About the Author
Before launching CAP Beauty, Kerrilynn Pamer and Cindy DiPrima Morisse were deeply entrenched in the worlds of style, lifestyle, food, and design. While working at Martha Stewart Living, they quickly bonded over a shared love of fashion, cooking, interiors, and wellness. They founded CAP Beauty in 2014 and live by the motto “Beauty is Wellness.” They hope to share the power of natural beauty (and all that it encompasses) with as many as possible. Both authors reside in New York City.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
At CAP Beauty, we live by the motto that beauty is wellness. And, wellness is beauty. This applies to all aspects of our lives. From the books we read, to the foods we eat, to the homes we make, to the friendships we nurture, to the thoughts we play on repeat, beauty is all around. It stems from every choice we make. Embracing a life of conscious decisions, true self care and thoughtfulness connects you to beauty in a deep and meaningful way, one that transcends the physical. When we connect, we radiate. This is High Vibrational Beauty.
When we conceived of CAP Beauty, we envisioned a space to share this new beauty paradigm, a clubhouse where wellness rules and everyone’s invited. Hailing from the worlds of style, design and magazines, we never considered ourselves beauty insiders.
And to this day, we focus as much on the lifestyle of natural beauty as we do on the products themselves. Don’t get us wrong; we love an exquisite hydrosol, a powerful serum and a perfect lipstick. But, without ritual and true self care, a great product can only go so far. Step inside our world, where beauty meets beauty.
Our comprehensive approach engages all of our senses. You might be surprised to see so many recipes in a book about beauty. But for us, what we put in our bodies is as central to our beauty as what we put on our bodies. And, conversely, the products we use topically contribute to our inner health. This 360-degree approach means that we consider our food choices as much as we consider our skincare. We have a long-standing love for cooking, entertaining and sharing our love for nourishing foods, and we always welcome the chance to share a great recipe. Especially one that leaves us looking and feeling our best. So, when it comes to creating lasting beauty, we like to say, begin within.
And, since we’re going beneath the surface, let’s make one thing clear: We dive deep. It’s in our nature. When we find something we love, we fall hard. We’re self-proclaimed maximalists, and when it comes to healthy habits, we believe that more is more is more. Curiosity may have killed the cat but, for us, it’s a way of life. There’s so much to learn, so jump in. Lose the quick-fix mentality of a 3-day cleanse. This way of life is wildly fulfilling. And, as you take on your new healthy habits, you pave the way for more. You discover vitality and radiance on every level. Be kind to yourself, and remember this motto: progress not perfection.
Our beauty-meets-beauty approach stems largely from our backgrounds. We both came to beauty and wellness in our own time and way, as everyone’s journey is unique.
Cindy was largely influenced by her mom, Weezie, whose own interest in health and wellness stemmed from her upbringing on an apple farm. She emphasized the importance of natural foods and honoring the Earth, ecology and intricate cycles of life. Weezie followed the topics of the day, gleaning most of her knowledge from Jane Brody and the New York Times. Implementing these mainstream concepts into day-to-day life, she taught a young Cindy to recognize the importance of her choices. Cindy lost her mom to breast cancer when she was just 21. Weezie was 49. This precipitated an even deeper dive, and Cindy began her journey into a more esoteric and comprehensive interest in wellness. Of course, nothing happens overnight, and, for much of her young adulthood, this took the form of a late night out with friends followed by an early-morning yoga class, rich meals followed by a juice cleanse. A marriage and two kids later, her life is still an intricate work of balance. (Her husband, Laurent, is a wine dealer and an Ironman!) Armed with the knowledge from her childhood and her deeper dive into wellness, she works every day to share its power with her family and beyond.
WE OPENED THE DOORS TO A BEAUTY STORE, BUT UNKNOWINGLY LAUNCHED A LIFESTYLE BRAND.
