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LA magazine’s Devon Kisgen Shares Beauty Secrets, Hot Spots & Work Life Balance

February 27, 2017
Devon Kisgen

Scrolling through this California mama’s Instagram feed makes us feel all warm and sunshine-y. Devon Kisgen is loving her life in LA, after being born and raised on the East Coast, and doesn’t take a minute of her world for granted. Spending time with her two daughters takes top priority but she isn’t afraid to get out of her comfort zone and explore the city and beaches around her. Read on…

Devon Kisgen

Quote you love: “Life is short, live it. Love is rare, grab it. Anger is bad, dump it. Fear is awful, face it. Memories are sweet, cherish it.” – Unknown

Best advice you’ve ever been given?

It sounds lame but, “Just Do It!”. I learned in my positions working in New York that there is no time like the present. If it is something huge you have been wanting to tackle, or something as small as making a phone call, just get it done. There is no reason to procrastinate or wait for tomorrow. Always think of that first step that it takes to get something done and take initiative…and the rest will just seem to follow.

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Congrats on your new baby! What is the biggest surprise since adding your second child to your family?

The biggest surprise for us is how easy an infant is! That definitely was not the case for me the first time around. I don’t know if it is because we have been through it all before or because a toddler is so much work…or maybe because we don’t have time to worry about the little things like we did the first time around, but she has been a breeze. The toughest thing is to juggle both of them when they both need your attention and hardly having any time to yourself. There is no time to adjust slowly…you just make it work!

As Director of Integrated Marketing at Los Angeles Magazine, mama to two, and contributing marketing to your hubby’s eye wear line Matsuda, do you have any non-negotiables that help you to balance your time between work and family?

I love my family and really enjoy what I do. To balance these two it is really important for me to be 100% present at work when I am working, and devote all of my attention to my family when I am home. It is definitely a struggle because I’m easily distracted but it really makes all the difference in terms of getting things done and connecting with my kids and husband. I also am very adamant about leaving work at 5:30pm on the dot. I’m not sure how happy everyone is about that, but it is a must. There is always a never ending “to do” list and if I don’t set limits, I could be there all night. I’d hate to not be there with my family for dinner, bath, and bedtime. I also used to respond to emails around the clock but now I really leave work at work unless there is an important event coming up or an urgent proposal due. But honestly, we are not saving lives so it can always wait until the next day.

Devon KisgenWhat are your favorite beauty trends and what do you think will be “big” in 2017?

I absolutely cannot live without dry shampoo! I have fine dark hair which tends to get oily two minutes after I wash it. I am amazed and jealous of those women who get a blow out and it lasts all week. I have tried a lot of different brands but always seem to return to Oscar Blandi‘s. For 2017, I think (hope!) that women will embrace their natural selves and stop over contouring. I think I saw a video of someone contouring the back of their neck! Eek…stop the insanity lol.

As a “New Yorker”  who moved to LA “just to try it” and has been loving it for years, what do you see as the real difference between New York and LA life as a creative working mom?

I wasn’t a mom until I lived in LA so I don’t know what mom life is like in NYC…but I know so many amazing moms that kill it in the city! I do know that I cherish every month of the year here enjoying the sun and being outdoors. We would definitely struggle if we were cooped up inside all winter. If my girl is home all she wants to do is watch TV! So many moms are doing their own thing in LA, either freelancing or starting their own companies. The mamas I’ve met in LA seem to be very creative, free spirited, and fearless and it is so inspiring!

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What does the perfect day in LA look like to you?

I love LA because there is so much to see and do and the weather is always accommodating; so exploring something or someplace new we haven’t been before is exciting. But the perfect day would start with sleeping in (yeah right) and having a lazy non-rushed morning with a family snuggle sesh on our bed. We’d then have coffee and croissants or breakfast at the most family friendly restaurant on the west side, M Street Kitchen, followed by a drive up the coast, soaking in the beauty of Santa Monica and Malibu. We always make it a point to stop at El Matador beach for some fresh salty air and to feel the sand between our toes. I love the laid back vibe of Malibu and have a lot of great spots we like to go to. Before we had kids, it was Malibu Family Wines and date nights with a view at Nobu and Geoffrey’s. Now we frequent kid (and pet!) friendly Malibu Cafe and Guest Ranch at Calamigos and the Malibu Country Mart/Lumber Yard. The day would finish with dinner with friends – a bunch of our couple friends had kids around the same time so it is so fun watching them play and grow up together.

What are your 3 pearls of mama wisdom?

  1. To quote a famous Disney princess, “Let It Go”. Your house is a disaster? There is no food in the fridge? You didn’t get around to answering emails or getting anything done on your list? You received some unsolicited parenting advice that made you upset? All of this used to cause me so much anxiety. Now, I just let it go.
  2. Find time for date night regularly. Connecting with your husband is just as important as connecting with the kiddos.
  3. Enjoy the good, the bad, and everything in between. Time is so precious and there are no do overs. Just do the best that you can!

Devon Kisgen

Devon Kisgen is the Director, Integrated Marketing at Los Angeles Magazine. You can follow her adventures with her two littles here.

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