Ligaya Tichy, Tech Partner, Vigilante Hospitality

“I grew up in a household of hippies in a meditation community in Fairfield, Iowa. My parents are hooked on that scene. After I graduated college, I went to Indonesia with my boyfriend at the time to learn about midwifery at my aunt’s birthing center there. Eventually our visas ran out, and my boyfriend was like, ‘There’s a great house music scene in San Francisco.’ This is around 2004, which was definitely not the heyday of house music, but there was still something going on. I had never even been there, but we came and I had a backpack, 300 bucks, a defunct cell phone, and a bunch of sarongs. I sat on Haight Street and sold sarongs and I slept on my friend’s couch for a while. At some point, I took a gig in commercial property insurance, which is where I learned about Yelp. I began reviewing, got invited to an event, and, four months later, started working there as office and HR manager before launching new markets for them. I saw the company scale from 10 people to a thousand.

Then, I became obsessed with Airbnb after a cross-country road trip in a 1982 VW bus I bought off eBay. I got in touch with them and 16 interviews later, I was writing content and leading their offline marketing internationally. These days I’m a marketing consultant, investing in female-oriented consumer tech companies like the direct-to-consumer lingerie company True & Co., lesbian dating app Her, and Nomiku, the first home sous-vide system. I love food and have invested in a few restaurants, too. Currently, I’m working with Vigilante, the operating company of the restaurant Oro. I help with design, marketing, and investor relations. There’s lots of exciting things in the works—Chef Jason Fox was just awarded a Michelin Star! So, you can tell, my day-to-day varies. Right now, I’m really excited about redoing the interior of Oro…

When I turned 30 [three years ago], I felt like I had to get a real beauty regimen and learn how to be a woman. I didn’t really know how to put on makeup, so I watched a ton of YouTube tutorials…fucking Michelle Phan! I don’t like foundation, so I use Stowaway’s Radiant Complexion Beauty Balm. One of the founders is a friend and her whole thing is that no one ever finishes a mascara, or whatever, before it expires. So let’s be practical about this and do everything in miniature. I couldn’t live without that balm. My eyes are my problem area, no matter how much I sleep, so I’ll dab Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer to hide the dark circles. And now I’m also hooked on Urban Decay Naked Flushed Blush and eyeshadow palettes. I discovered them because a friend always travels with their stuff, and one trip a bunch of us were all getting ready together, bumping Kanye, being ridiculous and drinking Champagne—one of those sessions. I like to put a little bit of highlighter under and around the eyes and on top of the cheekbone and then a little bit of blush on top of the cheekbones.

I’m half Taiwanese, and my eyelids and lashes are so straight that I can look stoned all the time. Shu Uemura’s eyelash curler is the best for flat eyes. Other curlers have too much curve—they don’t get all the lashes and pinch the lids. I stock up on the curlers every time we go to Japan. In fact we just got back a couple days ago and I hit up three different Shu Uemura stores in Tokyo trying to find the damn curlers and they were sold out. Finally I found them at the airport duty-free shop. For mascara, I swear I’ve tried every fricking formula under the sun. Shu Uemura has a very light formula for day and at night. I also use Bare Minerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara. I ordinarily don’t wear eye shadow but on the weekends if I’m going out I use a Nars Bellissima Duo and Lorac’s Front Of The Line Pro Eyeliner. I’m really specific about my wings—I like them to taper and be very thin. On my eyebrows I use Dior Powder Eyebrow Pencil.

In terms of lipstick, Birchbox featured The Balm Stainiac Lip Tint once and I was hooked. But Tom Ford’s Deep Mink is my favorite shade of all time. It’s a nudish-pink, and I found it because the woman at the Saks counter had it on and she had a similar complexion. If I’m going to an event, I’ll buy a lipstick to go with the outfit I’m wearing because I feel like lips bring people to life in photos. I bought Nars Volga Pure Matte Lipstick last fall when I was channeling Gwen Stefani. I wore it twice and people were like, ‘Wow that’s bold.’ The very first lipstick I got was a brownish red by Dr. Hauschka that my mom gave me when I was 15. It was when I first got my period…we went over to a neighbor’s house, there were a bunch of other girls there with their moms, and we sat in a circle and they talked to us about womanhood and what it meant. At the end, we each got a red rose and a glass of wine. Later that night, my mom gave me the lipstick. It was such a beautiful rite of passage. I always thought I would definitely do something like that if I have a daughter. We should celebrate that transition instead of it being an awkward, weird thing.

