Saturday, July 13, 2024

Part II: Dianna Cohen, Founder, Crown Affair

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Dianna is a DTC powerhouse. Read how she got her start in Part I first.

Back now? OK let’s get to Part II, The Top Shelf!

“My mom was the one who really taught me about self-care rituals and taking a more holistic approach to beauty. That’s very embedded in everything that I do today.

SKINCARE

I cleanse with the SkinCeuticals Purifying Cleanser, which, to me, is like adult CeraVe. It’s just a little bit better, a little bit more luxurious, but it doesn’t overstrip my skin.

After that, I am the weirdo that actually gua-shas twice a day for three minutes. The Oak Essentials Ritual Oil and Pause Well Aging Fascia Stimulating Tool are my everything. The oil has blue tansy in it—it’s the only oil that my skin soaks up and won’t break me out—and the fascia tool is made out of medical-grade, FDA-approved stainless steel. I started to see results six months in with these tools.

Meanwhile, the Drunk Elephant Protini Polypeptide Cream is my ‘nothing moisturizer;’ It won’t irritate me; it won’t make me itch; it fully dissolves into the skin. It also looks great under makeup. But if I’m having a no-makeup day and I want a really nice moisturizer on, I love the La Prairie White Caviar Crème. It smells kind of floral, and when I wear it, my husband always tells me that I smell good.

In the morning, I want glowiness and hydration, and I feel very glowy when I use Tata Harper’s Rejuvenating Serum and Illuminating Eye Cream. At night, I want my products to do the work. That’s where Dieux comes in. I’m the biggest fan of the Deliverance Serum. It has helped so much with my redness and rosacea. I love their Auracle Eye Gel for nighttime, too. And for special occasions, the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels are the best eye patches.

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There are a few face masks that I love. The Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask has a jam-like consistency and I use it at least once a week. It tightens your face, and when you rinse it off, you look glowy and bright. It also goes on clear, and it’s easy to wash off. The Agent Nateur Holi (Bright) Resurface Glass Face Mask is similar in this way. You can throw it on and move through the world.

One mask that is not easy to use but a holy-grail is Biologique Recherche’s Masque Vivant. My husband calls it the ‘cheese mask’ because it’s very pungent and brown and requires a lot of washing off. It really does feel like putting cheese fondue on your face. I actually have to plan using it around my hair wash days because if it gets in my hairline at all, the scent really lingers—but it’s unbelievable.

Every night, I use Bioderma’s Micellar Water to take off my makeup. And I have to be honest: I’m not the most loyal to face sprays, but I’ve been liking Tower 28’s SOS Spray. I use it when I’m at home and I feel like my skin could use an extra boost of hydration.

In terms of pimple patches, Hero Cosmetics’ Invisible+ Mighty Patches are an essential part of my life—I go through a box a month. And every night that I’m home I try to do blue light with the LED Esthetics Mask & Glow 7.0, which is good for acne. I also just got the HigherDOSE Red Light Face Mask, which uses red light for anti-aging. I definitely notice a difference when I use these consistently.

Each of the sunscreens in my assortment has a bit of a different purpose. The Dune Bod Guard has become my favorite body sunscreen. I’m obsessed with the texture—it’s not heavy or sticky. And I know aerosols aren’t great for you, but I love the Soleil Toujours Clean Conscious Body SPF 50 Sunscreen Mist if I’m at the beach.

Sometimes sunscreen bottles are messy or the caps pop off, but the packaging on Dr. Loretta’s Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 is great. And the slip on the Mara Algae + Zinc Sea Kale Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 is so delicious. To be honest, I haven’t used it consistently enough to be like, ‘Wow, I see the skincare benefits,’ but I love the application and the texture; it has this milky feel to it. I love the Hero Cosmetics Superlight Sunscreen SPF 30, too. I know that it won’t make me break out since the brand is acne-first.

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I don’t do Botox or fillers. I feel like Laurel Pantin said this, and I wholly believe it: Taking care of your face is kind of like waiting for an old car to get cool. There might be awkward years if you have a car from the 2000s, but then 20 years later you’re like, ‘Wait, this car’s amazing.’ You just have to sit on your hands and wait. I’m sure one day I’ll do more, but in the meantime, I’m focused on facials and lasers to make my skin look the best it possibly can.

For facials in Miami I go to Skincare by Amy Peterson and see Grace—she is unbelievable. We do a Hydrafacial with extractions. I ended up going to Amy herself for Fraxel to address discoloration and acne scars. My goal is to get that once a year. And in my dream world, I’m getting microcurrent facials every day. I found Jill Black in Miami, and oh my God, she lifts your face off the floor.

