Emily Schuman, Cupcakes and Cashmere


"I had the idea to start Cupcakes and Cashmere in March of 2008. I had just left Condé Nast to go to AOL, because I felt a shift going online. Even then I would finish my work early and be bored out of my mind, like, 'What can I do now?!' I started creeping online by doing restaurant reviews on Yelp and CitySearch. Looking back at them now is painful—I’ll never tell you my Yelp screen name. [Laughs] But I liked writing about food and décor, and I realized I wanted to continue to do that. I also loved fashion, and even though those ideas seemed mutually exclusive, I thought there must be people like me who wanted to get dressed up and have a great meal with their friends. My goal was just to write and create things I was passionate about, to keep myself inspired. I still can’t believe that I was able to turn it into a full-time job. I just turned 30, and I was 24 when I started it. Now my husband runs the business side of things and we have a creative designer on the team.

As much as I'm interested in fashion, my style is still constantly evolving. I’ve gotten a lot better at not looking at trends as much, and only adopting trends that work for me and work for my body. I have a pretty athletic build, which is not always meant for high fashion. There's nothing wrong with that, but you don’t see that body type celebrated as much. When I was in my soccer uniform or out on the basketball court, I would be like, ‘I’m strong! I feel great!’ Yet when I try on something at Barneys that won’t go over my big bust or strong shoulders, I don’t always feel like I fit in. I know the uniform that makes me feel best: a slouchy jean or a skinny jean, a slouchy tank top, a good pump, and a fitted blazer to bring it all together.  My favorite boyfriend jeans are by Gap and my favorite blazer is from Elizabeth & James. Their blazers are consistently cut for a woman’s body. They always make me feel stylish and put together without being stuffy.

As much as I stay pretty consistent with my fashion, I like to experiment with makeup. It’s so fun to play with. Not that I know what I’m doing—I’m not professional by any means. I’m like a sponge, so I try to learn as much as I can from makeup artists, and I do a lot of online research, but I got into makeup very late. I was a tomboy for most of my life, until I was like 15. I didn’t even get my ears pierced until I was 18! I was all about a slicked-back ponytail and I had a unibrow! [Laughs] I didn’t really start caring about fashion or makeup until college, which is silly, because I went to an all-girls liberal arts school—Scripps College in Claremont. And then, right after, when I was [doing ad sales] at Condé Nast. I would walk through the hallways being like, ‘I need to step up my game.’ I started to experiment, but there were some mistakes, obviously. I’m still willing to try a lot, from a fluorescent-orange lip to an extended cat eye, but now I have a day-to-day routine.

I just recently started using Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, which I cut with St. Tropez Skin Illuminator, so it’s a little glow-y and not as foundation-y; I never like the look of completely opaque skin. I’m all about the glow, but I don’t want shine. So, to combat that, I use Makeup For Ever HD Powder on my forehead. It’s something I learned from working with a makeup artist...but you have to be minimal with it because I’ve seen these crazy photos of people who look completely white when the flash hits them. I use TimeBomb concealer, which I found at Sephora years ago, because it actually stays put instead of disappearing in half an hour.

My other favorite thing right now is Armani Bronze Mania. I lack any real facial definition—I don’t have any cheek bones or anything—so it's really important for me to fake it with contouring. And Bronze Mania doesn’t look like bronzer, it just looks like a natural shadow on your face. I apply it with the Nars #21 brush. On my cheeks, I also like Estée Lauder’s new Cheek Gel, but I love it even more on my lips. It gives them a berry stain that lasts for hours.

Occasionally I’ll wear a nude lip. I think Tom Ford makes the best ones: Nude Vanille is a really pretty nude peach, and I like Tom Ford Ultra Shine Lip Gloss in Naked. You have to have a little bit of a tan to wear a nude lip, though, and some eye makeup, whether it’s mascara or a little bit of a cat eye, so you don’t look like a corpse. When I want to wear really bright lips, Make Up For Ever does a great hot orange, and MAC Snob is a great, retro, ‘60s-style Barbie pink. It makes the rest of your skin pop, and it’s a notice-me shade without being too in-your-face.

