"Hairdressing school [in Denmark] is four years long. It's crazy, but that's how I got my start in the beauty industry. Working in beauty was always the goal, but I knew I didn't just want to be a hairdresser. So after hairdressing school, I went to makeup school for a year. It was so bad—I remember I brought in a picture of Kate Moss from an old campaign, and she had this smoky eye, and one of the teachers said, 'Oh, it's done completely wrong!' Like, really? It's Vogue. I was confident that I could do good makeup, but I needed to learn how to do makeup that photographers wanted.
I started working with a hairdresser because I was cutting all of my girlfriends' hair anyway, and that's how I started working with models and photographers. For a time, I was primarily a hair artist—but in Denmark, we did both [hair and makeup]. I got tired of the work because you had to be best friends with the models, and flirt with the photographers... It was too much for me. That's when I started thinking about editorial. I had a job interview with a Danish magazine, total coincidence, and they asked me if I ever thought about being a beauty editor. I was like, 'Yes!' They rang me two days later because their beauty editor had quit and asked if I wanted to come for a talk. Then I just threw it all out and went there. I remember my agent was like, 'Are you fucking crazy? They're going to pay you a third of what you make as a makeup artist.' But I wasn't happy. I was their beauty editor for five years, and about two years ago I went to Cover. I did take up hairdressing and makeup recently, just to make sure I don't get bored. [Laughs]
When I started as Cover's Beauty Director, I had a really bad breakout. Like, really bad. And I remember my Creative Director was like, 'How can she have such bad skin and be a Beauty Director?' I was like, 'Fuck you!' [Laughs] At the same time, I was taking special B vitamins and somebody from the store told me about Ling. I think any girl that has hormonal issues with her skin should really know about that brand. I don't know if it was Ling or the vitamins, or both, but I don't dare stop using them now. I've never seen such a radical change in my skin, ever. The game changer for me was the Ling Dual-Moisturizer—you can also use it with any skin type because it's so light, but it has an oily texture to it.
Then I use the Oxygen Plasma Serum from Ling and that's really good. My rich moisturizer is the Dr. Brandt DNA Time Reversing Cream, which I've been using forever and it's priced like La Mer. I'd had it on my shelf for six, seven months, and when I started using it was magic. It's really expensive but the ingredients are great. It's so dry here [in Copenhagen]. You get a lot of redness and a lot of dry skin, so a rich cream helps. My SPF is Rudolph Care's. Rudolph is some of the best skincare in Denmark.
The Ling Cleanser is also good. I'm really into washing cloths. I have muslin cloths and you just put it them the washer and reuse them. I don't use a cloth every day because skin is sensitive but it gets everything off and you can massage your face. To exfoliate, I use fruit enzyme peels like Ren's Glycol Renewal Face Mask. I get red but it works. It gives so much moisture, too! Sometimes, I'll use this Karmameju Dry Brush. They make body brushes, but they made one for the face, too. You have to use it on dry skin, but I like it.
When I shower in the winter, I always turn the water cold at the end. It's a regular shower, then body oil, and then cold water. And when I wash my hair, I use a shampoo formulated for itchy scalps and I never use conditioner. It's a French pharmacy brand, Ducray, and I like it because it's conditioning and doesn't strip my hair. When I style my hair, I use the Kevin Murphy Anti-Gravity Volumizing Spray and the Less is More Protein Spray. The Kevin Murphy can be a little too much, but when you mix it with the protein spray, it brings the volume a bit down. Then, I use a Remmington Blow Dryer with a small attachment for waves.
Cim Mahony cuts my hair. I always ask for a model haircut because models always have a simple length with layers—that's not the name for it, that's just what I call it. This way you can put in extensions and do whatever with it. It's the perfect cut. Sara Falkenberg, at Cim's studio, colored my hair last night. I never wanted to color it, I always liked it the way it was, but I don't like any redness in my hair. I'd rather it be a little green than red. The color [they add] is kind of like a pâté that we eat. [Laughs]
My desert island beauty product has got to be a foundation, because skin is the most important for me. I have redness, so I use a lot of gold. Usually I mix two MAC Face and Body shades, because I have one for summer and one for winter. When I get really tired, I get pale, so I layer them—but it never looks cakey. Then I use Bareminerals Foundation or Youngblood—it's a makeup artist thing. They all use this combination of Face and Body and Youngblood. I use a powder from the Nars Steven Klein collaboration [ed note: no longer available] to make it a little less shiny. This is actually really good—the Face Contour Cream from & Other Stories. The L'Oreal Cushion, too... I get it a bit darker to put under the cheek. I'm very into contouring.
I don't really use eyeshadow. Sometimes at night I wear a metallic green, and I use this YSL 5 Couleurs Ready To Wear Scandal Collection sometimes on the middle of the lid. I read that Alexa Chung uses MAC Eye Kohl in Teddy and it's the most amazing color because it's brown and black. It really blends well around the eyes. If I'm going out, I'll use the Chanel Black Eyeliner but I'll always mix it with the Teddy just to make it a little more grounded. Then L'Oreal Millions Lashes, and I always buy three at a time. The brush is really good because you can make it look natural but layer it. Every Danish makeup artist uses it.
This is no doubt the best perfume in the world—Christian Dior Bois d'Argent. It's primarily for men but it's amazing. Or the classic Dior Homme, and I wear that as well. It sounds a bit strange, but it's like having a man with you at all times. I also like Child Perfume. Madonna uses that, and that's how I found it. I don't know about New York but in Denmark, all the Molecule fragrances are really big and I like to mix them. I always mix perfumes. My favorites to mix are the Dior Homme and maybe Chanel No 19—which in my opinion is the most underrated Chanel perfume ever.
I go to the nail salon once a week. There's one place called Blow, but it's like 500kr for nails. Now I get them done at Classique Nails in Vesterbrogade. I always do a nude, Bubble Bath from OPI or Rouge from Chanel. I hate blue colors. That's the color of dead nails. When you're dead you'll have blue nails—why do you want that now? I don't get it."
—as told to ITG
Liv Winthers photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Copenhagen on August 12, 2016.