Kerrilynn dove into wellness after being diagnosed with celiac disease almost a decade ago. She spent much of her childhood with unexplained stomach trouble and challenging skin issues that led her to doctors who suggested that she was simply unlucky or who prescribed antibiotics. When she finally discovered the root cause of it all, the skies parted. It all made sense, and she was thrilled to learn that feeling well was easily within reach. While many suggest that she’s among the most unlucky for never being able to indulge in pizza, bagels and cake, Kerrilynn feels blessed and empowered. She’s made it her life mission to share the knowledge that everyone has within them the power to feel good. Lifestyle choices and conscious decisions transformed her, and can transform us all. After giving up wheat, she slowly uncovered more ways to include wellness into her life. Cindy introduced her to Kris Carr, whose 21-day challenge led Kerrilynn to a life of plant-based eating. For her, this is the ticket to health and happiness. Herbs, fitness, Kundalini yoga, self-reflection, meditation and cleansing are all central to her well-being. She shares these practices at home with her husband, John, and her Puerto Rican rescue chihuahuas, but CAP Beauty is the portal for her to share them with the world.
We met each other while working at Martha Stewart Living, where we discovered our shared interests not only in wellness but also in style and gracious living. We are veterans of the design world where aesthetics rule. Just as beauty is more than skin-deep, how we live reflects our values. We opened the doors to a beauty store, but unknowingly launched a lifestyle brand. Because aesthetics are so deeply ingrained in us, it would be impossible to create a business that doesn’t acknowledge all aspects of living. And, living beautifully.
When we set out to build our West Village store, we intended to create a space that was both aspirational and welcoming to all, a destination for the curious. We knew that natural beauty was no longer just for the hippie fringe. Yet, it still lived primarily in health food stores and yoga studios. Don’t get us wrong, here. We love health food stores and yoga studios (more than you can imagine!), but our mission was to share these products with a larger audience, those not yet inducted into our “cult.” We knew these sophisticated consumers were out there choosing natural and organic in almost all other areas of their lives, but since naturals lacked a modern and inspiring home, clean beauty was a holdout. Enter CAP Beauty.
By designing a store that was as visually stunning as it was pure in its mission, we appealed to this consumer, and we welcomed one and all. Every detail matters to us. As we built out our space, we embedded rose quartz under the floorboards to raise the vibration and encourage love. No one can see it, but everyone feels it. Even our contractor and his crew joined in, writing the Chinese characters for joy, love, health, wealth and happiness on the walls before painting. These invisible acts reverberate. They elevate and create a proper home for the deeply healing, nourishing and truly natural products that grace our shelves.
When we set the standards for what we would and wouldn’t sell, we decided to keep it simple, and so we drew the line at 100 percent. That means that the products we stock use only natural ingredients and contain no synthetics at all. We’ve learned a lot since then, as this can certainly be a complex issue, and we work every day at maintaining this standard. It’s central to our mission to be absolute and committed, creating a space of discovery, and one that is free from the confusion that so often surrounds the term natural.
Many people ask us for a list of the ingredients we don’t carry, but frankly, we’d rather talk about the ones we do. Our products are teeming with active, transformative and truly magical plant ingredients, the building blocks of true beauty. We choose to focus on these.
And, we aren’t missing anything. Often, the synthetics used in conventional beauty products are there to lengthen the shelf life or stabilize a product. Today’s natural formulators find creative solutions to these very real issues. Since mold and harmful bacteria grow in water, many product developers simply eliminate the water, creating a product with a naturally longer shelf life. Powdered cleansers are a perfect example of this work-around. It’s also why you’ll notice more oils in the world of natural skincare. And, coincidentally (or we think not), oils relieve congested skin, naturally mimic our skin’s sebum and are loaded with bioavailable nutrients. This is nature as it should be.