I’ve been using Mountain Ocean’s Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer since I was 14. It smells like sunshine to me. It’s very thin, but it gets rid of any ashiness. I’ve tried so many things on my hands and they’re either too sticky or too greasy. But I love generic argan oil. It’s like eight bucks on Amazon. I love Nars Body Glow for my legs. It makes you look like a sexy, tanned Gauguin goddess. But there have been embarrassing moments when I’ve worn a lighter colored dress and lifted up the hem and it’s brown.

I try to wash my hair only once every four days to protect the color. I love the way Oribe’s Shampoo and Conditioner For Beautiful Color smell. They’re citrusy, with a brightness and a depth that I really like. I can only deal with blow drying and curling my hair once a week, max. I use a dollop of Kérastase Nectar Thermique protectant on the ends and Bumble and bumble Thickening Spray on the roots. Ocassionally I’ll use Bumble and bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse instead of the spray. I had a bunch of wedding trials and the hair stylist used it to get volume and I was like, ‘Mousse? That’s so ’80s.’ But it really worked. Then I curl the ends under with a round brush—I think it’s a Conair but there’s no branding on it, heats up fast—and use the Babyliss Conicurl Styling Wand for the rest. The problem is there’s no clip, so you have to hold your hair. They give you a fuzzy black protective glove which is very bizarre. My husband Russell will be like, ‘What are you doing? That looks like a torture device.’ I’ve burned myself a couple of times. Then I run some Label.M Miracle Fibre through my hair to separate the strands. It’s like magic, I can’t live without it. You have to rub it between your palms so the fibers get really stretchy. Then you do a little scrunch.

I use Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Cleanser every day and Goldfaden MD Doctor’s Scrub Advanced once a week. I got a sample of it with something I bought off Net-A-Porter and it’s incredible. It has this grit that uncovers new fresh skin and a totally inoffensive scent. I’m really into scents. Then, in the evening, I use Sephora Supreme Cleansing Oil—it takes off anything and everything, and I have the type of skin that drinks up oil. That’s also why I think the Glossier Soothing Face Mist is so refreshing. I spray it first thing in the morning to wake me up. I also travel with it in a smaller bottle because it’s lifesaver on long plane rides. And there’s nothing better on the beach.

Luxaskin is based in San Francisco, and they use really fresh ingredients. I found out about them because our dogwalker’s ex-girlfriend is one of the owners and for Christmas one year they gave us a package. I’ve been buying the Amino Peptide Eye Gel now for three years. Sometimes though I’m too lazy to do anything and I’ll just use Yes To Cucumbers Wipes and call it a day.”

—as told to ITG

Ligaya Tichy photographed by Anna-Alexia Basile at her home in San Francisco on October 23, 2015. Interview by Emily Holt.

More boss women: Delpozo’s Indre Rockefeller wears body oil as perfume, Coty’s Catherine Walsh eats her way to better skin, and Clique Media’s Katherine Power extends the life cycle of her blowout in The Top Shelf

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Ashley Owens, Editor in Chief, Suited Magazine

“Originally I’m from Vancouver, Canada. My accent has pretty much gone away because I’ve been here in New York for eight years, and I lived in Seattle two years before that. It was the best [in Vancouver], there was a great contemporary art scene and a great music scene, but there’s really absolutely nothing related to fashion, which is what I do now. I was there 10 years ago and I was an athlete, so not into what people would think was fashion, and I was like, ‘I’m going to New York!’ And people were like, ‘Why would you leave here? It’s perfect!’

Tailoring’s always been so interesting to me. When I was five years old, I remember watching how my grandparents dressed and loving their tailored suit jackets, and my mom and my grandmother both wore a lot of shoulder pads. I watched Fred Astaire films, a lot of things with Cary Grant and Clark Gable, just seeing that kind of romance in dressing, and then I was a huge Audrey Hepburn fan, so I’ve seen all her films, everything she has ever been in.

Everyone said I had to go to Parsons, but to apply you have to have a serious portfolio, so I spent a year and a half just working on that before I could do anything else. Then I won this contest through Marie Claire, which was to go and meet Giorgio Armani, and I was a huge fan! A dorky, huge fan. He has this actual presence when he walks into the room. He’s really genuine, he’s very personable. He put me in the front of his show the next day and he brought me to his after party. I had just turned 19 and at the time I thought I was just such a grown-up and now, looking back, I was so bright-eyed. After I got back from that, it gave me the extra push I needed, because I think I would have gotten distracted and not made it through school.

