When I first started Fashion.Style.Beauty, media powerhouse Karen Robinovitz was nice enough to make an introduction to Paul Wilmot Communications, a powerhouse PR firm that was my first big introduction to giant brands. I’m lucky to have that relationship to this day, and have made more than a few friends there, not the least of which is today’s subject: the ever-stylish Stephanie Katzin Hertz. Steph is a true friend: a girl’s girl that has always looks insanely put together, seems to always have a minute and a kind word for a friend, and is gorgeous, inside and out.
When I asked Stephanie to walk everyone through how she seems to have it together despite days of meetings and appointments mixed with a cross-country travel schedule and a new husband, she was surprised —it’s odd to turn the camera on people who are used to setting up interviews. But, she turned out to be a great interview subject. From why workouts are vital to a breezy beauty routine (and a bit on why online shopping is a lifesaver for busy people,) here’s how Stephanie does it:
On having a crazy schedule
“On a good day, I get to the gym in the morning around 7:30 am. My favorite thing to do is to go for a light jog on the treadmill while watching Today or Good Morning America so I know what’s going on. Then it’s back to my apartment to shower, get ready and head to the office. The first thing I do when I hit the office is have a HUGE cup of coffee. Everyone knows that before I can do anything (and before speaking to me) that the coffee is essential.
Then, I read the papers. I don’t think in this industry that you can get anything done without reading WWD, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. I do that first, handle email, and that’s how I start my day.
My days vary all the time: some days I’m off with clients, some days I’m in meetings all day, other days I’m with editors at events or scheduled one-on-one time to pitch them on what’s going on with my clients and to help work on stories. I also travel quite a bit. We have amazing clients on the West Coast, like Dr. Nicholas Perricone MD, who’s in San Francisco. Like I said, my days vary.
My nights are usually capped off with dinner and/or drinks with an editor friend or launch events for clients. Those big events that launch products and/or concepts for our clients are a huge part of what we do, and they’re incredibly fun. I try to leave the office around 6:30 pm every day, and if I’m not headed to an event or an in-person meeting, I’ll just head home. If for some reason I didn’t make it to the gym that morning, that’s when I’ll make sure I get my workout in. “
Why working out is so important
“It ‘s my de-stressing time, it’s my way of relaxing after a long day. I think it’s important for anyone in this industry —or, really, anyone in general — to make time for yourself every day. You have to build in breaks. So, as tempting as it can be to check email and news during treadmill time, I’m pretty good about plugging in my headphones and ignoring any messages that come through on my iPhone during that specific time. I just find that if I don’t have time to unplug and give my brain a break, I’m just not as productive as I need to be. It’s really important to go to bed at night with a clear head so you’re ready to take on the day the next morning.
Sometimes, I don’t see my husband very much during the week Monday through Thursday, but I don’t think he really minds it much. It’s like we get to date on weekends, which makes it fun.”
Remember the phone?
“I know that email is a huge part of what we do during the day, and it’s a hugely effective tool to communicating, but there’s still nothing like picking up the phone and speaking to someone directly. I think you’d be amazed at what you can accomplish if you just talk to someone. Whether it’s an in-person meal or over the phone, I always try to connect with the people in my life. I think it’s important; it’s the best way to bring your big ideas to fruition.”
How to Love Your Job
“I love that my work is challenging, that it has constant excitement. People constantly ask me how I’ve stayed with one agency for so long; I started with this agency the week after I graduated from college, and I’ve been here for eight years. Every day is interesting, every day bring a new set of challenges. I’ve always been in the beauty and wellness side of things because that’s where my heart is, so I think staying connected to that side of the business is important to my longevity. I’ve had the privilege of having exciting, amazing clients and a great team that challenge me to be my best daily. That’s part of why I need a good night’s sleep: so I can get up and rise to the occasion.”
On getting dressed in the morning
“I think getting dressed sets the tone for the day. If I make it to the gym in the morning, it naturally lends itself to looking more put together during the day. It’s a natural kind of progression: I feel like I’ve started my day on a really great foot, so I want to continue that trend throughout the day by putting just a little more thought into what I’m wearing.
I’m not so much a dress girl: I like pants. I love Vince, Theory, Elizabeth and James, and I’m really going through a Tibi phase right now: their stuff is just so cute. But I’m usually in pants and separates in dark, muted colors at work. It seems that when I wear color, it arouses suspicion, like something must be going on for me to wear a brighter hue. Clearly, dark colors are my thing.
If I’m feeling it, I’ll throw on a high-waist skirt. I love a good pleat, I like the way those skirts fit and they’re comfortable.
As far as shoes go, most days I’m in Repetto ballet flats: they’re comfortable and they’re cute. Otherwise, it’s boots, like this great pair of Chloe boots I wore through this really brutal winter.”
Have a manageable makeup and skin care routine
As the Director of the Beauty Division, I have to look together for my clients and my job, so I’m religious to Perricone MD No Makeup Skincare. From their concealer to their foundation serum to their blush, I love that it’s just so good for your skin. At this point, I don’t put anything else on my complexion unless I know I’m getting the same anti-aging and skin care benefits.
