Samantha Duenas, DJ, Sosupersam

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'Tonight I'm getting ready for two things. First is this pool party series at The Line Hotel in Koreatown. It's being put on by Caeden, a line of super-luxe wearable technology, and my boyfriend [DJ Them Jeans] and I are DJing together. There will be cute cocktails, a nice sunset, palm trees, banchan, kimchi...

And then later tonight I'm playing at this very backpacker hip-hop party. It's actually the same party that I had my first DJ gig at, almost six years ago to the day. The party is called Soul Sessions—super underground old-school hip-hop. They stopped doing the party, and then this summer they decided to do a little reunion series. I play that at 1am—so today is a rare double-header.

For the first party, I'm going to wear a white linen dress, just to switch it up from...a black dress. But it's a disaster! I just don't understand why people make dresses that are see-through, and then they don't send you the underwear that's required for them. So I've been running around town looking for boob tape, and I'm wearing a special pair of Spanx. It's supposed to be easy and effortless, and I'm head-to-toe covered in nipple covers and stickers. I'll probably just throw on a jacket and a pair of boots later, because we're going to keep it light and airy at the pool then switch it up for the club.

It doesn't take me very long to get ready—an hour tops—because I don't give a shit. I also find that the less you put on your face, the less weird you look in photos. Because it's all about complexion matching against different types of light. Lately I haven't been putting any tinted moisturizer on my face, and I find that I look the best because it's my natural skin tone. I have SPF and coconut oil on, that's it. You can hug people without worrying about rubbing tons of wax and paint onto their clothes.

I'll do a little bit of highlighter and fill in my brows—that's the big thing. Lately I've been using a small angled brush, like this Smashbox Angle Brow Brush #12, with the ashy, dark-brown eyeshadow from the Smashbox Full Exposure Palette. That takes 53 minutes. [Laughs] No, usually that takes seven minutes, and the rest of the time I'm just running around, panicking, and double-checking my bag so that I don't forget anything. I have a whole bunch of stuff that I bring with me in case I end up looking like a mess and need to redo anything. Anything in crayon or stick form is good to have in your bag. I think a good, creamy eyeliner is also great, just because you can quickly define your eye without a lot of precision needed. Anything you can rub into your face really fast is key. A highlighter stick is good for when you're on stage because you can just put it right here at the top of your cheekbones and rub it in. Then when people photograph you, your whole face lights up right. I like Smashbox's L.A. Lights Blendable Lip & Cheek Color. This is pretty frickin’ amazing, too—the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Stick Trio. It’s easy to pack and travel with. You don’t need a brush for it, and it fits nicely in your bag. You just mark your face where you’re supposed to put it and rub in the color. You don’t need a big compact, so nothing will crack.

Other must-haves are a lip balm, for sure, like Glossier's Balm Dotcom, Kiehl's Lip Balm #1, or just straight-up Vaseline. I also carry around a mist. I like Mario Badescu's Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, And Rosewater, or Tatcha's Luminous Dewy Skin Mist. Kiehl's In-Flight Refreshing Facial Mist is a good one, too. Then DJ stuff—headphones, laptop, all the chargers. Right now I use Ai Ai Ai, because they're really sleek, all black, and they work really well.

My work pops out of nowhere, and I used to run around last minute like, 'Oh my God, I gotta get a wax! And my hair done! By tomorrow!' I've sort of tried to change that up a bit so I can always be ready. Buying outfits when I don't necessarily need them yet is a new thing for me, too. Always keeping a couple of fresh things in your closet is a good trick. I'm also getting used to my monthly maintenance. Bi-monthy, it's a mani-pedi. On a monthly basis, it's eyelashes—I'm addicted to eyelash extensions. For those in LA, I go to Nine Zero One in West Hollywood. The girl who does my lashes is incredible, she does all the Real Housewives. [Laughs] So, now I get a facial and go to my waxing lady and I make a fun, little day trip out of it. Go to Barneys, and do the whole thing. The night before I get all the maintenance done, I get a Traditional Thai Massage at The Barai Day Spa in Silverlake.

For hair, I usually do a sleek Wednesday Addams look. I get a really nice middle part going, and then I put some coconut oil into it to make it shiny. Actually, I keep a 20 oz. bottle of coconut oil in my cabinet and use it for everything—as makeup remover, as hair gel, you even can make a fried egg with it. We keep a separate jar in the kitchen for cooking, obviously.

I get really, really exhausted, and I think that is unavoidable. What helps me not to look as exhausted is the fact that I don't drink that much considering the setting I work in. And I sleep a lot when I can, so that really helps. I do a lot of facial masks, like Kiehl’s Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque, Tatcha's Luminous Deep Hydration Revitalizing Eye Masks, or those $2 Face Shop Masks from Koreatown. I'm a morning person, so I enjoy waking up at 7am, and I naturally will. When I work really late, which often tends to be the case, I get all cranky and need a nap.

No matter if I get home at 10pm or 4am, I have to do my five-step process to take off my makeup. My whole removal process uses Tatcha products. I have sensitive skin, so it's good for that. I take a Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelette and wipe off most of my makeup and then the Tatcha process begins with the Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil. You take a small amount and rub the rest of your makeup off with it—and then step two is this Indigo Soothing Rice Enzyme Powder. It’s this egg-shaped bottle and you shake out some of the powder, make a big lather in your hands with water, and then wash your face with that. Then there’s the Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum that’s like a million dollars and you have to put that on your face followed by the Indigo Soothing Triple Recovery Cream. I’m getting it down to about five minutes. I walk around brushing my teeth for a lot longer. Then, I slip on my retainer and call it a day.

A good night out working is probably when I play my favorite shows with Soulection, a record label that I’m on. They throw the best parties, and the crowd is always so insane and so receptive to whatever genre of music I might be feeling on that particular day. It’s really fun to take them on that journey, and everyone on Soulection is just so awesome to be around. They throw parties in LA at The Regent. That venue with that crowd...that whole vibe is so rad. Whenever I get to play with them, it’s a good work night.”

—as told to ITG

Samantha Duenas interviewed by Jane Helpern and photographed by Rick Rodney in Los Angeles on June 26, 2015.

DJs Alejandra Sabillon and Alix Brown want to bring the '60s and '70s back into the club scene, and Zoe Silverman discusses ins and outs of performance dressing on Top Shelf After Dark.

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