"I'm from Martinique, which is in the Caribbean, and it's funny—there are so many bars and places to go out where I'm from, but to get ready, it’s very simple. I just wear my hair curly. Now the industry is all about natural hair which is great, but when I started it wasn’t like that at all. I've been doing keratin for three years, and since I've been doing that, my hair is so much thicker and longer. Healthier and shinier, too. I go to Amoy Pitters, because she's one of the best. With keratin you can go super straight, but for me, it just relaxes my hair a little bit. Amoy only goes over a little bit because she knows I like my curls. In Martinique I used to wash my hair twice a week, but now, without the weather, I'll wash it once. If I want my curls I use Devacurl cleansing cream. Then I'll use the Brazilian Blowout Açai Conditioning Masque if I'm straightening it, just to keep it healthy.
Sometimes I'll wear my hair straight. I went to a charity event recently and I had a really sleek ponytail. I use this Elseve Serum from L’Oréal for that. I put it on after the shower, it just nourishes my hair and keeps it from breaking and gives it shine. Other oils are too thick, so when I put them on, they look dirty. Tonight I'm wearing my curls down, which is sexy. I put in L'Oréal Elvive for bouncier curls. It's a cream, really thick. I put that in and let my hair dry—or if I'm going to an event, I'll curl it with Hot Tools Nano Ceramic Large Curling Iron. If I do my own hair, I'll set it with So Stiff Be Yourself by Framesi Extreme Hold or Elnett, which everybody uses. And for some events I'll have extensions. These are tracks, they're like clips, to make my hair fuller. All in all, hair takes about an hour.
My outfit depends on where I'm going. I really love a deep V for nighttime. And I like it when I don't look so girly. I'll never wear one of those super sexy see-through dresses, they're really not me. I like more menswear—that's cooler to me. And then my heels are Tom Ford, so pretty. The look I want to have all the time is just cool pants, a good blazer, nice, glowy skin, and a nude lip. That's perfection, but I never can quite find it, you know?
My makeup takes another hour, staring with a little foundation, concealer, and then lashes. I’m using Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer, it looks like a lipstick. Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint just disappears on my skin. The shade is Honey, and it’s like I have nothing on. I like that one when my skin feels very dry, it just feels moisturizing. I try to be very natural with my eyes because I don't know how to do eye makeup anyway—I use Maybelline Great Lash Mascara, but I don't really have a preference. And then I put a lip balm on my lids, the Glossier Balm Dotcom. I put it on my eyelid with a little bit of black [shadow] and it just looks really good. I’ve been using this Tarte Light of the Party Palette [ed note: discontinued] for when I mess around. You can tell I’ve used these for smoky eyes–Black Velvet, Hot Chocolate, and Midnight Kiss.
For red lips I really like this Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip Liner in Red with a Make Up For Ever red lipstick. Or I'll do a nude, like this Estée Lauder Pure Color Gloss in Tempting Tearose [ed note: discontinued]. It’s like a gloss, but not too much, you know? I really like it. On my mouth it looks really nice. And then fragrance—mine is Le Labo Thé Noir 29. I love Le Labo... It’s a pretty natural scent and it doesn’t irritate my skin. My boyfriend bought it for me, and I mean, it lasts forever. I only put on a little because I don't want it to be too much."
—as told to ITG
Cora Emmanuel photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on August 30, 2016.