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Meet Holly Snow Hollenbeck, Founder & Principal Designer of HSH Interiors. HSH Interiors works with clients for interior large-scale remodels, ground up construction, single-room revamp, or furniture selection. They make every project feel manageable without leaving a single detail to chance and we love the work they have done! We had a chance to sit down with Holly to learn more about her inspiration and more in an intimate interview you don’t want to miss.

Where do you find inspiration?

I am a visual omnivore and find inspiration everywhere. From fashion magazines to art galleries to ballet and theater, to well-curated boutiques, to the creations of the many incredible artists and manufacturers we are lucky enough to work with, inspiration is everywhere. Our wonderful clients also provide us with a source of inspiration in their passions, their lifestyle and their sense of personal style, which we work to capture in the interiors we create for them to live in.

 

Did you always want to be an Interior Designer?

I started my career working in recruitment for an investment bank and a consulting firm, and went from there to a technology start up in the first “dot com boom”.  After a few years, I realized I needed more creative work that would engage me on many levels, and that did not keep me at a desk in front of a computer all day.  While considering my next career move, I remembered how much I had loved art as a child, and how often I had stolen my mother’s Architectural Digest magazines to look at the beautiful houses in them.  While other little girls were drawing horses and dresses, I drew houses.  I decided to go back to school and study interior design.  I am, however, grateful for the time I spent in other industries prior to design school as I learned some of the practical knowledge needed to run a company.

How is it different working on your own home vs. your clients’ homes?

My family and I love moving and restoring pre WWII homes to live in.  We have moved every 3 to 5 years for over 20 years!  Each time I make a new home for my family it is a creative endeavor of blending the architecture and our art with the practical lifestyle needs of my family.  Every home we have created for ourselves has been different from the last one purposefully.  When working with clients, their needs and desires take center stage.  Its my job to create home that embodies the clients, not one that looks like me. Designing a space the client feels comfortable in and loves being in is paramount.

What is your favorite room in your home?

I love our living room with its beautiful view of Alamo Square.  Our home is a historic 1901 Edwardian with lovely traditional moldings and very high ceilings, but which I modernized with lighting and furnishings by my favorite manufacturers.  The living room has an abstract pattern rug from Stark, an Apparatus chandelier, and a Chesney’s statuary white marble mantle paired with modern low button tufted Lawson Fenning royal blue velvet sofas and a vintage 1970’s glass and lucite coffee table.  It’s a room with lovely historic bones paired with modern lighting and furnishings in a way that is always fresh and inviting to me. Because my children are musicians, we also have a 1940 Steinway baby grand and a collection of guitars in the living room.  We spend time in there as a family playing instruments and singing together, or just reading and relaxing on weekends.

How do you start your mornings?

I have three children and six pets, so as you might imagine, its chaotic at our home in the mornings.  Coffee first.  Then I’m focused on getting my beauty routine done, walking the dogs, feeding the kids and pets and getting everyone to school on time before I make it to my office.  Usually I have the phone in one hand all the while fielding the early emails and texts that are already arriving. If I’m lucky, once or twice a week I can squeeze a run in there somewhere which helps keep me centered.

What are your go-to daily beauty products and why?

In dry, cold winter weather I like to use a scrub like Goldfaden’s Doctor’s Scrub to remove dry, flaky skin, followed by hydrating serums and oils. I like SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic and Caudalie’s Overnight Detox Oil.  I finish my beauty routine at night with Goldfaden’s Bright Eyes to help prevent wrinkles and dark circles, and I always use a thick coating of lip protectant such as Laniege’s Lip Mask.

How do you de-stress?

I love reading a good book in a hot bath at the end of the day.  That’s the best way for me to relax, unwind and prepare to sleep. I’m also a lover of running and yoga, both of which help me to clear my head. I have come up with some of my best design ideas while running.

What is your daily mantra?

Life is not a dress rehearsal.

 

Images courtesy of HSH Interiors and Lacy Kiernan Photography. 

 

With your optimal daily regimen identified, it’s time to take your skincare to the next level. Any tried and true skincare regimen demands a shake-up now and then to help us keep your skin GLOWING. We enlisted Dr. G to help us with upping the ante on our regimen.

How can I make my cleanser work harder for even better results at home?

Cleansing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from the applied night regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin (i.e. Alcohol Free). Cleansing the skin at night is a must! No exceptions. The skin is exposed to a variety of environmental stressors and pollutants. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second hand smoke and many others can wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what. Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to break outs and or rashes. By cleansing at night the skin is ready to receive and absorb any applied serums and creams.

