Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Sexy, Fresh, No-Makeup Look
Written by: Megan O’Neill
Published on: November 8, 2022
Photo courtesy of Nick Haddow
On a balmy late-summer afternoon in Southampton, Dr. Barbara Sturm looked poised and sleek in a fringy strapless Oscar de la Renta minidress (right). Her bare arms and shoulders were smooth and luminous in the setting sun’s glow as she mingled with friends, family, and a few famous clients at a party for her much-adored skin-care line. At 50 years old, the aesthetic doctor, mom of two, and CEO of Dr. Barbara Sturm Molecular Cosmetics turns heads both because of her skin whisperer reputation (her endogenic blood therapy treatment and high-tech facials are famously transformative; Katie Holmes, Aweng Chuol, and Kate Hudson, who hosted her party at the exquisite wellness hotel and spa Shou Sugi Ban House, are all clients) and because her fresh pixie cut, chic style, and sculpted skin are so instantly striking.
“I don’t wear makeup very often,” says Sturm. “I learned from my mom that healthy, hydrated skin doesn’t need much.” Whether she’s looking low-key sexy for a party or buttoned-up and professional for seeing patients, her secrets are amazing high-tech skin care, subtle makeup, and a hairstyling trick that brings the perfect punk-rock flourish.
Photo courtesy of Neil Rasmus
How Her Luminous Skin Rules the Day (and Night)
Twice a week in the shower, I exfoliate my face and body to remove dead cells so my skin looks brighter and can really drink up the treatments I layer on after.
Immediately after showering, when my skin is still damp, I apply toner, then hyaluronic and niacinamide serums—we formulate the hyaluronic with purslane to have a real soothing effect, and niacinamide gives skin a boost against environmental aggressors like pollution.
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I seal it all in with face cream. I also try to get in a quick workout in the morning to wake up my skin (and mind), and I always eat breakfast for energy and to maintain blood sugar levels—I’m sure both of those things have a bearing on how I look.
She Gets Makeup Tips from Her Girls
My 26-year-old daughter, Charly, does her makeup beautifully and always looks so chic and elegant, so when I do put on makeup, I take advice from her. (On the other hand, Pepper, my 8-year-old, takes any opportunity to apply makeup on me. She loves to be expressive and wear gold eye shadow—she has such a colorful personality.) For a night out, I love Jillian Dempsey’s lid tint in Peach—it’s so easy, I just dab the pigment on with my fingers—and her kohl eyeliner.
My balm is amazing and deposits this super glow, and I keep hyaluronic face mist in my bag to refresh my skin throughout the night.
More Evening-Look Ideas
One trick I have for when I’m going to be wearing a sleeveless dress is applying my moisturizing aloe-chamomile face mask onto my arms. I let it sit for 10 minutes and smooth it off without using water; it leaves this glossy radiance.
Short Hair Forever
I keep my hair short, white-blonde, and a little punk rock. I don’t spend much time on it—I use my scalp and hair serum to help smooth frizz and split ends and support my scalp’s microbiome, and it doubles as a styling product when I want a slicked-back look. When I feel like doing something extra, I blow-dry my hair.
More Great-Skin Tips
My job entails doing press interviews, recording content for social channels, and doing Zooms and Instagram Lives—I love what I do and interacting with patients and customers to help them get their healthiest skin possible. For those kinds of days, I use Glow Drops instead of makeup and dab on eye cream to take care of dark circles. Sometimes I take a few minutes to do a gentle lymphatic drainage, which is incredible for waking up skin and has a depuffing effect. It’s a key part of my facials, and it’s easy and feels so good when you do it at home.