'My mom’s German and my dad’s Greek. I grew up bilingual—German and Greek—and I started speaking English in school in Munich, in the 5th grade. But I didn’t move to London from Germany—I actually came here from LA. My best friend had moved to LA when I was sixteen, and eventually I moved, too. But, to me, it felt a bit like The Truman Show. I love LA, but for fashion—before LA, I’d worked for Jil Sander in the German press office, right when Raf [Simons] started—LA felt so celebrity oriented… I’ve been at Pop now for three years; before that, I spent three years at Qvest. I love being at a magazine.
Peter Gray, my roommate, just chopped off my hair. He lives more or less in New York, but I’m very lucky that, when he’s here, the few days he is, I force him—I make him—cut my hair. I used to have it really long until a year ago and since then, it’s gone up and up and up. Now, I’m going to the beach in Greece, so I wanted it chopped off. My boyfriend would like me to have a boy’s haircut; he thinks it would look good on me. But I’m already so much like a tomboy that I feel like, if I chop it off that way, I won’t feel feminine.
My roots, I don’t dye. I used to dye the tips. I think they call it a balayage: it’s painted-on bleach that they put just into the ends. I think I’ll continue doing it, otherwise I look really Greek. The roots should always be your natural color, but if you keep the ends light, it can be a thing you touch-up every six months. I’m very lazy, so I wash it with regular shampoo. Currently, I love the cheapest kind, which my roommate makes fun of: Mega from Aussie. It’s £3! And I use whatever conditioner I have left at home.
I had to learn a beauty regimen, because I have very un-clear skin, and I used to smoke up until two years ago. (Thank you, Allen Carr, the book! It worked on me.) And now, I’ve been going to see this woman in London, Debbie Costello. She’s a facialist, and she’s magical. She’s the first one I’ve gone to who’s actually managed to get ahold, get control, of my pimples so that it’s manageable. She’s given me a regime that I’m doing, but it’s still pretty basic: I’m using a Cleansing Gel by Environ, an amazing South African brand. I do it with my amazing, amazing Clarisonic. In the morning, after I cleanse, I use the AVST Moisturising Toner, also by Environ. It doesn’t completely dry my skin out. Then, I put on Phloretin CF Gel from Skinceuticals—two drops. And then I put my moisturizer on: Environ AVST Vitamin A. You can go higher up in doses of vitamin A. I don’t know much—I completely, blindly trust Debbie. She changed my life; I didn’t want to take any hormones or any of that kind of stuff, and any facialist I'd gone to before had scarred my skin. If you can go to her, go.
Before I go out, I apply Heliocare SPF 50 every day. What Debbie told me is that when you use vitamin A, your skin is more sensitive to sun. And this is what a lot of fashion editors I've met who are above 40 always say: they swear by putting sunscreen on. Me, being half Greek, I never used to put any on. But this one, I love because when you put it on, it doesn’t make your skin white. I’ve had so many different ones before. And with this, I’m set. Plus it’s only like £15.
At night, I use the Environ Sebuwash, which is more for un-clear skin; it’s quite drying. I do the toner again and, if I do have a pimple, I dab on Environ Alpha Toner Forte. It's quite harsh but it's good for when you have a spot. Then, a few drops of the Skinceuticals Retexturing Activator serum. And finally the Vitamin A cream. I still haven’t used any eye cream yet—Debbie says I don’t need it yet.
Body cleaning: I do it twice a week. I had to learn. I really love Laura Mercier Crème de Pistache Scrub. It’s incredible; it’s not aggressive, and it leaves your body soft. And I use Korres lotion. Or La Roche-Posay, which I like because it doesn't smell.
In terms of makeup, I don’t wear any foundation. I somehow feel like it blocks my skin, though I’m sure it doesn’t. But I use eyeliner by MAC: the Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Industry. I absolutely love it—it’s a mixture of black and grey. If I go all black, I look very 'Cleopatra,' so I try to not go too dark with my eyes. And then I put my mascara on. Currently, I’m absolutely loving this Giorgio Armani one: Eyes to Kill. I like to give my my olive skin a little bit of color with a blush-bronzer called Gold Dust by Tom Ford. I love Tom Ford [makeup]. Also, his Lip Lacquer is amazing. When I wear something on my lips, it's that; it's almost like having nothing on.
For fragrance, I’m really into Giorgio Armani and Tom Ford. Unfortunately, I think Tom Ford stopped producting this one: Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. It’s like my treasure for special occasions. And I really, really love Armani Prive Bois D’Encens. I say it smells like church. My boyfriend’s, which I love putting on, is Armani Prive Oranger Alhambra. He lives in Italy, and when I miss him, I put that one on. I’ve been in long-distance relationships my entire life.”
—as told to ITG
Isabelle Kountoure photographed by Rachel Chandler Guinness in London on August 17th, 2012.