Style

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Cup of Jo’s associate editor Stella Blackmon has an effortless style that everyone in the office covets. How does she always find the perfect pair of high-waisted jeans?! Ahead she talks about her holy grail fragrance, a sweet cure for homesickness, and why Bruce Springsteen is her style icon…

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

When did you first start wearing makeup?
I discovered foundation in early high school and would buy shades that were five times darker than my skin. All my friends were going to tanning booths and I thought I could achieve that look with heavy dark-orange foundation. It took seeing my makeup line in photos to realize I was wrong! Any foundation that isn’t exactly my shade takes me back to those days. Now I use Almay Smart Shade Makeup. It’s light like a tinted moisturizer, and has sunscreen.

What other makeup do you wear?
For my eyes, I use my finger to smudge the dark Revlon brown eyeshadow on my lash line instead of eyeliner and finish with a swipe of Maybelline Falsies Mascara, which I recently discovered. I’ve tried a record number of drugstore mascaras, and this stuff packs a punch. It gives my lashes crazy volume, and it’s surprisingly non-clumpy. After that, I pat a little e.l.f. Blush and Bronzing Cream onto my cheeks. It has a pretty, sheer matte color. I like Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Red Dahlia for the same reason.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

What’s your daily skincare routine?
I only have a nightly skincare routine — in the morning I don’t do anything besides brush my teeth. I use Tatcha’s Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil to clean my face. It’s ridiculously luxe, but one bottle has lasted me almost an entire year. With dry hands and a dry face, I massage one pump into my skin and around my eyes. I rinse with water, and everything — waterproof mascara, long-wear foundation, you name it — melts off like butter. It’s gentle enough for my sensitive skin, and my face feels creamy soft. This stuff is the reason I started taking off my makeup every night; I actually look forward to it.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Do you have any tricks for troubleshooting blemishes?
Whenever I feel really stressed, it shows on my skin. I’ve started experimenting with Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Peels, which are presoaked pads, and a retinol night cream for sensitive skin. Since they can both be drying, so I’ll put a little almond oil afterward on my nose and forehead. I heard giving up coffee helps reduce blemishes, too, but I’m not sure that’s worth it.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Has being in a long-distance relationship affected your beauty routine?
My boyfriend, Andrew, is back home in Missouri. We see each other every eight weeks or so. The days leading up to it, I’m nervous and have butterflies. I don’t know how to channel it. I shave my legs. That’s what I do to prepare. Sometimes I’ll buy a new dress for a date. The first couple days of his visits I try harder, meaning I’ll wear eyeliner. But by day four, it’s back to no makeup when we’re hanging out. I also never like to FaceTime him when I have almond oil on my face. On those nights, I’m like, “I’m going to bed now!”

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

How do you change your look for special occasions?
There’s an episode of Girls where Lena Dunham’s character proclaims, “I wear mascara every Saturday!” I really laughed because that is exactly my relationship to eyeliner and lipstick. Even though they take only five minutes to apply, I save them for special events. I’ve been using Almay’s liquid eyeliner in black for five years. It never smudges and it’s incredibly easy to apply. I start on the middle of my lid and flick it slightly up after I hit the end of my eyelid. If I’m going out at night, I add extra mascara to my bottom lashes.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Do you ever wear lipstick?
I have been really into soft red lipstick with brown undertones. It reminds me of what my mom wore when I was growing up. There’s also something more flattering about brown on my skin (as opposed to pink, which magnifies any redness). I have been using NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

What do you do to style and care for your hair?
I’ve been trying to wash my hair only twice a week. Because my hair is so thick, I like the way it lays a couple of days after I wash it, compared my puffy ‘do after the shower. I actually get my hair thinned every couple of months. The stylist takes shears and cuts down through the middle part of it. You can’t tell that it’s shorter, but it gets rid of the bulk. At home, I rotate between two different shampoos to prevent any build up of residue. I always use Suave Naturals for one, and then I buy another. I use Suave Naturals conditioner and will just put a teeny bit on the ends. When my hair is feeling dry, I like to dab VERB serum on the ends to combat frizz.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Do you and your friends ever share (or steal) each other’s products?
At this point, we all use the same things, since we’ve all tried each other’s stuff and liked it. One friend makes DIY beauty treatments once a week, and I’ll usually join in. Last Friday, we ordered takeout and did homemade masks and watched Brokeback Mountain.

