Birchbox Crush: Cynthia Rowley

For our first guest curator collaboration, who better than fashion designer Cynthia Rowley? The style icon is known for her gorgeous frocks and eye-catching prints, but it’s her genre-crossing side projects that keep us on our toes. She’s brought her signature style to everything from wetsuits to Band-Aids, and is even going beyond fashion to co-found Exhibition A, an innovative art startup. Is it any wonder that for her 2012 Resort collection, the designer eschewed the traditional lookbook in favor of a stop animation video by Reed & Rader? We spoke with Rowley about her product must-haves, design inspiration, and more.

Product Picks

The truth is, I’m super low-maintenance. I have my few favorites – which I’ve included in the box – but there are so many great products out there. It was fun to explore the market a bit for this project with Birchbox and find brands and tinctures that will certainly be in my regimen moving forward. I’ve tried to identify products that I feel enhance beauty without masking or changing it too much – it’s always better to be low-key and enhance your natural good looks.

AM/PM Routine

I love a morning swim in my pool, and try to do that as much as possible. Other than that, my morning “routine” is basically a shower, some Redken Water Wax and Shine Flash to style my hair, Philosophy Purity for my face, and minimal makeup on the run. I’m even more laissez-faire at night: at the end of the day, I’m so exhausted that I usually just fall into bed like a lead weight!

Always on Hand

Lipstick and liquid black eyeliner (a.k.a the grown-up version of the Sharpie permanent markers that I used to use to line my eyes).

Best Beauty Advice

Marilyn Minter told me to always wear red lipstick, so I try to remember that for special occasions.

Favorite Summer Beauty Trend

Intense flashes of color: like a hot pink eye with a nude lip, or melon lips and nothing else…

Need-to-Know Artists

We just shot our 2012 resort collection at the Brant Foundation against the incredible work of Josh Smith, so he’s definitely at the top of my list of favorites. Otherwise, I’m into Richard Phillips, his recent Lindsay Lohan film is genius, and of course all of my old pals and the beautiful work that they continue to produce: Dan Colen, Nate Lowman, Rob Pruitt, and Terence Koh.

Future collaborations

I definitely want to do more [Band-Aids(product:2069). Those were so much fun! The next ones will be available at mass market – not just niche retailers.

Travel Tricks

Airplane food can be so sketchy — I always put some Kind bars in my purse in case I (or my kids, if they’re traveling with me) get hungry. They’re in my Birchbox too, because they’re my favorite healthy snack!

Looking forward

My fall 2011 collection has a lot of shimmery, glittery, and velvet elements, which I think can all be easily translated to beauty. I think employing rich textures is where it’s at for fall.

Special offer: Get a FREE Cynthia Rowley Beauty Liquid Liner in Black Ink—a Birchbox exclusive ($18 value)—when you purchase a 12-month women's gift subscription or the Birchbox Ultimate Collection. Just use promo code CYNTHIAROWLEYBEAUTY. But hurry, quantities are limited!

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