For many of us, the temptation to test the latest and greatest beauty products sometimes proves too strong. And while there's nothing wrong with trying new things, there's something to be said for finding a tried-and-true signature and sticking with it.
Cesta Collective co-founder and former fashion editor Courtney Fasciano is a follower of the latter philosophy, thanks to some sage advice from her mom. While she experiments here and there, there are some brands and products she refuses to stray from because she knows that they work well for her. The evidence is in the smooth, clear, glowing complexion that Courtney sports, courtesy of her beloved Dr. Sturm regimen.
We asked Courtney to share the details of her signature routine, including the products she swears by (and the new ones that have made their way into the rotation), plus her tips for styling Cesta's iconic bags and how to put on actual clothes now that we're all emerging into public once again.
Name: Courtney Fasciano
Profession: Co-Founder, Cesta Collective; Pepper’s Mom (my two-year-old golden doodle @drpepperpaws)
Skin type: Finicky! No, but really... I have dry skin some days, broken out the next. It's a mixed bag sadly.
Hair type: So, for many years I was truly brutal to my hair. I was committed to a really bright blonde color courtesy of the talented Greg Ruggeri, who helped me keep it just right, I used a lot of heat tools, especially when traveling during my editor days covering the shows in Europe, to maintain a straight long bob. Keeping it short was really helpful to hide the damage from all of the aggression. As soon as we started Cesta, I stopped straightening my hair and embraced my natural curls. As with many people last year, I let my hair grow and it’s now the longest it has ever been in my entire life!
On any given day it’s curly, wavy, wild but pretty easy and I’ve found my product groove, which is key for curls. I am a devotee of Virtue's Curl line of products for my wild mane. My curls look best after a beach day in salt water so anytime I can recreate the magic in my bathroom in Brooklyn without the stickiness of most salt sprays, which Virtue's Curl Defining Whip does, I am pleased as punch. I recently bought a Manta brush at Shen and now I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
Duration of beauty routine: I love products and researching products but when it gets down to it, I’m relatively streamlined and easy peasy.
Walk us through your daily beauty routine:
First off, I believe in beauty sleep. I must have eight hours, it’s non negotiable for my mental health and our team morale. When I wake, after I take my pup for fetch-o’clock in the park, I have a cup of coffee, a cup of water, and my Seed probiotic.
I exclusively use Dr. Barbara Sturm products on my skin now — the Foam Cleanser, followed by the Clarifying Serum, the Clarifying Face Cream and the Sun Drops, daily, plus the Enzyme Cleanser twice a week with the Clarifying Mask. It was been a game changer for me, I will never go back. At night I use the same cleanser, cream, and a prescription Retin-A. As I said I’m pretty streamlined.
I always forget to use an eye cream — I even leave it on my bedside table to remember, which I never do, but when I do it’s Skinceuticals, which is gel not cream — I prefer that because it dries quickly with no gooeyness.
For the body, I have drunk the kool-aid on dry brushing — I’m doing it daily, still waiting to see some results, what are the results supposed to be again? — but here’s hoping for something. I follow my dry brushing with the Goop Black Pepper + Rose Hip Body Energy Oil in the morning or Nécessaire Body Lotion for night. I do not allow my husband to use my Nécessaire even though I know it’s unisex. Sometimes he dabbles in products and after running through a bottle of the Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum in a month because he was practically bathing in it, no more sharing. I love a bath, and I love using the Goop Bath Soak The Martini mixed with a magnesium or mustard soak — especially if I’ve had a long workout that day.
My makeup discovery of the year, due to Shen is Westman Atelier and I’m literally buying each product as she rolls them out like a true junkie. I have never been like this with any makeup product or brand before in my life — I am forever changed. I use the Vital Skin Foundation Stick, can’t live without it now and I really love that it gets the job done with no coverup needed and my skin stays glowy! Then I use Baby Cheeks Blush Stick and the Peau de Pêche Super Loaded Tinted Highlight in a mixed medley on my cheeks. I swipe the Peau de Peche on my eyelids and finish with the Eye Love You Mascara. When I’m feeling fancy, I like the Kosas Weightless Lip Color in Undone. I can’t live without the Kosas Air Brow Clear Volumizing Treatment Gel. It’s a must have, every day, to fluff ‘em up and keep ‘em in place. And, I love Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Treatment, too! It’s so creamy.
What is your philosophy on beauty?
Keep it simple, keep it classy. I always tell my nieces that you can do an eye or you can do a lip — you can’t do both! They’re five and eight, so we have this conversation when they’re smothering me with play makeup — I’m hoping they’ll listen someday.
What is your best beauty advice?
Sunscreen, sunscreen, more sunscreen! And do not ever buy a magnifying mirror — it’s never a good idea to see anything that big, especially late at night.
What is the best beauty advice you've ever been given?
My mother has been using the same product regimen for 30+ years and she has a signature scent — she squirrels it away in everyone’s suitcases when we travel to Europe since it’s not sold in the U.S. — she taught me to find what works and stick with it.
Do you have any special tips or techniques for how you apply a product to get the best results?
My co-founder Erin Ryder taught me to apply my mascara the right way finally last year! I never really knew how to make it look natural and I’ve learned from the pro now. The key is the curler and the brush and paying attention to the ends of the lashes not the bases.
What's the biggest beauty mistake you've ever made?
My biggest mistake was not wearing enough sunscreen in my teens. It haunts me.
What do you love most about your job?
SO MANY THINGS! But it feels strange to call it my job; it’s so much more than that. I go to bed every night satisfied and inspired. Three years in, we’re doing exactly what we hoped we would — building a fashion brand that’s actually doing good things in the world.
It helps that even on the toughest days Erin and I find something, more than one thing, to laugh about. We share a really quirky and silly sense of humor that keeps even the most mundane tasks amusing. Plus I really do love wearing a Cesta with everything!
What are your tips for buying the perfect bag to go with your style?
Buy a Cesta! What goes better with everything in your wardrobe than sustainability?
Now that we're getting ready to emerge back into the world and hopefully start wearing real clothes again, what are your tips for people on how to dress up again?
I can not stop myself from buying dresses all of a sudden, like bright, colorful, happy, fun sundresses! And, I think we’re all ready for some excitement. With that said, I am very fond of the RealReal and love the treasure hunt aspect of the experience. Most of all, I like to support the cycle of sustainability.