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Who I am and who I’ll be
We have been big fans of designer Wendy Nichol since the moment we stepped into her perfect, jewel-box store in Soho, New York. She shares her holistic approach to beauty, including massage techniques, supplements, and most importantly, sleep.


19/99      Take us through your daily beauty routine, morning & night.

Wendy Nichol      The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is drink a glass of water, and take a Maca Root supplement. I have some warm water with lemon, and a cup of green tea, with two tea bags. I save the green tea bags and put them in the freezer. So every morning while I am drinking my green tea, I will take the two tea bags from the previous day and gently ice my face, all around my eyes. After that I will either go to the gym, if it is not a gym day I will hop into the shower. I usually do very light hair; blow out my bangs. I don’t spend a lot of time putting on makeup; I spend a lot more time applying product and massaging my skin. One thing I find really helpful, as you get older, is learning how to do massage and manipulation on the lower parts of your face. So I do a little acupressure massage video which helps to drain any puffiness under the eyes, helps to lift up your chin and neck - it takes about five minutes. I also use a jade roller – it smooth surfaces, drain sinuses, detoxifies. I spend a long time, about 20 minutes doing that routine. Then I take about 10 minutes to apply my make up. At this point, I am 47, I am pretty good at applying my make up. The base line of my skin care is Biologique Recherché, the P50 - if I have a break out it is the first thing I go to. It helps keep my skin free of acne. I try to not use it all the time, but honestly my skin is a lot better when I do use it all the time. I use the Placenta Serum under my eyes. Their product is so well tuned, but it is not inexpensive, so another less expensive, and still really good, is The Ordinary, which I have products from that I love. I recently started using Norma Kamali’s skincare line, which I really like as well.

For makeup I do mascara – I love Chantecaille for mascara. I love Cle De Peau for lining around my eyes; they had this really great oily dense black, kind of oily in between a pencil and an eyeshadow but they don't make it any more. I have used Bite on my cheeks forever, and I really like it. I love a good mouth – I think it is more about your mouth being really clean and your lips being hydrated and exfoliated. So I will use anything from a dumb lip balm to a Pat McGrath natural pencil to extenuate the natural shape of my lips, and plump of my lips. That is the extent of my makeup routine in the morning. Also I go to the gym and think that is an important part of my beauty routine. I get this natural glow and my skin looks a lot healthier after the gym.

At nighttime I do a little more intensive routine, in terms of my eyebrows I use this natural elixir with coffee in it. I buy it from Clover, on 6th Avenue, it is one of my beauty havens. Hair is a very important part of my beauty so at nighttime I will make sure I do 100 strokes with my bore bristle brush and a really good scalp massage so my hair and scalp are healthy. I put eye cream on at night time, which is one way to not wake up with puffy eyes. Although I am going to be honest at 47 years old, there are puffy eyes – that is pretty standard. I will usually put on some night cream, a light moisturizer, I don’t like to go too heavy because I like it to sink into my skin before I get into bed. The most important part of my beauty routine is acupressure, so before I go to bed every night, and it takes commitment and about half an hour, I do five pressure points. The five pressure points, they are Chinese Medicine related pressure points, detoxify you liver and gallbladder, they help with your heart and lungs. After I do these five points I feel my entire body get so sleepy and I go into a much deeper sleep than I normally would. When it comes to beauty I think sleep is 50% of it; I mean you can exercise and you can eat properly but you need to sleep and you need to sleep deep. So I think that is the most important part of my beauty routine: the acupressure and a deep sleep. Makeup is something you can just wipe off before going to bed. But putting red lipstick on makes you feel a certain way, and that is so empowering.


19/99      How has your beauty routine changed over the years?

WN      From the 20s; sleeping with everything on and waking up with a hangover and not having any beauty routine, other than that zit cream that you got at Shoppers Drugmart. In my 20s I had a different sort of budget for beauty, and spent more of it on makeup and less on skincare. As I’ve gotten older that’s shifted and I’ve tried more expensive product. I’ve been using Chantecaille mascara for a decade now; I used to use Maybelline mascara, and it is great mascara. But as I got older my eyes got sensitive, I started wearing glasses and I realized I needed a better product. As you grow up in makeup and beauty you manipulate your products to do the best for your skin. I think it is really exciting with a brand like 19/99 where you are trying to think about how people at different ages will use makeup because like I said it is empowering to use a product that is like $26.00, that is something that makes you feel really hot.