On my eyes, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner in Black is my go-to. I dot it between my lashes and then just put a tiny bit on top of my lashes. It’s my favorite trick. I like the Revlon liner because it’s almost like a felt pen, so it’s easy to maneuver and draw a really straight line.

I thankfully don’t have a unibrow anymore, but at first I went in the complete opposite direction to deal with them. I was like, ‘Oh, good god’ and tweezed them into surprised little sperm. [Laughs] One of the first mean comments I got on my site—you always remember your first—was someone who said I had ‘slutty eyebrows.’ I cried and called my friends saying, ‘I had no idea my eyebrows were slutty!’ I have been trying to let them grow back in, not to their original state of course, but just because full eyebrows make you seem more youthful and give you more expression. I fill them in carefully with the Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil in Neutral Blonde. My eyebrows are very dark naturally, and this color is a lot lighter, but it helps to make them seem like they’re not overdone. You don’t have to press very hard, and there’s a brush at the end to get your brows in order. I feel like I look so much more put-together after I fill in my eyebrows.

I used to just slap makeup onto my face without moisturizing it. But, something I’ve learned since I turned 30 is that it really comes down to taking care of your skin. I’ve started washing my face at night, which is a big step. I hate doing it, because I’ll be falling asleep and then I’m like, ‘Goddammit, I have to wash my face.’ I started with makeup-remover pads, because it was quick and not as severe as splashing cold water all over my face. But then I realized I would end up having to wash my face anyway because the pads would leave behind this weird film and it wasn’t getting the makeup off. So now I wash my face at night. I start by taking off my makeup with lotion, and then I wash my face really well with Bio-Elements Flash Foam Cleanser.

To moisturize, I use Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer because it has sunscreen in it. It’s also supposed to help even out your skin tone. That is one of my problem areas, so I’m really into anything that tells me I will be ‘positively radiant.’ Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex and Eye Serum have made a difference in my skin, too. It hydrates and I feel like it gives me a great glow; it kind of sets the stage for everything else. At night, I use it with a thicker moisturizer, and then in the morning I put it on with an oil—either Rodin Olio Lusso or Josie Maran’s 100% Argan Oil. I’ve been really into oils and eye cream lately. I’ll even put it around my nose if it gets really dry, because eye cream is for really sensitive skin, so why not? And someone told me, ‘Don’t just make sure your face is moisturized, do your neck, too.’ So I’ve been trying to work on that as well.

When I turned 30, I went online and did some research about anti-aging. And I found Peter Thomas Roth Un-Wrinkle Peel Pads. I have no idea what they do, but you put them all over your face and leave it on for a few minutes. Then you wash it off and it gives you a little tingly glow. I love them, and I hope they un-wrinkle me. [Laughs] I am just trying to be proactive about things. I haven’t sun-tanned in years, either. Instead I use Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow pads. They don’t get on your hands at all. I use three of them at a time for my whole body—face, everything.

I'm actually pretty hard on my hair. Naturally, it’s mousy-brown, and getting it this light requires a lot of bleaching. It used to feel like hay, because I was using a 2-for-$5 shampoo and conditioner from Target. But, now I’m using Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color and Conditioner. I went to some beauty site that lets readers choose their favorites, and they said Oribe, so I trusted it. I was embarrassed when my colorist said ‘your hair feels so great now,’ like it had been terrible before. I’m also working out now, so I have to wash my hair a lot more. I was really pushing it before, washing it every fifth or sixth day. But, I realized that it was disgusting and unhygienic and I’m washing it more. [Laughs]

For styling, I use a super random combination of products: Herbal Essences Dangerously Straight, which they probably stopped making in 2004, and Pantene Pro-V Smooth Serum. I put them in when it's damp, and then blow-dry it. I heard Moroccanoil is horrible for blondes because it turns your hair a weird color, but I don’t really buy that it will make your hair brassy. Sometimes I sneak it in, to make my hair sleek and shiny. I don’t really understand my hair well enough to just let it go natural—it will frizz, wave, and curl, and just end up looking unfortunate.

Fragrance-wise, I’ve finally found my signature scent after years and years of searching—Frederic Malle’s Carnal Flower. I’ve already gone through two bottles. I have always wanted a signature scent that people would know me by and that I loved spraying—one that was just mine. Now, the funny thing is that people stop me on the street asking me where it’s from... I don’t know if that’s an indicator that I’m wearing too much of it, or that it's amazing. [Laughs] But it wears really well on my body, and after a few hours it smells different, but still good, and it’s still there.

