Bug Spray, Birkenstocks, and Backyard Glamour
We first met Kinfield founder Nichole Powell and her chic, life-changing bug spray, Golden Hour, at a farm dinner by Its a Dinner in Goshen, New York, last summer. The hour was indeed golden, and as we walked through the fields of kale, peppers, and corn, then ate delicious fire-grilled vegetables in a breezy open farmhouse, not a mosquito, fly, or gnat cared to bite us (and they were biting). Since then, we’ve been outside more than ever, given that it is now the safest way to gather.
Powell, a native Minnesotan who’s temporarily back home during the pandemic, is also spending a lot more time outside and a lot more time with family, amid many, many mosquitos. “Growing up in Minnesota, the running joke is that the mosquito is our state bird,” she says. “Coming back to the Midwest has really been about time with family. We’re used to big dinners together, but we have to be outside and socially distanced. Next Saturday, for instance, we’re all meeting for a meal in a park at a pavilion my stepmom reserved. All of the food is going to be on skewers, so no sharing utensils.” Here, Powell tells us how she’s getting ready, what she’s bringing, and what she’s wearing.
Glow and Sun Protection
I’ve worn this SPF every day for four or five years now, and I’ve gotten all my friends hooked on it. It’s a clean, physical SPF with a bit of a tint. If I need a little more coverage, I tap in a few drops of Kosas tinted face oil. Or I mix two pumps of the Suntegrity with one pump of the Glowy Super Gel from Saie—the combination makes my skin all kinds of dewy gorgeous.
It wasn’t until I was packing for a camping trip in Yosemite in 2017 that it dawned on me that all of my beauty products had been upgraded to these clean, well-designed items, while all the outdoor things—like bug spray—were still full of industrial chemicals and came in these giant lime-green bottles. Why were we using formulas that were so potentially damaging to our health and damaging to the environment, too, particularly because we use them when we’re appreciating how beautiful it is outside?
I worked on Golden Hour, our DEET-free repellent, for about a year and a half. It’s made with a special strain of citronella that I found while traveling in Indonesia. It’s a more effective form; it has higher percentages of the three compounds that repel insects than other citronellas do. I source it myself in Indonesia—we work with an incredible family-run organization there—and then we put it through efficacy testing with a lab in the United Kingdom. It’s also made with lemongrass, clove, and vanilla, so it smells delicious, and it is light and dries quickly.
If I’m going out, I put it on my ankles, on my arms, and around my neck as well, depending on what I’m wearing, and it typically lasts me about three hours. We made the bottle TSA-friendly (for back in the days when we used to fly—remember those?) and easy to throw in a bag if you’re going to the beach or on a hike.
The light shade of this balm is the perfect amount of color for me, especially when it’s eighty-plus degrees out. And I exfoliate regularly with the Rose Lip Polish from French Girl.
You can’t have too many of these right now. I have one on my desk, one in the car, and one in my bag. I gravitate toward formulas with moisturizers, like this one made with marula oil and sweet almond oil.
I live in Birkenstocks all summer long—the white is chic and minimal.
I’ve been wearing my hair up; there’s just so much to be doing and feeling instead of styling your hair right now. I bought these silk scrunchies for literally all the women in my family—everyone should be using them. I’ve never liked having a hair tie on my wrist, but I don’t mind these.
A Breezy Dress
Dresses are funny: People say, “Oh my gosh, you look so put-together.” And you’re like, “Thanks, I put on this one thing.” I try to wear natural fibers whenever possible, so I love that this dress is a breathable cotton. The floaty cut is perfect for summer, and it works just as well with Birkenstocks as it does with dressier heels.