font loading for Top nav


In honour of Mother’s Day, we pay homage to our original beauty icons – our mums

Nadia and her mother Rosa

Model Nadia and her
mum Rosa

Nadia: “I grew up in a small village in Madeira and my hair and skin were different – darker than my family and peers – as my skin colour is inherited from my great grandfather. I used to think, ‘Why are people staring at me?’ Mum always told me it was because I was beautiful. The scent of hairspray still reminds me of watching Mum get ready for the village festivals. She always looked so glamorous wearing bold red lipstick. I was 16 when I started modelling. I used to get picked on a bit for being tall and skinny, but modelling helped me to be happy with the way I look. My confidence came from my mum who told me, ‘You have to like yourself or no one else will’.”

Rosa: “All mums think their children are beautiful, but I thought I had the most beautiful baby in the world. It sometimes feels surreal seeing Nadia in the window at M&S – I take pictures and tell the women in store that she’s my daughter. Having a daughter is special: she’s my best friend and I trust her before anyone else.”


Instant volume and bounce in a spritz
The game-changer for curly hair
A creamy matte red lipstick
Sketch definition and perfection
Emerald and her mother Patricia

M&S social media marketing executive Emerald and her mum Patricia

Emerald: “With my mum, it’s always less is more but she likes to wear a winged eye – that’s her signature look. As a child I used to watch her every day perfecting this cat eye. I wish I had inherited my mum’s amazing skin. I’m obsessed with skincare; I have so many products. I love face masks – when I’m wearing one I don’t go downstairs because I know she’ll be like, ‘Not again’. Mum has always taught me to feel beautiful – she’s big on self-love and knowing your worth.”

Patricia: “As a child, Emerald always wanted me to plait her hair. I would feel bad for her because, much as I hate to admit it as an African woman, I was never good at braiding hair, so I would take her to the hairdresser’s instead! As she grew older, I wasn’t very strict with Emerald experimenting with new looks. I would prefer she took her piercings out, but I appreciate her expressing herself. It’s her thoughtfulness and humour that I love most. She loves to laugh, just like her dad.”


High-pigment drama in a sweep
An instant boost of radiance
Soothe and plump sensitive skin
The ultimate skin-buffing cleanse
Lisa with mother Angela and daughter Eliza

Marie Claire beauty and style director Lisa, her mum Angela and her daughter Eliza

Lisa: “Mum was a real festival hippy chick, and she had a relaxed Kate Moss sort of look. Her hair was natural, undone and effortless; she was always a natural beauty. I have watched the way Mum makes her hair texture work for her and been inspired. I wash mine before I go to bed to wake up with the perfect wave. And when I can, I allow my hair to dry in the sunshine as Mum does. She would wear orangey, zesty scents that were uplifting and comforting. One of the beautiful things about Mum is how she looks at the inner beauty in everyone. She taught me to accept myself as I am and the way I look, plus she ingrained self-esteem and confidence so that I like myself – and that’s what I hope to hand down to Eliza.”

Angela: “Making the most of what you have and not over complicating things is my outlook on beauty. This is my look and I want to age gracefully. Eliza’s face reminds me of Lisa when she was a baby – she has a similar spirit too. She’s confident and independent, just like her mum. I would love to have more of Lisa’s ambition in myself. She’s achieved a lot – it’s amazing.”


For an effortless wavy effect
Refresh with a zesty cleanse
Rosemary and peppermint revitalise
The ultimate silky bath-time treat
Alyse with mum Kathy and daughter Ettie

Make-up artist Alyse, her mum Kathy and her daughter Ettie

Alyse: “I knew in my mid-teens I wanted to be a make-up artist, and Mum let me experiment all the time. From a young age I used to steal her liner and mascara; I would go into the bathroom and come out with red lipstick on and think that no one had noticed. Ettie loves to watch me apply make-up – she takes the brushes and mimics the actions. She has taught me that there is beauty in everything. I’m so proud of her – she’s confident, positive and adaptive to every new situation. She was born without her right hand but just seems to make everything work for her. She amazes me. As she grows older, I will always be positive with Ettie, even about myself, so that she feels beautiful and happy with the way she looks.”

Kathy: “I was really relaxed about Alyse trying new looks from an early age. She had a strong opinion, but I trusted her; she had good taste. She was French-braiding her hair at six years old. I didn’t know how to do it, so she taught herself! All the local kids would come over and have her do their hair and make-up. Ettie reminds me of Alyse: confident, happy and smart. I’m so proud of them both.”


Add a stroke of genius with this domed brush
Glide-on perfection and waterproof too
For extreme length and volume
A red gloss with a matte finish
Rachel and her daughter Lara

M&S head of content Rachel and her daughter Lara

Rachel: “My mum died before my daughter Lara was born, but when I look at Lara I see glimpses of my mum – Lara has her big, twinkly eyes, which I love. Mum didn’t wear much make-up and I’m the same – pretty low maintenance. But the beauty treat we loved doing together was having our hair blow-dried, and it’s still my thing now. I always feel more refreshed and done when my hair’s looking good.

“Lara loves it when I have time to plait her hair, so she might catch the blow-dry bug one day. She also loves watching me do my make-up and then ‘painting’ her own face – especially with the expensive stuff! Her favourites are eyeshadow and lipstick. It’s very sweet to watch and the results are hilarious.

“I’m pretty active, so Lara is often outdoors – on a bike, running in the park, climbing everything in sight. I hope I have started to teach her the benefits of exercise and being outside – not just the physical benefits but the way being active can keep your mind healthy and balanced. I learned a lot from my mum and I hope to teach Lara some of the same traits: confidence, independence and a sense of fun.”


Brighten up with a moisturising matte
A true artist’s palette with 18 shades
Accelerate and protect your blow-dry
For a wow-worthy, manageable finish

Interviews: Sam Dean / Images: Chris Craymer / Art direction: Nicola Rose / Styling: Chloe Forde / Hair: Ben Cooke
Make-up: Emma Kotch / Nails: Emma Welsh / Prop styling: Beatrice Hurst

Trending stories

Editor’s Pick
New scents of adventure
Shop the collection
Wish List
Mother’s Day gift edit
Treat Mum
Editor’s Pick
New: Fragonard Lavande
Shop the scent
Editor’s Pick
The formula for great skin
Read & shop