'I'm from Naples and grew up between there and Sorrento, but I moved to London to study at Saint Martins. I was there for five years, which was amazing. Then, a year ago I moved to New York for a job, but really I just wanted to come to New York because it suits me and my mood at this stage.
Lately, I have been really into the wet-hair look, but I don’t like the way gel feels when it dries. I’ve tried water-based gels but they just absorb into my thick hair and then it feels even thicker two hours later. So my solution, and it’s a bit messy, is our olive oil. You have to put quite a bit in, but it’s really good for your hair anyway because there’s a lot of nutrients. I like to sleep in it. But it does make everything greasy. A woman named Cia, who has worked for my family since before I was born, makes olive oil in Sorrento. It's funny, a masseuse who works at a fancy spa in Capri told my mom that all the fancy hotels sell body scrubs, but they're just local olive oil with coarse sea salt. The fancy ones might have some other oils to make it smell nice, but still.
There are other great things in Sorrento, beauty-wise. Like, they do really good pedicures. They are not so aesthetic like they are in New York, but more medicinal; it’s seen as a necessity and they don’t charge very much. The food is quite healthy, too. Lots of fish and lots of olive oil.
No matter where I’ve lived, I always stick to the products I grew up with. I find they are much cheaper than if you buy them in the UK or America. Also, basic beauty services are much cheaper in the south of Italy. In high school, I went to get my hair washed and blown dry two or three times a week. They charge about 12 euros. Also, all salons here use Kérastase and it doesn’t cost nearly as much as in New York. Oh, one Italian thing you can only get there is Chilly Intima Delicate. It's an intimate soap...It’s called Chilly I guess because it makes everything tingle. It’s just the best one I’ve ever used. But warning: men cannot use this product.
I often take products from my mom when I’m home. She loves Sisley. My favorite is a hydrating mask they make, the Express Flower Gel. I leave it on for hours instead of the suggested time, ten minutes. I also use my mom’s anti-aging creams from Sisley, even though I am 24. It just seems like a safe thing to do. And I am also diligent about using Blistex, as I get very flustered when my lips feel dry.
I don’t use perfume because I’ve been told I have really bad taste in perfume. Maybe something's wrong with my sense of smell. I don’t use much makeup either, but I do have quite a lot. I have to use eyebrow gel because my eyebrows are very long. Sometimes, I use this Brow Fix. I never use foundation, the feeling of it on my face has always driven me nuts. But I like Sisley bronzer. For mascara, I use either Givenchy Phenomen'Eyes, the one with that funny little ball, or Diorshow. Sometimes I line my eyes with a MAC Eye Brows pencil. I have loads of lipsticks that I like, but they're mainly YSL and discontinued because they are from Tom Ford era. I know you probably shouldn't keep makeup for that long, but the thing is, my mum was kind of a compulsive shopper during that time, like she went to see a psychiatrist for it. At that point, she really only liked Tom Ford's YSL, so she bought loads of clothes but also literally every single piece of makeup that came out every season. We're still living off it!”
—as told to ITG
Mavi Staiano photographed by Rachel Chandler Guinness in Sorrento, Italy on August 24th, 2012.