Hi, friends. I wanted to start off by saying that I'm sorry about disappearing/seemingly dying this past while. I recently finished college, as some of you may know, and no one prepared me for the deluge of crippling depression that comes with suddenly having basically nothing to do all day. I mean, yeah, I could have been writing (because that's my job, duh) but, you know… crippling depression can get in the way of that.
Then I was dealing with health issues, like how this past week I contracted strep throat in May like any normal person does. But here I am now, feeling relatively better after taking penicillin and setting goals for myself and trying to keep an overall healthy attitude about life as my psychiatrist has suggested I do (with the help of some very lovely pharmaceuticals).
Can we talk about psychiatry on xoVain? Because I mean, sad people need beauty products too, you guys. And I'd hate to think that the discussion of one's unhappiness should be stigmatized on a site about something as universal as the desire for personal beautification.
Change of subject though, because I am trying to feel better and be more positive, I swear. And it was just recently that I was having a really incredible "pinch me" experience, and so I need to be openly grateful, on the record, for things like that.
A few weeks ago, I was in New York (you might have gotten my newsletter mentioning that--you do subscribe, don't you?) and I was hopping in and out of the office and other sorts of fun places. On my final full day, I had the opportunity to take a day trip to the idyllic Hamptons with the amazing brand Aesop.
I'd known about Aesop for quite some time but had never had the chance to try their products out, and so this trip served as not only a relaxing getaway but also an introduction to the line. And they couldn't have done better.
Look, I'm sure some of you may be rolling your eyes and thinking I'm doing this because I'm on somebody's payroll. I want to be transparent here and let you know that yes, I get to go to a lot of really cool events and try out lots of different beauty products, but just because a PR firm was extra nice to me won't suddenly make me write a good review of a subpar product. And with the utmost transparency I say that Aesop is not a subpar brand, and they do not make subpar products. Exactly the opposite.
They know what they're doing, not only with how they formulate and package their products, but with the message they send as a brand and the way they interact with both journalist and customer. They are the whole shebang: a brand that is just as deeply rooted in how we clean and treat and scent our skin and hair as they are in how we treat our brains and hearts.
My first glimpse at this was when I received a book of Frank O'Hara poems from them a few days before the trip. A curious choice for a beauty brand, but there was a connection. O'Hara had been one of the many artsy types who found solace in the Hamptons back in the day, a place where Aesop themselves have chosen to open a new boutique. The whole thing made sense to me because I like a stream of continuity in my life, a vibe that echoes through the way I decorate my house, the music I listen to, the products I massage into my face. We choose what we surround ourselves with because those things speak to us in some way, shape or form.
So yeah, I'll probably be curled up on my couch at some point this Summer, misting my sweaty face with my bottle of Immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol while flipping through that gifted book of poems and daydreaming about the beach. Aesop gets me.
Now let me talk about the actual day trip, which was a venture out to the Jackson Pollock house and studio for lunch on the lawn, and then a tour of the new shop on Main Street. I was particularly excited about visiting the house because I'm an art nerd, and I've even based a beauty tutorial off of Pollock's work before so it seemed like a reward for being a weirdo.
We received a quick history lesson on Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner, along with the general art community in the Hamptons that existed there from the turn of the century and continues to thrive now. I had a chance to go into Pollock's studio, wearing little disposable booties so as not to disturb the floor because well, the floor itself is a work of art, covered in Jackson's signature drips of paint.
Maybe I'm a bit dippy, but I definitely felt the most wonderfully chaotic energy in that room, and I'm really happy I got the chance to check it out. Vibes, man. Energy, man. Crystals, man. I sound like Spencer Pratt, maybe.
Afterwards we ate lunch in the sun while listening to the birds; at one point I spotted a deer off in the distance, and I got so sleepy off of rosé and delicious food that I nearly passed out on my plate. I hope this doesn't sound all "in your face, my life is so great" because really I just want to share this experience, which I found to be so thoroughly thought-out and I really applaud Aesop for what they're doing.
The Hamptons shop is a definite must-visit if you're in the area this summer. I'd recommend picking up the Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash to throw in your purse for use after eating any stinky foods (I hate when my hands smell like burger) or touching any weird substances. Or you know, just after being on the subway or around people because the world is gross and full of germs, and I don't want you to get strep. This stuff cleans your hands and smells so wonderfully herbal and crisp, not in a medicinal way but in a frolicking-in-the-forest way. Ahhhh.
If you plan on spending any time at the beach (hopefully slathered in sunscreen), you should also check out the Petitgrain Hydrating Body Gel, which is cooling on the skin and soothes with aloe in case you got too much sun or you're just, you know, sweaty and hot. Keep all the mentioned products in your beach bag and you'll feel refreshed, clean and hydrated, which is a pretty awesome achievement on a humid day.
Now tell me what you've been up to these past few weeks, and tell me your favourite place to go in the summer. I think I'll be hitting up my homeland of Nova Scotia and Coney Island, because I'm secretly a fish and die inside if I don't get to hang in the ocean every once in awhile.