Prop stylist Kendra Smoot is one of my good friends—and also a huge style inspiration. Every time we hang out at the playground or have dinner, I come away inspired by a thin gold cuff she was wearing or the dark color of her living room walls or a short story she read or a documentary she saw. She just knows. So, when she agreed to do a beauty uniform, I jumped at the chance! Here, she explains how to get clear skin, why she wears men's cologne, and the weird socks she swears by...
What's your skincare routine?
I'm a drugstore-beauty kind of gal. I've tried expensive creams, but in the end they didn't really seem to be the miracle cure I thought they'd be. I use Oil of Olay like my mom did—I love both the exfoliating cleansers and also the makeup-remover wipes when I'm short on time. (They're also great for wiping down the sink when you’re done!)
Oh, and about a year ago I noticed the skin above my upper lip appeared to be darker—it's a common condition caused by increased estrogen. I've been using Murad skin lightening serum morning and night, and it has really helped even out my skin color. Also, every once in a while I splurge on a good facial—I love Lifebooker for finding deals and good spa reviews for treatments like facials and waxes.
How do you style and care for your (amazing) hair?
The beach is my happy place, so, for my daily routine, I basically just try to replicate the way my hair looks after spending a day at the ocean. I can usually go four to five days between washing my hair, as long as I use a dry shampoo in between; I love Klorane powder and apply it before going to bed. I usually only brush my hair right before I shower to get any tangles out. When I do wash my hair, I use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioning Treatment. While it's still wet, I use Oribe Hair Style Cream to chill out the frizz. My girlfriend and hair stylist Reagan Baker showed me how to apply it—she rubs a dollop the size of a lima bean between her hands to warm it and then rubs it through my hair starting around my ears and working down to the ends. And then she lightly pats the top of my hair so the roots just get a little product. Because my hair is long and thick she does that three times! It lasts forever.
Overall I think the best thing I've done is finally found a hairstyle that looks good for me and is easy to maintain. I keep it long and a little wild and have the ends lightened.
Do you wear makeup?
Yes, pretty much every day. I use a Josie Maran concealer crayon (it’s smooth and easy to apply) to even out my skin tone and hide under-eye circles, and mascara (I like Dior). And I've recently started filling in my eyebrows—thanks to a recent beauty uniform post on Cup of Jo!
If I’m dressing up for a date or special occasion, I’ll add color to my lips and cheeks. For lips, I go for nude, pale pink or something with a little coral. (Brighter lipstick makes me look a little clown-ish!) I love NARS Multiples. I like the matte finish and that I can just smudge a little on my lips and cheeks and rub it all in. Lately I've been digging the NARS Multiple in Exumas.
What do you love about your look, whether or not it's something "classically" beautiful?
It may sound weird, but I love that I look almost exactly like my older brother Tyler. Growing up people always joked that we were identical twins. It gave us a special bond.
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel beautiful after a day in nature, whether it be a hike or day at the beach. I think that feeling comes from being fulfilled by the beauty in the outdoors, plus feeling the wind and sun.
Have you developed any travel beauty routines?
Whenever I fly, I drink big bottles of water and remember to use a face mist. And if I'll be in the air for more than four hours, I swear by compression socks! I discovered them when I had to fly to my brother’s wedding late into my second pregnancy—I didn't wear them, and by the time I got to my destination, my legs had swelled to twice their normal size! It was so uncomfortable. My doctor suggested I pick up a pair of compression socks and wear them on the red-eye flight home, and I could not believe what a difference it made. I had zero swelling but also tons of energy! I didn't even feel like I needed a nap after flying all night.
Have you picked up any other beauty tips while traveling?
Once during a trip to Greece, I got too much sun, so back in my hotel room I slathered Greek yogurt all over my face and shoulders. It felt so cool and refreshing and when I washed it off I was positively glowing! It was like getting a facial. So now I still do this every summer. (If you want to try it yourself, just be sure you use full-fat yogurt.)
Do you have a signature scent?
I pretty much love anything my husband buys for himself—I've adopted many of his fragrances. We love the same kind of smoky woodsy scents. My two favorites at the moment are Comme des Garçons Kyoto and Hermes Poivre Samarcandre.
Bath vs. shower?
I take showers during the week, but I try to carve out time for a long soak once a week, usually on Sunday evenings. I've been into these detoxifying baking soda baths: I add a cup of Epsom salts and a cup of baking soda and some essential oils into a hot bath. I think the trick is to stay in for about 30 to 40 minutes and to drink lots of water. Then when it's time to rinse, I scrub my skin with a homemade paste of sugar and olive oil. It's such a calm peaceful way to end the week and something I really look forward to.
Anything you've learned about beauty as a mother of two girls?
Yes, here’s a tip for those of you with little girls with wild hair: Invest in a Mason Pearson hairbrush! It used to be a huge struggle to brush my daughters' hair but we've been using a Mason Pearson hair brush for a couple of years, and it is so much gentler and more effective than any other hair brush we've tried.
As a stylist, you're obviously talented at creating beautiful moments. So I'm curious, do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
Yes! I hadn't really thought about it until you asked. I think beauty is about contrast—that things shouldn't be too perfect. I'm "allergic" to things being too done-up, whether that be a room or a garden or my personal look.
Thank you so much, Kendra!
P.S. Posts styled by Kendra, including spring nail polish, bath toys and a NYC apartment tour. Plus, two more beauty uniforms: Courtney and Brooke.
(Photos courtesy of Kendra Smoot. Graphic design element at top by Rachel Ball)