I always do my own nails. It’s easier, because I’m such a perfectionist, and I bite my nails and my cuticles, so I have to keep them polished at all times or else I’ll just go to town. The at-home manicure comes down to the prep work. You obviously need to get good at the application strokes and using your less-dominant hand, but for me, once my fingernails are buffed and my cuticles are pushed back, they’re like really nice, easy blank canvases. My favorite nude is Topless & Barefoot by Essie, because it's opaque, super flattering, and doesn't get chalky. My favorite bright color is OPI’s Roll in the Hague, which is one of those crazy oranges that looks just as good on your toes as it does on your fingernails. Estée Lauder’s Black Plum is great because it almost looks black, but when it catches the light, you can see that it’s dark purple."

—as told to ITG

Emily Schuman photographed by Emily Weiss on August 12, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Lydia

    Love this top shelf! I always love the ones with plenty of products to look at- product junkie all the way!

  • KT

    I used morrocanoil religiously when I was a blonde (the light version) and it never turned my hair brassy. It is probably the only beauty product that has ever lived up to the hype for me, before morrocanoil I had to soak my hair in conditioner literally every day to be able to brush it, now I get around 3-4 days between washes.

    • Komal

      Have you tried the Kerastase Elixir Ultime range? I've got massively bleached, ombre hair which wouldn't be possible without the mask from that range. I've heard people say they've used both and the Kerastase one is better than the MoroccanOil one.

  • Vanessa Stumpf

    I just ready Cupcakes and Cashmere, and then I come over here and here's Emily! I love her.

  • Vicki

    The two blogs I read daily are Into the Gloss and Cupcakes and Cashmere, marvelous to see them together!!! I literally just came from Emily's blog! :) Love it!

  • Janine

    Emily is so cool. I've been following her for a bit (not since the start of her blog). Funny, she and I use a lot of the same products. I always find that funny. Moroccan oil has gone weird on me. My skin is changing and it suddenly started breaking me out :( Oh, and I love that she sprinkles Estee Lauder and doesn't list all EL products. She posts on their site and I knew she wouldn't just promote them. Great post!

    (Sofia Coppola soon?)

  • Emily

    Does anyone know where her bra is from? I recognize the straps! It was on net-a-porter!

  • http://stylecontext.com/ Style Context

    Great tip, re: the eyebrow pencil. I am brunette and would love to go blonde like Emily (copycat, I know), but I have dark eyebrows. Now I'm seriously considering it! http://stylecontext.com

  • maria

    holly molly dear Emily !!! i got so excited to see u here in ITG that i missed a couple of heartbeat . love ITG for this post

  • pixiedust8

    Nice interview! She seems really down-to-earth. I do like her blog, but I can't read the overly gushing comments on it. (Not that I don't like positive thinking, but dial it back to merely adoring, people.) I did like that this wasn't all Estee Lauder products (since I know she does work for them) and I also like that we have the same base hair color, so I know she has trials to overcome!

  • Caroline T

    Love the post and thanks for the beauty tips! It takes some time for women to know what works with their body and what doesn't and I feel like once you know, shopping for yourself is so much easier! My uniform is pretty much the same.. jeans, a tank, pumps and a fitted blazer and I visit The StyleUp pretty often for inspiration on how to mix this look up so it doesn't look like I wear the same thing all the time!


  • Katherine Clow

    I love Emily and her blog! Even though she has good style, I like how she incorporates all of her life into her blog -- which makes it even more than just fashion. Great top shelf!


  • AsphodelJones

    God, she is *so* adorable.

  • imperfctconcept

    I love the in depth you went with your routine. I am becoming more aware of the products I use personally too. Thanks for sharing

  • becks

    Love Emily! What a wonderful assortment of products.

  • FatFreeFashion

    " I don’t really understand my hair well enough to just let it go natural—it will frizz, wave, and curl, and just end up looking unfortunate."- I couldn't relate more, or said it better myself! Emily is the best!


