What is your morning beauty and grooming routine?
Both: We both do intermittent fasting so we do not eat in the morning but we drink water and take L-theanine with our black coffee or tea.
Shani: In the morning I like to sooth my skin with Metamorph Cleansing Balm. Instead of washing it off straight away, I let it soak in for about 10 minutes before using warm water to let it turn into a milk and then rinse it off with a washcloth. I gently press cold water on my face. The cold water helps wake up my skin and mind. After my skin has air dried from the cold water, I apply Rock Rose Face Serum and start to prep my eyebrow makeup. The face serum is not only deep in scent, but it is a perfect toner and preps my skin for the rest of my routine. Once the serum is completely dry, I apply Taos Blue Day Cream and gently press drops of Amber Elix Face Oil on the highest part of my cheekbones. I scar pretty easily and find that the face oil is a great spot treatment to help reduce hyperpigmentation. If there is any face oil left, I will run my fingers through the ends of my hair, just to make sure nothing is wasted. Personally, I prefer to let my skin breathe and soak up all the nutrients I have fed it with the skincare- so I rarely wear foundation, only eye brows, mascara and I love a bold lip!
Porter: I wake up and drink a glass or two of water. This helps me wake up and often makes me less groggy. I shower in the morning and since I have fairly dry skin, I don’t want to strip my skin of its natural oils by using soap on my face. Metamorph Cleansing Balm is gentle and takes away everything, even sunscreen. I quit using a wet razor years ago as the soap and close shave really dried out my skin. When I need to shave, I will only use an electric shaver.
After the shower I apply Rock Rose Face Serum while my skin is still damp and then apply Taos Blue Day Cream and/ or Amber Elix Face Oil depending on time of year and level of humidity. Rock Rose + Amber Elix is my summer go-to, during the winter I go pretty heavy on combining Taos Blue and Amber Elix.
What products (if any) do you keep on you throughout the day?
Shani: Amber Elix Face Oil travel size. Especially during the winter months when it is extremely dry. It is very easy to apply under the eye or lightly press on my face throughout the day.
Porter: When I am in Santa Fe, I will have Amber Elix on me all the time. The dryness is intense, and I find I need to constantly feed my skin.
What is your evening beauty / grooming routine?
Shani: I love the feeling of my day coming to a close with a shower. It is a nice way to cleanse your body but also clear your mind. After that, I continue with the same skincare routine but I will skip Taos Blue Day Cream and use Amber Elix Face Oil, massaging it gently until my entire face is nice and emollient. However, we have been working on a night cream, which we are very excited about and when I have samples this is my night time go-to. It feels so nourishing, it is a real shame when it runs out.
Porter: I use Metamorph Cleansing Balm at night. The great thing about a balm cleanser is that the oil-base will remove a lot of stubborn dirt and particulates and then a mild surfactant can remove the balm. It’s like a double cleanse in one product – that is gentle on your skin, and won’t clog pores. I use a warm wash cloth to remove the cleanser which is super easy. After cleansing I follow up with Rock Rose Face Serum, our night cream which is in development is both of our favorite product. If we run out of the night cream I use Amber Elix Face Oil depending on how dry my sleeping environment is. When I’m in Santa Fe I go through Amber Elix like crazy.
You skincare line, AYOND, takes inspiration from the high desert of Santa Fe. Can you explain what inspired you about that particular landscape?
Porter: I was born in Santa Fe and always felt like the high desert was a unique place. The light here is magical, the scents that come from the desert are uniquely special – especially after a rain. The High Desert is remote so when you come out here you often find yourself in nature alone. There is a lot of time for contemplation and exploration. It takes resilience to thrive in the desert. That is what really inspires us and what we believe what makes a place or someone beautiful- appreciating one’s own resilience. The desert and New York are constant reminders of that hidden strength and beauty within.
Did you set out to create a gender neutral line or was it a happy accident? Was the gender neutrality of the product something that was important to you?
Both: We wanted to create something that was true to our lives and aesthetic, we both like earth tones, duality in forms and the nuance of scent profiles. We still wear the same fragrances and it was important to not be defined in anyway-just go from the heart and think in an unconfined way.
Shani Van Breukelen and Porter Yates are founders of the conscious skincare line, AYOND.