HAIR

I wash my hair every three days, on average. I, of course, use Crown Affair. The Ritual Conditioner and The Ritual Shampoo are what I try to do with my skincare, which is to find a luxurious version of CeraVe that works. They’re just very basic essentials. On non-wash days, The Dry Shampoo is my holy grail. It leaves your hair fresh, fluffy, silky, and voluminous, and it doesn’t leave your hair gritty or with a white cast.

My hair gets very tangly, so I always say, ‘ABC,’ always be combing. [Laughs] That’s why I carry The Comb No. 001 in my little purse. And I am a firm believer that if you can brush your hair, you need a good brush. Brushing for health as a concept, I think, has been lost, and it really matters. You want to move the natural, healthy oils from your scalp down to your strands. My secret is that I’ll brush my dry hair at night and put a little dry shampoo in and, when I wake up, it looks exactly the way that I want it to. Of course, for Crown Affair, it all started with The Brush No. 001 and No. 002. No. 001 is your classic nylon and boar bristle brush, and No. 002 is a wood-pin brush that feels like a little scalp massage.

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The Cleansing Scrub is the most delicious, fluffy scalp scrub that you could use as a shampoo alternative. I use it at least once a week and pair it with our Renewal Mask, which is the product that got Gwyneth Paltrow addicted to the brand and to invest in it. And the Innersense Detox Hair Mask is really, really good for curls. I use it in the shower twice a month, max.

The Oil is the first product we made at Crown Affair, and a little bit goes a long way. I have fine hair, so I use it on wet hair after the shower. So many hair oils I tried before left my hair really greasy. The tsubaki seed oil in ours is just so elegant and weightless.

I might be as bold to say that the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray is one of the most iconic beauty products of all time. Even if you’re not a hair care girl, you usually have this on your shelf. I use it at the top of my scalp to give my hair what I call the ‘Kate Moss Effect.’ It just gives you the right amount of grit, but it’s not thick or heavy. It also smells amazing. I also really like Oribe’s Superfine Hairspray. But these are not daily products for me—I only use them when I’m going out.

As far as tools go, I’ve been using the Drybar 3-Day Bender for 10 years. It’s a curling wand, and I usually travel with it. That said, I just started trying the T3 Switch Kit Wave Trio Curling Iron. It’s just a prettier version of the Drybar tool. We’ll see about the functionality. [Laughs]

I’ve been going to Teddi Cranford since I was 19. She was trained at Bumble & Bumble and used to work at Sally Hershberger, but it wasn’t until I went to her own salon space, White Rose Collective, that I was introduced to the dry cut. Of course, if you want your hair washed and blown out after your cut because you want that fabulous feeling, go for it, but I’m absolutely seeing Teddi with my natural texture so that she can really cut into it. That way, I know my hair is going to look and feel amazing when I wake up on a random Tuesday morning when I’m not in a salon chair.

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BROWS

I’ve been seeing Jimena Garcia, the Chanel brow artist, for three years now. Jimena is truly an artist. She looks at your full face symmetry and at your individual coloring. No two people look the same when they go to her; they just look like a more enhanced and natural and elegant version of themselves.

MAKEUP

Every day, no matter what, I put on Saie’s Slip Tint Moisturizer in shade Three—it has the right amount of glowy coverage. I was such a Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer girl for a long time, but this has become my contemporary version of it. If I want a little bit more glow, I’ll supplement it with Westman Atelier’s Vital Skincare Dewy Foundation Drops in Atelier II. If I don’t want more glow, then I’ll just go in with Westman Atelier’s Vital Skin Foundation Stick in Atelier II on top of it. I use it almost like a concealer to cover any areas where there’s a little bit of redness. I usually apply it with a Sephora Collection Concealer Brush, but then I also go in with a Beautyblender so you don’t see any of the brush strokes.

For blush, I’ve been using Benefit Cosmetics’ Dandelion baby pink blush since high school. I like to layer it with Westman Atelier Baby Cheeks Blush Stick in Petal, which is more of a pigmented cream blush.

Bronzer is a new thing for me since moving to Miami. To contour, I like Benefit Cosmetics’ Hoola Matte Bronzer. I put a bit by my forehead, underneath my cheeks, and on my neck with a Chanel Kabuki Brush. The MAKE Skin Mimetic Microsuede Matte Bronzer is easier to travel with because it has a little mirror. Lunar is a really nice shade.

When it comes to eyes, I did not realize the power of eyeshadow until I started wearing one. My favorite color is Make Up For Ever’s High Impact Eyeshadow in Milk Tea. I almost think of it as base makeup for my lids. For years, I used Maybelline’s Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner in the Blackest Black shade, but in the past year a makeup artist told me to ‘dial it down’ and to buy Make Up Forever’s Artist Color Pencil in Dimensional Dark Brown. So what I do now is line the top, and then I take it out to the side with the Sephora Collection PRO Eye Liner Brush #22. The brown gives a softness with the implication of a winged liner, but without the harshness of a liquid one.