We encourage our customers to think of their products as they think of their food. Most of us would agree that a fresh peach is preferable to a canned peach, despite the obvious difference in shelf life. The fresh peach engages all of our senses and connects us to the Earth and to the season. Apply this thinking to your beauty routine, and watch your skin come alive. If a product is lingering in your medicine cabinet and not seeing the light of day, get rid of it. You shouldn’t hold on for years on end (no matter how much it cost). Make space for the products you love, and use them. A long shelf life benefits business, not your skin. When you love your products and use them consistently, shelf life becomes irrelevant.
Another way we liken natural beauty to the world of food is by assessing our skin like we assess our hunger. Some days, you wake up hungry and need a hearty breakfast, whereas, other days, a green juice calls. Likewise, there are days when your skin will need more love than others. Some days, a deeper cleansing is in order, more hydration, a more active serum. Listen to your body; listen to your skin. Once you learn its language, you’ll become fluent in what you need.
Clearly, we love food, making comparisons at every turn. So, it’s natural we look to food to support our beauty from the inside out. What started as a tiny selection of products on our web site has grown into a thriving grocery corner that has a life of its own. By the time we opened our doors, we had a full shelving unit devoted to the herbs and superfoods we stock. And, our customers keep wanting more. We’ve been surprised (and yet not) by how popular these foods have become, and it thrills us when our customers make the connection between what they eat and how they look and feel. As we’ve said, it’s impossible to separate beauty and wellness. And, what we eat is a cornerstone of health.
Education is vital to our mission. The world of natural beauty is advancing at lightning speed with so much information to distill. The products and practices we live by are new to many. And, to those already indoctrinated, there’s always more to learn. So, we use our clubhouse as a classroom for free education. We enlist our own wellness heroes. Learning is vital to this lifestyle. Really, to any. Meditation, spirit animal quests, talks on adrenal health and tonic demonstrations are just some of the offerings in our curriculum. This component of CAP Beauty is so important to us that we hosted our first event just 2 days after we opened our doors. And, at every event, it thrills us to see the room fill up with busy New Yorkers (not known for their extra free time). We’re inspired by the curious, and we count ourselves among them.
From the first days of visualizing CAP Beauty, we knew the importance of offering treatments. We think of our facials as another way to dive deep, and to learn and understand the nuances of skin and its health. At the time we opened, it was challenging to find a spa that offered truly natural facials. And, those that did relied on just one or two brands. We believe in the importance of diversity, of matching a client’s skin to the perfect product. Because our estheticians can draw from so many product lines, they create a truly bespoke service for each and every one they see. Our clients learn to care for their skin on a deeper and more comprehensive level, and they learn the ever-important technique of facial massage, which is the backbone of our treatments. We teach our clients to understand that their skin is a living organ, one that is constantly shifting and reacting to the environment, both inside and out. It should be nurtured as such. Our CAP Beauty estheticians are like personal trainers for the skin, partners by your side to guide you to your most radiant self. Working out between training sessions is vital to improving fitness, and the self care you continue at home will yield the best results.
YOU’LL FEEL GREAT, AND, LIKE US, YOU’LL WANT TO SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS.
The CAP Beauty treatment had to embody our disruptive approach to conventional beauty, and so we enlisted a like-minded and brilliant expert in the field to write our protocol and educate our staff. Kristina Holey is unlike any skincare expert we’ve met. A true devotee to both science and self care, she views the skin as an ecosystem, one whose balance must be maintained through ritual, nutrition and topicals. She embodies our philosophy perfectly and, like us, dives deep. She brought her passion and intellect to CAP Beauty as well as her love for the extraordinary benefits of facial massage. You may be surprised to learn that simply massaging the skin can purify, detoxify, tone and oxygenate the skin to great effect. Expect vibrancy, hydration and the elusive glow. This is a pre-party facial. You don’t need to schedule a night in. Go out and show it off.
The good news is, you can practice this technique at home and cultivate all of its benefits. And facial massage is just one of the rituals we offer in this book to deliver true health and radiance. When you adopt this High Vibrational Beauty lifestyle, your friends will take note. They might even just make you their guru. And, we say, share the love. You’ll feel great, and, like us, you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops.
