Do as I say, not as I do. That was one of the biggest beauty lessons a-beauty’s founder Jamee, and her two sisters Taryn and Libby, learned from their mother, Australian beauty icon and Alpha-H founder Michelle Doherty.
Their mum was never afraid to try new things and share her beauty fails and findings with them so they could learn from her mistakes.
Sadly, Michelle lost her two-year battle with cancer in July last year. This Mother’s Day will be Jamee, Taryn and Libby’s first without their mother, so we sat down with the girls to reflect on the best beauty advice their mum instilled in them.
Learning from her mistakes
Libby: “She tried to let us learn from her mistakes. She did everything you can think of that you shouldn’t have done and she’d tell us, ‘don’t do what I did’.
Jamee: “I think because she never got those crucial beauty lessons handed down to her from her mother that she was very transparent with us. The first time she ever plucked her eyebrows, she went from the top down. And they never grew back. So she was always very open when it came to telling us about her dos and don'ts.”
"She taught us to look after ourselves. No matter what it was, we were taught to look after ourselves first."
Loving the skin you're in
Taryn: "The best advice I learned from mum is that protection is always key when thinking about prevention. She taught us that SPF is going to protect you against sun damage, ageing... All the common issues that people are presented with today could be prevented with SPF. So that was the best advice Mum gave me."
Libby: "For me, she taught me that no matter what you do topically, it starts internally. When I was younger I had cystic acne and we tried everything. Every treatment topically that you can think of. And in the end it came down to my hormones. Mum helped me realise that what goes on internally will reflect in your skin."
Jamee: "Mum was always big on ‘you only have one skin'. Skin is the body's largest organ so you need to make sure you take care of it, love it and nourish it. But also, be accepting of what you have."
"She always taught me that you might not always be the best version of yourself but you have to accept that that’s who you are and love that person regardless."
A few of her favourite things
Taryn: “Anything that would give her a tingle. She loved to get her hands on anything that was active or contained some kind of acid.”
Libby: “Mum was a massive fragrance person, too. She had a few core ones… Depending on her mood or what she had on that day it would be Chloe, Coco Mademoiselle or Escentric Molecule, which smells different on every person based on their natural pheromones."
Jamee: “And hand cream. Hand cream was a must-have for her. If she got a new fragrance, she was really into layering the scent with a hand cream, body moisturiser and body wash. Mum was a Chanel wearer. That was her ultimate fragrance. She also used to have power fragrances for certain meetings. She had the Tom Ford Fucking Fabulous - that was one she wore for a little while, particularly if she was going into really stressful meetings.”
Taryn: “Chloe. She wore Chloe a lot.”
Jamee: “And foundations. She always had different foundations on the go.”
Libby: “I kid you not, I think at one point we were cleaning out her bathroom and she had 30 foundations. All liquid. She would still always go back to her Youngblood foundation though.”
"She always had about 3 different perfumes in her handbag."
Now that you girls are all mothers yourself, all of you with daughters of your own, what’s one beauty tip you will be passing on to your girls?
Jamee: “Do not start shaving too young. Whether it’s your armpits, your legs or your bikini line. Once you start, it doesn’t stop. Wax from the get-go and you will be doing yourself a big favour in the long term.”
Taryn: “SPF is something I have to apply every single day and my kids have to as well because they’re also freckly and fair. It’s a non-negotiable.”
Libby: “No matter what you do topically, it starts internally. I've learnt that what goes on internally will reflect externally your skin.”