Mother’s Day Guide

mothers-day-bannerJust 6 days before Mother’s Day is here! Shop signs and windows are full of pretty ‘I Love Mom’ designs, and they all seem to have one thing in common…Flowers! Even the lovely pink banner above, from the Canadian Family website has some on it. But it got me thinking…While I do love flowers, and have a strong feeling a new mommy’s day or spring Pandora charm is in the works…

My birthday charms from Mr.B and Mini Me:)

My birthday charms from Mr.B and Mini Me:)

I really adore the practical gift ideas that are featured on the Canadian Family website. Don’t you? But I know that not all moms are into those kinds of gifts as much as I can appreciate that not all moms would jump for joy at the thought of opening (yet another) box of perfume or makeup set as a mother’s day gift. Everyone’s different and have different tastes, or needs. So as with any other gift-buying rule of thumb – here’s my thoughts: Start with the person you’re celebrating in mind rather than the occasion or celebration itself.

If your garden is starting to bloom, you could make your own bouquet of flowers, or get 2 bunches of mom’s favorites in her colors, and put them together! I made our dear aunt a red and violet bouquet wrapped in pink and yellow tissue paper of a dozen red roses ($9) and a dozen pink-violet carnations ($7) from WalMart. Simple but elegant, just like her:

Red roses and pink carnationsAuntie Marianita's surprise 80th birthday





Does your mom wish she got more flowers from her loved ones? Surprise her with a bunch as a gift or include a note (or a gift card) with it to lead her into “her day” of pampering and love.

Alternatively, does mom love makeup (or do you)? Maybe she’s just not that into it anymore, or maybe she is, but just doesn’t know what to do with it after she unwraps her new concealer and liquid eyeliner! So the goods remain untouched in their boxes til they pass their expiry date. Sound familiar? Instead of buying mom makeup you think would suit her, but may not seem like her “style” to her, how about taking the time to go shop with her, or treating her with the precious gift of time. Your time. With her.

Most busy (working) moms I know, don’t usually prioritize time for their hair and makeup. At least not without the guilt. But we deserve to be pampered and to feel good. Mom’s are the hardest workers I know. We work overtime without pay- all for the love of our family. A good tip about how to help your mom get out of a makeup rut, is to suggest she looks at some photos of some celebrities who are around her age range, and to take a leaf out of their makeup choices. Look for her fave celebs, and women she admires. Maybe even someone who has similar skin and hair coloring to hers. Here are some great examples of how celebs make it happen in their 40s and up (thanks to their makeup artists):

Note: Don’t just go out and buy her a bunch of cosmetics with ‘Aging’ or ‘Miracle’ or ‘Anti-Wrinkle’ printed all over it, unless your mom already uses those products (and requested it). Be sensitive to her feelings (I’m speaking from experience!) and take the time to show her why those “peptides” and “lifting” ingredients will benefit her. Think about getting her some useful products to fill her “makeup wardrobe gaps” and to suit her individual needs. Most moms I know won’t have a makeup primer or a creme blush for example. Or even a set of good makeup brushes. Shoppers has a couple of great brush sets from Quo, which include a pretty cosmetic pouch for $50.00 like this Touch of Pearl set:


Show her how she can use them and how these products will highlight her natural assets and beauty in just a few minutes of her busy day. Take her to an exclusive makeup class or treat her and a guest (maybe you and mom?) to a private hair and makeup consultation from a pro (*ehem* – Makeup By Merry, at your service!) And make a day of it by heading out to lunch or dinner looking like supermodels right after the makeup class!

If the thought of forking out for a set of makeup for your mom is making you gulp out loud, you don’t have to go for broke. Think outside of the box. If you’re in Canada, visit your local Superstore, WalMart, Mashalls, Target, Pharma Plus, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall (you get the picture) or even the pro stores for hair and makeup supplies: R.Hiscott’s (435 Yonge St  Toronto, ON M5B 1T3) is on 30-50% off right now on a renovations sale! And it’s just 2 minutes walk from College subway station.

I think drugstore brands like Maybelline’s Age Rewind products, have come a long way over the years. And their foundations and primer-in-one, like ‘The Lifter’ is so easy to use, you can even just apply it with your fingers in circular outward strokes.

