“I was born in New Zealand, but my parents—my dad is French and my mom is Irish—raised me in Paris for the first few years of my life. During that time, I formed a really close bond with my grandparents. I would spend a lot of time with them in the kitchen, and I became obsessed with baking; I remember so vividly the smells and the feeling.
Back in Auckland, I baked and baked and baked throughout my childhood and into my teens. Cakes became my thing and I started to develop my own style, but I had no intention of starting a bakery, so I went to uni instead. I did a couple of internships at architecture firms, and I was also really fascinated with the world of interior design. But towards the end of my degree, I started a blog where I shared recipes, and people would always ask if they could buy one. That gave me the idea to start my business. I was already attending all of these parties and openings, and that quickly turned into me also bringing cakes to these things. The word spread like wildfire and my business took off overnight. That’s when I decided to incorporate the company and become The Caker—my Dad being very French was trying to say ‘baker’ and ‘cake’ in one sentence, and it came out as ‘caker.’ You know when you just know a name is right? That was it.
When I first started The Caker in 2010, you could get a cake from two bakeries in Auckland. They would offer vanilla, chocolate, and maybe lemon or red velvet, and I came in with these cakes that were full of fruit and herbs and spices, and it’s what the market needed at the time.
I moved to Los Angeles with my sister, who owns the business with me, at the end of 2019 with the intention of starting a bakery here, too. My plan was to go back to Auckland every two months to maintain the business. Then COVID-19 hit, and we had to turn the business plan on its head and focus on our cake kits.
I’d taken recipes that I’d already developed—like Coconut Raspberry Lime Leaf, Espresso Dark Chocolate, and Spice Carrot Cake—and I adapted them so that the baker just has to add a few fresh, wet ingredients. I wanted our cake kits to be convenient, but I also wanted to create an elevated version of the cake mixes on the market. The ingredients are incredible and high-quality, and they don’t look like your typical cake mixes either. The packaging is also beautiful, so you can display the boxes in your kitchen.
In September, after ten years of operation, my sister and I decided to close our bakery in Auckland. They were some of the best years of my life, but it was becoming harder and harder to run it with the love and dedication that I wanted from LA. Closing the bakery was ultimately somewhat of a personal decision, and I’m actually pretty proud of my sister and I for doing that. We’ve come to realize that great things don’t have to last forever, and we want to make space for other amazing things to come to life.
In LA, I’ve been so lucky to bake cakes for some cool people like Miley Cyrus. I’m also a judge on The Great Kiwi Bake Off, which is done in the same format as ‘The Great British Bake Off.’ It was really scary criticizing and kicking people off at first, but the experience made me realize that I do know what I’m talking about when it comes to baking—and the set truly is the loveliest.
Even on my shittiest days, I absolutely, no matter what, put on my makeup and do my hair. That’s what helps me feel better. I'm very courageous when it comes to makeup. I don’t do contouring and stuff like that, but I use a lot of color and glitter. Even if something looks terrible, I’ll be like, ‘Oh, I won’t do that again,’ but it’s fun to try something new. The fashion world in really general inspires me, and much like with my cakes and my business, I love to stand out and do something that pushes the boundaries. I want to break the mold of what you might think a typical baker looks like. I will wear a Rick Owens dress and heels to bake a cake, and I don’t care if that doesn’t seem right; it’s what I want to do.
I have a pretty simple routine in the mornings. I clean my face with a very hot face cloth, and, while my skin’s still a bit wet, I apply EltaMD’s UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40. I love it so much. It’s not oily, and the minute you apply it, you already have this glow. From there, I go straight into makeup.
At night, I love the Eve Lom Cleanser. It’s so incredibly gentle on my skin, and it doesn’t leave me feeling tight or dry at all. It also smells incredible—gently floral with a note of eucalyptus—and I love the process of massaging it into my skin. Every other night, I alternate it with the La Roche Posay Ultra Fine Face Scrub. It’s very affordable and also quite gentle.