Do you have an all-time favorite drugstore find?
I stumbled upon NUXE Huile Prodigieuse Multi-Purpose Dry Oil at Target one afternoon and I’ve been in love ever since. Apparently, it was so popular in French pharmacies that they started selling it in the U.S. a couple years ago. The subtle scent has notes of sandalwood and floral, like if you were to take a nap under a blooming tree on a sunny spring day… next to a man wearing a light, musky cologne. You can use on your body, face and hair, and it gives you a glossy glow. I’ll sometimes put it on my cheekbones instead of highlighter.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Do you ever wear perfume?
When I moved to New York a year and a half ago, I was reading a giant issue of Elle Magazine on the flight. There was a fold-over tab of perfume for Giorgio Armani’s Si and I rubbed a little on my jacket. When I was in the car from the airport, the windows of the car were rolled down, the lights of the city were twinkling, and I kept getting wafts of the fragrance. I bought my own bottle the day after I signed my apartment lease.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Are there any little luxuries you have in your apartment?
Homesickness strikes me at night every now and then. I’ve found a temporary cure: I’ll turn on my side table lamp, crack my window, light a woodsy candle that reminds me of Missouri, eat a couple squares of dark chocolate and open one of the many David Sedaris books I have lying around. His quirky stories remind me of my family. I really like Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. And his essay Let It Snow makes me laugh out loud. I’ve read his stories so many times, but his words always strike the right, familiar note.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

What’s the one thing you’d bring with you to a desert island?
When I first starting working at Cup of Jo, Lexi revealed the holy grail of deodorants. (I know!) She described smelling T-shirts to determine if she should wash them, and not being able to tell what was dirty, because her deodorant was so good. I hesitantly splurged on Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist, thinking a deodorant can only do so much. Let me tell you, it is that great. It lasts through anything, smells divine — even a little sexy — and it never irritates. I turned my mom onto this, too.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

What did the women in your family teach you about beauty?
Beauty was rarely discussed in the physical sense in my family. I learned how to apply mascara and use boxed hair dye by watching my mom and her sisters through the years. But mainly, I’ve learned to associate beauty with feeling good. There are the things everyone says, like drink enough water, take walks and get plenty of sleep. And then, on another level, it’s about creating space to find yourself and discover charm in the everyday chaos.

How did coming from such a big family influence you?
My grandma came from a family with 10 kids, and my mom came from a family with nine kids. Growing up, her family didn’t have a lot of money, but they made it work. And even though they didn’t have a lot, my grandmother always encouraged them to help other people. One Christmas, my mom went to help out with a local present drive, and the car went to her own house. She had to drop off presents for her own family and act like it wasn’t her house.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Do you have any other major beauty inspirations?
Hear me out, Bruce Springsteen’s confidence and outfit in his music video Dancing In The Dark is literally everything I aspire to. It’s also the exact look I’ve been trying to achieve for years! I loved the video growing up, and when I came across it again two years ago, I’ve been obsessed with it since. I just ordered his memoir.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Do you have any other non-beauty rituals that help you feel great?
There’s nothing better than a long walk around Brooklyn, but when the weather is gross, I will ride the dorkiest stationary bike in my room. I had one back home in Springfield. When I’m not riding it, I drape my clothes over it. It helps me wake up and gives me a boost of energy throughout the day. To get through a workout, I justify watching an episode of Real Housewives of New York or Orange County. It’s actually a blast.

My Beauty Uniform: Stella Blackmon

Last but not least, do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
The more I shift my attention to people and places around me, whether it’s chatting with a stranger on the subway or listening my little cousin Goldie practice her ukulele with her hamster on her shoulder, the more beautiful I feel. When I catch myself worrying I’m not pretty enough, I force myself to take in all of the wonderful things around me. Life is larger than what you stress about in front of a mirror.

Thank you so much, Stella!

P.S. More beauty uniforms, and Stella’s eyebrow makeover.

(Photos courtesy of Stella Blackmon.)

  1. Christina says...

    My goodness! This girl is beautiful inside and out! I so very randomly stumbled upon this, it’s late, my kids are sleeping – so should I, but I’m so happy to have read it, as I’m reminded to take a moment to reflect more and maybe just care a bit about my completely lacking beauty routines….

  2. LOVE everything about this – and Springsteen is one of my favorite musicians ever! He’s playing at a Hilary rally Monday night in Philadelphia and I so wish I lived there!!

  3. Cola says...

    Love this post! Especially the last part about feeling more beautiful the more you stop to soak up life around you.

    Question – where are those mirrors in the landscape? I want to go there!

  4. Katie says...

    This post has put me in a bright mood after a tough week. Thank you for sharing with us all!

  5. Okay, dorky moment, but it’s totally for this type of stuff that I read Cup of Jo. I feel like you ladies are kind of like those effortlessly cool girls who you run into occasionally and they drop these pearls of wisdom. Like, “oh yeah, I found the BEST deodorant. You have to try it.” And you just know it’s gonna be great.

    And in case it’s not clear, I’m totally about to buy that deodorant. Thanks, Lexi and Stella :)

    • my thought exactly. ordering that deodorant rn.

  6. Alison says...

    This was my favorite beauty uniform post!

  7. carrie says...

    i loved this! i love that she uses products from target with a few pricer special items sprinkled throughout. she keeps it simple!

  8. Molly B says...

    I think I’ve finally realized why I love the Beauty Uniform posts so much. I thought it was because I’ve never outgrown my middle school obsession with products, but instead, it’s because you show these women as though through the eyes of a best friend. The way you photograph and write about each one, is like how I view all of my friends, who are all so beautiful and unique. When portrayals of women in the media can be so icky, it’s nice to see them celebrated and cared for (if that makes any sense). And as a result, reading each post is like having a mid-day break with a really good friend.

    • Jill says...

