Kerrilynn Pamer and Cindy DiPrima are the founders of CAP Beauty: the NYC store and spa pioneering natural beauty and wellness. They sat down with us to detail how they’ve grown a business around self-care while honoring it at the same time, what their routines look like, their non-negotiables, and what they recommend to look and feel your best.
Kerrilynn: When it comes to food I don’t categorize myself, but if I did, I pretty much eat plants and try hard to eat well. I’m Celiac—but being the vegan, gluten free person can be too much for people to handle, myself included. So I try to consume as many plants as possible, along with really good fats. I eat a ton of sauerkraut, to the point where my husband started a company. He was like, we’re going to go broke. You’re eating so much sauerkraut. These are ten dollars a bottle.
Cindy: We’re also careful about the quality of the foods we’re eating. Even when you’re eating healthy options at restaurant or on set for a shoot, somehow you can eat a plate of vegetables and still not feel great. Why is that? Why can I make myself a big plate of greens and broccoli and quinoa and feel great after eating it, but I’ll eat the same lunch out and it’s not the same? My best guess is that it’s the quality of the oils.
Kerrilynn: I’m also a big believer in the energy of the food that’s been prepared. I mean, if you’re loving the process of cooking a meal, you’re just going to feel better. I’ve had moments where I’m fighting with my husband while making dinner, then I sit down to eat it and it’s just shit. I think in some ways you can compare that to the pace that they cook at in restaurants… I’m reading this book about restaurant culture called ‘Sweetbitter’, and it’s all about the mania that happens in the kitchen. I think you feel that, you know?
Cindy: We also believe in the power of crowding out. So if you’re focusing more on ‘Did I eat enough health-giving, beautiful things today?’, other things are going to fall away. You can’t do everything. If you’re focusing less on ‘That has a little bit of honey in it and I’m not having any sugar so I’m not gonna do that’—you’re approaching it from a negative place. But if you’re thinking: ‘I’m going to pile my plate with really nutritious, beautiful vegetables and then we’ll see where that takes me’, it’s probably going to take you to the right place. Also focusing on consuming really nutrient-dense, vitamin and mineral-rich foods. This goes for skin care as well.
Kerrilynn: Yeah. Instead of ‘I’m going to eat that because I’m going to be bad’, just ‘How is this going to make me feel?’ That was a big one for me. You know Louise Hay? Everything she approached in life was from a place of:
Will this make me feel good?
and I think that’s such a great way of thinking about things. Even if you’re in a debaucherous place, you might be going to a place of feeling good in a weird way, but if you’re in a place of taking care of yourself, it’s such a loving question. That engagement with my food has changed how I eat.
Cindy: We often eat lunch out, which is usually a big salad. You have to just do your best. Dinner, we tend to cook at home.
Kerrilynn We’re also pretty lucky to have Moon Juice snacks in our stores. I always have snacks on me. I’m like a mom that way.
Cindy: There are these sticks called Gopal Power Wraps. They look like a Slim Jim, but they’re not. They’re seeds and seaweed.
Kerrilynn: Though I was out recently with some friends (who don’t eat the way I do) and they were like, “What is that?” I said— “It’s delicious. It’s like a weird Slim Jim” and they took a bite and said, “This is revolting. This is the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.” I mean, it’s a great snack, but it’s definitely not a donut.
Cindy: But it also makes you feel a lot better than a donut.
Kerrilynn: We also drink a ton of herbs, particularly in the morning. I don’t eat as much breakfast as I used to. I find myself eating more towards the end of the day.
Cindy: That’s a Kimberly Snyder thing: the idea of light to heavy. Which is sort of the opposite to what we’re taught…
Kerrilynn: I was very much that person before—eating a really big breakfast and tapering off—but I feel good this way.
Cindy: We both believe in eating the least processed and unadulterated food as possible. It’s important not to overthink that. A banana is raw food. An apple is raw food.
You don’t need to go buy some complicated, expensive nut entree that’s supposed to be lasagna.
Kerrilynn: Even though it’s probably going to be delicious.
Cindy: It’s probably going to be delicious, but doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget and it doesn’t fit into everyone’s schedule. Something I’ve always been hung up on is how much information there is to weed through. How do you listen to someone talk about paleo and it makes scientific sense, and then someone else talking about a vegan diet which also makes scientific sense? You have to really like look inside—it all comes back to how you feel.
Kerrilynn: Same thing with skincare. We have people ask us what products to use and we’ll say: ‘These are things you can use but ultimately you know yourself best’.
I think our biggest mission with CAP is empowering people to truly understand how their body works, whether that’s the skin component or whether that’s the gut component. To really listen to that and trust yourself.
Cindy: For instance, Kerrilynn tends to be a more hot-blooded person. I’m always cold. So there’s a clue right there—she does better on more of a raw diet. I definitely need more warming foods.
Kerrilynn: When it comes to indulgences, I have a granola addiction. I can plow through bags of it. It doesn’t sound that crazy but the amount of it that I can eat is kind of crazy. But again, I kind of got away from thinking about food in that way. I just want to eat the stuff that makes me feel good most of the time, and not worry about what I eat every once in a while. It was a cycle I used to be in a lot. I was always analyzing and assessing, ‘Is this bad for me? Is this good for me?’ and I just had to give up on that because it was so chaotic and complicated in my head.
Cindy: Exercise-wise, we both do Kayla Itsines, this strength-based program. Her Instagram followers post transformation pictures of themselves—they’re remarkable. Each workout is 28 minutes which are broken down into four seven minutes sessions. It’s fucking hard.
Kerrilynn: It’s really, really hard.
