Jen Atkin, Hairstylist


"When I go out, I'm usually the last person to get ready, because I'm getting other people ready for whatever we're going to. The girls I work with all have different styles, and I love that about them, so inspiration-wise we're always pulling from a bunch of different references. Like, Khloe loves fun, blogger hair. I look at Fashion Gone Rouge for Kim because she likes her hair to look more editorial. Kourtney is classic, Ali MacGraw, that kind of thing. Kendall is no-fuss, five minutes, and Kylie loves long hair one day, short hair the next day. People like to express different personalities with makeup and clothes, but they're more timid with hair. It’s fun for me because I feel like my clients really like to play around.

My own hair is often in a tight bun, because it's usually dirty and I like that kind of tight facelift. To walk you through my hair routine between washes, Day One will be clean hair, Day Two will be to add a little Ouai Dry Shampoo, and Day Three I'll put in the Ouai Treatment Masque or the Hair Oil. And then I'll do a center- or side-parted tight bun. For the sleek look I'll use the Hair Oil, but I also like using Ouai Wave Spray on clients. If I want something matte, I like Kevin Murphy Night Rider. It's a matte paste, and I'll put it all over, root to mid-shaft, with an oil at the end like Rita Hazan's Split End Remedy. I also love the Kardashian Beauty Hairspray so much, it's really strong. I spray that on a toothbrush to tame any flyaways or unruly hairs. Sleek hair is definitely my go-to nighttime look—nothing is better to me than a smooth, low bun, with a choker. I'm just living in low bun choker land right now. I might have close to 50 chokers. I was on set with Monica Rose recently and she tied this Chanel ribbon around my neck, and I've been wearing it every day since.

My favorite foundation is Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation, applied with a Beautyblender. It's hardcore stuff. But it's amazing for under-eye bags or blemishes or dark spots that you get when you age. Talk to me in 10 years when you need it, you'll be all Kevyn Aucoin'd out! For my cheeks, I have Troy Surratt Blush—I use Troy Surratt makeup brushes, too—and I use either Tom Ford's Shade and Illuminate or this dope Lorac situation, the Pro To Go Eye and Cheek Palette.

On my eyes, I like Tom Ford's Eyeshadow Quad in Cocoa Mirage. I curl my eyelashes with Troy Surratt's Eyelash Curler, which is the best one, and do a little winged liner with his liquid eyeliner. I carry L'Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara with me at all times. It's just a staple, I've used it for so long. It doesn't get dry and cracked and hurt my eyes at the end of the day. For brows I'll use Anastasia Brow Gel with Glossier Boy Brow in Brown on top. The Anastasia one is clear, so I mix them together. I love Anastasia products—if you want a lipstick to last for your whole life, Anastasia Liquid Lipsticks are the best. Lorac Lipsticks stay on like crazy, too—I like Pin-Up at night and Flowerchild for daytime. Or a little bit of Kylie Lip Kit here or there.

I wear fragrance all the time, too. When we were formulating Ouai, scent was really important. I'd never found a haircare line that didn’t smell like an old lady or a little kid—there weren't really modern, cool scent. So when we were developing the products, it seemed very natural to do a perfume, too. We're coming out with it next year. I wear it all the time, it's a rollerball, and I'll mix it with Kai. There's this line called Juliette Has A Gun, and I'm really crazy about their Another Oud. I'll mix that with the Ouai fragrance, too. Haircare can be overly complicated, so I like things that are classic and simple."

—as told to ITG

Jen Atkin photographed by Tom Newton in New York on April 21, 2016.

Further reading: remember when we interviewed Jen for her Top Shelf? Read that, watch her Top Shelf Live conversation with Emily Weiss, and then read more going out routines of beauty professionals (like makeup artist Violette in the Top Shelf After Dark.