      So true. These posts always make me feel more beautiful too, somehow. As opposed to how I feel after reading a fashion magazine or viewing anything beauty-related in mainstream media.

      Stella is the definition of beautiful. Not because she fits a certain mold or is a specific way, but because she is uniquely herself. She is beautiful because she is loved, and so am I :)

  9. Julianna says...

    Lovely!

  10. I always love these posts and read them word-for-word until the end (which I use the valuable naptime of my 3-month-old to accomplish). I never comment, but it totally made me nostalgic when Stella mentioned her cousin Goldie. That’s me. Except it was a violin and a rat :) I hope Goldie holds onto her quirkiness that’s so easy to lose with age.

  11. Kate Wilson says...

    I am dying to know what her favorite clothes are, too! All of yours! So inspiring.

    • Alison says...

      Ditto.

  12. Nicole says...

    SO great to finally see a beauty uniform with affordable products!

  13. Ash says...

    Um…I totally ran all over town last night to look for this deodorant after reading this post. I am happy to say I tracked it down and am trying it out today. So far I am loving it and it smells amazing!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      That is awesome, Ash! Hope you like it. It’s surprisingly tricky to find in person! When I was wanting to buy a second one, I ended up going to 4 different Sephora stores.

  14. Cristi says...

    Hi Stella! I loved this article. You have great style! Would you mind sharing where your black dress is from (in the pic where you are holding the camera), as well as your beautiful burgundy trench? Thanks for sharing your beauty tips!! xx

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you so much, Christi! I’m blushing over here! I can only find my black dress online in a navy color: http://bit.ly/2fLXUEq and my jacket was from Everlane: http://bit.ly/2fLXopY

      Thank you again! Stella xx

  15. Vicky says...

    Happy to hear I’m not the only person who reads Sedaris books over and over and over :) They always put me in a good mood!

  16. Samantha says...

    I can’t believe I’m seeing elf featured on a beauty uniform! Love elf products, been using this brand for ten years, pretty much since they first came out. If you’re into brownish liptick, you’ll love the matte lip color in praline, it is the prettiest neutral I’ve ever worn, and I’m fair skinned like you, with ash brown hair. Maybelline makes the best mascaras, Rimmel is also really good. The scandaleyes is great! So much volume with no clumps and it doesn’t dry out! Also loved the suave naturals, I use the mint rosemary shampoo for getting rid of build up and it’s so refreshing! I also love garnier, their products smell amazing. Been using their honey mask from the whole blends line and my hair has never been this soft and smooth without a trim. Loved all of the affordable products that I can actually purchase. Being a 23 year old student living alone doesn’t leave to much space for beauty splurges, but I love beauty and products! so I’ve learned to find my way into really great products that are also affordable.

  17. I don’t think I’ve ever articulated it, but reading this has made me realise that I too have chosen Bruce Springsteen as my sartorial role model. I wasn’t even admitting it to myself!

  18. Nicole Brant says...

    Love this! I also have dry, sensitive skin so I’m definitely going to try a cleansing oil. Although I think I’ll get the Body Shop’s Camomile version, it’s only $18. Thanks, Stella!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love that idea! I’d love to know how it is!

  19. Katherine says...

    I never comment, but had to this time: this has got to be one of my favorite beauty routines of the bunch as well! So relatable and lovely! So fun to read!

  20. Stella’s absolutely gorgeous.

  21. This has to be my favourite Beauty uniform in the entire series. Her style is truly effortless and classy! So refreshing to see drugstore brands being mentioned ;)

  22. Tricia says...

    BRUUUUUCE. Love it. :)

  23. dccat says...

    Hi Stella,
    I have super thick hair as well. I’m curious about what you mean by “takes shears and cuts down through the middle part of it” to get rid of the bulk. Is there a pic online that shows this style? Thank YOU!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi! Here’s a video that shows it better: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MKQZjzDaX4

      But I get it done in a salon for $15-$20! It makes my hair so much easier to work with. Hope that helps!

      Stella oxo

  24. I think this has been my favorite installment of “My Beauty Uniform” yet! Stella’s style is effortless and gorgeous, and the products listed are affordable, which makes me much more likely to try every one! Thanks!

  25. cristina mayer says...

    I’d love to win! I need some new leggings.

  26. N. Rogers says...

    Really enjoyed this post! Great Springsteen video too!

  27. kristie dahlia home says...

    Stella, your words at the end about your philosophy of beauty were so moving. I shared them with a group of my female friends and it led to a wonderful conversation. I am a healer of many sorts; I teach yoga, bodywork, energy work, and meditation. I feel quite certain that I’ll be sharing your perspective for a long while to come with the people who come to me. Thank you so much for the graciousness and heart of your words.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you so much, Kristie. Means the world to me. Stella xx

  28. El says...

    Loved this post – tho I’ve never understood the appeal of Springsteen – I realize I’m one of the few!

    Can’t wait to try nearly all of the products she mentioned but what I’d really love to know is who made her couch? It looks like what I’ve been searching for. Is it vintage?

