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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. 

“I almost forget that there’s real weather In other parts of the country. LA’s climate is so ridiculous that the years and years I spent on the east coast seems like a far away dream. But those winters are real and your skin needs some extra love. I truly believe in an occlusive barrier in the winter to combat the effects of the wind chill. Using a products like the HollyBeth Rose Geranium moisturizer will help keep the moisture in even while the wind whips about your face. Water based moisturizers will evaporate in the cold, so you want to create a barrier to keep the moisture in. Radiator heat is no joke either, so when you get back into your cozy house slather on that balm or oil and let your face soak it in. Skin looks different in the winter, makeup can just sort of look like it’s sitting on top of the skin. Find blushes that have a very soft mica in then so that there’s a pretty glow on the cheeks (without looking sparkly) and find blush shades that are closest to your skin tone; soft peaches, rose tones and blush shades are best. Leave the bronzer for warmer months. Anything too bright or too “poppy” will not feel integrated and will sort of “stand off” the face.” Fiona Stiles

How to get the most bang out of your beauty bounty: what products can’t you live without, Fiona?

There are too many favorites to list here, truly your eyes would glaze over because I have a deep and special love for ALL of the products in my kit, but there are for sure ones that I would be crushed if I couldn’t use on the daily and here they are in no particular order……

Tata Harper Illuminating Moisturizer: I love this for the face of course, but at work I am constantly using it on the body for a gorgeous, soft radiant glow on the clavicles, shoulder caps, legs etc.. Plus the smell is out of this world….

Kejiwa Venus Love Spray: One spritz of this “psychic mist” will transport you into another world. It’s meant to clear the energy around you, and I certainly use it that way on set, but I also like to use it as a face mist during skin prep. It lets the model or client take a deep breath, re-center and relax, which just makes for a better day all around. And it works beautifully to set the makeup. After setting the face with loose powder, I like to mist this onto the face so that the powder melts into the skin, allowing the makeup to look more seamless.

French Girl Lip Scrub:  A lot of what I do as a makeup artist is dependent on a well primed canvas. The first thing I do when someone sits in my  chair is asses their skin to see if there’s something that needs special attention… is their skin oily or dry, do they need to exfoliate their skin, or their lips? If I’m going to do a bold lip, those lips need to be in perfect condition to receive the pigment. I love to use the lip scrub from French Girl. It’s like eating a french pastille and the sugar and oil combo really do a knock out job of getting the lips silky smooth.

Orgaid Vitamin C sheet masks: These are great for pluming the skin and prepping the face for makeup. It’s also just a wonderful, quick, luxurious treatment that isn’t expensive, doesn’t take an hour and has immediate, noticeable results. Nothing beats a good sheet mask (and this one has an incredible ingredient deck so you can feel good about all of those ingredients soaking into your skin).

Anastasia Brow Wiz Brow Pencils: They’re just the best on the market. The colors are spot on and the formula is the perfect consistency for creating the loveliest brow. There’s a shade match for everyone in her line so all brows are spoken to.

NARS cream blushes: The range of shades in this line is just so delicious and the consistency of the cream blushes is incredible; they blend perfectly onto bare skin or onto foundation. I’m not actually even sure how many of their cream blushes I have, maybe all of them? They’re like Pokemon cards for me, I want to collect them all!

Fiona Stiles Beauty mascara: Sooooo many mascara run on me and make me look like a feral raccoon at the end of the day, but this mascara gives me insanely long, full lashes with zero smudging. It makes even the shortest lashes look fluffy.

Maybelline Lash Discovery mascara: The teeny, tiny brush on this is what makes it so special (and a staple in my kit for over 10 years). I can find all of the invisible tiny lashes at the inner corners with this brush and magnify them, making the eyes seems wider and bigger. I’m not sure how many tubes of this that I’ve gone thought over the years, but it’s a LOT.

Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Illuminator: Here’s another product that’s been in my kit for ages. I love that it’s a transparent liquid illuminator. It doesn’t make the skin lighter or darker, like some highlighters can, and it melts into the skin seamlessly, just making you look like you are surrounded by candlelight 24/7. I always know this will make the skin look drop dead gorgeous on the red carpet….I pop a bit on the tops of the cheekbones and a little along the top 1/3 of the bridge of the nose. I’ll even mix it into under eye concealer to bounce light back and reduce the appearance of dark circles and underage bags. It’s a miracle product.

Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks: Which ones? ALL OF THEM. Her colors are incredible, as are the formulas. There isn’t a shade that I don’t like (or that I don’t own).

