The #ITGTopShelfie interview series focuses on the beauty routines of Into The Gloss' lovely, accomplished, and loyal community of readers. Submit your own on Instagram—post your Top Shelfie (tag us @intothegloss!) and include the hashtag #ITGTopShelfie for a chance to be featured on ITG.
“Hi, I am Evan Ross Katz (@evanrosskatz). I am a writer and general opinion-haver. Having strong opinions on the internet and being able to articulate them quickly trickle down into my normal work—I’m on the social media team for @Most, which is Netflix’s LGBTQ+ channel, I have a weekly column with Paper Magazine, and I host two podcasts. (One is called Shut Up Evan, which is an interview series with LGBTQ+ celebrities and allies, and the other is about Survivor.) I try to treat celebrity culture like a reporter would breaking news. It’s not all frivolous—there are moments where pop culture rises to be critical culture, and certain important conversations can spawn from pop culture. But I also have the wink in my eye about this brand of breaking news. There’s a lot of calibration between seriousness and being self-effacing. On the whole, it’s just meant to celebrate and have fun.
Pop culture had a foothold on me from the get-go. I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and lived there until I moved to New York for college. Growing up as one of the only out gay kids in my part of Pittsburgh, pop culture was very escapist. When Britney Spears’ first album dropped, I wanted to know every single song, every single lyric, everything I could about her. I was fascinated by it from a historical perspective, and studying Britney Spears lyrics was engaging to me in a way that studying a history textbook wasn’t. Eventually I started submitting pieces to Huffington Post’s Queer Voices, which was a great initial venture into the internet even though they didn’t pay. A friend told me that once I had three articles published on three different outlets, I’d really start to feel the momentum, so I started sending cold emails. It was a lot of luck and a lot of tenacity, but I was able to capitalize on the newness of digital media to get myself in.
I try to always have my ears and eyes open when people are bubbling up about a celebrity, and I follow a lot of fan accounts—those fan accounts, god bless them, are doing a lot of the boots on the ground work. But one thing that’s changed as I’ve gotten more quote-unquote successful is that I’ve been able to be in conversation with celebrities more. We tend to separate the celebrity from their humanity, and through my Instagram DMs I’m often reminded how much celebrities are people in all of the ways that make us people. For example, celebrities love gossiping about other celebrities. There was a long time where one of my default questions was about skincare, and I now know from experience that more often than not celebrities are giving you a skincare routine, not their routine. The products celebrities would like to message to you that they use are different from the bar of soap they actually use. For me, skincare is less about what I put on my face and more about the dirt I get off my face. Especially living in a city like New York. I actually think that I sleep easier, that I rest my face better on my pillow, when I know it’s clean.
My night routine starts with a foaming cleanser. I’m the king of using 10 pumps when it says to use two because I want to feel it on my face (suds are important) and know that I got into every crevice. I used to be really focused on my cheeks and forehead, but now I make sure to get behind the ears, under the beard, and all up in my hairline. Right now I’m using Peter Thomas Roth’s Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel, but I also like Hyram’s gel cleanser. Every third night I’ll do the Kora Turmeric BHA Brightening Mask. Then I do a mist, the Fresh Rose Floral Toner, maybe a serum like the Kora Noni Bright vitamin C. I use a lot of Kora products, and it’s not spon-con at all—it’s just one of those brands I discovered, really liked, and kept buying more of. The Hyram Niacinamide & Maracuja moisturizer is good for nighttime. Then I’ll put on overnight patches from Starface and an eye mask—for sleeping purposes, not beauty. It feels very Meryl Streep in She Devil.
I’ll wake up in the morning and rinse my nighttime products off before I go for a run. Running is a huge part of my life—I ran the 2017 and 2019 marathons. I love getting to see the city, and not having my head buried in a laptop or a phone. Then when I get home I take a shower. I swear by Molton Brown products—all of their shampoos are a delight, and I love their Purifying Conditioner with Indian Cress. My boyfriend fancies the Infusing Eucalyptus body wash while I love the Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel or Russian Leather most. I also wash my face multiple times in the shower. I don’t love doing it over a sink, because stuff drips, and in the shower I feel like I can go apeshit. I’m always going back and forth about morning moisturizing. It’s fucking humid as fuck in New York, and the first thing I’m going to do when I leave the house is wait on the subway platform, where everything is at its worst. For a while I tried bringing my moisturizer to work and applying it in the air conditioning, but I would forget, and also feel like I had to re-wash my face. And I can’t not moisturize, because I can see the difference in my skin. So I need to moisturize right out of the shower, and I need something that sinks in quickly. I like the Kora moisturizer, or I use the Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream. Finally, I use Supergoop’s Mineral Mattescreen and some Le Labo lip balm.
I’m a big proponent of facials. My preferred facial place is Rescue Spa, which is not a unique answer. I originally went there for a massage, which was not great. It didn’t feel like they wanted to hurt me. (Without saying too much, I’ve since found a Broadway celebrity masseuse, and I will never ever go back. The Broadway masseuse circuit is the best of the best because they’re massaging talent who are constantly working and straining their bodies.) Anyway, Rescue Spa: shitty massages, the best facials by a longshot. They’ve given me the most consistent results. You how after a facial you just feel a little more buoyant? I wasn’t sure if I could achieve that feeling at home, but Tata Harper has an eight-step at-home facial that I’m obsessed with. The clay mask is really great in particular. Now I think you can do facials on yourself rather effectively.
I have to explain to a lot of men, even gay men, that the pedicure is not just getting your toenails painted. Pedicures have become so important to me as a runner, because I put my feet through so much. I always pay extra for them to wrap my feet in Saran Wrap, put honey on me, or what have you. I don’t want to touch my feet, I don’t know what’s down there, but I can mostly take care of my own nails. I didn’t used to notice people’s nails, but now that I do it’s the only thing I can ever see. You learn a lot about a person by getting a glance at their nails. When I go to Jinsoon for a manicure I do a clear coat, but I’m not opposed to color.
I wasn’t gifted with great hair—I’m not Jake Gyllenhaal—but I have great eyes. When I’m blonde my eyes pop more, which makes my whole face better. I wouldn’t even say it’s blonde as much as white. I really like that sort of Anderson Cooper color. David Lopez, who does Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Graham’s hair, is my hair colorist. He does really fine-tuned, adept work. And Davide Marinelli, who is the best hairstylist in the city, does my cut. Oribe was always my hair guru, even though I never met him, and I somehow got invited to his funeral. That’s where I met Davide, who was one of his disciples. I’ve been going to him every two weeks since. It’s much more expensive than going to my local barber, and me of two years ago would have just gone to the barber. But the me of now understands that I move about the world differently with my Davide haircut. The artistry of something I once thought was so simple! Getting a great haircut, getting a facial so my skin looks good, getting a pedicure… all of these things are extremely important. I feel better!
My relaxation time starts with a joint, or my Volcano, which is much healthier. Jazmine Sullivan on the stereo. A Pelegrino… or a case of Pelegrino. A white wine and a red wine—I don’t want to stick to one. And then I sit around and watch TV. I unplug when I watch Survivor, Housewives, or Buffy—although I guess that’s still somewhat “plugged,” because it’s plugged into a wall. Right now I’m rewatching season one of Girls, which I’m really enjoying. It’s a lot smarter than I was aware of the first time around. I pride myself on not being that person who’s checking their phone under the table at dinner. (Although, obviously I’m making this assessment, so it might not be totally objective.) When I am on my phone I am very on my phone, and when I’m not I try to be very not.”
—as told to ITG
Photos via the author