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Discovering Contentment in Solitude and Embracing Life’s Unpredictability: A Conversation with Kristin Cavallari

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  • Post last modified:September 26, 2023

There’s no experience quite like a transformative event to cause an individual to decelerate, reassess essentially everything, and (hopefully) emerge on the other side as a more resilient, content, and secure person. For Kristin Cavallari, her divorce from ex-husband Jay Cutler in 2020 prompted her to revamp numerous aspects of her life. Three years later, the founder of Uncommon James, NY Times bestselling author, and upcoming host of the Dear Media podcast, “Let’s Be Honest with Kristin Cavallari” (launching September 12), tells Shape that she is “the most tranquil and joyful I’ve ever been in my entire existence.”

Effort was unquestionably necessary to reach that state of happiness and tranquility, with the majority of it being focused on Cavallari, who is now 36, reestablishing a connection with herself. For years, this busy mother of three and business owner admits that she prioritized everyone and everything except herself. “I placed myself at the bottom of the list and I was thoroughly depleted,” she confesses. “With my divorce, I no longer had my children with me full-time, so I suddenly had alone time after a long duration. Initially, it felt incredibly strange because I wasn’t sure how to utilize it. However, I made the conscious decision to dedicate it to personal growth – mentally, physically, emotionally, encompassing all aspects.”

“I’ve had ample time for introspection and reflecting on my life and who I truly am, borrowing for lack of a superior term,” she adds with a chuckle. “And I genuinely believe that over the past three years, I have experienced more personal development than in the entirety of my life thus far because of this process.”

Growth can be a challenging journey for anyone, particularly when it unfolds under the scrutiny of the public eye, as Cavallari has experienced since the early 2000s. This then-adolescent catapulted to fame through MTV’s popular reality shows, Laguna Beach and The Hills.

Cavallari leveraged her initial television stardom into hosting and guest judging roles (Project Runway All Stars, Beat Bobby Flay), supplemented by various acting ventures (Veronica Mars, Van Wilder: Freshman Year, The Middle), as well as her own reality series, Very Cavallari. In addition to her on-screen endeavors, this entrepreneur launched three brands: Uncommon James, Uncommon James Home, and Uncommon Beauty. Furthermore, she has penned three cookbooks (True Roots, True Comfort, Truly Simple) and a memoir/wellness book entitled Balancing in Heels. Currently, Cavallari is diligently working on developing her line of clean skincare products, Uncommon Beauty.

Despite the extensive list of accomplishments and ongoing projects, Cavallari insists that her “life has significantly slowed down.” Residing outside of Hollywood in Nashville, TN undeniably contributes to this newfound tranquility.

She also cultivates her own produce and spices and keeps chickens. “It’s been a wish come true,” she states. Continuously exhibiting exceptional multitasking skills and superb organizational abilities, particularly in her role as a parent (to her sons Camden, 10, Jaxon, 8, and daughter Saylor, 7, with whom she shares with Cutler), Cavallari confesses that one of her profound recent life teachings was understanding the importance of relinquishing control and embracing the concept of fluidity.

Kristin Cavallari on her new outlook

I definitely feel like I’m just more in a state of fluidity, just letting whatever is supposed to occur, occur.

— Kristin Cavallari on her new perspective

“I used to be very much about a schedule and there was no flexibility. I would get really disappointed in myself if I missed a workout or missed whatever it was,” she explains. “That was all about attempting to control everything in my life. I have learned to unwind a little bit more and am in more of a state of fluidity. I try to choose a word for the year and this year I chose ‘flow.’ I do feel like I’m just more in a state of flow, just letting whatever is supposed to happen, happen.”

Here, Cavallari shares her work in progress, the liberation in letting go, the significance of indulging yourself, and (possibly) stepping up her SPF regimen.

Simplify Your Skincare

As the founder of a beauty and skincare company, Uncommon Beauty, Cavallari has a distinct advantage with access to all things glamorous. However, she does not go overboard and sticks to a streamlined skincare routine. “Even though I’m 36, I still experience occasional breakouts. So all the people that said when you hit your thirties, they go away, they lied,” she says. “But of course, my skincare has evolved in the sense that now I care about fine lines and wrinkles and If I do not cleanse my face at night, I feel like it clogs my pores. I just feel unpleasant the next morning. That is the most important thing for me.” Cavallari keeps her makeup as minimal as possible. “I use our Uncommon Beauty Bronzing Drops, and I’ll usually just use them on their own,” she says. “But if I really don’t have any color, then I’ll mix them with my moisturizer (her Daily Water Cream). And it just gives you a really nice tinted glow on your face that of course washes off at night. And then I use mascara and I fill in my brows and that’s all I do in my day-to-day makeup routine.”

And SPF, of course, right? “So don’t hate me. I don’t regularly use SPF. I’ll use it on my face if I’m going to be in the sun specifically, but I really don’t use a lot of sunscreen,” she admits.