When I graduated, I started designing for a company called Veronica Beard. Mainly, I wanted to work in local production. It bums me out that designers have to be super market-driven in order to survive, so fashion is no longer ‘the dream,’ at least if you want to make any money. There’s a lot of talent out there, but brands usually only survive three or four years, especially in the menswear industry. By that point I had this nickname, ‘Grandpa Style,’ which started back in school because I would wear vests and high-waisted pants and pleats and plaids. After a while, I started a WordPress that was supposed to be a blog about quality over quantity and to kind of create that conversation about craft…and almost immediately after I started posting, Mr. Porter’s team jumped on and was like, ‘Hey, we want to work with you,’ and it just kind of snowballed in terms of creating content. Then about a year ago, I started laying out the plans to print Suited Magazine, which came out this past February. I really want it to have a socially conscious message as a publication—if someone is really honest with themselves and honest with what their work is, than can show through their design and I think it can help create a better world.

I have skin that’s been problematic for 10 years and I have a soy allergy, which causes inflammation and breakouts. But soy is in everything, and I’ve discovered that there’s even soy in my products—like vitamin E is a derivative of soy, so I can’t use anything with vitamin E. I’m really trying to be [strict about it] because when you’ve broken out for 10 years, you’re over it. Once I found out it was soy, my skin got much better, but before you figure out what it is, you go through denial of everything. You can’t eat processed food, you can’t eat out, it’s crazy, so it took me a while to deal with it and get into eating that way.

In the last two years, I’ve started seeing a dermatologist, Elizabeth Hale. She got me on Retin-A and that’s the only thing that’s ever worked for my skin. Right now I’m doing it once a day, but I’m probably going to go back to vitamin C and a glycolic toner–that was my regimen for a while. I’m a little bit of a special case with that because I have friends who barely have to wash their faces and they’re like, ‘Oh, I just splash water on it!’ Their skin is phenomenal, and I’m like, ‘How?’ With [Retin-A] it makes your skin really dry so that means that I use a lot of floral extracts like rose oil, jojoba oil. I actually used Chanel Hydra Beauty Créme because I was like, ‘Whatever’s the best!’ That actually did a really good job.

At night I wash with the Grown Alchemist Gentle Gel Facial Cleanser, and then I dry and wait for a while to put the Retin-A on—for maybe 20 minutes. It’s better when your skin is dry and you don’t have any water on it. Then put on a little bit of Grown Alchemist’s Matte Açai and Borago Balancing Moisturizer, or Grown Alchemist Detox Serum Antioxidant +3 if I’m dry. In the morning I wash with pH balanced water—I use a filter that has a beauty water setting, which is a pH level of 5.5—and then I’ll spray Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence. My SPF is Mayron’s Goods Sun Stuff SPF 30. With the Retin-A, SPF is so important, so I’ll usually do a layer of SPF, especially if I’m going to the beach…I’ll have SPF and then a giant hat. Smith’s Rosebud Salve is just my everyday balm.

If I do have soy, I get purple under my eyes. The reaction isn’t intense, but I can see it, so I’ll use Sephora Instant Depuffing Roll-On Gel. For a time, I was using the Glamglow Supercleanse like a cleanser but that was way too intense while on Retin-A. Now I do it once a week and it’s good to exfoliate and detox. It just works, and it feels fresh and minty—an insanely fresh feeling. Other than that, I’m a huge Lush fan. I have Ultrabland, which I really love because it’s a great cleanser that does the job but doesn’t scrub too hard…I make sure I don’t scrub my face too much these days.

I didn’t wear any makeup in high school until I cut all my hair off at one point. It was not quite Mia Farrow, but it was really short—I looked completely unrecognizable because I also dyed it blond. I woke up the next morning, looked in the mirror, started crying, and I was like, ‘Shit!’ So that’s when I started wearing makeup. But that only lasted two years because I was done with it. I don’t wear a ton of makeup and, if I could, I would wear none. I do love it, though. I just want to look very natural. So I just have worn less and less and am figuring out how to refine that–wearing the makeup that looks like no makeup, but a little more groomed. I’m turning thirty and that whole thing.

