Since the dawn of civilization, people have striven to improve their appearance through the addition of stylish clothing, jewelry, skincare and makeup. We do it every day, often without thinking. It’s just simply part of our routine and we forget how much time and energy we’re actually putting into our beauty habits and in some cases, we perhaps forget the why as well. Ella POE’s Founder and jewelry maker, Danielle Birrittella sits down with us to talk about her personal style and inspirations, her company’s philosophy about putting the ritual back into our daily routines and finding what makes us and our skin happy.
WHERE DO YOU LOOK TO FIND INSPIRATION FOR YOUR COLLECTIONS?
It really comes from everywhere. I get a lot of ideas when I’m hiking and my mind is clear. I also find an incredible amount of inspiration from very old cultures where symbols and motifs found in all aspects of design, from architecture to cuisine, can be reappropriated to fit into our contemporary aesthetic. I just got back from a trip to Morocco and, no surprise, I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of intricacy in everything there and how each smaller subculture has developed their own very specific design language over hundreds of years.
IN A COUPLE SENTENCES OR LESS … HOW DID YOU PROPEL YOUR LINE TO WHAT IT IS TODAY?
It has been a long and unpredictable road. I really didn’t start out to be a designer – it’s something that evolved while I was studying music. Good design has always been a minor obsession for me and it was a natural way for me to procrastinate from the rigorous path of being a classical singer!
Ultimately, I’ve just put in the work, day after day, for the last several years. I only design things and make business decisions that I truly believe in. I know it sounds simple, but I think if there’s a magic bullet that’s it.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVE BEAUTY BRAND? BEAUTY PRODUCT? WHAT ARE YOUR MUST-HAVES YOU WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT ON A DESERTED ISLAND WITHOUT?
I use our H2Poe Serum as a base for everything. I’m obsessed with it.
Poe mandarin masque for long flights.. Keeps you hydrated and won’t make you break out.
I love kate Somerville’s SPF serum
I like the Arcona Gommage because it is so fine.
I like any kind of Peel with glycolic or lactic acid, I use PTR and their sulfur spot treatment.
I love all Korres products and cannot live without their concealer for under my eyes.
Any kind of rouges for my cheeks and lips is essential. I use Korres.
A kajal eyeliner.
Moroccan oil for my hair.
Tom Ford Jasmine and Santal blush perfume
A wooden comb I got in Greece that gives you a nice head massage!
Some kind of rich body cream.
HOW DOES YOUR PERSONAL STYLE MATCH YOUR MAKEUP PERSONALITY?
My style is pretty eclectic, but minimal. I enjoy keeping things simple with make-up, a fesh face and then adding something bold, like a really smoky eye or bright lips. Clothing is similar for me. Today I’m wearing a loose, plain white painter’s blouse, a simple suede bag I got in Barcelona years ago, and a long coral colored silk skirt with a big slit up the side.
Quality of products is very important to me. I like to know about the contents of what I’m putting on my face or body. In the same way, I am adamant about the quality of materials I use in my jewelry and buy for myself and my home. I’m a purist about buying pieces that are made of natural materials – gold, linens, silks, leathers. I appreciate things that last and are crafted with thoughtfulness. Quality over quantity, always.
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY FOR YOU, MAKEUP-WISE?
Super simple. H2Poe serum. Concealer under my eyes, a little bit of cheek stain, and mascara.
WHAT MAKES YOU BLUSH?
I don’t know if you’ve heard of Portuguese Fado music, but if you ever get the chance to hear these guys sing.. you’ll understand.
WHAT IS THE BEST BEAUTY ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED?
Sleep. Drink lots of water. Exercise. Breathe. Laugh. And, always moisturize.
FASHION AND BEAUTY ARE SO CLOSELY RELATED. FOR YOU PERSONALLY AND FOR YOUR BRAND, HOW AND WHY DO THE TWO GO HAND-IN-HAND?
From the very beginning, our tagline at Ella Poe has been The Ritual of Adornment. We have so many opportunities to care for ourselves through the way we dress, the way we eat, the way we decorate our homes, the way treat those we love. I don’t believe in beauty for beauty’s sake, I believe that it comes naturally when we are inspired. I try to design from this place. I try to see possibilities and potential in myself in just the same way and that makes me feel beautiful.