Claire Mazur is one of the co-founders of the beautifully curated site Of a Kind (and the bride from this Spiderman ring bearer wedding). Here, she shares her tips for styling curly hair, the best cleanser for lazy nighttime face-washers and how running helped alleviate her depression…
Do you wear makeup?
I do, I do! I love makeup. I adore the Stowaway Creaseless Concealer and it’s the one thing I have on me at all times. I buy three at a time — one for my makeup bag, one for the office, one for my purse. The concealer brightens everything up and makes me look more awake. It’s the single most dramatic change I can make to my face really quickly.
The other thing I wear every single day without fail is my Paul & Joe eyebrow pencil. It was introduced to me by Sania of Sania’s Brow Bar, who is incredibly masterful and has been doing my brows since the time when I was 16 and totally butchered them on my own, after which my mother dragged me to see an expert.
Any eyebrow tips?
Sania told me that you should always use an eyebrow pencil a stage lighter than your natural eyebrow hair color, since you want it to look natural. And instead of drawing on your eyebrow, you should sketch with small strokes, as if you’re drawing what eyebrow hairs look like.
What’s your daily skincare routine?
I start by putting on Supergoop Sensitive Skin SPF 40. The skin on my face is really sensitive to sunscreen, and this is one of the few I’ve found that not only doesn’t irritate it, but also leaves it feeling really smooth. I follow that up with Josie Maran Bronzing Argan Oil, which I LOVE and is strangely hard to find. It gives me a nice, natural-looking hint of color. After doing my makeup, I do a couple of spritzes of Restorsea Recharging Finishing Mist on top of everything to get rid of any powdery look and give me a sort of glowy, refreshed finish. I also keep one of them in my desk for freshening up throughout the day.
You have such beautiful hair! How do you style and care for it?
Geez, thanks! This is a dangerous question because I could go on forever. I’ll stick to the really critical stuff.
The most important thing when it comes to curly hair is moisture — it can never get enough. So I rarely wash it because that dries it out. When it does need a bit of a clean I’ll use Purely Perfect Cleansing Creme which isn’t a shampoo — it’s one of those conditioning cleansers. About once or twice a month I’ll use Neutrogena Clarifying Shampoo to get rid of all the product buildup. It strips out a lot of moisture along with all of the dirt, so I’ll usually follow it with a deep conditioning treatment — Oribe Gold Lust Masque is one of the best I’ve ever used.
After the shower, the Turbie Twist is an amazing shammy towel. It makes my hair so much smoother; the roughness of normal towels creates frizz. Then I like to use styling cremes, especially Bumble and bumble Curl Conscious Creme and R+Co Jackpot. Air-drying is always best for me, but it takes until the middle of that afternoon. Having curly hair, you’re part of this tribe where you meet other curly-haired women and you have all the same problems: How much does it suck to go to meetings with wet hair?
Does your husband ever weigh in on trends?
I taught my husband to refer to bright lipstick as “a bold lip,” a term which he utilizes exclusively to tell me how much he dislikes it when I wear it. So I try not to do it for date night even though I think it’s such a game-changer, especially in the winter months! He does love my big curly hair, especially when it’s completely wild and piled on top of my head — that’s how it usually is when I’m home. My husband’s other least-favorite beauty trend is my love of the discovery process which leads me to acquire tons of new products which clutter the crap out of our bathroom counter.
How do you change things up for special occasions?
If I’m going to a wedding, I am a total sucker for false lashes. I like the individuals and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at putting them on. My close friend Jamie Beck, a photographer, turned me on to them the first time she ever took my photo. She brought a whole variety of strip lashes with her to the shoot and I was immediately hooked. I went through a phase where I went completely overboard, wore them every day and even carried a tube of glue in my purse in case they started to fall off. (That’s really embarrassing to admit.) Now I just go to the Duane Reade and get black flares; I always go for the shortest ones because I need to give myself limits.
With Of a Kind co-founder Erica Cerulo.
Do you have any other non-beauty rituals that help you feel great?
Something I’ve started doing in the last year or so is wearing nice pajamas. Like everyone else, I loved Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and I thought she made a great point about how the things you wear to bed and when you’re home by yourself are just as (if not more!) important than what you wear outside the home. So I’ve invested in some really nice pieces from Eberjey and Lunya and wearing them is one of those things, that, like a manicure, perks me up. It’s not necessary but it’s lovely.
