Real Girl, Real Beauty: A Stylish Approach To Au Naturel

In an age of beauty "fixes" that claim to alter everything from your eye color to your hair type, it's always refreshing to see a girl who embraces her natural beauty. With her thick curls, porcelain skin, and healthy attitude towards beauty, Daniela Perdomo is a breath of fresh air, when it comes to beauty. Daniela, who manages content marketing and partnerships around social impact at The Huffington Post, invited us into her cool casa in Brooklyn to talk about how she cares for her formidable mane, her new nail polish obsession (it's ours too!), why she loves the "no poo" method, and much more. Click through to get the scoop on her fresh take on beauty.
Photographed by Mark Iantosca
1 of 13
What do you usually like to wear? Are there any brands you tend to gravitate toward?
"Color matters a lot to me and I’m just going to come right out as a seasonal color analysis acolyte. According to Color Me Beautiful — a book to which my mother was introduced in the '80s — I am a 'winter,' so I’m usually swathed in black, white, jewel tones, and bright colors, and I avoid any orange and muted colors like mustard, chartreuse, taupe, and mauve. I really believe in knowing which colors suit you; it’s the difference between looking sallow and looking ravishing.

That being said, most of my closet is made up of colorful printed dresses — and florals are a favorite. There’s nothing that makes me happier than a vibrant printed dress that’s both feminine and comfortable enough to eat and move around in all day. If I’m not wearing a dress, I’m wearing jeans, and I tend to favor those that sit a little higher on my waist, as they hide the fact that I’m slightly straight through the middle. I really recommend Cheap Monday or Court jeans for girls who, like me, are relatively straight-figured. They hug your body really well and look great, cuffed or not."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
2 of 13
Talk to us a bit about your hair. How do you care for it?
"My hair is naturally curly. I listen very carefully to my hairstylist, Sage — she works at Devachan Salon in SoHo, which specializes in all manner of curly hair and it’s where I’ve been going since college.

It’s all about order of operations with curly hair. First, I condition, by mixing in Devachan’s Heaven in Hair with their One Condition, and leaving a good amount of it in my hair. Your locks should still feel silky with conditioner when you’re done, and it’s good to give your hair a blast of cold water before you turn off the shower, to let your hair’s cuticles close.

As soon as the shower head is off, I flip over my head and run Devachan’s Styling Cream through my hair, focusing more on the ends, which are usually the driest parts as they're the oldest parts of your hair. Next, I scrunch my curls up with my hands, taking out a good deal of excess water, and finish by scrunching the curls again with a cotton T-shirt — the smoother the surface of what you dry your curls with, the less likely you are to frizz them out. Then, I flip over slowly, letting my curls sit ahead of my shoulders rather than behind, so as to maximize volume on top of my hair. Also, once a week I use Ouidad’s 12-Minute Deep Treatment for deep-conditioning.

