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The Senses: Farr Bryant on Relationships, Wellness, and the Beauty of Crying

Style awakens the senses – and in the same vein as our

ethos – we’re excited to explore the important role creativity and style play in our lives through a different lens. Welcome to The Senses, a new interview series here on The Style Line which gives a platform for our interviewees to share ideas, products, and routines that empower them to not only dress well but live even better. If we’ve learned anything from our vibrant community, it’s that it is just as important to celebrate what we put into ourselves and our lives, as it is to focus on what we put on.

The next chapter in this series features follow-up from our recent visit with Austin-based style maven, and artist, Farr Bryant. We loved getting to know Farr’s truly thoughtful approach to style and were unsurprised to find that this same intentional approach has translated into her wellness and beauty routines. Speaking more to this idea, Farr kindly shared more on how relationships (with herself and with others) inspire her approach wellness, along with a few of her tried-and-true beauty essentials. Discover what’s inspiring this tastemaker’s creative senses in our condensed interview below and catch up on our recent Home Visit with Farr here.

CATCH UP ON OUR INITIAL STUDIO VISIT WITH FARR HERE

Howdy! Honestly, not too

much has changed since last we spoke except that I am about to embark on yet another move. I’m staying in Austin but moving into a new space. Moving is anxiety-inducing but ultimately exciting and I’m trying to stay focused on the latter. This will be the fourth time in a year that I’ve packed up all my belongings and had to create a new home. Change is very hard for me but as it turns out it is the only constant in life. Nothing stays the same, and I’ve learned that you better embrace it because otherwise you will feel swallowed up by the rolling storm that is just barreling on through your life. The only thing that seems to ease my anxiety about change is sticking to a set routine. You can’t control much in this fickle world, but there are a few small scheduled daily routines that help me feel grounded when adrift.

It is strange – as a bold a dresser, and eclectic homemaker, I am pretty mellow when it comes to a beauty/wellness/skincare routine. Growing up without a mother, I never had anyone to teach me how to do my makeup, what skincare regime to implement or even what products to use. However, I have learned that my skin is very sensitive so it is important for me to use a very light, non-oily face moisturizer with some SPF to help with that sensational Texas sun. Nothing to cover up my freckles though – gotta let those bad boys shine! And I really only wear minimal makeup. Only in the past few months have I started getting more playful with a punchy lip color but – that’s all folks!

My wellness routine as of late is that I’ve been making a priority of taking 45 minutes each morning to go on a hike down by the river to reset my head and attitude before showering and heading to work. The trail is usually really quiet and serene and I try to focus on finding something that sparks an emotion or touches me along the way. A few days it has been about watching this Blue Heron who lives down in the cove. There is also an amazing painted mural of a family dancing inside an apartment with an exaggerated picture window looking out onto a city. The walls of the apartment are Pepto pink and the floor is canary yellow and there are these men in green suits and women in purple dresses and even though I walk by it every day and it makes me smile and wish I were dancing with that happy family.

Most days, it is the time when my older brother, Bing, calls me from New York while he is walking to work and we catch up. Bing is the person I’ll always feel the most comfortable around and one of my closest confidants and for whatever reason as strong and tough as I am trying to be with work, relationships, friendships I just turn to an ooey gooey mess when I’m talking with him. I suppose my guard is down 110% and all my stress and insecurity come to the floodgates and Bing gets to listen to me spew it all out.

The Senses

TASTE 

Aperol, baby! I guess I’m kinda late to the Aperol game but hey, I’ve always been a late bloomer. Not only is the color what my coral dreams are made of but it has the nutty slightly sweet taste that I’ve been craving of late. I know we are headed into fall and I should be drinking something heartier but give me an Aperol spritz and I’ll give you a big old smile. 

SIGHT

Our family was brought up on Jerry Lewis movies. My brothers and I all have a very Jerry “tongue in cheek” sense of humor and love riling each other up. I’m the Dean Martin to my older brother Bing’s Jerry Lewis. Since his recent death, I have been trying to watch as many Jerry movies as I can get my hands on. Many of his movies he self-directed and I think his style is just too good to verbalize. The sets straddle ridiculousness (check out The Ladies Man (1961)) and he really pushed the envelope with his wardrobe rooted in primary colors. The physical comedy of the man is off the charts. Watch his typewriter scene from Who’s Minding the Store (1963).