What’s your bedtime routine?
I know how terrible this is (especially because I live in such a grimy city) but I hate washing my face at night. I’m always so tired, and when I do muster the energy all of the splashing wakes me up and makes it harder to fall asleep afterwards. Lancôme Cleansing Water has been a lifesaver in that regard because it requires minimal effort (zero splashing required!) and it works amazingly well. I think it’s a world of difference from wipes, which just make my face feel sticky.
How did you get into running?
Running is my antidepressant. Literally. My whole life I was a really un-athletic and fairly self-conscious about trying anything sporty. When I was 19 I faced a tough struggle with depression and anxiety and started taking Effexor to help me through it. One day when I was 24 and researching the frustrating withdrawal symptoms I would experience if I missed a dose by accident, it suddenly hit me: I’d been taking these pills every day for five years and if I didn’t take myself off them nobody was ever going to do it for me. I came up with a plan to start exercising while I tapered off my meds as a way of kind of replacing the endorphins. Running was the most obvious form of exercise for me because it doesn’t require any special equipment or training.
Was running hard at first?
In the beginning, doing just 15 minutes on a treadmill felt like torture, but not nearly as awful as dealing with the depression and anxiety I had battled. The fear of facing another struggle with all of that far outweighed my fear of embarrassing myself at the gym. After a few months it became very obvious how powerful of an antidepressant the running itself was — far more powerful than the pills I’d been taking for years. Seven years later, it’s the one thing that’s been a daily consistent thing in my life.
I should also say that in the time since I’ve gotten off the antidepressants I have faced another bout of depression — and my running routine, while a very helpful method of coping with it, did not cure it or prevent it. I worked closely with a therapist who was respectful of my determination not to get back on meds and am really grateful to have come out the other side.
Do you have any words of advice for people who would love to incorporate running into their lives but (like me) have trouble making it more than a few blocks at a time?
Yes! I do. (A full run-down is here!) My advice is to start with just those few blocks at a time and nothing more. Do that every day for a couple of weeks until you can do ten blocks at a time. And then fifteen, and then twenty! Running is really, really hard when you’re out of practice and if you push yourself to the point where it’s completely miserable you won’t go back and do it again the next day. So go easy on yourself — and make consistency your only priority. As long as you’re getting out there, the distance and speed will come eventually.
Have you had any regrettable beauty moments?
Okay, here’s one. I was at a wedding of some high school friends, and everyone I’d grown up with was there, including an old boyfriend and his new wife whom he’d started dating right after we’d broken up many, many years before. I was newly single, about to embark on a new career, and feeling really good that day. (Obviously rocking the fake lashes, a bold lip, and most likely a spray tan.) So I felt totally confident introducing myself to the wife and immediately jumped into a friendly conversation with her. When it was over I walked over to two of my best friends who I knew had been watching the whole thing go down and laughing at what I assumed was the presumed awkwardness of the situation… only to have them inform me that their giggles were a reaction to the bright red lipstick smeared all over my front teeth. They’d tried their best to send me signals but of course it was fruitless. It’s one of those things that still sends us into fits of laughter.
Do you have a signature scent?
I have been wearing Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue since my girlfriends gave it to me for my 18th birthday. I’ve tried so hard to switch it up but I always end up back where I started. And I love how many people in my life will say things like “I was in the elevator with someone wearing Light Blue the other day and I thought of you!” There’s something really comforting in that.
Over the years, has any product stood the test of time?
Mario Badescu Drying Lotion for pimples — I’ve been using it since high school.
Last but certainly not least: Do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
I remember hearing somewhere that most women look at pictures of themselves in their younger days and are so confused about why they felt so unattractive and self-conscious at the time. And even now, in my early 30s, that keeps proving to be true. So I’ve gotten a lot better at trying to have that perspective when examining myself in the mirror.
Thank you so much, Claire!
(Wedding photos by John Cary. Tulip photo by Jamie Beck. Grey tank photo by Julia Robbs. Photo of Claire and Erica by Jamie Beck. Running photos by Jackie Beale. Other photos courtesy of Claire Mazur. Interview by Joanna Goddard.)