My Beauty Uniform: Kendra Smoot

kendra smoot beauty uniform cupofjoProp stylist Kendra Smoot is one of my good friends—and also a huge style inspiration. Every time we hang out at the playground or have dinner, I come away inspired by a thin gold cuff she was wearing or the dark color of her living room walls or a short story she read or a documentary she saw. She just knows. So, when she agreed to do a beauty uniform, I jumped at the chance! Here, she explains how to get clear skin, why she wears men’s cologne, and the weird socks she swears by…

Kendra Smoot beauty uniform cupofjo-1

What’s your skincare routine?
I’m a drugstore-beauty kind of gal. I’ve tried expensive creams, but in the end they didn’t really seem to be the miracle cure I thought they’d be. I use Oil of Olay like my mom did—I love both the exfoliating cleansers and also the makeup-remover wipes when I’m short on time. (They’re also great for wiping down the sink when you’re done!)

Oh, and about a year ago I noticed the skin above my upper lip appeared to be darker—it’s a common condition caused by increased estrogen. I’ve been using Murad skin lightening serum morning and night, and it has really helped even out my skin color. Also, every once in a while I splurge on a good facial—I love Lifebooker for finding deals and good spa reviews for treatments like facials and waxes.

kendra smoot beauty uniform series cupofjo

How do you style and care for your (amazing) hair?
The beach is my happy place, so, for my daily routine, I basically just try to replicate the way my hair looks after spending a day at the ocean. I can usually go four to five days between washing my hair, as long as I use a dry shampoo in between; I love Klorane powder and apply it before going to bed. I usually only brush my hair right before I shower to get any tangles out. When I do wash my hair, I use Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Conditioning Treatment. While it’s still wet, I use Oribe Hair Style Cream to chill out the frizz. My girlfriend and hair stylist Reagan Baker showed me how to apply it—she rubs a dollop the size of a lima bean between her hands to warm it and then rubs it through my hair starting around my ears and working down to the ends. And then she lightly pats the top of my hair so the roots just get a little product. Because my hair is long and thick she does that three times! It lasts forever.

Overall I think the best thing I’ve done is finally found a hairstyle that looks good for me and is easy to maintain. I keep it long and a little wild and have the ends lightened.


Do you wear makeup?
Yes, pretty much every day. I use a Josie Maran concealer crayon (it’s smooth and easy to apply) to even out my skin tone and hide under-eye circles, and mascara (I like Dior). And I’ve recently started filling in my eyebrows—thanks to a recent beauty uniform post on Cup of Jo!

If I’m dressing up for a date or special occasion, I’ll add color to my lips and cheeks. For lips, I go for nude, pale pink or something with a little coral. (Brighter lipstick makes me look a little clown-ish!) I love NARS Multiples. I like the matte finish and that I can just smudge a little on my lips and cheeks and rub it all in. Lately I’ve been digging the NARS Multiple in Exumas.



What do you love about your look, whether or not it’s something “classically” beautiful?
It may sound weird, but I love that I look almost exactly like my older brother Tyler. Growing up people always joked that we were identical twins. It gave us a special bond.

When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel beautiful after a day in nature, whether it be a hike or day at the beach. I think that feeling comes from being fulfilled by the beauty in the outdoors, plus feeling the wind and sun.

kendra smoot cupofjo beauty uniform-1

Have you developed any travel beauty routines?
Whenever I fly, I drink big bottles of water and remember to use a face mist. And if I’ll be in the air for more than four hours, I swear by compression socks! I discovered them when I had to fly to my brother’s wedding late into my second pregnancy—I didn’t wear them, and by the time I got to my destination, my legs had swelled to twice their normal size! It was so uncomfortable. My doctor suggested I pick up a pair of compression socks and wear them on the red-eye flight home, and I could not believe what a difference it made. I had zero swelling but also tons of energy! I didn’t even feel like I needed a nap after flying all night.

Kendra Smoot beauty uniform interview cupofjo

Have you picked up any other beauty tips while traveling?
Once during a trip to Greece, I got too much sun, so back in my hotel room I slathered Greek yogurt all over my face and shoulders. It felt so cool and refreshing and when I washed it off I was positively glowing! It was like getting a facial. So now I still do this every summer. (If you want to try it yourself, just be sure you use full-fat yogurt.)


Do you have a signature scent?
I pretty much love anything my husband buys for himself—I’ve adopted many of his fragrances. We love the same kind of smoky, woodsy scents. My two favorites at the moment are Comme des Garçons Kyoto and Hermes Poivre Samarcandre.

