Stevie Dance, Fashion Director, Pop Magazine


"I’ve been at Pop for…I can’t even count the number of years, but sort of since I moved to New York. I’m a fashion director there, and, it’s an amazing experience. I think I’m different from a lot of stylists because I don’t contribute to a bunch of different publications—I’m quite focused. I think it gives me a lot of creative freedom. This year I started photographing my editorials myself. I felt like I had more I wanted to explore that I wasn’t able to express with just the tools of the clothing…there was something more I wanted to say. I shot a story with Bianca Balti, which was really fun. She was in for the fitting at Off—White, and I wanted to make sure she was in that show as well, because I’m also the stylist for that brand. It was so wonderful seeing the brand’s response to her because when she showed up it was like Sophia Loren had walked in. She is just so sweet.

There is something about that female form and warmth and sunniness that is really interesting to observe in a non-commercial way. And I think makeup and beauty products are amazing and fun—even though I grew up with a mother who never wore makeup and still doesn’t. I’m lucky enough to work with really talented people, and when you see makeup really bring someone to life and express something they weren’t accessing on their own, it’s magic. It’s this wonderful tool. Watching it at work does excite me, like the magic twists that can happen. In my personal life, I love it when my friends are out at night and have on a look. It’s so fun and expressive. I’m just new to it! The more [makeup] I put on, the more vulnerable I feel. But this was the year I definitely started exploring how different products might feel for me. And as you age, you find that what worked when you were 19 is no longer working at 34. Whenever I’m well slept and well fed and full of nutrients, that’s when I’m happy with my skin. When those things go away, that’s when I feel strange.

My self-care routine is largely diet based. Whatever I put in my system is weirdly almost like my makeup and it ends up shaping the way I am. I’m super organized when it comes to that element of my life, so I call myself vegan-ish. I think the way I approach beauty and health is very integrative. I will drink three green juices a day, but I am not afraid of French fries—which is the same philosophy I take to makeup. I just do what makes me feel good. Green juice makes me feel good!

I also take a stupid amount of supplements. I hate advising people on supplements though because it’s different for everyone and it’s a lot of trial and error. There is a real art to mastering it. It’s something I’ve been experimenting with for a long time, so now I feel more comfortable. I just started using this DHA-based supplement—I think all that good fat is super important. Spirulina is amazing, vitamins C and A too. I also take a lot of Chinese herbs. My mother is Chinese, and I have always believed in following certain steps your ancestors took, because it’s a part of your lineage. I also wholeheartedly believe in beauty being from the inside out. Like never have I looked or felt better when I feel good internally.

Maybe this year or last, I started working with Dr. Sturm on my skincare. She took my blood right on the spot, and her thoughts and the ideology behind her brand were so interesting to me. It’s all about working with what you have and re-energizing your system so that your skin recharges itself. Lucky for me, she makes my own cream that she mixes my own blood into…talking about it sounds so strange. Every other element of my routine is stuff that you can do yourself or find at an organic grocery store, but the Blood Cream is the one product that I’m a slave to. I also do facial acupuncture and I go to this amazing women in LA, Michelle Ching. I do that weekly and as often as I can with her. Sometimes it will be gentle, sometimes it will be restorative. She has been amazing.

When I have to go somewhere, sleep is the most important thing to me. I struggled with insomnia in my early 20s, so it’s something that haunts me sometimes. But to get out the door, I dry brush and then put almond oil all over myself before I have a shower. I find it really replenishing to my skin, especially because I find that water dries out my skin and I hate feeling dry. After my shower, I’ll cover myself in MSM lotion that I got from an organic grocery store. MSM is a supplement a lot of people take if they suffer from arthritis because it has connective tissue elements in it, but it’s otherwise a really simple moisturizer. Then I’ll use Dr. Strum’s Cleanser and blood cream. I’m addicted to this one thing—Sunday Riley Good Genes. There’s something about it, it’s very active. I will also always put on a sunscreen afterwards.

I love a mask. That’s my favorite going-out thing. Ultimately, if I could have acupuncture before going out, I would because it brings all…like it makes your face looked hugged. It feels really good. Sisley Black Rose is my favorite mask. I love it because I don’t get a reaction from it and it never gives me pimples. I love steaming it off my face—I’ll literally put hot water into a bowl and put my head over it. Or I’ll dunk my face in cold water. I’m very 1980s Crocodile Dundee.

I love a good lip balm, and I use the Clé De Peau concealer. My assistant laughed her ass off when I asked her if she had heard of it. She was like, ‘Everyone uses this.’ To be honest, one of the reasons I have never really played with foundation and stuff because I’m eurasian and because I’ve never found it easy to find my skin tone. This is Ochre, and the technique is clean hands and then just a tiny dab on pimples. I also got the Chanel Les Beiges compact. Then I use the Milk Holographic Stick, which is cool. But if I’m going to do anything really, I’m going to mess around with my lips. My friends take pity on me and they give me tutorials on how to use liner, and Alex Spencer swears by the Glossier Lip Gloss, so she showed me that. And I swear by Glossier Gen G in Jam. I guess I like lipsticks that you don’t have to get perfect.

I’ve worn the same perfume since I was 17—Narciso Rodriguez For Her. I also think that people would expect me to say that I make it from oil I get from my garden. [Laughs] But I like the idea of having one scent throughout your life. I apply that to style as well, because I just wear jeans and a white t-shirt whether I go out at night or not. I like the idea of being un-manicured—that’s kind of sexy. I like the idea that I don’t need change all the time and I think that once you find those things that you like, they kind of define you. That’s not to say I don’t admire those women who do play with all those things but I do like keeping things uniform. And the one thing people ask me about the most is what my scent is, and it’s always been the same.

My favorite, ideal night out is something that feels very intimate. I like going to house parties because I feel like at house parties people genuinely dance. You know, they’ll dance in the kitchen. People just let their hair down more. I wish I could say I was a great host but I like to Houdini—I like to go and then disappear. I zip in, have a wonderful time, give everyone a hug and a kiss whom I love, and then I'll call it a night and chill. I like to wake up in the morning and go for a run or a swim. I don’t really care what I’m drinking or if I’m eating veggies out of a cup. It’s more that there is an element of spontaneity and ease. The best night are the nights where you aren’t sure what’s going to happen. Either way, I will always have a shower and two massive cups of water when I come home from a night out. I’ll use this Cosmedix Intense Rehydrating Balm and Mask if I’m feeling really dry, and I will have a probiotic and a ton of water. I might also take some magnesium to help myself sleep, and call it a night."

—as told to ITG

Stevie Dance photographed by Tom Newton in New York City on December 16, 2017.