I sat perched on the windowsill next to my mom’s vanity as she applied makeup and styled her hair. The smell of hot rollers and Aqua Net hung in the air, as a black and white television crackled the morning newscast in the background.
I watched in awe as she transformed her eyes, mouth, cheekbones and hair. In between sips of coffee I saw her change from gentle to powerful, a force of femininity and confidence. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen and I wanted to be just like her when I grew up.
That was the 70’s.
During High School in the 80’s I purchased all the same beauty products that my mother owned. I learned from her and there was something about the daily ritual of preparation and removal that bonded us. In my eyes she was a warrior queen passing on her beauty secrets to her princess apprentice.
Many years later as an adult I continued to use those same products (minus the rollers and hairspray, bye 80’s!) not for any other reason than they reminded me of my mother. I’m sure many fathers and sons experience something similar when it comes to shaving products. Old Spice comes to mind with my own dad.
This got me thinking about our emotional connection to brands and how we sometimes make product choices for nostalgic reasons, not necessary informed ones. I had no idea what parabens or other potentially harmful ingredients even were and had always just assumed if mom used it, it was safe. But mom didn’t know either.
With the emergence of indie brands that put an emphasis on cleaner ingredients, not to mention environmentally sensitive packaging, consumers are becoming more educated, which provides the next generation of moms an opportunity to improve the status quo and pass down better information to their daughters. Ditto, dads.
Everything has a learning curve. My mom put me in a laundry basket full of towels and strapped it in place with a seat belt in the car. That was the car seat of the 70’s. We have evolved.
Plastics are my generation’s version of cigarettes. We didn’t consider the chemicals we were absorbing each time we nuked a container of leftovers in the microwave, until the government started putting numbers on them and issuing reuse warnings. We threw plastic water bottles away with the ease of a flicked cigarette butt, paying no mind to the fact they aren’t easily biodegradable and will last hundreds of years in landfills.
As individuals, and not just moms and dads, it’s our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment and share the knowledge that comes with time and innovation. The Indie Beauty Expo provides an effective platform to disseminate that information, be it through new product introductions or continuing the conversation about our relationship with the most important mother of all, Mother Earth.