***The skin has a very thin protective layer on the surface called theacid mantel. This layer is comprised of sebum from sebaceous glands, lactic acid and amino acids (from our body’s sweat). The ideal ‘balanced’ level is around 5.5, slightly acidic.

A great idea to make your cleanser work even harder is to mix it with your physical scrub. By mixing these products together you maximize on the effectiveness of both and also save a step in your regimen.  Using a facial tool or brush with your cleanser can also help deliver better results.

Is there one texture of cleanser that’s best to use for a deeper cleansing treatment?

Texture is highly dependent on skin type and personal preference. When choosing a cleanser it is important to pay attention to ingredients. While some people prefer a cleansing balm, pay attention to ingredients, as these balms can be heavy and are not for every skin type. If you’re not sure where to start, try a gentle cleanser appropriate for all skin types. Our most popular cleanser is a gentle gel based cleanser, ‘Pure Start’. If you are typically dry or sensitive you have to be careful what types of ingredients you choose, stay clear of astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. Over cleansing is never recommended as it strips the skin of natural oils which can cause an over production of oil/sebum and thus a breakout.

Should exfoliation always come after cleansing?

We believe exfoliation should always be the first step of a regimen. On non-exfoliation days (we recommend exfoliating 2-3 times per week depending on skin type) you can simply cleanse or use a targeted acid based cleanser (AHA Clarifying Wash). We recommend exfoliating first so that the exfoliation vehicles (crystals or acids) are able to remove and lift the dull, dead lackluster skin then the cleanser can wash it all away.

What’s the best most effective way to exfoliate?

Everyone should exfoliate their skin two to three times a week, unless they suffer from rosacea or eczema. Depending on the season and climate, exfoliation can be increased or decreased. Both manual and chemical exfoliation is recommended and dependent on results desired. If you are using a scrub (manual), you can cleanse after, which will ensure all the crystals are removed. Our Doctors Scrub’ is an exfoliator that cleanses and aids in cell renewal by polishing away dead surface cells, leaving skin brighter, clearer and younger-looking. Formulated with line-filling Hyaluronic Acid, whichdelivers long-lasting hydration, Seaweedto nourish and Organic Red Tea Extract to provide antioxidant protection.

 

How can I use a mask to best effect? Should I layer them or is targeted masking a good idea? How often should I use a mask?

This is dependent on skin type and desired results. Look for multipurpose masks, which treat and soothe or hydrate. A purifying mask (Facial Detox Mask) works to draw out dirt and pore clogging debris to reveal skin that looks clear and appears flawless. These types of masks can be used all over the face a few times a week (for oily, acne prone skin), a few times a month for dry and sensitive skin or as a spot treatment whenever you feel a breakout coming.  In clarifying masks look for ingredients, which soothe and calm such as Zinc Oxide, exfoliate and unclogs pores, such as Sulfur and a natural astringent to draw out oils such as Camphor.

We created an all in one mask, The Skin Balancing Mask to take the guesswork out of masking. This mask is a triple-tasker, which mimics the most popular facial treatment in our dermatology practice. A botanical-rich treatment mask, Skin Balancing Mask features a multi-peptide and enzyme blend that refines pores and helps to improve skin elasticity and increase collagen production. Ginseng, Honey, Flower Extracts, Jojoba Oil and Vitamin E infuse moisture, vitality and nourishment back into the skin. This mask exfoliates, treats and hydrates all in one.

Is there a way of applying my serum and moisturiser to boost their efficiency? Any techniques or additional tools?

Serums should always be applied first and left to dry. If you are using two types of serums apply the targeted serum first and then the overall antioxidant or Vitamin C serum over it. Moisturizers are then applied over the serum. Applying serums, moisturizers and oils while the skin is a little damp can be beneficial for holding moisturizer on the skin. Massaging skincare products is also beneficial and will help with circulation and blood flow.

 

Any tips to boost product performance in any of the steps – for example, damp skin vs dry skin, massage technique, mixing more than one product together, leaving on for longer than usual etc.?

  • Mixing cleaners and exfoliators
  • Applying serums, moisturizers and oils to damp skin
  • Facial massage
  • Warm showers in the winter NOT hot (as they will dry and strip the skin)

The dog days of summer are wrapping up—and coincides with when skin has decided it can no longer take the heat, grime and sweat it’s been enduring for the past few months, going haywire. Just some of what you might be seeing in the mirror? Photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull or lackluster complexion, congestion. “It’s the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate,” explains Dr. Goldfaden. “Added with the fact that consumers are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.”

