BY SOPHIA PANYCH, DIGITAL DEPUTY BEAUTY DIRECTOR
Since the days of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, New Yorkers have fled to the east end of Long Island to get away from oppressive heat and overwhelming crowds of Manhattan. Just in the time I've lived in New York City (12 years this August), I've witnessed the Hamptons explode in popularity, and with the thousands and thousands of people came hundreds and hundreds of high-profile fitness, fashion, and food brands like SoulCycle, Bandier, and Juice Press. But while you can easily grab a green juice spiked with activated charcoal, the one thing you couldn't find was a place to buy beauty products. (Crazy, huh?) Cayli Cavaco Reck, the hilarious, beauty-obsessed woman behind the Instagram account @knockingonforty (and daughter of former Allure creative director Paul Cavaco), has set out to change that. Last weekend, Reck opened her first beauty pop-up store, Knockout Beauty, in Bridgehampton. It will carry some of the best hair, makeup, and skin-care products on the market. We chatted with Reck about her favorite products, how she narrowed down her favorite products, and the best tips she's learned from some of the most famous people in the beauty biz.
How did the idea of starting a beauty shop come about? "There were a few reasons. The first thing was people would direct message me on Instagram. They'd ask me to meet up, respond to a quote I posted, or ask where they could buy a beauty product that I recommended. Then one day I was in Sephora in Columbus Circle talking to another customer, and she asked if I knew about a specific makeup shade. She then whipped out her phone and opened up to my Instagram account and said, 'I had wanted to ask you but I felt really weird.' And that's when it clicked. I'm not famous, so it's not like I'm going to have a personal appearance, but I thought a beauty store would be a great way to bring this community together."
And why the Hamptons? "A lot of people who follow me are local, so it made sense to do something close by. I also felt that there was a need for it in the Hamptons. Bluemercury is opening this summer, and my friend Leilani Bishop is opening up a beauty apothecary that, in her words, carries "crystals and mouthwash." Well, fancy mouthwash. So clearly people think there's a demand for it. Plus, I feel like people are more apt to try something new on vacation. I still wear a perfume I bought in St. Barts many moons ago. It doesn't smell like summer, but when I wear it, it puts me in a summer mood. The Hamptons is also a place I've been going my whole life. The summer I was born, my parents rented a house in Amagansett, and I've had a house in Sag Harbor for a long time."
What do you think spawned your beauty obsession? "I think I cared about my skin a lot when I was younger, and when I was 14, my mom passed away, and I just felt weird asking my dad to take me to get beauty products. I remember going to Macy's Herald Square and going to the Clinique counter, lying that I was 18 years old, and buying the Clinique 3-Step System. I don't think I was old enough to have breakouts yet. I was so young...."