'I’m originally from Florida—I used to work the night shift at a gas station there. Then, after I graduated high school, I moved to New York and it was such a drag because I was just working constantly and never had very much money. But I saved up everything I could and I taught myself graphic design. Jonathan [Leder] and I put out a magazine last January called Fetishisms and are currently working on another one [_ Fetishisms_ Vol 2]. It's really satisfying for me to create the look of it and design all the colors and patterns and illustrations. Of course there’s the modeling, which is fun and which I've done for a long time, though it's not always the most satisfying! [Laughs] But, from time to time, it’s fun to have beautiful pictures and to be part of something beautiful.
I’ve done theater and improvisation since I was in kindergarten, but Promiscuities is my first film, which I co-wrote and starred in. Seeing the process behind it has been great, it takes a lot more work than I thought—in a good way. I’ve seen how involved I can be in production, which is really rewarding. Right Jonathan and I are working on American Ecstasy, which should be interesting. It's based on a serial killer, and we're working with a psychologist who's studied this guy for years and has been very helpful in constructing the story. Being so involved in the process gives us a lot more flexibility, so we're not restricted by the script and can focus on building more ideas.
Lately I’ve been inspired a lot by film noir. I read an Ava Gardner quote recently and I just thought, I like her. She’s sexy and she’s from the South and she doesn’t take any crap from anybody. She’s just so glamorous, but in a dark way. Everybody likes Marilyn of course, she really marketed herself in a very effective way, but Ava’s vibe is much more mysterious. It's a more intellectual way of being glamorous.
Right now, I only buy thrift—nothing new. It’s really a way of recycling because I don’t like to waste things. There are such rad clothes from the '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s…even the early '90s! It’s sad how things have diminished in quality so much. These days, things aren’t made to last, they’re just made to be consumed and bought again. The other day, I was watching Death Wish and everything in it is so beautiful—even the thugs are dressed fantastically! Everyone used to present themselves so well; these days things are a lot more relaxed and the quality has changed. Things get pumped up so quickly that I guess you don’t really have time to linger.
In terms of beauty, I guess I’m pretty simple—if it works, it doesn’t have to be $50. I don’t really have anything too expensive, with the exception of the Moroccanoil that I use for my hair. And my perfume, DKNY Be Delicious, which I’ve worn since I was 12. Sometimes I mix it up and use the pink one, but it’s usually the green—I just really like the way that it smells. I use regular soap to wash my face and if I'm feeling dry I grab my hand cream and dab it on the spot.
I buy everything for my face from CVS, usually from Maybelline or Revlon. I love Revlon’s Colorburst Lip Butter in Pink Truffle—it’s slightly more saturated than your natural lip color. That’s what I like—a glam, slightly enhanced version of natural. Because it's the drugstore and you can't really try things on, I decide what to purchase based on how something smells and if it’s waterproof. I love things like L’Oréal Infallible Eyeliner or Maybelline Unstoppable Eyeliner, both in brown. It's stuff that lasts so that I can just apply it in the morning and keep it on all day. When I find something I like, I stick with it for forever and ever.
I use a Covergirl concealer and then a tiny bit of their Aquasmooth foundation, which I blend in with my fingers. I always go for the palest shades. When I was a little girl, I used to go to the beach a lot and I was so tan and so blond, and then I got a little older and stopped partaking in any sun-drenching activities. I love the Florida sunshine, but protecting your skin is healthy and it’s going to look better when I’m older. So now there’s sunscreen in the makeup I use and I always use sunscreen in the summer, or if I want to preserve tan lines. I think that tan lines are cute, and they look great in photos.
I always do a cat eye, which is like a Brigitte Bardot version of glamour. You don’t have to make it difficult and use liquid eyeliner. I do a relaxed version with a pencil and then smudge it a bit so that it isn’t perfect. It just puts a little emphasis on the natural shape of my eye, I usually don’t even wear mascara with it. I use an eye shadow to ever so slightly fill my brows— Estée Lauder in Cocoa.
If I’m going out, I like to do a purple shadow from Maybelline Expert Wear Shadow Quad in Lavender Smokes, with some shimmer on the cheekbones—I like using Burt’s Bees Pomegranate Lip Balm for my cheeks because it catches the light. Then I do a little contour with some bronzer. I love putting emphasis on my bone structure. At night, I’ll usually use a black liner instead of brown— Revlon Colorstay Eyeliner—that I’ll smudge in a little by dabbing with my finger. Maybe I'll finish with mascara for night— Maybelline Falsies Flared Waterproof Mascara. Then when I get home, I take it all off with olive oil.
HAIRI try not to wash my hair very often—I don’t think it’s very good to strip it of all its natural oils, but I like the Pureology Color Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner. I’ve used it for a long time and my mom sends it to me from Florida in the huge economy bottles. Smells good, works well.
My hair is naturally wavy. I use YouTube tutorials if I want to know how to do something specific but usually I just blow dry it with Pureology’s Blow Dry Amplifier and The Wet Brush because it doesn’t tangle your hair as much. Sometimes I’ll use curlers if I want some oomph but usually I just blow dry with a smaller brush, holding it in each section I'm curling for a minute, even after I take the heat off of it. Then, to keep the curl, I pin it up and let it cool off and set. I’ve tried using pillow rollers overnight and it gets super curly and fun, but it’s a little hard to style on that first day, better on the day after. It’s crazy how many women used to do their hair that way, before curlers and straighteners they had to use something that healthier for their hair. That’s why I leave it up more—wear pin curls and leave-in things, because it keeps my hair in better shape. Then, I just use some L’Oréal Elnett Hairspray and the Pureology Highlight Stylist Gold Definer, which makes your hair shiny.
I’m naturally blond, but when I was 17 I dyed my hair super dark because of Sophia Loren—she just looked so beautiful. I enjoyed it for a while but I cut it short on a whim, thinking that it’d just grow back. That was a mistake because, if you dye your hair a lot, it doesn’t grow back very easily. Then, I did something really bad and chopped all these layers into it and so I had to cut it into a bob with bangs to even it out.
After it grew out a bit, I decided that I’d do copper red, which was so much fun except for the fact it fades out in, like, two and a half weeks—even faster in the summertime! Now I go to the salon to have my hair done, because I have a really great hairdresser who’s a natural redhead and she understands the vintage feel I’m going for. If you ever want to go red, you need a redhead hairdresser—it makes sense because they understand the pigments. To maintain the color in the between time, I actually put orange food coloring from the grocery store in my conditioner. [Laughs] I don't know what made me think that would work, but it does, and it looks fine to me.”
—as told to ITG
Amy Hood photographed by Brayden Olson.