How Aerin Lauder Does Mother's Day

And how you can celebrate with her by bidding on her stuff.

By: Alicia Cesaro
Photography: Jake Rosenberg

ICYMI: this Mother’s Day, it’s not all Hermès diaper bags: we’re teaming up with The Adventure Project, a charity that helps women in developing countries become entrepreneurs, and help their own communities in turn. Cool, right? It gets better: For Mother’s Day, we’re helping TAP raise money for medical kits that women in Uganda can use to provide healthcare for their communities.

To speak to the effort, we turned to a few of our favorite women—ahem, Aerin Lauder, Bobbi Brown, and Zanna Roberts (NBD)—the contents of their bags, and what empowers them on the daily. Even better? IfOnly.com is auctioning off that same bag, plus its contents to raise money for the project. Bid on insanely chic stuff, empower women around the world? We’ll take it.

It turns out that when you’re a beauty mogul hailing from three generations of self-made businesswomen, self-empowerment (and female empowerment, on that note) is one of those things that really rings true. And for Aerin Lauder—founder of her own eponymous multi-faceted brand, Aerin, and granddaughter of Estée Lauder—it manifests in literally every aspect of her life, from raising her children to say, oh, just running a global cosmetics empire, all while still managing to give back to others. Remember that the next time you feel overwhelmed by doing your laundry.

With that in mind, it makes sense that Lauder jumped headfirst into the project (as we knew she would) when she sat down with us recently to talk all things philanthropy, motherhood and, of course, beauty.

The importance of female role models:

“Even with Estée Lauder, the concept of bringing the best to everyone we touch—it’s that idea of excellence and help. I think with the Aerin brand in particular, it’s very approachable, it’s very friend-to-friend, you know, the tone of voice in the website it’s always first person and I think there’s something very important with developing that friendship and helping others.

I think in life—whether it’s in a career world or being a mother—the idea of having a role model is really important. I think that my mother was an incredible one and she taught me all the importance of being a good mother. I think my grandmother was an incredible businesswoman. So I think between the two of them, I had the best of both.

I definitely take the same philosophy with my own children. I always say, ‘You have one chance to be a great mother, be the best you can possibly be, try your hardest, look up to people.’ I think that that’s something very important in their upbringing.”

 

And giving back:

“I think philanthropy is very important. My family obviously is very philanthropic. When my father was Ambassador to Austria, he helped the Austrian community as well and I think it’s really important to give back. I think that makes you a complete person.”

 

Her donation to The Adventure Project, decoded:

“The concept behind the Aerin brand is very much about effortless style and essentials. We’ve put into the bag all the essentials that you need, whether it’s a pair of sunglasses, a phone case, lip conditioner, hand cream or perfume. And it’s fun, because a lot of the products are the ones we originally launched the brand with back in 2012 and they still continue to be essentials and classics. It’s the best of the brand.”

 

What she loves about The Adventure Project:

“I think the idea of empowering women—giving them strength and guidance is something that’s very important. I was very lucky to have an incredible mother and grandmother, who were mentors and guided me and I think the idea of helping each other is very important.”

 

Her Mother’s Day traditions:

“Mother’s Day is all day long in my family. It starts off by calling your mother first thing in the morning, wishing her a happy Mother’s Day and it continues throughout the day. We have a great breakfast, lunch, and then we always end up having a family dinner together. And it’s not necessarily about gifts. It’s about flowers, it’s about doing things that you want to do. I love to go for a walk on the beach with my kids and my dogs. Usually, we’re in Long Island when it’s a weekend in May we’re always there. I think it’s just about family time and having a nice day.”

 

Gifts for the women in your life:

“I think a photo album is always a really nice Mother’s Day gift. Either that or a picture frame, you know, one of our best selling products in our collection are picture frames. I think that’s really special, something about capturing a moment, a beautiful picture of a child and a mother is a really special gift. So I love to give candles and photo frames, those are both really great gifts.”

 

What you’ll find in her bag:

“In my bag I always have my iPhone and I also have a Blackberry. I love my Blackberry for texting and some email accounts, everything else is on my iPhone. I also have lip conditioner, sunglasses, a pack of mints or candy for a pick-me-up. And I carry a little mirror of my grandmother’s and red ribbons for good energy!”

 

Bid on Aerin’s bag and all the goodies she fills it with here. And check out everything amazing that The Adventure Project is doing for Mother’s Day here.

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