Amber Katz of Rouge 18 is one of my longest-standing friendships in the blogosphere. Known for her rapid-fire wit and genius manipulation of the English language (she’s been known to change our collective lexicons on a regular basis…and we love it,) she is also a million-dollar wealth of knowledge when it comes to the beauty industry. If you want to meet the beauty blogger and writer that most of us turn to when we have a problem, you’re looking right at her.
I had a chance to get some of Amber’s answers on all things loveliness along with a rather timely subject: melt-proof makeup. From the eyeliner that will save you from unintended mishaps to makeup product storage and why DVF will always have a special place in her wardrobe, this is how Amber does it:
On how to keep from looking molten when the atmosphere feels like mayonnaise…
“The first thing is Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. Honestly, I don’ t want to hear about anything else: nothing else works, to be quite honest. There are other things that pretend to work as well, and they’re waterproof and better than just regular eyeliner, but, like, I have it on right now and it’s not moving. I have really oily eyelids and it slides into the corners so I get this weird imprint like I’m trying to do a 60’s thing, but I’m not. It looks like a badly executed Twiggy moment, so I really try to avoid that.
Hourglass Immaculate Liquid Powder Mattifying Oil Free Foundation is really good. I put a layer of it on top of Kate Somerville IllumiKate CC Cream. I love it, and I want to say it comes in a good enough array of colors.
I like Becca Mineral Blush, particularly Gypsy. I used to be very anti-powder blush in the summer, but this blush changed my mind. I go between that and Stila Convertible Color, particularly Fuchsia, a great, hot pink powder blush. I also like Armani Beauty Maestro blush, and they make it in a liquid bronzer, which is absolutely amazing. I feel like a lot of liquid bronzers get eaten by my face, as in they can’t be seen, but this one stays on.
I also have really veiny eyelids so I do what I can to cover them up so you can’t see my circulatory system, and I live for the Napoleon Perdis Enhancer Multipurpose Highlighter, which I use to cover up my eyelid veins. I think it’s actually intended to be a highlighter, and he recommends putting it on your brow bones and nose, but it’s great for those uses AND for, you know, covering up the veiny eyelid situation.
I don’t wear mascara because I have eyelash extensions, but that’s also a great tip for summer tip. I go to Courtney Akai. It takes about two hours, so it’s a commitment, but it’s only two hours every six weeks and once they’re done, you don’t have to ever worry about having mascara running down your face. It’s an investment, but for about $75 for an hour, you can get one of her associates, and they apply as many as they can in an hour.
I got the Brow Restoration at Browhaus last year, which was life changing, but I also still use NARS Brow Gels. I use the dirty blonde hue and the clear one interchangeably. I also love Anastasia Beverly Hills. Also, Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow is a must-have. It’s a great product; it gives you more brows than you thought you ever had, and unearth brows that you never thought were part of your life.”
On keeping that fantastic mane under sweltering conditions…
“Hair is a big struggle for me this time of year. I just got the Oribe Gold Lust line and it’s freaking phenomenal. You don’t need to have blonde hair to use it; it’s perfect for any kind of dry, processed, damaged hair. I also like the Oribe Maximista Thickening Spray; it’s so beautiful and gorgeous. I always apply a thickening spray or a mousse to my roots before blow-drying. I’ve been doing this since the 90’s and I don’t understand why everyone doesn’t do it. It’s like, do you want more hair or don’t you? I feel like I look like a duck in the rain otherwise.
I also use It’s A 10 Miracle Leave-In Conditioning Spray with Keratin the most, I love Living Proof Satin Hair Serum, and then I alternate between oils by Kerastase and Moroccanoil. I apply it to my ends when my hair is wet. I never put it on my hair when it’s dry. I don’t know why; I just don’t like the feeling of oil on my hair when my hair is dry.”
On the joys of product organization….
“The answer on how I keep products organized is that they’re barely organized. The stuff I want to try is around my living room like decor. The stuff that’s in current rotation is in my bathroom and in Sterilite containers as well as a vanity that sits in my bedroom that holds makeup. Backups of things I know I like are in an Ikea Expedit unit that has drawer pull boxes in them to hold products. I want those shelves all over. They’re so good.”
On the advantages of alone time…
“I just like to be alone. I have to have some alone time, and I struggle saying no to things when I just need to sit on my couch and watch Orange Is The New Black. Reading magazines and/or binge-watching something is how I pamper myself. Massages and beauty treatments are awesome, don’t get me wrong, but because of what I do it’s more like work. It doesn’t feel as relaxing to me as reading or watching tv.”
On her own personal style…
“I like a 60’s aesthetic when it comes to beauty, and I guess that translates over to what I wear. I like miniskirts. I like feminine cuts but not overly so. I like smocked anything, I like ruffled anything, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be in pink. Pink is okay, I just don’t tend to wear many “girly” colors. I tend to wear more green, yellow and grey and I like a lot of gold accents. I come from Russian decent and it’s VERY evident.
I don’t wear a lot of prints, but I like good solid colors. I also always feel good in DVF. I know if I need something, like a date, I always know that I’ll look good in that brand. I also don’t subscribe to wearing a ton of different sunglasses; I’ve worn the same Tom Ford sunglasses for the last five years and I have them in two colors. I’m also that way with bags, but shoes are a different story. Sunglasses and bags are pretty simple for me; I’ll keep two in rotation at any given time. I also don’t wear a lot of jewelry. I feel like wearing big jewelry makes me look like I’m playing dress up. I wear the same earrings every day of my life and I’m currently in a small gold necklace that will remain in rotation until I get tired of it.”
On how to get over your fear of trying something new in your beauty routine…
“Wear it at home first, get comfortable with it. Rock it at home first. Look, makeup is easy and you can take it off in five seconds, so try everything. Devote a Sunday night to trying some things in your possession that you already have, maybe some things you bought on a whim and you aren’t sure what to do with them. Wear whatever it is around the house, and then wear it to the movies one night. Don’t try something new the night of your New Year’s Eve party if you’re not 100% about it, but a low-key dinner with your friends is a great way to test something.”
On overcoming beauty confidence issues…
“I would say if there’s something that’s really troubling you, it’s most likely something you can change. People claim they have terrible hair and there’s nothing they can do about it, but of course you can. You go to a stylist you trust, and if you haven’t found one yet, keep asking, because they’re out there. If you see a woman who has the hair you want on the street, stop her and ask whom she sees. Find the person who has the thing you want where they go to get it. More often than not, she’ll just tell you. People aren’t usually that secretive about beauty, which is something I like (even though people are sometimes weirdly secretive about their perfumes, but that’s another story.) People are complimented when you like what they’re doing and they’re usually more than happy to share.
I think that little makeovers are really easy and they don’t take a ton of time. Doing things like buying a new lipstick, getting lash extensions: more often than not there’s something small you can do that can have a great effect. Self-tanner at home, using a good exfoliant: small things make a great impact in how you feel about yourself. A small amount of research can yield big results: check out the blogs, grab a couple of magazines, ask your friends. The answer’s closer than you think.”
All photos: Kristin Booker. All rights reserved.
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