget one of my styling-leave-in-conditoner-curl-cream hair products that I use for braid-outs. At some point, I’ll drive to the drugstore and pick up something from Shea Moisture to tide me over, but I’m still settling in! And I’ve spotted good ol’ Blue Magic Conditioner in the bathroom cabinet I share with three of my siblings. Long before ‘going natural’ was a catchphrase, and years before @Naptural85 showed me the way to style with shea butter and natural oils, my grandma, mom, and older sister would apply this translucent blue hair dress throughout my strands after washing, and right before blow drying. The blow drying process wasn’t the most pleasant for my tender-headed scalp, but I always loved how soft and stretched my hair was when we finished. Fast forward to almost a decade later, and it’s still great for braid-outs. I love the hold it gives, and especially love how it keeps my hair from frizzing out earlier than I’d like. Not bad at all for a hair grease.” —Utibe Mbagwu
The Comfort Is Key Approach
“No one in my family is super into what we now think of as ‘skincare’ but there are a few staples that I always rely on when I go home for the holidays. I am very lazy about washing my hair and my dad always has Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 Dandruff Control which is what I prefer! Get it done in two steps, plus protect my scalp. My mom has always, always used baby oil right after the shower, and when I’m not experimenting with Kate McCleod’s Daily Stone and have some time to let oil sink in, I use oil right after the shower and sit around in my towel and stare at my phone like every other millennial monster. It was also through digging around in my mom’s vanity that I found her Laneige BB Cushion foundation, which I promptly took (she told me I could! this is what moms do!) and have continued to restock religiously. I also tend to pilfer my mom’s PJs and robes—she’s got a great cache of soft, gray things and I like to feel as comfy as possible for maximum couch melting.” —Leah Chernikoff
The Full Regression
“Home reminds me of three things: chain restaurants, mall shopping trips with my mom, and my high school skincare secret weapon Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash. The suburbs call for a reliable and dependable face wash, especially since I refuse to check a bag for trips home. The Neutrogena Oil-Free Acne Wash is cheap enough that you can splurge for one at the local Target if there isn’t one already at the house. It also never breaks me out with all the travel, and fits in well with my usual skincare routine. Just thinking about the orange formula in the clear bottle makes me nostalgic for my suburbed-size bathroom. I’ve tried to switch up my mom’s skincare routine with fancy purchases, but she seems to always go back to a classic like Neutrogena’s face wash and moisturizer. That’s the sort of wisdom that comes from years of practice. I’m not complaining, I’m actually looking forward to stealing some soon.” —Chloe Hall
Photo via ITG.