  • http://forefrontfashion.com Fore Front Fashion

    she is the raddest

  • http://brightandbeautifulblog.com/ bright and beautiful

    What a wonderfully written post. Emily's character, confidence, beauty (and wit!) really shine though her writing. I loved hearing her beauty tips and favorites!

  • Andreea Cupsan

    I have to try some of the products she mentions but what I always love is when I discover a product that works for me, just by chance. I usually go to the stores and with a brand that I trust I can just go with my instinct and try something new. My last find was the Dior Luminous Color Lip Treatment Spf 20, the Coral Crystal shade. My lips are a nice peachy colour and they are just so soft. I love it.


  • lauriel

    This is a great article, with insights into Emily's personality and previous experiences. Loved the casual, intimate, and informative feel of it! I'll second the Georgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I've tried countless brands, and the GA formulations are the best for light wear and great coverage. I splurged on it for my wedding, but have made it my staple since then. :)

    ~ lauriel


  • http://www.mochaandmoccasins.com/ Monica

    I love reading all of Emily's makeup tips. In the last year, I've really been paying more attention to beauty, cosmetics and skincare because I've grown such an interest in it (especially through blogs like Emilys!), and I love how Emily uses a mix of high end and drugstore products. Aveeno moisturizer is amazing!

    Just one question..."slutty eyebrows".. hahaha what does that even mean?


  • Stephanie

    love cupcakes and cashmere... and love the estee lauder night time repair! My favorites

    Tailgate queen - game day dresses

  • Amelia

    Washing your hair every 5th or 6th day is actually OPPOSITE of un-hygienic. The oils in your hair replenish the moisture, so when you aren't used to it, it can appear "greasy". However, some baby power and you are good to go! Your scalp can handle days and days of natural build up, and in fact, you can just rinse your hair (no shampoo needed) to get rid of the excess oil, and your hair will feel naturally soft. It's a myth that you really need to wash your hair everyday, that dries out your hair follicles and scalp, CAUSING dandruff, dryness and breakage, all thing shampoo insists they take care of.

    • Nina

      If I had thick, dry hair that'd be my choice too, but with my fine, blonde hair and oily skin + scalp it's a seriously bad idea. I find that excessive dry shampooing makes my hair duller and more prone to breakage, so I much prefer to wash every second day with a gentle shampoo. I tried the rinse thing on second days and my hair looked drenched in oil, so gross. I really envy you people who can go long between shampoos.

  • Jinna

    A KITTY! Sold. She rules.

  • http://www.foxyoxiesupernova.blogspot.com/ Oksana Radionova

    You're killin' it, Em! Fabulous as always! XOXO


  • Duff

    Emily actually sounds a lot more fun and relaxed in this interview! I enjoy her blog but find it a little Martha Stewart stiff sometimes. :)

  • http://www.heyprettything.com/ Carolyn

    so great! loved this feature


  • Tanya

    Ok so Armani Bronze Mania sounds amazing.
    But it's been discontinued.
    ITG, please...what can we used instead? Where can we buy it?? EMILY SCHUMAN WHERE DO YOU GET IT?

  • Anon

    Emily - you are adorable and I love reading your blog!! These are some great products. Reading this I couldn't help but feel compelled to ask - have you considered switching up your beauty routine to experiment with some less toxic products? You might try switching out some of the skincare first, for chemical-free, all-natural brands. There are so many out there - Sephora & SpaceNK are full of them these days! I just completed a project about cosmetic safety for Columbia here in NYC. Thinking longer term, it's an easy thing to do to protect your health & vitality. You like to experiment with new beauty products so you might enjoy mixing it up more. I certainly have!! xxx

  • Katie Appleyard

    Love all the insight into the beauty products! There is so much out there it is hard to know what to use.

    Apple Lifestyle

  • LK

    Wow, I have to say I don't like reading Cupcakes and Cashmere because I feel that it's a bit pretentious and daft, but this ITG column gave me a whole new picture of Emily Schuman - she's adorable and actually really down-to-earth seeming! Maybe I'll give C and C another chance...

  • http://www.stephaniesstyleblog.blogspot.com/ stephaniesstyleblog

    This article was very interesting to read :) I wanted to know Emily's favorite products :)

    xx Stephanie (www.stephaniesstyleblog.com)

  • http://fancylauren.blogspot.com/ Lauren Ashley

    I love the high/low mix of products.

