"The first thing I did after graduating from NYU was move to London. I was such an Anglophile, and I really wanted to find a British husband and raise my kids in the UK. I was interning at Vice, and that's when I started photographing the party scene. There were a lot of parties—and London is a little edgier than New York, so that was fun. After a year I moved back to New York to shoot for some smaller publications, like Refinery29 and Paper, and that's when I got hired at BFA. They were pretty new then. Kind of like Patrick McMullan, but edgier and younger. I joined at the beginning four years ago, and I've been there since.
For the most part, I shoot events. It's kind of like going out—it's work, but there's a social aspect. And I get to travel. Last summer I got to photograph this Rosetta Getty event at this Tuscan villa, just shooting the weekend activities. A lot of the events I do are really high-profile, so I try to look like I fit in. I mean, I want to look elegant and wear something eye-catching, but I don't want to stand out, because I should really be in the background. And I get very stressed out about what outfit I’m going to wear. I’m always mulling over throughout the day like, what am I going to wear for tonight? Tonight I'm wearing Jonathan Simkhai, which I borrowed from the showroom. And I'll wear heels—like a big, chunky Margiela heel.
After putting so much effort into my outfit, I don't have the energy to put effort into my beauty routine. [Laughs] If I have a job at night and I'm napping up until five minutes before I have to leave, that gives me three minutes to devote to putting on makeup. I start with Nars Bronzer in Laguna, always. I don't know if it's better than other bronzers, but it works well with my skin tone. And I love Nars. I love the Hot Sand Illuminator, but I use it in conjunction with the Highlighting Blush Powder in Albatross. I'll sweep the powder on my cheeks and then I'll just dot the Illuminator on the cheekbones. And I use the same brush for everything—my Sephora Collection Blush Brush.
I get paranoid if I'm too shiny. It's because I spend an inordinate amount of time fixing shine when I'm editing party photos. I'm never having my photo taken, but if I know there's gonna be a camera somewhere, I'll dab myself with an oil sheet. To save the photographer some time, editing-wise. [Laughs] And my concealer is Estée Lauder Double Wear Flawless Concealer in Warm Medium. I just got it after doing that Color IQ Shade Match at Sephora, and that was really cool. I’ve been using it for my undereyes, and I like it. Not a lot of effort at all.
The only thing I will always wear is eyeliner. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner is the best. I use liquid eyeliner a lot and I love the brush. And I love the feel, when you open it up and you use it for the first time, because the brush is just so perfect and so precise. And I like Nars Audacious Mascara, too. If it goes with the outfit, I'll wear lipstick. I love Kat Von D Everlasting Love Liquid Lipstick in Underage Red—I know, the controversial one. [Ed note: Underage Red is gone, but Brick is equally red and less divisive.] It does not come off. I love matte lips, and I'll wear some Kiehl's Lip Balm #1 over it because my lips are always chapped. Oh, and Hourglass Liquid Lipstick in Icon is great, too. I hate when lipstick comes off on your glass, but those ones don't move. And I love a Dark and Stormy towards the end of a job.
I wash my face every night. I use those Almay pads for eye makeup, and then I'll wash my face with either Nars Skin Gentle Cream Cleanser or Shiseido Benefiance Cleansing Foam. I love Shiseido products—I also use the Ibuki Moisturizer—but I don’t like going to bed with the greasy face. Maybe I should be using serums and stuff, but I just wash, moisturize, and that's it. My job is very late-night, so I might order some Seamless, too. I usually prefer not to, but sometimes I'll have a craving."
—as told to ITG
Angela Pham photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Brooklyn on March 29, 2016.
Up next: florist Lisa Przystup prefers dude-smelling fragrances for night, artist Maayan Zilberman receives body bronzer recommendations from Jennifer Lopez, and DJ Alejandra Sabillón perfects the Guy Bourdin-inspired smoky eye in the Top Shelf After Dark.