With Fall upon us and Winter not too far behind we asked Dr. G the must-dos for a healthy transition into the seasons.

AUTUMN

Why do we start to see the sins of summer fun in the Autumn?

Post summer damage starts to show in the form of photo-damaged skin, discoloration, dehydration, dull/ lackluster complexion and congestion. This is from the sun, sand, beach, warm/humid climate. Added with the fact that we are putting on loads of sunscreen to protect against harmful UVA/UVB rays, which can lead to skin congestion and breakouts.

 How do we restore the damage? 

Subtle changes to your regimen can do wonders for your skin and give it what it really needs. One subtle change? Swapping out just your cleanser. Goldfaden MD has developed a new cleanser that foams, the Detox Clarifying Facial Wash. Currently the original cleanser in the line, Pure Start, is a gentle wash that helps realign the skin’s natural pH balance. Detox Wash—thanks to a hardworking combo of AHA acids—takes it a step further by fighting bacteria, clarifying pores clogged up by sunscreen, and really addressing congested skin. If your current cleanser works great—check by swiping a pad with micellar water after a wash to see there’s no grime or residue left behind—keep using it!

Polish and plump: this is the key. Exfoliation (either in the form of a physical exfoliator or enzyme/chemical)–ridding your complexion of dead, dry, dull cells and revealing brighter, smoother, younger-looking skin underneath is the beginning of revealing a more healthy-looking complexion followed by a corrective moisturizer/hydrating treatment, like oils and moisturizers.

We holistically believe that healthy-looking skin is a 360-degree approach to wellness.  “I recommend a diet rich in leafy greens, bright colored berries and  fatty acids (a “hydration punch”); think avocados, nuts and salmon, which will keep congestion and inflammation at bay while infusing nutrient rich vitamins and nutrients back into your system. I also encourage staying clear of alcohol, white carbs and refined sugar—all of which can trigger the inflammation (glycation) we’re trying to avoid.” Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden MD

How can we protect ourselves as the seasons change and become colder?

When out in the elements (wind, freezing rain, snow, sun) always cover your face with a scarf as this will protect your skin. Eliminating dry sinuses, bloody nose, chapped lips, wind burn, sun burn and dry dehydrated skin.

Invest in a humidifier. Humidity levels drop during the winter months, thus drying out skin, eyes and hair.  Add in artificial heat and you’re doomed. By adding humidity back into the air, you can reverse some of the damage. Cool vapor is the best bet to not only feeling better but looking better too. We recommend leaving it on all the time so that your home maintains an even level of humidity. Sleeping with a small humidifier next to the bed will ensure hydrated skin and sinuses.

Take warm showers instead of steamy hot ones. If you’re thinking a hot shower will feel good after a brutally cold day, a good trick is to turn the shower on very hot and let the bathroom steam up, try adding a eucalyptus leaf to add a serene fragrance. Then step inside the bathroom and get warm. Then turn the shower back down to a warm temperature. Hot water will dry skin out. Post bath or shower; try moisturizing your skin while still damp. Try using a bod oil and a lotion. This allows the skin to capture and seal in moisture.

Staying hydrated from the inside out is also crucial. Make sure to increase your liquid ingestion during the winter. Think teas, juices, water and healthy soups.

Take a look at your cleansing regimen. If you’re an exfoliation junkie particularly with physical scrubs, decrease the frequency during the winter. Instead try a chemical exfoliator once a week, like Fresh-A-Peel. A Ph balanced cleanser is a good choice too.

Switch up your serum. Trade your Retinol products for a serum that is a little less aggressive. Our Brightening Elixir (loaded with Vitamin C, B, E and Ferulic acid) is perfect for seasonal transition. Look for cold pressed, pure oils, such as Baobob, Kalahari, Mongogo and Marula, which all contain Vitamin A, C, E and essential fatty acids and omegas. Our Fleuressence Native Botanical Oil offers all these and more. Winter is the optimal time to switch into more hydrating luxurious night cream treatment. Hydration is not the only benefit to look for. Anti-oxidants and ingredients that nourish and rejuvenate the skin are really what you want. Nourishing seaweed promotes collagen production and increased tightening and plumpness to the skin. Red Tea Extract or Rooibos is 50 times more potent that green tea (as an antioxidant) and contains vitamins A, C and E to resurface, protect and brighten skin.