In the quiet corners of select Sephora’s and tucked away inside the luxury beauty emporiums of the likes of Barney’s and Net-a-Porter, is the most coveted, cultish makeup line, surratt beauty. There is no ubiquitous social media campaign, the press is merely peppered with word of the line’s genius. In fact, three years into its retail debut, Surratt Beauty, although available if you look for it, is still largely under the radar.
I’m here to share the secret. The secret of the Relevée Lash Curler that is tossing Shu Uemeura off its pedestal. The secret of the surreal skin-like foundation that is undetectable but makes pores disappear. The secret of the customizable eye shadow palette’s that are smooth as silk and do not shatter when dropped!
Makeup artist Troy Surratt trained under the legendary Kevyn Aucoin. He came into his own creating looks for Jennifer Lopez and Adele and Charlize Theron. He spent a lot of time obsessing in Japan over the country’s enviable cosmetic brands, eventually infiltrating them and learning their processes. So, Surratt Beauty is a stellar mix of true artistry and serious chemistry.
I am in love with the entire brand.
surratt beauty might still be a newbie, but it’s an instant classic.
Do you make them? I used to make them. Back before I had children. Back when the size of my thighs could be on my mind all day. Back when I might spend an entire Saturday shopping for makeup and clothes to feel good. Back when I had the luxury of time to be my own biggest problem to solve.
Wow, I could really fill my time up.
And then, New Years would come around and I’d see it as a chance to start over. A blank new landscape where I’d be a better, healthier, loftier version of myself. I’d achieve more. Consume less. I’d start January off with a bang that, inevitably, turned into a shallow whisper by spring. Here’s what my New Year’s resolutions probably looked like when I was 25:
-Go to bed earlier/wake up earlier.
-Volunteer at a non-profit.
-Read more (do more cultural things.)
-Stop eating abnormal amounts of pastries in private.
At 40, this list just makes me laugh. These days, I would kill to be able to stay awake past 10p.m. and stay in bed late. Of all the joys of motherhood, I’m most thankful that becoming a mom has gotten me out of my own way. While motherhood has blissfully taken the spotlight off my dessert plate, among other things, it has also righted my inner compass. I have no doubt I’m moving in the right direction. Perhaps imperfectly, but I now know that that’s kind of the point anyway.
So, I no longer make resolutions. For me, what I resolve to do with my life—as a woman, as a mother, a wife, a writer—well, most of it remains the steady work of daily life. I try to step back and renew my goals periodically, not just at the new year. So, instead of making more personal resolutions, I thought I’d institute some yearly resolve for what I’d like to teach my girls in 2015.
Here’s my inaugural list:
For Julia, age 7, I hope to help sink these ideas in:
1: Look people in the eye and introduce yourself with a smile. The return is big.
2: Give compliments to people, no matter how old they are. Tell your friend her artwork is beautiful. Tell Pop you like his shirt. Don’t just tell me.
3: Take compliments with a smile and thank-you.
4: Someday you will enjoy getting your hair brushed.
5: There’s no such thing as perfect.
6: Waiting is a part of life—for my time, for a snack, for the car ride to be over.
7: Mistakes and failures are sure things. They are also opportunities.
8: We are all good at different things. Embrace what you’re good at and don’t worry so much about about the rest.
9: Practice, practice, practice and things will happen, it will come together and you’ll get there—but it wont be perfect, you’ll definitely have to wait and you’ll make some mistakes.
10: Your sister loves you even though she sometimes pulls your hair and throws your toys.
For Emerson, 23 months, I’d really like to help her to learn the following in 2015:
1: To push only one button in elevators.
2: Primary colors (plus pink or else)
3: Furniture is for sitting.
4: The ABC’s
5: How to use the potty.
6: Basic shapes
7: We only color on paper.
8: We don’t hang on the bar on the oven door.
9: Proper utensil usage.
10: Your sister loves you, even though she sometimes shuts the door in your face and steals your toys.
What are your thoughts on resolutions?
