Take a few cues from Nandita Khanna and learn the art of relaxing with purpose. Here’s how the Editorial Director of goop – and recent LA transplant – unwinds after a long day at one of the world’s leading lifestyle sites, why she’ll always make time for reading before bed and what makes Gwyneth a great boss.
How do you decompress after a long day at work?
The moment I get home, I shed my entire day. For me that starts with jewelry. Out of habit, I first take off my rings and the one bracelet I wear every day (a recent Christmas gift). Next, I’ll typically change out of whatever I’m wearing. Most recently, it’s a pair of silk tap shorts and a linen T-shirt (J.Crew makes the best). Lastly, I like to slip into something comfortable. My friend, Andrea Racey, designs a line of silk robes called, Helena Quinn.
Now that you’re comfy…
I try to read a book for at least 30 minutes each night. I also catch up on magazine reading for 30 minutes (or more, when the September issues come rolling in). I really try to stick to splitting my time between working and expanding my mind. If I’ve had a particularly stressful day, I’ll make myself a cup of hot water with lemon – I’m not a tea drinker. The ritual of sipping something warm is incredibly soothing.
Do you really always read before bed?
I do! I have to read one article before I go to bed that’s not work-related, but just something that’s interesting to me. I kind of insist on this, even if I’ve had a long night or worked late, and I get home and I’m really tired. I like the idea of going to bed having learned something new. When I lived in New York, I’d sometimes listen to a podcast instead of reading. Now that I’m in Los Angeles and drive to work every day, I get my podcast fix first thing in the morning. A few of my favorites are: Pod Save America, Fresh Air, Bon Appétit’s Foodcast, UnStyled, StartUp, Here’s The Thing, and This American Life.
Do you limit technology toward the end of the day?
I edit a website, so technology inevitably plays a big role in most of my day, but I really try to limit time spent online and on my phone towards the end of the evening. I may read a few articles I bookmarked during the day, but in general, the end of the day is reserved for print. Admittedly, I check my iPhone at least a few times before actually going to bed to make sure I’m not missing something pressing. If I need to work late, I prefer to stay at the office. I haven’t perfected the process though…a glass of wine always helps when I do have to bring work home!
Do you have a bedtime beauty regime?
All my makeup comes off pretty much immediately. I’ve been pretty loyal to the Fantastic Face Wash from Ursa Major for the last few years. It’s a men’s skin care line but it works just as well for ladies, and the woodsy scent reminds me of winter in Vermont. I also use Tammy Fender’s Bulgarian Rose Water as a toner – it reinvigorates my skin after a taxing day. Since joining goop, I’ve switched to a lot of clean beauty products after testing our goop by Juice Beauty skincare line my first week on the job. I was immediately hooked – it’s really that good! The Exfoliating Instant Facial is hands-down my favorite (I apply at least two to three evenings a week). I finish off my routine with the light and refreshing goop by Juice Beauty Enriching Face Oil. (Full Disclosure: The Discovery Kit, our sampler of travel-friendly sized products, comes with me on all weekend trips, too). Because LA is so dry, I am diligent about moisturizing my hands. I keep tenoverten’s Rose Oil in my nightstand drawer and give my cuticles a little extra love before turning in for the night.
Sweatpants, silk pajamas, or none of the above for bed?
I am an avid collector of pretty pajamas. My favorites come from Sleepy Jones and a brand called The Sleep Shirt, which I discovered one day cruising the goop shop. I also have a pair of star-printed Monrow sweats I’ve been known to wear to bed when it dips below 50 degrees – newsflash: This does happen in Los Angeles!
Parachute product you can’t live without?
Pinstripe Percale Sheets in pebble. I know they were a limited edition line, but I’m campaigning for you to bring them back!
How does the fashion differ between New York and Los Angeles? Describe the overall look at goop’s headquarters.
Before leaving New York, I was working at J.Crew in digital content. I had been transitioning away from my “fussier” clothing over the past few years and into a more relaxed style that fit the environment. The transition to L.A. was actually very easy for me! It’s probably because I’ve always favored cropped jeans, light outerwear, exposed ankles and pointy flats. At goop, everyone has their own sense of style, though it’s typically centered around denim. Since we have our own edit of clothing on the site, it’s not uncommon to have a few of us wearing the same piece on the same day, especially if it’s from our own brand, goop Label. Personally, I’ve had a fun time getting more into brands like Co, Ulla Johnson, Doen and Atlantique Ascoli – all of which have a relaxed, warm-weather vibe.
Favorite thing about working at goop?
I don’t think I can pick just one! goop really feels like family. I left New York, after 11 years, for this job, and everyone has made me feel extremely welcome. I think so much of the intimacy starts at the top – Gwyneth Paltrow is always around, emailing interesting articles and popping her head in to see what’s going on in our corner of the office. She’s incredibly personable. For me, there’s never a dull moment working on the brand’s digital content. Since I started, we’ve launched goop fragrance, our much-loved holiday gift guides and released a new edition of goop Label each month. Another perk…I sit right next to the goop Test Kitchen, and I get first dibs. Lucky me!