CK One is my foundation—it has an SPF of 8, so I like to put it on. It’s really light and it feels like a tinted moisturizer, but it covers, and if I need more coverage under my eyes and under my nose, I’ll use this Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard. I use Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. The first time I used it I was like, ‘Oh, crap!’ It was way clumping and too heavy, but after I used it a few times, it was perfect. If I look in the mirror and I have raccoon eyes, that’s not OK. Or when you have mascara that’s clumpy and it gets on your face and it’s dusty. But I don’t really like waterproof mascara that you can’t get off at the end of the day. Then I do the BareMinerals Hydrating Mineral Veil over the top because I’m very oily. In the summertime I won’t put as much powder on because you’re just going to get sweaty anyway and then you’re going to get creases in your smile lines. But I really like that one in the spring and fall. Then I use my Nars [Laguna] Bronzer just below my cheeks as a slight contour. I have my Aqua Brow from Make Up For Ever that’s like a liquid eyebrow. I have a scar on my left eyebrow, so I like to fill it out, plus I had that moment in school when I over-plucked. For eyeshadow, I use dark brown Make Up For Ever on my lash line, and then I’ll use the Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner for right underneath the eye. A lot of days I barely put any makeup on, but this is what I’ll do if I’m going to look fresh.

I have so many hairstylist friends who I always just bump around from for cuts—I’m kind of a player. A friend of mine has a beauty product showroom, so he turned me onto this and I’m just obsessed. It’s the Grown Alchemist Shampoo and Conditioner with Damask Rose, Black Pepper and Sage. My hair is really dry, so if I don’t have something that’s really moisturizing, my hair goes crazy But I don’t like anything that’s too heavy and a lot of things make me break out along my jawline, so I have to find something that doesn’t have all the things I’m allergic to and is still really moisturizing.

After I wash, I usually use a sea spray like Sachajuan Ocean Mist. It’s great because it’s not a salt water, which dries my hair out. I was using TXT It Tousle Waves Spray from L’Oréal for a while, it’s good if I want extra wave. My routine is that I wash, I don’t really dry my hair, and I spray it. Now I’m kind of getting to the place where I’m like, ‘OK, I need to style my hair a little bit more.’ I’ll take an iron to the top because it’s super wavy. If I want some texture, I do use this pomade–it’s from Blind Barber. With some water, I’ll kind of twist the bottom [of my hair]. In the summertime there’s no hope for me in trying to get my hair straightened. I have a lot of hair and it’s going to get frizzy, so it’s better to put pomade in it and make it look like I came from the beach or something. My hair’s been like this for years and years, so I’m just embracing it.”

—as told to ITG

Ashley Owens photographed by Tom Newton in her home in Brooklyn on July 21, 2015.

Read about Jayne Min’s favorite masks to do on a plane and the best mascaras according to Jane Bishop in The Top Shelf.

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Isabel Toledo, Designer

“I’ve lived in this space long time—since ’95—but I moved to the States when I was 8. I was born and raised in Cuba, a place I’m actually looking forward to going back more often now since it’s easier…I have about 120 cousins and aunts there, so we’re in every corner of the island. All very strong women, and all beautiful individuals. When we left, we first moved to West New York, which had a great view of the city. It was like seeing the future. I think we got lucky that I had that close contact with New York. I always knew that I’d end up here.

As a kid, I was into not thinking about fashion. I had older sisters that were very much into fashion, and they were beautiful and they had bodies, and they had the looks—and I was a scraggly, skinny little insect. I was into sports and a great runner, that was my forte. But I was totally intimidated with the beauty aspect of life because, especially being Cuban, skinny was not a good thing. I hadn’t grown into myself, so I avoided it in every way I could—I wore jeans and a t-shirt and I didn’t want to go shopping because I had to face the fact that I didn’t fit into anything. So what I did—and this is why I came into fashion—I started taking my sisters’ clothes and adapting them to me. As they were done with their clothes, I took them. And I used to style myself and redo shirts. Maybe I was 10 or 11 years old and already I understood that I was in control of what I could look like. That’s how I learned about fit and how to train the eye to see things. Fit is such an important part of quality. That was my training.

When I went to school—FIT and Parsons—I took a lot of courses that had nothing to do with fashion. Ceramics, drawing…I knew I wanted to learn about fashion, but you do that by studying other things, too. At that point in my life, I understood the psychology of clothes, but I didn’t know there was a profession—I just did it because I loved it. And then once I graduated, my father kind of looked at me and wondered what I was going to do. I hadn’t found exactly what I was attracted to yet. And then I went to the Met, and I really learned how fashion is history, and I wanted to participate in my time. Since then, I’ve never worked a day in my life. I make clothes for people. Is that a job?

