For this week’s beauty uniform, we talked to the lovely Holiday Kumar, who runs the ice-cream company OddFellows and lives in Manhattan with her husband and twins. Here, she shares her funny shower ritual, pick-me-up underwear and the book that changed her life…
How did OddFellows come about?
When I was pregnant with my twins, I was craving ice cream—specifically savory ice cream—and I couldn’t find anything I liked at the grocery store. One night my husband was talking to our friend Sam (a pastry chef) and mentioned my search. So Sam made a pint of pretzel ice cream and brought it over one night. I devoured it instantly! We were like, “We should sell this stuff.” The birth of my twins coincided with the birth of our first ice cream store.
Has there been anything surprising about running a business?
Everyone is like, “Oh! You run your own business, that’s so cool. You make your own hours, you make your own decisions.” But there are times when I wish I had a 9-to-5 job, so there would be time set aside to relax. We’re waiting for that time when we can step back a little, but we’re in our second year of business so it’s still busy! Neither my husband nor I had any experience in the food industry. We’re first-time business owners, so we had to make a bunch of mistakes and learn from them.
What makeup do you wear?
I bring color to my cheeks with blush, usually NARS Orgasm, then go with a peachy lipstick. I love Chanel Rouge Allure in Conquise, it’s like sunshine on my lips. Right now I’m using CoverGirl LashBlast Volume mascara, which really does give my lashes volume. When I’m going out, I’ll wear a light foundation with SPF and some concealer—my favorites are Bobbi Brown tinted moisturizer and Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage. I like those brands because they offer a variety of colors for different skin tones. I’ll line my eyes with Almay Liquid Liner and wear a classic red lipstick, like Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate.
Do you have any secret little tricks that make you feel great?
Wearing beautiful underwear is always a pick-me-up. I love love love Thinx Underwear—their undies are cute and also comfortable for that time of the month when you’re feeling a bit more self-conscious. Also, I’m all for supporting companies that give back to the community, and every pair of Thinx you buy helps a girl in the developing world stay in school by providing her with reusable cloth pads.
What’s your nighttime routine?
After spending the whole day with kids and work, I’ve found that reading before bed is my “me time.” Right now I’m reading the older book Fear of Flying, but I always have four or five books on rotation. For beauty, I use Avene lotion to remove my makeup. Then I cleanse my face with a homemade scrub (a mix of almond meal, dry milk and a pinch of unrefined sugar). While my skin is wet, I mix a homemade essential oil concoction with Pratima Vitamin C Serum and massage that on my face. I finish with Sundari Omega 3 and Amalaki night cream.
How do you learn to make skincare products at home?
The book Absolute Beauty changed my life. I learned to view beauty products not as cosmetics, but as food. Even though we eat to get most of our nutrition, our skin is our largest organ and also “eats” what you feed it.
What’s your stance on bath vs. shower?
With two toddlers and two shops, I’m always strapped for time. So I follow my little ones’ lead. If they want to take a bath, I bathe with them. If they want to shower, we all take a shower! In the bath, they play with these wooden boats I found on Etsy. But they’re really into showers because it seems like a more adult thing to do. They love the salt scrub I’m using right now. Afterward I slather on some sweet almond oil instead of skin lotion.
How do you take care of your hair?
To be honest, I’ve never learned how to style it, so I just leave it down or tie it up in a ponytail. I only wash my hair every few days, otherwise it gets dry. For moisture, I put argan oil on the ends.
Do you eat any foods that make you feel great?
I love Ayurvedic cooking. My husband is Indian and I was looking into how to make Indian foods. When I was pregnant, I took an Ayurvedic cooking class in the East Village, called Bhagavat Life. Ayurveda teaches that, depending on your disposition, there are foods that help balance you. It changed my whole approach.
Do you have an overall beauty philosophy?
I try to open my mind and heart to new things and new experiences. Before I became a mother, I didn’t take good care of myself. My priorities have shifted—now I’m a lot more concerned with nurturing myself and my family. I feel like I live in my own skin. To me, that is beautiful.
Thank you so much, Holiday!