'I actually never wear my own jewelry—I just don’t like to. I have a studio in Midtown in the jewelry district, and that’s near all the jewelers I work with and Rockefeller Center, which I think is such a beautiful place. A lot of my first clients were friends, and my brand grew by mostly word of mouth. I think that’s always the best.
I don’t wear much makeup anymore—I don’t like the way it feels. Now that I’m 35, I feel like I’ve found the products that work for me, and that’s all I use. But when I do have makeup on, people are always like, 'Wow you look so nice!' Especially the guys in the jewelry district. Sometimes they ask, 'Are you OK?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, I’m just wearing makeup.' My niece is 18, so I just gave her all of my lipsticks because I haven’t been wearing them. I had this vampy Chanel one called the Ballet Russe[ed note: discontinued]—she’ll use them more than I will.
I wash my face every day, but not always twice a day. First I take my makeup off with The Body Shop Chamomile Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. It's the only one that doesn't irritate my eyes. I wasn’t really washing my face for a long time, but then I got this Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, and I love that. It feels kind of oily, and you put it on and wash it off with a washcloth. Then I put on Skinceuticals C E Ferulic. It’s a serum with antioxidants in it so that when you’re in polluted cities, it helps keep your skin clean. I’m not sure how it works, but when you put it on, you get a glow. Then I got the Skinceuticals Retinol 1.0 Maximum Strength Refining Night Cream, which I use twice a week at night. Sometimes I’ll wash my face with coconut oil that I keep in a pump bottle from Muji. It's good to do that when you’re dry, especially because the retinol cream can be drying. I wait half an hour and then I put the Rodin Olio Lusso on my skin. In the winter, I'll mix it with some shea butter. I usually don’t wash my face the next morning. I’ll just rinse it with water and go to work. In the morning, I'll use Dr. Hauschka's Revitalizing Day Cream because it's a little lighter.
Sometimes I use this Valmont Prime Renewing Pack. It's very expensive, so I only use it once in a while, but it minimizes your pores, soothes, and it sort of clumps up so you can sleep with it. When you wake up, it's like getting a facial without actually getting a facial. I got it from Aida Bicaj—I’ve gone to her for 10 years now because my skin was breaking out in my 20s, and I needed it to be cleared up. When you go there with problematic skin, they always use the Biologique Recherche line. That’s why I keep the Lotion P50 in my cabinet. just in case. People say it smells gross—and it burns a little—but I like it. I only use it if I have troubled skin, or if I want to exfoliate.
Because of the retinol and the Ferulic, I have to use sunscreen. Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen SPF 30 is really good—it doesn't make your skin look like a weird color, and it smells pretty nice. My mom works with cancer patients, and she told me not to use more than SPF 30...something about the chemicals they put in the higher numbers. I don't burn with the Supergoop, so I'm happy with it, but my absolute favorite one is the Institut Esthederm Adaptasun. I got it at Aida, too—I think it gives me a better tan when I use it.
For more regular facials, I go to SB Skin and get a mild micro current, and you don’t really feel it. It’s toning your skin instead of doing like an injection. It’s the only time I noticed my skin really changing. After I eat a banana in the mornings, I rub the inside of the peel on my face. I don’t know if it does anything—but I’ll do that with avocado and oatmeal, too.
I am good at doing my own makeup, but I have to really take my time and be really patient. My favorite part to do is my eyes. The Chanel Ombre Essentielle Eye Shadow in 51 Mahogany[ed note: discontinued]is really flattering on me—I like to get it wet and make it liquid-y. Then the Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Color in Cocoa is a great eye shadow and liner. Guerlain's The Original Creamy Khôl Me Kajal Eyeliner is the sexiest, though. They say it protects your eyes and brightens your eyes, which I believe. Then I like this Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascarabecause it stays on, but it’s pretty easy to wash off. Sometimes I don’t even need eye makeup remover for it, but I don’t wear mascara every day anyway.
If I'm going to wear makeup during the day, I won’t wear foundation, but I’ll just do some mascara or some clear Great Lash in my eyebrows to put them in place. They're pretty delicate, so I can't pencil them in—I just use the Bobbi Brown Brow Kit to give them some color without making them look like too much. I just got Soap & Glory Sexy Mother Pucker XL Extreme-Plump Collagen Lip Shine because I really want plump lips like everybody, but I don’t want to get any injections. I would just be afraid to do something for real. In the mean time, this is it. It literally feels like buzzing on your lips.
I have sensitive teeth. I love to floss my teeth, and this is my favorite toothpaste—it's Sensodyne Repair and Protect. This Supersmile New Generation Toothbrush in Pink I just got from C.O. Bigelow is gorgeous, but it's also really good at getting your gums.
I don’t really do anything with my hair—I wash it and sleep on it. Then I wake up, and it looks great! I love this Philip Kingsley Body Building Shampoo for very fine hair. That and the conditioner are super moisturizing, smell good, and they don’t weigh the hair down. I don’t wash it a lot, but then it gets oily pretty quickly, so the Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk is my version of hairspray. It kind of gives me some body.
Recently, I really wanted to get highlights in my hair, and I found this guy Mauricio Bermudez, and he works at a salon now called Suite Caroline. He is amazing and hand-painted all these different colors. You really can’t notice it, but that’s kind of what I like about it. It's what his hair looks like, too.
Because I don't really use perfume, I love the Aēsop Geranium Leaf Body Cleanser because it leaves me smelling nice. In the winter, I like to use Bariani Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which I get from a raw store in the East Village, on my hair and body. It's mellow but really moisturizing. Sometimes I use the Earth Tu Face Dead Sea Salt Scrub, which is delicious. I'm very into scrubbing and brushing my body, because when I'm dry, I just feel like I'm flaking skin. It hurts a bit to scrub, but it helps.
I like swimming, I do yoga sometimes, and I like surfing. In New York, I’ll surf in the summer in Rockaway Beach. I started surfing almost 10 years ago in Barbados. I like to go twice a year, but I want to go more now. Then I to go to Kula Yoga in Tribeca—your body feels really strong and the alignment is really good there. Then sometimes I’ll go to the YMCA. I bring the baby-sized Phylia de M products and a Mason Pearson brush there and just roughly dry it under this thing that looks like a hand dryer but is mounted up higher on the wall. I have the Rahua Omega 9 Hair Mask, which is really good after you’ve been in the sun or chlorine. Then, sometimes, I'll let oatmeal sit in milk, strain it, and use that as a really moisturizing mask.
I discovered acupuncture last summer—I go to this amazing guy named Frank Vogt in Soho. Afterward, you just feel so calm. He’s also just recently given me a bunch of supplements. One is like ten mushrooms and vitamins like omega fish oil and other multivitamins. I think those things are all good for beauty but also your brain. Now, I just go once a month. It's really helpful.”
—as told to ITG
Soraya Silchenstedt photographed on December 18, 2014, in New York by Tom Newton. For more of the Top Shelf, click here.