How did you choose your nail look and mani color?
I live in a world of black—95% of my wardrobe is black, and more often than not, so are my nails. In the warmer months, I love to lighten the look by playing with negative space; this deep V look gives me the same feeling of drama and airiness as a plunging neckline.
In one word, how does your mani make you feel?
Any funny, nostalgic nail moments? What's your earliest nail memory?
I've honestly always been very particular about grooming my nails, even before I had the courage to explore nail art. My earliest nail memory is when I painted my nails silver and black for a glam rock-inspired Halloween costume, and the rest was history! I’ve been painting them ever since.
Before discovering Paintbox, I always did my own nails, and often those of my friends and family as well. I remember going home for Thanksgiving one year with one of my best friends from college, and I basically set up a mini salon in her parents’ kitchen. I did my own nails, then those of my friend, her mother, grandmother, aunt, and even her dad! (He opted out of nail art, though.)
How did you get your start as a stylist?
I started in college styling student fashion shows and quickly progressed to doing windows for local boutiques, fashion spots for the morning news, and little editorials for small regional magazines.
After college, I moved to New York and interned for a stylist who was working for Harper’s Bazaar within the Asian market. After working with her on a few shoots, she introduced me to a colleague of hers who was consulting at the Miss Universe Organization, and that's when things really took off. She hired me as her assistant, and I worked with her for about a year and a half before I left to freelance as an assistant at Interview Magazine. About a year later, the call came from Miss Universe offering me the position of In-House Stylist, curating the wardrobes of Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA. Miss Universe was my home for five years before I left to focus on a career in costumes for film and television, which I've been enjoying so much.
What inspires you when styling a client or on set?
Inspiration, for me, manifests as a combination of the client themselves and the setting. Even before I began working in film, my approach to styling was very cinematic. I dream about the women I dress: how she looks as she enters a room; how the sunlight reflects off of her hair; how the jewelry she’s wearing twinkles under candlelight; what her perfume smells like; as she walks into a room, how will people react when they take notice of her. In film, we think about all of this as we are creating costumes for the characters that our actors are portraying. It’s the same when I’m styling real women, except my clients aren’t playing characters; they are showing up as themselves. It’s my job to make sure that they are the best possible representation of the image they want the world to see.
When I was working at Miss Universe, I got so excited every time we had a new winner. I loved meeting her for the first time, figuring out what colors she loved to wear and what silhouettes worked for her body. Was she a quirky college student? An accomplished chemical engineer? An all-American beauty? A sultry Latina? Once I had an understanding of her in this way, I used styling as a tool to celebrate what made her feel beautiful and conceal her insecurities so that she could focus on making the most of the platform she’d worked so hard to win.
What's your holy grail beauty product?
Rose Hair and Body Oil by The Ouai. I use it from head-to-toe, except on my face. The formula is light, but moisturizing, and the fragrance is subtle enough to wear on its own or underneath another fragrance without competing.
What are your favorite spots on the UES?
Le Labo— My favorite scent to wear is rose, and I’ve tried many, but their Rose 31 is one of my go-to’s. It satisfies my love of rose with an added feeling of warmth and mystery that I’m really drawn to.
Ladurée—I was given my first-ever macaron by a lovely editor when I was interning at Vogue. It was love at first bite! My favorite flavor is salted caramel.
The Halston House—It’s located on 63rd and Park. I’ve never been inside, but I love walking by to admire the façade. He was such an amazing figure of American fashion history and a huge inspiration.
The Mark Hotel—I love catching up with friends in the dining room or at the bar. The vibe is upscale but not stuffy. I once attended an epic party there, hosted by Michael Kors after the Met Gala—great memories.
Three things you're obsessed with right now?
The entire Tiffany’s HardWear Collection.
The huge ruffled dresses they are doing right now at Alexander McQueen, paired with flat combat boots.
Covering myself in Harry Potter-inspired tattoos.