Kate Jones, Jewelry Designer


"I moved to San Francisco a couple years ago after starting my jewelry line in New York. I called it Ursa Major after the sailboat I grew up on—when I was a kid we lived on a boat in the Caribbean and traveled the whole Eastern Caribbean chain over the course of a couple nine-month trips. I remember we had moved to Annapolis so we could be on the water, and we sailed down to Antigua and all the way to Venezuela. Maybe as a result of that upbringing, my jewelry style is somewhere between architectural and organic. I think I’d like to walk the line between shapes that feel real but still have control about them, and I try to create pieces that are really versatile and wearable. Things you can live with that still give you that point of difference.

All told, the hardest thing about my work is probably email. [Laughs] I would always rather be hands-on in the studio than responding to emails. My everyday work does entail a little bit of everything, but most of my time is spent in the studio. I have one employee, my assistant, but I really have my hands on every part of the process. I find that when I’m doing a lot of intense work, sometimes I’ll break out—there’s a lot of metal dust flying around and a lot of polishing compound, so I have to pay attention to my skin on those days and take extra care. I’m still learning, but I have some really good friends in the industry doing cool things, and they’re helping me get a handle on it all. I think my general thought is that you can always be better to your skin.

Probably the result of an old habit and the fact that my mom used it is that I’m a Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion user. It’s the one thing I’ve consistently used my whole life because it’s pretty neutral, it works for me, it’s not a scary product. And while I don’t have problematic skin, I have found that if I try something new, particularly if it’s not natural, my skin is like, ‘No!’ So I stick to what I know works.

In the morning and throughout the day I’ll mist with this Marie Veronique Pre+Probiotic Daily Mist, sometimes instead of washing my face—otherwise it’s just a splash of water. That said, after long days at the studio, I know there’s so much shit that’s been spit up in my face. So I use the Little Barn Apothecary Charcoal and Aloe Face Cleanser—went for the charcoal for obvious reasons. It’s cool and it smells great, like earthy.

I’ll start with the Marie Veronique Soothing Complex both morning and night because it feels really good. Then I’ll use the Vitamin E+C+Ferulic serum, which so far are great, especially for sensitive skin. My friend Kristina Holey just did a collaboration with the brand and I know she comes from a place that’s concerned with having things that aren’t too harsh and whatever will restore your skin’s natural balance.

The closest I get to wearing foundation is Glossier’s Perfecting Skin Tint in Medium when I’m going out or want to look a little more refined. And then—and I’ve used this for years—I have the Neutrogena Skin Clearing Blemish Concealer in No. 10 Light. I think they still make it, but it’s like, you get it from Walgreens or Duane Reade. I don’t always use concealer so I’ve really had this same one for years, and I think it works…maybe. [Laughs]

I like to do a blush, and my favorite is Chacha Mango Benetint. I’m also a big fan of Make, so I love the Terrazzo Bronzer in Tower Aisle. Recently I also discovered their Terrazzo EyeshadowStrawberry Hill is my favorite. I always want to wear eyeshadows, but they often feel too much like they’re wearing me, and this one isn’t like that. The other one I love is Alabaster and I use it like most people would a primer or luminizer—just in the corners of my eyes and on the lids. Then I’ll finish with this Clinique High Impact Mascara. I have sensitive eyes, so I have to be careful what I use on them and that one is good. For brows I have a Lancôme Natural Blonde Eyebrow Pencil and Glossier’s Boy Browin Brown. Those are good without looking like, ‘I’m an eyebrow!’

I love a lipstick—for everyday I have one by Make in Tulipa and then YSL Rouge Volupté that’s really a pale pink. I really like that in winter for some reason…I don’t want to call it 'frosty' because this isn’t the '90s, but I like a pale color when I’m feeling pale myself. The lipstick I use for high impact is called Jakarta—also by Make. It’s a purple-y plum color.

I’m definitely still that little girl who’s used to jumping off the boat and swimming in the water at any given moment––I wish that could be my everyday routine, but I guess you could say the way it’s manifested itself pretty clearly is with Captain Blankenship. But really, I love his Dry Shampoo and the Sea Salt Spray. Dry shampoo really saves me—I’m a fan of the Label M Organic Lemongrass one, too. I’m perpetually like, ‘gotta get out of the house!’ so my routine has to be whatever gets me there as fast as possible. When my hair does need something extra, I’ll do this Sans Ceuticals pH and Shine Corrector, which is more like a treatment. I’ll use that with the Sans Ceuticals Nourishing Hair Hydratant Ultra as a once-a-week hair mask. I don’t color my hair so it stays pretty healthy, but the minerals from working in the studio seem to make it kind of dry and brittle as well as just dirty, so I switch up my shampoos pretty regularly. Right now I’m using the Sans Ceuticals Hair Wash, with Kiehl’s Superbly Smoothing Argan Conditioner. That’s really nice and it works.

In the shower I have two scrubs—the Sans Ceuticals Bio Active Body Exfoliant is one. I’ve been told you can use it dry and then wash it off, and it’s cool because you really get the dead skin taken care of. The other one was given to me for my wedding, the S/He Seaweed and Salt Body Scrub that’s made with seaweed and bentonite clay, and it’s a really, really nice product. Simple and it really works. I think California loves me because I really don’t shower that often, so I save a lot of water. [Laughs] But I will take a long bath once or twice a week with a mask and hair treatments. It’s my gift to myself! That stuff makes me really happy."

—as told to ITG

Kate Jones photographed by Tom Newton in New York on September 15, 2016.