“I grew up in Brownsville, Texas, a border town, and I wanted to be in fashion very early on. My parents didn't discourage me, but they definitely encouraged me to do something else. I went to college in Illinois and there was no strategy for that – I didn't even go to campus. And I was nice, but it's not exactly the place for fashion. A year later I went to FIT to take various courses and finally got an internship with Cynthia Rowley. I went back to school and combined the last two years of training into one, hurried back to New York and got a job as their proper buyer. Most people went around 6 p.m. every day, but then I went into the design room. I would say to Cynthia, "I'm done with my trim purchase, how else can I help?" And finally I became more integral to the organization.
I met Rebecca Taylor when I worked at Cynthia Rowley, and finally we went together to start a new brand. I played a role as CEO of Rebecca Taylor, and eventually it started to use energy in other areas of my life. A good example of this is that I pulled my hair back almost every day – I tried to look composed. When I think about it now, I ask myself: did I try to look together because I didn't feel together? So I left in 2015 to found Foundrae, which was an unfolding of who I really was.
I was so used to creating decks for private equity people at Rebecca Taylor, so I made myself a deck about Foundrae's creative vision and intent. I had the symbols from the beginning. And then I knew the aesthetics I wanted, which was definitely more Victorian and handicrafts. I like layering because I think this is a metaphor for how complex and complex we are as humans. All medallions should be equally important, which means they had to be shown, so we started with extension clips. All of this really defined Foundrae's aesthetics, and the rest was trial and error – we went back and forth on 42nd Street until we found jewelers who could do the kind of work we wanted to do.
Jewelry has always defined my style – I always felt like defining moments that would either start or end with jewelry. As if I had a snake ring in high school that I wore every day. On my last day of school, my snake ring broke in half from behind and I really felt like a symbol of the end of an era. I had a friend with whom I lost a piece of jewelry that he had given me shortly before we split up. I always feel that these things are symbols. But I never had a budget to get really great pieces.
Jewelry has always defined my style.
I grew up a silver person, definitely because I lived on the border with Mexico, but also because it was cheaper. And then I bought a lot of antiques and started mixing gold and silver. Mixing metals must intentionally feel. I'm still crazy about eBay and vintage shopping. You can get very similar looking chains to the ones I wear that are Victorian watch pendants. The difference is that they are nine carats or hollow, so they don't have the weight, but visually they are really great.
I started going to the Rescue Spa and it was so helpful to me that I can't even tell you. I am concerned with dryness because I am getting older and redness. And immediately my beautician Alina said to me: "You wash your face with hot water, don't you?" I did it! That was what caused me more redness. Now I'm using the Biologique Lait EV soap with cold water. Then I use P50 1970 V and since I started I have had no problems with bugs. I am really a good rule-maker, so I use it twice a day. Then I applied this Amniotique serum, which I think neutralizes the acid. It makes my face stop tingling. It's funny, sometimes they give me samples of different serums, and the other day I put one on without really looking at them. My daughter is very sensitive to smell and said: "Wow! You stink! “I went to check what it was called and what it was called placenta. Maybe that's … literal? [Laughs] I also have the elastins, but I usually stay with the Amniotique. In the morning I follow with the MSR H cream and in the evening with the Verte Espoir cream. I love how it smells of oatmeal – I feel very calm and cared for.
When you wear so much jewelry, you can't really do a lot of hair and makeup without being over the top. I only ever make a very bold eyeliner, chapstick and coverup. Every time I do my make-up professionally, they say to me: "I'll pick up on your idea of eyeliner, but I'll make it less hard and soften it, and I'll give you just a little color on yours lips. “And they always blush me and I look so much better. [Laughs] Seriously, when I put on my make-up, everyone always tells me how good I look. But I will hear that I should soften my eyeliner and the next day I am on the thick line again. Maybe I should have more color or be softer, but I'm just like that. So today I deliberately made my makeup exactly as I wear it every day.
I get the most creative with my eyeliner color. I am not loyal at all. Every few months I go to Sephora and look for colors that look interesting. I am currently wearing a Sephora Purple eye pencil. I like this Lab To Beauty lip balm that contains CBD and kind of tingles on your lips. Then I define my eyebrows because my hair turns gray without disappearing. I use Glossier Boy Brow in brown and an hourglass brow pencil, but I'm not loyal to it either. Where I'm really loyal is RMS Un Cover-Up Concealer. Romy told me to get it and she was right. It really helps me. I always put it around my nose and everywhere else there is a red mark.
Maybe I should have more color or be softer, but I'm just like that.
I've fought my natural texture all my life. I just wanted smoother, more controlled hair that looked like I had brushed it. But I don't have that hair. Now I just did it and found that it works better for me. I wash my hair once a week and brush it just before taking a shower so that I can easily get the conditioner through. This is the only time that I brush it. I shower in the morning because I think my hair is best when I leave the house wet. Then I will wear it like this on the second, third and fourth days, but a little tighter on the fourth day because it needs some control. Then I use a styling wax like Bumble and Bumble Sumotech at the very front. On the fifth day, I'll either put it in a bun or ponytail – I have a million goody hair ties because they always go away. Then I start over. This is day two hair.
Sometimes I make a hair mask. I'm not good at actually using it, but I probably really need to. I have Marie Robinson's hair dye and cut, and the Christophe Robin Prickly Pear mask is something my stylist kindly suggested to me the other day – when people try to help you, I should listen. I like it, but when I'm empty, I probably only get something from the drugstore. Since I leaned into my natural texture, styling cream has become critical. I swear by this Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream and will scratch it wet in my hair. It doesn't make my hair look crispy, but it separates it.
People would probably think that my nails make up a large part of my style, but they definitely weren't before I started making jewelry. I would never have my nails painted – they would always be bare and short. But then I started wearing lots of foundrae rings and I felt like it was almost disrespectful for other people not to have my nails done. Or it seemed like they expected me to. I had to think of a way to paint it that felt authentic to me. So I did that. I don't have a base for them to grow out and it doesn't matter, and then I symbolized them with these Sally Hansen I Heart Nail Art nail pens. You sell them at Target in all different colors. Sometimes I just do a single line – that's it. On other days I make a point and a point. One time a model came to the set when we shot rings and their nails were a mess. I had her take off all of her nail polish and I put little dots on her nails – I didn't even do all 10, maybe two on one and one on the other. It looked really good. I think it only makes my nails look on purpose.
I started wearing a lot of foundrae rings and I felt like it was almost disrespectful for other people not to have my nails done.
CANDLES + SCENT
I get candles everywhere and they are like a beauty practice to me. I usually have incense and maybe light a piece of wood. The candles change, but I always like nice matches. These are from HomArt – I just got them from Amazon.
It is so unlike me to buy a random perfume. I am not informed about perfume and sometimes I get something that I really don't like. I bought this Hermès when I was out with my husband one day and right now it smelled good or I thought it smelled good. Then I took it home and said, "Who am I?" I do not like it at all. My kids gave me Chanel Gardenia, what I would say is not really my smell. It is too strong for me. But I have three perfumes that I actually wear. I have been wearing Chanel Mademoiselle for about 10 years and have not worn it that often lately. I love Byredos Rose of No Man's Land. And I like this new one, Marfa from Memo, a lot – that's what I use all the time now. I want to say that they smell sensual to me somehow, but I'd like to know from someone who knows what he's talking about, what the three have in common. "
– as ITG said
TLDR? Buy Beth's top 5 products on their top shelf:
Beth Bugdaycay photographed by Alexandra Genova in New York on February 20, 2020.