Katie Nehra, Actress & Writer


"I just finished shooting a movie that I wrote, too, called Alex of Venice, which will be at the Tribeca Film Festival. It’s about this woman whose husband just left her, her life is falling apart, and I play the crazy sister from New York that comes to help take care of her child. I also have a clothing line called Simone. But fashion is…it’s not that it’s easy, but it doesn’t challenge my brain like acting and writing. It sounds horrible, and everybody’s like, ‘You’re the most reluctant fashion designer we’ve ever met,’ but you have to really want to do it, because having a label is a lot of work. Also, how many seasons do they do now? Five? Let's be honest, it’s not like I’m doing John Galliano, I’m not recreating a silhouette—I’m just making leather jackets and varsity jackets. And I do love doing it. We’ll do a lot of special orders—I just made Rihanna a vest and a jacket. That’s fun for me. But I did a whole collection for five years, and between that, acting, and writing it was just a nightmare. I don’t even know how I handled it. But in the movie my character is a failing fashion designer, so it’s kind of funny. [Laughs] It took me five years to write the script. I mean, we wrote the script in a year, and from there it was just re-writing, and then there were edits after we filmed. There was a crazy sex scene and that all got cut. All my dieting down the drain! At least I have it for my reel.

For everyday makeup, I’ll wear tinted moisturizer and some mascara. I’m always doing my makeup in the car, which is horrible because I’m driving and smoking and doing 45 other things. And I'm not even a smoker! [Laughs] It’s very me, it’s probably not something you want to do. I’ll either use The Illuminated Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 from Laura Mercier in Natural Radiance—that’s for my car—or sometimes Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. It’s the best; you’ll never go back. I use it with these sponges I get online—they’re better than Beauty Blenders—and they're $5. My mascara is Clinique, which actually I learned from Into The Gloss—from Liv Tyler! The Naturally Glossy Mascara—she said it looks the most natural on camera. Mascara is really hard on camera; you have to be careful because you can easily look like a Beverly Hills housewife with too much mascara, and especially with extensions. Clinique lip colors are also great on camera, because they never build up. You know how lipstick gets all weird if you reapply? This Clinique Chubby Stick in Whole Lotta Honey ­­you ­­can just keep putting on your lips, literally all day long. And the Chubby Stick for Eyes in Curvaceous Coal just looks like a smoky shadow. I love the way they feel—and aren’t the names hysterical? I actually had a meeting yesterday, and I had to go to an audition after, and Laura Mercier Secret Finish just totally refreshed my makeup—magic, I’ll take it. For high-def cameras, I learned that you never want to wear shimmer. For your face, yes, but on your body, no. Biologique Recherche Serum Matriciel toning serum for the body gives you a little sheen, but not shimmer. So it’s perfect, I always have it on my legs.

LA is the worst for my skin; it's always better in New York, always. Humidity is better for skin in general. Every time I go to New York, I’m dewy, and here it’s dry—it's a desert. But Biologique Recherche is everything. It’s changed my life. I started doing the VIP Oxygen Masks, and I’m telling you, it’s the best. Do it while you’re on the toilet; it takes five minutes. I do the whole routine, actually, but you have to really know how to use their products. You clean with this Lait VIP O2, then you do this Lotion MC 110 No. 2. You have to soak a gauze pad—it sounds like so much work, but once you start doing it, you’ll see it’s worth it. Amorepacific Time Response Eye Renewal Creme is my go-to eye cream. Opening that is a trick—it’s so much money, and there’s only so much in there. They’re like, ‘Here you go! Scoop it out!’ I use my long nail. I usually never use those spoons that come inside, except for with this Kanebo Sensai Silk Soothing Cream. I don’t know, I like it. And my friend who does facials swears Madonna uses the Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Daily Serum on her hands, and she gave it to me so I thought, ‘OK, I’m going to do that, then.’ I love all their body products, too.