  29. Stella, your overall beauty philosophy, though (insert praising hands emoji) :) :) :)

  30. Jessica says...

    Hello from Columbia, MO! So proud to see a Missourian on here :)

  31. Talia says...

    Hi, Stella! This is one of my favorite posts! I love that your beauty products come from a drug store! Such a refreshing change from the typical high end products that cost a fortune. Thank you for keeping it real. You are lovely and your beauty shines from the inside out.

  32. Carolyn says...

    Totally girl-crushing right now. One of my favorite beauty uniform posts ever!

  33. Rue says...

    this Bruce video is SO GOOD, it just made my entire morning!!!

  34. Anna Davis says...

    LOVE this one! I’m excited to try so many of the products Stella named! And how sweet is the down-to-earth beauty philosophy she described?! Oh – can anyone tell where Stella’s denim shirt is from? Thanks!!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Anna! Thank you for your super kind comment! Both denim shirts are from Loft, here is a similar one to the button-up: http://bit.ly/2fJl8e5

      Thank you again! Stella xx

  35. molly says...

    Loved this!! Thanks for sharing, Stella! And your images are all so beautiful + fun! xo

  36. Casey says...

    My favorite beauty uniform post yet! Go Stella!!!

  37. Molly Sarah says...

    I love David Sedaris . Reading and rereading his familiar words helps to curb homesickness for my family and nostalgia for my childhood. I have read Me Talk Pretty One Day at least ten times. I bought a ticket to go see his reading here in Seattle on the 16th as a birthday present to myself and I feel as though I set up a date to see an old friend.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love hearing that, Molly! That sounds amazing. Even when I hear his voice on recorded readings or podcasts, it feels so comforting. An “old friend” is the exact feeling. xoxo

  38. Abby dunn says...

    Stella,
    What a darling post. As a native Springfield, MO girl myself who moved to NYC 8 years ago,I loved your cure for homesickness. I remember being new to the city and missing the comforts of home, particularly bonfires. Should you ever need anything from one MO girl to another never hesitate to reach out to me. I’m so proud to see someone else from our hometown thriving in the city!!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      So kind of you to write, Abby! Thank you for the kind support. xx

  39. Colleen says...

    I also loved this post! I’m curious to try some of the beauty items as well.

    And I second (actually, I’m sure a lot more than two of us want this) the request for a style post from Stella. I loved the clothes and shoes in these photos and I look forward to more! Also, I’d love to request a post with Fall shoe recommendations. Specifically for flat shoes. I run after two kids and I’ve nixed all my heels. Thanks!

    • Cee says...

      Yes please!! Stella, where do you shop?!

    • Elvia says...

      Yes Jo,

      Can you please link all of her outfits and shoes pleasssse?!

    • Brandi says...

      Agreed! Style post, please!

  40. Allegra says...

    A quick warning on the Cashmere Mist deodorant by Donna Karan: I once had a stick and it holds nicely and the smell was nice, too, but very perfume-y and above all, so strong! I remember holding a baby for a sec when I was wearing it and his parents commented later on about who perfumed their kid…because the baby smelled like the deodorant. Oops! So no need to wear any additional fragrance with this one (nor could you, really, because the smell of Cashmere Mist is so overwhelming).

  41. Fantastic addition to this series! I agree with he other commentaries, it’s refreshing to hear beauty recommendations under $60. And I love the recommendation of NUXE body oil – I just wrote about that recently on my blog after spending the summer in Paris – I love it! Wonderful read!

    Xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  42. AJ says...

    Love your beauty philosophy Stella! And the perfume story is really cool :) such a lovely way to mark the start of a new chapter. Ps your little cousin sounds ace!

  43. Megan says...

    Refreshing to read a beauty uniform segment with products I have used and can actually afford! Thank you! Makes me believe that the more expensive items she mentioned are really worth trying!

  44. Caro says...

    I’m intrigued to try that French oil. What happened to Stella’s eyebrows? I’m curious to know if she went back to plucking her own brows or if these photos are all from before the brow makeover. Either way, she looks beautiful!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Most of these are pre-eyebrow growing out and some during the grow-out period. I haven’t touched my brows since the post! Thinking of tinting them again, though :)

  45. Ceridwen says...

    It’s my anniversary today but had to cancel our (extremely rare!) date night out because I’m in bed sick. Bummed. And then… This post came up and I’m so relaxed to be in bed, with a coffee and cold n flu tablets, iPad in hand reading this. Lovely post. I’m a huge Beauty Uniform fan and it has honestly helped me feel more confident, relaxed about ideas of beauty and a connection with other women. So much about beauty is competitive but this series is a celebration or a relaxed conversation with friends over coffee. Even if sick in bed. X

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      So nice to hear, Ceridwen. Thank you! I hope you start feeling better. xoxo

  46. Meems says...

    Dang her pictures are really good!
    Like, artistically cool….
    And, having to thin ones’ hair…
    Stella is MY idol ;o)

  47. Nikki says...

    Loved this one! I was in a long distance relationship with my now-husband for 4 years during college, and her comment about getting butterflies every time he came to visit totally took me back. My college roommates always knew my bf was coming to visit because I’d finally shave + put on some makeup :P

  48. Kirsten says...

    Stella, this is one of my favorite Beauty Uniform’s yet. I love that most of the products you use are from the drugstore–I always read these lamenting that I can’t afford most of the recommendations! But, most importantly THANK YOU for introducing me to that Springsteen video!! “Dancing in the Dark” is one of my favorite songs, but I’d never thought to look up its music video. And it is everything. It’s also now clear to me that my dance sensibilities lie in the early 1980s.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      That is amazing, Kirsten! I think my dance sensibilities lie in the early 1980s, too. Thank you so much for the kind words. xoxoxox

    • meli says...

