Meredith Melling, Co-Founder, La Ligne


"Before I started my company, I was at Vogue for 16 years. Vogue was kind of a dressed-up place, so there wasn’t a big shift between what you wore to work to what you wore going out—you could pretty much change your shoes and be ready for a cocktail party. A lot of my friends who are lawyers and doctors were like, ‘You wear that to work?’ There were so many relationship-building events in the evening that I had to go to—it was tiring, but I liked meeting up with the editors from other magazines there. There was a lot of camaraderie. I would have to be in the office at 8:30 the next morning, so I could have fun—just not too much fun. [Laughs]

My kids get up at 7:00, and I usually don’t go out to dinner until 8. I think you can do both as a parent—it’s important to still get out there. I mean, yes, I am more tired at the end of the day—but it's good, especially in these nascent stages of our brand, to be out there and staying in touch with people. Also, I like it—I love the city, I love new restaurants and all of the creative energy that comes at night. If I’ve had a long day and I have to go to a party, I will come home first because I don’t have to dress really fancy at La Ligne every day. I go into my bathroom, put on music, and I pour myself a dressing drink. It’s just a glass of wine, nothing too strong. Then I clean my face, even if I didn’t wear makeup to work that day, and start with skincare. Sometimes I use this Watermelon Serum Stick—you rub it all over your face, and it leaves you a little rosy and moist. For night, I’ll typically wear foundation to even out my skin—I like the Armani Maestro with SPF. I use the Clé de Peau concealers under my eyes to get rid of any bags—that’s a big thing. I don’t feel like there’s one color that really works, so I’ll make a little palette of them. I feel like it’s really masking—I know some people find them too thick, but I like the matte-ness of it all. I use the Clé de Peau concealer on my scar, too. I had thyroid cancer, and it’s all out of my body now after two surgeries, but I always have to cover my scar so it doesn’t get dark. I’m religious about that, day and night, and this has SPF 25. I am very blue-black under the eye, so I don’t ever put mascara on my lower lashes, even though mascara is one of my big beauty things. I feel like it draws attention to darkness under my eyes. On my cheeks I just use the Benetint because it goes on really light, and I do like three strokes and rub it in. Then, I always do my bronzing, and I’m still old-school with the Guerlain Terracotta Bronzer all over, and on the neck. Then eyes—I rarely do anything on the lip. Just Aquaphor.

Before bed, I do La Mer with this Tan Luxe The Face. I don’t really go in the sun much, but I like to have a little glow. I have these Cle de Peau wipes, and I’ll take the makeup off first and then cleanse with the Malin & Goetz. I love the SK-II masks, but I don’t usually do them before I go out. I will sometimes go to my freezer and wrap a bunch of ice cubes in a cloth and lay there for a minute to decompress.

I think sometimes the girl in a T-shirt and jeans is the coolest girl at the party. I would always rather be slightly underdressed than overdressed. There’s something I really appreciate about looking natural and like yourself. But I do like a costume. I went to my friend’s birthday party when I was pregnant with [my daughter] India, and it was a themed party so I really went for it and I wore black lipstick and had black feathers in my hair. The black lipstick was actually really chic, and my husband was like, ‘You should do that sometimes, you should just wear a black dress and black lipstick, it looks so good on you.’ I thought, ‘Maybe I’ll do that!’ When I do go out at night, I usually amp up my eye. During the day, I usually just curl my lashes. I don’t wear mascara—I have naturally long, full lashes. For night, I’ll take this Milk eye quad called Day Goals—it’s not too powdery, it stays on, and it’s neutral. I put one shade on my eyelid and another one on my crease. Then I swipe the Milk Highlighter on my cheekbones at the end.

Because I have long lashes, I wear brown mascara—the black mascara sometimes gets a little too dramatic and spider leg-y. I use the YSL gold tube, and it has a medium-thick brush. I have black, if I want it. I don’t do liner—I just wet a brush a little and smudge on darker shades [of eyeshadow] on the lid. When I used to use eyeliner pencils, I would put it on, and keep wiping it off and wiping it off until it was just a blur of what it originally was. That’s why I like these not-too powdery shadows. I’ll wear lip gloss if I’m trying to be fancy—I’m into shine, but it’s probably the Kardashian effect. And I have this—it's the funniest Hermes powder [ed note: discontinued] that my mother-in-law got me a while ago, but it’s really good. It’s a body powder, and it just gives you the shine. I live for a lot of deep-V necklines, so I’ll put it on my chest.

I wear Coco Chanel fragrance every day, and I really have been in a Tom Ford mood. Summer nights I’ll do Jo Malone—I love the Lime and Basil, and the Wild Bluebell. It just feels lighter. Tom Ford Jasmine Musk and Urban Musk are good for date night. Jason Wu also just sent me his fragrance, and it’s cute, it’s monogrammed, but I actually really like the scent. It’s nice and light, so I’ve been wearing that a little bit too—for night, not for day. I’ve been wearing the Coco since my teens.

I’ve been going to the same colorist since I moved to New York—Kyle White at Oscar Blandi. And then Andre Rodman does my cut. It’s pretty short! I have naturally very curly hair, so it dries and I don’t like it down unless I have a blowout. Whereas my longer hair, if it was curly, it was more beachy and bohemian and weighted down. Now it’s very curly. I use Living Proof products, which I really like—the Instant Repair, or sometimes the Nourishing Cream on humid days. Dry shampoo because, if I do get a blowout, I like to make it last for at least a couple of days—that’s a good excuse to not go to the gym. [Laughs] And then, this stuff Andre recommended to me a long time ago. It’s texturizing and smells like cake…except it’s called Dirt! I remember I was at a party once, and Jenna Lyons was like, ‘Your hair smells amazing,’ and I was like, ‘It’s got Dirt in it!’ And I sent her some."

—as told to ITG

Meredith Melling photographed in New York by Tom Newton on June 12, 2018.