In life, in general, I like to take things into my own hands. This applies to the haircut I just gave myself in my bathroom at 1 AM, inspired by Daria’s chop in the new Céline campaign; going after the occasional pimple (seriously, who doesn’t?); or starting a blog about beauty because I couldn’t find anything…for lack of a better word… chic online that presented the subject in a kind of roundabout way. Beauty shouldn’t be precious or “perfect,” it should be personal—personal to the hairstylist and designer creating some insanely gorgeous look for a runway show; to the 90-year-old woman whose only aesthetic concern is hiding her “turkey neck” (here’s looking at you, Ms. Apfel); to the fashion photographer who came of age in the 1970s and still can’t get enough mascara—on her own lashes and on her models. As far as products go, I’ve never been interested in what or how as much as I’ve wanted to know who and why. Beauty is all in the story, all in the references, and everyone—even the self-described “low-maintenance” girl—has a story.
In the nearly two years since getting this site up and running (thanks to a fateful meeting with one mister Michael Harper, ITG’s tech wizard, in a Le Pain Quotidien, where I said, “Wait, why CAN’T you design and code a website in one week?!” God bless your patience, Michael), I’ve tried so many serums and creams that my skin turned bright red for a full month, and become so worked up over a yet-to-be-released eye shadow backstage at a show that I begged the makeup artist to slip one into my bag. I still love testing stuff out—and believe me, what I use, I use for a damn good reason—but trial and error is a bitch. Especially when you’ve got five people coming over to your apartment every day because you’re waiting for your new office (!) to be ready. That’s right, folks, ITG is expanding! In a move that makes me feel old in the best way possible, I’ve brought on my best friend Nick Axelrod, from Elle, to help grow the site... But fear not, the mission is the same. (And if you think a dude can’t get beauty, just ask him about his perfume. Hint: Tom Ford for ladies.) Our goal is quite simply to do more of what we, and you, love, and even introduce some new voices, features, and functions. It’s good to mix up your routine every once in a while, no?
Which brings me to the handful of products that have been getting me through the summer: Weleda’s delectable Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash recently made its way into my shower, the hot-pink tube easily identifiable even through half-awake eyes, and it smells delicious. Post-shower (and shave), I spritz Caudalie’s dry-finish Divine Oil on my shins and race to rub it in before all the water evaporates off my body, so I don’t slide off a taxi seat later.
For my face, I’ve stripped down for the season: moisturize --> prime --> contour, plus mascara (MAC Haute & Naughty or Estée Lauder Sumptuous Two Tone). Facialist Isabelle Bellis rebalanced my skin in June and instructed me to switch from my beloved Joëlle Ciocco's Pure Concentrated Serum with Botanical Oils to the Micro-Fluid Serum Booster, a viscous yellow (sorry, but it is) liquid that leaves me dewy, not greasy. I follow up with Sunday Riley Effortless Breathable Tinted Primer in Medium—hands-down the best tinted moisturizer I’ve ever come across, and it doesn’t even call itself that. It sort of evens everything out, and regulates oil, so I can skip foundation and go straight to a little bit of SHADING—the Thing That Makes All The Difference (a lesson is forthcoming). I spotted a customized palette of MAC powders on Diane Kendal’s table backstage at Proenza in February and hunted down every color she had in there (Tenderling, Buff, Prism, and Sunbasque), as well as the palette and the brush. In lieu of blush or even bronzer, I’ll use the deeper shades under my cheekbones and on my eyelids (instant eye shadow!), and dust the pale shade on my T-zone, to give the face a bit of dimension.
Lastly, in very exciting personal news, I finally quit nibbling my nails (a recent visit to Uslu Airlines in Berlin motivated me, but so did some cyber-bullying from Leandra and Eva), and I've been like a kid in a candy store with nail polish. My current favorite is Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Big Money: one coat gives nails the faintest, pale-pink glittery wash of color. It’s playful…which I love, because beauty should also be fun.
Emily photographed by Nick Axelrod in New York on July 15th 2012.