Friday, April 12, 2024

Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, Founder, Chillhouse

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Chillhouse started off as a modern day spa concept in the Lower East Side, and over COVID, we launched a line of CPG products—from press-on nails to body care—to help people find their chill. My husband, Adam, is my COO, but he is also a partner of Garrett Group, the hospitality group that owns and operates four bars in Manhattan—Bandits, The Garrett West, Borrachito, and Rocco’s, and another Borrachito in Boston. I’m not involved in the day-to-day of those businesses, but I’m a small partner, so I’m the First Lady, we like to say.

We live in Miami full-time now. We keep a little place in New York, but we made the decision to make Miami our home base over the summer. It’s been great. We have two kids—I just had a baby—and we did the parenting thing in Manhattan with Hendrix, our three year old, but having places to go outside became really important to us. We miss New York, but it’s calmer here. We’ve begun to love it, and we’re committed for the long haul.

If I’m in New York, I like to start my nights out early. The first stop is always Bandit’s because it used to be on the way home from the office. Our night out restaurant was Raoul’s. When we’re feeling a little naughty and we’re going to have that second or third martini that we’ll regret the next day, we always end up there. That’s where we would probably end the night, but if we’re feeling frisky and want a nightcap, maybe we’d go to The Ear Inn on the way home. Lately, I’ve been on a spicy, skinny mezcal margarita kick, but I don’t feel like that’s always appropriate in New York settings. My husband is a big martini person—he drinks vespers—and I like mezcal on the rocks.

In Miami, people definitely go out a lot later, which works out for us because we like to go out early to get home at a reasonable hour. There are a lot of clubs and a lot of entertainment. The places are all very grand, but they’re not where I go at all. I wouldn’t say that there are a lot of places where we as grown adults want to hang out for two drinks before heading to dinner. We live on the beach, so we’ve been hanging out at hotel bars around here instead. I’m a member of The Standard in Miami Beach. Their Monterrey Bar is a cute, classy spot.

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Our dinner spot in Miami depends on our mood. South of Fifth tends to have the bigger, fancier grownup restaurants, but they’re a splurge, so we don’t always go in that direction. Otherwise, we love Mandolin in the Design District. We really love Branja, which is in a cute outdoor shopping mall called Upper Buena Vista. Macchialina is also in our rotation. It’s a great Italian spot that’s on the beach. If we’re having a nice date night, we’ll go up to Surfside or Bal Harbor. Both areas have really nice restaurants. Makoto is one of our favorites.

I hate to say it because I’m a New Yorker, but I think Pastis Miami is one of the best restaurants here. It was one of those spaces that Miami people, I think, really needed. It has all of the charm of the original. It almost has the exact layout of the original Pastis. The menu is slightly different than the one in New York, but I find it more exciting. Overall, I like the experience better. I’ve heard a lot of people say that too; it’s not just me.

SKINCARE

First things first, I always need to rinse off the day before going out for the night. I discovered the SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Wash at a drugstore while I was traveling. It’s since become a mainstay in my house. I like to do a quick scrub too—I love our Under the Sea scrub. Depending on how I’m feeling, I’ll either use the Osea Undaria Collagen Body Lotion or our Have A Chill Day Body Oil. The lotion is a bit thicker, and I don’t always want something heavy on my skin. Our body oil also comes in a spray bottle, which really allows for the oil to spread out. It’s just light overall, down to the scent, which is a little citrus-y.

I keep a couple of face washes in the shower. Right now I’m obsessed with the U Beauty Skin Conditioning Wash. It’s a little more moisturizing than your typical face cleanser, and it requires a very light rinse. To take off my makeup at the end of the night, I keep the Dermalogica PreCleanse Balm, along with the Dermalogica Microfoliant, on my sink.

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Once I’m out of the shower, I use our Steam Room body mist as my toner. I’m always mixing it up when it comes to serums, but right now, I’m leaving the Caudalíe Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I like that it feels creamy, and I’ve definitely noticed my skin is brighter since I started using it.

I love a face tool, and I think our Chill Globes are great at night for tightening and snatching your face. They’re made out of stainless steel. We used to have glass ones, but people would maybe leave them in the fridge for too long and a couple of people said that they broke. Glass just wasn’t ideal.

Since it’s late at night, I don’t need to wear SPF, so I just go for the La Mer Moisturizing Soft Cream and Eye Concentrate instead. I also love the Meaningful Beauty neck and décolleté cream. It’s from Cindy Crawford’s skincare line, which uses melon antioxidants. All of the products I’ve tried from the brand are really lovely and light on the skin—nothing ever feels like it’s weighing me down—but I think the neck treatment is the best. I see an immediate difference with it—my skin looks tighter and my wrinkles are a little bit more diminished.

MAKEUP

In Miami—versus New York—I definitely like for my makeup to be a little peachier. I also wouldn’t add as much bronzer in New York.

