'In my 20s, when I was living in New York, I went out all the time. If you live in a small apartment, then you don't actually want to be in your apartment all the time, so we were out every night. My favorite thing used to be to go to Smiths/Morrissey night in New York City. My friends Ben Cho and Brian DeGraw used to DJ that for like 10 years. It was the best place to go because you'd always see friends, and they'd play amazing music. That was super fun. In the beginning there were five of us who would be there dancing, but toward the end, it was so packed that you couldn't even move.
Then I moved to LA last February with my boyfriend, Chad, who is a photographer. We love it—it's a lot more mellow. It's just a really good place to escape the craziness of New York. Now I don't go out much, but I do lots of dinners with friends. It feels like you actually get to know people when you go to their houses for dinner, which I really appreciate—especially if they have really beautiful art in their homes and are interested in hosting good parties. Because of my background in art it's so cool to see beautiful pieces in actual homes. My partner Adrian Rosenfeld and I founded The Posters a year ago. It's an online website where we sell posters made by established artists. We sell them at affordable prices because we want to get artwork out to the world and in people's homes, and then we give 10-20 percent of each sale to fund education in the arts.
So it's a little weird, but when I go to my friends' houses, I like to play this game called 'Wolves.' It's a group of adults getting together and forming a circle…some of the people are villagers and some are wolves. It's a little like mafia—throughout the game, you're trying to figure out who is who. If you're a wolf, your goal is to strategize and catch the villagers and vice-versa. There is music involved and theatrics—we kind of turn it into a production. It's really fun. I am basically a giant dork, so these are the kinds of things I like to do.
BEFORE THE PARTY
I need to put on music, so maybe Beyonce or Prince or maybe Morrissey. I sing a lot in the mirror. I probably sing more than I put makeup on, especially in the bathroom because my voice doesn't sound too bad. I pretend I am on The Voice and that Blake [Shelton] is going to pick me and put me on his team!
If I have an event during the week, it's usually after work, so I get ready in my office. We share our space with an architect, and it's all guys. They look at me a little funny when I have to do this. My essentials definitely include some concealer, powder, an eyelash curler, and mascara—plus I always like to wear lip balm, no matter what. I have naturally red lips, so I tend to not wear lipstick. I use Aquaphor, which you can also use on animal bites and serious burns. It’s like a first-aid kit in your purse! I use that and usually like to do my eyes, so I do mascara and maybe a little bit of eyeshadow.
I tend to lean more toward natural colors, I guess—nothing too bright. I have this gold shimmery eye shadow that I like to wear. I'm not great at putting it on because I tend to get it on other places that I probably shouldn't, but it's very pretty. Then I just use concealer. I have YSL Touche Éclat, and I love it. It's not too heavy. I use it all over—I put it on my zits and under my eyes. Then maybe a BB cream or something like that as well and then powder. The powder I have is Bare Escentuals Bare Minerals Ready SPF 15 Touch Up Veil. It's not too heavy. I don't really like powder or the way it looks, and that one doesn't make me feel like I look like I'm wearing too much makeup.
I’ve used Maybelline Great Lash since I was a teenager. It's amazing. Before the mascara I use the Shu Uemura Eyelash Curler. Even if I'm not wearing eye makeup, I'll curl my eyelashes anyway because I think it brightens up your eyes. I don't wear blush because I naturally turn pink if I drink, but I will pinch my cheeks if I'm not drinking, and that's my only blush for the evening.
Also I have absolutely no eyebrows, and I happen to be blind. Well, not really, but I am near-sighted. I tend to buy glasses that are darker on top because it kind of gives the illusion of having an eyebrow. [Laughs]
I'll just brush my hair and put a little bit of Kérastase Laque Couture hairspray in it to give it a bit of body because my hair is a little bit thinner. Once I spray the hairspray on, I'll brush it through, so it doesn't look like it has hairspray in it. That gives it some volume. The other thing is dry shampoo. I'm growing out my hair now and the roots are coming in, so the dry shampoo kind of helps with that, too.
I think one thing that is really important is a perfume or a scent after a long day of work—just to revitalize your senses again. I have this one by Andy Sherwood. She makes it out of her house, I think. She makes these essential oils that are really amazing. It is one of the perfumes that my boyfriend actually likes out of all the perfumes that I have tried, so that's a bonus. She's a Pilates instructor and all about wellbeing and physical health, and I think the oils are an extension of that practice. They are really quite nice.
I always seem to have a go-to outfit that I'll wear for a good amount of time and then switch it. I came to the office wearing black jeans and a white button-up, and then I changed into my outfit that I'm wearing right now, which is my vintage Jean Paul Gaultier jumpsuit. This is the one I’m into right now—it fits me in a nice way that gives me shape without making me feel too exposed. It has a really great structure to it, and it's made really, really well. I think it gives me a little more confidence. It's like my power jumpsuit. [Laughs] Then I have these Alexander Wang shoes that are the only heels that I seem to be able to walk in. If I'm not wearing these, I'm usually wearing Converse or Vans.
I think that nail polish is a great way to add color. Recently I have been in a black-and-white phase, but now that it is spring, I am starting to like more pinks, oranges, and reds. The other thing is having a colorful bag. I have a red Alexander Wang clutch that I'll sometimes bring out. I also like Summer Bummer, which is a company based out of LA. They make these amazing bags with huge zippers. They'll make them with neoprene, but you can also get a custom one, so I got one with yellows and pinks, and it's really bright. I'll carry that around as well. Nail polish and bags are a great way to add to an outfit.
Also my go-to accessory for dinner parties is definitely a rolled up poster. I bring them everywhere I go, and anyone I know probably has one in their house!
AFTER THE PARTY
I usually take a shower because I don't like going to bed with makeup on my face. Because we're in LA and going through a drought, I have a little red bucket that I throw in the shower before I get in, so that it captures all my water as it's heating up. Then I use that water on my flowers out in the yard. I fill up a bucket every time.
I wash my face and take off my eye makeup with Sens'Eyes by Make Up For Ever. Then, for my body, I'm addicted to Kiehl's Original Musk Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser. I've been using it for like 10 years. I love the smell. Sometimes I can't smell it on myself anymore, I think maybe because I am used to it, but I can smell it on other people, and I just love it.
When I get out, I have two kinds of moisturizers that I love. It's either the Egyptian Magic Skin Cream or Sweet Blessed's Bee Magic, and both are really thick. They are serious moisturizers.
Right before bed I'll put on some essential oil that smells nice because it scents everything around me. There is this company called Rule of Three that makes really beautiful pillows and things. They have this really cool technique where they marble the fabric, and they just gave me this great pillow with lavender in it. I never would have used something like this, but now when I am going to bed sometimes I'll throw that on my eyes, and I'll fall asleep with it over my face.”
—as told to ITG
Athena Currey photographed by Jane Houle. Read Nikki Reed's After Dark and more in the series here.