Adair Ilyinsky of TenOverTen

Favorite memory of you and your mother?

So many of course but one that’s top of mind was our annual mother/daughter trips into Manhattan during summers visiting my grandmother in Connecticut from Cincinnati, where I grew up.  I remember one particularly special year my mother and I came into The City for a Bobbi Brown Beauty book signing and makeover (maybe at Saks??) and I also bought a new pair of plaid Kate Space loafers.  Ah, the 90’s!

Wisdom from your mother…

My mom was just a great mom when it came to juggling the three of us.  My two sisters and I are relatively close in age and I never recall my mother being overwhelmed.  My mom always espouses that kids need and crave discipline and boundaries and I assumed that because I’d always been given this advice, I’d be a good disciplinarian.  It turns out that it’s a lot harder in practive than I thought before I had kids (duh) and doesn’t come as naturally to me, but it helps me to hear my moms words in my head, “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no.”

Your mom’s favorite self-care routines?

My mom used to wax her legs at home and when we were teenagers, taught us how to wax our legs too.  I don’t think waxing was as easily accessible as it is now at salons and my mother was vehemently against shaving.  I’m so appreciative that she set me on a lifelong path of waxing rather than shaving, ha!

Advice to your younger self…

I think this probably applies to all stages of life, but just to appreciate the journey rather than being so caught up with the destination.  I remember my friends and I being wrapped up in meeting the right guy and then getting married and then having kids, and now that I have all of those things, I’d tell my younger self just to enjoy rather than fret about the process and that everything will come in time (and of course to relish every minute of sleep and opportunity to sleep in)!

Daily beauty routine? 

Having children was what really put Nadine and me on the path to a more natural beauty routine.  Being pregnant made us more thoughtful about what we were eating, the cleaning agents we were using in our homes and of course the products we were putting on our skin.  My beauty routine has become all natural (except for a few favorite color cosmetics I’m loathe to give up) and more recently focused on anti-aging.

Moms are an integral part of your consumer base – what was your intention in creating your business, specifically as it relates to mothers?

I actually don’t think catering to mothers specifically was part of our original business plan as Nadine and I weren’t mothers yet and I wasn’t even married when we first opened tenoverten.  As we became mothers ourselves, we became much more conscious of making sure tenoverten salons were safe environments for our customers, many of whom are pregnant or bring in their little ones, and most importantly our employees, who work day in and day out at the salons.

Biggest mom fail?

I was dumb enough to let me daughter sleep in face paint from the first birthday party she went to where they had face painting rather than suffer through the meltdown that would inevitably ensue when I told her we would have to take it off.  I don’t know what I thought would happen but as you can imagine there was a lot of laundry the next day.  Now we have a tradition that we do a photo shoot of their face paint before we have to wash it off.

One thing you said to your kids that you never thought you would?

Somehow we refer to rear ends a tushies and that is one word I never ever thought I would use, ha!

Most awkward question your kid has asked you in public?

Unfortunately I still get this one all the time quite loudly, “Mom, is that a BOY or a GIRL?”

That time your kid embarrassingly called you out on something in public…

I asked my daughter Esme in front of our front desk managers why she needs to be well behaved at the nail salon.  I thought she was going to respond with what we had been over about not wanting to disturb people who were relaxing while getting their nails done and instead she said, “so people at the salon don’t think you’re a bad mom.”  Out of the mouths of babes!

Advice to new moms…

My piece of advice would be that the worst times really are fleeting. Looking back, fear of the unknown was what made being a mom the first time around so hard.  Had I known that the sleepless nights were finite and that a 5 hour stretch was only a few weeks away, or that breast feeding would be difficult for me but before I knew it my daughter would be eating rice cereal and solids, I don’t think everything would have felt so weighty.  I’m not sure if we can learn that from someone else though, we might just all have to learn it for ourselves, which is what I think makes us so much stronger along the magical motherhood journey.

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