“The best hostess gift can go one of two ways,” says Eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone. She should know: the former interior designer turned food and lifestyle blogger throws frequent fêtes. “You can gift something timeless that evokes a memory, or something beautiful and basic your recipient will have forever and will use all the time, like a beautiful wine opener.”
Calderone’s interest in cooking began when she was in her twenties. “I love to create beauty, an interesting composition, whether it’s food on the plate, sharing a personal story or a tablescape,” Calderone explains. “It doesn’t have to be complicated—it’s about simple ideas that are thoughtfully executed.” While Calderone loved working in interior design, “it didn’t speak to all the things I was passionate about,” she says. “Eyeswoon began as a way for me to catalog recipes and the images I took of the meals I made for my friends,” she says. With Calderone’s current Instagram following of over 63,000, her creativity clearly inspires the masses, as well. Here, her swoon-worthy beauty picks.
I’m always exploring different moisturizers, oils and serums.
“I tend to like really fresh fragrances and gravitate toward those that are bright. Many of my favorites feature citrus among their notes. Or, I love one that’s super feminine, with jasmine or rose or something floral.”
“I have really dry skin, so I’m always exploring different moisturizers, oils and serums. As I get older, there’s an emphasis on having a regimented beauty routine in the morning and at night. When I was in my twenties, I didn’t put as much care into it. In my thirties and now that I just turned 40, skincare is of the utmost importance to me.”
“My hair is naturally wavy and it can get a little frizzy and fuzzy, so I use a serum to give my hair a finished look. Having bangs means a lot of smoothing treatments. I’ve worn a fringe for the past 15 years on and off. I like to make a strong statement look with my hair—either hippie long and wavy with a part down middle, or totally structured with bangs. I trim my bangs myself and I find that changing them up, even an eighth of an inch, makes a difference!”
I wear a bold, strong lip either in red or a wine hue
“I wear a bold, strong lip either in red or a wine hue. It instantly makes you feel pulled together. I don’t wear a lot of other makeup: just a clean, kind of matte face, no blush, no eyeliner or shadow. For a long time, I was strictly into a blue-red lipstick, but lately I like an orange-red, like Pure Color Envy Sculpting Lipstick in Impassioned. I have a photo of my mom and me at my first communion and my mom was sporting a red and white striped dress and beautywise, exactly my look: dark, straight hair and a bold red lip. She looked so chic and glamorous. My mom wouldn’t walk out of the house to go to the corner store or the market without a full face of makeup. She wasn’t overly posh, but she put value on her presentation.”
On Treating Herself:
“I’ve practiced vinyasa yoga for well over 15 years. The past couple of years, I’ve practiced less and my body just screams with joy when I go back to it. It’s what my body craves—it makes me feel alive, whole, like myself. I used to practice five days a week, but now I go about two or three times per week. Life has gotten so scheduled, but I love to be in nature on days when I can just let one decision lead to another and have the luxury of time.”
Photos by Sharon Radisch