YOU ARE A BABE
RJ RAIZK & VANCE BROOKING
With RJ’s first solo show set to debut this October at Creative Door Studio in New York, the boys found time to sit down and chat with me about their “Epicuren glow” and love for Noni. Vance, the former model and New Zealand import who works the door at Madame Wongs/Red Egg, has been busy helping prepare for RJ’s big night.
Favorite Brands: Epicuren, Korres
Vance: Being part native New Zealander, I am not really concerned with aging. But I have a genetic skin disorder so I try to stay on top of it. Partying and drinking and staying up late makes my skin flare up. Since I have been using mostly Epicuren though it’s not bad. My roommate Milou’s dermatologist recommended the products to her. She needed to clear up her skin quickly before her castings for fashion week and it worked. You can only really get them at the skin doctor though. They have this whole range of elixirs, probably thirty bottles with different ingredients in them. They are very thin liquids and they prescribe you certain ones based on your skin’s needs. Then you use their Noni extract to tighten and moisturize.
RJ: Noni is amazing, and I think it’s actually poisonous to ingest in its natural state. It’s the end all of face products for me. When you put it on your skin it feels similar to aloe vera gel, where it like tightens, it just feels really nice. And if your skin is looking tired or you are hung over it gives you a great glow and calms your skin down. People actually call it “the Epicuren glow”.
Vance: It’s a tropical fruit mixed with aloe and is really rich in antioxidants.
RJ: I think aside from Noni, exfoliating is my other obsession. I hate walking around all day with dirt on my face; especially in New York–it can feel sticky so I began exfoliating. I usually exfoliate with sand—really fine wind-blown sand that we collect from beaches.
Vance: It’s practical, because there’s lots of it.
RJ: It was Vance’s idea and I kind of borrowed it for a while and loved the way it felt. We had some that Vance got in Tokyo and now we just collect it from the Hamptons or wherever we go. Right away it felt better on my skin then using an alcohol or acid based product. We used to have a bottle full of sand but now we are all out. I like using products that don’t feel too chemical or processed…I use the Korres line from Greece too–they have a great eye cream, and they are pretty natural.
Vance: I moved to New York seven years ago now. I had the opportunity to move here from Australia for modeling. But over time I got more comfortable in the city and saw other opportunities here. I kind of honed in on the creative side of things. My main bread and butter is in nightlife. A couple of friends and I opened a new nightclub which I do the door at. It used to be called Madame Wongs but we got shut down. So we moved across the street . It’s actually still considered Wongs but it has the name Red Egg out front. Both are restaurants during the day and night clubs at night, which is odd. So that is our latest venture, which allots me money to spend on my creative interests. I am very interested in industrial design, so during the day I get to work on those projects with friends.
RJ: Yeah, New York is really amazing for creative projects. When I moved here from Ohio seven years ago to go to art school, I knew I loved New York right when I got off of the plane. So much of my work is influenced by the city and what I find beautiful. I have been working with wood a lot lately, and it feels like a form of recycling in a way. The wood has been cut down and now I am treating it and then selling it back to the people who cut it down, that whole cycle really appeals to me. The dyes I treat it with also get absorbed into the wood so the natural grain of the wood comes through and has a voice. My idea to deconstruct and slice the wood actually originated from a computer glitch.
Vance: The computer glitched and literally rearranged the photographs of the dyed wood. So we decided to slice up the art pieces and rearrange them, and it’s a lot more interesting to look at.
photos by: THE FORMULA