"I'm from LA. I grew up in Malibu and Santa Monica and then I went to the New School at Eugene Lang and I studied consciousness as my major. I meditate with Headspace, but not as much as I should. I do acupuncture and cupping with a doctor named Dr. Chong in Koreatown. He's my general doctor and also my therapist. I also do cosmetic acupuncture on my face and I love it. I think it's good for someone who has a puffy face, not for someone with a hollow face. I also go to this woman named Joomee who basically just massages my mouth. She's amazing. Moreso than anything, I believe in Chinese herbal teas. That has changed my life, straight up.
I find beauty and skincare really fun. It's similar to painting. I started to realize that about applying everything and taking care of your face. I wasn't obsessed [with skincare] until later in my life though. My mom is not into any of that shit. She doesn't care about clothes and doesn't care about beauty products, but she's 64 and looks like she's 40.
Makeup has always been very exciting for me. I like the glam of it. I love '70s and '80s makeup references, like young Janice Dickinson. Those makeup looks were so good. When I first started using makeup, I was very lost. I'm pretty sure the first thing I bought was a bad foundation that didn't match and green eye shadow. I was like 12. It took me until a few years ago to fully figure out what works for me and learn about my face. I was reading about how Marilyn Monroe studied herself in mirrors for hours to figure out how to move her face and body, so I got a 360 [degree] mirror for my room so I can see everything, even the back of my head. I have a longer face, so I like to widen it a little bit and bring light to the center. Those were things I didn't know about.
I use the horribly expensive Sisley primer. I don't always use it, but if I'm going out for a while, and I don't want shit to move, I use it. I stand by it. Price will convince me something's good—which isn't always true—I'm a sucker. But that really works! I use the Clé de Peau Concealer in Honey. Sometimes I use the Fenty concealer. Thank God for Fenty. So affordable, so good. I generally don't like to use foundation because I think it ends up looking like too much. I started using the Chanel CC cream, which has sunscreen in it, and it works perfectly. I love blush. I think blush is such a cute thing—I love rosy tones in general. I love Cloud Paint in Haze. But I never smile when I put my blush on. I think that's a faux pas actually because your cheeks go down after you're done smiling and so then your blush is lower than it should be. I put it on where people put highlighter. I go all the way to the end of my cheek bones, into the hairline. Always into the hairline. My friend Lily got me this Canmake Cream Cheek. It's amazing and I'm so upset because I'm running out. If I'm trying to look like I'm not wearing makeup, that's what I use. I also just got this lilah b. one in b. fearless. I like it because you can use it on your lips too. Sometimes if I'm in a rush, I'll just put lipstick on my cheeks and my eyes. If you have a lipstick, you're kind of set with your whole makeup look if you need to be. I'm really tan and my face naturally looks lighter so I try to bring color back into my face after putting color correcting cream on. I use bronzer all over my face. I think the Tom Ford Bronzing Powder in Terra is the best because it doesn't have any glitter. Pat McGrath's stuff is amazing too. Her highlighter is one of the best highlighters I've ever used in my life. I don't really use highlighter anymore actually but the Perricone MD No-Highlighter Highlighter is really good for that nose highlighter [look] that makeup tutorialists do.
I'm fully down for a sexy cat wing. In general I like to feel feminine and sexy with my makeup. I like black eye liner a lot, and I think that look really suits me. The Persian eye—it's a thing. I started embracing that more. In the Middle East, they use this amazing kind of eyeliner that's made of burnt almonds. I guess it's probably what Cleopatra also used. They use a camel bone to apply it because it doesn't splinter. I love it. It gets really messy and ashy. I use it if I'm doing a hardcore black eye. The problem with it is that you have to be so steady and patient about it and I will never use it if I don't have time. I need like a full hour and a half and I'm already a late person, so I try to normally go for my basic look [Laughs]. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof eyeliner is my go-to. I don't fuck with liquid eyeliner, it's not a good look for me. I love Boy Brow in Black usually. I kind of like making my eyebrows look a little darker than they are. I used to have pencil thin eyebrows in high school. That was the look. It was so exciting for me when thick eyebrows became cool because that's my natural thing. I use the Sisley Phyto-Eye Twist Crayon in 11 which is a coppery tone. It looks good on every person that uses it. I use it on my lid and on the outer edges. I do it on my brow bone to make it look like I have a shadow that goes up. If I'm going for super glam, I use purple eyeshadow from this By Terry palette. I think it works super well with brown eyes. I'm a very matchy person so if I'm doing a navy look, I'll do a navy eye.