TOUCH

Pleats, please! I have found a number of vintage Issey Miyake pieces over the years and lately have found such pleasure in not only the way the pleats perfectly drape over my body but the tactile sensation I get from running the fabric between my fingers. It is a little massage for your fingertips and I just can’t get enough. More pleats, please!

SMELL

I’m reading this biography from 1960 of the calypso king Harry Belafonte and every time I open up the book I get this great whiff of that slightly stale old bookstore smell and I love it. There is also this rose smell that I have no idea where the book must have picked it up. I found it in the disheveled used bookstore in Maine and I have this whole imagined theory that some old lady sprayed it with her perfume and gave it to a gentleman caller so that he would be reminded of her everything he opened the book to read. I’ve also been flying a bit in the past couple months and my nervousness with flying is at an all-time high. I didn’t set foot on a plane for over a year and then got really anxious knowing that I had to fly alone, so I asked myself what could I bring as a token to calm myself. When I was going through my mother’s personal belongings a couple years ago (14 years after her death) I found her purse she had been carrying up until the day they took her to the hospital and there was this strange lump in one of the pockets and low and behold inside was her lipstick. It was still embossed with the shape of her lips and I had this weird distinct to smell it and it instantly brought back this sense memory of her. So now every time I fly I tuck her lipstick into my jacket pocket and pull it out and hold or give it a gentle sniff when I’m feeling really anxious. I know this probably sounds so strange but it is this physical embodiment of her and it brings me ease and comfort.

HEARING

Roy Orbison and I are having a musical love affair. I recently re-watched Blue Velvet (1986) and can’t stop thinking about that one scene where Dean Stockwell is glammed up as a glorious Madame and lip-syncs Roy Orbison’s In Dreams to Dennis Hopper. It’s such an eerie but beautiful scene. I can’t even begin to express my reaction to it. I was in full-body goosebumps plus the chartreuse curtains and mauve walls in that room are interior design gold! Roy’s Blue Bayou has been another outlier lately. I just want to sway all night to that song.

Many a morning I’ve walked that trail in full-blown tears on the phone with him. But heck, crying is good! We all need to cry more. I hear it’s good for your skin! Other mornings, a mom with a baby in a stroller passes by and the baby and I will lock eyes and it will smile and I will turn to mush. It can be something as simple as that but it has been really helpful to take that walk to meditate and try and be more present in my surroundings, feeling my emotions full force and finding simple joy.

I can feel myself getting anxious right when I wake with all the responsibilities I have, all the things I need to change, and all the things I think I need or want and this little hike always puts a stop to all that or at least puts it at bay for a little while. It lets me reset and remind myself to have simpler goals and want less. I try and focus on wanting to laugh or smile or witness someone else’s love and not some physical or materialistic reward instead. Smiling at a baby is my daily reward and it is rewarding enough!

To shift gears, my beauty and skincare routine is fairly simple. In the mornings, I use almond soap and a sulfate and paraben free shampoo and condition in the shower, then I put on some Big Cloud Daily Moisturizer with 25 SPF for my face and Lauren’s All Purpose Salve for the rest of my body, a few strokes of mascara and fill my eyebrows in a bit with Dior’s Diorshow Brow Styler and if I am feeling playful I’ll add a little lip color. I’m obsessed with Cle Cosmetics Melting Lip Tint (Barbie Pink, Ultimate Summer, and Cherry Red are my go-to’s).

Sometimes I will put on some perfume but lately I’ve been getting headaches from most scents. Instead, I’ll stick with a dab of lavender or amber musk essential oil. At night, I use all natural eye makeup wipes and then wash my face with warm water. Simple is better in my mind when it comes to skincare and makeup. Not clothes, though! For that, you have to be wild!

I get the most excited when people have a visceral reaction to my outfits. It doesn’t really matter if it is an eye roll, a chuckle, or a smile. Just the fact that my outfit made someone feel something is really exhilarating to me. The outfits that do provoke a reaction are the ones with the brightest color, and craziest patterns, and the mixing of different fabrics or pieces from different eras. That feels like a very sensory way to dress and I can’t get enough of it.