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Marta Mae's 'Cool Girl' Perfume Is A Decades-Old Throwback

“I’m really good at manifesting. When I was growing up in South Jersey, I always knew that I wanted to work in the fashion industry. I was a girly girl—I never wore pants, only dresses, skirts, skorts—and I had this dream of going to the Fashion Institute of Technology. I didn’t even do a campus tour when I applied in high school. I ended up studying textile development because I’m a fabric nerd. After college, I did work in research and development for the first five or six years of my career. I interned at Betsey Johnson, which was iconic because I got to work with the actual Betsey Johnson. And then later I worked for Alice + Olivia, The Jones Group, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Express.

My mom passed away when I was doing R&D for Polo Ralph Lauren’s sleepwear. My boss at the time was going on maternity leave, so I wasn’t offered a proper bereavement and was forced to come back to work the day after the funeral. I thought, ‘Fuck this. Fashion’s not for me. I can’t believe that making pajamas is more important than a 23-year-old grieving her mother.’ I really started to take stock of what was important to me. A few months later, I felt like I needed a creative outlet and a community to keep me going, so I started an Instagram called Hot Girls Eating Pizza in the spring of 2014. I would ask cool women I admired to get pizza. I would literally DM them on Instagram and take them out during my lunch breaks or after work. Over the course of the last decade, I had hundreds and hundreds of pizza dates, which shaped my career and also some of my closest friendships. I met Charlotte Palermino, who co-founded It’s Nice Paper and Dieux with me, through a Hot Girls Eating Pizza date. Dieux specifically came out of an opportunity we saw for a transparent skincare company. Charlotte, Joyce [de Lemos], and I launched Dieux with our Forever Eye Masks in September of 2020 and then released our Deliverance Soothing Serum the following year.

My gifting suite Air Milkshake is the evolution of Hot Girls Eating Pizza. I was introduced to so many people and so many brands through HGEP, and pre-pandemic, I ran some gifting programs for a few brands. I realized there was a big opportunity to take the pizza away and focus on the amazing community I had built and introduce them to new products, brands, and people in a really intentional way. At this point, I’ve worked with some pretty large brands, like Vans and Levi’s. I’ve also worked with brands like Hill House, Vacation, K18, Casper, Fly By Jing, and Houseplant, Seth Rogan’s cannabis company. I’ve had some bad experiences going to other gifting suites where people were judged for how many followers they had. I’ve always believed in micro-influencers and investing in real people who have an engaged community versus just large followings, so the people invited to Air Milkshakes are not always influencers in the ‘traditional’ sense. I have people that come in with 2,000 followers, and I know that their ROI is so much more long-term than a flash in the pan influencer.

I also have a cannabis and lifestyle brand called Angel Therapy with my fiancé Lincoln Barnett and a couple of our friends. Lincoln has worked in cannabis his whole career, and I’ve always wanted to own a weed company. We started it in 2021 and licensed it in both California and New York City. It’s just a fun project right now, but I’m excited to see how it evolves.

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SKINCARE
I get facials one to two times a month with Hayat Moubarak at LA Clinic BH or with Cynthia Franco, and I go to FaceGym two to four times a month. I love Kate Rose Teitelbaum in the Santa Monica location and Brooke in the West Hollywood spot. If I have an event coming up, I’ll go every week. I’ve also been getting cosmetic acupuncture from Dr. Toni Weinrit at The Reset: LA. She’s fucking amazing. I was on a 10-week plan with her, which included microneedling every four weeks. After those sessions, I used Sofie Pavit’s Nice Ice Frozen Toner Pods to help with redness. The next day, I glowed like nothing else.

Dr. Loretta’s Gentle Hydrating Cleanser is my favorite cleanser. I’ve been using it for four years now. The smell is so light and it foams up so nicely. To make sure that I get everything off my face, especially when I’ve worn makeup, I’ll follow up with a toner. I’ve used the Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2 my whole life, but if I don’t grab that one, then I’m reaching for Odacité’s Blue Aura Cleansing Water.

Our Dieux Deliverance is my holy grail serum. I am so grateful to have an unlimited supply because I use it very generously, multiple times a day. It’s very calming, so it’s great if you have any sort of irritation. Meanwhile, the Saro de Rúe Freeze Dried Hyaluronic Acid System is fucking amazing too. My friend at Violet Grey gifted it to me a year and a half ago. I wasn’t using hyaluronic acid at the time, but I started to pair the tablets with Deliverance instead of the Pure Activator that it comes with and the results were crazy. My skin was so hydrated. I only use the tablets a couple of times a week since the system is pretty expensive, but it’s such a neat and innovative concept. Sofie Pavitt’s Mandelic Clearing Serum is also fantastic—it really stops a breakout in its tracks.

