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Renata Zandonadi

A Weekend With Renata Zandonadi

We sat down with the Brazilian beauty to steal some of her lifestyle secrets.

Renata Zandonadi started modeling because she wanted to see the world. Born and raised in the South of Brazil, Renata went to school to study agronomy engineering, fascinated by the ways in which humans produce and process agricultural products. As soon as she graduated, she was off experiencing the wonders of Singapore, Hong Kong, Milan, and Paris before settling down in NYC. A travel lover and a color connoisseur, Renata is excited by the beauty that surrounds her every day.

We sat down with the Brazilian beauty to steal some of her lifestyle secrets:

Friday dinner plans?

Indochine is definitely my favorite Friday night dinner place – you can never go wrong there. I love the food, the saketinis and the atmosphere. It always has a chic party mood. Sitting at one of the booths makes me feel at home and it’s impossible not to bump into some – many – very cool people we know.
On the other hand, I would never say no to a relaxing omakase style dinner at Kura where sushi is served individually with the cutest smile by the 70-something-year-old Japanese chef Norihiro Ishizuka. I have a thing for uni…

Favorite home-made meal?

I’m not a very good cook, or at least not a very creative one, so I always prepare very simple and clean meals at home. Steamed veggies, quinoa, and whole roasted Branzino, for example. Everything pretty much seasoned with EVOO, lemon, and black pepper. My boyfriend, though, who is Italian, makes a carbonara spaghetti that I die for. It’s his mom’s recipe and it’s pretty light as there’s no butter or cream in it.

Photograph by Derrick Leung

Saturday Ritual?

Saturdays are for fun. I usually start the day with a workout class with a friend or two. I love trying new ones and getting sore. Then I get my nails done at Maria Bonita, a Brazilian salon in Nolita where they not only give the best mani pedi but also treat you like family, offer Brazilian coffee, pão-de-queijo… and love.
Finally, I just enjoy new discoveries, whether it’s a movie, an art exhibition, a new restaurant or cafe. NY is a little box of surprises, which is what I love the most about it. You only get bored if you really want to.

Sunday run or relax?

I work out 4 to 5 times a week and Sunday is my absolute day off, when I get to hang out with my friends, work on my spirituality, and prepare myself for the week ahead.

Day-to-night look?

I know it will sound cliché, but there we go: A pair of jeans and a black or white t-shirt. A change of shoes, add of some chunky jewelry and voilà!

Favorite Fashion items this season?

A pair of silver winter boots from Acne that I’ve worn every other day this season, a customized “Pink as fuck” cashmere sweater by The Elder Statesman that feels like butter, a menswear flannel checked shirt from Frame and a 1960s black leather handbag with a gold cage box detail that I found at a vintage shop in New Orleans while driving cross country recently with my better half.

Go-to Beauty Routine on weekends?

I don’t necessarily have a routine on the weekends, but I do have one every day of the week. I believe in consistency. I remember being an impatient child looking up at my mom and wondering why on earth she had so many different lotions and creams. Now I laugh at myself and my way-too-many steps.

If I have worn make up that day, I start by washing my face with cold (always!) water and Gentle Foaming Cleanser or Pure Melt Cleaning Gel, both from Clarins. It’s also important to exfoliate, so for that I use Tata Harper’s Regenerating Cleanser twice a week, it has a very fine scrub that I love. Then I use Bioderma Micellar Water followed by the Hydrabio Toning Lotion.

My serum, day/night moisturizer, eye cream, retinoic face oil are 100% natural nontoxic by Tata Harper. I get a lot of freckles quite easily and therefore I’m sunscreen obsessed. Elta MD UV clear SPF 46 is my absolute favorite after trying a lot of different ones. When I need some extra love I go for the Smoothing Resurfacing Mask by Resultime. For the body I like basic Cethaphil Moisturizing Lotion and, once in a while during the winter, just plain coconut oil (it makes an amazing hair mask too).

I rarely wear make-up and particularly hate foundation. On the other hand, I’m a huge fan of little beauty enhancers such as the Clarins Be Long Mascara and Tata’s Volumizing Cheek & Lips Tint. I do firmly believe though that beauty comes from the inside. Eating healthy, drinking loads of water and dealing with every issue holistically is key. I’m adept to alternative medicine since ever, and Christianity is my spiritual guidance. Happiness and a great sense of humor definitely produce the best glow one can have.

Favorite places in the city to Shop (fashion/Accessorizes or for the home) and/or Brunch?

Opening Ceremony, Acne, Osklen (my favorite Brazilian brand), Reformation, Frame, NikeLab and the new The Webster for a drool. They’re all in Soho, which is quite convenient.

Brunch: Saint Ambroeus to SoHo people watch, Casa for when I feel homesick, Miss Lily’s for the best (coconut) pancakes in the world and Pietro Nolita (of course) for a boozy and yummy brunch.

pietro nolita

Pietro Nolita

Always pack when traveling for a long weekend?

A cashmere silk Zebra Pegasus shawl scarf from Hermès to add a pop of color and coziness, a good book, a black (Alaïa) dress and a swimsuit just in case. Clearly, I do not like to miss out on opportunities.

Lani Allen

Lani Allen is a graduate of Columbia University’s Non-fiction Creative Writing program. After serving as Vice President of her class for two years, she contributed written pieces and illustrations to many on-campus publications. As a writer with a passion for beauty, Lani enjoys capturing the stories of innovative thinkers and risk-takers shaping the industry as we know it.

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