Welcome to ON BEAUTY, a monthly feature highlighting creative, like-minded people who inspire us.
CAP Beauty is, to many, the pinnacle of beauty shopping experiences. Deeply knowledgeable without being preachy, 100% natural without being crunchy, intimate and luxurious yet inclusive, CAP hits the mark when it comes to navigating this quickly growing, yet sometimes ambiguous, market. It’s one of our favorite retail partners because we believe that founders Cindy DiPrima and Kerrilynn Pamer really, truly get it. For our second installment of On Beauty, we sat down with Cindy to chat about the synergy between internal health and external beauty, essential (and eternal) products, and thought leaders in this evolving industry.
IN FIORE: What skin issues are shoppers trying to address right now?
CINDY DIPRIMA: Being in New York City, dryness is an issue coming out of winter. I would say that helping to shed winter skin and polish and refine summer skin is a big concern. And, moving into summer, everybody has concerns about protecting their skin naturally from the sun, the salt, and all of that. Even though we firmly believe that the sun and the salt are good for us to a degree, we still need protection.
Health boils down to homeostasis in the body and reducing inflammation, and how you look and feel is affected by all those things.
What common concerns do you see from people who are new to natural beauty?
We are known for, and have a very deep collection of, superfoods, adaptogens, herbs, teas, and ingestibles. People come to us with different concerns, but some of the most frequent are stress reduction, help with sleep, and hormone balance—and I think a lot of those concerns are pretty holistic. You know, if you’re sleeping, that’s going to show in your skin, so we see it all as connected back to general wellbeing. And, certainly, hormones can affect your skin health but they also affect your alertness and your fertility and a lot of other bigger concerns that people have. Everyone seems to want immune support, stress reduction, and assistance with…really, like, energy—keeping everything in balance. Health boils down to homeostasis in the body and reducing inflammation, and how you look and feel is affected by all those things.
Industry standards are changing as natural beauty gains popularity, but where would you like to see greater change?
At CAP Beauty, we have chosen a model of selling natural products, and by natural we mean products that don’t have synthetics in them. As more and more people enter this arena, there are brands that are nontoxic, there are brands that are natural, there are brands that are organic, and all kinds of different names around things. We would really like to see more clarity around what is what. A lot of brands come to us interested in selling at CAP, and they’re good brands and they’re nontoxic, but they’re not 100% natural. One of the things we try to promote the most is education. If you are making an educated choice around something that you’ve decided to use as part of your routine, that’s great—as long as it’s an educated choice and not a misled choice. There are a lot of brands that people assume are natural because they’re niche, but they’re actually not natural at all, nor do they claim to be. So, I think that having more clarity around what it means to be nontoxic, natural, organic, any of the above, would be a great change.
We would also love to be able to serve our customers with a larger range of natural makeup in terms of skin color. It’s a problem for us. Because we only sell 100% natural brands, there aren’t a ton of makeup brands that fit our standards, and the ones that we really like don’t serve a very wide range of skin colors. The modern woman interested in natural products is not just one color. There’s a lot of diversity and there are a lot of skin colors and tones that need to be served and I think it’s a real shame that we don’t have products for our full customer base. If we were a little bit less strict in our standards there would probably be more makeup ranges that are green or nontoxic or, you know, mostly natural, but because we are strict with 100% natural, that limits us. But it needs to catch up.
Anyone who has a platform that’s promoting the use of and consciousness around the use of natural products is a friend and not a foe.
Who are the greatest thought leaders in this industry?
Julie Elliott is one of them – absolutely. You know, there are probably a lot of people doing a lot of work behind the scenes that I don’t even know about and so I’m the first to admit that my list will just be from my particular point of view, but I certainly have to tip my hat to Tata Harper for creating the brand she’s created and bringing so much awareness. We are firmly of the belief “the more the merrier.” We see what other people might describe as our competition as our family and our support. The women at Goop are doing a lot to promote the cause of natural beauty. Anyone who has a platform that’s promoting the use of and consciousness around the use of natural products is a friend and not a foe.
Some of the formulators we most admire are certainly Julie, Julius Eulberg with Julisis, and Kristina Holey and her approach to skincare. There’s a really interesting company that we’ve become aware of that does facial massage – it’s called Facelove and it’s got a cool approach. It’s something that I think would work well in unison with what we do (our facials are also based in facial massage). They don’t use products—it’s about health and intense face, neck, and scalp massage and it gives you incredible skin.
We’re big believers in anything that addresses internal health, even going to more radical modes. Kerrilynn and I both work with a colon hydrotherapist named Gil Jacobs. In terms of creating health from the inside out, he’s definitely a thought leader. Daniela Turly is an herbalist who’s really quite brilliant. You know, herbs have become so much more ubiquitous and you don’t just get them from an herbalist anymore, but there still needs to be some guidance around them, so we look to people like Daniela, and nutritionists like Dana James. We’re both fans of Transcendental Meditation and work with Bob Roth who is brilliant in not only teaching it so beautifully, but also giving it to underserved veterans and victims of violence. And, you know, that goes back to stress reduction which is so important to health and beauty.
Do you think natural products will stand the test of time?