      OMG, I knew the song but never saw the clip, I love it!!! lol
      The dancing is so 80 but it makes you want to reproduce it in front of your mirror. And Courtney Cox as a fan? Thanks for making my sick day better :)

  49. Kathryn says...

    This is my favorite beauty uniform yet! Partially because I already use many of these products and they are affordable (the Almay, the mascara, the Suave, the almond oil) but mostly because Stella has such a down to earth accessible thing going on. Well done!!

  50. Love :)

  51. Lena says...

    Stella, love your approach to beauty! And so much of what you wrote I use/think as well that it’s almost eerie haha (Burt’s bees, Dancing in the Dark, the homesickness remedy!)

    One question I’ve been wondering about cleansing oils: How exactly do you use them to remove mascara given that you’re advised to avoid the eye area? I really want to try an oil like the one you mentioned but never was sure about how do go about this :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Lena! Thank you so much for the sweet words! With this cleanser, I use it to take off eye makeup with no problem! I keep my eyes shut, but I’ve never experienced any irritation.

  52. Janice says...

    What a great Beauty Uniform! I’m excited to try some of these products and have already ordered the Donna Karan antiperspirant.

  53. Cynthia says...

    I like the way you use drug store items and expensive items. I’ve used the Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm before, and I have had the Red Dahlia which is really pretty. Your dog is adorable! Your dress and ankle boots are really cute.

  54. Your apartment sounds very “hygge”! So cute. Love the post!

  55. Firstly, her hair. *applause*
    Secondly, her style. (I must have.)
    <3

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ah, too nice, Wren. Thank you!!

  56. Dear Stella,
    I loved this. Beauty uniforms are my favorite, but particularly the ones I either completely identify with or don’t identify with at all but aspire to be. Yours is one I identify with. Maybe it’s because I’m also a 20-something, but I so relate to the “can’t be bothered with eyeliner” and the “I found my perfume from a magazine sample” and the simple joys of long walks and dark chocolate and little hesitant splurges on beauty products that are worth the extra money. You’re very real in your sharing, and I enjoyed that. Also, your vintage Stella mug is the best.

  57. Joanna says...

    Oh my gosh! Your Dancing in the Dark inspiration totally resonated with me. I first became obsessed with that video when there was a rehearsal version floating around online. He was learning the choreography and it was SO GOOD!! (Pretty sure there is something in there about confidence taking a bunch of practice…) Anyhow, it is also one of THE BEST karaoke songs ever.

  58. Samantha says...

    Loved reading your Beauty Uniform Stella! Such great product recs + love your style!

  59. Melissa says...

    Loved this! Stella, your skin is so beautiful! I’m also in a long distance relationship with around 8 weeks between visits, and I can relate to trying really hard the first few days and then going makeup free haha. Would love to see a beauty uniform with Lexi next!

  60. Rachael says...

    I agree with everyone! One of my favorite beauty uniforms. I can afford the items and a lot of them are the types of products I use. I love that the face oil is under$60. Something I can save for and will actually buy! Thank you for this!

  61. Maggie Ray says...

    So, I have kind of a policy question.

    I get pretty excited to try out the beauty finds in these series, but I notice as I open the links that a lot of them are from Nordstrom. Nordstrom is a sponsor of Cup of Jo, right? I’m not trying to imply that this post might be dishonest, but I don’t make very much money and if I’m going to try out a $30 deodorant, I want to be sure the recommendation has no strings attached; I’m sure you can understand.

    Is it just that many of these products can be found in most department stores, and you link to the Nordstrom site in particular since that happens to be a partner, or is Nordstrom at all involved with these recommendations?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great question, maggie! thank you so much for asking. the interview is done first and all the products are chosen because each beauty uniform woman truly uses, loves and recommends them. then, when we start putting links into the post, we typically link to nordstrom when we have a department store product to link to — partly because they’re a sometimes sponsor and partly because they have such great customer service and we use the store regularly ourselves. but a product would never be chosen simply because it’s available at nordstrom. hope that helps!

    • Nat says...

      I find it amazing and a bit dissappointing that sometimes readers expect high quality content but find it suspicious or dishonest for a blog to use affiliate links. Bloggers have to make a living. If it were so easy to do, everyone would blog full-time. I think Cup of Jo has built a reputation that does not warrant such a comment. The deodorant has amazing reviews online that speak for themselves, but none of us have to buy it unless we want to (and if I may take it one step further, Nordstrom’s return policy is one of the best anyway). I don’t mean any disrespect, I just think we need to value good content versus a lot of the not-so-good stuff out on the web.

