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July 30 2014

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Harley Viera-Newton Reveals Her “Makeup Uniform” and Unexpected Shower Buddy

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When I walk into Harley Viera-Newton’s downtown abode that she shares with her boyfriend, it’s completely silent (save for the gentle clicking of a curling iron clamp and snapping of compacts in preparation for the Whitney Art Party). It’s an unusual scene for a DJ and girl-about-town. “We have a record player here, but our kitten has decided that she is also a DJ, so every time we put a record on, all of a sudden it will scratch, stop, or start going really slow and we’ll realize that a cat is spinning along. So that’s why there’s nothing playing right now,” she explained. (If you need a visual, watch this Instagram video—trust me, it’s worth it.) Her Bengal kitten, Tarzan (Zan or Zano for short), not only helps Viera-Newton prep for the many events she attends throughout gala season by pawing at the curling iron cord and climbing inside the makeup artist’s kit, but she also showers with her adoptive mother. Her fully grown black cat, Marmite, is of the toilet seat variety—preferring to watch from a safe distance. “Zan actually gets in the mix, she gets involved,” Viera-Newton noted of the newest feline addition to the family.

Her makeup routine is reflective of her self-described crazy cat lady status: It includes a winged cat-eye (often crafted with Stila’s liquid liner pen) and classic red lips (courtesy of her go-to tube, MAC’s Ruby Woo). “I kind of have a makeup uniform. I usually stick to that because I think it goes with everything. And it’s funny—I feel naked without it, and then when I have it on, I feel very myself no matter what I’m wearing,” she noted. (Her other must-haves include Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream, Diorshow Blackout Mascara, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer, and Chanel Les Beiges powder.) For the evening’s affair—to which she wore a polka-dot Max Mara dress—Viera-Newton has makeup artist and hairstylist Michele Carrillo of Vênsette on hand, but ordinarily she’s more of a DIYer. “I can be ready in fifteen minutes, I’m pretty fast. I don’t really know what I’m doing, so I like to keep it simple,” she laughed. Her best beauty advice is to do your hair and makeup before getting dressed: “When you’re looking crazy and you’re putting stuff on you’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t know if I can pull this off,’ and then once you’re a little bit more pulled together it’s easier to gauge.”

The one thing she is somewhat uptight about is her skin. No matter how late she’s spinning, Viera-Newton always takes off her makeup—using a combination of Neutrogena wipes, her Clarisonic, and Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion. “It’s so boring and the last thing you want to do, but it’s really important,” she noted. She also relies on Smashbox Photo Finish Blemish Control primer to create a barrier between her skin and her base.

As for her signature long strands, she is a bit more laid-back about her regimen—preferring to air-dry to achieve rumpled waves and remaining loyal to “hair god” Johnny Ramirez in Los Angeles for highlights two or three times a year. “I spend my life hiding behind my hair, it’s like a shield,” she said. “I’ve always had long hair, and then [when I was about 8 or 9] my mother decided she wanted to cut it and she took me to this really horrible hairdresser. It was a very wobbly bob with really terrible bangs, and it was so traumatizing that I’ve never cut my hair since—even getting a trim is scary for me now.”

Viera-Newton’s manicure is also as predictable as her makeup job—she opts for a light pink gel polish from Marie Nails as of late. “I’ve exhausted all of my [nail art] ideas,” she said. Perhaps Thursday’s fete provided the DJ with a new dose of creative inspiration. Cat nails, anyone?

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Photos: Ibra Ake

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