We used to get the question, “Well I’m sure they’re better for you, but do they work?” We find that to be a very ironic question. I think it was Julie who said to me once, talking about preservatives, “I don’t want to put anything in my products that are designed to kill things.” And I think that really sums it up for people—these products aren’t just better for you but they work better because they’re better for you. It’s not about masking things, it’s about revealing things; it’s about having really, truly radiant skin that’s luminous because your insides are working. The products we’re most excited will stand the test of time because they’re actually delivering more radiant skin and they’re doing it by boosting health and by supporting our cells and our systems and not undermining them.
What lessons have you learned as a woman-run company?
To be totally honest, we have not found ourselves in lots of positions where things are more challenging because we’re women, and I think that’s partially due to the fact that we work in a world that’s dominated by women and enlightened men.
What’s coming up for CAP Beauty?
We have a lot going on! We have a book coming out in the spring of next year. We’re about to start shooting it, and as you probably know, visuals and branding are really important to us and something we love to think about as part of what we’re putting out into the world. We are also opening in Los Angeles in September—we’re going to be the beauty department in the new Fred Segal. They’re opening a store on the corner of Sunset Blvd. and La Cienega. We’re really excited about it and I think one of the reasons it’s so exciting is that there’s this major retail player and they’re choosing us for their beauty department. We’re not just their natural beauty department, we’re the beauty department. We’re psyched about that.
We are going to do a pop-up this summer in Montauk with Cynthia Rowley at her surf shack, and we’re working on a lot of our own products, as well. We have a deodorant that we’ll roll out soon, we have a cool product coming out in the next month or so that is a daily ingestible CBD oil called The Daily Hit. We’re partnering with Apothecanna, and it’s got adaptogens, and instead of being something you just drink down, we wanted it to be something that people incorporate in their lives. You can put it on your salad, or put it in your smoothie, or just take a hit of it. We’re also packaging our matcha in these little individual servings and we’re doing a CAP Beauty Elixir as a pre-mixed single serving pack so you can mix it up on the plane or in your hotel room or in the office. We go over this list and we’re like, no wonder we’re tired!
CAP Beauty flagship NYC store
Can you share one of your favorite rituals?
Transcendental Meditation. There are so many good ones—we were just editing our book, which is called High Vibrational Beauty and the subhead is Recipes and Rituals for Radical Self Care, and when I look over that book I’m like, oh! I love that one, too! For me the most consistent grounding thing I do every day would be meditation.
What’s happening right now, and one of the things we’re so excited to promote, is the radiance and luminosity that works at any age and within any look. It comes from within. It’s not about trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes; it’s about having really luminous, beautiful skin.
What’s your favorite beauty era?
I would say now. Honestly, neither Kerrilynn nor I are super connected to the makeup part of our business; as much as I love it and admire it and totally respect the art of it, we’re both so much more about great skin which seems a little more timeless, and something that doesn’t boil down to a specific look or era. What’s happening right now, and one of the things we’re so excited to promote, is the radiance and luminosity that works at any age and within any look. It comes from within. It’s not about trying to pull the wool over someone’s eyes; it’s about having really luminous, beautiful skin. That’s the thing that is maybe a little different about what’s happening now and this whole concept of anti-aging…it’s about being radiant and being vibrant, and not so much about creating an illusion.
I’m a total sucker for gardenia and I’m a sucker for jasmine. Before I was a naturals person I was, like, Carnal Flower—I love big heady florals. I also love the woods, like sandalwood, cedar, palo santo. They’re all so beautiful, too.
I go to a beach in New Jersey called Barnegat Light on a little barrier island called Long Beach Island, and that’s it for me. It’s totally unpretentious, total beach culture. The beaches are so beautiful and it just feels like summer. There are a lot of beaches in New York that are very glamorous—and not in a European way, but in an “Oh, right, I have to get dressed to go to the grocery store” kind of way—but that doesn’t feel summery at all to me. I love the beach towns where people are riding their bikes in bikinis with a boogie board and stopping for a popsicle. That’s more my speed.
Kerrilynn doesn’t drink, and she’s on a very clean diet. I am 90% of the time but I also like a glass of wine, and I drink coffee. I think that coffee, within limits, has some health benefits, but it’s not totally a beauty food. So, they’re all liquid: either coffee or a glass of wine.
What essential product are you never without?
I would actually say Soleil Fleur. It’s so brilliant, such a smart serum.
What are your must-have beauty items for long-haul flights?
Chlorella, water, a toner if you can get one on the plane, some kind of mist. I used to get more panicky and freaked out about being in the air for so long—am I going to be hungry?—but I find that if I really hydrate I can go a pretty long time. Gil, our colonic guy’s recommendation is coconut water and chlorella tablets. They’ll keep you up and energized and hydrated, and you won’t get as hungry when you’re doing that.
Kerrilynn & Cindy
Do you have a special charm or talisman?
I have a little triangle drawing that my daughter gave me once and told me it was for good luck that I keep in my wallet. Oh, and Kerrilynn and I have a very, very large check written out to each of us that we carry around in our wallets as an indication of what’s to come. Someday we’ll be able to cash those checks and it’ll be great!
What is your dream In Fiore product?
That’s a good one. I feel like—this is going to be weird—but I feel like if Julie made sheets for the bed they’d be the best sheets on earth. And she would figure out some way that they would make you have better skin, I’m sure of it.