    • I agree Nat… not that there is anything wrong with asking the original question. But blogging is hard work, and takes a lot of time. I know because I once made a (pitiful) attempt to blog, it’s harder than it looks. It reminded me too much of my job as a graphic designer at a media company – it’s basically like making an online magazine, all the same parts are there – writing, design, photography, ads (to make the rest possible), keeping track of files, etc.

    • Stacy says...

      I have to jump in and defend Maggie on this. I’ve been reading this blog for many years and its my favorite, i think it’s great that she felt she could ask a question like this. Often the links are to Nordstrom which can be more expensive than other sites with the same item. Also, not all of the readers of this blog can afford very many of these things…I generally don’t spend this kind off money on deodorant. Props to you, Maggie, for stepping up and asking. If JoAnna was offended by this question, I would’ve been sad. Thanks Stella for listing so many affordable items!

  62. Kate says...

    Omg I love her totally unpretentious sensibility! She sounds so healthy and nonmaterialistic. That dog is the cutest too! ;)

  63. I love the focus on others and things outside yourself, especially that last question and how your family influenced you. Beautiful. Also the descriptions of fragrance and stories to go along were lovely!

  64. kristin says...

    So lovely and fresh and real BUT what’s the intel on the jeans???

    • Raquel says...

      Exactly!!! I was waiting on that one too…

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ha! So kind, Kristin! My skinny jeans are these from Urban Outfitters: http://bit.ly/2f6wWXm – I have also been loving these 100% cotton ones from Madewell: http://bit.ly/2ebHnUL – not sure they are that flattering, but I feel pretty cool in them :)

  65. Sam H says...

    My favorite Beauty Uniform! I just purchased the deodorant and dry oil on Amazon after reading this. And am currently on week two of using GrandeBrow after reading the post about your eyebrow makeover. I want to tweeze so bad, but am staying strong!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      You got this, Sam! The struggle is real. xo

  66. This post made me feel so warm! Such a lovely philosophy of both beauty and life!

    • And thank-you for introducing me to David Sedaris!

  67. Ann says...

    My favorite beauty interview here EVER! I read every word and feel so calm and happy. Love it all Stella! And thank you for the affordable beauty finds!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Means so much to me, Ann. Thank you.
      Stella xx

  68. Michelle D. says...

    Yes! Best Beauty Uniform yet. And with that, I’m off to the drugstore. I think I want to be Stella when I grow up. :)

  69. Claire says...

    Stella, thanks so much for sharing this glimpse into your life! As a college student, I love that your voice on the blog feels really relatable to my stage of life right now, compared to 30-somethings with kids (though I do love nannying for them) who can afford lots of expensive stuff. You’re so beautiful inside and out and I love your tips on homesickness. Off topic, but would you mind sharing where you found that beautiful plum/maroon jacket in the photo in the park? It’s so pretty!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Claire, thank you so much for your kind words. Means so much! It’s from Everlane, but just noticed they don’t have the plum color anymore: http://bit.ly/2fCwCzZ

      Thanks again!
      Stella x

  70. Stella, I believe I have found my spirit sister. I find it awesome and hilarious that another person would aspire to Bruce Springsteen’s fashion sense. The cover of Born in the USA has literally been a beacon of inspiration of mine for YEARS! I also am totally aligned with your beauty routine… mascara and brows and DONE! Looks like life in NY is great. I’m from IL, living in Seattle, and know the homesick feeling too. Best to you!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ahhh, Emily! You made my day. Thank you for writing. xxoxo

  71. There is something to be said about a woman who only recommends beauty products UNDER $60! Love it!

    • d. says...

      Amen!

  72. Emily says...

    My favorite beauty uniform to date!

  73. Katie Sullivan says...

    This line made me tear up: “…listening my little cousin Goldie practice her ukulele with her hamster on her shoulder, the more beautiful I feel. ” STELLA! What a great thing to be mindful about! Loved all of this & love this series! Thank you :)

    • Claire says...

      So lovely. That paragraph was so sweet.

  74. Bravo on the fire escape picture. Every Brooklynite lady should be introduced to the pleasures of “free outdoor happy hours.”

    Thanks for sharing!

  75. Jennifer says...

    I want a Beauty Uniform on Sara Storella! Anyone else?!

    • Emmanuella says...

      OKay… one, how did I miss this great house tour?! And two, she looks so glamorous, like a classic movie star. I would love to read a beauty uniform about her.

    • Nicole Brant says...

      I still really want one from Sarah Ali Pacha! I loved the article on her!

  76. Allison says...

    i love these posts – thank you for writing about all facets of beauty – not just the products, but the stories and comforts behind them.

    you look extra happy (&therefore beautiful!) in those photos with your boyfriend. kudos to you two for sticking it out through the distance in an era when instant gratification usually trumps romance.

    hugs!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Thank you so much, Allison! xoxoxo

  77. I’ve never heard of anyone using almond oil that way, I only hear about coconut oil it seems. Yes my mom always reminded me to drink more water!