Maybelline Age Rewind The Lifter smoothes, firms and covers flawlessly. (Available in 12 shades) $7-$9.00

Maybelline Age Rewind The Lifter smoothes, firms and covers flawlessly. (Available in 12 shades) $7-$9.00

These Cosmetics brands are so affordable, if you don’t want to spend too much to begin with until you’re sure you’re mom would get along with it or the range. High-end brands would cost you at least $50-$65 for a foundation alone. Either way, it’s best to bring mom along to make sure you pick the perfect matching shade to her skin tone.

Take note of these Makeup Tips For Maturing Skin:

Do try to stay clear of dark lipstick shades if your lips or mouth is lined. Opt for a medium shade unless you know how to and can (or want to) spend time drawing just outside your natural lip line with a product like No Bleeding Lips, before you fill in with a shade of lip color (followed by a lighter “pop” of gloss on the center) to make thinner lips appear fuller. Or just use a lipliner to keep color from creeping out of your lip line.

Do use powder sparingly to avoid drawing attention to dryer skin, especially if skin is lined or is wrinkled.

Do use brow pencil that matches your natural hair color and apply with short, feathery, hair-like strokes. Don’t forget to blend through with a brow groomer brush to “soften” the look. Drawn-in brows will only make you look more mature or dated.

Lastly, Do use creme blush for a more dewy and youthful glow, instead of powder blush, which could “sit” in the drier texture and fine lines of mature skin. Creme blush is easier to apply than it looks. Just apply a little at a time and build up.

If mom is more into accessories and jewellery, let’s go back to that topic. Here’s why I love Pandora charms and jewellery: It makes it easy! There are so many designs to choose from and it doesn’t have to be specific to the occasion. It can be in the special words or meaning of the charm (Ex. Family Forever, Grandma, Faith etc.) or one that signifies a special memory (ex.our first trip to visit my family in England) and themes specific to the season or the occasion (ex. Mom or a Mother’s Heart- for Mother’s Day). Ask your mom to wishlist some charms, or surprise her with a pendant, ring, charm or bracelet that will show her that you’ve put some thought into her gift. Here are my personal picks (in case Mr. B. actually reads this post!) …

The Mother’s Day deals look so enticing. There are so many “Treat Mom, Treat, you!” deals out there. But bargains and colorful packaging aside, not all who want to treat their moms and mother-figures have a “money is no object” option when choosing gifts.

As a makeup artist and beauty blogger, my Mother’s Day Gift Guide would usually center around cosmetics. But before you go out and buy perfume or makeup for your mom, try to find out what she needs or likes. You may love the new fragrance by say, Marc Jacobs – Daisy ($75) and it’s bright style and sparkling floral bouquet notes of: Strawberry, Violet Leaves, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Gardenia, Violet Petals, Jasmine Petals, Musk, Vanilla, White Woods… Daisy Marc Jacob

,,,But what if mom would prefer a less sweet-scented fragrance that she’s already familiar with? Like The Body Shop‘s bestselling classic, ‘White Musk’ – a soft and velvety signature scent for women, eau de parfum (on promo $24.00 $18.00). In fact the whole site is on 25% discount! You could even splurge on other White Musk body products for her!


The Body Shop White Musk Eau de Parfum $18.00

If your mom loves fragrances (and isn’t allergic to them, like I am. Boo!) you may like Shoppers Drug Mart’s Fragrance Sampler For Her. For $75 +tax you get the box of perfume sample vials below, plus a certificate for a full size bottle of fragrance of her choice included in the price! (The Collectors Fragrance Sampler Box is $95 +tax But contains cute miniature bottles rather than little spray-on tubes of fragrances, plus a certificate for a full size bottle!)…And it’s spend $50 on cosmetics, get x20 Optimum points until May 10th 2013!


I know that if my mum were here, I’d get her a bunch of flowers, a gift and we’d all eat out at a restaurant of her choice. It’ll be the same deal with my mom in-law here in Toronto. Traditionally, we’d all eat out and then walk it off at Unionville where we’d treat her (and ourselves) to ice cream while enjoying the sunny day together! I think as kids get older and grow up to start their own families, what moms (and dads) appreciate the most is some quality time with their grown-up kids. I get that. However, younger families like mine, already spend a lot of time with (or “on” their little ones) so perhaps some well deserved “me time” at a spa would be nice. (MMMmm Spa-aaahh. Add that to my personal wishlist!).

I hope you all have a lovely Mother’s Day with your mom or mother-figure this coming Sunday, 12th May. Celebrate Moms and all they mean to and do for us.


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