• About a Face: Denise Porcaro

    We’re always curious about the daily beauty, hair, and skincare routines of the effortlessly made-up women we know. From concealer to coconut oil, "About A Face" is our insider glimpse into the makeup bags and medicine cabinets of our everyday muses.

    Denise Porcaro is the owner and founder of Flower Girl NYC, a full-service floral design company whose tucked-away Lower East Side storefront creates seasonal arrangements that are both fuss-free and considered; it's a smart balance that has given Denise's business both a high-profile client list (the Chateau Marmont and Chanel, anyone?) while still being a go-to spot for picking up an easy summer bouquet or taking a Tuesday evening wildflower-arranging workshop.  

    And with her bright blue eyes and perfect (!) skin, Denise is just as striking as the floral creations she puts together. We couldn't help but invite ourselves over to learn more about her favorite products, beauty philosophy, and thoughts on how paying attention to what's beautiful informs both her daily routine and her business sense. 
    Photography by Brian W. Ferry


    On skincare, Cetaphil, and a high-low product mentality:

    "I use basic Cetaphil on my face. It is the best on my face. I would — if we lived on a beach or somewhere where the air wasn't full of toxins — try to do the whole "no solvent, no chemical" thing, but I feel like in New York City you need something. 

    I usually also use a toner — I've had conflicting conversations with my dermatologist and a few facialists that either toning is essential or that it's actually dehydrating your skin. I stick by my own, that to ultimately just do what works best for you and checking in with your skin on a daily basis.

    My routine definitely varies based on the season. As for moisturizer, if it's a steamy, disgusting NY day, putting more moisture on my face is so hard. If it ain't broke, don't fix it: I'll use a Cetaphil moisturizer that's oil-free when my face is need of moisture however. I love a good eye cream; I fluctuate between all different ones but right now I really love this one by Jurlique. It's a fancier one, but if I'm buying Cetaphil face wash it all balances out, plus it smells amazing so it's totally worth it in my book." 

    On oil pulling, body wash, and health fads: 

    "I have a bevy of different body washes — from Dr. Bronner's no-frills body wash to more special stuff from Red Flower or Cow Shed these days. It's more based on my mood upon deciding which one I am going to use that day. 

    Coconut oil is one of my favorites. I think you can use it for everything. For a while I was into oil pulling and swishing it around my mouth every day, and believe some of those fads and either they stick or they don't. But yeah, I use it for everything — even for hair some days." 

    On summer perfumes, the importance of scent, and surrounding yourself with beautiful things:

    "I am a big fragrance and scent person. I like to change up my fragrance seasonally if I can find a good one that inspires me. I have been wearing this perfume for summer [called M.O.U.S.S.E II]. I'd never heard of it before until I stumbled upon it. It's unisex and is made in Spain, and has mint and a bunch of different things in it that you can actually pronounce. It's very summery; it's a good one. Added bonus: the packaging is pretty nice. I'm very pro-'surround yourself with beautiful things,' from my business being in the beautiful blooms to little teeny tiny things that you use or rituals you do on a daily basis. Surround yourself with the things that you love, the simple things to the lavish ones that make you happy — start with the things that smell good. 

    On the fragrance note: we created our very own Flower Girl candle with Red Flower. It's got lots of neutral scents like bergamot, sandalwood, and daffodil mixed in with a few flowery ones."

    On natural brows, mascara secrets, and minimal makeup:

    "I don't like a lot of makeup for every day. I think there's a time for eyeliner and red lipstick. I also think we all dress up more in the fall both with apparel and down to lipstick for whatever reason. In the summer, I am more simplified basic. 

    Something I do no matter the season is curl my eyelashes. Somebody told me once that it always makes a difference and I think it's so true. I usually use mascara too. I have used a ton of different ones: I've splurged and bought the amazing Chanel stuff but actually, one thing I've learned from photoshoots and being a girl is that drugstore brands are pretty great! Just use Maybelline Great Lash! It's all the volume you need. 

    I'm really into natural eyebrows. I think they are so beautiful and striking when you see a good pair. I had ridiculous super-thin '90s eyebrows at one time. Now, I let them do their thing with a little grooming."

    On hair care and the case for Moroccan oil:

    "My hair routine is simple: air dying and Moroccan oil. 

    My hair kind of does whatever the weather is doing. I don't ever blow dry it, I twist and twirl for waves and let it dry naturally. I sometimes use a little coconut oil at my roots so it doesn't frizz on a humid day. As far as washing, I use shampoo and conditioner and sometimes a heavy-duty mask. I choose by what the products claim to do, and by how they smell...it all goes back to fragrance." 

    On at-home spa days and Sunday rituals: 

    "I have a regular routine and then an extended Sunday at-home spa day if I can squeeze one in where I do things I don't have the time to do during the week. It all goes back to taking time for nice things and the things you love. I will light candles some days and put lavender oil on my pillow if I remember before bed.   

    One other thing I've been doing is making my own face masks. There's one I've been making that has egg white, plain yogurt, and avocado; there's another one with raw oats. The cool thing is, you're really just going to your refrigerator to source it, and it feels so great. You can have a spa day and it doesn't have to cost a lot of money or take up too much time if you don't have it to give."

    On forecasting flower trends:

    "I don't necessarily gravitate to love wearing too many flowery things but at the same time I think there's a time and a place for it: We became really "known" for flower crowns at Flower Girl. I wouldn't necessarily wear them around town myself but again, feel like there is a time and place and summer is generally one of those times and places! This trend comes back every summer, whether it's for a festival or just wearing them it around the city. 

    Also, just recently we've noticed flower beards have been a huge trend. I think you have to draw the line somewhere... "