Better Together: Olivia & Ben
UO couple Ben and Olivia share the same laid-back attitude, reflected in their cozy home surroundings and unfussy personal style. With a meet-cute story worthy of a Nicholas Sparks novel, we hope this creative pair will continue to make appearances at our holiday parties for years to come. Photographed by Colin Leaman
Hi Olivia! You work in beauty here at UO. What are some of your favorite products?
Too many too count, so I’ll try and keep this short. For my hair I always go to Batiste Dry Shampoo and Klorane’s Magnolia Brilliance Spray. For my body, I’ve been using 417’s Multi Mineral Dry Oil and for a serious night regime I bathe myself in Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse. Of course exfoliation is key beforehand, so I always make sure to scrub down with a really abrasive Korean washcloth. I normally order them off some obscure website or have my mom ship them to me from a market she goes to in downtown L.A. As for make up, I have three key items: The Chromographic Eye Gloss by Eddie Funkhouser, Anastasia Brow Gel and Lipstick Queen’s Medieval shade. It’s the perfect everyday glossy red.
What’s your current “holy grail” product?
This winter it’s been Mario Badescu’s Vitamin C serum. It has totally changed my complexion. It recommends a nightly application two times a week, but I’ve completely disregarded this and have been using every day morning and night. Probably something I shouldn’t be advertising, but this thing is a magic potion!
Describe your style in one sentence.
Rugged backwoods grandma meets California girl pretending to be Parisian. Lots of denim. Sorry, that was two.
How has your style changed over the years?
It hasn’t. I’m still wearing jeans I bought when I was 15.
Where do you shop?
I love shopping vintage outside of the Philadelphia area. My good friend is from Reading, PA, and she takes me to the best Salvation Army stores. Here in the city I love Vagabond. And Urban Outfitters of course. I’ve been obsessing over the Reformation collab pieces--I want them all.
How did you and Ben meet?
We used to see each other on the subway ride to work and just smile at one and other like idiots. We were both too shy to actually say hello. I would say it was six months of this before I finally bumped into him at the company holiday party last year. At that point he wasn’t messing around anymore: He asked me for my phone number before he knew my name.
What makes you and Ben better together?
Ben and I are pretty different; in turn I think we balance each other out nicely. We help push each other creatively and intellectually while still being supportive and lighthearted about it all. At the end of the day, it just feels easy and fun.
Do you guys share any items of clothing?
We share a lot of sweat pants, at home pajamas and sorts. He’s stolen a pair of my Baron van Fancy socks, and once I tried to steal this awesome thermal cardigan of his. It was the perfect boyfriend fit (LITERALLY) for layering under my leather moto jacket. I still have my eye on that. Don’t tell Ben.
Hi Ben! You work in graphic design here at UO. How did you get your start?
I was in my last couple weeks of school and the art director at the time found my Instagram. Next thing you know, I’m here.
What are your favorite mediums to work in?
My favorite lately is pen & ink, and watercolor. Gouache is great too. Tracing paper is the most important, though.
What’s your drawing process like at work?
I'll start doodling to get some composition ideas down, and then translate that to the computer. It really all depends what I'm working on.
What about at home?
At home, I'm always drawing. Always drawing and writing. It's my favorite. I bring a sketchbook with me everywhere, a pen, and I always have a Krink on me. Eventually, my drawings go from the book to another surface; canvas, watercolor paper, computer, whatever. If they turn out bad, they sit and collect dust. If they are cool, they go on the internet.
Describe your style.
Pretty graphic. Lots of printed tees, vans, jeans, and plaid shirts. Never anything too fancy.
What are you favorite pieces of clothing?
My current favorites are my Stussy x Club75 long sleeve. Super dope. I also have the WeDidIt tee, which is pretty great.
Tell us about how you and Olivia first got together.
She purposefully bumped into me at our holiday party a year ago and the rest is history.
What makes you two better together?
I tend to be pretty quiet; she’s got a big personality. Yin and Yang.
What’s one of your favorite things about Olivia?
She’s always a lot of fun to be around and never tries too hard. She’s gorgeous, funny, and pretty spontaneous… I’m sounding cliché.
Do you guys own any of the same items of clothing?
No, but I’ve stolen some socks from her before.