Read on, and let beauty radiate from every aspect of your being.
AN INTRO TO SPRING: THE REAWAKENING
For us, spring is possibility. After the chill and quietude of winter, we embrace its new growth. A return to sun-kissed days, lighter foods and more time outdoors makes spring a season to celebrate. We are reborn, rekindling our deep love affair with Mother Earth. We plant in her soils, roll in her grasses and dance in her rains. We know in our hearts that, for the next half-year, our bodies will be warm, and our spirits will be light. Longer days and sultry nights, we welcome you.
The recipes and rituals shared here are designed to prepare your body, mind and spirit for a reawakening. The season of rebirth lies ahead. Embrace it.
RITES OF SPRING THE SPRING SKIN PROGRAM PERFORM: Once or twice daily
WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Cleanser, toner and oil or moisturizer
DURATION: 5 to 10 minutes
Put your best face forward, and shine bright like a diamond. Incorporating a deep and thorough cleansing ritual into your bedtime routine will encourage your most beautiful skin ever. While we sleep, our skin detoxes, moving toward perfect balance, so everything we can do to support our skin before bed is beneficial. A thorough cleanse, a deep massage and a sealing of moisture leaves you glowing and radiant. Evenings are the focus of our skincare regimens. By committing to a more thorough cleansing routine at night, you allow your body’s natural rhythms to support your most radiant and nourished skin. A deep cleanse and massage encourages overnight cellular regeneration and healing, making a simpler, more streamlined routine in the morning. Many mornings, you can even skip the cleanse and just do a quick wake up with cold water, a spritz of hydrosol and a moisturizer or serum. We encourage you to cleanse the moment you get home. As busy women, we know all too well that the evening can be taken up with other obligations, and sleep can set in all too fast. By taking care of your skin early on, your most active products have a longer time to work, and you have more time to relax. Another one of our favorite self care activities. And, best of all, washing your face won’t fall by the wayside. Sweet dreams, natural beauties.
After the long chill of winter many of us are left dry and sensitive. Spring’s rainy climate is a welcome shift. Your routine these months incorporates revitalizing nutrient-dense products that hydrate with a lighter hand. Those with less sensitive skin will also look to exfoliate, to remove the layers of winter. Through the foods we eat and the products we choose, we also start to prepare our skin for more time spent outside, laying the groundwork for healthy time in the sun.
HOW TO DO IT: Start with a small amount of cleanser in your hand, and apply it to the skin on your face. Work into your neck and face for 2 to 4 minutes, using small and gentle circular motions moving upward from the neck to the forehead, spending extra time on the center of your face. Do your best to not rush through the massage. Take care, but massage your face like you mean it. Facial massage increases blood flow, oxygenates muscle tissues and assists in the flow of the lymphatic system, revealing a healthy and youthful glow. Then, add some water to your fingertips and work it into your skin, removing your cleanser. Continue this part for 2 to 3 minutes, incorporating enough water to remove all of the cleanser. Do not use hot water. Warmish is best. Make sure that all the cleanser is removed, and softly blot your face with a soft, clean towel.
Time to hydrate. Spray your face with a hydrosol or toner, and soak it up. Finish off the process by massaging a moisturizer or oil onto your damp skin.
When morning comes, assess your skin. You may feel the need to cleanse again, but you may skip this. We’ve been conditioned to believe that our skin is always in need of cleansing, but this is really only necessary in the evenings, after a workout, or when you feel oily or congested. Your skin’s best balance comes from maintaining a healthy biome, or the layer of healthy bacteria that should live on your skin. Be mindful to not disrupt this through overcleansing or exfoliating. Nourish it, hydrate it and cleanse it, when needed. A rinse with coolish water may be all you need. Follow with a mist of hydrosol and your favorite moisturizer and serum. If you plan to be outside, add a layer of zinc-based sunscreen (see page 83 for our favorites). Remember, you are your own best guide. Learn the language of your skin. It speaks to you. Get fluent.