I like the occasional lip, like a great matte orange-y red. MAC is my go-to, the products are amazing. I’m not normally a red lip girl; I find they’re usually just too much for me. But I’ve found that if I blot it with a little concealer it works to tamper down the brightness. I love nude lip gloss. I love mascara, but I’ll usually skip the eyeliner unless I feel like I need to look more alive.
I also refuse to leave the house without spritzing on By Killian fragrance. Amber Oud was my go-to this winter since it smelled so warm and amazing, and I love Bamboo Harmony now that the days have (thank goodness) gotten warmer. Fragrance is part of starting my day: it just sets the day off in the right direction.
My skin care regimen is also simple: I just wash my face with water in the morning; I find that anything else just dries it out. I’ve been playing with the new Eve Lom cleanser, which is all natural and amazing. Then I’ll use Perricone MD Moisturizers (Photo Plasma for day, Blue Plasma at night.) But I just keep it simple: I’ve found that the less I do to my skin, the less it reacts.”
Why a hair strategy (including morning blowouts) helps
“I find that blowing out my hair in the morning, as annoying as it is, makes me feel human. It takes 30 minutes, and I have straight-ish hair so I don’t have to make a huge process of it. But it makes a difference in the way I feel. As far as color goes, I’m devoted to Kim at ION Studio in SoHo who took me from a streaky blonde situation (I’m naturally a brunette) to what I have now, and Gabriel cuts my hair there; he’s a doll. It’s easy, it’s close to my apartment, and it’s all green, which makes me feel good about the environment. They’re also such a great place: you don’t feel like you’re being shuffled around mercilessly and it’s so relaxing to get things done there. I recommend the salon to everyone who asks me. It’s worth every dollar.”
Not quite beauty appointment organized? There’s an app for that.
“I’m not great with booking beauty appointments in advance, but the Beautified app is genius for those of us who are terrible with keeping up with our grooming appointments.”
On the power of a great bag
“I believe in the power of a good tote, like my current favorite, this Mansur Gavriel tote. It took me a while to find it, with the current obsession with bucket bags and the like. I had to call Steven Alan to get this one because this basic black tote was sold out everywhere. It’s pretty basic: great black tote, lightweight, holds everything. It’s more affordable than other designer bags, and I love the blue interior.
I used to carry so much crap around and then I stopped and thought, “What am I doing?!? I don’t USE half of this, it’s killing my back, and I’m over it.” So, I stopped doing it for the most part.
The tote houses my favorite Chanel flats, a charger for my iPhone, the phone, wallet, keys, small makeup bag, my sunglasses (currently Illesteva, so cute, just got them from Barneys – they’re chic without being ridiculously expensive) and a snack. I’m always carrying something to eat because you just never know. It’s usually a KIND bar.”
On how to look and feel your best during the day
Wear something that you feel confident and sexy in. When you leave the house in the morning and you KNOW you look good, that confidence carries throughout the day. Also, be comfortable: shoes that are too tight, clothes that are too binding — there’s nothing more distracting than being uncomfortable all day. Also, just know what works for YOU. Find your favorite secret weapon BB cream that makes your face look amazing; a little mascara goes a long way, etc.
Also, keep a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss in your desk. There is nothing that feels better than a fresh mouth during the day, and it makes me feel like a new person.”
Why you should phone a friend every day
“Definitely take the time to connect with a good friend every single day. You’d be amazed at how taking two seconds to pick up the phone or send a quick message during the day can do for you. It’s amazing how it will change your day, especially when you’re dealing with a crazy situation at work. If you’re having a challenging day, a quick conversation with someone you love puts things in perspective and can give you a new perspective. It really helps.”
On why the Internet rocks for really busy people
I’m an online girl all the way. It’s a problem. Every morning (and I shouldn’t admit this) in addition to checking the papers, I roll through the “What’s New” section on Shopbop. It’s my go-to, and I am notorious for ordering a lot of things and returning what doesn’t work. It makes my husband insanely anxious, but I can’t deal with the in-store shopping thing with my schedule and it’s so easy. Also, Net-A-Porter (especially for beauty brands, WOW, what a good selection,) Forward by Elyse Walker and Revolve Clothing are the only way to go to get great items literally sent for your approval. It’s amazing.
Stephanie Hertz is wearing all her own clothes for this shoot: Barneys New York shoes (no longer available, new styles here) Tibi Pavement skirt, James Perse Daily Tank, J.Crew Nolita denim jacket, Mansur Gavriel Cammello with Royal Large Tote, Illevesta Leonard II sunglasses, Hermes enamel “H” bracelet, her own wedding and engagement rings, Cartier Ballon Bleu de Cartier watch, and Chanel Glossimer in Scintillantes.
All photos in this post: Kristin Booker for Fashion.Style.Beauty. All rights reserved.