“I’m from LA, but I moved to New York for college. I went to Parsons and after I graduated I started Vena Cava with my friend Lisa Mayock. We started it with like two thousand dollars and sold all of our own clothes for the first collection. Then, we ended up showing at New York Fashion Week and some people came and we kind of had a business. We did it for 10 years and then when we ended Vena Cava, I moved back to LA.
I took a massive break. Well, massive for me after working New York-style. I took almost a year off. I started messing around making jewelry and then I was kind of like, ‘Oh, this is really fun. I should maybe think about how I can turn this into a business and make it a job.’ So I launched my collection, which I sell from my own website and also wholesale to specialty boutiques, like The Line, but also the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the Cooper Hewitt because I’m into museum women. I’m into old art lady style. I hope Georgia would have worn my jewelry if she were still alive. Maybe if I was cool enough to cross paths with her.
I’m pretty low maintenance—or lazy is probably the better word to use—with my beauty routine. Last Christmas, my husband got me a big gift certificate at Aesop because I love all their products. It was the perfect gift because now I don’t feel guilty spending money on them.
If I’m really being lazy I will use Bioderma Crealine and then I’ll put on Aesop's Primrose Facial Hydrating Cream, which I love because I have rosacea. My skin is very sensitive and that doesn’t hurt it, so it’s good. But most days, I use the Aesop Parsley Seed Facial Cleansing Oil. You just mix it with a little bit of water and rub it into your face and it takes off all your makeup. Then you take a washcloth in warm water and wipe it off. It doesn’t really dry out your skin and it even takes mascara off too. Then, I splash some toner on and put on hydrating cream. If I have extra time I’ll do an eye cream, or if my skin’s really dry I use the Aesop Damascan Rose Facial Treatment.
I have the Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack, which is strong, but I use it. And I really love the Glossier Soothing Face Mist. I work from home, so I sometimes just come in the bathroom and do a spritz. I have the Fenix Daily Rehydrating Sunscreen, which my facialist gave me. I like it because it’s a moisturizer and a sunscreen. It’s one step, which I’m into. And that’s it. I keep my bottles open with the caps off, because closing it is just an extra step. I told you I was lazy!
I use Aesop’s Classic Shampoo and Nurturing Conditioner. It smells like a fancy hippie spa. It’s good. I don’t blow dry my hair. I have no patience for doing hair. People have probably seen me with my hair down like twice in my life. I just put it back in a bun or French twist every day because I don’t want to deal with doing it. I have some Sachajuan stuff that’s great when I remember to use hair stuff. It’s a little shine serum that doesn’t make your hair look greasy. It just kind of smoothes it out. My husband actually likes my hair back. He’s like the rare dude that’s cool with a tight bun.
I take baths a few times a week at night or on the weekend. I put some Aroma Deep Relaxation Natural Bubble Bath in and some aromatherapy stuff from the health food store. Then I use Aesop's Geranium Leaf Body Balm to moisturize.
I love my Aesop deodorant. I actually use it as perfume too. I kind of just spray it all over. Or I use Acqua di Parma. A lot of the time, I buy products because I love their design. The deodorant just gives me joy to look at, but it also smells amazing and works.
If it’s a normal day, I usually just spritz on an oil or deodorant, but if it’s a special day I’ll wear a scent. I love Regime des Fleurs. The founders are my friends. I have one called Water/ Wood that I wear. I also love Frederic Malle’s Bois d'Orage. It’s beautiful and nighttime lady-ish.
I have my grandmother’s Chanel No.5 that looks like it’s from the '40s or something. It always sat on her vanity. I wear it occasionally for her. She was really cool. She was into photography and she traveled a lot and collected a lot of Native American crafts. She was really into folk jewelry.
I use Jane Iredale Liquid Minerals Foundation. I’ve been using it forever. It’s really light and so it’s the only thing that doesn’t fuck up my skin. I use Nars Zen blush as a bronzer on my face and RMS Beauty “Un'cover-Up in 11. Then, I pencil in my eyebrows with this Clarins pencil. And I use Hypnôse Drama Instant Full Body Mascara by Lancôme. I like it because it’s super black and sort of thick. I’ll do a little bit of Revlon ColorStay Liquid Liner. Just a little flick on the end of my eye. And I always curl my lashes everyday with my curler that I got from Dermstore. For lips, I like the Glossier Balm Dotcom because it’s thick and it works. I use Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick in Pirate. I like Nars Heatwave too. They’re my go-to reds.
In New York, I think my idea of wellness was splitting a bottle of wine with a friend and decompressing. Now I’ve totally become an LA person. I go to an acupuncturist and do Pilates and hike and juice and eat organic. I moved here and within a week I was wearing exercise clothes all afternoon, which would never happen in New York. I didn’t even exercise in New York!
I’m still really busy here, but because LA is just a slower pace in general and you don’t go out as much, it’s a different way of life. You spend more time in your home and the weather’s always nice, so you’re outdoors a lot too. I hike probably two times a week in the morning. I usually wake up at 7:30 or 8 a.m. and it’s cool because I can start my day so completely immersed in nature and then I’m back in the office by like 10. You’re just allowed to have more focus on health, I think.”
—as told to ITG
Sophie Buhai photographed by Emily Weiss in Los Angeles on June 6, 2015.