I understand. It’s dreadful. I owe it to my father. I possess those Italian genetics, I can somewhat escape its consequences.

Courtesy of Dennis Leupold

Embrace A Transformed Fitness Philosophy: Observe Your Body

Physical fitness and exercising have long been a part of Cavallari’s life – devotion to which was actually jumpstarted by her troublesome teenage years. “I got into a lot of mischief in the summers after my sophomore [and] junior years of high school and so I got grounded,” she reminisces with a chuckle. “One of the things my father made me do was engage in physical exercise while I was grounded. I think it was to demonstrate to me how amazing you can feel while working out, but that was the initial instance where it became more of a consistent practice. At the time I was like, ‘What on earth, Dad?’ But now, as an adult, I comprehend that it was actually quite commendable.”

Cavallari admits that she has had a tendency to be slightly too stringent with herself regarding adhering to workout routines, but by embracing her “flow” mindset, her workouts are inspired by paying attention to what her body requires. “I was working out with my trainers three days a week and I actually gained more weight than I desired,” she remarks. “It’s crucial to engage in weightlifting and I adore how my muscles are currently, but I had to scale back. We all have to ascertain what works for us. I believe it’s more about attuning to your body and also how you feel in your garments. I don’t particularly enjoy weighing myself. I will occasionally do so just to check-in. But for the most part, [I gauge my fitness] primarily based on how I feel and how I feel in my jeans.”

Give Priority to Natural Food and Ingredients, Instead of a Specific Diet

Cavallari prioritizes a farm-to-table diet in a sense, since she is capable of growing numerous vegetables and collecting eggs from the chickens she raises. However, she does not strictly adhere to any specific diet plan. “I am exceedingly conscious about maintaining good health, that’s significant to me,” she asserts. “I consume a lot of fruit and I certainly consume carbohydrates, healthier carbohydrates.” Her low-key approach to food? “I strive to consume food that is as close to its unadulterated state as possible. Not a lot of processed food, but copious amounts of fruits and vegetables, and meat. I attempt to consume organic food as frequently as possible. I never examine calories or fat content or anything of the sort. I solely peruse the list of ingredients on a package. If it’s merely brimming with a multitude of chemicals, I will not consume it. I undoubtedly have a penchant for sweets and I usually indulge in a piece of dark chocolate after dinner.” She recollects that her son, Jaxon, concocted an intricate dessert the previous night consisting of cookies, icing, ice cream, and sprinkles. “I had a portion of that,” she confesses. “So, I mean, I’m not extremely stringent. If I dine out, I will indulge in dessert, just not every evening.”

On Establishing Social Media Boundaries

“Instagram has never posed a predicament for me. I’m actually somewhat sporadic with its usage. TikTok is a recent addition for me, I joined TikTok two months ago and it has absorbed a great deal of my time. Hence, that is the one aspect where I realize I need to commence setting limits for myself and admonishing myself to put down my phone.” She remarks that her children are also undergoing a similar phase with screens. “I have to instruct them, get off it, set it aside, we’re finished. It’s unequivocally an ongoing struggle.”

She Discovers Delight In Involving Her Children In Routines

General Wellbeing and Parenting Advice

When it comes to guidance on overall wellbeing, Cavallari suggests looking inward. “I believe my only recommendation would be to disregard the opinions of others. I believe we must do what is ideal for ourselves, and only we possess that understanding.” She mentions that, as a mother, it is extremely common for people to offer unsolicited advice on what you should or should not do. What advice does she have for parents? “Trust your intuition when deciding what is best for you and your family, and that’s all.”

Cavallari’s Essential Wellbeing Products

  • Preferred Activewear Brand: Cavallari is a huge fan of Beyond Yoga. “They’re the most comfortable leggings in existence, and they’re perfect for quick trips to the grocery store. They’re essentially great for everyday wear. I have no affiliation with the brand whatsoever. I simply adore them.”
  • Favorite Hair Product: The health of her distinctive blonde tresses is of utmost importance to Cavallari. “I try to minimize the frequency of washing…and I adore the Young Again oil by Kevin Murphy. At one point, I actually experienced hair breakage about a year ago. I believe it occurred due to the excessive protein content in certain shampoos and conditioners.” She recalls how her hair began to break but affirms that the oil has effectively restored her hair’s optimal health.
  • Essential Beauty Product for Fall: Cavallari is most enthusiastic about the newly introduced Koji Pads and her top-selling (and recently reformulated) Mango Lip Balm.

Part of her lifestyle after divorce involved prioritizing herself and rediscovering what brings her joy. “I have been able to place myself at the top of my list in the past few years. I believe it is the most beneficial thing we can do for ourselves and our families,” she shares. “And yes, in a way, it was imposed on me, but it has been the most wonderful thing that has ever occurred in my life.

Under any circumstances, I opt to observe the optimistic aspects and that’s one truly favorable outcome that has emerged from my marital separation.