'I grew up in Sydney, Australia, and then we moved to Dubai when I was 14. Then I lived in London for a while because that's where my parents are. Now I live in New York and run the website 4th and Bleeker. To me, it's not really a fashion blog—I think of it more as a place that lets me explore photography, styling, or art direction in collaboration with brands. I started off working with Louis Vuitton on a journal, then I did the same sort of thing for Viceroy Hotel Group, I recently did one with Chanel. Plus I wear sweatpants more often than not, so I don’t know that I could really do the 'here’s what I’m wearing' posts so well.
What I wear changes depending on where I am. I've noticed that in New York, people dress more to show off their intelligence than to tell you they’re hot. You’re going to wear jeans, a t-shirt, flat shoes, and just talk to people instead of wearing a pretty dress to make people notice you. So you'll find me in that uniform most of the time. But sometimes I look like an Italian mistress—if I’m dressing up, it’s all black and lace and things like that. So I definitely can embody both ends of the spectrum.
My skin is completely dependent on the weather—when I was in London, it was never good. I think because of where I grew up, the warmer the better. If I visit my parents, I know that the minute I get off the plane my skin is screwed for a month.
Everything I use now is all about getting glow-y. I like a lot of active ingredients in everything I use—I want whatever I put on my skin to be working harder than I am. I’m waiting to find the product that’s going to take care of my skin and also pay my taxes for me. It’s like when I'm buying a bottle of water—I’m not just going buy a plain bottle. I want the one with electrolytes and alkalizing benefits.
Part of it is because I’m such a sucker for a gimmick. Like the Ahava line—I use the Active Dead Sea Minerals Clarifying Mud Mask because they’re apparently the only company that harvests from the Dead Sea. So I think to myself, 'How have I gone 24 years without having the Dead Sea on my face?' I haven’t been to Israel, but now my face has. It's the same thing with the Clarisonic—I didn't have one and then a woman told me that pollution particles are 30 times smaller than your pores, which is horrific. So I bought one immediately.
I'm rather particular about what I put on my face in terms of creams and serums. I get pigmentation, and the Erno Laszlo Phormula 3-9 Repair Serum is great because it won’t dry my skin out—sort of similar to the Skinceuticals Phyto + Gel. Embryolisse is good for day, but I feel like it can get a little oily. Creme de la Mer is really good for the winter. If I put it on in the summer, it would just melt off of me.
But no matter what, I’m a total sunscreen nazi. I’ve been using Skinceuticals Daily Sun Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum, but my favorite one in the world is Lancer Sheer Fluid Sun Shield SPF 30—it's by a dermatologist out of LA. I use it on my face and it’s actually a really good base for whatever else I put on.
I have this thing where I don’t like to put anything for my body on my face. But sometimes I put stuff for my face on my body. Like L’Oréal Age Perfect Glow Renewal Facial Oil on the backs of my hands—they’re dry because I smoke. And I use the Erno Laszlo 3-9 Repair Balm on my body because it’s too intense for my face. And I love his Black Soap because it doesn’t dry you out…so many soaps make my skin feel tight, but this one makes you glowy.
Keri Shea Butter is the best body moisturizer in the whole entire world. You put it on and you look airbrushed. And all my friends use it too—when we went to St. Lucia together and only brought one bottle for all of use, I swear to God that people started hiding it. If I could only have one product and I had my Keri lotion, I would be happy. That, and my body brush when I remember to use it.
I like to look like I’m not really wearing makeup. My features are very full on, so if I wear anything that’s obvious, I look kind of insane. And I do my makeup so far away from the mirror that I have to squint. I’d rather leave the house thinking I look amazing than fussing over everything for too long. I try to use mineral makeup when I can—that whole idea has a good vibe to it. And I think it looks better on my skin the longer I leave it on. I like Jane Iredale Pure Pressed Base in Warm Sienna—it’s nice and light in the summer and has some SPF to it.
Mostly, I’ve been using Tom Ford Traceless Foundation Stick in Bisque. It’s literally the only reason I can wake up and look good—Tom Ford is even better at makeup than he is at clothes! And this one color works for everyone, even people a lot darker than me.
I have a hard time with eye makeup—most of it makes me look even sluttier. I avoid mascara because my eyelashes are already all over the place so adding to them is too much. I do eyeliner very rarely, but when I do, it’s always uneven. The only eyeliner I’ve ever had any good moments with is Nars Soft Touch Shadow Pencil in Aigle Noir—it’s good for the greasy look. By Terry Ombre Black Star Color Fix Cream Eye Shadow in Bronze Moon is pretty good. The Chanel Ombre Palette in Spices is another one I like to use, and I cover it in RMS Living Luminizer for a bit of a glossy lid.
My favorite lipstick is CoverGirl Lipstick in Siren 415 because it’s the exact color of my lips. And the Dior Addict Lip Glow is insane—it changes the color of your lips! I feel like it likes me, so I always end up with a good color. I also really like L’Oréal Color Riche Balm in Pink Satin.
After I apply everything, I like to use Frownies Hydrating Rosewater Spray with Active Vitamin E and Hyaluronic Acid. It smells like shit because it’s organic, but it’s good. If you ever use mineral makeup, you need something like that to let it work into your skin.
Diptyque 34 is my smell. I used to only ever wear men’s perfumes—all of the ones my dad would wear. I remember he had Chanel Allure Homme Sport and some others. I’ve always liked more masculine things, but I would go on dates wearing it and the guys would probably think ‘Are you sleeping with someone else?’ No, it’s just my dad’s because I miss him. But that’s probably worse...
My girlfriend, Nadia Rosa, makes these great candles from Maison D'Amore—I like them because they’re also kind of masculine. My favorite is II Feuille de Tabac—anything with tobacco, obviously. Or amber. Amber is probably my absolute favorite.
My hair used to be really long and healthy and great. But then I dyed it white when I was modeling about four years ago and it’s still fried. Plus, they would put so much product in it that I had to wash it every night just to feel clean, which was probably not great for it either. I was using any shampoo and conditioner I could find in the hotel room and it was getting worse and worse. Now I wash my hair every second day and use Kérastase Masque Chroma Riche Conditioner—the only thing that brought my hair back to normal. Sometimes I’ll go a week without washing it. I don’t use much product beyond a hairbrush and some Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Perfect Texture Finish Spray.
It took me a really long time to find the right blond in New York. They do it really well in Australia, but here it would always be a disaster. Now I go to Mauricio at Suite Caroline. He’s a beautiful Italian teddy bear. The first time he did my color, I nearly burst into tears because I looked like a normal blond person again, not someone with crazy yellow hair.
And now I also use pieces for fullness—I get them done in LA at Salon Benjamin. They’re real hair and the same length as everything else. I like to put them in places on my head so no one can add extensions during photoshoots…it’s kind of like an asshole model move. But whenever they try to add hair, it’s curly and I end up looking like a pageant child. But in all seriousness, it’s the best thing you can do for your hair to make it look good all the time. I’ve been telling people it’s the new Botox.”
—as told to ITG
Alexandra Spencer photographed by Emily Weiss in New York on April 25, 2014.