'Last fall, I published my book called Dressing for the Dark, which is all about how to dress for evening through the eyes of the cinema. I use movies as a visual reference because it’s the language that my actress clients understand. I've been working with celebrities ever since I went freelance after assisting at Vogue and Teen Vogue—I'll make these massive moodboards for their press tours, and those moodboards turned into a book.
As modern women, we know how to get dressed for the day, but evening is something that’s not in our culture anymore. We don’t dress for dinner, and we don’t dress for dates really. Some people might dress for the club or whatever, but it’s not formal. So then when people have to go to weddings or proms, it becomes this big thing where they are insecure, it’s expensive, and it’s just generally a bit more complicated. I wanted to help people find their own identity for evening and offer some constructive tips on how to do it a little better. I think the most important thing is attitude. That’s what makes a dress really sexy or interesting to me—the person who’s wearing it.
Ideally, I leave work a little early, come home, have a bath, and then sit with my kids and talk to them about their day. They’re 7 and 4, so my husband and I try to be home every night to have dinner with them. Then, we go out afterward. They always know if I am going somewhere because I start doing my makeup. They’ll be in their pajamas, and they come brush their teeth while I get ready. Then they go upstairs and read books, and I put on my dress and kiss them goodnight.
It’s funny, but I don’t put that much thought into what I wear out—it proves the point I make in my book! If it’s for work, I’ll get dressed up. But for nights out with my friends or date night, I'll wear my normal clothes but with high heels. I just ordered a gown from Rosetta Getty because I was like, ‘Oh, I only have one gown and I’ve worn it a million times, so I should have another.’ I tend to just wear whatever is in the office that I can borrow.
I don’t really do my hair. I mean if I could have Orlando Pita could do it everyday, that would be OK, but otherwise, I think it looks weird when hairdressers do it. I just do it myself. I like it to look a bit messy and dirty, but if I am putting it back I just use some hairspray.
I’ve been bleaching my hair for 14 years. I’m the master of platinum. I have a method so that it doesn’t hurt my hair. I only wash it every three or four days with Clairol Shimmer Lights, and then I use Kérastase Nutritive Maquintense followed by their Elixir Ultime—and I don’t blow-dry it, ever.
I love sheet masks. I’m too cheap for the SK-II ones—they’re really expensive!—so I use the Tatcha Luminous Deep Hydration Lifting Mask. It makes your skin look really smooth, plumped-up, and rested. I even do them on airplanes. Then, I put on the Glossier Priming Moisturizer or Clarins' Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, which are both really good crack fillers and plumpers. You just put it on wrinkles or dry patches—pores and zits, too—and then you put concealer on top, and you don’t even notice that it’s there. If I have spots or under-eye circles, I cover them with Illuminaré’s Mattifying Mineral Foundation, which Miranda Kerr told me about.
I really think about my makeup in terms of what outfit I’m wearing. I go through phases of what look I’m into. I used to have slutty, dirty black eyeliner that I wore all the time, and that would be it. And then I went through a phase where I wanted to look cleaner, so I would wear a bright red lip and that Stila Kitten eyeshadow. After that, I did a cat eye for a while. I’ll always love a red lip though. If I’m in a pinch, I just put on Tom Ford's Ruby Rush or MAC's Ruby Woo and that’s it.
For eyes, I use Diorshow Matte Fusion Mono Eyeshadow in Mirage. I just put it on the lid and the hollow under the brow bone. Then I use a Surratt Expressioniste Brow Pencil in Blonde to fill in my brows because they’re quite light. I use Elizabeth Arden's Beautiful Color Smoky Eyes Colorful Pencil in Espresso, which is nice and smudgy because I like to look a little softer and more '70s now. I’m obsessed with it. Then I’ll use Diorshow Blackout Mascara because it’s really thick and clumpy and matte like coal. Sometimes I use Charlotte Tilbury's Color Chameleon Color Morphing Eyeshadow Pencilin Amber Haze on my eyes, too. It’s for brown eyes and mine are blue, but whatever. Recently, someone told me that if you are tired, you should put this Dolce & Gabbana Crayon Intense Eyeliner in Nude 9 in the corner of your eye so that it doesn’t look red. I like it because white sometimes looks too weird.
AFTER THE PARTY
I was a maniac when I was younger, but I stopped going clubbing when I got pregnant with my son. Now I have a pretty low tolerance when it comes to alcohol—if I have one glass, I'm like 'Whoo!' If it's a work thing, I tend to leave early, but not if I'm out with friends or my husband.
One thing I never do is check my emails before bed. That would make me stay up forever! I get home, I get some water, and I take some magnesium. If you’re stressed, you lose magnesium because your body regulates cortisol with magnesium apparently, so I take it before bed to help me sleep. It’s like a muscle relaxer. I wash my face, remove my makeup with Lancôme's Bi-Facil Double Action Eye Makeup Remover, then put on my oils or Joanna Vargas' Daily Serum and Daily Hydrating Cream, and that’s it. Lights out.”
—as told to ITG
Kate Young photographed by Tom Newton in New York on April 21, 2015.