BrynWho I am and who I’ll be
I DON’T HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR MY YOUNGER SELF. NOT TO GET WOO-WOO, BUT I VERY MUCH BELIEVE THAT EVERY SINGLE EXPERIENCE WE HAVE LEADS YOU TO WHERE YOU NEED TO BE.
19/99 Talk us through your daily beauty routine, morning & night.
Bryn Kenny It’s been a minute since I’ve actually done my beauty routine. I have to start off by saying that I’ve been in the beauty industry a very long time and when you’ve been in it as long as I have you get to a point where what once was a really big routine becomes very simple. I got to a point of product over load; I started my career as a beauty editor so I spent most of my 20s trying every single product, then I worked for Dior and was constantly trying products. So by the time I hit my mid 30s and started my own business I was like ‘okay, let’s rethink what I am spending time on’. These days, it is very simple. I don’t always wash my face, sometimes with a bar of soap – which is terrible. Sometimes I will have a nice cleanser that I use in the shower. I bought Holifrog a few months ago, and it was really beautiful and then I just forgot to rebuy it, but I plan on buying it again. Cleanser is really just in the shower if I remember to do it. I am big on moisturizer because I have really dry skin. I use the Weleda Calendula Face Cream – it’s made for babies and is really well priced at about $12. It’s soothing, and is really good for redness. So I wash my face and moisturize – and that is pretty much it. I feel like I should be putting on an eye cream or a serum but I don’t really. I sometimes use Attola’s Hyaluronic Acid serum, which is really good, but I forget often. My main thing is a good cream for my dry skin.
For makeup if I am doing a foundation type thing, which isn’t often, I usually use Laura Mercier’s Illuminating Tinted Moisturizer which I really like. For concealer, if I need it, I use Glossier Stretch Concealer which is really light but still covers redness, isn’t drying at all and a bit dewy. Then I will do a little bit of blush – I’m really into creamy stick blushes right now and am using a Lip & Cheek one from Milk Makeup in Perk – it’s a pinky coral. More important than all of that stuff is I fill in my brows – I was a teenager in the 90s and like many teenagers in the 90s I really fucked up my brows. I went full Kate Moss and plucked them, I think I shaved them at one point. As a kid I had these really big full brows, and they have grown back now but I still have these weird sparse patches so I am really big on brow pencils. I love the brow pencil from Surratt, I don’t think I use any other brow pencil but theirs. Troy, the founder, is a makeup artist and he said that he based the formula on a Number 2 pencil, it is a bit chalk and not too creamy, so it is hard to go over board with it. The formula doesn’t really let you get there because it only deposits a tiny bit of pigment and it is enough. I like Boy Brow from Glossier, and Milk Makeup makes a brow mascara to set called Kush. For Mascara, I think the Dior Show mascara formula is great. Right now though, I am using a Cover Girl one that is like $8.00 and it works well. I’ve always felt like mascara is one of those products that you don’t really have to splurge on. I started off by saying my makeup routine is really simple and I’m naming off like 30 products…
I used to be an eyeshadow girl and I really don’t do that anymore and I don’t know why. I recently watched The Morning Show and every actor in that show has the most incredible eyeshadow; watching it made me want to start wearing eyeshadow again. We will see. So besides the mascara I do a black eyeliner – just inside the upper lid, so it is there but not too much. When I was working at Dior and was fancy everyday I would do an upper lid liner or cateye type thing everyday, and that was fun but it would kind of stress me out and I just don’t need anymore stress in my life. I retired that; every once and a while if I’m going out and getting fancy I will do a cateye. But putting the little bit underneath the lid is an easy way to add some definition. I use the Makeup Forever Aqua XL Waterproof eyeliner in Matte Black. I have one in every one of my bags. It is a creamy formula that sets well and lasts a long time. For lips I am still buying the Dior Lip Glow – it is a balm that changes to your lip colour. It feels like your lip colour with a little more umph to it. I love Dior’s glosses – right now I have their Lip Maximizer in my purse…it is a plumping balm. I have it in Raspberry that is super pink in the tube but it comes out really sheer. Once and a while I will do a red lip –my red lip I love the Surratt Automatique Lip Crayon – I can’t remember the shade right now…there are so many good reds in that collection. I think that is it.
19/99 How has your beauty routine changed over the years?
BK It changed in that it has become a lot simpler. Everything I just listed is if I have a lot of time to get ready, and I want to feel a bit fancy – either I’m getting ready for a big meeting or going out for dinner or whatever. But 90% of the time if I’m going from my apartment to work I’m doing a quick brow, moisturizing my skin, a little lip balm or gloss and maybe some mascara. And that is about all I have patience for these days. It may be because I was a beauty editor and then at Dior for 7 years and in both of those jobs there is a lot of pressure to look made up and very together and put a lot of effort into the way you look and after I got out of that I as like ‘ughhh I don’t have to do that anymore’ so now it is much more low maintenance
THERE ARE TOO MANY EXAMPLES OF WOMEN AND MEN WHO ARE DOING WHAT THEY’VE BEEN DOING; THEY ARE EVOLVING AS THEY GET OLDER, THEY STILL HAVE INCREDIBLE STYLE, THEY ARE STILL TAKING CARE OF THEMSELVES, AND NOW YOU JUST LOOK THE WAY YOU WANT TO LOOK
19/99 Do you feel pressure to look a certain way?
