“Working at a magazine, I get the occasional product sample—which is perfect because I can try out new things. By the time I’m finished with one thing I’m usually on to the next. I’m not very ‘product loyal’, except with bronzer—I’ve been using Lancôme’s Star Bronzer for years; I feel like I remember them launching it! I cannot stand being this pale; I need some sort of glow or tan, and I don’t fake bake, so it’s all about the bronzer.
I do like Noxzema—I’ve been using it forever and I love the smell…it’s nostalgic, like a candle. It’s comforting, I suppose. I use it morning and evening, followed by a toner—right now I’m using Clarins. I have combination skin so it’s good to get the excess oil out. I used the Proactiv line for a little while and it made my skin really healthy. Depending on what my skin’s like that day, I’ll do a little Clé de Peau concealer , but that’s basically it for makeup. I have really big lips so if I put on any color, depending on the shade, I tend to look like the exaggerated version of whatever I was going for. A red lip and bronzed skin just doesn’t work for me…I do try, though! But in general, it’s just Chapstick or lip balm. For my nails, I’ll go to any walk-in place and get Essie’s ‘Pink Glove Service’, ‘Like Linen’ or ‘Fishnet’, which is a red…depends on if I’m tan or not!
My friend is a ‘nose’ at Coty, developing scents, so she recommends fragrances sometimes. She knew I liked the Narciso Rodriguez For Her so she suggested I try Sarah Jessica Parker’s Lovely because it has similar notes, and now I wear both a lot. I love all my perfumes because they remind me of different periods in my life, so I don’t throw any of them away.
My mother’s side of the family is from El Salvador and that culture’s been a big part of my life. I wanted to look really Latin when I was younger—like a telenovela superstar. I had much blonder hair growing up, and I remember buying Clairol color at the grocery store and dying my hair chocolate brown. I kept it that way for almost two years! It’s funny, my makeup changed too—I was focusing much more on emphasizing my eyes; somehow the darker hair color challenged me to make them pop out a little more than when I was blonde.
I haven’t gotten my hair done in five months and it still looks OK, thanks to my colorist Harry Josh. When I moved back to New York from college years ago, I didn’t know who to see, and I read about him in a VOGUE article! We work perfectly together because he told me, ‘I’m not the hairdresser for you if you need touch-ups every four weeks’, and I’m not that kind of girl. I like a bit of a washed out, beach-y, surfer look. He does Gisele—in fact I think he’s the only person who’s ever touched Gisele’s color.
My hair products all come from fashion show gift bags or from the VOGUE beauty sales, when they’re clearing out the closet. I can’t remember the last time I bought something—it’s whatever’s in the bag. I have Redken, Sunsilk, Frizz-Ease, Klorane, John Frieda, you name it. The only thing I’ll buy is this Dove shampoo, from El Salvador…I swear that the formula is different. I like the laundry detergent better there, too! My hair’s naturally wavy—and in the rain, frizzy—and I like it clean and groomed, so I blow-dry it straight. I like the Phyto styling products for keeping it smooth. And for a blow-out, I go right down the street from my apartment to Jean-Claude Biguine on Lexington and 68th. They know me there, so I pop in and $40 and twenty minutes later I’m on my way to work. It’s easy…dangerously easy!”
—as told to ITG