Sunny Shokrae, Photographer

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'I was five years old when I moved to Southern California from Iran. I remember a little from then, but I’ve only visited a handful of times. It's funny—when I was growing up, I was really into punk rock and didn't care about going to the beach or nature or any of that. But in my maturity I fucking love nature and I love the beach. I go to the beach more in New York than I ever did when I lived in California. It's such a lost opportunity, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

With makeup and my routine I like to be low-touch—even though my husband would laugh at that. Maybe I just think I am low-touch. I love cleansers—I use this makeup remover first, the Bioderma Créaline with the pink lid. I ordered it off Amazon after my friend who's a makeup artist introduced me to it. After that, I use Avène Cleanance Gel Cleanser...it's the blue one for acne-prone skin. I always moisturize, too—right now I'm using Clinique Superdefense Moisturizer For Face and Clinique All About Eyes. Then it's Avène for everything else— Avène Cold Cream Lip Balm, Avène Deodorant, which I love but they don’t sell it in the US so I have to order it online...it's a roll-on and with it, I don't smell. I only recently stopped using antiperspirant, so that's a change.

Maybe once a month I'll use the Boscia Luminating Black Mask. Then I buy this pack of facials from a place on Canal and Lafayette...it's called CiCi Beauty Spa and the deal is 10 facials for $400. They're each an hour and half with a little massage. Because you pay all at once, it's nice to go whenever you want. I try to get one every two months. I had never had a facial before someone got me those as a birthday present.

Makeup isn't a big thing for me. I'll use MAC's Mineralize Foundation to even out the skin under my eyes or in my t-zone. Maybe I'll use some MAC Blush in a dark orangey-peach and some drugstore eyeliner—I'm not a fuss about it. I do love Le Volume De Chanel Mascara, though. The brush is really good because it's bristle-y, it separates, and it does a really good job of elongating.

Recently, I’ve really gotten into my brows, darkening them and then using clear brow gel to set them. I’ve stopped plucking them, too. So, I used to have a brutal unibrow when I was little and I wasn’t allowed to pluck it and it ruined my life. Then I was traumatized by not being able to pluck it, so I over-plucked it for a really long time. A few years ago, I realized I should probably grow everything back and have a full unibrow and be really chic about it. But reality hit and it's not growing back all the way. I want to rock it so hard! Still working on that...

My hair is thick, and it gets really crazy with humidity. I use Enjoy, which is this weird shampoo and conditioner brand that my mom introduced me to. [Laughs] It softens my hair, and it really locks and moisturizes. Every three days, I wash it, put coconut and argan oil in it, and then I let it air dry curly. After that, I'll straighten it on the first day so that it's more manageable and less knotty. By the next day, it starts to go back to loose curls anyway. My hair is really curly and I’ll straighten it initially and then it will be maintainable because if I don’t it gets kinda knotty and that’s just a mess. I'll use the Oribe Imperméable Anti-Humidity Spray for anti-frizz.

I have lots of grays—my mom would be so mad at me. Oh the years I’ve lived! [Laughs] Every time I go home my mom cries and is like 'Please dye your hair!' and I’m like 'Never!' I dyed it for her once on my wedding day and it was like, temporary wash-out six-month dye. But it's been fun having gray hair actually...I can’t wait 'til it gets all white. I’m 31 now and it feels good. At this point, you know more where your life’s headed, you know what I mean?”

—as told to ITG

Sunny Shokrae photographed by Tom Newton.

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