The Beautiful Life

Three local ladies share the style and beauty secrets that keep them looking and feeling their best.

Photograph by Cade Martin Photograph of Kwawu by Zaid Hamid. Photograph of Collis by Moshe Zusman. Photograph of Day by Marge Ely.

1. The PR Guru: Aba Kwawu, 38

Mom to Sela, 5, and Eli, 3

Founder of her namesake public-
relations, marketing, and events firm The Aba Agency, Aba Kwawu keeps busy repping a stylish
roster of clients that has
included Tysons Galleria, Cirque Du Soleil, Renaissance Hotels, chef Fabio Trabocchi, Intermix, AllSaints, and Rag & Bone, to name a few. Throw in producing a fashion show here and a star-filled bash there, and you have Kwawu’s typical schedule. Since life can be hectic, she relies on a pared-down beauty routine—save the
occasional faux lash, of course.

“I completely let my routine go about eight months ago because my life was just too busy. I was working out with a trainer three days a week and doing Pilates reformer classes weekly. Now that my baby is almost
3, I am getting back to taking care of myself and have started again with Pilates and strength conditioning. Our
elliptical machine in the basement gets used a few nights
a week, after I get the munchkins to bed.”

“I get facials with lactic peels once a month at Parma Spa in Tysons Corner and use the Obagi Nu-Derm system day and night.”

“I must always have my Palmer’s
cocoa butter gel oil. It is the only thing that keeps my dry skin in check. It was discontinued recently, and we scoured the internet to buy whatever was left. I get my eyebrows waxed by Julie Nguyen at Blu Water Day Spa & Salon in Kensington, and my mani-pedi there as well. They have the best gel colors when
I need something long-lasting.”

“For daytime, I keep things very light with Bobbi
Brown oil-free foundation, some gloss, and
maybe Givenchy mascara. I’m obsessed with
the new Tom Ford line of
cosmetics. It’s all about rich color that wakes up my skin for nighttime events! I only spend about
five minutes on makeup; I’ve never been much of a makeup girl. For evenings, I do shadows and turn up the color. You may even see some Make Up For Ever lashes from time to time, especially for photo shoots. My kids get such a kick out of it when I pretend to be Snuffleupagus
with the lashes on.”

“I have no-fuss hair because I have no time! Shirley Gordon at Strands Studios in
Wheaton takes care of me and lets me slip in when
I can. I use Wella shampoo and conditioner and leave all the rest to her.”

Breakfast: “In a rush to get the kids out of the house,
I usually survive with just a cup of Twinings Earl Grey with cream and a piece of
fruit for the ride.”
Lunch: “Working with lifestyle and restaurant clients fortunately—and unfortunately—lands me at great restaurants all over town. When not entertaining media at a client’s eatery or attending a luncheon myself, I usually work through lunch in front
of my computer and
settle for a turkey sandwich with avocado from TJ’s Deli near our Georgetown office.”
Dinner: “I usually eat dinner with the kids around 6:30,
and it varies from
traditional Ghanaian dishes we cook at home to eating out together.”
Dessert: “This is my weakness!
I love chocolate and most sweet things. I’m trying to curb my sweet tooth, though.”
Beverages: “Usually water with lemon.”
Vitamins: “I take a probiotic supplement and sometimes a OneBodē Escalate capsule.”

2. The Radio Deejay: Kelly Collis (in her thirties)

Mom to Ryan, 9, and Kacey, 7

Early mornings take on
new meaning when you’re Kelly Collis. Co-host of Fresh 94.7 FM’s morning radio program, The
Tommy Show
, she rises at the yawn-inducing hour of 3:15 to start her day. Time is of the essence, but that doesn’t mean this mom of two compromises on style or beauty.

“I’m a retired long-distance runner. I took up vinyasa yoga at Down Dog Power Yoga in Georgetown two years ago, and I love it. It is sweaty, with a 97-degree room, and my flexibility has increased dramatically. Alison’s 90-minute class on Sunday night will help you detox from a rough weekend. I try to go three days a week. However, I’m registered for the Army Ten-Miler in October, so I need to start running again. If I don’t make it to yoga, I justify it by being active with my kids swimming and playing soccer, baseball, and tennis with them.”

“My dermatologist suggested taking a Claritin a day to reduce puffiness around my eyes, and it really works, all year long. I get a facial about twice a year, but Erwin Gomez has been taming my eyebrows since 1999!”

“I get a pedicure every three weeks and a manicure with no polish about every other month. My spa treatments have been put on hold, and I have been using my budget for laser hair removal. I am also not afraid of Botox—my best friend, Lauren Gavaris, is a doctor in DC, and she administers it about every four months.”

