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Heidi Bivens, Stylist & Costume Designer

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“I am a stylist and a costume designer, and I live in New York. I’ve been working in this industry since the late ‘90s, and I’m still having a good time of it. Beauty is an important part of what I do because when I work on a photo shoot or editorial or a film, I’m always asked for my opinion about the hair and makeup. I approach projects as more of a creative director, and it’s important for me to have opinions and be up on what people are interested in, but also to have an instinct about style when it comes to the beauty ‘look.’

I just worked on the Harmony Korine film, Spring Breakers. I didn’t know [Korine] personally, but we have a lot of mutual friends, and I really wanted to work on the project, so I tried to get a meeting with him in any way I could. And working with him was awesome; he is the ultimate collaborator. I designed all the costumes—well, ‘designing’ when you work on a film like this means taking things from different places for the wardrobe. So, for the girls [Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine], the question was: where do girls like that really buy their clothes? I shopped at mall stores, I pulled a lot from designers—everyone from American Apparel to The Elder Statesman—and designed some pieces myself. I had some bathing suits designed, too, but others were rented from a thrift store, some were Playboy, one is from Hot Topic, and some are Victoria’s Secret Pink. It was a combination of stuff. We shot over a few months in St. Petersburg, Florida during actual spring break, so it was pretty authentic.

The beauty in the movie was focused on ‘clean skin’—they didn’t do a ton of makeup. Because when you’re that age, you don’t really wear makeup. But everybody had their nails done… It’s funny, yesterday I was out buying something and I saw the cashier had that thing where all the nails are the same color except for one nail—Vanessa [Hudgens] did that in the movie, but I didn’t know it was a thing. But, I guess it is.

In terms of my own beauty regimen, there are certain things I’m obsessed with, and then I have other products I’m just experimenting with and trying out at any time. I’m obsessed with Chanel Vitalumiére Aqua #20 Beige right now. I really depend on my makeup-artist friends to give me tips because there’s so much out there, and I get overwhelmed. I used to just use a concealer, but my friend Nico Guilis, a makeup artist, was like ‘You’re too matte. You need to use some other kind of foundation.’ But I don’t really consider this foundation, it’s so light. It has SPF, and it just makes you look hydrated. Even if you don’t need a lot of coverage, you could just use this really lightly, and it gives you an even tone; it’s got a little bit of a reflective quality to it.

I actually love stuff with sparkles in it! [Laughs] But subtle ones, like the Nars Larger than Life Longwear Eyeliner pencil in 47th Street—it’s black, but it’s got a little bit of sparkle in it. I’m super into that. And for lips, because I’m kind of low-maintenance, I have a tendency to just use some kind of balm that has color in it. I like Hurraw Black Cherry Tinted Lip Balm because I used the wear Dr. Pepper Chapstick and this is sort of my updated version. If I’m doing a more serious lip, I love the Volupté Sheer Candy line from YSL. Because of my coloring, I can’t get away with wearing a whole lot of different colors, and this line is all sheer, so you only get a gloss of color—I’m more pink-and-coral in the spring/summer, and then I’ll wear shades of red in the winter. But even when I wear reds, I tend to wear pinky-red or orangey-red instead of a true, true red. It just woks for my skin tone. Otherwise, I like Dior Rosy Glow Blush in Petal or Nars Penny Lane Cream Blush for a tiny bit of a flush, and for mascara, Diorshow or a drugstore brand, like Maybelline—they make such great mascaras.

I’ve been using Bobbi Brown Pressed Powder in Warm Natural 6 for as long as she’s been making it. I don’t like being really matte, but if I need an overall finish in any area, like under my eye, because I’ve used eyeliner and I’m worried about it bleeding, then I’ll just use some of that. Or if I’m particularly shiny, I’ll use it really lightly on my forehead or nose. I also love Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder for the corners of my nose, or if I’m especially dark underneath my eyes, or even a sunspot, I’ll just touch it up, a teeny bit. Not too much—I think with brightening powder you always run into the danger of it being too reflective, you know? I don’t know if you’ve ever seen red carpet moments where makeup artists have gone too crazy with that, but I want to avoid that.

In general, I like skin to look hydrated. I think the most important thing in a beauty regimen—beyond sun care—is hydrating your skin. I juice a lot, too, and take chlorophyll. If you don’t juice, or if you don’t have time to juice, you can use liquid chlorophyll! I usually just put it in some water. Anything green, you know? I find: happy body, happy skin. I notice that when I make an effort to juice—or I’m super hydrated—my skin always looks better.

For my face, I’m really into the Natura Bissé Oxygen Complex serum. I just started using it. It’s perfect for if you have tired skin, or you just got off a flight—or you could use it every day. It gives you an even tone; I think it has a little bit of hydrogen peroxide in it, so, for me, that’s good. It says “Keep away from your eyebrows” but I actually put it over my eyebrows because I’m always trying to get them to look even to my hair color. I’m also obsessed with La Mer! I love the Radiant Serum; my skin just eats it up. Because I’m combination-skinned, I’m always changing my products depending on where I’m traveling, or the season, or how my skin is reacting. But La Mer, I always go back to, even if I take a break from it. I'm also always going back to Neutrogena. They have everything I need. And the Oil-Free Moisture with SPF 15 is amazing! There’s a reason why Allure named it the best moisturizer, I guess. It’s perfect for me because I can’t really use an oily moisturizer, plus it has sun protection. For cleanser, I got turned on to Chantecaille Rice and Geranium Foaming Cleanser, and I can’t get enough of it.

Right now, I’m letting my roots grow in, so that my hair’s more contrast-y. I love dry shampoo—the Klorane one is great, and Oribe makes a really good one, too…. I love ‘dry’ anything, I think. [Laughs] Like, the Fresh Rice Dry Oil. It’s great on your skin because you can use the dry oil, wait a few minutes, and put on your clothes, and it’s not going to come off on your clothes. Anyway, I’ve been using the Oribe Shampoo for Beautiful Color for color-treated hair for years—I’m totally sold. And then Mauricio at Ion, my colorist, turned me on to Alterna Ten Conditioner. It’s really hydrating—for me, it’s almost too hydrating. It’s almost like a masque, but it’s very good.

I use a curling iron every day. Because I have dyed blond hair, if I don’t use a curling iron, or if I don’t use heat on my hair, my hair just does what it wants. And if I don’t have a blowout, I have to use heat to make it behave…. I’m sort of a wash-and-go girl, or at least I always want to be, so when I have to actually do my hair, it doesn’t abide with my whole approach to life.”

—as told to ITG

Heidi Bivens photographed by Emily Weiss in Brooklyn, NY on January 18th, 2013. Spring Breakers opens in the U.S. on March 22nd.

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