“I grew up in the country in upstate New York obsessed with hair. When I was fourteen and when I was seventeen I lived in China. My mom was a hairstylist and my grandma was a hairstylist. Since I was fourteen I was cutting my own hair off, so I always had a pixie cut my whole life. I was obsessed with the feeling of hair and I would twirl my sister’s hair to go to sleep because mine was too short. Growing up in the countryside everyone who did hair was in a salon and I knew I did not want that at all. I hated the vibe of salons and all the gossiping, plus I’m a tomboy so that just did not fit.
I moved to the city and studied fashion at F.I.T. After two years I dropped out because I knew I wasn’t going to do anything that I needed a degree for and I couldn’t afford it anyway. I was living in New York and struggling and I needed to work. I got a job at a PR firm and was doing everyone’s hair and makeup before we would go out to parties and events and people kept saying ‘you’re really good at this!’ The PR firm got me my first job working with photographer Yossi Michaeli. It was a look book shoot and I got paid for it so I was thought—Ok, I’m a professional hair and makeup artists now (laughs). He liked what I did and somehow I convinced him that I could do it even though I just brought my own little makeup kit. Luckily the model was white and my skin color. Yossi started booking me on test shoots for models and that is how I learned a lot. He was really specific about what he liked and gave me a lot of direction. I was making seventy-five dollars working hardcore for six hours a day. I had part time jobs for years while I was learning how to do hair and makeup.
I decided that I needed to make this work. I quit all of my part time jobs and was available for any shoots that came up. The first six months I was really starving and then it started picking up. I started assisting Ayumi Yamamoto who had been Odile’s (Gilbert) assistant for ten years. Ayumi was the first woman I had ever assisted and we did Italian Vogue and a bunch of jobs together. She introduced me to Odeile three years ago and that completely changed my career. No one knew who I was before her. My first show with Odile was the Thakoon show with the colored clay. We mixed Indian clay with water and that was my first experience ever at fashion week, ever at a show and it was with Odile as her first assistant. I was mixing paint and handing her bowls and felt way in over my head. There were a lot of people like ‘who are you!?’ I had no idea what to expect. Now I just finished my fifth season with Odile and things are good. I have a steady business and am starting to work with an agency.
Normally I wake up an hour and fifteen minutes before I need to leave the house. I eat eggs every morning and read my bible while I drink my coffee. Then I hop in the shower and do that whole thing. I actually spend thirty minutes getting ready but spend the rest of the time checking emails and taking it easy.
I wash my face with Cetaphil because it doesn’t really feel like anything. I used to wash my face with Dove soap, which was not good (laughs). Kloraine eye makeup remover is amazing. If I have any residual makeup on in the morning I use that. Then I wear whatever eye cream I have laying around. I get them for free a lot. MAC is always at Milk Studios so I will use their creams often. Sometimes I do a sprtiz of this tea tree oil that I make. It’s tea tree oil, menthol, eucalyptus and water. It’s in a really fine mist and I use that instead of toner.
I don’t really use cream because I use a tinted moisturizer by NARS. It has sunscreen and all that crap. My concelear is by Laura Mercier. My eyes are hooded, they are almost Asian so I have to use waterproof eyeliner or else it smears. I apply Makeup Forever liner with a little brush from Target that I love. It’s Sonia Rykiel. I get the base done when I am home and then do the rest of my makeup in a cab or on the train. On the go I do my brows and blush. Tarte Tipsy Cheek Stain and NARS Bronzer in Laguna are my favorite color combo. My favorite mascara is L’Oreal waterproof Voluminous Carbon Black.
I wash my hair every two and a half days. I use Kerastase shampoo all the time. The orange one seriously saved my hair. I went from platinum blonde to black and back to platinum blonde in the same head of hair, which is nearly impossible to do without all of your hair falling out. The shampoo is so moisturizing it’s gold. I use that religiously and their hair mask as well. The little samples of conditioner from when you color your hair are really good. I am constantly adding moisture to my hair. I like bleaching it because it gives me a lot of texture. My hair is naturally super silky. If your hair feels good it probably doesn’t look good and if it looks good it usually feels horrible.
I blow-dry my bangs immediately because I have cowlicks. Erin Fetherston taught me this technique where you point the blow dryer down and roll it around your head over and over again. That’s how she gets her bangs like that. So I do my bangs and let my hair dry while I pick out my outfit and put in some Revlon Equave that Odile brings with her from Paris. It’s a light conditioner. Then I do a rough dry and add the pink Kerastase oil and dry it with a Mason (Pearson brush). If I want more texture I add beach spray. For volume I love the Oribe dry texturizing spray.”