Personal faves from Fiona S medicine cabinet

Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub: I use this at least 3-4 times a week. I have never used a scrub that is better than this; the micro-fine particles make it so that you can really massage it into every nook and cranny of your face and they really get the job done. My pet peeve is a scrub that feels thin and sparse and leaves me feeling unsatisfied. This one leaves me 100% satisfied.

Goldfaden MD Sun Visor SPF: I’ve been known to say that I won’t switch on a lightbulb without putting sunscreen on first. I think it’s your best line of defense when it comes to aging. I’m not sure how many bottles of this I’ve gone through, but it’s a substantial amount. I have a real issue with product textures, especially sunscreens, and if it doesn’t feel good, I just won’t use it. This feels like nothing on the skin and it doesn’t mess with your makeup, or make your skin a funny color like so many natural sunscreens do. It’s my holy grail product.

SkinCeuticals Retinol: In my personal life I lean towards non-toxic beauty products, but I still get down with this because the efficacy is just so good.

Heir Atelier Eye Primer: I have oily skin, and oily eyelids, so an eye primer is a must for me. This one doesn’t make my shadow look dull, or change the color of it, and it keep say eye makeup crease-free from dawn to dusk.

In Fiore Veloutee Balm: In real life I’m a total lip balm girl. When I’m running around town or working I just need moisture on my lips and I don’t want to have to worry about reapplying  a lip color. I love how chic this balm is, and it makes my lips feel velvety soft. Plus I use it on my cuticles and around my eyes when I’m not wearing any makeup.

As a makeup artist, what is the one piece of advice you’d like to share? Are there any makeup application tips you can share? What are the best tips for achieving a “natural” look and flawless complexion (tools, product, application, treatments, lifestyle tips, etc.)?

Even when I do a strong editorial look, it still has a “natural” feel to it. I never want the skin to feel dead or flat, that makes an image feel static. I love the life and tangibility that comes from “feeling” the skin in an image. You can add all of the highlighter in the world, but if you put it on heavily covered skin, it looks two dimensional. I remember staring at my daughter’s skin when she was a few months old and marveling at how it looks the side of a lit candle;  the texture was perfect but there was an inner glow that beamed out from it. That’s what I am for when I do makeup.

So that said, how do you create that. It all depends on the person so there isn’t one tip or trick that will cover all of the bases, but there are a few universal tools and suggestions that work across the board. Prep the skin in a way that’s best suited for your skin type. If you have dry skin (no visible pores, fine wrinkles) you can really go for it on the moisture front. Oils, balms, rich creams, the richer the better. That will help bring life and luminosity to the skin (favorite products for this category: * Kahina Argan Oil //one of the purest Organ Oils on the market//, * HollyBeth Organics Rose Geranium Moisturizer, Leahlani Skincare Bless Beauty Balm). Use cream blushes (again I love NARS, and also Kjier Weiss as well as Kosas) and only powder where you need it.

If you have oily skin, use a more lightweight moisturizer (I love the one from * Schaf and the matte moisturizer from *Earnest Supplies) and find a foundation that won’t sink into your pores. I go back and forth between a cream blush and a powder blush, it really depends on the look, but with oily skin, sometimes a powder or stain lasts longer than a cream (the Glossier Cloud Paint is pretty great).

You just can’t go wrong with a * beautyblender, it truly makes a difference in how your makeup goes on and blends. It that feels like too much for you, then I swear by dense synthetic foundation brushes, they melt the product right into your skin. And the great thing is that the inexpensive ones are just as good as the expensive ones. It’s one of those few times that there’s real democracy in makeup tools!

Here are the steps to a beautiful, natural look that any one can wear:

– Fill in your brows if needed and brush them up and set them with a clear brow gel. I don’t feel put together if I don’t set my brows. Plus the gel makes them look a bit shiny, which is sexy.

– Apply cream bronzer on your cheeks and then add a pop of a fresh, bright cream blush. It adds dimension to the face and depth to your blush.

– Curl your lashes. I love the one from * Surratt. Curling your lashes really, truly makes a difference in how you look. No one escapes my chair without a proper curl.

– I love the Lid Tints form Jillian Dempsey on the eyes for a cool, unfussy look.

– Lots of mascara, because well, I just love mascara. You can use brown if you want, but I love a rich inky black. Brown is lovely on the lower lashes if you want something a bit softer.

Dior Lip Glow in Berry or the Lip Stains from Vincent Longo. They give your lips color without the fussiness of lipstick.

Dive deeper into Fiona’s amazing curated assortment of hard-to-find and the best of beauty from around the world @ Shop Reed Clark.