"It’s been a bit of a strange year. I’ve just made some changes in my life, and now that I’ve gotten those changes underway I’m thinking, 'What can I do next?' My father died unexpectedly, so I’ve been taking it slower. Not making any crazy changes. I’ve also been sober for the past two years, which has been great. I don’t totally know what I want to do yet, but it’s exciting to start figuring it out, and being at Aveda has kind of left room for that. I’ve been in Toronto for almost seven years. Before that, I was living in Seoul, South Korea, where I taught English for a year. That’s a very nice place to live for beauty. I have always been a visual person. I love looking at art, and I do like to wear makeup. It’s so fun to do like, a colored eyeshadow to match a top, and I love being able to use social media to share that with people.
I just like beautiful things. Julia Roberts, I love. Any era of hers. I’m really into an Ali MacGraw kind of look. I’ve done everything with my hair, but as of late, I just cut some little shag bangs. I think I saw a photo on Instagram and decided to do it. Once I get an idea, I get obsessed and have to make it happen right away. So I got my friend Laura Molton, who’s a barber, to cut my hair. She hasn’t done women’s hair in years, so she watched a YouTube video to figure it out. [Laughs] And I love it! Aveda has a new scalp care line that’s great. It smells like grapefruit. Sometimes my scalp is weird—the oil levels get imbalanced, like either dry or oily. But the first three ingredients in this scalp cleanser are the same as the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser, so it’s about treating the skin on your scalp like you would any other part of your body. It’s been really helpful. Our Dry Remedy Moisturizing Conditioner has beregine oil in it, which is really good. I think it’s the best conditioner I’ve even used. I like my hair to feel fluffy, but also pretty weighed down, which is why right after I wash it, I’m putting things in it. Right now, I’m using this [Aveda] product called Nourishing Styling Creme, which is great with or without blowdrying your hair. Which I never do—I wash once a week and let it airdry.
My skin routine can kind of vary depending on the time of year. In the winter, I’m using lots of oils. In the morning I use a drybrush on my face—on clean, dry skin—and then I do a little oil massage and cleanse it off. It’s really gentle. Then I use a gel or a foaming cleanser. We have a really great Botanical Kinetics Liquid Exfoliant that I find is great if I have breakouts. Right now, I’m using the Outer Peace Foaming Cleanser and it’s good at getting rid of excess oil. The Aveda Calm Concentrate I’ll use before moisturizing, that’s great for calming any redness. Then I use this Botancials Hydrating Lotion. In the summer it’s a nice, light lotion as well. So good. I’ve been using that for five years, probably. Or, I love the Fresh Sugar Face Polish for face. It makes my skin feel amazing afterward—no pores. Speaking of, my favorite Korean beauty product is Dr. Jart Pore Minimalist, because it’s deep cleansing and you can see a result right away. At night, I do have this Aesop Blue Chamomile Facial Hydrating Masque that I keep on overnight. I also love cooling products, like this Milk Makeup Cooling Water. In the morning, it’s really nice to put under my eyes. I just put it on bare skin, but I bring it with me when I leave the house, and I’ll put it on top of my makeup if I need it. It’s reinvigorating. I can’t have a third coffee today so where’s my Cooling Stick? [Laughs]
I’ve been using the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation for four or five years. It doesn’t look like I’m wearing a full face of makeup and it wears really nicely throughout the day. It’s kind of expensive but I just buy it anyway. Anytime I’ve tried to switch my foundation, I don’t like it! I always go back. If I feel like doing something else, I put on Nars Light Reflecting Loose Powder to set. And generally, just a highlighter of sorts. Obviously, like everyone, I have Nars Orgasm. But, I also really like this Shimmering Skin Perfector from Becca. And then there was a powder one that I really liked as well. I don’t know, I like to have luminous skin. I’m really into highlighters, but I don’t really wear any bronzer or anything. But I don’t do anything with my eyebrows. I don’t even pluck them. I have this clear Nars Brow Gel, and I sometimes give them a little brush because they’re so thick.
Generally, it’s either an eyeshadow or a lipstick for a look. Sometimes, I do an orange eyeshadow with a red lipstick. I really love a good orange-tomato combo! For eyeshadow, I love Nars Rated R and MAC in Brown Script and Goldenrod. They’re all kinds of bold! I think sometimes I’ll see an image or something and be like, 'Oh…I want to have that.' I have a turtleneck that’s similar to the Goldenrod color, and maybe I want my eyeshadow to match that. I love this MAC Genuine Orange too. I’ll put that on my whole eyelid and this MAC orange eye gloss on top—that makes the orange look really good. With mascara, I used to spend a lot of money on the YSL Babydoll one, but now I’ll kind of use any mascara. With lipstick, I’ve always been drawn to this kind of purple-y shade, like the Audacious Nars Lipsticks—those are is beautiful.
I lived in Korea six years ago, so nothing has survived except for this Chanel nail polish. Dior Nail Glow is my favorite though. It’s worth it. Your nails look so pink and healthy. It’s just a nice polished look. I’ll definitely start wearing that again. Accord Oud is my favorite Byredo fragrance, because I really like how it smells on me. I always get compliments when I wear it, which is a good thing. I can usually just use a spray and it carries on for a while. It’s kind of musky, warm and spicy…But still clarifying. I like it so, so much."
—as told to ITG
Katie Merchant of @thankyou_ok photographed by Tom Newton on Thursday, June 8, 2017.