Day in the Life: Dineh Mohajer, Smith & Cult Co-Founder and Creative Director

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Dineh Mohajer helped define the ‘90s when she hand mixed a nail shade to match a pair of Charles David sandals, topped the bottle with a complementary ring, and called it Hard Candy. Her baby blue nail polish ended up on Alicia Silverstone’s tips, putting the brand on the map. But the beauty boss didn’t stop there. Mohajer has a new line of luxe lacquers to indulge every nail ninja’s wildest color fantasy with Smith & Cult. The range revolves around the journal of a beauty junkie with each shade sharing its own story. Glam caught up with the mani maven as she set up office in her kitchen to make deadlines, played with fresh photo ideas for the nail shades, and even wrote the beauty junkie’s next adventure.

4:00 a.m.-ish:

While most sane citizens of the world are nearing the end of their sleep cycles, this is usually the time I begrudgingly close my laptop and retire for the evening—or morning—it’s all a bit blurry by this point. Before passing out, I email myself an incoherent list of things to work on for the next day.

9:00 a.m.:

My team, a small motley crew, comes to my home office by 9AM. I brush my teeth, do my highly specific skincare regime, and then meet them for a quick powwow before our weekly creative call we have with the New York and Miami offices. Before the call, I inhale a Slim Down smoothie from Earth Bar (so LA of me, but I’m addicted).

9:30 a.m.:

Our weekly creative call lasts anywhere from half an hour to two-and-a-half hours. Since we just recently launched Smith & Cult and are knee deep in development and growth, there is almost too much to discuss. While I am on the call, I gloss over emails and my calendar while routinely making jokes for my own entertainment to get through some of the mundane portions of the call. Most of the time no one is participating in the enjoyment of my humor.

12:00 p.m.:

Our deadlines and projects range from day to day. I am heavily involved in every aspect of the brand, which can be both exhilarating and exhausting. Watching me operate the programs, my assistant calls me a pixel pusher, because I am so overly detailed with every image, layout, fixture—really everything that is part of our image and branding. Our afternoon hours are usually spent creating art, writing copy for the diaries (the tagline of the collection is “Diary of a Beauty Junkie”), designing fixtures, and editing Instagram and web diary videos. We are always drowning in deadlines right about now.

4:00 p.m.:

I usually feel faint, emotional and weak around this time and realize it is because I am starving. Most days, I order food and continue to work as I eat at my dining room table—that in recent months was converted to a workstation. Some days, I drink Soupure soups that are shockingly delicious for how healthy they are. In my weaker moments, I love getting my carb fix from Osteria La Buca.

4:15 p.m.:

While eating my lunch, also known as my first real meal of the day, I take a quick break to look at some online inspiration whether it be design blogs, silly YouTube videos, or discovering new artists via Tumblr pages.

5:00 p.m.:

I usually want to take a nap at this time, but my team never permits me (slave drivers). The latter part of the day is usually spent focusing on what is immediately due. This also happens to be the golden hour that is perfect for photography. Much of the art that we created for Smith & Cult falls into the mixed media category. In my driveway and back deck we’ve had a lot of photo shoots. I’ve set photos on fire, hammered caps—which resulted in our current cap for the Smith & Cult Nailed Lacquer—spray painted previously shot final images, and dripped ice cream onto photos, all to create our final assets. My neighbors are no longer fazed by anything.

7:00 p.m.:

I usually take a break around this time to hide from my deadlines. I love watching really brainless shows or old classic movies – anything that will remove me from the reality of how much work there is to do/due for a small stitch in time.

8:00 p.m.:

My husband and I order in dinner and reflect on our days. Cravings change from day to day, hour to hour, but one of our favorite places to order from is Cleo, which has the most amazing hummus and yogurt with cucumber dips and heavenly bread. Sometimes we will swing over to a friend’s house to hang out or we’ll go see a friend’s band play (my husband is a musician and sometimes I will just go play groupie and watch his band).

1:30 a.m.:

The laptop is open and I am in the work zone again. Despite efforts to cure, or at least curb my workaholism, I truly am enamored with every aspect of creating a collection and the corresponding branding visuals. I work through the night and occasionally take a break to either gossip with my best friend or speak to my dad who calls every day without fail.