Every second or third night, I apply five drops of the Alpha H Liquid Gold Rose with Glycolic Acid with a cotton pad. Even after you’ve cleansed your face so well, sometimes I’ll find that there will be traces of makeup on the cotton pad, so it’s satisfying to see it coming off—and you really glow after using it.
Then I alternate nights with the Eve Lom Radiance Repair Retinol and the Alpha H Liquid Gold Midnight Reboot Serum. The retinol is really gentle, and it’s been good for the fine lines under my eyes. I’ve tried retinols in the past that were too strong and made me purge, but I haven’t had that problem with this one. That said, I listen to my skin, and if it's feeling sensitive, I’ll just cleanse and then moisturize with either the Eve Lom Moisture Cream or the Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Sérum—it’s extremely hydrating, as the name suggests, and it dissolves into your skin as if you put nothing on.
My favorite face mask is the Hanacure All-In-One Facial—it’s the one that went viral because it pulls your skin so tightly that it kind of warps your face. You look crazy for the good half hour that you leave it on—and it kind of hurts because you feel the tightening—but when you take it off, I swear to God, you have a baby’s bum as your face. It’s wild. And then I love Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Balm. Unlike other chapsticks that dissolve, it stays on your lips for hours—it’s apparently Pamela Anderson’s favorite lip balm, too. I put it on right before I go to bed, and I wake up with still moisturized lips.
My mom, who is an injector, does my Botox every time she comes to LA—usually just in my frown lines and my crow’s feet because I’m always squinting. I’ve been getting Botox since I was in my late twenties. My mom always pitched it to me as a preventative measure, and I really do like it and agree with her. It’s funny, because I can’t frown, I don’t try to, so in a way I like to think that Botox makes me a more relaxed, happy person. [Laughs] As a kid, my mom would get a lot of different cosmetic procedures done to her face, and I would always be kind of upset about it. But as I’ve gotten older, I’m like, ‘Whatever makes you happy and feel good about yourself, do it.’ It’s nobody’s prerogative to judge you for changing your face.
My hands get so dry with all the baking I do. I’ve learned that the only thing that can combat the dryness is lathering on Cetaphil Advanced Relief Lotion and sleeping with cotton gloves. The sensation of sleeping with gloves is not great at first, but your hands are refreshed in the mornings. You also can’t text in bed with them, so it’s a good way to not use your phone. It’s like a digital detox. [Laughs]
My favorite body wash is the Bioderma ABCDerm Mild Cleansing Foaming Gel, which is meant for babies. I find that the water in LA is so harsh that it strips my skin every time I shower, so I love a very gentle body wash. I also love French pharmacy products, and Bioderma is my favorite French pharmacy brand. But I recently ran out, and I’m using the Mustela Baby Hair and Body Gentle Cleansing Gel in the meantime.
There’s no rhyme or reason behind the makeup I do each day. Some days I go to bed with an idea of what I want to do in the morning. Other days, I’ll see something on Instagram that I want to try. Sometimes I’m inspired by a new product. It’s very spontaneous. That’s my jam.
I don’t use a foundation ever, just the tiniest bit of MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Face Powder in Light Plus. For cheeks, I love the MAC Extra Dimension Blush. I’ve got a super candy floss pink shade called Into the Pink. It’s like a highlighter and a blush all in one. You know how they used to say to smile and put it on the apples of your cheeks? I don’t do that anymore. I actually go quite close to my eyes.
The NYX Long-Lasting Lip Liner in Sand Beige is the only lip product I’ve been wearing this year. Truly, this is all I use. I line my lips and color them in, and I only need to touch up the color once a day. On ‘Bake Off,’ I didn’t even let the makeup artist do my lips. I was like, ‘Don’t worry. I got it.’ Every now and again, I might add a bit of lip balm, but lips aren’t really my thing. It’s all about eyes for me.
At the moment, I’m obsessed with colored mascara—just cheap tubes from L’Oreal. I might do Cobalt Blue on my top lashes and Deep Green mascara on my bottom lashes.
