“My first real experience with beauty was when I worked as an intern at Vogue in hair and makeup. They couldn’t pay me, so they said to take home as many beauty products as I wanted. On the last day of my contract, they basically said, thank you for everything, carry as much makeup product as you can possibly carry out in this picnic basket—the basket’s still in my kitchen cabinet now—and I filled it with La Mer, Chanel, everything. I had to have my boyfriend meet me at Urban Outfitters because I couldn’t get any further than that on the train by myself! At the time, I didn’t really use products, but I thought, ‘I should put this to use.’ So I learned everything about products and picked up the techniques no problem. But—and this is why it’s my job—I feel more comfortable steaming a dress for a makeup artist than doing the eyebrows on someone. Though it did make me really fall in love with beauty products and figure out what I liked.
My beauty routine has a lot to do with hygiene. Getting ready to go out doesn’t take me long—I just need time to wash my face and moisturize. I’m into the products that pull all the dirt out. I’ll throw on the Pond’s Clear Pore Strips or the Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Cleansing Masque a couple times a week or after I’ve been going out a lot and drinking or not eating well. When I feel like my skin isn’t getting enough attention, then I'll put on the Chanel Le Blanc Brightening Moisturizing Lotion with the Brightening Concentrate for a two-step process. After I use those together, I just start to radiate. It feels like those Korean face masks, which I hand out to people like candy. My favorite are the Tony Moly I’m Real Avocado Mask Sheets—I buy them in bulk. Afterwards, I use the Avène Thermal Spring Water because it really helps with redness.
Because I work really long hours, my makeup look is usually just lipstick. Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate and then Rouge Coco in Jeanne—I do Pirate on the bottom and Jeanne one on top and in the center. That’s something I learned when I was interning at the beauty department of Vogue. It gives you a nice In The Mood For Love look.
If I have more time, I’ll add a cat eye or bronzer. For my cat eye, I’m using Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er Precision Pen. Someone also recommended Drew Barrymore’s Flower Style-Eyes Liquid Eyeliner to me—it’s supposed to be truly non-smudge. When I’m drawing the line, I usually don’t go past where my eyelid ends because my eyes are a really specific shape. Then I like Nars Laguna on my cheeks and t-zone with a really nice, natural Eco Tools brush. Then there’s this cool thing I just got from a random hand cream store—it’s a clay pot called Aker, and it's a traditional Moroccan clay lip tint. The red clay is made of red ochre terracotta mixed with a red vegetable dye. Some of the clay is blended with powdered poppy or rose petals and a little wax, and when you wet it, it turns into a lip stain that you can build up. You can use it as a blush too, so I’ve just been playing around with it.
The mascara I use is Maybelline's Falsies. It’s really good for me because it gives my lashes a nice curve without me having to curl them. It also comes off really easily at the end of the night, just with Glossier Milky Jelly. I always want to do more makeup than that if we’re going somewhere fancy, like a wedding. But I end up looking crazy, like gnarly bronzer and everything. So I have to keep it simple. Let’s do this and go, essentially.
For my hair, most days I want it to look undone. A little like a skater, surfer girl from Huntington Beach which is where I’m from. Very loose but cleaned up. The Sachajuan line—the Shampoo, Conditioner, and Hair Repair—is really good for that. The smell is also great, which is a big deal for me. It doesn’t leave my hair feeling dry after I leave it alone. It’ll still have body, too. Plus the packaging is very beautiful. To style my hair right now I really just like behind the ears. I'll pull back my hair when it's wet and let it air dry. Whatever keeps my hair out of my face. Other than that, I’m a big fan of dry shampoo. Ouai Dry Shampoo is good, and the Pssst! Instant Dry Shampoo is my actual cheap favorite—it’s the best in the pharmacy. And the Shu Uemura Texture Wave Spray helps keep my hair in place but also gives it a little wave when it’s dried. The earring movement is big to me, too. I’m like, give my ear a moment! Give my forehead a moment!
There are a couple of other weird things I do—like, I love Crest White Strips. They’re so easy to just have with you, since I travel a lot for my job. My nail polish is always Chanel Black Satin [ed note: discontinued] because black is comforting to me. Face mists are also key to have on you. They work for your complexion or to give your hair texture. So I throw one in my purse and when I’m at a nightclub or at work in the ninth hour, it’s a pick-me-up to make me feel pretty again. And I do like a good tweezer from Tweezerman, the precise ones. They’re so good. I very rarely tweeze my brows, but here’s my secret. I don’t shave my armpits, I pluck them. It doesn’t take long. It’s worth it to me because I’ve shaved my armpit hair like twice.
My fragrances are always kind of rosy and light. I just like to feel confident and clean when I put on perfume. So I’m obsessed Maison Louis Marie Antidris Cassis Perfume Oil. I found it at The Line in LA and it's meant to be mixed with other scents. And then I love Rose of No Man’s Land, which I keep at the office, but it smells ah-mazing. Oh, and I do have an entire case of Santal 33 just in case.
I think the secret of going out is tequila. I used to drink whiskey and vodka but with tequila, I don’t get any skin problems the next day. No redness, no blemishes when I wake up, and I don’t feel sweaty and crazy. It’s just like, let’s have a good time! And there are so many good conversations you can have with people about it. There’s such a culture involved in making tequila. George Clooney’s Casamigos is the best, and the label is so chic.
After a long night out, my bedtime routine is just crawling to the bathroom, taking my contacts out—the best feeling in the world—and flossing and brushing my teeth. My Quip toothbrush is the best. It’s an electric toothbrush, but they deliver the toothpaste and the heads to you every three months. It’s kind of just like a newer, chic version of the Sonicare. You can hang it on your medicine cabinet, too! Then I like to do when I’m getting home is to put on my Sleepy Jones pajamas. And if I'm staying out until 9AM on a Saturday, I’ll be right back up at noon, because I’m a morning person and love to shop for furniture on the weekends. When I turn 30 it’s going to be a disaster."
—as told to ITG
Beverly Nguyen photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Brooklyn on June 29, 2016.