  78. Sarah says...

    Whoa, I’m definitely feeling like the grass is greener on this one! So jealous of her hair, which is the exact opposite of mine. My hair is thin and gets greasy so fast- sometimes the same day I wash it. Dry shampoo does nothing for me. What I wouldn’t give to have it actually look better a few days in!

    • Jill Palumbo says...

      I agree! With all the posts about people washing their hair once or twice a week just blows me away! Sometimes I can go two days, but after that I wouldn’t step a foot in public. And my hair only looks good the first day and just so-so on the second (if it lasts that long). I also figure as I shower everyday, I might as well have clean hair too. But I am very jealous!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too!! mine gets SO greasy if i skip a day.

    • Kristin says...

      Sarah and Joanna-
      I find an ounce of grease prevention is worth a pound of cure. I finally realized if I apply dry shampoo immediately after blow drying the first day (the day you wash your hair), brush it through and blow dry a little more, my hair STAYS clean, doesn’t have a chance to get oily. This way on day two I completely avoid the otherwise totally greasy locks. (I have found most success with Blow Pro Faux Dry- I buy it on Amazon. ).
      Hope this helps someone!

  79. Jess says...

    This uniform is relevant to everyday broke college girls and I really appreciate that! My favorite beauty uniform yet!

  80. Agnes says...

    Oh, I can so relate to the Dancing in the Dark video being an inspiration! I am obsessed with it, too! And I actually think you do pull it off – the confident look!

  81. Rachel says...

    What a lovely overall beauty philosophy!

    Also – the confidence and physicality of Bruce Springsteen in that music video is amazing and inspiring. Thanks for introducing me to it!

  82. Kathryn says...

    Stella, you are just lovely. Would you mind sharing where you get your hair cut in Brooklyn? I have lived here 3 years and I still haven’t found a hair dresser I love. I think, or I’d like to think, we have similar hair and a new cut is long overdue over here!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Too kind, Kathryn, thank you! I love Kristen at Litte Axe and I recently got my hair thinned at Sara June.

    • Megan says...

      Kristen is the best! I moved away in September and never got a last appointment in. Still bummed!

  83. Kate says...

    Awesome! If Stella wants to do a post about her wardrobe next, I would be all for it. Every piece she is wearing in this post looks simple but spot on.

    • SG says...

      Seconded!

    • Amanda knick says...

      Agreed!

  84. Twyla says...

    I couldn’t help but think when looking at all your photos “Pre-eyebrow growing out” and “post-eyebrow growing out”… Seriously, your eyebrows look so good now! I also love that you use $2 Suave shampoo and $38 deodorant!

  85. heather says...

    Stella – Are you listening to the Bitch Sesh podcast with Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider? They do hilarious analyses of every episode of Real Housewives. I have never actually seen TRH, but I never miss a Bitch Sesh podcast. I swear you’ll soon be convinced you’re personal friends with Casey and Danielle – sort of like how all of us are convinced we’re friends with the COJ team?? My all time favorite is episode 23, “The Tipsying Point.” Highly recommend.

    And thank you for sharing your beauty uniform!

  86. Love this beauty uniform! She seems so laid back and relatable – taking care of herself but not putting too much emphasis on how she looks. I’ve also gotta try some of these products she mentioned – that mascara! That body oil! Saving this for future reference. ;)
    http://www.wonderlandsam.com

  87. Really enjoyed this Beauty Uniform! Stella’s style is so fresh and effortless. Must get more high-waisted jeans now!

  88. ka12 says...

    LOVE her beauty philosophy! And that so many of her recommendations are from the drugstore! So good.

  89. Liz says...

    You are so beautiful inside and out! Thank you for sharing!

  90. Really lovely and easy to relate to. I am also totally buying that French oil and possibly the deodorant – thanks for sharing, Stella!

  91. Michaela says...

    Hi Stella, I have really thick hair too. Every time I get a hair cut they take out a mountain of hair thinning it. I wish I could donate some of it to my best friend who has very thin hair. A quick tip: Nexxus conditioner has really helped smooth it out and decreased the dreaded poofy triangle look it has right after I wash it. I stole it from my husband and then became hooked. I even took it on our 6 week honeymoon to Patagonia. It worked great with any shampoo I used there. xoxo

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Ahhh, Michaela! This sounds like a game changer! I am going to CVS after work now :)

      Thank you!!

    • Sophia F. says...

      Michaela and Stella – I’m also in the thick hair boat (seriously, every stylist just fluffs it for a while and says ‘well, I have a lot to work with!”) and used to use Nexxus, which was great… but then I moved to Seattle and found that the cool humidity made my hair flat on top and huge on the bottom. Thanks to an Into the Gloss Top Shelf, I switched to Davines Love shampoo and conditioner, which is kind of pricey but I’ve been using the same bottle since January and I’m not even close to using it up. No more frizz, and I think if I had the time I could air dry my hair for the first time in, well, ever.

    • Emily says...

      Thank you! I’m also in the thick-hair-that-exhausts-stylists group. And I battle the triangle pouf literally everyday. Been looking for the right conditioner for years now!

