"When I was young, I really loved the idea of Hollywood and movie stars. That whole Hollywood glamour, the dreaming... It was all about creating this kind of fantasy by playing dress-up. I used to take my mother's lipstick and heels and Versace purse and put all the outfits together. Of course, I had no idea what styling was at the time. It wasn't until after I graduated from RISD that I started assisting Beat Bolliger on jobs for V magazine and Vogue. I've done a lot of editorial since then—Self Service, Numero, plus L'Oréal and Victoria's Secret, and others... It's really snowballed.
I style some girls, too, which is a whole different thing. Every girl is unique, and you have to listen to her and ask questions. What do they think? What do they want? I'm there to elevate and present ideas. It's kind of like when you're getting dressed to go out—I ask myself, 'Where are you going?' I love people and I love going out. A chic fun dinner and an elegant house party is my favorite—my friends and I will go to Chateau Marmont for dinner and end up at an amazing house party, or at karaoke. Unexpected fun. I tend to go with more of a '90s vibe—I love Kate Moss' look during that time. But then I also love this kind of decadent, very French Vogue, Helmut Newton-meets-Michelle-Pfeiffer feeling. You can't be perfectly glamorous all the time, but those elements of richness and decadence... It's exciting to play with.
But I'm still being myself. When it comes to beauty I like it that kind of raw, undone vibe, and at night I'll do more of a look. Sometimes I'll have a makeup team, but I always do my own hair. I don't like it big—I like natural, almost surfer hair. Mine is thin, but there's a lot of it, so it's delicate and I can't blow dry it. Alterna is the best shampoo line I've ever used, the Volume Shampoo and Conditioner. I don't wash it every day, though. I'm obsessed with Gun-Britt's Stardust Hair Powder, but since you can't get it in America, I'm using Klorane Dry Shampoo right now. It's a great brand, and the product gives a lot of volume.
My color is Lena [Ott] at Suite Caroline. She does a lot of models, and I've always loved a cross between Malgosia [Bela] and Doutzen [Kroes]. I like a dusty blonde. Once a week I'll do the Christophe Robin Baby Blonde Hair Mask—you leave it on your hair wet for at least 10 minutes, and that'll take out a lot of the red, rusty tone to get me back to the color I really want. I try to comb it, wait until it's dry, and then I brush it a bit. Then hairspray—Elnett is great.
I'm confident doing my own hair, but it's the same thing with [false] lashes—you've got to practice a little bit. I set mine with tweezers, on gray tinted glue because the white one dries strangely and can be a bit clumpy. I like the Ardell single lashes because whole lashes are kind of heavy. Otherwise, I'll wear waterproof mascara like Diorshow. Or Maybelline Colossal Lash, or Charlotte Tilbury Full Fat Lashes. I jump around with mascaras, it's where I tend to experiment. Generally speaking, that product is kind of the same across the board. I'm not married to one, and I don't think you need to spend $75 on a mascara. But I'll see a new one with microfibers or something, and I'll have to try it. [Laughs]
Usually I wear Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude. I love Laura Mercier for skin, but Make Up For Ever makes great foundations for nighttime as well. I use Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze and Glow palette all the time. She makes my favorite nude lipstick, I literally use it every day, called Hepburn Honey. And her nude Lip Cheat Pencil, ugh. It's so natural and so pretty. The Tom Ford minis are great for the girls who are deciding whether to take the phone or the lipstick. That's so funny to me. I wear Sable Smoke.
I'd never wear a red lip or something like that. I always admire it when I see it out, but it's too much for me. I drink so much water that it'd be ruined right away. Eyes, however, I'm unafraid of. I generally do an eye and a lash—a '70s, Scarface, kind of nude-gold look. Tom Ford's Silvered Topaz is great, or I use Charlotte's Filmstar on my eyes, and I only use kohl eyeliner. I have Chanel that I love, Nars, MAC, they're all good. The best kohl pencil is something that's soft and melts onto the eye. To name my favorite is going to kill me. Tonight I'm wearing MAC's Lip Liner in Stone on my eyes. If a product is great for one thing, you've got to get creative. Ultimately it's all going on our face, right?
Generally, I like that dewy look. There is one powder I like from Laura Mercier—the Loose Setting Powder, and the Jane Iredale Amazing Matte Loose Finish Powder is great too. YSL's Touche Éclat is another good product... You can tell I love makeup. But I think it’s so beautiful, the packaging is amazing. I love the Chanel packaging, and the YSL packaging. I’m a makeup hoarder, I don’t even use it all. I just hoard it. It’s a thing!"
—as told to ITG
Elizabeth Sulcer photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on January 13, 2017.