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Oct 25, 2017
by Vivant Skin Care
The internet’s hautest male beauty blogger talks skin care trends, cocktails, and his love of all things travel-sized.
After working at some of the biggest names in the beauty industry, Bart Kaczanowicz traded his New York City apartment for a Connecticut farmhouse, married his long-term boyfriend, and began indulging his lust for the latest and greatest in skin care with the launch of his must-read blog (OMG) Bart!. At three years in, he has a house full of products, a loyal following, and the attention of British Vogue (“Beauty Instagrams You Need To Follow Now…”).
(OMG) Bart is that most beautiful blend of smart and snark.
What made you want to blog about beauty?
In my early twenties, moving [from Poland] and living in New York, I knew that Sephora felt very familiar. I was curious about the products and was always taken by the marketing, by the textures, how the entire beauty industry imprinted on me as a gay male consumer. I was never drawn into makeup or hair, but skin for some reason, appealed to me. I just kind of had it in my head that I wanted to work for a beauty magazine.
I had an informational interview with the beauty editor at Lucky Magazine and was really taken by the office stacked with boxes of product, and shelves overflowing with the latest greatest, the most luxurious, the I-haven’t-seen-yet.
In my last semester of college, I sent my resume to literally every single beauty company I could think of and I got a call from Lauder. It was nothing like a magazine world, but it kind of had this air of insider, not in a cliquey way. I just wanted to learn more.
How do you feel about being an influencer?
I never really expected to be an influencer. I make it known that I am not a licensed esthetician, I have absolutely no background in beauty other than working in marketing and P.R. [at Estee Lauder, Jo Malone, John Hardy Jewelry and others], but I am an enthusiastic user of product and I know what works for me.
I don’t take it too seriously. I mean we’re not curing cancer. If you have serious acne, you should be asking a dermatologist what to do, but if you’re really curious about this ad for a new cream that whoever is in, I’ll tell you if it’s worth it, because it probably isn’t.
How many skin care products are on your bathroom counter?
ARE YOU READY? I actually counted in prep for this interview. On the shelves there are two hundred and thirteen products, and on the sink counter, forty-six. That’s not counting the upstairs bedroom that’s the product closet, the clothing closet, and every drawer taken in this house. It sounds ridiculous and it is. There’s no reason for anyone to have an abundance of product.
Do you think that men get enough attention from the beauty industry?
More and more so. Men are starting to want to look better. I don’t think that’s pressure related necessarily, but it’s important. The metrosexual fad did not last. It was kind of wrongly perceived. But as long as brands don’t produce products that smell like some drug store body spray or have some weird lumberjack element, men should be exploring grooming options outside of anti-dandruff shampoo and shaving foam. If I see one more weird toolbox-looking thing filled with men’s products, I’m going to scream.
What kind of trends do you see coming in men’s skin care?
Face care outside of shaving. There is the emphasis on proper cleansing and exfoliation other than just a razor on the bottom part of your face. I think men’s eye creams are becoming a really fast growing category, and overall, brands are just expanding. There are moisturizers. There are lip balms. There is post-shave solution. Packaging that looks sexy on any counter.
How do you discover new products and what catches your interest?
I’m so old school, I actually read some magazines like the beauty columns. I think it’s really nice to find out what the editors are saying. Also, I just walk into the store and browse the shelves until I get bored. And I am a big fan of exploring the travel exclusive combinations at airports where brands offer things that are just exclusive to travel retail.
What’s a must for your travel kit?
Oooh. Travel kit must-haves. I’m a big fan of anything hydrating and moisturizing that comes in a travel size. Something I can just pop into my bag and slug on my face and it doesn’t look greasy and it absorbs and I’m just going to look plump and hydrated when I’m throwing back those vodka sodas.
What is your typical skin care routine?
It changes constantly because I have to try so many products, but it’s actually very simple. I prefer to do a single-step cleansing oil or cleansing balm with a cloth, or just really nice refreshing gel cleanser. I use either an exfoliator in the shower, or I will skip that and use a peel pad or an acid toner. l moisturize with either a richer serum, an oil or an eye cream. I don’t wear makeup, but I will wear under-eye concealer or brightener and I will use a tinted sunscreen.
How did you discover Vivant?
I have a really good friend who is a beauty writer. She was an editor at PopSugar and she actually helped me along the way as I started the blog. She said to me, you have got to try this Mandelic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser. I went online and got it and just nothing was ever the same. As someone who has combination skin and constant congestion in the pores on my nose, that cleanser was just pure magic.
What’s your favorite cocktail?
I should say the Negroni, but I really like a vodka martini. I prefer potato vodka. It has to be so dry and shaken so hard. I want some ice chips floating in my glass. Oh, I just love it.
Best post-party skin fix?
A facial detox mask. It travels really well and it works every single time.
You’re a huge fan of masks.
I am. It’s a really safe entry point into any brand; a very noncommittal exploration and it’s kind of nice to have this instant gratification whether it’s pore refining or deeply hydrating. And it’s fun.
When are we going to see a book from you?
I would like to have a beauty book, but I just feel like there are so many beauty books, especially from influencers and YouTubers and there’s so little substance to them at the end of the day. These are twenty-year-olds who conceal invisible pimples with a technique that takes twenty products, four brushes and forty-five minutes. I just look at those books and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, why do you have a book out? A tree died for that.’
What’s the worst skin care mistake you ever made?
There’s one that I will never forget. I used to be on Tazorac, not for acne, but for anti-aging. I went in and got my eyebrows waxed. I had no idea you’re not supposed to get your eyebrows waxed when you’re on prescription strength retinol.
She actually ripped half my eyelid off. I was bleeding and there was brow missing, and she’s like, ‘Did you start something like retinol?’
And I was like, ‘Yeah, how great does my skin look?!’
Then I felt the blood streaming into my eye.
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