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On to mascaras! Saie’s Mascara 101 makes my eyes look super open—the wand separates the lashes in a very nice way. I also recently started using Tower 28’s MakeWaves Mascara, but I haven’t decided which one I like better. What I like about the Tower 28 wand in particular is that it’s curved, which gives me a good lift. And I feel like we all have the Shu Uemura eyelash curler because we’ve all seen “The Devil Wears Prada.” I’ve never used any other eyelash curler because Shu Uemura’s is apparently the one. It really gives you a lifted look without any product on.

Someone sent me KS&CO’s Sheer Tinted Brow Gel, and candidly, I was like, ‘Another brow product. OK.’ But it’s so good. I use the Medium Brown shade—and the Clear Strong-Hold Gel, too—and it gives you good coverage without being too dark. I’m a huge fan, and I’ll rebuy it honestly. And I always carry a spoolie with me in the same way that I carry a comb, just because you never know what your brows are going to look like. [Laughs] I love the one in the Chanel Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil, which I typically buy in the shade Brun Naturel 30.

Highlighter is the last thing that I put on. I love Chanel’s Multi-Use Glow Stick in the shade Dragée on my cheeks and the bow of my lips. I used to put it in the inner corners of my eyelids, but I don’t do that anymore. My makeup artist was like, ‘That’s not giving for you.’ [Laughs] If I want a more bronze-y highlighter, I use Merit’s Day Glow Highlighting Balm in Cava.

I have 1,200 lip glosses. [Laughs] Glossier’s Mint Balm Dotcom smells amazing, and I always have one within reach. Byredo’s lip balm in The a la Menthe d’Agadir is very soft and hydrating, and I love the packaging. Lesse’s Soothing Lip Balm is the one I use around the house. I also love Summer Fridays’ Lip Butter Balm in Vanilla and Covey’s Seal the Deal.

The MAKE Serum Balm Hydrating Lip Treatment in Halo Moon is one of the only proper glosses I use. Sometimes, I use Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Pillow Talk and add Merit’s Slick in Bel Air, their clear shade, on top. The combo is so good. It’s what I do if I’m going out or want more of a lip. But if I don’t want to have to deal with the liner, then I use the Kosas LipFuel Lip Balm in Flow, a warm beige. It gives me a little color without being messy.

FRAGRANCE

When I started working on the fragrance for all of the Crown Affair products, I asked our fragrance house to make a scent that smells like Kate Moss in Japan in the 1970s. I wanted it to be fresh and light, but also a little bit sexy, too. For me, that translated into top notes of bergamot with green tea mid notes and smoky, woodsy base notes. That vibe is very much mirrored across all of the scents that I like. I am not a fruity, gourmand person.

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Outside of our Signature Scent, and not to sound like a little hipster, but I bought Byredo’s Gypsy Water before it came to the States. I was studying abroad in Paris in the spring of 2011, and I went to Le Bon Marché. They had a little desk with maybe 10 Byredo scents, and I still remember buying it. It’s just so good. It smells like what I imagine Erin Wasson smelled like in the early 2010s—sexy and cool, but still light.

Ormaie’s Toï Toï Toï is so good, too. It’s peppery and definitely leans into more masculine scents, but I love putting it on before a night out. It’s also one of the most beautiful bottles I’ve seen.

I fell in love with DS & Durga’s I Don’t Know What because my husband started wearing it. It’s actually a fragrance enhancer, so it’s not overpowering, but it has a sexy vibe. And the only other fragrance I wear is Nemat’s Amber Fragrance Oil. It is secretly unbelievable.

Candle-wise, I love the Edition Hotel candle. I got married at the Edition, so it’s a very nostalgic scent for me. I would love for my house to smell like it pretty much all of the time. I also love Cire Trudon’s Abd El Kader candle. It’s basically just mint, and it’s really fresh—you can’t go wrong. And in my office, I have Nette’s Magician candle. It has cardamom, sandalwood, and palo santo, so it’s very calming.

NAILS

I try to get a manicure every three weeks or so. I always get a neutral color—it’s called Leafgel Color Gel 095 Honey Beige—and I like my nails shaped in ovals. Stephanie at Vanity Projects in Miami is my girl. When I started working with her and the VP team, it was truly the first time I got my nails to a healthy state. I was getting normal gel before at other salons, and every time, I’d be like, ‘My nails are destroyed. My nails are breaking.’ The way that they would take off the gel was just so aggressive.

In between appointments, I use the Bare Hands Dry Gloss Manicure Kit for maintenance, and I always make sure my cuticles are hydrated with cuticle oil at night. I wish I was patient enough to let cuticle oil dry during the day, but I’m just messy.

I get a standard pedicure on my toes—no gel—and my go-to is Essie’s Ballet Slippers. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

— As told to Daise Bedolla

Photographed by Julian Cousins in Miami, Florida on July 17, 2023

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