I’ve been saying that our Dieux Air Angel is my favorite since it launched, but I always go back to our Dieux Instant Angel. I might be biased, but I really think that it’s one of the best moisturizers in the world. I use it liberally and it doesn’t pill, even under my tinted moisturizer. Otherwise, I really love Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel. It’s the product I’ve used the longest throughout my life. My mom was such a Clinique freak—one of my earliest memories is of her taking me to the Clinique counter to get a re-up on her Clarifying Lotion 2.

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I had a crazy bout of hormonal acne when I turned 28, and it fucking sucked. My chin was especially bad, and I was so grateful for the Starface Pimple Patches. They really helped my confidence. My skin is much better now, but when I have a spot that’s healing, I always reach for the Odacité Le Blue Repair Balm. It really cuts down on healing time.

I was introduced to Agent Nateur through Air Milkshake. The Holi (Bright) Resurface Glass Face Mask is especially good. It’s gentle enough that you can wear it overnight and it’s really helped to even out my skin tone. The only other face mask I’ve been using is Sisley’s Black Rose Cream. My aesthetician Hayat worked with Sisley for 30 years—she was the one who put me on it. It’s really expensive, but I understand why because it’s fucking good—it’s so hydrating.

When it comes to sunscreen, I love Nivea Japan’s Super Water Gel SPF 50 PA+++. It was a Sofie Pavitt recommendation from a few years ago, but it’s been my favorite since. It’s such a nice watery formula that goes on like a serum. The Dr. Loretta Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40 goes on really well, too. I always have one in my purse.

I try to use the FaceGym Pure Lift Facial Skincare Tool every night. Their facialists use it during treatments, and I feel like it’s stronger than any other device I’ve used. That said, I also really like the ZIIP Microcurrent Facial Device. I got a facial with the founder, Melanie Simon, over the summer, and it was so cool to have her show me tips and tricks to use it. Instead of the ZIIP Conductive Gel though, I actually use the Lily of the Desert Inner Fillet Aloe Vera Gel for treatments. And then I was given a Current Body LED Face Mask over the summer. Nowadays, I don’t have an extra 20 or 30 minutes to use it every night, but when I use it consistently, I do see a big difference. I’ve also been sleeping with Frownies Non-Invasive Wrinkle Smoothers every night for the past month—I buy the Gentle Lifts for Lip Lines but use them all over my face. They’re these little adhesive patches that you wet with water and stick on your face, and I swear, my fine lines are disappearing before my eyes. You look crazy when you go to bed, but I think they’re magic.

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MAKEUP
My cheeks get really red very easily. I’ve learned to embrace my natural flush, so to that end, I’ve never had to use blush. I always default to either a glitter eye or winged cat eye—that’s a skill that I’m proud of. I’ve tried to learn how to do smoky eye a few times, but then I’m always like, ‘When are you actually going to use this?’

I’ve been using the Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer in Medium-Tan for maybe a decade. It really enhances my natural color, and my cheek color still comes through—I just look more ‘alive’ when I wear it. I also like that it has a little bit of SPF, but at this point in my life, I know that it’s not enough to wear it on its own, so I do wear sunscreen underneath it, too. If I need more coverage or have to cover any pimples, I like the NARS Soft Matte Complete Concealer in Custard.

I get my brows tinted and laminated with Yuki at Salon Lepetie, but in between sessions, I like to use the Half Magic Grippie Brow Sculpting Brow Gel for a feathered look. Growing up, I didn’t listen to my mom when she said that brows are so important, so I over-plucked mine. I’ve tried to grow them out with a serum, but it’s just so hard to remember to put it on every night. I just draw in little hairs with the Victoria Beckham Babyblade Brow Pencil in the few bald spots that I can’t get rid of. I usually have a hard time finding the right brow pencil shade because my eyebrows are on the lighter end, but VBB’s Taupe is perfect for me. And then my friend Jade put me onto the Babe Original Pro Lash Separator. Because my lashes are lifted and tinted, I would use disposable separators a lot, which I felt so bad about. The Babe one is just $10, perfectly curves around your whole eye, and truly separates your lashes. It’s amazing.

I was so loyal to Kat Von D’s Tattoo Eyeliner and Stila’s Liquid Liner for years, but I was gifted the Trish McEvoy Liquid Liner Pen and I’ve been loving it this past year. If I don’t use a dark liner though, I’ll use the Victoria Beckham Beauty Brightening Waterline Pencil instead. It’s such a cool product. It’s kind of a throwback to the white eyeliner we would use back in the day, but it really makes your eyes pop.