Bath vs. shower?
I take showers during the week, but I try to carve out time for a long soak once a week, usually on Sunday evenings. I’ve been into these detoxifying baking soda baths: I add a cup of Epsom salts and a cup of baking soda and some essential oils into a hot bath. I think the trick is to stay in for about 30 to 40 minutes and to drink lots of water. Then when it’s time to rinse, I scrub my skin with a homemade paste of sugar and olive oil. It’s such a calm, peaceful way to end the week and something I really look forward to.

my beauty uniform kendra smoot interview cupofjo

Anything you’ve learned about beauty as a mother of two girls?
Yes, here’s a tip for those of you with little girls with wild hair: Invest in a Mason Pearson hairbrush! It used to be a huge struggle to brush my daughters’ hair but we’ve been using a Mason Pearson hair brush for a couple of years, and it is so much gentler and more effective than any other hair brush we’ve tried.

beauty series cupofjo interview uniform kendra smoot

beauty series uniform interview kendra smoot cupofjo

As a stylist, you’re obviously talented at creating beautiful moments. So I’m curious, do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
Yes! I hadn’t really thought about it until you asked. I think beauty is about contrast—that things shouldn’t be too perfect. I’m “allergic” to things being too done-up, whether that be a room or a garden or my personal look.

Thank you so much, Kendra!

P.S. Posts styled by Kendra, including spring nail polish, bath toys and a NYC apartment tour. Plus, two more beauty uniforms: Courtney and Brooke.

(Photos courtesy of Kendra Smoot. Interview by Caroline Donofrio)

  1. JayJay says...

    Your tip about Murad skin lightening cream really put me on the right path! I had to take some time to write you a comment and let you know you saved me so much trouble.. this was really stressing me out and affecting my confidence. My skin discoloration from age marks are now I thing of the past!!! the product I used is different it’s this one I spent like a week researching products before I actually bit the bullet and place an order. I’m such a dork!

  2. LOVE Kendra!!! An amazing guru prop stylist, mother, and taste maker! So happy to have worked with her! Congrats Kendra, to you and your family!!!����

  3. There’s a beautiful simplicity about Kendra. She’s comfortable in her own skin and that is so evident from her warm words!

  4. She is stunning. And the ‘allergic to anything done up’ hit home with me. Completely feel the same way but have never been to express it as such. Great post!

  5. She seems so lovely!

  6. How does she look so calm all the time? two kids?!

  7. What I really want most is a pair of sandals JUST LIKE the gladiator ones she’s wearing in the Greece photo… I remember them from when the photo was first posted like 2 years ago! Or maybe I pinned it 2 years ago? Either way, I still pine for them. They are perfection. Can you tell us anything about them? Help find a similar pair? They are my unrequited shoe loves…

  8. She is so adorable! Love this post. Your blog is the best Joanna! It always makes me so happy!

  9. Lioness Woman’s Club an online lifestyle magazine covering diverse topics of women’s interests which include culture, health, beauty, business and so on. You can also take part in the discussion forums where you can virtually meet female entrepreneurs and communicate and introduce your business to them.

  10. Would Kendra share where she got her shoes… namely the tan and white oxfords and the gladiator sandals… thanks!

  11. Inspiring!! Thank you.
    Hanne M.

  12. Inspiring!! Thank you.
    Hanne M.

  13. Heads up to any women out there who are looking into products like the Murad one listed here. The active ingredient hydroquinone (the one purported to help fade melasma) is banned in Europe for safety reasons. Read more here:

  14. My Grandmother, Mother, and older sister have all used Oil of Olay for as long as I can remember! When my grandmother passed away at nearly 90 years old- her skin was still soft and beautiful with a natural glow! Plus the smell just makes me feel at home wherever I am!

    Love these beauty uniform posts!! Thanks so much!

  15. Where is Kendra’s blue head scarf from? Love it for tucking in my big ears. :)

  16. I also can’t wait to try the bath detox. Kendra seems super cool. You should interview rachel ball!

  17. i just loved this post; there was something about it really inspiring! thank you for posting it!!

  18. I absolutely love this series. I have ended up buying something that every one of these women has recommended. Have you ever considered bringing on Amazon as a sponsor? Seriously, I click over and order from them based on your recommendations constantly.

    Also excited that you featured Kendra – I have been admiring her style in your posts whenever she is pictured.

  19. I’m really loving this series – I’ve gotten something from each of them! I especially love that there is a focus on both inner and outer beauty. :)

  20. great tips! and that detox bath sounds wonderful. we have a claw foot tub in our apartment and a good soak is such a lovely way to end a stressful day.

  21. She is the epiphany of natural beauty – what every woman strives for! Thank you for sharing these stories – as a mother of one and another on the way, I am constantly looking for ways to enhance my natural self.

  22. I agree – I always love “Kendra” posts. She’s lovely and seems very down to earth. I like that she uses all ranges of products! I can’t wait to have my hairstylist show me how to *apply* product. It seems so intuitive, but they clearly have a special touch when it comes to frizz taming!

