As Good Housekeeping’s beauty director, April Franzino has picked up countless pieces of skin, hair, and makeup advice straight from the pros. Still, some of her most valuable beauty wisdom has come from her own family members. Here, she recounts tips from her grandma, mother and aunts that have informed her approach to beauty, confidence and the aging process.
1. A little can go a long way
For my entire life, I’ve watched my grandma do a select few things to look pulled together, no matter her age: Swipe on lipstick, spritz on perfume, curl her hair, and paint her nails. This taught me that you don’t need a complicated beauty routine to feel confident — identifying the small rituals that give you a boost can be more than enough.
2. Find what works for you
Most of my early beauty education came from one of my aunts, who is a professional hairstylist. She was the first to bring me to the beauty supply store to learn about skin, hair, and makeup products, and she also taught me how to use them. One of my first jobs was working at her salon.
Observing her over the years has shown me that, although experimenting is fun at times, you don’t have to try every trend that comes along. You can find the look that’s flattering and comfortable to you and make it your signature. Hers is long, wavy, highlighted hair and natural makeup that looks gorgeous in any setting — a similar aesthetic to the one I’ve adapted over the years.
3. Evolve your routine during menopause
I’ve learned from the women in my family who have gone through menopause that your body and skin’s needs can change drastically during that time. It’s important to adjust your skincare routine accordingly and remember that taking the time to care for yourself is a must.
As I get older, I’m excited to see that more skincare brands are offering research-backed collections created to specifically target the effects of menopause, from sensitivity and dryness to lines and loss of firmness. For example, the new No7 Menopause Skincare collection (shop the full line-up below) was co-created with input from over 7,000 menopausal women.
According to the brand, the range is “designed to target visual signs of reduced estrogen and collagen for radiant and replenished looking skin.” And it’s not just for menopausal women, either. While I’m not personally at that stage yet, I love to use the Instant Cooling Mist with rosewater and glycerin to refresh and hydrate my skin throughout the day.
4. Consistency is key
At every life stage, making time to take care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally is essential for looking and feeling your best as you age. The results of a consistent skincare and self-care routine are cumulative over the years and can help keep your skin and body healthy down the line.
5. Embrace your natural features
My mom has always been unapologetically herself beauty-wise, whether that has meant wearing her curly hair full and natural, or going makeup-free and showing off her skin. Her example helped me feel comfortable in my unique beauty, including my wavy hair texture, the bump on my nose, and my bare skin — dark circles, dryness, and all. Most importantly, all of the women in my life have shown me that, whatever your age, true beauty comes through your spirit and soul.
April (she/her) is the beauty director at Good Housekeeping, Prevention and Woman’s Day, where she oversees all beauty content. She has over 15 years of experience under her belt, starting her career as an assistant beauty editor at GH in 2007, and working in the beauty departments of SELF and Fitness magazines.