'I grew up in a household of hippies in a meditation community in Fairfield, Iowa. My parents are hooked on that scene. After I graduated college, I went to Indonesia with my boyfriend at the time to learn about midwifery at my aunt's birthing center there. Eventually our visas ran out, and my boyfriend was like, 'There’s a great house music scene in San Francisco.' This is around 2004, which was definitely not the heyday of house music, but there was still something going on. I had never even been there, but we came and I had a backpack, 300 bucks, a defunct cell phone, and a bunch of sarongs. I sat on Haight Street and sold sarongs and I slept on my friend’s couch for a while. At some point, I took a gig in commercial property insurance, which is where I learned about Yelp. I began reviewing, got invited to an event, and, four months later, started working there as office and HR manager before launching new markets for them. I saw the company scale from 10 people to a thousand.
Then, I became obsessed with Airbnb after a cross-country road trip in a 1982 VW bus I bought off eBay. I got in touch with them and 16 interviews later, I was writing content and leading their offline marketing internationally. These days I’m a marketing consultant, investing in female-oriented consumer tech companies like the direct-to-consumer lingerie company True & Co., lesbian dating app Her, and Nomiku, the first home sous-vide system. I love food and have invested in a few restaurants, too. Currently, I'm working with Vigilante, the operating company of the restaurant Oro. I help with design, marketing, and investor relations. There's lots of exciting things in the works—Chef Jason Fox was just awarded a Michelin Star! So, you can tell, my day-to-day varies. Right now, I'm really excited about redoing the interior of Oro...
When I turned 30 [three years ago], I felt like I had to get a real beauty regimen and learn how to be a woman. I didn’t really know how to put on makeup, so I watched a ton of YouTube tutorials...fucking Michelle Phan! I don’t like foundation, so I use Stowaway’s Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm. One of the founders is a friend and her whole thing is that no one ever finishes a mascara, or whatever, before it expires. So let’s be practical about this and do everything in miniature. I couldn’t live without that balm. My eyes are my problem area, no matter how much I sleep, so I’ll dab Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer to hide the dark circles. And now I'm also hooked on Urban Decay Naked Flushed Blush and eyeshadow palettes. I discovered them because a friend always travels with their stuff, and one trip a bunch of us were all getting ready together, bumping Kanye, being ridiculous and drinking Champagne—one of those sessions. I like to put a little bit of highlighter under and around the eyes and on top of the cheekbone and then a little bit of blush on top of the cheekbones.
I’m half Taiwanese, and my eyelids and lashes are so straight that I can look stoned all the time. Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler is the best for flat eyes. Other curlers have too much curve—they don’t get all the lashes and pinch the lids. I stock up on the curlers every time we go to Japan. In fact we just got back a couple days ago and I hit up three different Shu Uemura stores in Tokyo trying to find the damn curlers and they were sold out. Finally I found them at the airport duty-free shop. For mascara, I swear I’ve tried every fricking formula under the sun. Shu Uemura has a very light formula for day and at night. I also use Bare Minerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara. I ordinarily don’t wear eye shadow but on the weekends if I’m going out I use a Nars Bellissima Duo and Lorac's Front Of The Line Pro Eyeliner. I’m really specific about my wings—I like them to taper and be very thin. On my eyebrows I use Dior Powder Eyebrow Pencil.
In terms of lipstick, Birchbox featured The Balm Stainiac Lip Tint once and I was hooked. But Tom Ford’s Deep Mink is my favorite shade of all time. It’s a nudish-pink, and I found it because the woman at the Saks counter had it on and she had a similar complexion. If I’m going to an event, I’ll buy a lipstick to go with the outfit I’m wearing because I feel like lips bring people to life in photos. I bought Nars Volga Pure Matte Lipstick last fall when I was channeling Gwen Stefani. I wore it twice and people were like, 'Wow that’s bold.' The very first lipstick I got was a brownish red by Dr. Hauschka that my mom gave me when I was 15. It was when I first got my period...we went over to a neighbor’s house, there were a bunch of other girls there with their moms, and we sat in a circle and they talked to us about womanhood and what it meant. At the end, we each got a red rose and a glass of wine. Later that night, my mom gave me the lipstick. It was such a beautiful rite of passage. I always thought I would definitely do something like that if I have a daughter. We should celebrate that transition instead of it being an awkward, weird thing.
I’ve been using Mountain Ocean’s Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer since I was 14. It smells like sunshine to me. It’s very thin, but it gets rid of any ashiness. I’ve tried so many things on my hands and they’re either too sticky or too greasy. But I love generic argan oil. It’s like eight bucks on Amazon. I love Nars Body Glow for my legs. It makes you look like a sexy, tanned Gauguin goddess. But there have been embarrassing moments when I’ve worn a lighter colored dress and lifted up the hem and it’s brown.
I try to wash my hair only once every four days to protect the color. I love the way Oribe's Shampoo and Conditioner For Beautiful Color smell. They’re citrusy, with a brightness and a depth that I really like. I can only deal with blow drying and curling my hair once a week, max. I use a dollop of Kérastase Nectar Thermique protectant on the ends and Bumble and bumble Thickening Spray on the roots. Ocassionally I’ll use Bumble and bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse instead of the spray. I had a bunch of wedding trials and the hair stylist used it to get volume and I was like, 'Mousse? That’s so '80s.' But it really worked. Then I curl the ends under with a round brush—I think it’s a Conair but there’s no branding on it, heats up fast—and use the Babyliss Conicurl Styling Wand for the rest. The problem is there’s no clip, so you have to hold your hair. They give you a fuzzy black protective glove which is very bizarre. My husband Russell will be like, 'What are you doing? That looks like a torture device.' I’ve burned myself a couple of times. Then I run some Label.M Miracle Fibre through my hair to separate the strands. It’s like magic, I can’t live without it. You have to rub it between your palms so the fibers get really stretchy. Then you do a little scrunch.
I use Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Cleanser every day and Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub Advanced once a week. I got a sample of it with something I bought off Net-A-Porter and it’s incredible. It has this grit that uncovers new fresh skin and a totally inoffensive scent. I’m really into scents. Then, in the evening, I use Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil—it takes off anything and everything, and I have the type of skin that drinks up oil. That's also why I think the Glossier Soothing Face Mist is so refreshing. I spray it first thing in the morning to wake me up. I also travel with it in a smaller bottle because it's lifesaver on long plane rides. And there's nothing better on the beach.
Luxaskin is based in San Francisco, and they use really fresh ingredients. I found out about them because our dogwalker’s ex-girlfriend is one of the owners and for Christmas one year they gave us a package. I’ve been buying the Amino Peptide Eye Gel now for three years. Sometimes though I’m too lazy to do anything and I’ll just use Yes To Cucumbers Wipes and call it a day.”
—as told to ITG
Ligaya Tichy photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile at her home in San Francisco on October 23, 2015. Interview by Emily Holt.
More boss women: Delpozo's Indre Rockefeller wears body oil as perfume, Coty's Catherine Walsh eats her way to better skin, and Clique Media's Katherine Power extends the life cycle of her blowout in The Top Shelf.