  23. Loved this one! Thanks :D

  24. I love this series. So inspiring. Thank you.

  25. I love this series Jo! It’s so inspiring. I’ve noticed a trend of “less is more” with these beautiful ladies and it’s definitely something that I am inspired by. It’s so peaceful to feel beautiful in your own skin and to indulge in a few really special beauty rituals. Keep them coming!

  26. Her routines are so much like mine! I feel like I’m doing something right haha.

    This series is my absolute favorite. Keep them coming!

  27. amazing scent choices- especially Kyoto- CDG scents are so good- I’m a big Avignon fan but it needs a light touch

  28. Love the post and your blog. A joy to read, thanks for all your positive inspirations.

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  30. I normally love this series and really like learning about real women, especially moms. I just wanted to point out that recommending a product with microbeads like the Olay Fresh Effects Foaming Cleanser is environmentally irresponsible. See this article in the Guardian, for example.

  31. Love this series of posts, off to re-read the others. Thank you for sharing such inspiring and thought provoking content. This little space you have is such a welcome retreat each morning as I browse my email and grip my coffee cup tightly!

    Amy x

  32. Natural beauty! I LOVE this new series, and actually said ‘yes’ when I saw that a new beauty uniform was posted, very welcome after a rather blah day. :) Your blog does that for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful. xx

  33. I just fell in love with her. Ha! No, but seriously, I love how down to earth she is! And I love her philosophy on beauty and life in general. Definitely one of the best beauty uniforms so far. (Loving this series, Jo!)

  34. I adore this series! I’ve gotten something out of them all. Thanks for sharing!

  35. I love the idea of beauty needing contrast. A little bit of imperfection is needed to create beautiful moments. Wise words!

  36. what a nice post to introduce your friend “she just knows..” sweet

  37. What a lovely lady. I really like that in all the pictures she seems so calm!

    And, I too will try the Murad trick. I’ve been looking for something to even out skin tone.

  38. Yogurt! Genius, I am totally trying that. I think she hit the nail right on the head about great hair being so much about the hair cut…….yet why is it so hard to find a great hair stylest!!!??? thanks for the post! xoxo Allyson

  39. She oooozes cool!

  40. I’ve been dealing with melasma on my upper lip for the last few years. I always feel like I’m the only and have to tell people I don’t have a mustache, just a skin condition. I’ve been trying a lightening cream recommended by the dermatologist but I’ll have to try your Murad suggestion. Thank you for your honesty!

  41. jm says...

    I love this beauty uniform series. Want to see yours, Joanna!

  42. PLEASE, be careful with the “detoxifying” bath. First of all, it’s a LIE, toxins are way too big to cross the celular membrane, so we don’t eliminate toxins from our skin.
    Second, sodium bicarbonate is a base and our skin pH is acid as a protection against many pathogens, if you neutralize it, you are exposing yourself to skin infections. It is even worst in the genital area, because it can lead to fungi or yeast infections.
    Ask your doctor before following any direction from a WEB PAGE.

    I’ve seen so many times the word “organic” in this blog and then you endorse things like this…

  43. The yogurt and detoxifying bath sounds very interesting. This is making me consider what my beauty uniform is.. Great post!

  44. Thanks for the Lifebooker love! Love your style and your beauty philosophy. We’d love to treat you and Jo to your next spa or beauty day—feel free to reach out at :)

  45. She is lovely! This may be my favorite beauty uniform so far. Funny coincidence – I just did a yogurt mask last night for the first time. I used plain, unflavored yogurt (doesn’t have to be Greek). I definitely noticed a difference… the lactic acid acts as an exfoliator.

  46. Fantastic and inspiring tips! Thanks xx

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  48. I love these tips! So inspiring and simple.

  49. I can barely make it more than a day without washing my hair (this is with dry shampoo!) Wish I could go longer.

  50. What a beauty! And she sounds lovely – I want to hurry home and try all of these tips.

  51. she is one gorgeous lady!

    that recipe for a sunday bath sounds divine! thank you for sharing that.

  52. Ooooh her hair!!! I dream someday I’ll have hair like that. Beautiful.

  53. I will be buying yogurt on my way home, thank you! and scheduling a detox bath for this weekend…

  54. I’ve been waiting for this for forever! I love Kendra’s laid back style (same goes for you too, Joanna!) :)

  55. Your friend is really pretty! Loved reading this interview, she sounds lovely.

  56. Simply gorgeous! I love the yogurt idea, too.

  57. Loved this post. I learned so many great tips and the photos are wonderful.
    xo Ali

  58. I’m a huge fan of the detox bath, though I typically can’t make myself stay in that long (tall girl, small tub). I love her hair tips too! Sending growing vibes to my own head of hair to get back to the long wavy tresses I used to have. Stupid impulsive hair chops.

  59. I’ve always admired Kendra’s beauty when you feature her here. Thanks for sharing your tips!

  60. I am definitely going to try that detox bath!! Sounds so relaxing and luxurious.