Beauty Brands Borrow Inspiration from the Hamptons
by kaitlin clark
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Sag Harbor, Bond No. 9 ($240). 45 Main St., Sag Harbor, 725-7467. Beach Collection liquid hand soap ($22) and classic candle ($48), Nest Fragrances. Hildreths, 51-55 Main St., Southampton, 283-2300. RHSO power-packed reviving exfoliator ($48) and multi-benefit moisturizer ($46). msteves.com. Oatmilk calendula moisturizing baby lotion ($17) and baby bunny soap ($10), Babo Botanicals. Second Nature Markets, 41 Newtown Lane, East Hampton, 324-5257. Mermaid’s Dream and On the Beach, Deborah Lippmann ($16 each). White’s Pharmacy, 81 Main St., East Hampton, 324-0082. Beach Collection soap set, Nest Fragrances ($42). Hildreths, see above.
The Hamptons may serve as Manhattanites’ favorite summertime escape, but for beauty powerhouses, the draw out East runs far deeper than sun and sand. They dash to the East End to conjure up innovative ideas across the spectrum—for skin, hair, nails, and even fragrance—inspired by the ambiences and personalities of neighborhoods from Westhampton to Montauk and all the beaches and villages in between. “There’s a certain purity in the Hamptons, just being by the ocean and smelling the saltwater. It’s only two hours outside the city, but it’s a world apart,” says Kate Solomon, founder of the all-natural skincare line Babo Botanicals, who spends her summers near Georgica Pond. Laura Slatkin, founder and CEO of Nest Fragrances, agrees. “It doesn’t matter what business you’re in,” Slatkin notes. “Whether you’re an artist, a lawyer, or a banker, a long walk on the beach just clears your head and enables you to think about things with a different perspective.”
It’s a setting that has inspired a new generation of beauty products, from stand-alone lines like Hampton Sun (which first launched in 2005, and now sells in close to 400 stores across the US) to one-off odes to the area’s beaches; Chantecaille’s vibrant Coral Reefs eye shadow and blush palette and Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream and On the Beach varnishes were both envisioned with the coast in mind. “My inspiration was the gorgeous blue water and that casual Hamptons lifestyle,” says Lippmann of her glitter-flecked sea-foam-green and French Riviera-blue polishes.
A legacy of more than 20 years of summering in East Hampton informed Solomon’s creation of Hamptons-inspired SPF products. “For all the time we were on the beach and in the pool, I felt like there weren’t any products that provided natural, significant [sunscreen] protection for my children,” she explains. Drawing on her experience at L’Oréal in product development, the mother of three teamed up with botanists from an organic farm in upstate New York to create her all-natural, vegetable-based line of 25 skin-friendly products; the Cucumber Aloe Vera Swim and Sport line is the most popular.
Hair guru Sally Hershberger is influenced by the area’s devotion to an active lifestyle. “The Hamptons is like summer camp for adults—my friends call my house Camp Hershberger!” she says of her East Hampton “hangout pad,” which is stocked with all manner of aquatic equipment, including paddleboards and kayaks. “I’m inspired by the young people here—especially in Ditch Plains, the surfing beach in Montauk,” she says. “I’ve always been a surfer and have been drawn to that wavy hairstyle.”
With carefree, tousled beach curls in mind, Hershberger invented the Glam Waves line to mimic the saltwater texture of hair after a long swim. The result is a relaxed style, reminiscent of surfers as they allow their hair to air-dry naturally.
Nest Fragrances’ Slatkin says she relishes family downtime in her ivy-covered East Hampton beachside cottage. Slatkin’s newly unveiled Beach Collection was triggered by memories of her beachfront home and the desire to encapsulate the evocative sea mist and salt air into a fragrant candle, a blend of coconut, melon, and lotus flower. “For us, going out to the Hamptons is really about escaping our very busy lives in New York,” she adds. “It’s all about our children, just relaxing, and making absolutely no plans.”
With Gucci Westman, Cynthia Rowley, and Aerin Lauder all summering out East this season, who knows what new inventions in beauty will pop up in 2013?
photography by rebecca sahn