When I go to New York or Europe, I’m reminded of what normal people look like. Then I come back to LA, and everybody looks crazy. People tend to go overboard with the filler. I think it makes you look older—I don’t know if you’re 50 or 30. I understand as you get older you want to get Botox or something, but you have to be careful as an actor, because if you get too much you can’t make an expression. You have to make sure your doctor does very little. My mom and sister came to visit me, and they saw a friend of mine who’s gone really overboard. They were like, ‘Oh my god she looks insane,’ I was like, ‘Really? What’s happening to me? I’m becoming crazy!’ I haven’t had anything done, but the more you're around it, you start to think that that stuff looks good! You need your mom and sister to tell you these things. But I’ve also seen some of my friends do just a little, and it looks great. I don’t really agree with burning and peels, either. Your skin is a living organism, and you should treat it as such. Those things put your skin into trauma mode, and then you’re more sensitive to the sun and have that waxy, fake look. I aways try to wear SPF 60 on my face—La Roche-Posay, or the SkinCeuticals Sheer Defense, which is less clogging. I never go in the sun, this color [on my body] is all fake. [Laughs] I do spray tans, because I feel like your body looks better with some color, but I’m also kind of a workout freak. I did Tracy Anderson before Gwenyth. It completely changed my body; I cannot tell you how great the Method is. It completely leaned out my legs, hips, and butt. And let me tell you, I’ve been working out since I was 12 years old. I’m pretty healthy and know what I’m doing, but I also work hard at it.

Not to keep ragging on LA, but the water here is tough for your hair. I did one of those water test with the drops, and LA water is five percent acid. I’m not crazy—LA water will turn your hair green, so I have a special filter on my shower. And I really like this Rene Furterer Okara Mild Silver Shampoo. I hate orangey-blonde hair, and this shampoo is purple, so it counteracts that. And I’m all about the Klorane Dry Shampoo— my hairstylist used it and my blow-dry lasted so much longer. Serge Normant Meta Revive is good dry shampoo, too. It literally just lifts your hair, I’m not kidding. It’s Bardot hair in a bottle. It honestly is one of those things that actually does what it says, which is rare—and smells good, too. My hairbrush, which I love, is by this lady, Sheila Stotts, who started out doing extensions—very LA. But it’s not just for extensions, everybody I know uses it. Seriously, every single one of my girlfriends uses it because it’s metal, so it doesn’t screw up your hair when it’s wet. George Papanikolas at Andy Lecompte does my color. I love him. I get balayage, because I like it to look root-y. He does it in, like, 45 minutes—he does 30 people a day. Insane. They’re going to open up a salon in Dubai. These women fly them there to do their hair—one of the clients got him a Rolex, and another stylist got Celine shoes as a gift. These people have so much money! I guess I need to go there and make them jackets. [Laughs]"

—As told to ITG

Katie Nehra photographed by Emily Weiss in West Hollywood, CA on February 1, 2014.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • B

    Ah, another one who loves BR products!!! All hail BR!

    Love this top shelf. xxx

  • Lilli

    a little bit funny she says she isn't into peels because it's bad to damage the living organism that is your skin like that, and has a water filter in her shower, yet she inhales chemicals into her body everyday. A good top shelf although some of her rationale is contradictory.

    • Kattttt

      ...I think smokers often spend a lot of energy counter acting that one very bad choice? It isn't like smokers don't know it's harmful - but, you know, addiction. It makes perfect sense to me that a smoker would be very conscious of what ELSE they put in and on their bodies. A contradiction would be if she recommended smoking as a health aid.

    • femme_noir

      She said she doesn't smoke.

    • murt

      I think she was joking - she said after that she's not a smoker.

  • Alyssa Gapske

    I love the color of her bathroom. It's such a flattering color for a bathroom. Very refreshing!

  • Lana

    I am really fond of her. She seems like a real woman who isn't shy about her lifestyle or admitting that things are not perfect and shiny and bright. Thank you, ITG. - L

  • Bella

    I love her bathroom. I also agree with her observations on too much plastic intervention making you look strange and really old...like, a non-human wreck in my eyes. As far as that goes, I wouldn't take beauty advice from Madonna.
    And then, I find it interesting that she uses all these creams, avoids the sun, yet smokes.

