My Beauty File is an on-going series where we figure out what the most timeless, put-together and coolest ladies are doing—what their days look like, what they can’t live without—in hopes that we might learn a thing or two. Beauty Files are a quick and easy cheat-sheet on how these incredible ladies are becoming their best selves.
Back in early 2015, Mckenzie Raley founded a lingerie line called Land of Women. It’s the classic founder story: she wanted a particular kind of bra—a well-designed, clean-lined, quality bra that fit really well—and she couldn’t find it, so she went about designing it. The resulting line (and cult following on Land of Women’s Instagram, full of life-affirming, women-affirming quotes and images slightly outside the mainstream) was extremely well-received. Prior to entrepreneurship, Mckenzie was (and still is) a gorgeous model, primarily focusing on the plus-size market; Mckenzie brought a unique lens to her product, even offering a bra sans underwire that accommodates a D cup. In marketing, she also wanted to focus on highlighting the women wearing the bras, not the lingerie itself, which clearly shines through in her brand, her product, and her Charlotte’s Book Beauty File.
Riding the wave of lingerie success, Mckenzie launched a simple, effective skincare line: she started with an understated selection of three everyday essentials designed for the traveling woman: a face oil laced with musk, a moisturizing rose balm, and a cuticle oil. From bras to beauty? Mckenzie told Vogue that it made sense, “because it’s all these things that are closest to a woman.” We love the idea, and, as always, were curious how a woman running a successful business runs her life. Read Mckenzie’s answers to the essential questions, here.
I really relish slow mornings and I think good skincare can only add to the experience. I start off with a cold water rinse and then do some facial tapping around my eyes to help with puffiness. Then I’ll apply Land of Women Multi-Vitamin Facial Oil, which is a light oil that absorbs quickly; then I’ll add a layer of Kiss My Face SPF 30. This combination always makes my skin feel bright and hydrated.
It took me about ten years to really come up with a weekly skincare regime that I’m loyal to and my nighttime routine is really sacred. I’ll start with a cold water rinse and then a hot water rinse to open my pores. Then I’ll use my Amore Pacific Enzyme Treatment or I’ll do a mask (I love the Radiance Renewal Mask by Ren), then lastly I’ll apply some La Mer eye cream. If it’s really cold and dry out I’ll apply a thin layer of Land of Women Absolute Rose Balm: my skin is glowing the next morning. It keeps all the natural oils in so your skin doesn’t dry out at night.
My go-to supplements include: (1) Magnesium. This is my magic pill. It helps manage stress, digestion, and calcium levels and helps you sleep well without the fogginess in the morning. I’d recommend it to anyone. (2) Evening Primrose. This is my main skincare vitamin. Since taking it my hair has never been thicker and my pores have gotten smaller: it’s amazing. (3) Selenium. I have Hashimoto’s disease, which is a form of under-active thyroid, so Selenium helps with immune system health and thyroid function. (4) Powdered collagen. I add this to my smoothies (for amazing skin), along with turmeric (for inflammation). (5) Cod liver oil, for anxiety and inflammation.
I tend to go through fitness waves, but my constants are yoga and interval training with sprints. It gives me a good boost to get through the day.
I think my favorite tech beauty services are infrared saunas and microcurrent facials. The saunas are just incredibly cleansing and help with joint inflammation, and the microcurrent facials are fantastic for anyone with puffiness around the eyes.
I’m not too big into hair treatments but I relish my time at Salon87 in Brooklyn. My stylist Mari is The Person for blondes and her cuts are always fresh and cool. Plus they give amazing head massages, which are always a nice touch.
DERMATOLOGIST OR FACIALIST:
As a fairly new business owner I’m still learning to manage stress and what comes with managing a company. I just discovered Calm, a relaxation app, and it’s wonderful. For anyone that wants to learn to navigate and decrease their stress, I highly recommend it.
MY BEST PIECE OF BEAUTY ADVICE:
Be good to your skin and let it breathe. I think it’s less about products and more about the way you actually treat your skin.
MY BEST PIECE OF LIFE ADVICE:
Do what you can, when you can. Don’t be so hard on yourself.
BIGGEST BEAUTY MYTH:
Oil causes breakouts.
I would say that my Charlottes are women that have really supported and helped me along the way while I was starting my business. They were dear friends first and business confidants second, and I am so grateful to have them in my life.
There are tons of hard-working, incredible women out there, and we’re curious what they’re loving and doing. Read the next Beauty File in the series with esthetician Gina Marí. And the next one, with Sabrina Tan of Skin Inc.
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