I have a confession: this past March, I got a hair smoothing treatment that seriously damaged my hair. I’ve been trying to stay away from chemical-laden keratin treatments so I tried an amino-acid based one. I thought, worst-case, it wouldn’t do much. And it didn’t, in the way of smoothing or humidity-blocking. But it did break my hair.
Can I just say, I’ve never.
My hair has always been dependably tough. I use a lot of heat, I color it regularly. I live through dry New York City winters and hard tap water. I’ve aged, but my hair has always been strong. So having a head of brittle, broken hair has been a little soul crushing.
Since spring, it’s been Operation Hair Rehab. The regime has consisted of washing my hair just twice a week and using a hair mask every time. I also lowered the temp on my hair wand and spaced out my color a little more.
Over the last three months, I’ve tried over a dozen hair masks and I can tell you this with absolute certainty: this Shu Uemura wins HANDS DOWN. After just one use, my hair felt almost completely restored. It defied my expectations, which were high anyway given my love and loyalty to the brand. (I’m addicted to their time-saving blow dry oil.)
How It Works: The unique formula binds the hair cuticle and cortex together, making the hair whole again, able to fend off further damage.
What You See Immediately: Smooth, silky hair that looks and feels healthy.
What You See Over Time: Healed hair with strength and renewed life, able to take environmental and chemical beatings, if you must.
Key Ingredients: Japanese Lotus flower:noted for its ability to bloom in even the most hostile environments. It has been used for centuries for its moisturizing and softening properties. Ceramides: lipids naturally present in the hair, providing the hair with impermeability, protection and resistance.
This remarkable treatment actually works on all hair types because of its mechanism. It also smells really good. The best part? It only takes ten minutes!
I’m cutting to the chase here. I realize sunscreens and their bad chemical raps has confused, and possibly scared, us all. I, myself can’t keep Avobenzone straight from Oxybenzone, but I know I don’t want either of them in my sunscreen. Especially not my kids’ sunscreen. Same goes for paraben, phthalates, PABA, nano-particles and aerosol.
Is your head spinning yet? Has searching the EWR made you more confused?
Just buy this. It’s vetted and it works. I’ve tried all the “safe” ones and Thinksport wins.
It absorbs fast and easily. It truly stays water-resistant for 80 minutes. I like that it has a higher SPF than most– and your kids won’t look like they’re wearing kabuki makeup.
More of my sunscreen favorites here.
I am not a summer person. I perspire easily. I don’t tan. Humidity is not my friend. I try to embrace the carefree vibe of the season but it’s hard when I feel frizzy and shiny, not to mention on the verge of a sunburn after more than 60 seconds in the blazing sun.
Enter this miraculous multi-tasker. It’s a balm. It’s a sunscreen with a factor of 50. Yes, 50! It blurs pores and imperfections like your favorite BB or CC cream and it’s a dream under makeup or alone. The best part? It keeps my skin matte all day. I’ve never.
For me, this has proven to be the easiest way to add major sun protection with the added benefits of my favorite day creams—collagen-boosting vitamin C and anti-aging antioxidant power from CoQ10. So many benefits in one little tube.
Thoroughly vetted, I love this line that is always rigidly tested and formulated without oxybenzone, octinoxate or aminobenzoic acid (PABA). It’s also free of all the nasties like paraben, Phthalates and sulfates. Also, this product is noncomedogenic, is not tested on animals, and it is free of mineral oil, gluten, and fragrance.
I’m pretty good with makeup. I can manage a good smokey eye in under five minutes. I can apply false lashes pretty easily. I can create a believable eyebrow where there is none. But its the gleam I covet. That illusive seeming under-glow— it’s somewhere about the apples of cheeks, highlighting cheekbones and attracting soft light to the face. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you?
Tom Ford has managed to make it easy and attainable with this beautiful creamy duo. Use the pinkish, coral color as a blush or for subtle contour and pat the shimmering gleam on the tops of cheeks and sides of eyes. Mix ’em together. Dot some shimmer on the insides of eyes, the center of your bottom lip over lipstick at night, on your cupid’s bow. Simply gorgeous. Universally flattering and fool proof.
It’s limited edition but still available.