According to the Devachan categorization of curls, mine are 'Botticelli,' which means they are loose curls. I only blow-dry if I have something I have to look exceedingly professional for in the mornings, because curls don’t set as beautifully as when they’re allowed to dry at their own speed."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
3 of 13
We see you're a fan of the "no poo" method. Can you explain that a bit for the unenlightened?
"The sulfates in shampoo dry out curly hair. No Poo is Devachan’s “cleaning agent” — their alternative to shampoo. I use it only once a week, and only use it on my scalp. That’s all I need, even though I exercise and sweat regularly. I promise my hair still smells nice every day! Dropping shampoo is a paradigm shift, but it’s a necessary one for curly girls."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
4 of 13
How do you amp up your look for a night out?
"Red lipstick is my definitive 'going-out' look. It immediately dresses you up, even if you’re just in jeans and a T-shirt."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
5 of 13
What are some of your go-to makeup products?
"Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara is an amazing mascara for going out, and Bare Escentuals Buxom Lash is a long-lasting, non-clumping, everyday mascara. I use MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter Light Boost over my dark circles as a primer before concealer. I finally discovered a long-lasting lipstick based on a recommendation from a flight attendant in Tokyo who said she never had to reapply, even through 15-hour flights: Chanel's Rouge Allure in Insolente (bright pink) and Passion (true red)."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
6 of 13
Describe your everyday beauty look.
"Natural. I go for ease, particularly because I’m not a morning person and it’s hard enough to get out of the door as it is. My main goal is to cover up the dark circles around my eyes, dab some blush on my cheeks for color, and apply some mascara. Sometimes I’ll wear some pink lipstick. Hair down, all very simple."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
7 of 13
What's one beauty trend that totally baffles you?
"Hair straightening. Straight hair can look great when it’s natural, but it breaks my heart when I see girls with curly or wavy hair straighten their locks until they’re burnt to a crisp — I see this every day in the streets of New York. I wish more girls realized that there’s a lot of fun in curls, if you give them a chance — and certainly a lot more beauty in them than in a fried mop of hay-like hair."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
8 of 13
What do you use to take care of your skin?
"I really love La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios Face Fluide Extreme SPF 50, as it’s very lightweight, and I use Clinique’s True Bronze Pressed Powder Bronzer in Sunkissed as my blush, to make up for the lack of sun-exposure. Colorescience Pro Illuminating Serum in Champagne Kiss is an amazing clear base you can put anywhere on your face to bring out the natural luminous quality of your skin. Eucerin Aquaporin Active Light is my dermatologist-recommended, twice-daily face moisturizer, while Nivea Creme is a classic moisturizer that gets my hands and feet through colder months."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
9 of 13
Do you ever put your hair up?
"I’ve had a hard time finding an updo that I feel comfortable with, because I feel naked without my hair, but wearing my curls in a low, sideways ponytail is a great way of both accentuating them and pulling them away from my face."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
10 of 13
Where do you get your beauty inspiration from?
"My mother. I grew up in Brazil — a total beach culture that worships tan lines. And while I’m naturally pale, I tan easily. But now that that I’m just a few years shy of thirty, I appreciate that while a young sun-kissed face is nice to look at, even lovelier is a face that ages well.

This was particularly driven home by the fact that my mother can point to exact spots on her body that look more aged as the exact places where she was sunburned the few times she tanned. That was a wake-up call for me, as I’ve spent most of my life in the sun! If I want to look as youthful as my mom does when I’m her age I have to back out of the sun now.

I haven’t tanned my face in nearly two years, and wear SPF 50 every day, even indoors; hats and big sunglasses also help when I’m outside. It’s a process, but I’m slowly owning up to the fact that I’m pale, and that can be lovely, too."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
11 of 13
You have some pretty unique pieces of jewelry — can you tell us a bit about them?
"My jewelry really reflects my heritage. I was raised in Brazil and my parents live in Guatemala now, so many of my favorite necklaces and rings are made of colorful seeds and feathers from the Amazon, and semi-precious stones like jasper, onyx, and jade. My mother’s family is from Israel, so I’ve also built up a collection of chunky silver Bedouin baubles that I love — they liven up any all-black NYC outfit."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
12 of 13
We're obsessed with your nail polish! What is it?
"I am wearing Slapper by Butter London. I like wearing bright nail colors that complement most things I wear without being too matchy. I don’t usually do too much with my nails, but when I’m in the mood for it, I head to Sakura on the Lower East Side — their gel manicures last a month, they can draw anything, and they have the most extensive nail color palette I’ve ever seen.

Photographed by Mark Iantosca
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How do you describe your style?
"Comfortable and feminine. I lived in California for three years, and some of that practical style has stuck with me here in Brooklyn. I definitely wear more black now, but I still have an anti-heels stance, for the most part. I walk and bike everywhere, and my shoes have to allow for that. I really like outfits that I can wear from day to night, with slight adjustments like makeup, accessories or shoes."

Photographed by Mark Iantosca

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