“The aesthetic of Kith is clean and minimal. It’s like a New York kid who cares about all aspects of his look, but isn’t trying. Comfort definitely comes first and quality is 100 percent the key. I have a pretty cool job because I can work as a stylist, a head merchandiser, an accessories buyer, and a producer for our social media imagery all at once. Every editorial that comes from Kith I style, cast, and am on set to direct. It's very hands-on.
My first internship was with this guy named Louis Colon. At the time he was running a sneaker lifestyle magazine that was like art, culture, graffiti, fashion, whatever. And he also had a sneaker store called Laces on Mott Street. It was the first women’s sneaker boutique. It was 2006, when concept boutiques were just happening for footwear. You have to understand that a girl in sneakers a few years ago was called a tomboy. Now, there’s so much room for women to evolve in their comfort with sneakers. A lot of times brands think ‘Oh, it’s a women’s version so there should be a wedge.’ That’s not getting it right. Céline did a beautiful Air Force One. I like the idea that a woman who might usually feel funny about wearing an Air Force One could wear the Céline sneaker and end up looking just like me! I like when people spread things out and make room for everyone. I’m down for more girls in sneakers.
I’ve always had the driest skin of all time. I’ve gone through hell and back with my dry skin. I technically have rosacea, so sometimes my skin can get red, too. In the morning, I try to just wash my face with water. I have the Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste, which I’ll use like once a week. I’ve done it more in the past, but it made my skin too rough and dry. On other days, if I need a cleanser, I’ll use the classic Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser that they sell at every Duane Reade ever.
My savior has been CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion—I use a lot of it after I dry my face off. I just started using this Jurlique Skin Balancing Face Oil. I use it on the days that I wash my hair because I put it all the way up into my roots. It smells super good, like roses, so I love that.
For body, I use Skin Trip lotion or baby oil. I use it on my arms and legs or wherever and then I use the baby oil on the ends of my hair sometimes too. I just warm it up in my hands and pass it through. Sometimes, if I’m going to be in the sun, I’ll use Maui Babe Browning Lotion—that’s the good stuff. It looks like balsamic. It’s pretty OG. When I want to feel cute, I put on some little shorts and sit in my backyard and have my legs glistening. It doesn’t have SPF, so I’ll spray SPF and then put that on over it.
My random luxury is Aesop’s Geranium Leaf Hydrating Body Treatment. I use it in the shower every day. It gives me so much pleasure to use that product. It really energizes me. And I know what it costs, but it’s fine because I just live for little quality of life moments like that.
I’ve never judged girls who’ve worn a good amount of makeup on their face or done a full eyeshadow look. I’ve seen a million YouTube tutorials on how to do all that. It’s embarrassing, but I watch them before I go to bed because they knock me right out. I’m obsessed.
I used to wear foundation, mascara, lip balm and that’s it. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer was my go-to for years. It was expensive, but I used to make it last. I wore glasses growing up, which made me feel a little weird about doing anything special, so I kind of got used to doing a little bit of mascara and nothing else.
Back then I loved spending a lot on mascara. I’d buy Buxom or whatever Sephora was promo-ing that week. Now I’m super classic. I use Maybelline Great Lash. But, the Diorshow Maximizer Lash Primer Serum is my life. I know if I put it on at 9am, at 9pm I’m still fluttering. For real. I always keep an eyelash curler at home and one in my desk. Mine right now is the Tweezerman ProCurl. Then I just layer any mascara over the primer. I try to get super dark brown things when I can because I think black is just too aggressive on my face. Then I had a phase where I was doing a lot of winged eyeliner. Usually now I only do that at night. I use Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner. I love the felt tip and it really stays.
I’m using this MAC Face and Body Foundation right now that’s super thin and liquidy, which I like. I never use blush because I’m so rosy. I’ve played around with contouring and bronzer, but I feel a little crazy being too contour-y. I use tons of balm. I’m balm crazy. I like Smith’s Salve. It’s the cousin of the rosebud one. I use that or Carmex every day, 10 times a day. For events at night I’ll do a berry lip. I like the Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils. Walkyrie is my obsession right now. I love that color. I put it on and then when it wears out, I get that old-school lip liner thing going on and it reminds me of the ladies I grew up with. I think it looks so cool.
My brows are pretty dark, but I would say I don't do much except tweeze out stray hairs. Beyond that, I don't adjust the shape at all. Every now and then I'll pencil them in to be a bit lengthier but usually just let them chill. I'm thankful to have a part of my face I can let breathe and do its own thing. Sometimes I put hair gel in them to make them a bit wilder and shiny.
My nails are always done and they’re natural. I never do acyrylics or anything like that. I grew up getting my nails done weekly and then that New York Times article came out about the horrors of nail salons, so that’s been tough lately. I have a lot of good friends who are professional nail artists and they’ve been hooking me up lately and doing cool stuff. My friend Natalie Pavloski put a classic Dior Vernis on me in Massaï. It’s the first red I’ve ever worn and enjoyed. I’ve always been clean with the nudes or burgundies.
My hair is naturally wavy-slash-curly. I wash my hair and straighten it twice a week. For shampoo, I just use Dove Hair Therapy or something normal that’s hydrating. I had my hair dyed ombre and that killed me, so I won’t ever dye it again. I had to cut it all off. For conditioner, I use the Moroccanoil Restorative Hair Mask about once a week or I use the Sachajuan Leave In Conditioner spray. I don’t condition in the shower if I’m going to use it. I love the way it smells. Plus, when I flat iron my hair, it makes me feel like I have something protective—but not sticky—to coat it. Since I only wash my hair twice a week, I use Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk on the other days.
I wear YSL Cinema. It’s like the complete opposite of my style and I love that. It’s vanilla, it’s amber, it’s womanly and I’m usually in sneakers and jeans.”
—as told to ITG
Mellany Sanchez photographed by Tom Newton in New York on May 29, 2015.
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