"My nighttime look is exactly like my daytime look—like I’m going to a super fancy funeral. I guess it would be considered extreme to most people, but I like it that way. The idea of conventional beauty isn't attractive to me...that's why, when I was growing up, I felt kind of torn about makeup. But I've always listened to punk rock, and for punks, eyeliner isn't used to accentuate your eyes—it's a tool of self-expression. I see my makeup in that way. I enjoy wearing it and I enjoy not wearing it. Do I prefer to have eyebrows when I go out? Sure. But I don’t care either way.
I have my go-to products. It's hard not to come off very self-promoting, but the truth is, I don't make any product that I don't personally wear. In terms of things I can’t live without, my Lock-It Foundation and my Featherweight Primer set the groundwork for my makeup. The foundation is full-coverage, which I think people find intimidating, but it's really lightweight. As far as concealer goes, that is another comfortable formula—Lock-It Concealer. It has the power to cover tattoos.
For me, a simple eye works best. I like using my Shade and Light Eye Contour Palette, which I use for everything. It has three different quads—no pop colors, just warm and cool browns and neutrals. And my Tattoo Eyeliner is my favorite. I use it in my eyebrows, too—if I've overtweezed, I can just draw little fine lines and fill them in. I've been so tempted to shave my eyebrows off and start all over again, but I'm not gonna do it. I'm continuing to arch them in different ways but it’s becoming a blur as to where my real eyebrows are. [Laughs]
If I want to do a smoky eye, I tend to focus more on the eyeshadow versus the eyeliner to avoid looking like a Duran Duran album cover. And if I do a smoky eye, I'll probably do a nude lipstick. I tend to fluctuate between reds and nudes. Right now I'm wearing two colors at once, Lolita and Lolita II, like a really subtle ombré. For reds, lately I’ve been addicted to Santa Sangre. I put it on and was like, 'Where have you been all of my life?' It's not as blue as Outlaw, and it just looks so good. I think anyone who's a fan of red lipstick understands even the slightest differences in shades of red.
I get a little concerned about tattooing makeup sometimes. I've been tattooing professionally since I was 16, and I'm 34 now. But for some people, it takes two weeks to get their cosmetic tattooing license, which does not sound right for the person who is putting a needle and permanent pigment close to your eye. It's a big risk. And makeup changes! It's ever-changing and seasonal, that's what's so cool and awesome about it. I look at the way I did my eyebrows back in the day and I’m like, 'Thank God I didn’t get tattooed then, because I was full on Divine.' [Laughs] There are some people who love it, and they don't have to worry about [applying it]. I think if it makes you happy, fuck it, do it. People look at me and ask why I would get tattoos, period. Well, they make me happy, so it works for me.
It's the same with skincare—you can buy all of the world's fanciest creams and go get plastic surgery, or whatever floats your boat. But the best skincare to me is internal. Cutting out dairy alone was the best thing I ever did for my skin. I noticed an even more drastic change after I cut dairy out than when I quit smoking! No breakouts, and there was this vibrancy I got. But my favorite skincare product right now that I'm obsessed with is this Ole Henriksen Walnut Complexion Scrub. I bought it in bulk. I look noticeably clean, it's great, I love it. The other thing I use to clean are my Unlock-It Makeup Remover Wipes, which are the best for breaking down longwear makeup. And they're biodegradable, which is great, because I go through makeup wipes like crazy.
We're in the middle of relaunching our fragrances, so while I wait, I'm wearing Comme des Garçons Wonderwood. I tend to be attracted to darker scents. I'm not a floral girl. But I do like this old fragrance I used to wear called Versace Red Jeans. I have an eBay alert that tells me when it comes back! I think it’s more of a nostalgic association that I have with it because a boyfriend had bought it for me when I was like 16. Now, it just reminds me of falling in love."
—as told to ITG
Kat Von D photographed by Tom Newton in New York on May 10, 2016.
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