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The Hair Artist Charlotte Mensah’s Beauty Regimen
Interview by Caitie Kelly
For the second installment of the T List’s beauty column, which appears in the newsletter on the first Wednesday of every month and details the products and treatments that creative people swear by, Charlotte Mensah, the hair artist and founder of a namesake line of manketti oil hair-care products, speaks about her daily routine.
The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a glass of water and journal. Taking time to calm my mind and spirit keeps me from feeling stressed. Then I rinse my face with Chantecaille’s Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser, a botanical-infused wash that I’ve used for over 20 years, and follow it up with the brand’s Rose de Mai Face Oil, which I’ve used for the past 10 — it’s really softening. On my body, I use Dove’s Beauty Bar. I love the smell. Sometimes I’ll tuck it into my dresser so that my clothes carry the scent. Then, it’s really about moisturizing, which is so important for my skin. I’ll spend at least 15 minutes massaging in my own mixture of Chantecaille’s Rose de Mai Body Oil and raw shea butter. (When I go back to Ghana, I pick up big slabs of shea butter so I have enough for a year.) I’m a bit of a mad scientist in my kitchen: I whisk the ingredients in a mixer until they’re the texture of a soufflé. At night, I like to apply RéVive’s Moisturizing Renewal Cream to my face. As for hair care, my Manketti Oil Shampoo is silky in texture and smells heavenly. If I’m not wearing braids, I’ll put in some Manketti Oil Conditioner and Manketti Hair Oil and really leave them in, sometimes for three or four hours. The unique blend of organic manketti nut and ximenia oils deeply conditions the hair. Afterward, I like to brush the pomade through, along with a few more drops of the Manketti Hair Oil. Once I’ve styled my hair, I’ll spritz on the Finishing Mist to seal it all in and keep it in place. I wear very minimal makeup day to day, but I always use NARS’s High-Pigment Longwear Eyeliner in black. I wouldn’t go anywhere without it — or without NARS’s Climax Extreme Mascara. Whenever I have a shoot, or if I’m going to a party, I’ll do a smoky eye with Laura Mercier’s Caviar Stick Eye Color in azure. I hadn’t worn lipstick in over two decades before getting Rouge Hermès Rouge Casaque and Rouge H. They’re so nourishing and easy to apply and can automatically make you look put together. The plummy red color, Rouge H, is something I will definitely be wearing a lot this summer. For fragrance, I have nearly everything by Tocca, and I love Byredo — Rose of No Man’s Land, Bal d’Afrique — but I don’t wear one particular scent. Instead, I’ll spray on an assortment, layer by layer, until I’m happy with my own bespoke blend.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
An Apothecary-Inspired Dispensary
Elegance is the guiding light for Farnsworth Fine Cannabis, a new dispensary in the Berkshires that was recently opened by the art director Alexander Farnsworth and the fashion designer Adam Lippes. Designed by the London-based architect Simon Aldridge, who drew inspiration from Rome’s midcentury Colosseo Quadrato — a geometric building now home to Fendi’s Italian headquarters — as well as European apothecaries of the 1400s, the 2,000-square-foot showroom is outfitted with floor-to-ceiling white-oak arched cabinets that display a range of carefully curated THC and CBD products. These include blue-raspberry-flavored gummies from I Am Edible, sleep tinctures from MXR and three strains of the dispensary’s own flower, along with its latest marquee offering: custom-designed cannabis cigarettes (tobacco-free and made of pure bud). Wrapped in organic hemp paper, tipped with 32-millimeter luxury-length filters and sold either individually or in boxes of five, they create a smoother, more refined experience than your average joint, and come in three strengths: light, classic and bold. In keeping with the company’s ethos, the cannabis cigarettes are “functional, design-driven and packaged for everyday use,” says Farnsworth, who is the great-great-nephew of the radio and television entrepreneur Philo Taylor Farnsworth, hence the antique radios positioned here and there on the store’s shelves. The space also doubles as a clothing shop, with wares from Laure Heriard Dubreuil of the Webster, and Farnsworth T-shirts designed by Lippes; there are also necklaces and other accessories made in collaboration with the Dallas-based brand Petra Jewelry. To complete the look, Farnsworth offers an assortment of vintage accessories, including lighters from Cartier, DuPont and Dunhill, and hand-painted Italian ashtrays, which will make one’s home as distinguished-looking as the space itself. 126 Main Street, Great Barrington, Mass., farnsworthfinecannabis.com.
