Swearing with a Braid Expert: What Celebrity Hairstylist Sarah Potempa Swears By

We sat down with Sarah Potempa - celebrity hairstylist, inventor of cult-favorite beauty tool The Beachwaver, and part-time mermaid - on the roof of The Williamsburg, sipping frosés, while watching the sunset over the Manhattan skyline and talking about Swear-worthy beauty routines. Sounds like a perfect day, right?

Sarah owns and co-founded The Beachwaver Co. with her two sisters. She realized after styling countless 'dos that people weren't curling their hair because they found it too difficult to do on their own, and thus The Beachwaver was born.  Today, Sarah and her sisters' work consists of constantly researching and developing the next best thing to combat any and all bad hair days, and we are forever grateful. The Swears in Sarah's beauty kit lean toward innovations from other entrepreneurs, coupled with her own inventions, sourced from her work as an in-demand hair guru. Here are seven beauty must-haves behind Sarah’s pretty-in-pink summer look that we Swear will have you revamping your own routine.

Photo credit: Michelle Rose Photo

Krave Beauty The Beet Shield

“This is a sunscreen that has fewer ingredients, so instead of a white paste, it gives you more of a yellowy finish at first and then blends in super sheer. It was also created by another female founder, Liah Yoo, who was a Youtuber and was testing out a lot of products all the time. She wanted to create a beauty line that had fewer ingredients that wasn’t as manufactured as the others – so she made Krave! And I’m very happy she did.”

Photo credit: Michelle Rose Photo

Surratt Beauty Relevée Lash Curler

“Troy Surratt and his partner, hairdresser Nathaniel Hawkins, started this company together. My lashes tend to fall really easily – I just don’t have great lashes – and this is one of the only eyelash curlers that I feel like really pushes and holds mine up. All of the stuff they make is so beautiful, too. This packaging is really nice. I worked with Nathaniel on Project Runway at the very beginning of the series, and I remember when Troy started his makeup line we talked about The Beachwaver and how my sisters and I cut the steel for the mold. We own everything; all the manufacturing, all the products. When Troy was making his products, he also tooled his own products, even though there’s probably a million eyelash curlers on the market. It makes for a really nice, custom fit against your lashes.”

Photo credit: Michelle Rose Photo

Beachwaver® Pro 1.25

“I created this because people always tell me that they never curl their own hair because it’s too difficult. So again, my sisters and I cut the steel for the mold of The Beachwaver and we really honed in on what we wanted it to be. I love the 1.25in wand – I use it on almost everyone. Unless it’s a really humid day and the hair’s going to fall, then I’ll use the 1in. But, I tend to use the 1.25 for red carpet stuff because it just already feels like the perfect bend, the perfect wave!”

[ PS…you can get $5 when you enter code SWEARBY ]

Photo credit: Michelle Rose Photo

Tarte Gleam Team Highlighter

“This is a double-sided highlighter. I feel like if you don’t really know how to use highlighter, this is a really good one to start with because it has a cream side and then a liquid side, so depending on how good you get at it, you can do your own thing with it. It’s one of those self-experimental things that you figure out when you’re actually putting the product on.”

Photo credit: Michelle Rose Photo

Beachwaver Co. Braid Balm (Pre Braid Prep)

“I did 365 days of braids on Instagram a couple years ago; it was my New Years’ Resolution to post a different braid every day for an entire year. While I was doing it, I was using so many products to get the perfect mix of something that was going to prep, detangle, and leave the hair not feeling crunchy or greasy and weighed down after taking braids out. I wanted to create a product that would do all three things. I had to go through like 30 different formulas! The Braid Balm is a foamer that has a really light consistency, so you can apply it directly to your brush and brush it in before you braid. I love it because it strengthens while you style; it’s about getting the cute styles, but at the same time, it’s like you’re wearing a treatment in your hair all day.”

[ PS…you can get $5 when you enter code SWEARBY ]

Photo credit: Michelle Rose Photo

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

“There’s something about lipstick – it’s always so hard for people because you apply it, and as soon as you eat or drink something, it comes right off. I’m obsessed with Stila’s lipsticks. They’re amazing because they actually stay all day. Funny story…my sister bought a different brand’s organic, vegan lipstick the other day and we were dying because it was just smearing everywhere and bright red. I was wearing Stila, and mine was staying the whole time. I was like ‘I get it, but sometimes you need a really good formula.’ So I love this Stila lipstick in red (my favorite).”

Bali Beach Night Fragrance

“My sisters, my mom, and I opened a store called B. Bungalow. It’s now the lifestyle brand of The Beachwaver, and there’s a whole backstory to fragrances for us. All of our hair products have an ‘aroma experience.’ Over the last 20 years of doing hair, people would always react to either the packaging or the scent of the products I was using on them. I felt like it was so important for people to have a nice aroma experience when they were washing or styling their hair, so before we made all of our products, we actually custom made our fragrances. When you’re making a product and mixing different, raw ingredients, the fragrance can get diluted or be overpowering, so you need to adjust it. We paid attention to fragrance-to-formula ratio in all of our products to really achieve the aroma experiences we wanted. And this one, this is my absolute favorite. It’s a little more warm and sophisticated than the others.”

[ PS…you can get $5 when you enter code SWEARBY ]

We think you deserve to buy only awesome things. We've asked the most discerning women out there to share what they honestly, truly swear by so you can get on with life and find your next favorite product, faster. What do you SwearBy?