  • pixiedust8

    I certainly don't think people should mock her (and I didn't know that happened), but I'm guessing it's because she presents as so "perfect" and the comments on the blog are sickly, sickly sweet. I liked her personality much better here, because it's nice to read that she was sporty (and not a fashionista) and has non-perfect eyebrows and hair.

    • Jade

      Agreed. She looks tiny on the blog so I thought she was a size 0 or something. I didn't realize she had an athletic build till I read this.

      • unvanquished

        She is not a zero! Look at her boobs and legs!

  • http://disposableincomegirl.com/ Disposable Income Girl

    Great article! One of my favorite down-to-earth bloggers.


  • Restless Blonde

    Very nice TopShelf! I also like Estee Lauder serum and think this product really works!


  • http://www.editorialite.com/ Maggie Winterfeldt

    I love how Emily holds her makeup brushes in empty Diptyque candle jars! what an elegant idea!

  • Holly

    Great article!!

  • Cat

    You could start by looking at organic ones! I am not an all-organic-beauty kind of girl by any means (I like the high-tech stuff in skincare), but for shampooing I just want something effective, gentle and simple at a decent price point and organic shampoos usually tick all those boxes for me :)

    Outside of the organic market, I would try to avoid SLS (the lauryl; laureth is fine, for me anyways).

  • Cat

    I don't know about Emily, but Kaley Cuoco DEFINITELY had tadpole eyebrows.

    • http://www.jacquelinefonte.com/ Jacqueline Fonte

      She totally did, which kept me from watching anything with her in it for quite some time.

      No cornea should ever have to endure slutty, tadpole eyebrows. it hurts my eyes just to look at them.

      • Jade

        I still don't get how eyebrows can be slutty.

        • http://www.jacquelinefonte.com/ Jacqueline Fonte

          I actually used the word slutty becomes it's the word Emily uses in this article. Tadpole or sperm eyebrows might be a more appropriate description.

          I really have no idea how eyebrows can be slutty, and generally speaking, I feel that nothing- not even poorly shaped brows- deserve slut shaming.

          Consider "slutty" redacted.

  • http://www.diamenrose.tumblr.com/ Diamenrose

    She is such a lovely girl! Her blog belong to my favorites!

  • Katya L

    great top shelf! So many products to read about!

  • RTG

    I agree as well! A bit over the top!

  • unvanquished

    Use Oribe once a week and shampoos/conditioners like L'Oreal EverSleek the rest of the time? That's what I do.

  • Glamour House

    Awesome product rec's, can't wait to try them out!


  • tr3ndygirl.com

    her style is unique!
    tr3ndygirl fashion blog

  • Danielle

    ‘Oh, good god’ and tweezed them into surprised little sperm. [Laughs] One of the first mean comments I got on my site—you always remember your first—was someone who said I had ‘slutty eyebrows.’ best quote, made me laugh really hard. Nice to know she is down to earth. I have seen a lot of mention of her blog recently, but never checked it out because it sounded like it could be a bit stuffy. I think I'll give it a go....another great top shelf!


Aveeno Positively Radiant
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani 'Luminous Silk' Foundation
St. Tropez Tanning Essentials
St. Tropez Tanning Essentials Skin Illuminator Gold
theBalm Time Balm Foundation
NARS Ita Brush One Size
Tom Ford
Tom Ford Beauty Lip Color Nude Vanille
Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner
Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Eyebrow Pencil Warm Brunette
Bioelements Flash Foam Cleanser
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair Eye' Serum Infusion
Rodin Olio Lusso
RODIN Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil
Peter Thomas Roth
Peter Thomas Roth 'Un-Wrinkle' Peel Pads
Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color
Oribe Conditioner for Beautiful Color
Frederic Malle
Frederic Malle Carnal Flower
Estee Lauder
Estee Lauder 'Cheek Rush' Gel Blush
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare 'Alpha Beta Glow Pads' Anti-Aging Exfoliating Self-Tanner for Face
Moroccan Oil Treatment for Hair
Pantene Pro-V
Pantene Pro-V Smooth Serum with Argan Oil from Morocco
OPI A Roll In The Hague