For years, I've had a girl crush on Jessie Randall, the creative director of shoe and handbag brand Loeffler Randall. A mom of three boys, Jessie lives with her family in Brooklyn; and in addition to having amazing taste, she's also incredibly warm and down to earth. Here, she shares her secrets, including a life-changing serum and a book that made her cry...
What's your daily routine?
I always feel like I have dark circles under my eyes—I'm always so tired—so I use Clinique line-smoothing concealer. I sometimes use a cheap drugstore mascara in dark brown or black. But I'm sort of superstitious about mascara; I feel like every time I put it on, that's the day that I cry. I use Dior Rosy Glow blush on my cheeks. It's a really bright pinky color that gives my face life. On my lips, I use Fresh Sugar lip treatment or Aquaphor. I like nude nail polish. That's it. If I have too much makeup on, I feel like I look crazy. My mom never wore that much makeup, and I just kind of followed suit. You often do the same things that your mom does!
Do you have a this-changed-my-life beauty product?
Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum. I got introduced to Tata Harper products a couple years ago, and I love them so much. They're all natural, so I don't have to worry about weird chemicals getting into my skin or body. I use the Rejuvenating Serum twice a day (morning and night). I love it and need to have it with me at all times. It makes me feel alive; it hydrates my skin and gives me a lot of color on my face. My makeup all goes on so much better when I have that as a base. Plus, it smells so good. The serum is almost like a perfume. It's all made with flowers. The boys definitely notice it. They were playing with the cream and were like, "Oh, this is where you get the way that you smell." It's clean, nice and subtle.
What about when you're dressing up for a date or work event?
If I'm trying to look more polished, I'll wear a bright lipstick, like NARS Heat Wave, and I might do a face mask from Tata Harper or Fresh to slough off dead skin cells. My favorite thing is to go to a neighborhood restaurant called Fonda. My husband calls it my "Cheers," because we go there so often everyone knows us. I love it. It's the best Mexican food I've ever had. I love to get a margarita and just relax. I'm kind of a homebody so I like to be close to home. It's not something I necessarily think is a great thing about myself. I'm not the most adventurous person, going to some hot new restaurant. I like to know that if anyone at home needs me, I can get there quickly.
What do you do to style and take care of your hair?
I use Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner because I have really fine hair. And I love my hairdresser. I go to Snip and Sip in the West Village, which looks like a 1950's hair salon. My stylist is Ricky, and he has a really strong clientele of people that are big fans. It's really relaxing in there; they give out little glass bottles of Coke. (Diet Coke is my weakness! It probably does the most damage to my skin! But it's so hard to give up.)
What's your happy place?
I really like having a craft project going. It relaxes me. A year or two ago, Martha Stewart had this thing about cross-stitched portraits. I got obsessed with that article and started making them of my kids. Then I got overly ambitious for a fundraiser at my son's school and cross-stitched a pillow with a portrait of each of the kids in my son's class—there were 21! It came out so cute. It was a lot of work; it took my entire Christmas vacation. We went to Jamaica and I was on the beach cross-stitching. It was really calming. Now I'm working on a cross-stitch of our entire family tree.
What's your bedtime routine?
My nighttime routine is a lot of going back and forth to the kids' rooms. We do not have the best sleepers. My littlest is potty training, so of course he only has to go to the bathroom after he's supposed to be in bed. I have a beer every night; that's my relaxation. I also try to read every night. I try to be better about leaving my phone downstairs and reading in my room or working on a craft project.
What are you reading?
I really loved the book Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. She used to write an advice column called Dear Sugar, and they put all the columns together into a book. They're funny, they're sad; she's an incredible writer. It was so easy to read, I couldn't put it down. It has beautifully written advice. There's one about what advice you'd give to yourself in your 20s, and it's funny, heartbreaking, it's such good advice it will make you cry.
Do you have a stance on bath vs. shower?
We have a nice deep bath at our house, and it's a really relaxing place for me. I read on my Kindle and just hope I don't drop it. I like to put in some bubbles with a eucalyptus scent. I can stay in there for an hour.
What did your mother—or aunts or grandmothers—teach you about beauty?
My paternal grandmother had great style. We would watch soap operas, read The Enquirer and do our nails while she smoked. It was everything my (very natural) mother couldn't deal with; I'm sure it drove her crazy. But that sense of fun rubbed off on me. I loved spending time with her and loved her bright red lips.
When's one time that you felt really beautiful?
Our honeymoon. We stayed at a beautiful hotel in Capri, where we fell asleep for the first two days of our honeymoon. We woke up and it was Wednesday! Weddings are so exhausting. We rented a moped. One day we rented a boat, and that was awesome. It feels like a million years ago—we just had our eleventh anniversary. I got engaged really young, it was crazy, I was 23! We were engaged for three years because I thought, "I can't get married when I'm 23."
Do you do any activities that make you feel great?
My whole office has been going to SoulCycle, and we've all gotten so obsessed! I was intimidated at first, but I've gotten really really into it. My husband was saying, "All you girls! Your skin all looks so good, you all look so healthy!" It's funny, I feel like that's a big part of looking your best—exercising, getting your blood flowing. I was a runner but I never did the bike machine, so I was scared that I wouldn't be able to do it. It's definitely hard but it's so good. You sweat so much, and it's such a short workout. I'd highly recommend it.
Do you have any regrettable beauty moments/trends you tried?
Oh yeaaaaaah. In high school, I wore brown lipstick. It looked terrible on me. And a slightly darker brown lipliner. It was so bad.
What are you teaching your sons about beauty?
Since I have boys, I think there's less pressure in some ways to teach them about beauty. But I definitely don't want them to hear me talking about "Oh, I need to lose weight," which is not good for any kid to hear. That's one of the reasons I tried to get back into fitness. Two years after I had my littlest, I hadn't really done any physical exercise at all. I started getting back into it last year and one reason was that I wanted them to see how, as much as I take care of them, I also take time to take care of myself.
Speaking of beauty, how would you describe your shoe aesthetic? (I LOVE this pair for fall.)
I started the line when I couldn't find shoes that felt like me and my style, so we try to design things that people will respond to and think, "Oh yeah, that feels like me. I'm pushing a stroller and then running to work." Our customers have dynamic lives and a lot going on, so comfort is a very important part of what we do—sexy, cool, but also comfy enough to wear for blocks and blocks.
Thank you so much, Jessie!
P.S. Five more beauty uniforms and how to make a perfect top knot.
(Instagrams courtesy of Jessie Randall. All other photos by Julia Robbs for Cup of Jo)