I love makeup the way an artist loves his paint. I mean it’s beyond pretty—it’s enhancement. It’s an expression of art, you’ve got this portrait in front of you and you can play. When I was young, I used to wear all the best colors, because there were all these little independent makeup artists that used to make these great things, like yellow eyeshadows. Back then I was always experimenting, and I think it’s a must for every young person to do. I mean, please experiment. That’s when you get that opportunity to just explore, to not be perfect at it, I think that’s just great, because you’re raw.

[My husband] Ruben and I collaborated with MAC on some colors and that was great. That team knows their stuff. Making it was like going shopping—what colors do you want? Now I only have a few left and I treasure them. With the collection, I wanted to create texture with makeup, something three-dimensional. It was about the lash for a lot of it. You know, if you have green eyeliner and you put on green eyelashes, now you’re three-dimensional with the makeup. It’s going back to sculpture, where my head is always at.

The first thing I really did with makeup, when I decided that I was going to be a woman, was pluck my eyebrows. Now that’s empowerment. And all I left was a pencil line! My mother almost killed me! I looked like Bowie. I let them get bushy again but in order for me to even think of beauty, I had to prepare my face. I plucked my eyebrows, and that totally gave me the permission to put on makeup. My mother couldn’t stop me now.

Another thing that goes back to my mother—and my grandmother—is pressed powder. I wear the Shiseido Powdery Foundation all the time, lightly for every day and then heavier if I’m going somewhere. Then I have a lot of eyeliners, I have to admit—my eyes are my biggest canvas. And eyes are easy for me. Lancôme Artliner has a great brush, MAC Smolder Eye Kohl is good when I want to smudge, and Lancôme Hypnose Mascara stays on forever. For blush, I have a lot of redder colors…Lancôme Color Design Blush is on the lighter side. That’s why the blushes I did for MAC were gradients, so you could have both ends of the spectrum.

I don’t leave the house without lipstick and earrings. I can put on a pair of glasses and go out, but I have to have the lips. I’ll do different colors, but red just feels like an extension of me. Chanel Rouge Allure in Pirate is a good red that I’ll apply differently depending on my mood. Like, very heavy on the inside but light on the outside…or I’ll really paint my lips. The real fun is in the doing. I don’t really care if someone likes it or not—it’s about what I find attractive. And Ruben loves me no matter what. I could put on anything and he’d be happy. That’s real love.

The one rule in my house growing up was brush your teeth and wash your face before you go to bed. I watched my mother do it, I watched my sisters do it, and I just used whatever they were using. That’s why I love Olay and things like that. Another one I still use is Johnson’s Baby Oil to remove my makeup. And when I’m just out of the shower and still a little bit wet, I put it all over. It really makes a big difference because you are massaging your whole body. Or sometimes I use La Mer. That’s the first thing I do.

The second step is once I come out of the shower, I put on perfume. You have to do it while you’re still hot so you can wear it on your body without it overpowering your clothes. I do it in sections that I call my North and my South. Right now, I use the fragrances I made with Lane Bryant—Kuba Rose smells sexy to me and I call it the lover’s scent. I can see how Ruben reacts to it and that’s simple enough. Then there’s Crystal Honey, which is very social so I call it the girlfriend’s scent. It’s one that you wouldn’t mind other people wearing as well. One of the big golden rules of women is don’t tell your scent. And there are scents that you don’t mind sharing, because it goes on everybody and it smells differently.

Perfume makes me feel pampered, like you’re taking care of yourself but also communicating something about yourself. And I like what it does on my skin, because it’ll smell like me no matter what perfume I’m wearing. And that’s the thing—I can tell someone else to wear the same perfume, and if you spray it on your body, it smells like you, not me. There’s a chemical reaction that I think is important to the perfume process that becomes very individual. It becomes your scent.

How I wash my face depends on how I feel. Some days I just wash it and some days I scrub. The weekend is the heavy duty, when I scrub my face, maybe I’ll do a bath and salts…On my face, I use Chanel Sublimage because it makes my face feel moisturized but not oily. Then there’s the oil from the bath and with that, it’s enough. Oh, and I drink a lot of water—that helps with everything.

