Nancy Roman

My Beauty Advisor

When you’re a girly-girl, it doesn’t stop when you reach a certain age.

I love makeup just as much as I did when I was twelve and bought my first Pink Cameo lipstick.

Makeup holds so much promise. The next foundation might make me glow. The right eyeliner can turn me into Elizabeth Taylor (or maybe Queen Elizabeth, but there’s always hope).

Too old for that?  Ask my mother.

When I visit, we always talk about makeup and hair and fashion. My mother doesn’t go out that much anymore – the supermarket, the senior center, the hairdresser –  but she reads all the magazines and watches all the talk shows on TV. She knows what’s in.

Last month, I brought over our weekly McDonalds (our big indulgence) and we talked about concealer. My mother read about some new concealer and bought it that day in Stop N Shop. She let me try it on. It was really quite nice.  Sharing fast food and makeup tips. Girlfriends.

Truth is, I liked it so much, I bought some. I didn’t just happen to pick it up. I had to go to two stores to find the same shade. It’s my new favorite. (until I find something new next month.)

Two weeks ago, my mother showed me a new blush. It was a combination blush and bronzer, and  it was very inexpensive. “I read about it, and it sounded perfect,” she said.  And she encouraged me to try it. And it was great. It brightened my complexion just enough. I had warmth, but not a hot flash.

Only when I got home, I couldn’t remember what it was. I walked up and down at my mother’s beauty source – the cosmetics aisle at Stop N Shop, but nothing looked familiar.

So last week I brought over McDoubles and Fries – but no apple pies, since we’re ‘dieting’. We talked mostly about hair. My mother likes the hairdresser at the next chair, but she feels guilty about her regular guy. She’d like to schedule appointments on Fred’s day off, and try the other stylist. But Fred always answers the phone. I can sympathize.

Before I left for home, I went to the bathroom. And as I was washing my hands, I looked at the medicine cabinet, and I remembered that new blush. I opened the cabinet and there it was. I tried it again, and noted the name of the color.

I used to sneak into my mother’s makeup fifty years ago.

Should I be proud that she’s still stylish?

Or embarrassed that my beauty consultant is eighty-eight?



  1. This made me smile. I’m envious that you still have your Mom, and I think it’s great that she’s your beauty consultant! The only make-up I remember Mom wearing was a little rouge out of one of those flat metal tins…..


    • Chris

      Ditto. Enjoy all these visits and chats – it is very precious time.


  2. bigsheepcommunications

    When I think of my mom and make-up, I think of the pancake foundation she’s always worn and how she always mixes two different colors of lipstick to get the shade she wants. Hey, if you’ve got a concealer suggestion that truly covers dark under-eye circles without feeling like spackle, please share!


  3. I can’t remember my mother wearing make-up (except this horrible garish ugly brick lipstick). I do remember the cold cream she used though, it tasted wonderful and I made my brother eat it!

    I think that you and your mother share beauty tips and McDonalds is wonderfully fun.

    As always love the pic.


  4. You are so lucky to have your mother. I am jealous! My mother wasn’t much for makeup but we shared jewelry and lunch.


  5. Haha! I love your McD’s and make-up dates! (My mom and I are very similar, though it’s more booze and shopping.) I think this bodes well for 88-year-old Nancy’s taste.


  6. I think you and your mom should start a beauty blog! You could give a different tip each week, tried out by both of you. But then again, if I were in your shoes, I think I might want to keep her all to myself. 🙂


    • We are certainly experts on what product works best on wrinkly skin.


      • Hey, there are a lot of us who could use expert advice on those products! 🙂


  7. Diane

    Most definately, PROUD!

    You both need phones so you can text her when your in the grocery store.


  8. Michelle Gillies

    You should be proud on both counts! I lost my Mom when I was 12, but I have vivid memories of playing “dressup” and “borrowing” her makeup as I pretended to as fashionable as she was. You have some wonderful memories that continue to build. I appreciate you sharing them with us. Now if only you would share the names/colours of the products she put you on to. 😉


  9. Look, I just want the name of that concealer!!!!!


  10. You have a fantastic relationship with your mother! You should feel very lucky


  11. Susan Ritchie

    Be proud! Especially with your mother. I miss mine so much sometimes. After all these years, I still will have something happen, and my first thought is “I’ve got to tell Mom about this”. (But it is comforting to know, that if I need her – I always have Aunt Steffiie. Maybe I should come home and she would cut my bangs like she used to!)


    • I miss your mother too. She was who I turned to all my pratical skills (cooking, knitting, etc.). But I have to add:
      My mother cut your bangs? I feel the need to offer my apologies.


      • Chris

        Steffie rocks! Remember the wedding present I gave you that she wanted to borrow?


      • Susan Ritchie

        Yes, your mother cut my bangs. I remember going up those stairs, with the sisscors in my hand (very carefuly, so I didn’t harm anyone, especially, myself). She did a good job – I have all those awful school picutres, with the hair pulled back in a ponytail, which I hated, but with very straight bangs!


  12. Are you KIDDING? She sounds pretty with it to me.

    Looks like we all want to know the name of the concealer. Are you going to spill or just keep it between the two of you?

    Your drawing is very nice.


    • Okay, okay. It’s nothing fancy. Age-rewind by Maybelline. Found in the cosmetics aisle at your local supermarket.


  13. This makes me happy. I rely on my mom for beauty tips all of the time. She is my first resource as to moisturizer, foundation and lipstick. Moms always tell the truth, too. 🙂


  14. That was the cutest and sweetest post. I’m not sure that’s proper grammer but your post did delight me. I don’t wear make up. I use to but the last thing to go was the mascara. I am considering to relearn make up. I wouldn’t really even know where to start maybe a good lip gloss! :+) funny.


  15. i love reading about you and your Mom. Mine was my best friend. We would talk every single day, despite the fact that she lived in New York and I was in London. About important things, like what to make for dinner and what that green thing that was growing in the front of the house was and if I should pull it up or water it. Never discussed makeup, though. She was too beautiful to need much, while I ….take after my father!


  16. I love “luncheons” with my mom. We don’t talk about make up though. We mostly just rail about jerkoff politicians and horrible corporations, but it still is mother-daughter bonding. Nothing beats that. Great post.


  17. You should be thrilled your mom still knows her stuff. My first beauty consultant was my step-dad – who used to do makeup backstage for performers. Yeah. That was embarrassing.


  18. Oh, my, how I loved this. I can just picture you and your mom being girlfriends together. I wish I still had my mom, but she died when she was sixty-eight, just five years older than I am now. She loved make-up, too and really knew how to use it. Now I’m at the airport in my way to visit my daughter and her family for a week. Emily ( and I will go to lunch, do some of our blog writing together, shop—and talk about make-up. And I will think about you and your mom. Again, I loved this post so much.


  19. Your Mom sounds like my kinda gal 🙂 Please share the name of the new products you so enjoy – thanks!


  20. pharphelonus

    The apples doesn’t fall far, does it?


  21. My mom had a friend, Mrs. Gorman. Always looked fabulous, even at age 94. No sense looking shabby if you don’t have to. You and your mom got it right!



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