Mom Knows Best: Celebrity Beauty Secrets

From Kristen Bell to Katie Couric, stars share how mom gave them their first lessons in beauty

Petra Nemcova

Petra Nemcova Beauty Photo

Getty Images

“She changed creams as soon as she finished one," says Czech supermodel Petra Nemcova of a beauty strategy she learned from her mother. The rational? "You get different benefits from each cream.” As for her hair, Nemcova says, "We grew up with having not much, so we couldn’t buy hair masks. Instead, we took egg yolk and mixed it with olive oil and put it on our hair. It gives you the proteins and oils that your hair needs.”


Estelle Beauty Photo

Getty Images

“My mom was like the braid queen,” says the British R&B songstress. “She always told me to brush my hair and tie it up before bed. I got my scarf trend from my mom—she always tied her hair up. I still do that and I even have a whole line of satin headscarves that you can wear day to night coming out.”

Linda Cardellini

Linda Cardellini Beauty Photo

Getty Images

“My mom was always big on moisturizing,” reveals the Mad Men actress. “On my body, I like to use grapeseed oil or Vitamin E or coconut oil. It works really well on my skin.”

Selita Ebanks

Selita Ebanks Beauty Photo

Getty Images

“When I was a kid, my mom used to mix mayonnaise and egg yolks, put it on her hair, and wrap it up in a plastic bag. It would smell and was pretty disgusting. But her hair would come out so silky and shiny. It’s like a home remedy, but it works,” says the fashion model. Ebanks updated her mom’s routine with argan oil: “I just put a lot of it on and then put on a shower cap.”

Archie Panjabi

Archie Panjabi Beauty Photo

Getty Images

“Coconut oil is something that they use a lot in India,” The Good Wife actress says of a trick she picked up from mom. “It thickens the hair and makes it glossy without any preservatives. It’s like a hot oil that you put on your entire hair—get it down to your roots, let it soak in the oil, and wash it after a few hours.”

Fatima Siad

Fatima Siad Beauty Photo

Getty Images

Fashion model Fatima Siad swears by deep conditioning. “My hair is very curly so it gets dry if it’s not conditioned every week. That’s a tip from mom that I’ve always, always stuck with,” she says. “I try to switch products as much as I can because variety is so good for your hair. It’s not good using the same product over and over. I use Moroccan or macadamia oil or Pantene—whatever I can find."

Emily VanCamp

Emily VanCamp Beauty Photo

Getty Images

“My mom was very simple with her beauty and I am as well,” admits the Revenge starlet. “Lots of water, sleep as much as possible, that seems to be a good trick.”

Jaime King

Jaime King Beauty Photo

Courtesy of Vidal Sassoon

She has looks that allow her to partner with hair care brands such as Vidal Sassoon—and Jaime Smith's beauty training came early. "One thing that I learned from [my mom] is just very simple: just take any washcloth and use it as an exfoliator." She adds: "I think exfoliating your skin every day is a huge beauty secret because it keeps your skin very fresh and hydrated and it pushes out all the toxins."

Kristen Bell

Kristen Bell Beauty Photo

Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage/Getty Images

“One thing my mom did tell me when I was like 16 that her mother had told her, is that to prevent wrinkles you need to start your skincare regimen really early,” says the actress of protecting the skin that earned her a role as a Neutrogena ambassador. “So she had me using the right kind of moisturizer and an eye cream by the time I was 18, because she was all about preventive care for young-looking skin. Which I think has helped!”

Guiliana Rancic

Guiliana Rancic Beauty Photo

jason merritt/getty images entertainment

"You know, she’s about to turn 69 and she’s the most gorgeous skin, my mom, she looks like a 50-year-old—and she’s beautiful,” boasts the TV personality of her ageless mother. Rancic credits a fuss-free skincare regimen and little makeup to mom’s flawless skin. “I think because of that she was able to maintain the natural oils in her face, and that’s why today she’s virtually wrinkle free without any sort of Botox or anything. My mom is like hardcore Italian mom. She doesn’t do any of that stuff,” she laughs.

Katie Couric

Katie Couric Beauty Photo

John Parra/WireImage/Getty Images

“I think my mom picked up some beauty tips from me,” says Couric. “My mom swears by Lancôme Primordiale night cream in the day and night, because I introduced her to it and so now she drinks it up and she always says, ‘Can you get me some more of that night cream?’ My mom wasn’t a big makeup person, she really wasn’t, so I didn’t really pick up a lot of tips from her. She’s pretty basic.”

Michelle Trachtenberg

Michelle Trachtenberg Beauty Photo

Charles Eshelman/Filmmagic/Getty Images

"My mom uses witch hazel as a toner, since she was a kid. And I think that is probably the best tip I picked up from her," says the porcelain-skinned actress. "Because it's so easy. It's so convenient. It's in a drug store. I'm big on convenience because I don't have time to do much else with my shooting schedule and it really does wonders for your skin."

Whitney Port

Whitney Port Beauty Photo

Donato Sardello/WireImage/Getty Images

The famous fashionista knows a thing or two about keeping her skin looking its best, courtesy of her mother, who taught her the importance of eye cream. "I started wearing [it] when I was like a teenager,” she says, crediting SkinWithin EyeBright (and mom!) for her line-free eyes.

Kim Cattrall

Kim Cattrall Beauty Photo

Simon Russell/Getty Images Entertainment

“She always told me to wear a hat to protect against the sun,” says the Sex and the City icon. And it's advice that has stuck with her. To this day, she says, “I wear all kinds of hats!”

Nicole Scherzinger

Nicole Scherzinger Beauty Photo

Joe Scarnici/WireImage/Getty Images

“My mom was so funny!” says the star. “She used to make me wash my hair in vinegar, raw eggs, and I think even mayonnaise. I guess they worked, because I still have my hair!”

Megan Hilty

Megan Hilty Beauty Photo

Fernando Leon/Getty Images Entertainment

“My mom always used Oil of Olay moisturizing cream. I totally use that too,” says the Smash star. “She uses it every day. And it always works. And it's so funny, because a lot of people [whose skin I] admire, I ask about what they use and they say that too!”

Olivia Thirlby

Olivia Thirlby Beauty Photo

Paul Zimmerman/WireImage/Getty Images

“My mother always taught me that taking care of your skin pays off. And she has beautiful skin -- and that's something makeup can't really do for you,” points out the Being Flynn star, who swears by Dr. Alkaitis Organic Nourishing Treatment Oil. “If you’ve got a good complexion, then you don't have to do much, and I learned that from her.”

Chrissy Teigen

Chrissy Teigen Beauty Photo

Paul Zimmreman/WireImage/Getty Images

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and famous fiancée of John Legend skipped mom and went straight to grandma as a bedtime-beauty role model. “My grandma would be plastered in Vaseline,” she says. “It can’t be the sexiest thing to wake up to, because do you know how much dog hair would be stuck to my face after I woke up with Vaseline?” she laughs. “I live by the 'less is more' thing, but I am going to start trying grandma’s old Vaseline trick. I don’t know when to start though because I gotta remain sexy somehow!”

Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web