Victoria Beckham Beauty also makes these great shadow sticks called Eyewear. They’re super pigmented and blend out really well. Macaroon is such a beautiful pink. I love Oyster, a shimmery pearl, too. I blend them out with my fingers. And I’ve been using the Stila Glitter & Glow Shadows since college. Smoky Storm and Gold Goddess are so pretty, and they just glide on. The About-Face Shadowsticks are so easy to use, too. Acidic, an acid green, and 2002, a pearly blue, are my favorite shades. I’ll either do a wing with them or just color in my entire eye and head out the door.

For my lips, Victoria Beckham’s Posh Glosses in Ice, the clear shade, and Fizz, a cool rose, are my favorites. Then I top off whatever I’m wearing with the Caliray Calispray Setting Spray. I obviously don’t wear a lot of makeup, but it’s so nice to have a spray on hand, especially for eye makeup.

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NAILS
I go to Zoe at Red Polish for my nails every four weeks. Julie Schott introduced me to her over the pandemic, so I’ve been going to her for three or four years now. She does the best nail art. At this point, she and I have the type of relationship where if I don’t have a concept in mind, I’ll say, ‘Zoe, it’s your call today.’ I’m always so happy with the results. I’m very girly with my nails though. I love clouds, sparkles, glitter, and hearts.

FRAGRANCE
I had a party to celebrate 10 years of Hot Girls Eating Pizza, and as I was hugging some of my friends—some of whom I haven’t seen in five or six years—they said, ‘You smell like you.’ It’s because I’ve worn the same scent since college: Chloé Eau De Parfum. I love how it smells on me, and I’ve gotten so many compliments on it over the years that I’ll probably never switch. Recently, I’ve been layering it with D.S. & Durga’s I Don’t Know What. I also like to layer it with Milk from DedCool. And there’s this incredible fragrance and candle studio in Brooklyn called Joya. They do the coolest collaborations in the game, including a roll on perfume oil with an experiential hotel in Nashville called Noelle. Sometimes I layer that on, too. It smells like amber and musk, which I tend to gravitate towards.

I get more experimental with fragrance when it comes to candles, but one of my more classic favorites is Maison Louis Marie’s No.04 Bois de Balincourt. It smells so clean. I discovered it at New York Pilates because they always burn it—and I have a really positive association with going to NYP and taking time for myself. I also love all of Joya’s candles, but especially Nightlight, which is their collab with artist Tom Fruin. And my friends have this amazing one-of-one candle brand called Western Disco. They source vessels and make candles with their signature scents, Seabird and Orchard.

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HAIR
Jess Gonzalez colors my hair at Benjamin LA. I’ve been going to her for highlights every three months for a year and a half, and I love the way they grow out when Jess does them. She’s somehow able to do them without damaging my hair. For trims and blowouts, I go to Nina Aprile—she has been on a journey with me to get my hair to grow long again. I do a trim with her every three months now, and it’s finally growing long again. I only get three or four blowouts a year now—and always with Nina. I used to get them so often, but my hair was just not in a good place so I mainly air dry now. Nina’s blowouts are my favorite in the world though. She also has an amazing hair brand called That Girl That Did Your Hair. We included her Knotty Brushes in the Air Milkshake suite in New York. I think they’re better than Tangle Teezers. They’re the perfect brushes for smoothing and de-tangling.

I love purple shampoos, but I try not to overdo it with them because I don’t want my hair to get too ashy. It’s really easy to get a little brassy in California though, so I throw a purple shampoo in the mix every third hair wash. Kevin Murphy’s Blonde.Angel.Wash is great. dpHUE also makes an incredible Cool Blonde Shampoo and Conditioner. Jess put me on to the Milbon Moisture Replenishing #6 Treatment, which I use every week. That’s what she uses when she colors my hair. It makes a huge difference with moisture, and I love Milbon in general. California Naturals Shampoo and Conditioner are also in the mix.

I love Agent Nateur’s Holi (Locks) Strengthening Serum and Hair (Silk) Hydrating Serum. I really credit Holi (Locks) especially with helping me grow my hair. It’s an oil that you massage into your scalp. I think the stimulation has been really helpful. I also have an iRestore Essential red light hair mask that’s been really helpful with hair growth and preventing hair loss. I was losing so much hair from stress, and Stacey Bendet, the founder of Alice & Olivia posted about it on Instagram. I was totally influenced. I use it for 30 minutes every day.”

—As told to Daise Bedolla

Photographed by Brittany Bravo in Malibu on February 15, 2024



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