"Initially, I studied English literature in college, and then I somehow ended up in public relations. I worked in-house at a denim brand in Los Angeles, but really got this itch to work in New York. I reached out to everybody in my network, lined up some interviews, and took a week out there. Working in fashion, it just made sense to be at the epicenter. When I went to New York on work and I'd come back to the West Coast, I couldn't stop thinking about it. It was kind of like falling in love with someone.
I was originally hired at The Wall Group as Brooke Wall's assistant, but since she was on vacation I was asked to sit on the booking table, which is where all of the agents sit. It’s pretty much were all deals happen. They asked me to stay on as an Assistant Agent, which was amazing. I did that for two years before I was promoted to agent, and now it’s been five years at the group. I liken it to being a talent agent, a job I think people are more familiar with. But we work with these amazing artists. It's very gratifying in this job, to take someone who has raw talent but maybe not the best book and connecting them with the right people. It's a long process, but it almost always pays off.
I also just turned 30—I think that's why I've been more into skincare than anything else—and for whatever reason, I started breaking out like a teenager again. That’s when I started doing Shani Darden's Retinol Reform, and that's really helped. I’ve now gotten to that point where it doesn’t irritate my skin. I do retinol regularly, and I get regular facials at Heyday, and those help keep everything in check. I don’t do any clay masks really but I'll sometimes do a DIY mask. I’m really into turmeric, and I think it gives you a nice and healthy glow. I’ll take turmeric and yogurt, mix it together with a little bit of honey, and then wipe it off maybe after 10 minutes.
Shaffali Orange Blossom Moisture is my moisturizer, and it was recommended to me by a facialist at Heyday. It’s very light, but really hydrating. I put on my Skinceuticals SPF every day, and it has the slightest tint to it, which is nice because most sunscreens pill under makeup. Or cast some weird shadow. I was using the Tata Harper Contouring Serum for a while—I love her products. They’re all natural, but still have that luxury feel to them. Everything, to me, is about hydration. That also means drinking a lot of water as soon as I wake up in the morning. I really like Essentia water, which has a pH of 9.5 or higher. I don't know if it works, but psychologically, it makes me feel better. The other thing I do every morning is take a shower, and while I'm in there, I wash my face with Image Skincare's Vital C Cleanser.
I’m not one of those girls who can wash their hair every few days. I just don’t feel clean unless I wash it every single day. I use Plarmia products, which were recommended by my stylist at Sally Hershberger. It’s a Japanese brand and the packaging is cool, but it’s really to restore hair. I don't dye my hair, but I'm going gray very rapidly. I dyed it right before my wedding, but since then I've decided not to. There is natural hair dye and my stylist has been pushing me to do that—we’ll see. But he recommended that Plarmia Shampoo and it doesn’t weigh my hair down which I really like. Oribe products are my staples, and Ouai is great too, that's Jen Atkin's line and we represent her.
After the shower, I brush my hair, and I'll either air dry it or blow it straight. I’m not really married to a dryer, but I’m dying to try the Dyson. It dries your hair in three minutes which sounds amazing. Not really any styling products, though. Sometimes I'll use the Oribe Texturizing Spray when I flat iron my hair, just to lift it a bit.
I definitely get a manicure every week and a half—I go to this place right next to my office. The color alternates... Lately I've been liking Big Apple Red from OPI. I can do a deep red but not a true red, I like a bit of an orange tone. It’s a bit more summery. Or I’ll do a beige-nude that matches my skin tone. I always keep my nails short, I can’t stand having long nails.
On set, I’m always asking the makeup artist for product recommendations. They all have different opinions, but there's overlap...like the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation is well liked by a lot of different artists. I use that in the winter. I also really like Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer. I alternate, but I still haven’t found the perfect foundation yet. I want to still be able to see my skin. I don’t want someone to look at me and be like, ‘Nice makeup.’ That means I’m wearing too much.
If it’s summer time I can get away more with not wearing foundation and maybe just some concealer. I'll always curl my lashes with the Shu Uemura Lash Curler. For about a month or two I did lash extensions and hated it so much. It ruins lashes if you don’t maintain them properly and you can’t touch your eyes. I do love mascara, though. Lately I’ve been really into the Marc Jacobs Mascara in Velvet Noir. And I love a little black Sephora-brand liner on my upper lid if I’m up for it.
I'm not into contouring, but I do like blush—Chanel Rose Bronze is gorgeous and works really well. If I’m going out at night, I’ll put on a lip. And I do a lot of different ones. I’ll go through phases where I’ll be obsessed with one lipstick and then buy five of them. For the last few years it’s been Nars Afghan Red. Sometimes I'll switch it up with Heat Wave. I prefer a matte lip. The Dior Lip Glow has become a staple of mine as well. Day to day, I've been wearing the Glossier Cherry Balm Dotcom. I like it because it's natural but has the tiniest bit of color. And I love the smell... It reminds me of childhood, and drinking Icees."
—as told to ITG
Haniya Riaz-Khan photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on February 20, 2017.