Summer Dawn Miller, Stylist, The Webster


"I moved to New York in 2015. It was two months after I visited the city for the first time. I found an apartment in the East Village right away—before I knew what it was. Then my friend was like, 'Oh, you live in the East Village? That’s so neat.' I lived in Brooklyn for a while but I had to come right back. It just feels like home.

Before I go out, I have to have a whole day’s notice. Last night was my friend's birthday, and she told me like six hours before. I was like, 'I can’t go! I’m not ready!' I have to get mentally ready. I like a loud bar, more of like a dive-y situation. I like to have a nice dinner, and then go out somewhere gross or trashy, like over here in the East Village. I have to have something really healthy before I go out in case I drink a lot. Something good for my skin, like salmon, or avocado toast. I do try to avoid drinking too much. On New Year’s I drank a whole lot, and my friend took a photo of me, and I looked so…my skin wasn’t glowing. I was so upset, and I was like, ‘I can’t drink like that anymore.’ My skin just loses all its moisture and shine. But I do love margaritas. I read that if you just have a shot, it’s so much better for you because it’s just the alcohol, there’s no sugar or whatever. So I’m trying to do shots. It’s easier because I don’t really love the taste of alcohol, so it’s just like you have this sip and then you’re done.

I used to be a big ‘wash my face and start from scratch’ person if I’m going out. But I really only need an hour. It depends on my skin. I had good skin when I was younger, and then I started breaking out all the time hormonally. I went to dermatologists in Virginia [where I’m from] and they couldn’t figure it out. I tried everything. It would stop, and it would start, then it would clear up and I’d have beautiful skin, and then it would get worse and worse… So then in March, I started taking Spironolactone prescribed by my dermatologist, and it took until October and now it’s finally working. I’ve tried changing my diet and all that, but this is the only change that’s real. I needed something extra. And it’s only $8 for a month’s supply. Before that, I was going to the dermatologist a lot and it was getting expensive. I was getting laser facials, but then I switched to Skin Laundry, which is much more affordable. They don’t touch you with their fingers or anything, it’s just laser. And then they put on a cooling gel, and then another light that’s supposed to brighten your skin, too. It’s not luxurious, but I like it.

When my skin was so aggravated, I cut out every acid peel kind of thing. It was too harsh for me. I just love to just burn my face off! But then I got Solution a week ago, and I was like, ‘OK, I’ll try it.’ Just to see how my skin reacts. And it likes it! So I’m happy. It burned when I first put it on, like the first two days, but now I’ve been using it every other night and my pores are smaller. If it was too strong, it would have just made my skin worse. So I use it and then I moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Sometimes I’ll mask after if I have the time—I like something that brightens. My boyfriend bought this for me—the Raya oxygen mask when we first met. Your skin looks so good afterwards. And it’s really fast, like five minutes. I’ve had it for over a year and I still have so much left because you just need a little bit.

The best night is one when you can wear glitter, and do a whole makeup look. I love when girls have a ton of makeup on, or a big, heavy, smokey eye. It’s so pretty. I just went shopping today and I got the Chanel resort makeup collection. I went to the counter and I was like, ‘Can you put this on me?’ I don’t know how to put it on, but I love it!

If I’m doing a whole look, I usually wear Chanel Vitalumiere Aqua Foundation, and then I use Glossier Wowder. I put a ton on my forehead and then put my bangs over it. I don’t contour—I don’t know how. I was using that Tan Luxe brand for a while. It’s a self-tanner. They have a face one, you just put drops into whatever—I put it into my Priming Moisturizer Rich at night and all over my face. It looked natural, but it’s just so hard to keep up with. It was too hard. So I have the Chanel Soleil de Tan, the big one. It’s so nice. But in the winter I just feel silly wearing a bunch of bronzer. Like, I know that I’m pale, it’s fine.

Sometimes I don’t want to take my makeup off and start over, so I’ll just spray a ton of rosewater. [I use] just the Whole Foods one—so good, so cheap. I spray that all over my face, and then I’ll go back in and touch up with Glossier Stretch Concealer if I need. I’ve been wearing blush recently—or Gen G in Cake on my cheeks. Today I’m wearing By Terry, it’s called Frozen [Petal]. It’s in a little pot, like a gel cream. I’ll put that on, and then I let it all soak in before I put powder on. And then I’ll do my eyes. I’ve been into eyeliner, or a color shadow, instead of mascara. I really only have like, four or five lipsticks—a bunch of Chanel reds. My favorite is Nars Dragon Girl, that pencil that everyone loves. It’s so good.

I just got [my hair] colored. I go to Ion Studio—I’ve gone there for a couple years. I love it. I see Evan for my color, and Nylza for my cut. I just like blonde—blonde, blonde, blonde. I try not to wash, because my color stays. I haven’t washed since Tuesday when I got it done, and I probably won’t wash it until Monday. I have so much grease, but I use a lot of dry shampoo. I’ve pretty much tried every brand. I tried all the expensive ones, but I just use—it’s the best—Batiste. I get the cherry one because the scent is so good. I ordered it on Amazon. It’s so good for blondes because it comes out white, so it brightens your roots up if you have dark, greasy roots like I do. If you’re a brunette your hair would look gray, but it’s good for blondes.

Right now I have no polish on, and it’s like my first time ever just having clear nails. I always do red. I either do Hiking Heels, because I’m out of Clambake by Essie, that iconic one. But all the reds look the same really, so it’s fine. I have Hiking Heels, and then I have a million of those pink-y ones, like Mademoiselle and Ballet Slippers. It’s either a red or a pale pink. And I want those new Chanels! The yellow is so pretty. I go through phases where I get gel manicures at Paintbox, and then I’m like, 'OK, I’m poor, I can’t afford it anymore.' So I’ve been doing my own nails. If my mom buys me a manicure set or something, then I’m all about it. She bought me one for Hanukkah. So I have all the fancy nail files and it’s nice. It’s nice to sit in the bathroom and do your own nails.

I go home early. I saw an article the other day that was like, 'No one cares that you’re Irish exiting.' And I agree. I’m not gonna say bye to everybody, no one cares. I go to bed early on 'school' nights—around midnight. Unless I’m having a lot of fun, or it’s someone’s birthday. When I get home, I use micellar water and then Milky Jelly. And my skin really loves witch-hazel. It’s so good! It’s like the cheapest beauty product, and I soak a cotton pad and wipe it all over, and then I do another one, so my skin is dripping in witch-hazel. Then I let it dry. After that, I have a million of The Ordinary serums. I posted a thing on my Instagram like, 'Oh, I’m ordering from The Ordinary, what should I get?' And everyone was like, 'Get this!' but everyone said something else. So I was like, 'I can’t.' I bought a bunch of things, and some things I haven’t used, but the best is the Hyaluronic. It's amazing. And the Vitamin C I love, I use that every morning. At night I also use a Chanel cooling gel cream. I like a jelly eye cream instead of like a rich one…it’s such a mix. It’s either really expensive, like Chanel, or it’s The Ordinary, for like $8. I’ve tried everything. If I don’t like the packaging I probably won’t buy it."

—as told to ITG

Summer Miller photographed by Tom Newton on January 19, 2018.