I start with the One/Size Secure the Blur primer. I have so many One/Size products now. It’s a great line, especially for going out. The Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r is my favorite foundation—I use shade 290—but I’ve been mixing foundations recently. I just got the Westman Atelier Vital Skin Foundation Stick in Atelier X which I layer on top of the Fenty Beauty if I want slightly heavier coverage. I like to use the Merit Clean Foundation & Concealer Stick in Khaki under my eyes to cover any hyperpigmentation, in the corners of my nose, and around my lips.

I love the One/Size Cheek Clapper Palette in Rich Betch to bronze. It’s a trio of colors, two powders and one cream. I use a mix of the powders. I like to layer the Rose Inc Cheek & Lip Color in Daylily because it’s very soft and I want it to look like I have different dimensions happening on my face. But then I like a little pop of pink or peach on my cheeks, and for that, my go-to is NARS Blush in Orgasm. It’s the OG, especially for a night out because it has a little shimmer. It’s absolutely perfect.

After my blush, I start to set my makeup with the Rare Beauty setting powder. It’s super light. I’ve been using it in the same way that people use their powders to contour a little bit.

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I love Sania’s Brow Bar pencil in Medium. I went to the studio once, and Sania Vucetaj, the founder, had some great tips. I used to wax my brows and have since had a hard time growing them back. Sania said that the reason they’re not growing is because we put so much skincare over our brows, so we’re not letting the hair follicles breathe. The other thing that changed the game for me—and I’ve actually been seeing a difference—is not using brow gels. My brow hairs are a little wonky, but she insists we should just brush them.

The Necessary Eyeshadow Palette in Warm Nude from Ilia is great. The colors are really nice for the daytime, but it has a couple of shimmers that you can layer on at night. I love Lineup, the dark brown shade, as my base. Makeup by Mario’s Master Crystal Reflector in Quartz is a highlighter, but I like to use it mostly on my eyes. It’s super pretty. To actually highlight, I use Fenty Beauty’s Diamond Bomb in How Many Carats?!

The One/Size Point Made eyeliner pen in Bodacious Black is by far the best eyeliner—believe me, I’ve tried them all. One/Size’s glides really well, and it hasn’t dried out on me, which I feel like a lot do. But I’ve had a hard time with mascaras recently. For some reason, my eyelashes are all over the place and none of the mascaras that I’ve been wearing lately have been able to tame them. I tried Westman Atelier’s Eye Want You mascara, and it was really nice but also very light. It’s not a nighttime option for me. For an evening where you want your eyelashes to really pop, I’d go with Lancôme’s Monsieur Big mascara. You have to be patient with it and do a lot of layers, but it does the trick. Honestly, I’ve been looking into false eyelashes because I’ve been so frustrated with the mascara process.

Lately, I’ve been using Pat McGrath’s PermaGel lip pencil in Divine Rose. I love a rosy lip—that’s my everyday. That pencil is super soft and doesn’t cake. Violette_FR’s Bisou Balm in Bêtise is so beautiful. It’s a good layerable lipstick. I top it off with Tower 28’s Lip Jelly in Pistachio. It’s my favorite gloss. Ami Colé’s Lip Treatment Oil in Smitten, a bright pink, is good, too.

To set everything, I use One/Size’s On ‘Til Dawn setting spray. It looks like an aerosol can, and it’s very satisfying to spray it on your face.

HAIR

I am terrible with my hair. I’ve tried to get better over time, but I’m just so lazy with it. Especially when I’m going out at night, it’s too long of a process to take a shower, wash my hair, and get ready. I generally just take a hot tool to my dirty hair and curl a few pieces—the Drybar Tress Press straightening iron is good for both curling or flattening. That’s usually the extent of it. If anything, maybe I’ll add a little Crown Affair hair oil to give it some shine and some OUAI Texturizing hair spray for a quick fix of sorts.

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NAILS

Our Chillhouse Tipsy Tinsel press-on nails are perfect for the day and going out. The base is pearly, but then they have a chrome wave across for the perfect little bit of sparkle. They’re my go-to for the nighttime. We launched our press-ons in mid-2020, which was very early in the press-on wave. It’s getting crazier and more crowded for sure. This year, we’ll be heavily diversifying our Chill Tips assortment, adding different lengths, shapes, textures, colors, and designs. I don’t ever want to just give you a red nail; everything has to have that Chillhouse twist.

FRAGRANCE

While I’m getting ready, I like to burn our Meet Me in the Lobby candle. It’s literally designed to smell like a sexy hotel lobby so it’s perfect for getting ready at night because it gets you in the mood. It has white amber, musk, and oud.

Diptyque has a lot of scents that I love, but I went to their store recently to buy a home fragrance and walked out with L’Eau Papier. The girl at the register said to me, ‘This is the best scent ever. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s amazing.’ I spritzed myself and fell in love. It’s so intoxicating, maybe because it has white musk and blond wood accords. It reminds me of another perfume that I bought in France, but I feel like I could actually wear this one during the day, too because it’s not as rich and heavy.”

—As told to Daise Bedolla

Photographed by Julian Cousins in Miami on December 29, 2023

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