Cindy: The first day I was like, ‘Alright, I’ve got this.’ And then you’re really sore the next day. And then it builds each week. It’s a 12 week program, I got to week nine last time.
Kerrilynn: We also do yoga—we go to Sky Ting pretty often.
Cindy: We always joke that the yoga studio is the new golf course. We’ve gotten so much done and made so many new connections in yoga class. Running is also a new thing for me. I was that person who was like, I can’t run. I’m not a runner. Which is funny, because my husband is an iron-man, and my brother runs marathons. Around last fall I started getting into it. I also play tennis with my husband. I love exercising with him. Doing that with your partner is a great way to feel close and connected.
Kerrilynn: I also think if you try and do too many things that are good for you, it cancels out if it’s really a pain in your ass. You know? If I’m like, ‘Gosh, I have to go meditate now’… it might be increasing my brain matter over time, but right then I’m annoyed that I have to be doing it. I’ve been trying to come back to that same place of like ‘Will this make me feel good?’ Ultimately, most of those things will and that acknowledgment makes me do it.
Cindy: For me, meditation is the thing that slides. I feel tangibly different after I go running or do yoga. With meditation, for me at least, it’s not as tangible. I do find that with Kundalini meditation I feel different immediately, so that can be more enticing. It’s also really hard to do with kids in a small apartment because you’re chanting and making crazy noises. The minute I start doing Sat Kriya it sounds like I’m having a seizure.
Kerrilynn: The kids are like, ‘Are you alright?’
Cindy: Yeah, and I don’t want to wake anyone up, and I’m not going to do it at the YMCA, you know? It’s a little weird.
Kerrilynn: We have a lot of engagement with people coming into the store, and we try to give as much as possible. For me personally, it doesn’t leave me a lot at the end of the day… But then I go home and my husband is there, my dog is there and it’s all cozy.
Cindy: Except, we’re friends. We happen to hang out with each other all day. There’s this hormone called cortisol which is raised when you’re stressed out. I heard this statistic recently, that:
meditation lowers your cortisol levels by 20%, but hanging out with your friends lowers it by 35%.
Kerrilynn: Meditate with friends!
Kerrilynn: With product, there’s lots of things I don’t want to do without. Like May Lindstrom’s the Jasmine Garden. It’s the most wonderful product. I also think her Blue Cocoon is amazing. In Fiore’s calm oil is really great. I can go into rosacea-land pretty quickly and that’s a really nice calming oil for my skin. Her Soleil Fleur product is gorgeous. It’s a before-sun treatment that I used all last summer.
Cindy: Glow from The Beauty Chef is also incredible.
Kerrilynn: I love butter body oil it’s a little heavy for summer. I find it harder to get into expensive body products.
Cindy: I’m someone who will spend a lot on my face but then it’s like body oil…
Kerrilynn: Most women are like that. They just don’t go deep with buying stuff for their body in terms of price. We have a gorgeous body oil and it costs $110 and that seems crazy to me. It’s beautiful and totally worth it, but I would never buy it!
Cindy: We also have incredible body oils that are $24. Cocoa infusion is one of my new favorites. Hydrosols are kind of the sleeper hit, though, in my book. They’re also are great to pair with your face oils because they help oils seep into the skin.
Kerrilynn: It’s also a really pretty ritual that takes a second and feels great. If anybody’s ever been to a meeting in our office, we’re spraying ourselves during meetings.
Cindy: Yeah, we do a lot of misting.
Kerrilynn: There’s a lot of misting going on in our office! I also love masks. Like the Honey Mud from May Lindstrom is exquisite.
Cindy: The Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask is genius…. it’s like a pre-party mask. You do that to look good immediately.
Kerrilynn: I think there’s an assumption that masks are a crazy process. But I’ll wake up in the morning and throw one on while I make my tea. I used to overthink them—like they were special for Sundays—but now I just incorporate the simple ones into my routine. I don’t do the fancy 45 minute masks. I also love just using honey as a cleanser. I only use it in the shower—I’ll let the heat penetrate it. Also—if you have a blemish it’s really good to put on overnight.
Kerrilynn: When making decisions for CAP, we talk about our North Star a lot.
If we ever get confused in a question, we think—what is our North Star? It’s a guiding force that we’re always able to tap back into.
Otherwise you’re faced with all of these opportunities and things happening, and you just say “yes yes yes yes yes”. But if it doesn’t align with that north star, make it a no. I think those big questions like ‘Am I happy’ are especially challenging for women. There are so many expectations of us, and so many things that we think we should be doing… it can be hard to find happiness within all of those to-dos. I think just do your best and cut yourself some slack. We’re obscenely hard on ourselves. There’s that phrase: the stuff you say to yourself you would never say to your best friend or even a stranger. I think recognizing that is important. There’s so much curiosity and thoughtfulness in people that we meet every single day, especially in women.
It’s getting back to recognizing how powerful and inspiring you are.
Cindy: We can all edit our lives down. Get rid of the things that aren’t serving you. Surround yourselves with the best people you can. Have really high standards for yourselves. I think that’s what it boils down to.
I love the expression to just stand in the light. Just keep doing what you’re doing. Not everyone has to accept everything about you.
Think yourself as the leader. Other people will get there in their own time.
Kerrilynn: It’s funny—every time we have a weird event in the store, like a spirit animal workshop, I cringe because I know my dad’s going to get the newsletter. I’ll get an immediate email from him like “This is in the realm of the deranged!?” And I’ll just write back, ‘Dad, it sold out and the New York Times is covering it'. He’s like “Atta girl!” So yes: keep standing in the light and let everyone else figure it out.
Cindy: They’ll come around eventually.
Kerrilynn: And it’s so fun when they do.