Founder, La Curuba Beauty
The kids are down, the dog has been fed, and your partner’s otherwise engaged - how do you spend your “me” time, when you get it?
I’m obsessed with taking baths and love to unwind in the tub with Epsom salts or GOOP’s bath salts. My acupuncturist, Paul Kempisty, actually formulated several blends for GOOP using his expertise in Chinese herbs and medicine. “The Martini Emotional Detox” is my go-to; it smells delicious! I’ll take a 20-minute bath while listening to a Podcast. I am recently very into Daphne Oz’s Mom Brain for fun discussions on mommy related subjects. And I love Second Life for inspiring stories about female founders and entrepreneurs - it has been such an educational resource for me as I prepare to launch my beauty brand.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from a mom that you’ve held on to because it felt resonant?
My friend Marcella Kelson, a Life Coach specializing in Mothers & Mothers-to-Be, keeps reminding me not to stress myself out by trying to plan the future too much, as it is impossible to predict how I will feel about basically everything in my life once the baby comes. One’s priorities and outlook shift so much after the birth of a child, that worrying is usually a waste of energy at this point. There are so many unknowns – you don’t know what early motherhood will be like for you, what your baby’s unique needs will be, which elements will be particularly challenging to you (be it breastfeeding, sleep training, or your body’s own recovery). Ultimately, I will have to wait and see how things unfold and trust that my other life priorities will adapt to the situation.
What’s the other career you’d most like to try out, given a second professional life?
I am actually in the midst of starting my second professional life, as I am getting ready to launch my beauty brand, La Curuba, this Fall! I worked in fashion for nearly 10 years before pivoting into beauty. I started out at Vogue and W Magazines, then went on to launch CREO Consulting, an agency and platform dedicated to launching Latin American fashion brands into the global market. About 2 years ago, I started dreaming of creating a beauty brand that would capture the luscious natural ingredients and the chic aesthetic of Latin America. I have loved the beauty industry so far - it touches on so many different areas - science, technology, wellness, creativity, and style. I find it endlessly stimulating, and can't wait to share the beautiful formulas I've been working on in just a few months' time.
Where and how did you meet your best friends? How do you stay in touch and support each other?
I met many of my closest girlfriends in college at Princeton, and when I was working in New York in my 20s. Fortunately, most of us are still in New York, so we have remained constant resources for each other in terms of career, fun, and now a lot of motherhood advice. I am so fortunate that one of my best friends, Victoria Cairo, actually became a doula recently, so she has been a tremendous resource during my pregnancy. I am constantly texting her with questions, like, “My boobs seem to be fluctuating by 3 cup sizes in a week, is this normal?” I don’t know what I would do without her!
What are the nicest things your partner does for you, and you for them?
Throughout my pregnancy, one of the nicest things my husband has done for me is to simply tell me he thinks I look beautiful. I am sure he is being very generous sometimes (especially on the days when I was super sick in the first trimester and could hardly manage to brush my hair!), but you go through so many physical changes when you’re pregnant, that even these little comments here and there have made me feel more comfortable in my skin.
Like a lot of men, my husband is not the best about self-care. I have convinced him to let me put some of my favorite creams and balms on him at night to keep his skin hydrated, and now he loves our little ritual. I like Follain’s simple Moisturizer for his face and am obsessed with Jao Brad’s Goe Oil for the body.
What traditions are you building - or planning to build - for your family? Why do they matter to you?
We really want to make cooking into a fun family tradition. I honestly think that eating home-cooked meals as often as you can is the key to health and beauty (even my skin improves when I’ve been eating at home!). It makes it easier to control the quality of your ingredients, and you can avoid so much of the unnecessary extra sugar and salt that restaurants add for taste. Obviously, one of the silver linings of the current COVID situation is that we’ve been thrown into cooking for ourselves. We have really enjoyed it so far, and have learned so much. My husband has already gone from a total novice to a pro in just a short time!
Ultimately, I want my kids to love and be familiar with real food; to see where their food comes from and to appreciate natural, healthy, fresh ingredients. I have dreams of trips to the farmers’ market with our daughter… we hope to make fruits and vegetables very cool and exciting in our family!
What are the things in your closet that you know you’ll be using and loving in three years?
1. I just bought a beautiful D’Ascioli kaftan that I envision wearing all Summer postpartum. It’s made from a very chic, classic Indian textile, but is super soft and comfortable for lounging around and breastfeeding at home.
2. My oversized Prada cashmere cardigan, a great investment piece as high quality knits age so well.
3. Galvan sequined black-tie dress I bought last year… never goes out of style. And dreaming of the day I can wear it again for a celebration!
What’s the last thing you celebrated?
My civil wedding in February! We got so lucky with the timing and were able to get married on February 21st, right before the world went into lockdown. We got married in an intimate ceremony at my parents’ home with just our immediate families and one of my best friends who officiated. We then celebrated with a bigger group over dinner and a Salsa band.
In my mother’s Colombian culture, everything seems to be a reason for celebration. Even family lunch on Sunday often comes with a guitar trio to add some festivity. However, one thing I missed celebrating properly this year was New Year’s Eve. I was very pregnant and exhausted, and just barely made it to midnight!
What has been the hardest part of pregnancy dressing? What product would you like FH to add to our assortment?
I would love to find more simple day dresses. Dresses help me reduce decision fatigue, as I admit, I sometimes just don’t have the bandwidth to come up with perfect outfits in the morning. I love just throwing on a dress and feeling like my look is done. I love floral prints for the Spring and Summer and cozy sweater dresses for the Fall and Winter. I am always down for any kind of ribbed knit dress!
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