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The brilliant women behind cult water bottles bkr

Tal Winter and Kate Cutler share their beauty secret, and it has nothing to do with oils or serums

It’s  the chic, eco-conscious water bottle brand that launched in 2011, designed to be the vessel lawyers and college friends Tal and Kate would want to use themselves. “Something beautiful, effortless, sheer, pure and chic”, Tal says of bkr.

Born out of the frustration of drinking from “tons of plastic disposable water bottles”, bkr bottles – pronounced “beaker” –  feature classic and fashionable styles that are designed to keep forever.

For the San Francisco-based duo, bkr is more than an environmentally friendly water bottle brand, “It’s the bottle equivalent of the perfect t-shirt: it feels right and fits right, it’s effortless, and it quickly becomes a staple in your life,” adds Tal.


You’ve said bkr isn’t just an eco bottle brand, it’s about beauty, can you explain?

Kate: Yes! Water is the foundation of any effective beauty regime. You can spend a fortune on your face (and trust us, we do!) but makeup and skincare do their best work on skin that’s hydrated and glowing from within.

How did you two meet? And at what point did you dream up bkr?

Tal: We met in law school in San Francisco and we’ve been friends ever since. Many years later we started bkr. Both our mums had gorgeous skin our whole lives and they drank tons of water so we were always aware that proper hydration is the foundation to your beauty regimen. But we found ourselves drinking from tons of plastic disposable water bottles, like everyone else at the time. It didn’t make sense that smart people like us were essentially drinking from trash. We couldn’t find a reusable bottle we loved. So we made the exact bottle we wanted, we knew if we wanted it, other people would too.

Why should we avoid single-use plastic bottles?

Kate: Most people have heard of BPA, but a lot don’t know what it actually is. It’s a plastic hardener, synthetic estrogen, and a frankly terrifying chemical found in a lot of plastic. It’s an endocrine disrupter that leaches from plastic into our food and drinks that’s been linked to many health problems including an increased risk of cancer, obesity, early onset puberty, diabetes and skin conditions like melasma or deep discoloration. Basically it’s making us sick, ugly and fat!

bkr has been described in the past as a fashion brand, what is your philosophy on fast fashion?

Tal: To us, disposable clothes are a no-go. We prefer to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time. It’s the most green fashion thing you can do. Brands like Stella McCartney consider the effect their choices have on the earth and allow you to be eco without sacrificing style. We’re all about transparency – not only in fashion but especially in our beauty products. We appreciate companies that tell it like it is and don’t hide anything or fake anything. Goop, for instance. We love that Gwyneth and Juice Beauty tell you exactly what you’re putting on your face and why. And when companies explain that they’re using technologies that aren’t natural or organic but are clean, safe and efficacious, we love that too.

You say good skin starts with hydration but how else you care for your skin?

Kate: At night I always wash my face; it doesn’t matter how tired I am or what time it is. Right now I’m obsessed with cleansing oils — they take off all your make-up while leaving your skin so soft. Bobbi Brown’s Soothing Cleansing Oil is pretty perfect.

I like to apply a thick layer of moisturizer at night. I’m currently using Kate Somerville Age Arrest — it’s rich enough to hydrate dry skin, but not too greasy and doesn’t leave a strong smell.

And right before I get into bed I fill a bkr and put it on my nightstand — right now it’s a big 1L in our lavender shade we call Lala.

Tal: Since Kate took the night, I’ll take the morning! I wash my face off with a gentle cleanser and warm water. Right now I’m really into Kate Somerville’s Gentle Daily Wash, Josie Maran’s Pure Argan Oil and La Mer’s Moisturizing Cream. La Mer is expensive but so worth it. I feel softer, brighter and more glowing instantly. And I always put a moisturising lip gloss on as well. I have almost every brand from Dior to Too Faced. I’m always looking for the perfect one — it might be an obsession.

Image @mybkr
Image @mybkr

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