BK Just being a woman, of course. Everyone does feel pressure to look a certain way. My second answer is that I feel very lucky to have grown up the way I did. I grew up in a household where my parents both placed my value not in my weight or the way I looked or the boys I dated but in my grades, my friendships, working hard, being involved in life. There wasn’t really any time or room to ruminate on looks. And maybe that is kind of more male – I am one of two girls and my father especially never expected or encouraged me to be girly, I was encouraged to just be strong and accomplish things. So I never placed a ton of value on how I looked and my family didn’t either.
Going back to being a woman, regardless of the environment you grow up in, you still have to step out into society and that pressure starts early. I have a 3-year-old niece and I am really sensitive now about not putting any credence on her looks – you don’t really see that with little boys…it is more focused on what they are doing whereas with little girls it is more ‘you look so pretty’. We start it so young with a focus on how girls look. And I don’t know if it will ever go away, that is kind of a reality as a girl and as a woman so going back to feeling pressure to look a certain way – yeah, but I’ve always fought it, and I’ve always had the little voice which is society and conditioning that is saying “Don’t you wish you were a size two”, and I try to have a conversation with that voice and just say “Shut up, enough, no that’s not important”. It’s okay to say hi to her but to give it too much energy and time, I think a lot of people do that, and it is sad. I would rather have a conversation with someone about a book they read or politics or really cool TV shows, I don’t want to sit and talk about your diet or your exercise regime. I want to talk about and see what makes you you, and interesting and different. So I try to push that pressure away as much as possible.
19/99 Does the term age appropriate mean anything to you?
BK Am I allowed to curse?
19/99 Of course.
BK Fuck that!
I don’t think it means anything anymore, but it used to. It feels very out dated. I think it was out dated a long time ago, thank god, because that means we have made some progress. When I was 12 years old I remember my Grandmother looked a certain way. I’m going to be 41 in two weeks, so I grew up in the 80s and 90s and grandmother’s looked a certain way – they didn’t dye their hair, they went full on grandma and you did that when you were a certain age and you suddenly looked like an ‘elderly’ person. But now I think there are too many examples of women and men who are doing what they’ve been doing; they are evolving as they get older, they still have incredible style, they are still taking care of themselves, and now you just look the way you want to look and the way you feel comfortable and because of that everything had kind of gone out the window. The only area when age appropriate is still necessary is when you are a kid – when you are 11 years old you shouldn’t be dressing like a woman. But once you hit the grown up stage, there are too many examples of people who have defied that and it is nice to see.
19/99 If you could share advice with your younger self, what would it be?
BK I don’t have any advice for my younger self. Not to get woo-woo, but I very much believe that every single experience we have leads you to where you need to be, so I think that, hopefully, we all make mistakes, do things right and do things wrong, and end up going in different directions because of those choices and because those things happen to you. I don’t mean that in a PC way but there is nothing I really regret because who the hell knows what would have happen and I am really grateful for things I did ‘wrong’ because all of those experiences and choices made me who I am now and that is really all we have - is now. We are really learning that now in full pandemic – you can’t look back and you can’t really look forward you just have to be in this moment.
19/99 What makes you feel beautiful?
BK Laughing – guy or girl, if anyone can make me laugh those are my people. Being super sweaty after a long run, I always feel better after I’ve had exercise and I feel strong. Also there is something really powerful about a ritual, and taking that moment to look in the mirror and put some makeup on and take some extra care in getting ready, that makes me feel beautiful as well.
19/99 Is there anything that scares you about aging?
BK Not really. I consider myself lucky because I don’t feel that attached to the way I look. I mean I’m not going to sit here and say I don’t care about how I look but I don’t feel like something is slipping away. That to me feels like a trap and it is a trap that women feel way more than men and I don’t want to buy into it. If I am given the chance to get older, to be 80 or 90 something years old then how lucky am I?! To spend more than a second or two worrying about some wrinkles, sagging skin or gaining some weight when I am alive and healthy and able to experience things and learn and grow as long as possible just feels like a waste to me and ridiculous honestly.
19/99 Do you think there is appoint where we stop growing and learning?
BK God I hope not. It’s your choice at the end of the day and I think there are people who stop themselves from growing and learning for whatever reason, but I think it is equivalent to dying. I feel like, and maybe this is one thing I have learned as I’ve gotten older – when I was young I felt like I knew everything. When I got older I realized I know nothing, I don’t know shit, and I am here to learn as much as possible & please teach me. That is when you hit this point of curiosity, you become more curious; talk to more people, the more different the better as far as I’m concerned. I try to meet and speak to people who are different from me because I’m not going to learn as much from people who are exactly like me. I don’t’ think we ever stop growing and learning if we are present and we are engaged and trying.