Throughout the day, I like Natura Bissé Diamond Mist. I’ll come up here in the middle of the day and use that just to refresh. I have some other sprays and it makes such a difference. Afterwards I feel so soft and my skin feels repaired even though it’s drier now that I’m over 50.

People experimented more with makeup back in the ’80s. Now it’s more about hair, I think. For me, because I’m constantly at work, I just need it out of my face. So usually it’s pinned up. In order for me to have it loose, I need to work at it. One hundred brush strokes with a Mason Pearson! And I have these Japanese wooden combs in a couple of sizes to travel with. They keep all your oils in as you brush and don’t give you any static electricity. When I use Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine, my hair is silk. I don’t know why—it just works. I don’t have a ton of time go to shopping for new products, but I know I can send Ruben out to get that and he’ll come back with the right thing.

You want to know one routine I have? I wake up in the morning and I stretch. In bed, not outside. I never knew it was good for me! Ruben always laughs because he says I’m like a cat. But now I know it’s actually something good to do, so I’m going to do it even more. I tell Ruben, ‘Go bring me breakfast because I’m going to stretch.’ And he does! Also, I hula dance every day. For me, it’s like meditation. When you hula, you just really center yourself, because your abdomen is being strengthened, and that’s the core of life. It really makes a difference.”

—as told to ITG

Isabel Toledo photographed by Tom Newton at her home in New York on October 20, 2015.

Read more red lips: Stacy London takes lipstick cues from women of a certain age, Anna Sui is inspired by drugstore reds, and Amanda Lepore is very particular about her shade. Or check out more of The Top Shelf.

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Ellen Pompeo

“Because I play a doctor on TV, I don’t like the look of makeup—I think it looks ridiculous on screen. Not that doctors can’t wear makeup, but I just feel like it takes away from the acting and the character if I have makeup on. I just feel like I look like an actor playing dress-up, so I try to keep it as authentic as possible. It’s year 12 [of Grey’s Anatomy], and it’s important to me to feel like I’m still doing a good job and that the show is really still believable. Of course, with digital cameras now, we have to wear makeup because it’s too sharp. But then the flip-side is, I think if it’s too sharp, then you see the makeup.

I’m conscious of the parabens and the sulfates in all the shampoos and everything. And I work with Jessica Capshaw, whose husband is the co-founder of The Honest Company, so we have a lot of discussions about organic products. I do love organic products, but I have to say that SK-II changed my life. I’ve had problem skin my whole entire life, and hilariously at 44 years old—I’m 45, going to be 46 next month—I finally found a product that literally changed my skin. I mean, there’s only so much I can do at 45. I’m going to age, it’s fine. I don’t have Botox, I don’t have fillers, I don’t have anything, so you know, I really have to eat well and exercise and do everything, because I don’t want to put stuff in my face. I have done Botox before, and I can see why you’d get addicted to it. So I thought, if I have to see my lines, it’ll force me more to take care of myself. And I used to always break out—I would get facials every month to clean out the blackheads that I’d get from having makeup put on me every day. And I just feel like I get less facials now. Jessica [Capshaw] and I had this conversation because she sent a thing to me and she said, ‘You know SK-II is full of parabens and all this stuff…’ But I guess because I make my living on camera, I’m vain? I think it’s important for me to look as good as I can look. I get paid to keep up my appearance, so I feel like I need to keep up my end of it.

I steam in the morning, so I’ll put SK-II LXP Ultimate Revival Essence on and I let that stuff sit on my face while I’m in the steam. Then when I come out, I kind of rinse it off with the regular SK-II Facial Treatment Cleanser with a sea sponge. After that, I put the SK-II Cellumination AuraBright Illuminating Essence on, followed by the SK-II Essential Power Moisturizing Cream. And at night, I use this SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil to take my makeup off in the trailer at work with cleansing pads before I come home.

I feel like I’ve always looked younger than I am, and now I’ve started seeing my skin change. Now I do this thing where I fill up a bowl of ice and alkaline water, and I take it to my bathroom, and I splash my face like 10 times, until my face feels frozen. I do it after [cleansing] and I just feel like it tightens everything. Didn’t the old movie stars used to do it? I got this idea that my face feels puffy and it’s sagging, so I thought, ‘Let me just freeze it!’ I’ve been reading and researching a lot about alkaline water, too, and its healing properties. They say if you have a cut and you stick your finger in alkaline water for like a day, it’ll heal faster. So I thought what if I just put alkaline water on my falling face, what’ll happen? Maybe it’ll pick it up?