    • pamb

      She says she's not even a smoker...

      • Bella

        She says that when she's driving, she's smoking and doing a million other things. That makes her a smoker.

  • therealblonde

    I need her earrings! Who makes them? I think I've seen them on this site before, but can't remember the name.

    • Laura Mitchell

      Stone Paris! Emily did an article on them last year.

      • therealblonde

        And now I wish I could afford them!

  • S

    This was a great top shelf! It does get on my nerves though when people in the comments have to point out whenever someone smokes and tries to be healthy/mind what they put on their skin/exercise at the same time, like "Well, you smoke so put down the SPF!" Like smoking is a hobby or something, and not an addiction. Most people who smoke start doing it when they're young (and stupid!) and it doesn't seem contradictory to me at all that someone who does smoke would try to keep as healthy as possible in other ways.

  • Caroline Mt

    i think we can all thank botox and fillers for how it helps women assuming their wrinkles and loss of fat on their faces. i mean, in the past, there were no alternatives, women could just freak out about their faces aging (but there were less mirrors, so...).
    Now you freak out, you google 'fillers' and then you say 'oh ok i am going to accept my face like this, i prefer it than having this duckface'. and you stare at the mirror thinking "well at least i am authentic".

    and when you really can't stand it anymore, you still have options (but gently used, like Demi Moore did).

  • http://www.wernerbeauty.com/ Teckie

    I started using Rene Furterer after reading an article on ITG. It's good stuff. And she's right about the Tracy Anderson Method. It works!

  • a67penguin

    LA, Las Vegas, Denver-- those cities have really low humidity compared to the East Coast and I agree- whenever I've visited there, my hair and skin feel oddly dry. I've noticed it very quickly- i.e., within a day or so.

  • Holly

    Not to harp on with the smoking part of the conversation, but I think it was technically a joke emphasizing how much she multi-tasks when she's driving, as she specifically says, "And I'm not even a smoker!" Anyhow, I like how glamorous her routine is--so Hollywood. I wish I could afford to cover my whole body in Biologique Recherche! I also liked that she was kind of sympathetic to going overboard with plastic surgery, and pointed out that when you're around it all the time it becomes normal. People can get so mean-spirited about the whole thing. She acknowledged that it can look really weird and be particularly problematic for an actor, but didn't get too holier than thou about it--it sounds so insecure to be really aggressive about plastic surgery, but it's also really good to have people in your life that can keep you down to earth!

  • pamb

    Metal bristles on real hair? I'm afraid just thinking about it!

  • F

    Ya. Please do come to Dubai. I have had my eyes on your line and I really want a branch here.

  • http://www.fullinsight.com Myla

    OMG that Sephora video; i'm such a fan


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Armani Luminous Silk Foundation
Urban Outfitters
The Finished Edge Makeup Sponge
Clinique Naturally Glossy Mascara
Clinique Chubby Stick
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Laura Mercier
Laura Mercier Secret Finish
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Serum Matriciel
Forencos Cream for Pink Lady
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Masque VIP O2
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Lait VIP O2
Biologique Recherche
Biologique Recherche Lotion MC 110 No. 2
AMOREPACIFIC 'Time Response' Eye Renewal Creme
Kanebo Sensai Collection
Kanebo Sensai Silk Soothing Cream
intraceuticals 'Rejuvenate' Daily Serum
SweetSpot Labs
SweetSpot Labs On-The-Go Wipettes
La Roche-Posay Anthelios
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid Extreme
SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50
Rene Furterer
Rene Furterer Okara Mild Silver Shampoo
Klorane Dry Shampoo with Nettle
Serge Normant
Serge Normant 'Meta Revive' Dry Shampoo
Sheila Stotts
Sheila Stotts Removal Brush