Bedtime Stories: The Nightly Routine Of One Of LA's Most Sought-After Stylists
Djuna Bel spends her days ensuring her clients look and feel their best. But when she's back at her Highland Park home, it's time for some pampering of her own. Here's how she unwinds and shows her skin TLC.
When you come across a home as beautiful and singular as Djuna Bel’s light-filled, treehouse-as-wellness-spa in Highland Park, it’s difficult to think beyond one very basic question: How could anyone bring themselves to leave it each day?
It’s an issue that Bel, a 33-year-old stylist and new mother to her son, Fox, admits can be tough. But Bel’s exceptional eye for detail and ’70s style has established her as a sought-after talent in her field, landing her a client list including Rashida Jones, MIA, Fiona Apple, Zoe Kravitz, Ryan Gosling and Charlotte Gainsbourg, to name just a few. “I really love my job,” Bel enthuses.
But once she crosses that threshold in the evening, an immediate switch is flipped: “I come home, drop all my stuff, jump on the couch, and nurse Fox. Like, I've completely checked out.”
As Bel unwinds, Nicki, her husband, will get started on a dinner that, nowadays, usually consists of vegetables cooked in their pizza oven. And after dinner, they’ll occasionally unwind with a glass of wine, but Fox has implemented a regimen of his own on the household, as babies tend to do.
More often, they’ll watch a movie while Bel nurses and indulge in their latest ritual: “We polish off an entire bag of that popcorn that’s like, half caramel corn, half cheddar popcorn. So gross. But, that's my relaxing treat,” Bel says, laughing.
After the movie is over and Fox is put to bed, Bel starts her official nighttime routine. It kicks off with a cup of "calm tea" that contains magnesium, which helps her fall asleep—something that’s become essential to the point that if Bel forgets to bring packets with her on a work trip, it’s bad news: "I stress out about it, because I need my ritual to let my brain know it's time to go to bed.”
Bel acknowledges that her routine has become truncated somewhat since becoming a mother, but if the stars align just so and she has some extra time off, she’ll launch into her full-on self-care routine in order to unwind.
This starts with dry brushing her skin before she goes into the steam room. Yes, she has a steam room. From there, she fills the outdoor tub with cold water, and goes back and forth between the steam room and a cold dunk.
Then comes the coconut oil: “I put tons of of it all over my body and try not to sit on anything for like, at least an hour. And, then I do a face mask.” Bel is an admitted K-beauty junky: “I'll just go to the Korean market, and whatever stands out to me I'm like, ‘Ooh. This will make me look younger and more beautiful and have more collagen?! I’m a sucker for keywords,” she says.
More often than not, though, there’s no time for the full-on routine, nor any iteration of the 10-step Korean skin care routine she used to do. Nowadays, most nights consist of washing her face with Ultra Aesthetics Msm Facial Wash, patting it dry (but not completely), before a pipette of Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Hyaluronic Serum.
After that comes the application of an eye cream from Bel’s impressive collection of about 15, though lately she’s been turning to January Labs’ Advanced Eye Technology cream. And last comes a moisturizer: January Labs Moisture Renew Mask, which Bel has especially loved during the dry LA winter.
Once it’s time to go to bed, she and Nicki change into their custom Morgan Lane pajamas that read “Mama Fox” and “Papa Fox” (aww), and climb into bed—made up with Matteo sheets and a whole boatload of pillows.
“I have become a little bit of a sleep snob because, my husband's a sleep snob. We have a million pillows. There are the two for the head, and then the one in between the legs. And then the sheets and a down comforter. And, our friend Greg Chait, [the founder of Elder Statesman], made us the most amazing quilt. So, we sleep with a beautiful cashmere quilt.”
And with a bedtime skincare routine this luxe, we bet she sleeps pretty soundly (little Foxes aside).
Words: Deena Drewis
Photos: Isabella Behravan