Living Beauty & Fashion:

Foundations of Style

Photography for Estée Stories by Moses Berkson
Food photography by Jenny Huang

“Style isn’t just about how you look but how you carry yourself through life.”
Someone recently quoted me sharing this statement, which had me thinking about how you define your own style – or how you need not define it because you live it, you are it, and it translates across all you do. What are the pillars of your style? What are the cornerstones that are so innate, you do not even need to think about them? These elements unknowingly define you. They can play out in how you dress, how you design your home, how you cook and your makeup choices. They are how you present yourself to the world outwardly, yet they are not necessarily for others, but for yourself.

I cannot help but feel that once you have this core understanding of yourself, you can riff, add, layer…get creative. You can try different flavors on for size, so to speak, but always on top of your truest self. This rings true for how I create a meal and I could not be more attuned to this than I am right now. I am deep in the throes of recipe development for my first cookbook, so my style of cooking is very much under my own microscope. I have noticed how I return to certain flavor profiles and how much I count on a few quality ingredients. A good olive oil is like the Holy Grail – it is the foundation for all of the building blocks of flavor. But fresh herbs, a touch of heat and an abundance of acid also play a significant role in my repertoire. That is my base, and sometimes that is more than enough. But at other times, I yearn to get frisky, playing with exotic flavors or Middle Eastern spices like a dusting of za’atar or a hit of bright sumac. Our mood, our creativity, our surroundings, our agenda – they all play a role in our style.

I recently had the opportunity to collaborate again with Estée Lauder for Estée Stories. As we discussed a direction for the piece and the food I would create, we touched on this idea of core style. In this fast-paced city and digital- and social-infused life we are all living, it’s vital to be able to count on something. I am constantly balancing so many multi-faceted creative endeavors that bring jam-packed days, from photo shoots to recipe testing to helping my son with his homework, followed by events on some nights. Every day is a little bit different. But for the most part, I’m going from morning ’til evening, which without a doubt requires me to have my game face on, both literally and figuratively. As much as I rely on a few key components in my cooking, the same is true of my beauty routine. I have a signature look that I rarely stray from – the bangs, a clean, matte, fresh face, a rosy cheek or a red lip, but never both. These are my rules and I stick to them.

And so, this was the seed of our idea: having essential tools you can count on, whether as the foundation of a standout meal or as an approach to beauty. With Estée Lauder’s #1 foundation, Double Wear, as the, well, foundation, I experimented on Estée Stories.

Together with their masterful makeup team, I started to play – a little shimmer here and there, matte for a weekend look, a dewy finish to add radiance when I need a pick-me-up and a rosy cheek as I created this swoony fattoush spring salad. In a way, that dusting of sumac for unexpected brightness and the shimmer on my cheekbones don’t feel so different after all.

Estée Lauder

Weekend Skin

Look #1: Double Wear + moisturizer

I try to keep it easy on the weekends – and that goes for both my activities and my makeup. While the weekdays are absolutely buzzing with activity, on Saturdays and Sundays I relish my time at home and in the kitchen. Beauty-wise, I’m all about a clean, matte face. Here, we mixed moisturizer with a pea-sized dab of Double Wear foundation, starting at the center (which tends to be the reddest part of the face) and blending outward for a natural look.

Dewy Skin

Look #2: Double Wear + Advanced Night Repair

Especially now as I’m in the midst of recipe development for my cookbook, marathon cooking sessions in the kitchen are a pretty regular occurrence. That means a look that can withstand hot and humid temps is an absolute necessity. Here’s our solution — add makeup first and skincare second. For a dewy finish, we topped a light application of the long-lasting Double Wear with a few drops of Advanced Night Repair, applied just to the cheekbones and the bridge of the nose.

Rosey Cheeks

Look #3: Double Wear + Pure Color Envy Lipstick

A rosy cheek is a tried-and-true staple for me – it just keeps the skin looking bright and natural. So, we decided to have a little fun with the look. To get it, pick out a bright lipstick and draw a few swipes on the back of your hand. Then diffuse the shade by blending in a dab of foundation. Voila – a custom cream blush, of sorts! Swirl the mix onto the apples of your cheeks for a soft flush.

Candlelit Glow

Look #4: Double Wear + Illuminating Perfecting Primer

I am always drawn to juxtaposition. The yin and the yang, the sweet and the spicy – it just adds an extra edge, whether it comes to my cooking or the way I dress. We wanted to incorporate the same approach to this look. Here, we started with an illuminating primer and topped it with an equal amount of Double Wear, which is naturally matte. The result is so flattering and intended to mimic a candlelit glow.


Strobe Effect

Look #5: Double Wear + Perfectionist Serum & Concealer + Pure Color Envy EyeShadow

Ahh, the drama of a red lip. Aside from a rosy cheek, it is the beauty routine I return to most often, and always with a clean, fresh face. Since I keep it simple for days in the kitchen, we knew we wanted to amp up the glamour for this nighttime strobed effect. To create it, apply Double Wear, followed by a glide of Perfectionist Youth-Infusing Brightening Serum in an arc from the cheekbones to underneath the brow bones. Then for some extra shimmer, finish it off with a neutral metallic eyeshadow.


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Foundations of Style

First of Spring Fattoush

EyeSwoon Kitchen


Serves 6


  • 5 teaspoons sumac
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried mint
  • 3 tablespoons parsley stems, minced
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, green parts minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste


  • 2 pita breads
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 10-12 radishes, quartered
  • 1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 pound English cucumbers, halved and thinly sliced
  • ½ pound sugar snap peas, cut on a diagonal
  • 4 ounces watercress
  • 5 green onions, white parts thinly sliced
  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • ¼ pound feta
  • Additional sumac for garnish


The Prep


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the sumac with 5 teaspoons room temperature water. Allow to soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Add lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, dried mint, parsley stems, green onion and garlic.
  3. Gradually pour the olive oil, whisking constantly, until everything comes together. Salt to taste.


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Brush the pita breads with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  3. On a baking tray, toast for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden. Break into rough bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers, sugar snap peas, watercress, green onions, mint, and parsley.
  5. Add about ¾ of the dressing and toss to coat. Add more if needed.
  6. Toss in the toasted pita bread. Salt to taste. Crumble over with the feta and top with additional ground sumac. Serve immediately.
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