    • Another thick-haired lady here — which type of Nexxus hair conditioner do you use? I’d do anything to combat my frizz! :)

  92. She’s so effortless!

  93. S says...

    Hi Stella,
    How did you go about making friends when you first moved to NYC? It can be hard in this city!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi S! Thank you for writing. It’s tricky. I moved in with my two best friends from Missouri, so in a way, I wasn’t completely forced to make new friends immediately. But since then, I have met so many great people from coffee shops, work events, my neighborhood, etc. I have noticed it’s easier to make friends when I am on my own and see someone else solo, too – I just have to take a deep breath (haha) and strike up a conversation. Social media makes it easy to keep in touch with the people I meet afterwards, too. I still have a lot to learn though.

  94. Katrina says...

    beautiful inside and out!

    where is the black dress in the black and white photo with her hair in a bun? lovely photo!

    • Sandra says...

      I bought this dress a while back based on another post and haven’t worn it yet so glad to see the not washing tip. So do you dry clean it?

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Two weeks ago, I accidentally washed/dried it on hot and it shrank! I should have known. I bet hand-washing is your best bet! Stella

    • Sarah says...

      Hi Stella!
      I love your style & your hair! You are so inspiring! Thanks for the info about the dress. I’m thinking it would be perfect for a work event. Before I place an order, I was wondering if you can wear a strapless bra with the low-cut back?

  95. nicole says...

    Loved this. You can tell everyone who works for your blog are all thinkers and deep, in addition to being cool ;)

  96. Lovely!!!

  97. Noelle says...

    I tried the Tatcha cleansing oil at the recommendation of another woman in this series and like Stella said, it’s the best and lasts forever. I used to have such a hard time convincing myself to wash my face at night (I know how awful it is to go to bed with makeup on but I’m always just. so. tired…) but this is so easy. It’s a one-stop shop. Now I never go to bed with a dirty face! I love this series and love Stella’s style. I also love the fragrance story!

  98. Those are some seriously cool high-waisted black pants in the photo where she is standing on the bed! Where are they from? I really like her style, it’s kind of what I aspire to but never seem to be able to pull off. Cool Beauty Uniform!

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      So, so sweet, Beatrix! Thank you! They are from Urban Outfitters: http://bit.ly/2f6wWXm

    • Thanks!!

  99. Hannah says...

    I love this–you’re so down-to-earth. I love that your go-to products are actually affordable. I also wear Si every day and think about that Girls quote each time I put on mascara ;)

  100. Katie says...

    Oh what I would give for thick hair!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i thought the same thing!!!

    • Emily says...

      It’s a grass is greener situation ladies! I have the thick hair and while there are pros (I never get a cold head in the winter! I can get away without washing it for 10 days!), I can’t do all the fun updo’s (too heavy), I can’t grow my hair too long (neck pain from when I wash it), etc. There are definitely times when I wish I had NORMAL hair so I could do more fun things with it.

    • Dee says...

      Theres a salon process called “hair relaxing” that helps tame thick hair, put baby hair in place and just makes hair generally smooth but still bouncy, even without blowdrying. It usually lasts 6mos. Ask your hairdresser about it. Just make sure they dont use hot flattening iron- hard lesson learned there.

  101. Nicky says...

    Love your beauty philosophy and the fact that you have a mix of both drugstore and higher-end products! Maroon/berry colored lipsticks always remind me of my mom. This may sound strange but whenever i’m feeling homesick, I take a trip to the drugstore (i’m from NY and they’re on every corner) and pick out a beauty find or a mask. Growing up, I loved perusing through the drugstore makeup aisles with her. Even now when we find something we like, we always share it with one another.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s so sweet, nicky.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Love that, Nicky. xoxoxo

  102. Stella – you are beautiful! Thanks for sharing. there is a small type – high-wasted should be waisted. yes I know spell check says differently, its wrong.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes thank you!!

    • Haha, “high-wasted” certainly has a different connotation :)

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hahaha

  103. Natalie Brennan says...

    Stella, you are gorgeous!! I’m inspired by all of this!

  104. Janet says...

    Thanks for sharing, Stella! I love the mix of drugstore products with a few luxury items thrown in. I always enjoy reading these Beauty Uniforms, but they usually make me spend too much money… or wonder how the heck other people can afford all the items listed. ;)

  105. Stella! I love your laid-back style. This is such a good series! :)

  106. Deepika says...

    Hi Stella! I love how we got a real sense of you from this Beauty Uniform- you give off a really sweet, cosy vibe. Do you have any recommendations for brownish red lipstick?

    • Jennifer says...

      She says in the post: “I have been using NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Moscow.”

  107. Mandy says...

    So what’s the holy grail of deodorants?! I must know.

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi Mandy! It’s Donna Karan’s ‘Cashmere Mist’ deodorant: http://bit.ly/1I0Biqf – and omg, it’s great.

  108. Carly says...

    This reads like a dream – I’ve very excited to smell Si.

  109. Sush says...

    Stella – I LOVE your booties and black dress in the first picture. Where did you get them?

    • Stella Blackmon says...

      Hi! So sweet – thank you! The booties were from Gap a couple of years ago and the dress was from Urban Outfitters!