Purple’s my favorite eyeshadow color because it makes my eyes really green—but I honestly love all colors. I have about 30 eyeshadow pots from MAC—they make the best bright shades. Some of my favorites are Ready to Party, Smoky Mauve, Cobalt, and What's the WIFI? Sometimes I’ll wear them all at once. I also have the Mothership IX: Huetopian Dream Palette from Pat McGrath. It has a few shades that have a multidimensional vibe to them. For example, the purply one that I love looks blue from one angle but purple from another. I’m not super good with brushes, so I just go in with my finger and dab the shadows on. And I don’t use an eye primer because I actually find that shadow lasts much longer for me without any product underneath. I’m just very careful not to moisturize or put SPF on my eyelids first.
Of course, you can’t go wrong with a classic liner look. I’ve gotten to a point where I can do a cat eye in a few seconds flat. On a typical day I’ll just line the top, but sometimes I line both the top and bottom. That’s quite a cool look because it makes your eyes look so big. I’m using the Urban Decay Perversion Eye Liner right now, but the Stila All Day Eye Liner is my favorite. It’s so long-lasting and so incredibly black.
I’ve actually been working on my own eye pencils for a couple of years. I put the project on hold while I was incredibly busy, but my range is going to be called Eyesing, like icing for cakes. I’m in the process of formulating a range of three colors that I have searched long and hard for but haven’t been able to find. One of them is metallic silver. I’m keeping the other two shades a secret until I release them, but they’re absolutely filling a gap for me and I hope other people appreciate them.
I’ve been using a lot of stick-on crystals, as well. A great reference for me is ‘Euphoria.’ I totally love what makeup artist Donni Davy did on that show. I haven’t used her eye decals, but I’ve used the Simihaze ones. They’re so fun.
I was probably 17 when I started dying my hair. I went from my beautiful natural blonde, to platinum. Since then, I’ve dyed my hair every color under the sun. I’ve been a brunette for about five years, and this is where I feel the most myself. As much work as you think it is to maintain a blonde head of hair, brunette hair is also a lot of work. When you’re naturally super blonde, it looks like you’re going a bit bald whenever the roots come through, so I have to stay on top of it every four to five weeks. I go to my amazing friend Ian Dorey, and I’ll never see anyone else.
I am a Kérastase girl through and through. It’s the only range of products that’s helped my hair through all of the hell I’ve put it through. I’m finally at a point now where it’s healthy, and it’s thanks to their Bain Satin Shampoo, Last Vital Conditioner, and Nectar Thermique Heat Protectant. I love their Fresh Affair Dry Shampoo, too.
I’ve been wearing Escentric Molecules 01 for maybe 12 or 13 years. It’s essentially a fragrance-free scent—it’s almost like you’re just spraying on water—but it works with your pheromones, so it smells completely different on everyone. I don’t know if this is going to sound right or not, but it kind of smells like a rich person to me. [Laughs] People comment on it quite often, and it’s become my signature scent. It’s also quite cool because you can mix it and layer it with other fragrances. Over the years, I found that I love wearing it with the Le Labo Fleur D’Oranger 27. I love clean smells, and there’s nothing sweet or overly floral about the combination.
I love to wear Aesop’s Déodorant as a perfume, too. If you buy something at their store and they put it in a linen bag, they always spray it with this deodorant. I asked them what the scent was one time, and I bought it. I did try using it as an actual deodorant, but it didn’t work for me, so I do a quick spritz for the woody scent instead.
The Deep Sleep Pillow Spray from This Works is very potent and seriously knocks me out. It’s mostly lavender. I’m not the best sleeper, but along with the Drops of Nature Magnesium Citrate Drops, it really works for me. Whether it’s placebo or not, I don’t really care. Even if I travel, I take it with me.
I have done a lot of reading about collagen, and I am very aware that the science on it is divided. I go through phases with my Vital Vitamins Collagen Capsules, and I find that when I consistently take them, my nails are way harder and stronger than when I don’t. I don’t really notice a difference in many other places, but I’d like to think that if it’s working on my nails, it must be helping my hair and skin, too.”
— As told to Daise Bedolla
Photographed by Roxy Rodriguez in Los Angeles on June 23, 2023