"I was always a big reader—I was an only child, so it was just me, my dog Lois, and my books. In college at Brown, I studied Comparative Literature and Writing. I was so excited to be with an entire community of people who just loved reading, and our job was to read a bunch of books and then talk about them, and that was it—that’s all we were responsible for, academically. I was like, ‘This is heaven.’ When I graduated, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I was always interested in writing—I edited the weekly paper at Brown and loved that. And, after briefly entertaining the idea of going into public health, I interviewed with the managing editor of the New York Observer, where I started as an intern, and ended up getting hired as the real estate writer very quickly. There was so much turnover in the 18 months I was there. I have no interest in real estate, no knowledge of real estate, but I just pretended, and it was awesome.
One of my editors, Alexandra Jacobs, moved from the Observer to the New York Times Style section and was like, ‘I’d love for you to freelance for me.’ So I started writing for her and had a golden moment when I first saw my byline in the Times. I was like, ‘This is so cool.’ Then I did a freelance piece for Vogue and found out about an opening there for a new position—the Social Editor. My understanding is that Anna [Wintour] wanted someone really young. Obviously, because I was 25, I think that was part of my appeal. I was hesitant when I was interviewing, because fashion is not one of my main interests in life, and I wanted to be a writer more than an editor, but I was so seduced by the Vogue machine that I couldn’t resist. I’ve been here for over two years, and I’m continually surprised by how much I enjoy and feel challenged and stimulated by my job and my environment. I love the people that I work with—which, frankly, I didn’t expect.
Starting out at Vogue, I was actually very nervous about my age. But I just turned 28, so I’m like, ‘Phew, I’m getting close to thirty. It’s sort of legit now.’ When I started, I think people’s instinct was to be dismissive. They were like, ‘Oh my god, you’re so young. I can’t believe you graduated college in 2008!’ I always have my hair really tightly pulled back, because I have really curly hair, but it also makes me look more composed and sophisticated and older. I’m also always wearing a shirt buttoned up all the way—I think that helps to convince myself, and others, that I can be taken seriously. [Laughs]
As the Social Editor, I run the 'Flash' feature in the magazine. It’s the front-of-book section that’s full of fun, fluffy things: who’s the It girl now? What are trends that we see people wearing a lot during fashion week or at events? What are some new books that are coming out that might have a more social tilt? Our wedding coverage is in this section, and vacation photos of cute girls we like in far away places. I work on the best-dressed lists and write party coverage for Vogue.com, which is so funny because I used to hate going out. I’m such a morning person. But now that I decide what parties to cover for the website, I’m usually out three to four nights a week.
For black-tie events, I like to get my makeup done at the Bobbi Brown counter at Bergdorf Goodman to make me feel more pulled-together. But this is what I wear on a daily basis: Laura Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer in Nude. I have very pale skin, but my romantic version of myself has darker skin, so I mix in a tiny bit of the Stila bronzer. I love it; I think it looks like a DNA helix. I also love Givenchy Mister Light for under my eyes. This makeup artist at Vogue told me about it a few years ago. I used to use YSL Touche Éclat, but she said that Mister Light was sort of like that but with a tad bit more coverage. Then I use Bobbi Brown blush in Pretty Pink. It’s a very high-school, bubble gum color, but it’s working for me. On my lips, the La Mer Lip Balm is my favorite. I think we would all envelop ourselves in La Mer if we could, but I can’t. This is as far as it goes for me, and it’s amazing.
I’m a big fan of curling your lashes. I read once about some actress who said it’s 'like hairspray for your eyelashes,' and now I always think about that, so I use the Tarte Picture Perfect curler before I put on mascara. It’s great because it’s not as unwieldy as others, more user-friendly. The mascara I'm using came from the Marc Jacobs show—they had little tiny hatboxes filled with his new makeup line. I literally fought the elements to keep mine because it was pouring rain, I had a tiny clutch, and I was going all the way downtown to the Calvin Klein party afterwards. But I was like, ‘I don’t care. I want this makeup.’ It was worth it because this Lash Lifter mascara is fantastic. So is the Style Eye-Con No. 7 Plush Shadow palette—they’re really pretty colors. I always like to do shimmery golds and browns on my eyes, so the palette is very helpful for that. And I usually use the Bobbi Brown Chocolate Shimmer Ink smudgy eyeliner under the shadow; it’s really good.
Growing up, my mother was always very intent that I not do anything to my eyebrows, because she said it would be a very bad thing. As is often the case, she was right; I have friends who lament having overzealously tweezed. To keep mine groomed, once a month I go to this lovely Brazilian man named Maurizio who works at John Barrett Salon to have my brows shaped and tweezed. He’s very efficient. Tweezing is painful, but he says it lasts longer than waxing. To keep them in place I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel—it’s basically just clear mascara. I also use that on my flyaways and on my hairline for baby hairs. My baby hairs are sort of a nightmare because I don’t know where they come from. I’ve never dyed my hair, and I get it blown out maybe twice a month. Even after a blowout at Dry Bar or Dream Dry, the baby hairs still manage to become this little crown of fuzz. They’re a bit lighter, too, because in the summer I pull my hair back. It’s a bad look, so the brow gel helps.
I’m a big fan of getting blowouts—I don’t blow-dry my hair myself because it looks worse than it would if I just left it curly. The salons are open early, so I’ll go at like 7:30 or 8 and I can be in the office by 9. I can read the newspaper, have my coffee, and get shit done. I’ll usually try to extend the blowout for a good three days, and then when I exercise I’ll use Klorane Dry Shampoo and just fluff it with a blow dryer. I had this great dream when I was younger, thinking, ‘Oh, when you’re an adult in your 20s in New York, you'll have mastered your hair—how to take care of it, how to make it look good day-to-day...’ And I’m just so far from there that it’s sort of daunting. I have naturally curly hair, not beautiful, Felicity curly hair, but frizzy, wavy, dragged-through-a-bush hair.
