Today I’m back for another interview. Let’s talk all about beauty this time. I think this is a new topic for us. (I want to know your New York beauty tips, routine, go-to products, and salon prices!) Thanks, Tracy, for agreeing to do these Q & A sessions. As you know, I find New York to be fascinating, as well as the people living in it. So, let’s chat again. Me, in my house in Digby, Nova Scotia. You, in your apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
SC: I have found it interesting how Parisian women always seem to look so nice, classy but yet they have a very basic and non-trendy look. I have read that most do not even own a blow dryer. How about you? Do you prefer to blow dry or air dry your hair?
TK: I do own a blow dryer! But, honestly, I don’t use it a lot. I usually let my hair air dry unless I have an event or a night out to dinner, the theater, etc. When I have somewhere special to go, then I blow it out and sometimes straighten it with a flat iron. Otherwise, I wear it in a ponytail or loose knot pretty often when I’m working, and if I’m doing something casual, I let my hair go natural with no drying or straightening. Blowing out my hair takes time that I don’t always have.
I have found the key to amazing hair no matter if you blow dry it or air dry it is a serum or argan oil. I like Moroccan Oil and Light Elements Smooth Fluid from Aveda. Both take care of flyaways and smooth out wavy or straight hair, and they smell wonderful! You need very little too – these products are totally worth the money because they do the job and last a long time. I buy a bottle or two per year.
SC: In NYC what can you expect to pay at a salon for a cut, color, and style? One good thing about living in a small town, I normally don’t spend more that $125. I am thinking it’s a lot more in the big city.
TK: In Manhattan, you’ll typically pay at least $90 to $100 for a good cut. I go to a tiny place in my neighborhood to get my hair cut for $70, but that is inexpensive if not unheard of for NYC. Hair color can be more. Single-process usually starts at about $80 or $90, but highlights can easily run $150 or $200 and higher, and these prices are not always at top salons. I used to go to Bumble and Bumble but most stylists were starting at around $110 or $120 for a cut.
New York has plenty of affordable places to get blowouts or wash and style. Those cost about $45 or $50 (some are less), so I’ve gotten my hair blown out for special occasions, like my birthday, or when I went to the Tony Awards. That’s a splurge for me, so it’s a once or twice a year thing.
SC: What kind of facial skin products do you use? I love Clarins. The last time I was in NYC I splurged at Macy’s and bought the whole kit. It was well worth the money. I am still using some of it.
TK: I adore products of all kinds. My medicine cabinet looks like a pharmacy. I am not loyal to any one line of skin care. I use many brands, but these are my favorite skincare products right now:
Elizabeth Arden skin balancing exfoliating cleanser (I cannot live without it!It’s gentle enough to use twice a day every day.)
Clinique All About Eyes eye cream (I like the feel of it.)
I LOVE Benefit products. I cannot say enough good things about this brand.
Benefit moisturizing emulsion SPF 15 (I’ve also used the Total Moisture facial cream in winter and love it too!)
Benefit It’s Potent eye cream (For circles and lines)
Elizabeth Arden Prevage anti-aging moisture cream broad spectrum SPF 30
Dermalogica Skin Perfect primer (For a flawless look before foundation)
Strivectin Advanced Tightening Neck Cream (The neck is supposedly the first to go.)
I also like Mario Badescu products a lot, particularly the seaweed cleansing lotion, ceramide eye gel, and facial spray with aloe, herbs, and rosewater. I think Mario Badescu is a great line at an affordable price.
For my millennial readers… please don’t think that you don’t need to use eye cream, neck cream or even facial moisturizer. You do, even if you have oily skin. Use a moisturizer twice a day every day! And up your sunscreen game when you’re outside for extended periods. Take care of your skin in your 20s and 30s and you will thank yourself later on.
SC: Do you get manicures or pedicures? How much do they cost in NYC?
TK: I get pedicures regularly (except in winter, unless I am going on a trip where I’ll wear sandals). Since I was trained to be a ballet dancer, my feet are in awful shape, so I must get pedicures (I cannot make my feet look presentable on my own!) I have one technician I go to at Pinky at 80th and Broadway. Himali. She is fantastic and I have gone to her for years. I don’t know what I’d do if she couldn’t do my pedicure. I tried a few places before Pinky and both cut my feet and made me bleed. Yes, you must be careful where you go to get a pedicure in NYC. I do not recommend the super cheap places, especially if you have feet that need more TLC (like mine). Spend the extra $10 or $15 and go to someone you can trust who will be gentle and not rush. I promise it’s worth it.
I love getting manicures, but I don’t get them any longer. I am so hard on my nails because I am always typing, so not worth it. If I have a special occasion like a wedding or major event, I might do the manicure, but the polish will be clear. No polish stays on my nails. It always chips, and I hate chipped polish because I think it looks tacky. So clear it is!
Back to prices, you can absolutely find cheap manicures and pedicures in NYC. (That’s one thing that you can do on the cheap in New York.) Inexpensive places start around $12 to $15 for a manicure and $20 to $25 for a pedicure. And a combo could be as inexpensive as $25 for both. For the best mani-pedi deals, check out this article from Time Out.
I’d say that paying a little more is sometimes worth it, though. I pay about $35 (plus tip) for a pedicure at Pinky, and it’s 45 minutes, usually, not the quick in and out like some salons.
SC: On a typical day, would you say you wear much makeup? Also, when you are home, do you have any makeup on?
TK: When I’m at home working, I don’t wear much makeup. Usually, I fill in my brows and wear lip balm. I always wear makeup when I leave my apartment, though. The bare minimum is L’oreal 303 lipstick (my go-to color that I wear in almost every photo) and brows. Otherwise, I look dull and washed out. Lips and brows are essential even when I walk Bogey. (I’ve run into Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick while walking my dog!) If I am going anywhere else (besides the grocery store, drug store, etc), I always wear Clinique mascara and Bobbi Brown skin foundation. (It’ is the best light-weight foundation. I’ve used it for years.) Next would be dark brown L’oreal eyeliner, a dusting of Neutrogena Mineral Sheers powder and some blush.
I don’t wear eyeshadow much anymore, but if I do, I use Urban Decay eye primer first. It works well, as does the eye base from Trish McEvoy. I like that one a lot too. Often, rather than shadow, I use Sephora shadow and liner pencils and smudge the color on my lids. But I do love Mac eyeshadow. So I will use it sometimes. In reality, I just love makeup. I started wearing it very young, like 12 years old, because I was on stage and had to wear a lot of makeup, and I’ve worn it ever since. I cannot imagine life without makeup. It’s part of who I am.
Benefit photo via their Instagram.