"I'm in New York a lot. And every time I'm in New York, I'm out every night—it's a bit much. After a week, I'm ready to go home. Tonight, I'm going to the Unicef Snowflake Ball, which I'm sure will be beautiful. But honestly, my idea of a fun night out is something like being in the middle of America in a pickup truck drinking a Bud Light.
My makeup always depends on what I'm wearing. Tonight, it's a sparkly dress, so I'm not going to go HAM with my makeup, y'know? I prefer to look natural usually, not do anything too wild. Hung [Vanngo] is doing my makeup tonight and he's so good at that natural, sexy look without going overboard. He used La Mer to prep my face, which is not really an everyday thing for me. But I do love skincare—that's what I spend my money on. I just started seeing Shani Darden after a friend recommended her to me. She has this retinol called Reform that I use at night before I go to bed, and it is so good.
Sometimes before I go out, I'll do a mask—I swear I've tried every one. There's so many, but I really like Tracie Martyn's Complexion Savior. It doesn't make your face red afterwards. There's also the Glamglow Supermed Clearing Treatment everyone has that I'll use when I need something harder-core—but not before an event. You're not going to want to use something that might irritate your skin. Something moisturizing like Christine Chin's Soothing Hydrating Masque is what you want.
A lot of nights, what I do is I get a little tipsy and give people facials! They’re like, ‘Riley, no! Stop!’ But it's what I always want to do, especially if I get new stuff. I’ll go home, have some wine, and be like, I want to give you guys a facial. They’re like, ‘Oh my God, no.’ I need to get a steamer, though. I do have LED lights at home. Half the fun of those is using them on other people. I think I should have been an aesthetician, honestly.
My bare minimum for going out is lipstick and curled eyelashes. All the Chanel reds are really good—they really pull you in and their formula is amazing. I have this box full of them that I got at a party that I've never even touched because it's so beautiful. The Chanel Rouge Double Intensité is also nice—it's the color on one side and then a gloss on the other. Those really stay on all night. I'll stick whichever I'm using in my purse along with a Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm. Most lip moisturizers are kind of watery and come off pretty quickly. The Jack Black ones stay put though.
If I'm really going for it, I'll pull out the La Prairie Foundation. It's really expensive, but it's so nice. After I curl my lashes, I'll wear the thickening YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils or Diorshow Mascara—just on the top lashes. Sometimes I'll wear sparkles on my lids. It depends on my inspiration, which is anything from Ingrid Bergman, Rihanna, or Stevie Nicks. For me, the effort isn't really in the clothes—it's in the beauty look.
Tracey Cunningham does my color, but I don't really know how to describe what I have right now. Maybe accidental ombré? I had red hair a few years ago, but now she just puts a gloss on it and lightens it a bit. Other than that, I'm super natural with my hair. I go to Whole Foods and buy whatever’s in front of me. What I have feels like a giant mane, so it's easy to get lazy about it. It’s sort of the bane of my existence.
My perfume is constantly changing. It's not so much that I get bored, as I just really feel like certain scents are better for different occasions. I spend a lot of time in Hawaii, so when I’m there I like more natural, floral, hippie kinds of smells. Then when I go out, I like something more elegant, fancy...like Norell. To me, it smells like what a classic movie star would smell like, but it’s a little bit younger. I prefer the oil because you can put it everywhere. When I put perfume on, sometimes it like rubs off or fades, whereas oil just kind of sinks into your skin. You know you’re not missing a spot.
How I take my makeup off depends on where I am. I’ve been in situations where I’ll stay at a friend’s house or be traveling and run out of makeup remover. In that situation, I’ll just scrub my face with hot water until it’s all off. It's not great, but you have to take it off, no matter how late you get home. Ideally, I use Bioderma and then use the Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches under my eyes. The other thing I'll do is use coconut oil to get my makeup off, because that really gets sparkles off, too."
—as told to ITG
Riley Keough photographed by Tom Newton in New York on December 1, 2015.
More starlets at night: The Avengers' Claudia Kim wears compression stockings to bed after going out, Twilight's Nikki Reed's beauty routine starts with a good playlist, and more of the Top Shelf After Dark this way.