The Real Estate Developer Who Puts Collagen In Her

The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss’ lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.

“Hi! I’m Laura Mueller-Soppart (@lauralonglastname). My mom is Spanish and Italian, my dad is German, and I was born in Frankfurt. We moved around a lot when I was kid—my parents were young and adventurous—but sometime around kindergarten we permanently immigrated to the US, and I grew up in Chicago. While being away from all of our extended family had its downsides, the summers abroad in Munich, Barcelona, and Paris were times that I was grateful for.

Now I live in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn where I do real estate development. I founded a consulting company called Built Interest, and my goal is to offer a fresh take on how to build spaces we share. My job entails managing a diverse team of architects, engineers, contractors, owners, and investors, setting forth a vision for the environment, and then getting everyone to agree on new product features. A lot of my work right now is about how to best adjust our homes to suit our needs during this pandemic. How can we improve living conditions for roommates? How can we prevent future supply chain failures in the materials we choose to build with? How does working from home affect energy usage and distribution? Our built environment is almost always under our feet or above our heads, and too often the product is so uninspired, unsustainable, and out of context. From small details like quickly transitioning to touchless sink faucets, to bigger picture shifts like working out how standard pro formas can make room for solar panels, the physicality and permanence of my work is really motivating.

In the past few months, I’ve also been really focused on Work the Polls, a grassroots organization I founded to recruit and support younger poll workers across the country. I started my career in public policy (shout-out Obama White House interns!) and have stayed involved since. However, this election called for a different kind of commitment. Work the Polls is now over 3,000 pledges strong, representing over 300 unique counties across the country. Our mission is to empower a new generation of civic leaders with this opportunity, and to work with county commissioners to streamline the process and get the word out about important updates. Our work has a real urgency today, and the goal is to carry that energy forward—every election counts and needs more support. A major part of beauty is freedom of expression, and though voting is not a silver bullet, it is an incredibly important tool to protect that right and others. We can demand our right to vote by consistently turning out in record numbers.

One of my favorite one liners to drop in a design meeting is, ‘There is no such thing as timelessness.’ What I mean is that the projects we revere as timeless only seem that way in retrospect because they capture the time they were created in so specifically. It’s not about stopping time, it’s always about best capturing the moment. I like to carry that same attitude into how I think about beauty. My everyday beauty is about taking care of my largest organ, my skin. And then my ‘capture the moment beauty’ is an accessory, or a lil’ fashion moment. Sometimes that’s a red lip (my favorite is Bite Beauty’s Power Move Lip Crayon in Pavolva) but usually it’s an actual accessory. When I find an accessory I love, I tend to stick with it for a long time. My mom taught me to be mindful about shopping—we used to go to Bloomingdales for ‘inspiration shopping,’ as she’d call it, and then hit up Forever 21 to find the best value version of what caught our eye. Now, my favorite place to shop is East London, hands down. I lived there for a year in 2017, and my closet hasn’t evolved much since. I love my chunky loafers from Goodhood, checkered handkerchief and red shades from Crap Eyewear, plaid trousers, smart button downs, and bright blazers. Developing confidence in my own style is forever a work in progress, but I’m grateful the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in that department.

A couple months ago I reached out to aesthetician Sofie Pavitt about adopting a new skincare routine. We did all our appointments via Facetime—she specializes in acne, and recommended I start using Face Reality products. In the morning, I use their Ultra Gentle Cleanser, Sal-C Toner, Mandelic Serum, and Hydrabalance. Then, I top it all off with Ole Henriksen’s Vitamin C moisturizer and Glossier Invisible Shield (almost always to the sweet sounds of The Daily). In the evening, I wipe the day away and use the cleanser, toner, and Hydrabalance again. I finish with a benzoyl peroxide cream. Now that I have all that down, I’m really excited to try my friends’ new reusable silicone eye masks, Dieux Forever Eye Masks. They basically turn any product into a treatment—the silicone keeps the product from evaporating so it really soaks in. This is the first time I’ve ever had a routine designed for me AND stuck to it. Results really are in the consistency! There’s no lie there!

Another thing I’m really consistent with is having a serving of Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and a tablespoon of ground flaxseed with my morning oatmeal. My IBS can really make or break my day, and there’s no amount of facial massages or beauty naps to reverse the symptoms. So for me, consistency with those supplements keeps my day more predictable and therefore a bit less stressful. (Oh, and my nails have never been stronger too!) For me, if I feel good on this inside, then I’m down to use some energy on a beauty moment. Those two things are super correlated, and how I feel is usually reflected in my makeup.

In the past few months I’ve been spending so much time solo and indoors, so I’ve definitely pared my makeup routine down. On a typical day, I pat L’Oréal True Match Crayon Concealer in Light/Medium around my eyes and use Nars Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska. Then, I brush my brows with Boy Brow in Black, tap on Cloud Paint in Storm, and apply some Lashslick. I top it all off with Nars Laguna bronzer on my cheeks and Bite’s Agave Balm on my lips. My perfume is actually my most ‘signature’ product—I’ve worn Glossier You every day since it launched. I love that, more often than not, people don’t ask what perfume I’m wearing and instead just say, ‘You smell good.’

To relax, I love to read—preferably outside and without my phone. Right now I’m reading Conditional Citizens by Laila Lalami, which so far I’d strongly recommend, especially if you were born outside of the US like me. If I’m out, I love to wear a protective face mask from Piatori. They’re an incredible Miami-based brand that I learned about through a volunteer at Work the Polls. Seven months into the pandemic I finally found my mask match! They’re so my style and so comfortable. I can’t wait to wear mine when I’m working at my polling site on Election Day. And honestly, I’ll probably never enter a dusty construction site without one again.”

—as told to ITG

Photos via the author

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