19/99      Do you use any specific anti-age products? And if yes, when did you start?

WN      I mean for anti-age products, I use food. I think green tea is an anti-age product, eating salmon four times a month is an anti-age maneuver, cutting sugar out of your diet is a really smart move. I think that exercising every day if you can is about anti-aging. I believe that anti-age is more about what you are putting in the body rather than on the body. 

19/99      Do you feel pressure to look a certain way?

WN      I interact a lot with people everyday. So I do feel like I need to come to work with my hair done, with makeup on. I want to look youthful, I want to feel powerful, to look my best. But I am the best person to decide what that is; I really think that beauty is up to you. And it is really exciting to explore all the ways to be beautiful. I will tell you one challenge I am having – my hair is turning white, and I really love how it looks white, but the moment you see white hair, you clock a person at 50. And my white hair is very pale, with my skin tone that is tricky, and as much as I love my white hair I struggle with that a little bit. But that is me deciding whether I want to have white hair, or whether I want to continue to go every five weeks and get my roots dyed. I am obsessed with hair health and I guess that is one pressure that I feel - what do I do with hair colour. I really love white hair, it can be so beautiful but I think that it is definitely a maker of age. 

19/99      Do you feel a deep attraction and desire to stay youthful?

WN      I feel a deep attraction to feeling young inside, I want my energy levels to be high. If my energy is high and I am a healthy human being it will show on the outside. I am 47 and I feel very in control of where I am at, but I don’t want to stay young. Because the thing about young is you just don’t know. You don’t have experience and the problem with that is you have to make mistakes to learn, and those mistakes are set backs in a way but they are really opportunities to learn. So when you are in your 20s and 30s you are learning a lot, and you have all of these moments of realizing that you can do a lot of stuff, and you are really powerful. That is how I felt after I had a baby; I knew I could start a business. The baby thing was a whole metamorphosis I went through and I realized I could withstand a lot. So it is really great to be 47 now, because I am much more self-assured, and the fact that my body is also 47 is okay. I don’t look the same way I did when I was 30 but I have all this information, experience and more confidence and that in it self can be super sexy.

19/99      Does the term age appropriate mean anything to you?

WN      Ugh the age appropriate stuff is such bullshit. I mean okay, if you are 8 years old, do not go see a Friday the 13th movie, age appropriate yes. But when you are an adult and you decide that you want to go to a club dressed how ever and you are 65 years old, yes. Do what you feel, do what you feel is right. I wish there were more people embracing life, just going out and celebrating. Don’t go out to offend people, if people get offended they can always unfollow or look the other way. I don’t think age appropriate has anything to do with how a person should act as an adult. You have to set a good example for the people around you. You shouldn’t go out into the world and cause chaos and hatred – that is wrong. But age appropriate is being your vibrant self, whatever that means.

19/99      If you could share advice with your younger self, what would it be?

WN      Work on confidence, whatever you need to do, you need to work on confidence. If you need to read more, or take piano lessons, whatever you need to do to get confident, work on that because that will get you far.

19/99      What makes you feel beautiful?

WN      Taking some time for myself, getting ready, getting dressed, putting my makeup on the exact way I want to, and going out for an amazing night. That feels beautiful. There are other things, like someone giving me a compliment, that can make me feel beautiful. I think taking care, and we don’t always have time to take care, especially if we are running our own businesses. In the first nine years of my business there were points where I felt like I was physically going to die. For some people it might not be worth it but for me it was. It was painful, and it was hard and for me to come out of that and have enough money and have enough success to be like ‘alright, now I am going to feed myself, I am going to go to the gym, I am going to sleep, I am going to do my beauty’. That was at the end of ten years of having my business.

19/99      Is there anything that scares you about aging?

WN      I think the scariest thing about aging is avoidance, not addressing your health. Your doctor is great, but your doctor is not in charge of your body, you are. The scary part about getting older is you can’t just throw your hope into the medical system; you are the investigator of anything that goes wrong in your body. And maybe it is nothing and you just need to go to yoga, but I am so passionate about being so in tune with yourself. I think that is the way to grow old.

19/99      Is there a point where you think we stop learning and growing?

WN      That is all up to you. The only way to stay alive is to stay engaged, so you can stop learning but that is because you wanted to. 

Follow Wendy at @wendynichol



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