“I don’t wear makeup to work in the morning except Bobbi Brown Lash Glamour extreme lengthening mascara. I
apply more makeup when
we get off the air around 9 am so I don’t scare anyone in the meetings after
our show. I arrive to work with heavily moisturized skin. I swear by Laura
Mercier mineral powder, Nars the Multiple all-purpose stick in G-Spot, and Bobbi Brown creamy concealer. At night, I add Nars Larger Than Life long-wear eyeliner on both my top and bottom lids. On those
late nights, it lasts until the next morning.”

“I am weaning myself off a series of Brazilian blowouts. I’m trying to go more natural with my wavy hair; I use Moroccanoil hair products to keep the frizz at bay, and my must-have that goes everywhere with me is a flat iron. I have just stopped plucking my gray hairs and am letting them grow out. I suspect hair coloring
is somewhere in the near future.”

Breakfast: “Two cups of coffee with
half-and-half. I am a big fan of eating organic and shopping
at farmers markets to eat seasonal fruit and vegetables when I
can; I usually eat Greek yogurt with fresh fruit around 5 am, then snack on wheat crackers with
peanut butter and honey.
I have been known to enjoy
Pop-Tarts and doughnuts on some mornings.”
Snacks: “I might have a snack late at
night before bed—sliced
tomatoes with a little cheese
on wheat bread.”
Lunch: “I have ‘lunch’ around 11 am,
which includes my new
favorite snack: quinoa! I am
addicted to eating salads
from Sweetgreen. But a nap
often trumps lunch for me.”
Dinner: “Dinner is usually spent with
my kids—we have been using our new grill outside and have
tried to grill everything from a fish to a full chicken to corn on the cob. When all else fails I am a big fan of carryout—a large pizza can feed our whole family.” 
Dessert: “I try not to, but I do love me
some Dolcezza gelato.”
Beverages: “One of my favorite new
drinks is fresh-pressed juice,
sparkling water, and red wine—
preferably a Pinot Noir.”
Vitamins: “Biotin and a multivitamin—once
in a while I’ll take my kids’
Flintstones vitamins instead.”

3. The Model: Rhiannon Day, 37

Mom to Vincent, 11

One might expect third-
generation professional model
Rhiannon Day to have genes
that dictate high-maintenance glamour. Think again: This DC
native and newly accredited
jewelry professional keeps it basic with a fresh, healthy diet, yoga,
and a no-fuss approach to beauty.

“I do yoga right at home. I find it helps me to focus and relax if I am not in a class full of people with different energies. When I am being good, I do it five times a week for at least 20 minutes, but that does vary depending on the day’s surprises. I try to walk to as many places as possible, and that is a huge benefit.”

“When it comes to my skin, drinking water is the answer— the more, the better. I wash my face twice a day with an exfoliating scrub and use a moisturizer with SPF 15 for the day and a night cream before bed. I have used Kiehl’s for 15 years, and it has never failed me. I do not get facials, as my skin loves a routine and when I alter it even slightly I can see an unwelcome difference.” 

“I get a mani-pedi every two weeks and the occasional massage. My manis and pedis during my busy season are always an Essie color called Hi Maintenance. In
the summer, I’m free to get wild with color! For my skin, I’m a fan of baby oil right
after my shower, and I load up on Nivea creme whenever I go to the drugstore. While I do enjoy some luxury items, taking
care of your body does not have to be expensive. You just have to take the time to do it!”

“My makeup line of choice is Guerlain, but
as a model I have used them all. I try to keep it
simple and natural. I spend about an hour in the morning before
bookings. When it comes to going from day to night, I always start fresh and just make the eye a little smokier. ” 

“I have very short hair, so
it’s wash and go! I still love
a good conditioner even though I may not need it. I do get a trim and color every month or so. Low maintenance is great in humid weather.”

Breakfast: “I eat very early, 5:30, before
I get everyone else ready for their day. My breakfast consists of
coffee with local honey, and a plain baked potato; I’m not a fan of
sweet fruits in the morning.”
Lunch: “Lunch comes early too, and
that is when I crave fruit. I have a
lot of fruit I’ve frozen from
frequent trips to the farmers market or Takoma Park Silver Spring
Co-op. I typically make myself a smoothie—strawberries, bananas, blueberries, and blackberries are the
usual. I don’t eat dairy, so I add apple
juice or some cantaloupe as the mixer. I usually have a tortilla made of
seeds with fresh avocado and bean sprouts, nuts, and tons of water.”
Snacks: “I don’t really have a set time
for meals, and find myself snacking on healthy items all day.”
Dinner: “Dinner is always the time when
we come together in the house. Fresh pasta, steamed veggies,
and some kind of organic meat
is on the table.”