'I started assisting stylists around eight years ago. Then one day, I’d just kind of had it, realized that I didn’t want to be one myself, and I’d ridden it out as long as I could. So, last September I stopped that and started doing flowers instead.
First I asked Lovely Day if I could start doing their arrangements, just for fun. Then I did flowers a few other places in the neighborhood. It always fizzled out because I’d just get too busy but then, when Sabrina [De Sousa] opened Dimes, it gave me the impetus to do it properly. Starting Meta Flora gave me some momentum and purpose. And Dimes is such a great forum for me because it’s so rad there and a lot of awesome people have seen my flowers through stopping by. It’s definitely been a slow burn business development-wise, but things like Instagram have been crazy helpful. I think that if it had gotten too big too fast, then it might have fizzled out by now. Right now, I’ve got my regular clients and I’m just gonna see what happens...
I know that everyone says it, but I’m pretty low maintenance when it comes to beauty. The stuff that I use has been consistent for a long time. Once I like something, I stick with it, and I’m not really exploring too much. I’m also not obsessed with everything in my life being 100 percent organic—for me it’s about getting a balance. I like to eat really healthily, but I drink and still have the occasional cigarette. I’m just not that hard-core when it comes to anything, and that includes skincare—I just like stuff that smells good and is effective. I was talking to someone about that the other day actually, about natural deodorant. I bought the Aesop one but it just made me smell the product that instead of myself, so I’ve gone back to using Dove instead.
To wash my face, I use Cetaphil and I just started using Kiehl’s Super Multi-Corrective Cream as my moisturizer. Before that, I was using Red Flower—I used to work there and so I always used their nature line, but one day they were out of stock and so I just had to switch it up. Then, I use Nars Skin Total Replenishing Eye Cream because I feel like I’m getting to the sort of age where I should be using that kind of stuff. And, before I go to bed I always use Vitamin E oil on my face, just in the wrinkle-prone areas. It just feels like it could be healing something.
Recently, my skin has actually been weirdly problematic. I’ve had like a fun, late-30s shift or something. I have no idea what’s going on with it but my friend Stevie Dance suggested I do oil pulling so I’ve recently started doing that. In the mornings, I put coconut oil in my mouth and swish it around—they say that you should do 20 minutes, but I can’t do that long. I just wake up and put some in my mouth for the duration of the process of making my first cup of tea. I think I’ve noticed some changes but I can’t really tell what they are because I’ve been in the sun a lot and maybe I just needed some moisture.
In the shower, I use Kiehl’s Musk Shower Gel, which smells just like the fragrance—I’ve been wearing it for years and years, and probably will do for the rest of my life. Sometimes I’ll wear the coconut Coqui Coqui, but I just love the musk. Then, I use Kiss My Face Olive Oil Soap for my body.
I’m really into using oils for my body. I use almond oil right after I dry off from the shower and, instead of a lotion, I use Polysianes Manoi Oil. You can get it in all the pharmacies in Paris, but a friend of mine just went to Hawaii and got me some there—although, you can also get it at this hippy, beachy store on Mulberry, called Warm. I love it—it solidifies when it’s cool but it’s particularly good in the summer and it smells amazing. I’m also kind of obsessed with Goe Oil, it smells so beautiful and it makes your skin kind of shiny and smells delicious. I use it in my hair too. I don’t mind being oily, I’m into it.
In the summer, I love to use Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee. My mom always used to wear it and it adds a little bit of sheen to your skin and smells amazing, like my mom on the beach. I go to the beach a lot—my mom has a house in Jersey Shore so I go down there or to Tilden for day trips. I’m half Italian and half Irish/English but I vibe more with the Jersey Italian side of things, maybe that’s where my love for Bain de Soleil comes from.
I don’t wear that much makeup, but I love Nars. Nars everything, apart from Dimes lip balm and YSL Touche Éclat in 2.5 Radiant Touch to cover up my dark circles because I really like its liquidy consistency. In 2001, I worked at Barneys Co-Op and that’s when I was introduced to Nars and I just loved the colors. So, if I want a red lip I will always wear their Lipstick in Heat Wave or Scarlett Empress, or maybe the Timanfaya Satin Lip Pencil.
I’m also really into their Pressed Powder, and their Brow Gels are really nice because they are tinted and they don’t flake off. So many brow gels get all flaky, and who wants flaky eyebrows? So, I use the gel in Kinshasa but I also like the Brow Perfector in Kalamata and the Brow Pencil in Ipanema[ed note: discontinued]. Then, I just use L’Oréal Paris Voluminous Mascara.
I use Whole Foods Lavender Shampoo and Conditioner, which I switch up sometimes with Kiehl’s Amino Acids Shampoo. It’s just so easy, and it works for me—makes my hair feel good, smells great, no parabens. Natural I guess, that hippy vibe. I also love Johnson’s Baby Shampoo. Someone on set once told me to use it, because sometimes I have to wash my hair like twice a day because I also do dancing, like contemporary jazz. And they said that if you’re washing it that much, you should use a milder shampoo. So, I do!”
—as told to ITG
Marisa Competello photographed by Emily Weiss in New York. Read more of The Top Shelf here.