PHOTOGRAPHS: GABRIELA BHASKAR & MAKEUP: TALYSHA MONEÉ
One of Hi Wildflower's original muses in the Beauty x Brains campaign, writer Alexandra Kleeman, has a look I love to call "Romantic Goth." Feminine, edgy, soft and sharp, all at once. Her brilliant debut novel, YOU TOO CAN HAVE A BODY LINE MINE (Harper Perennial 2015) explored contemporary womanhood in a culture obsessed with consumerism -- something I contemplate a lot as a small business owner, as a writer, as a woman living in this era. In 2015, Alexandra and I created a limited edition candle for her novel, our olfactory take on mass market notes like citrus and grapefruit. You might call it a live version of one of the products her characters might watch on television.
We photographed Alexandra on Staten Island, where she lives with her husband, novelist Alex Gilvarry. Against the backdrop of a Staten Island sunset, or the abundant bookshelves in her home, we captured her ethereal glamour, each shift in color, dress or light, a new character.
And so, Alexandra Kleeman inaugurates our first installment of the Hi Wildflower Beauty Edit--an ongoing series with your favorite brains, on beauty. So, go on, find out more about Alex's signature look!
AK: I use a glycolic acid face wash every day, followed by something with either Vitamin C or Vitamin A in it, then sunscreen. I don't wear much skin makeup, usually I use a dab as concealer, but I always wear eye makeup: a thick line of eyeliner marker in a cat's eye shape on top of the eye, and some grey eyeshadow above and below.
Sometimes wearing perfume distracts me when I'm supposed to be working, so if I wear any during the day it's something floral and light that smells a little like the outdoors. Lipstick finishes my look, and makes me feel like I'm ready to go into the world--I usually wear at least a light layer!
"I think Black Datura is my spirit lipstick, but you need as many shades of lipstick as moods you might have during a given day."
A smoky gray eye and sheer layer of berry lipstick. It's sort of "goth-lite." I'm happy looking a little moody during the day, but I still want to look friendly enough that strangers will ask me for directions! I love Black Datura applied so that it's rich and opaque, or done more sheerly with a layer of lip balm--it does both so well. Lovers Rock is amazing too, for a timeless, high-depth red. And Gulabi Gang for when I want to feel strong and high-energy, that shade of pink is a real power color! I think Black Datura is my spirit lipstick, but you need as many shades of lipstick as moods you might have during a given day.
I'm working on a new novel, and also a weird new piece for performance that I think of as "womanhood as described by an alien"!