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11.02.2017

kai conversations... with gaye straza

we've asked some of our dearest devotees to answer our questionnaire as part of our "kai conversations..." series, so this month, we thought who better to ask than our founder, gaye straza. read on to learn more about her favorite places, products, and inspiration!

xo,
the kai team.

how do you embody kai's breath*life*flow lifestyle?
i'm not going to cop out on this. i'm straight up "type a". that being said, i've been told to take ten breaths with my feet planted firmly on the floor when i get overwhelmed and/or stressed believe it or not, it works. or most of the time anyway. in my life i'm trying my best to find balance, i think that's the most difficult for me, but i understand the import of it so just keep trying. one foot in front of the other. i have finally gotten to a point where i am trying to turn over my burdens by handing it over to god, by higher power... what ever you call it works, and to just let go of it. let it flow. so, as you can see, i take these words quite literally.

what's the best advice you've ever received?
"if you have a problem that can be fixed, then there is no use in worrying. if you have a problem that cannot be fixed, then there is no use in worrying." - buddhist proverb.
what's your beauty secret? or must have beauty product?
sleep, water and any product from kate sommerville. my current obsession is her goat milk de-puffing eye balm which is a little bit of heaven. hint, i use it on my lips too and it changed my world! i keep it on me at all times. another little trick i've begun since i've, lovely, started getting a little "skunk patch" of grey coming in: oribe airbrush root touch-up spray. it's saved me tons of money between hair appointments. brilliant!

go-to lipstick color?
nude or pinkish nude. right now i'm over the moon for "nubile" by tom ford. i wish i could pull off a great fire engine red but i don't have the coloring for it.

what color nail polish are you wearing right now?
i never put paint on my fingers, i'm really rough on my hands but love it on my toes. i love warm browns and burgundies for fall/winter so right now i'm wearing tom ford "better bitch". but i'll switch it up with his "bordeaux lust". it's a nail tinted moisturizer so it's very subtle but sophisticated. summer had me mad for victoria beckham's  "le vernis a ongles", a bright orange, but nothing near neon, i'm just too old for neon. i heard it was discontinued so i'm being very selective when i wear it.
kai obsession?
the original kai perfume roll on and the butter. having dry skin my entire life, it's been a game changer. and the perfume oil is what started my perfume journey and the amazing business that spread from it. we've recently come out with the kai*rose expansion of the line, initially terrifying me. the thought of a sequel? it turned out to be better than my wildest dreams.
photo by honey and dew
who is your role model?
no question, not even close. i was so blessed to have the best father in the world even though he's been gone almost 11 years i still hear his brilliant words of wisdom. he was truly one of a kind and the smartest person i've ever known and i'm so thankful that i feel him with me every day.
how would you describe your personal style?
casual for day-to-day. jeans, a button down shirt and flip flops, but if i'm going to a meeting or dinner, it's sleek, sexy and streamlined with must-have pumps. i'm not a girly girl. you'll almost always find me in black head-to-toe as i find it to be very sensual and alluring. helmut lang is probably my favorite. sexy while being strong.
what do you love most about where you live? any secret spots you love to go to?
the beach!!! there's a restaurant that's probably not that big of a secret called the sunset, but the secret is that when the whales pass through malibu they come "thisclose" to the shore. the first time i saw them i actually stood up in this upscale eatery and screamed "whales!" all the diners ran out to the beach to watch what can only be described as a true wonder of nature. i almost knocked over my husband trying to beat him through the door!
ultimate getaway?
punta mita, mexico. the most amazing sunsets i've ever seen. pictures don't do them justice, but they are awe-inspiring to say the least. tied for first place is the jashita hotel in tulum whose owner and his gang of ex-pats have turned into friends that i would trust my life with. gorgeous and laid back!
favorite food?
mexican. you could put guacamole on just about anything and i'll devour it.
currently craving?
guacamole and a punta mita sunset.

guilty pleasure?
walking the beach. nothing else in the world makes my cares disappear.
ideal way to unwind?
i hate to sound so boring but a day at the beach in and out of the clear blue water with a good book and loved one by my side on a double chaise lounge.
what book are you reading currently?
i just bought origins by dan brown who wrote the da vinci code. the other writer i'm obsessed with is the late great dominick dunne who i've now had to start recycling. they never get old. as well, anything by john grisham. always a page turner.

morning person or night owl?
without a doubt i'm a morning person to the point of embarrassment.
what's the most adventurous thing you've done?
i'm terrified of heights so jumping into a cenote in tulum where i screamed like a howler monkey into a hole in the earth of 28 feet was probably it. i know it doesn't sound like it but trust me, when your fear is that great, it's a real accomplishment. i'm a big believer of conquering my fears so not only did i do it once, but twice.

xo,
gaye.

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