My friend Jenny Gordy, a designer of handmade clothing, moved from Brooklyn to Iowa City and now has a sweet baby girl. She’s warm and thoughtful and is one of those people you want to ask a million questions because she always has the best answers. Here, she shares her secrets, including a game-changing eyebrow trick and the “mocktail” she swears by…
What’s your daily beauty routine?
My usual routine is pretty effortless because I prefer a natural look and am kind of lazy when it comes to makeup. Most days I just groom my brows, curl my lashes, and then put on mascara, cheek stain and Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose. My favorite cheek stain is Vincent Longo Gel Stain in My Sunshine, a coral color that matches my natural flush. For a rosier pink, I like Benefit Benetint. Sometimes I wear L’Oreal Paris Youth Code BB Cream mixed with moisturizer because it has sun protection and evens out the tone of my skin while still leaving it dewy.
Do you do things differently when you’re dressing up?
When I’m in the mood to go all out, especially for date nights, I wear eyeliner and lipstick. Bright lipsticks lift my mood, and a bare face accented by a bold lip color is pretty and fresh. NARS lipsticks are my favorite—they’re creamy and highly pigmented. Heat Wave is the best bright red and Schiap is a great shocking pink.
What’s your bedtime routine?
My whole life I was always such a night owl, staying up late into the night and tinkering around with secret projects while everyone else was asleep. But now that I have a baby, sleep has become so important to me! I go to bed very early and make my bedroom as cozy as possible. Before I go to sleep, I read for 20 minutes, and I’m obsessed with block-printed bedding from Kerry Cassill, especially the pillowcases. They’re just the softest thing to lay your head on, and I love mixing and matching the beautiful prints.
What’s your everyday skincare regimen?
It’s really simple. I wash my face and moisturize with gentle CeraVe cleanser and moisturizer from the drugstore twice a day. At night I use Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Eye Cream. Once or twice a week I exfoliate my lips with Sugar Lip Polish by Fresh. (This step is especially important if I’m going to be wearing bright lipstick!)
Is there one stand-out product that changed everything?
A friend who has amazing eyebrows recently let me in on her secret: Ck One Brow Pencil + Gel Duo. I just started using it, and I’m obsessed because it’s so easy to use and looks very natural. Even when I don’t have time for any other makeup, I use it because it makes my eyes look prettier and makes me look more put together.
What’s your hair routine?
My hair is so dry that I wash it only once a week. I use Davines Love Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner, and they smell so good! My hair has some natural wave to it, so I work with that and rub some jojoba oil into the ends and let it air dry. After it’s dry, Bumble and Bumble Brilliantine smoothes the frizz while leaving it a little piece-y and messy.
What was a time in your life when you felt really beautiful?
Most recently I felt beautiful and strong when I gave birth to my daughter. I definitely had some fear leading up to it, but in the moment everything fell away and I had faith in myself that I could do it. I was tired and probably didn’t look so hot, but at the same time I was flushed and glowing with exertion. It was just a beautiful, exhilarating moment. While I was pushing, my husband Joe said, “Did you shave your legs once you started going into labor?” Yes. Yes, I did.
Did you have any beauty rituals when you were pregnant?
Almost every night while I was pregnant I would go for a long walk or go to the gym. Then I would come home and take a warm bath and drink peppermint tea. It was so relaxing and luxurious! I miss having the time to pamper myself like that.
What other little tips do you swear by?
Last year I started wearing tiny gold studs in my ears, and I really feel like they subtly brighten my face and make me look prettier. Now I never take them off.
What foods or drinks make you feel healthy and glowing?
I have dry hair and skin, and my hairstylist friend once gave me the best advice: “Moisturize from the inside out.” Meaning eat healthy, drink lots of water, and take prenatal vitamins and fish oil pills. When I do those things my hair and skin look their best. I find drinking plain water so boring, so one year for my birthday I was given a Soda Stream for making sparkling water. I’m obsessed with it and drink so much more water now! If you add a spritz of lime or a sprig of mint, it’s like you’re always drinking a fun cocktail without the alcohol.
Do you have a signature scent?
I was never a perfume person until my friend Anne McClain, who owns MCMC Fragrances, introduced me to her subtle, sophisticated scents. When I go on a date with my husband I always wear Noble. Every single time I’ve ever worn it he’s commented that I smell amazing. Lately, day to day I’ve been wearing the new MCMC x Mociun collaborative fragrance, and sometimes I throw on my husband’s sweaters because they smell like Dude No.1 Beard Oil.
What do you hope to teach or pass onto your daughter Iris about beauty?
I want to help instill in Iris a sense of self-confidence. It’s challenging because, like any human being, I’m guilty of sometimes comparing myself to others and feeling insecure about my looks. I don’t want Iris to think that beauty can only be found in attaining an unrealistic level of perfection. I’ll have to lead by example to show her that true beauty is deeper than that. It shines through in moments of bravery, kindness, gratitude, joy and laughter. And it’s something we see in those we love just because we love them. I hope that her dad and I will make her feel beautiful for the person she is and she’ll know that makeup and all that other stuff is just there for her own amusement and self-expression.
Do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
“Less is more” pretty much sums it up.
Thank you so much, Jenny!