I love lipliner. The Sisley one is super hydrating. I also like Charlotte Tilbury lip liner as a base to make my other lip liners stick. This one is Iconic Nude. I also use it to overline. I really like this YSL Maquillage Palette for Lips because it stays on really well. It's like a tint. They had a deal on it at the airport so I was easily convinced. The Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb is amazing too. I'm really into moisturization, so I'll put on a thick ass layer of Biologique Recherche Biokiss Lip Balm or straight-up Paw Paw Ointment.
I pretty much wear a pony tail almost every day, which I'm trying not to do anymore. Ninety-nine percent of the time I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing with my hair. Sometimes it's straight and sometimes it's temperamental. I used to use keratin for years to make it soft and silky but now I love the curls. I just got a haircut for the first time in three years. I'm really bad with a curling iron and really bad with a blow dry so if I want to glam it up I do twists in my hair. It's so much easier than doing braids. I use Komenuka Bijin Moisturizing Hair Shampoo. You can buy it at any health foods store. It's the best simple, basic, straight-to-the-point, everyday shampoo and it's sulphate free. The guy who cut my hair recently told me to get this Davines OI shampoo and conditioner. Their products smell so good. They have a blueish shampoo that's actually really good for brunettes because it gets rid of brassiness. I just got the Oribe Serene Scalp Anti-Dandruff Shampoo because I get buildup. I think it's one of the best dandruff shampoos I've used.
If I'm taking my makeup off, I go for the Ponds Cold Cream. Classic old lady shit, because I use this Serge Lutens mascara that doesn't come off. Normally I use the Biologique VIP O2 Milk Cleanser in the shower. I also use the Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser and the Bioderma Sebium cleanser. I'm a hydration junkie. I use Essence 27 stuff from ME Skinlab. Joomee gave me this hyaluronic acid, Hale Cosmeceuticals Dermist M3 Hyaluronic Acid and normally I use the Hydra-Global Sisley cream. I think it's the best; I just made my mom buy it. I use it day and night—it never lets me down. I just love moisture and I know in the end it's going to keep me young. I use the Biologique Mask VIP O2. I'll use it literally any time—that's why I love it. It's good for tired-feeling skin and you can add it on top of other masks which I really like. I put a very thin layer on my face and then I'll put a thick layer on my lips and eyes. It makes your lips bigger because it's soothing, plumping and oxygenating. I forget that my skin is an organ and I'm actually feeding it. For a pimple, I'll use Lotion P50 too sometimes. It generally works. No matter what, I think water and patience is what you ultimately need to be doing. I make myself drink a full bottle of water before bed, and a full bottle when I wake up. I jade roll and I think it's amazing. For sunblock, I use the Glossier Invisible Shield. It makes your skin look so nice. If I'm at the beach or if it's really sunny, I'll use the Chanel SPF 50 because it's a little bit stronger. I never burn or peel but I went to Tahiti recently and I learned my lesson.
BODY + SCENT
I really like the Le Labo Lys 41 Massaging Oil. I also started buying this Wild Nourish Coconut Sugar Scrub. It's become my favorite thing. [The ingredients] are so simple, you could probably make it yourself. I'm a scent junkie. Doll by Mondo Mondo is really girly and what really sold me on it is that it has Persian notes—rose and saffron. I like florals. My other go-to favorite is Carnal Flower by Frederic Malle. I like Tom Ford Jasmine Rouge too. I match my perfume with my outfit, just for the vibe. It's a full look."
—as told to ITG
Leila Rahimi photographed by Tom Newton on March 15, 2018.