I wash it with Bumble and bumble Straight Shampoo. At one point I did this straight thing called ‘Concenstraight.’ It wasn’t Keratin—my stylist came up with it herself as the un-Keratin Keratin. I liked it, but I didn’t have the energy to do it again. So she said the Straight shampoo would have a similar result. I’m not sure if that’s really the case, but I use it anyway. Then I style it with either the Bumble and bumble Straight Blow Dry or Living Proof Perfect Hair Day 5-in-1 Styling Treatment—I stole that one from the beauty closet. I put them on my wet hair to kind of control it, then I just pull it all back to make it less crazy. I pretend the slicked-back look is what I’m going for, but it’s really the only viable option. [Laughs]
I am, however, really good about face care. Luckily my skin isn’t very fussy, but I feel dirty if I don’t wash it before going to bed. I've been really liking the Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel, which I got at the Vogue beauty sale, but I'm still looking for something a little less drying for winter. My boyfriend’s mother gave him the Clarisonic Mia two years ago for Christmas, which at the time I thought was really funny and odd. But I’ve stolen it and I use it every day. [Laughs] I think it cleans your skin better, and I can always tell how much more stuff comes off. There’s a layer of stuff that doesn’t get clean when you’re just washing with your hands, which grosses me out. And I guess a lot of other people, whose opinion I trust more than my own, say it’s very important to use it.
After cleansing, if I’ve worn a lot of makeup that day, I use the Mila Moursi pH Balancing Toner. Mila is this great facialist in LA who my mother’s been going to for 25 years, so she’s like a family member to us. She makes amazing products that I love, so whenever she gives me anything, I use it very sparingly. Her Dual Action Serum and Anti-Aging Lifting Serum make me feel extra pampered. I use the Lifting Serum in the morning when I want to feel fabulous and lifted, and at night, before moisturizing, I put on the Dual Action Serum because it feels silky and smooth and I just like having it on.
I like thick moisturizers. If you live in New York, you walk a lot, so my skin gets very chapped—especially in the winter. Right now I’m using Guerlain Abeille Royale Intense Restoring Lift. It smells great, and my skin just soaks it up. I’m very into sunblock, too. Chanel UV Essentiel Complete Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 goes on smooth, and absorbs quickly so you can put it on under makeup. And I love eye cream because my skin sucks in the moisture and is very grateful for it. I just use this really light Bobbi Brown Hydrating Eye Cream. I feel like all the other eye creams are like, ‘rejuvenating!’ and I don’t really feel like I need to be rejuvenated...yet.
I’m always looking for thick body lotion, too. I’m very happy to go cheap, because I can never have too much lotion—it’s kind of a hoarding thing. And I go through a fair amount, because you need it all year long. I’ve been wearing Aveeno Body Lotion, but then recently, at a dinner party, Elettra Wiedemann and Adam Lippes told me that if you can’t pronounce an ingredient, you shouldn’t put it on your body. The beauty department gave me Tatcha Camellia Beauty Oil for my birthday that I love, but there’s a trick to putting it on—you can’t do it in the morning when you’re about to go to work because oil ends up all over your clothes. I do it at night after my shower, so I can just put on sweatpants and get into bed. I like feeling like a roast chicken. [Laughs] My boyfriend doesn’t really want to be involved, but he’s commented that I have soft skin.
For fragrance, I like Chloé, but mostly just because it has my name on it. It’s also pretty and light—very classic. For winter, I really like Prada, because it sort of smells like amber. Kai also has a fragrance, but I usually just wear their Body Lotion as perfume when I go out.
And then I’m very into my teeth routine. I’m obsessed with my dentist—she’s this 80-something-year-old, extremely elegant Polish woman who just knows everything about everything, Dr. Irena Mausner. I always leave her office feeling so well-informed about current events. I love her. Every night I brush my teeth with my electronic toothbrush and Colgate Total, which is what she recommends, then I floss and use Act mouthwash. And then I put on my retainer—I grind my teeth at night, so she’s very intent on me wearing my retainer to stop the habit. Actually, after [my boyfriend] Graham and I had been dating for six months, he finally said, 'Please wear your retainer, because you wake me up with your teeth grinding.' It’s like a gift. I mean, he has unbelievable hearing! [Laughs]
I consider myself more of a 'fashion girl' now, but my evolution’s been almost by osmosis. I think back to my interview at Vogue and I’m a little embarrassed. It was in March and so cold, so I wore black tights and these black J. Crew suede booties, which were fine, but were sort of falling apart. And then I wore this very boring, short—not super short, but short-ish—Diane von Furstenberg collared dress with a gray and white striped blazer. It was plain, but it was fine. But then I wore this white-orange pashmina and this orange beaded bag that I thought were really cool. In retrospect I'm like, ‘Ugh, I should have just kept it simple.’ Apparently there’s a lot of things people know to do and not to do when they’re interviewing at Vogue, and I just didn’t have the community of friends or peers who had that information. You’re not supposed to wear black, you’re supposed to look colorful and lively. You’re supposed to have interests outside of Vogue that are cultured and varied, et cetera. I said that I like to sleep and cook. [Laughs] By being around so much fashion, I've developed a deeper level of knowledge about the inner workings of who's running which brand, about new brands that are coming up, and which designer from a big brand is going to start their own handbag line and why we'll really like it. It makes me much more excited about fashion. I like getting dressed up to go to work now."
—as told to ITG
Chloe Malle photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on December 7, 2013.