These days so-called beauty gurus (aka people with more than 2,000 followers on IG) act like they’ve come up with the most life-changing beauty hacks. In reality, our sweet abuelitas have been full of beauty secrets all along. Here are a few things I picked up from her…
Go iron straight with an actual iron.
One of my cousins had crazy curly hair and even the $200 name brand flat irons couldn’t get the kinks out. But abuelita came in super clutch with her advice: “mija, usa una plancha.” DUH! Turns out, a little anti-frizz serum and extending her hair over an ironing board is the only thing that could straighten her hair. Plus if it works for abuelita and Mimi (see above), it must work wonders.
Cerveza keeps the flyaways away.
My quince hair looked like the picture above and even after dancing el valz, “Payaso de Rodeo” AND “Suavemente,” my curls stood exactly where Martha placed them. The secret wasn’t Aqua Net, but beer. Quien viera mi abuelita…
Baby powder doesn’t only keep bottoms clean.
Washing your hair is a pain. It’s already a long enough process to wash, lather, rinse and repeat, then you have to throw in another hour to dry and style your hair all over again. Nobody has time for that. Now everyone’s all about dry shampoo. But faking clean hair isn’t a new thing. I learned that dusting baby powder on your roots keeps your hair looking fresh and not greasy. This is life changing especially if your hair starts getting oily after just one day and don’t want to spend $17 on dry shampoo.
The spicier the chile, the bigger the lip.
Nowadays almost every influencer seems to either be outlining their lips or injecting them to make them look fuller. Little do they know about the all natural lip plumper: jalapeños. You know the swollen tongue feeling you get after biting into something super spicy? That’s essentially what happens when you rub chile over your lips. If you’re going to try it, all I’m going to say is proceed with caution…🔥
Beat the face with beets.
My abuelita didn’t grow up with the makeup options I have today, neither did she have the luxury of paying $15+ for one blush compact, but that didn’t stop her from rocking rosie cheeks and stained lips. She gave herself a flushed look by rubbing cooked beets over the apples of her cheeks dabbing them on her lips. Dabbing burgundy beets on your lips resembles the popsicle stain lip trend, but this is sweeter.
Powdered, full-volume muñeca lashes.
Every time I go to Mexico to visit family, I always catch myself staring at my primas eyelashes. They’re always so full and perfect and I know it’s not genetics because I definitely don’t have them. After watching them get ready, I learned that they sprinkle a teeny bit of translucent powder on their lashes to create a base for their mascara. This gives the mascara something to hold on to. Add a couple of layers, y sas, you have muñeca lashes.
Speaking of lashes, after learning what my mom learned from abuelita about curling lashes, I stopped buying eyelash curlers. My mom used to curl her eyelashes basically the same way people curl ribbon with the edge of a scissor. Trust, this leaves your lashes more curly than a curler that really only creases your eyelashes.
Spoon to conceal those tears.
Anyone who has ever cried at night knows that you wake up super hinchada and eeeeeveryone at home knows you were crying the night before. One day I heard my abuelita say that she’d rest a cold spoon on her eyes when she woke up a little puffy. From then on when I needed to chillar, I’d prep and leave a spoon hidden somewhere in the fridge and tip-toe back to it in the morning. This worked well enough to trick my mom into thinking I had a good night’s sleep.
Tape that eyeliner to new heights.
My 70-year-old neighbor (who is like my second abuelita) is nearly blind and still rocks the perfect eyeliner. I, on the other hand, cannot compete with her skills, but luckily she spilled the chisme: she uses tape as a stencil.
Vaselina for the face is what Vicks is to everything.
Not to brag, but my abuelita has the smoothest, most flawless porcelain skin I’ve ever seen. Half of it is because she never spent more than five minutes under the sun and the other reason is because she swears by Vaselina – yes, Petroleum Jelly. It sounds disgusting, but she says she dabbed a small amount on the corner of her eyes and outer edges of her lips to stay moisturized and keep arrugas away from her face.
Keep your skin sweet like honey.
I don’t have my abuelita’s porcelain-perfect skin, what I got stuck with instead was acne-prone skin. TMI, but sometimes nasty blackheads would pop up and no matter how much I tried to get them out they wouldn’t budge. That is, until I heard about the powers of honey. Apparently, if you apply honey on a stubborn blackhead, the honey will suck it to the surface. Almost like those suction strips. I wouldn’t say this is a magical hack, by my mom swears by it and still tells my sister she should try it.
Sleep like a princesa in satin.
For my abuelita, beauty sleep didn’t only mean get at least six hours of sleep every night, it meant sleep in fancy style. But there’s a reason: she always said that a pillowcase made of silk would keep my hair tangle-free and shiny and would also keep my skin looking fresh.
She always knows how to treat her grandkids right.