The Scent of Summer
After a year spent mostly inside, summer’s promise of warm days by the ocean sounds especially rejuvenating. Jacques Cavallier Belletrud, the master in-house perfumer at Louis Vuitton, understands this well, and last week the brand released his latest scent, On the Beach. Since joining LVMH in 2012, Cavallier Belletrud has thoughtfully created over 20 fragrances — including Ombré Nomade, Contre Moi and Sun Song — but this is his first made in quarantine, and one the perfumer felt should evoke the aromas of an idyllic trip to the coast. As a master of aquatic scents, a genre of perfumes with notes that are reminiscent of the shore (sea breeze, sea mist, sea salt), and the nose behind several oceanic staples of the ’90s, like L’Eau d’Issey, Cavallier Belletrud is well versed in how best to bring the luxurious scents of the tide to the napes of our necks and the insides of our wrists. But On the Beach isn’t your typical calone-infused summer fragrance (calone being the chemical compound that generally lends perfumes their beachy hints). By combining an assortment of aromatics and woody notes, Cavallier Belletrud has concocted a uniquely transporting blend: After an initial burst of fresh yuzu, the scent settles into a warm minerality that calls to mind sun-baked sand. Later, hints of neroli and a base of cypress emerge, with subtle wafts of thyme, rosemary and cloves. Packaged in a bottle whose colors mimic the coastal palette of the Los Angeles artist Alex Israel’s work “Untitled (Flat)” (2013) — the artist also designed a limited-edition surfboard in collaboration with Louis Vuitton to coincide with the launch — the perfume is intended to mark the dawning of a new day. “What I really wanted to put into this fragrance was optimism,” says Cavallier Belletrud. From $265, louisvuitton.com.
Three years ago, on a beautiful winter day, the artist David Hockney, now 83, traveled to Normandy, in France, to see the landscape. His longtime assistant, Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima (otherwise known as JP), had suggested the trip. And several of Hockney’s friends had settled there over the years. Upon arriving, the artist saw the shifting light of the sky and the majesty of the land and decided, then and there, to buy a house for himself. A year later, in March of 2020, just as the pandemic was shutting the world down — and after some significant repairs and renovation — Hockney moved into his new home. A show of his drawings from his time there — some created on his iPad — is now on view at the Los Angeles Louver gallery. Among the 16 included works are a drawing of his picturesque house, a panorama view of the village of Beuvron-en-Auge and two 40-foot-long works that reflect Hockney’s fascination with a local 11th-century Bayeux Tapestry, located just “a stone’s throw from where he lives,” according to Peter Goulds, the Louver’s founding director. Goulds added, “David’s work always comes out of some interest in a new way of seeing.” Indeed, it’s a charming view into the wildly creative mind of an artist in the winter of his career. David Hockney’s “My Normandy” is on view at L.A. Louver through May 1, lalouver.com.
Rain Gear Made From Recycled Materials
I am a firm adherent of the Scandinavian expression “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.” And the spring 2021 collections offer a bounty of chic ponchos, parkas and galoshes to protect you against the elements. Herno’s A-Shape jacket, made from recycled nylon, is superlightweight and perfect for warmer days or layering over a knit, while Prada’s Re-Nylon Gabardine coat, also made from recycled nylon, as its name implies, is slightly oversize and knee length, with an elastic drawstring at the waist that creates an hourglass silhouette if desired. For serious downpours, try the Seaboard jacket from Canada Goose, which features a three-layer water-and-wind-proof fabric, water-resistant zippers and mesh venting for added breathability. Plus, it can be rolled up into its hood — making it easy for keeping at the ready when traveling, or for whenever we return to our office commutes. Everlane’s ReNew poncho, meanwhile, has a fun, tentlike shape reminiscent of the raincoats I wore as a child — and is fashioned from a polyester made of recycled water bottles. Lafayette 148’s Ansel jacket is elegant enough to wear even on sunny days. On rainy ones, Wellington boots are essential: Celine’s short, logo-printed version might be one of the most practical It shoes of the season, and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini’s were inspired by the designer’s love of gardening and painting — and, in the brand’s spring 2021 show, were paired with everything from jeans to a wedding dress.
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