'My name is Ari Serrano-Embree [@arianase], and I live in Oakland, California—where I grew up—with my husband, Max and 2-year-old daughter, Coco. We own a shop downtown called Oakland Surf Club, a surf lifestyle shop with a gallery where we host music and art shows. We just celebrated the shop's two-year anniversary, so that's exciting. We opened it when I was nine months pregnant and the last couple years have been both crazy and a lot of fun.
When I found out I was pregnant, I started paying way more attention to every single thing I put in and on my body. I started reading all the labels and threw out a ton of products with ingredients I didn't recognize or couldn't pronounce. I was so sensitive to fragrance I couldn’t even use scented Dr. Bronner’s, so I switched to the Baby Mild Unscented version and I still share the big size with Coco. A lot baby products are made with so many chemicals, which I really wanted to avoid if possible. I only use organic products with Coco, pretty much just Dr. Bronner’s and Fat & the Moon, which is a brand I found through Etsy. My favorite product of theirs is the All Salve—it must be made out of fairy dust because it heals everything from diaper rash to scrapes to super dry hands. I always have some in my purse. And I'm still on the lookout for the safest sunscreen to use. We recently switched to the Coola Baby Mineral Sunblock, but might try the new Honest Company Sunscreen because it has the best rating I've found.
I've recently become more self-conscious when playing around with beauty because Coco likes to watch and copy me. She is always asking for my ChapStick and when I'm putting on makeup, she likes to pretend she is, too. I don't want her to grow up thinking that makeup is necessary. I want her to have a healthy relationship with beauty and have confidence in herself. But nowadays, I find myself using beauty as a way to relax. Having a skincare and makeup routine feels both luxurious and necessary. Now I find a lot of my products at Whole Foods because I know they'll be pretty natural and I'm there a lot anyway—but I do use a couple of products that I just don't ask questions about...
I only recently started washing my face. I use Earth Science Clarifying Facial Wash everyday. Then I moisturize with Skin Trip Mountain Ocean Coconut Moisturizer, which I've been using since the 7th grade, or Clarins Broad Spectrum 50+ Sunscreen for Face Wrinkle Control Cream. Sometimes I'll add a couple of drops of Odacite serum to whatever I'm putting on my face, and the Acai Rose Facial Concentrate smells so good and makes me feel like I am glowing. Then I'll spray Caudalie Beauty Elixir. Believe the hype—it is so refreshing. I carry the travel size with me and always feel better after a quick spray.
I'm also a coconut addict—I put it in my hair, wash my face with it, put it in my daughter's baths, and slather it on my body. The RMS Coconut Cream is the best one I've tried—my husband and I both use it. RMS is actually some of the only makeup I use—it's so foolproof to put on, which is nice because I'm lost when it comes to brushes. We sell it at the shop and it does so well. The Living Luminizer works on all skin tones and gives the perfect dewy glow. I did recently start using the CK One Color Brow Pencil + Gel Duo in Wily Brunette. I don't know all the ingredients but I know it is super easy to use and makes my eyebrows look fabulous and my face look done, even with nothing else on.
I'm mixed, so my hair is very thick and course. There's a hair salon next to the Surf Club so I sometimes go there to get it cut or straightened, though I've been getting more confident wearing my hair down and curly. I recently started using Oribe Supershine Moisturizing Cream—it smells so good and actually works. My hair doesn't frizz up as much during the day anymore. Being confident and happy with my hair has been a journey—one I am still on some days—but at the end of the day I love it and am pretty satisfied rocking a top knot 360 days out of the year.
Now that I'm sensitive to fragrance, I only wear Nova Chakra. I found it at a shop in LA and fell in love. I wear it everyday now and it just makes me smell and feel so great. It's really special when I fall head over heels for a brand or product—it usually doesn't take me long to try to have it on our shelves in the shop!”
—as told to ITG
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