For facials, I’ve been going to Lina at Thibiant in Beverly Hills. I always trust these women who I feel like have been doing facials their whole lives and know what they’re doing. My acupuncturist has these cold, metal galvanic wands that they rub into the face. You taste metal in your mouth and it’s totally freaky. The concept is that electricity delivers products into your dermis, which wouldn’t ordinarily be able to be penetrated without pharmaceutical-grade product and I kind of buy into that.

I never wear makeup. I get my makeup done at work, but when I’m not working I never wear makeup, unless I have to go out. If I go out, I’ll maybe do a pop of a lip, or I just do a smoky black eye and little Physicians Formula Mascara because it’s organic. If I’m going to do a lip it’s always Tom Ford. I love the Violet Fatale Lip Color. I don’t attempt blush or eyeshadow or any of that. I do an organic spray tan sometimes, too—they do it for me at work. And I get my lashes tinted by Luba at Ma Maíson de Beauté in Beverly Hills, which is a huge thing because that’s less prep time for me in the morning at work.

I use Pureology, which is a paraben-free line. I use the Hydrate Shampoo and Conditioner, because I color my hair. [My short hair] kind of happened the same way it always happens—we fried it and needed to cut it off. I went with really dark hair last season because the story was so dark, so I wanted my hair to represent what Meredith was going through. And then we got the pickup for season 12, and we had to go to New York to do press and we did that big ShondaLand shoot, so I wanted a different feel. Shonda said, ‘We’re going to make the show lighter and brighter, and we want to change the tone now—we were all in such a bad place last year and we all need a little lightness and fun,’ so I was like, ‘I’m going to lighten up my hair.’ Harry Josh took me back to blonde, but he had to really bleach it to get all that dark out. And then I went on vacation and I was in the sun a lot, so it got burnt. So when I came back to New York, I said, ‘Harry, we have to just cut this off!’ For someone who did so little before, I do even less now. I just have to be careful that it doesn’t look like a mom bob. I have to make sure it looks sexy and like ‘JBF’ hair…not like jumping into my minivan, taking my kids to soccer. At home, I just wash my hair and condition it, that’s it. I don’t really put anything in it. If I’m going to go out and run errands, I’ll just leave conditioner in it and slick it back.

I wake up at 5:30 every day, and I go down to the treadmill. I’ll have my alkaline water and my coffee, and I take my coffee right down to the treadmill and I get on. I have to get my blood circulating and sweat everyday. I feel like it’s so important for me to sweat. And I think just the blood flow to my face helps. I try to do anything I can. I’m fortunate enough to have a treadmill in the house, so I can go down there if I’m pressed for time. If I have the day off or a morning off, after I take my kids to school, my husband and I will hike. Sunday I did Rise Nation, which is so hard, right?

I also meditate 20 minutes a day, twice a day. Most of the time I meditate in my trailer during work, but if I actually have time, I wear these SK-II Signs Eye Masks while meditating.

I use all essential oils from Whole Foods. My friend Sam, who’s a very chic girl from Paris, gave me this little Hermès perfume bottle, and I put my essential oils in there with my alkaline water to make my own blend. It’s a constant mix because they do different things. I love grapefruit, geranium, neroli. Rose, geranium and sandalwood is like my go-to, and I just mix it myself. I also have a bunch of these [solid perfumes] from Frazer Parfum. The Coffee and Orange Blossom is my favorite. Cristina Radu is a fancy facialist who I don’t go to anymore, but I used to get it in her shop. And I’m completely obsessed with candles. I have so many candles all over the house, all different brands. Although Martyn Bullard’s candles are one of my favorites, and I love to give those for Christmas gifts because everybody loves them—all his scents are amazing.”

—as told to ITG

Ellen Pompeo photographed by Emily Knecht at her home in Los Angeles on October 9, 2015. Interview by Alexis Brunswick.

Michelle Monaghan shares the cheek tint that she likens to a pair of high-waisted jeans, Debi Mazar spills her four favorite brow products and Judy Greer tells you why you should mix your cleanser and your exfoliant in The Top Shelf.

