When Chloë Sevigny walked into East Village’s Cafiero Select shop this Sunday, wearing a floral red Gucci dress, her golden blonde pulled back into a bun, it was clear she felt right at home. There to celebrate her recent collaboration with the Los Angeles–based fragrance house Régime des Fleurs, she revealed that cofounders Alia Raza and Ezra Woods are longtime friends. They met in Los Angeles outside of a Morrissey concert over a decade ago. “Or was it at Les Deux?” she wondered aloud with Woods. Since the auspicious run-in, wherever it happened, they have collaborated on a number of projects, from fashion films to red carpet wardrobes.
For Raza and Woods’s latest endeavor—a culturally minded online web series called Artefacts, which features everything from rare antiques and art videos to astrological forecasts— they tapped Sevigny to read a prayer they penned to Saint Thérèse, the holy figure more commonly known as the “sacred keeper of the gardens.” The actress didn’t need much convincing—she already owned a book on the Catholic icon. In the recorded poem, set to a Michel Gaubert–scored soundtrack, Sevigny asks the “Little Flower” to send the majestic rains of roses Thérèse once promised in writing.
According to Sevigny, a self-confessed fragrance fanatic, the project was something of a no brainer. “Scent is really important. I shower myself in it every morning and every evening.” Here, we sit down with her to find out her signature scent, along with beauty secrets ranging from the man behind her pitch-perfect blonde, why you shouldn’t smile when you wear a smoky eye, and the unexpected places she recommends spraying your perfume.
Do you have a favorite Régime des Fleurs fragrance?
Nitesurf is my favorite. I’ve worn Comme des Garçons Rose for I don’t know how many years now; [I thought I would] never find another perfume I love. But now, since I’ve been wearing Nitesurf, I haven’t been able to stop. [I put it on] fresh out of the shower—they say when you’re hot you can let it absorb—and then again in the hair. My mom always taught me to dab the wrists and behind the ears so it stays, and [maybe I’ll spray] a little up the skirt for fun.
What else do you use every day?
Always Smith’s Rosebud Salve. I can’t live without it. If I leave the house without it, I have an anxiety attack and have to run by American Apparel and buy one. Or Ricky’s I guess. If I don’t have mascara on, I can’t see as well. It kind of works as greasepaint—a natural shadow. My eyes are blue and my lashes are actually blonde. I’m a die hard Great Lash [woman]. I do [top and bottom every day]. Natural sunglasses. And I always have a Stila cream blush and Chanel powder with me.
What do you do to amp up your beauty look for the red carpet and events?
Maybe some individual lashes, pretty skin using tinted moisturizers or anything thin. [When I get my makeup done] I say I don’t want a base, I’d rather just have little bits of concealer here and there. I use Clé de Peau Beauté concealer and their foundation as a concealer because it’s smooth and easier to blend.
You seem to have always had fun with makeup—are there any looks you regret trying?
I can’t think of something I did that’s so wild that I’d never do it again. I think once I tried to do like a purply thing at some Emmy or some Golden Globe party. Sometimes when you’re trying to do the editorial things they don’t really translate to red carpet. Especially when you want some sort of sexy eye and then you have to smile and you’re like wait . . . it’s more of a pouty thing. So I feel like you really have to consider that they always want you to smile, and certain smoky makeup doesn’t work with that.
What looks better with smiling?
Bright eyed, rosy cheeked. Maybe it’s just my face. I’m not sure.
Has your beauty philosophy changed as you’ve gotten older?
I’ve always been anti-shimmer. I’ve always been like, ‘No J. Lo, no contouring, no shimmering,’ and now that I’m getting older, a little shimmer’s okay here and there. I don’t know if my tastes have changed, but I’m kind of more open to shimmer now than I ever was before in my life. I’m not wearing any right now—daytime makeup is difficult. But, just for highlights, I have Josie Maran [illuminizing wand]. It’s really nice, easy to apply, and it smells really nice.
Tell me about your hair, who does your blonde?
Jonathan Gale at Sally Hershberger in Los Angeles. He comes to New York every now and again, so I’m waiting for him. I can’t let anyone else touch it. He’s the best, the master. And he makes a really beautiful hair oil that’s the most beautiful fragrance in the world. I don’t know what it is—floral but earthy—it’s like magic. I wish I could bathe my whole body in it. [For cuts] I’ve been going to Joey [Silvestera] at Blackstones. My brother introduced me.
Where do you look for beauty inspiration?
I always wanted to look like the Esprit catalogues when I was a small child in Connecticut. I would do the braids and the ribbons. [Now] everyone always asks me about icons—fashion icons and beauty icons. I really have a hard time with that question. I mean, other than Marlene Dietrich, I don’t know. My friend Haley Wollens, who is a stylist, and Brianna [Capozzi], this photographer who she works with, always do amazing styling that’s a little funky and off. Yes, funky and off, [that’s my thing].
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