'I have this weird Canadian, monotone, slightly-hick accent because I was born in Israel but spent most of my childhood in Canada. I moved to New York 20 years ago to attend the School of Visual Arts. After I graduated, a friend of mine and I launched a lingerie company with my friend called The Lake and Stars. And we had the line for several years, up until about two years ago. I wanted to get back into making art but didn’t have a sculpture studio, a kiln, or any of those kind of materials. So in the meantime I thought, I’ll just start making some small work at home in the kitchen—so I made these candy sugar sculptures. I started posting pictures about my candy and people were really interested in it and asked me for orders for events. I called it Sweet Saba. It grew organically from there, but I didn’t necessarily intend on making the candy line a big business. Actually, we're having this pop-up at The Shop at The Standard, High Line tonight. I’m calling it Lover’s Rock, and all of the candy is going to be mixtapes. I'm also developing an edibles brand. It's not available yet, but hopefully when it is it’ll be just as popular, if not more.
A lot of people who have businesses will tell you that they don't go out that much. When I do go out, it’s usually to different friends’ houses. I like dinner parties, and I'm really into themes. I went to an Egyptian one recently, which called for a lot of gold and really great Cleopatra makeup. And I had a voodoo party that was really fun. I like to surround myself with people who have enthusiasm. It’s very sad if people get lazy... If you're lazy [about your look], you don't get invited back.
I was born in the desert, and somehow I was cursed with very dry skin. So I douse it with oil. I always use this DHC Deep Cleansing Oil to take my makeup off... It's from Japan. I'm really into Japanese and charcoal products right now. I'll also use Boscia's Detoxifying Black Cleanser, followed with my moisturizer. I've used Egyptian Magic Skin Cream forever. It comes from bees, and bees are magic, and you can put it on anything! And then La Mer Lip Balm on my lips. This one tastes really sweet—I love it.
If I have time, I like to do a mask. Tata Harper's Resurfacing Mask makes my skin feel like someone just tickled me. I'll do those kinds of rituals before I go out—I always apply a lot of moisturizer, and I'll put oils or bronzer on my body. Jennifer Lopez told me about Scott Barnes Body Bling and it changed my life. You contour your body and it stays on all night. It's not orange-y and it really gives you a glow. I put Maui Babe Browning Lotion on my legs, too, just to go out. It smells like coffee, and it’s delicious. I don’t mind putting scented stuff on my lower body parts like my legs, because you can’t smell it when you give someone a kiss.
Sometimes I think I should just have my makeup tattooed on. It’s the same shit, always. I start with YSL's Touche Éclat Neutralizer in Bisque and then I have this Kanebo Kate Powder that I only put on my eyelids, just to seal. I learned about this on a blog. It’s very light and you can get it at the 24-hour Don Quijote stores in Japan. And then my forever bronzer is Nars Casino. I’ve been known to over-bronze... I used to just wear it everywhere until I saw the Kim Kardashian tutorial. Let’s not lie, we’ve all seen it. I really like it on my eyelids, because I don't wear eyeshadow.
Then I work on my eyebrows. I use the best, which is Anastasia's Brow Gel, and then I'll set it with Maybelline Brow Drama. I like it because [the applicator is] a little ball. Maybelline Eye Studio Master Graphic is my favorite eyeliner. What’s great about it is that it looks like a Sharpie, and I love anything that looks like art supplies. I like to be making my art and painting and drawing, and then I go to the bathroom and I paint on my face with the same kind of tools, you know? I want everything to feel like that. And after I put that on, I'll use this Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Escalator Mascara. It makes me feel like I'm turning into a doll. I love anime, so anything that's going to make me look like a Japanese doll is key.
I do my lips right before I leave the house, and I always do red. I've had every lipstick under the sun, and Wet N Wild is the best one. I have every one of them in my kitchen, because I’m usually in there until I have to leave the house.
Nails are a huge part of my personality. For one, I started doing my nails because I used to bite them when I was a kid, and I figured out that the only way to not bite my nails was if they were too hard to bite through. So I started wearing drugstore press-ons because that was a big thing back in the day. I order them in stiletto shapes and file them down, and then I paint them. This is my red— Orly Nail Lacquer in Haute Red. They’re an Israeli brand, actually. In the summertime I use this Mia Secret Mood Color Changing Polish in Pink to Peach. It changes colors when you do the dishes!
The biggest hardship of my beauty routine has been to tame my hair, because it’s really thick and coarse and curly. You wouldn’t know, but it is. Because I work so much, I end up not having a lot of time to make the curl look the way I want, so I'll wear it straight most of the time. I wash it, I let it air dry, and then I iron it. I like using Chi Oil and camellia oil... All of my different body and face oils are for my hair, too. Every now and then if I want it to stay put, I’ll use this R+Co Park Ave Blow Out Balm. It smells yummy.
I dye my own hair, too. I actually have white hair—I went gray really young. And then a few years ago on a whim I decided to dye it back dark because I thought it would be so cool to just let it go later. So I dye my own hair with Garnier Fructis Hair Dye from the box. In between, because my hair grows so fast, I use this Kiss Trucolor Stick on my roots.
One of the best nights out ever was my first real date with my boyfriend. He told me that he wanted to take me on a roller coaster, and my response was, ‘Do you mean figuratively?’ We went to Coney Island, and he said to dress up like we did in high school... I wore my hair in pigtails. We rode on all the roller coasters and it was really romantic. And while we were on the Wonder Wheel, all of the fireworks went off. It was so beautiful, I might cry if I think about it too much.”
—as told to ITG
Maayan Zilberman photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Brooklyn on February 2, 2016.
Next up: Alexandra Agoston adapts Pat McGrath's runway makeup for an evening out, Julia Restoin Roitfeld ends the night with freezer pizza, and Soo Joo Park delivers a master class in clutch purse packing in the Top Shelf After Dark.