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Vanessa Seward, Designer

“I’m from Argentina and in my family, presentation and appearance—those things were very important. Maybe that’s a universal thing, but for us, it was a big deal. My mother spent her life at the hairdresser. She lived to go out—and my two sisters and I were in total admiration of her. I design my own line and and a capsule collection with A.P.C. now and I think my style is an extension of that. When I design, I’m trying to enhance beauty…aesthetic is more important than trend. And subconsciously I think I’m very inspired by my mother in those years. And it’s funny because I’m actually quite a shy person, and she’s very extroverted. But I think there is something in me that comes out in my work which is related to her.

My husband, my five year old, and I live in Paris now—I’ve been here for 32 years now. In the morning, I use Christian Dior Purifying Toning Lotion with Crystal Iris Extract with a cotton pad on my face, just to get rid of the night. More recently I’ve started putting drops in my eyes to wake up. I’ve got sensitive eyes so that feels quite good. My biggest indulgence is my bath every morning with Laura Mercier Creme Brûlée Honey Bath. I need that time on my own to do nothing. When you’re a creative, I think you need an excuse to find time to have ideas. So without that moment, I unravel. And it’s so easy to be busy—there are days when you feel so interrupted, especially if my daughter is home from school and my husband is working from home too. But you can be creative in those moments, even when washing the dishes. For me, inspiration is a state of mind and a creative mood can be any time. Sometimes I design when I’m still in my pajamas. I’ve thought about not working from home, but it wouldn’t be the same. I actually really do enjoy it. When I get out of the tub, I use the Clarins Extra-Firming Body Cream and move on with my day.

I’m 46 and, for the moment, I don’t want to do any injections or anything. I’m trying to resist. But I’ve amassed a lot of money in creams—prevention! So, I have the Guerlain Orchidée Impériale Gel Cream, and I’m using it as a day cream and in the evening, too. There are other products in the line that are supposed to renew and regenerate…so check in with me in a month and see what I look like. The price is kind of killer though, so I have the Boots No. 7 Moisturizer that I’ve been using for a while. I like that one better in the summer—when it starts to be winter, I like something a bit more lavish. If I have any redness, I use Guerlain Crème Camphréa when I wake up. Oh, magic Guerlain…I use their fragrance, too. Guerlain Eau de Cologne Imperiale is so fresh. At night, I can wear Shalimar.

Once or twice a week, I like to do a peel with Carita Paris Progressif Micro Peel. Because I’ve got mixed skin, then I put this Clinique Pore-Refining Charcoal Mask [on the t-zone]. Voila! And then I put a mask on over—usually the Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask.

For makeup, I use Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer with SPF with a sponge. Then I put on the Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour in Blaze. And I keep a pressed powder with me in my bag. I’ve got this old-fashioned thing because I don’t like it when I shine.

My tweezer is my enemy because I have very bushy eyebrows. My eyebrow brush has become very important to me—it’s Shu Uemura. Then I just use a pencil to fill in some of the holes. For my eyes, I use black eyeliner and black mascara—both from Laura Mercier. Sometimes I use a pencil on my lips, something neutral like Chanel in No. 34. But I also have Sisley in Sheer Burgundy. In the evening though, it’s Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet. And also Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl or Cruella. If I’m not wearing any color on my lips, I just use Homeoplasmine!

For my hair, I’ve been using Leonor Greyl forever. And I also go to their salon on Rue Tronchet. I use Huile de Leonor Greyl because I’ve got quite dry hair. After I shampoo, I like to leave it on for an hour. You don’t even have to put that much in. Then I rinse it out and the Sérum de Soie Sublimateur.

I tried to do [training sessions] once a week, but I could never fit those into my schedule. What I try to do now—especially days when I work—is ride my bicycle for 30 minutes. And, you know, some abs, and I try to do that twice a week. I don’t worry about the weight—it’s not a question of being slim. It’s a question of being healthy and fit. But I work, I’m a mom, I’m running around, so that keeps you fit! My husband has Type 1 diabetes, which actually makes us all eat very healthy. Lots of vegetables, less carbohydrates. I cook sometimes—but then it’s very French.”

—as told to ITG

Vanessa Seward photographed by Bruno Werzinski in Paris on November 6, 2015. Interview by Marie-Cybele Muysers. If you’re in New York, stop by the A.P.C. store on W 4th St. to shop the Vanessa Seward pop-up shop—open now through December 8th.

Beauty by design: read about how Donna Karan achieved her signature look, the skincare habits of Tory Burch, or Tamara Mellon’s favorite nail polishes. And read more of The Top Shelf here.

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