I recently had the immense pleasure of interviewing my friend Lily Filson. Lily is a model and actress best known for her appearance in the 2015 horror movie Fractured. She is also working on her Ph.D. and premiered her first short film as a writer and director (Audubon Dark) this past year in Venice and Monaco.
Lily, it seems like you’re always on the go, so I imagine you try to do your beauty routines as quickly as possible. What is your skincare routine?
Well, I guess that my focus on busy days when I’m traveling or not trying to go for any particular look is more about nourishing my skin and keeping it soft. I’ve tried a lot of various oils- sweet almond and even mustard seed for a short time (long story here, but when I lived in Yemen, mustard seed oil was what the family’s Russian masseuse used to stimulate blood circulation and promote health), but right now I’m on the coconut oil boat. I’d heard nothing but great things about this, have been using it for about a month now, and have already noticed a softer younger skin (and that’s saying a lot, it’s been cold and windy and usually this time of year it’s easy to get the wind-wrinkled arctic explorer vibe). So, you caught me in a moment that I’ll totally preach the coconut oil gospel.
Preach it! I’ve heard great things about coconut oil. What is your go to makeup routine? Is there anything you won’t leave the house without?
Ha, well. At some points, I leave the house with EVERYTHING, all contained in a small bag, whenever I make a move. Actually, I had a shock to my routine when I realized that I left my all of my makeup at home when I arrived in New York this summer. I guess the big disclaimer here is that: I learned that if you’re not a professional artist, don’t try lightly at playing at one, so I really don’t. If I’m doing my makeup it’s very simple, but with (what I like to think) are some touches I picked up from the pros. I prefer concealer in certain places- under the eyes, lower cheek/sides of chin- to all over foundation. Something creamy on the lids so that powder doesn’t cake, the tiniest bit of Vaseline works wonders, and I like a hint of shimmery metallic- I lean towards gold but also ethereal white glittery highlighter- on the lids and cheekbones. Eyeliner, mascara sure. I like to give shape, definition, and depth; but definitely in proportion and relation to what time of day it is and what I’ve got going on in my outfit.
I know that you spend a good deal of time in Venice. Are there any Italian or European products that are absolute must-haves?
There’s a world of them, but let me tell you the time commitment to my doctorate program there isn’t a joke, so alas, I haven’t been really diving into the deep zone of this at all. I HAVE found a face cream I like from Kiko Milano that is infused with vitamin C and which I found to be a great wake-up tonic that energizes my face on those early, cold, picturesquely foggy, but generally miserable mornings. (Kiko Milano Energy Fusion Radiance Enhancing Serum)
I have been dying to try Kiko! Everyone raves about them! I saw that you recently went to a Mardi Gras ball in New
Orleans. What is your favorite glam look?
I had the tremendous privilege of working with a talented makeup artist I’ve known from doing shows here in town, so I can’t claim all the credit. But there was definitely a look I was going for; I communicated to her my idea, and she outdid what I imagined. That look, at least for this ball, was very clean, glowing, but with a slightly darker undertone, if you get what I’m trying to say. The magic of Phoenix (Phoenix Rose of Cocoon Salon) is that she totally gets it. It went with a Vera Wang silver ballgown which I was still trying to decide whether or not to pair with gray satin gargoyle wings (I didn’t, this was one of the conservative balls), so I told her “impeccable French gargoyle,” and she made it happen. I really have a tremendous amount of respect for makeup artists, and I can’t even play like I could do what they can.
I thought you looked amazing! But as an actress/model, what is the craziest makeup you’ve ever had to wear?
Well, the SFX guys on the set of Fractured did some really amazing work that invariably made me look pretty ravishing, albeit dead- delicate blue veins and necrotizing tissue and all that. I was really impressed with the guys at Toe Tag’s work on that. One of my favorite designers that I walked for at New Orleans Fashion Week a couple years back put on an intergalactic show with what I think were mirror mosaic tiles glued over part of my face, but, I mean, I’m from New Orleans, so we wear outlandish costumes as our normal. The only time I felt weird about my makeup was this New Year’s event I worked for Scene Magazine and we had to wear these blue Violent Lips press ons. Otherwise, it was just a normal party, so people were kind of wondering what the deal was with the models’ blue lips. Because a local boutique styled our outfits and aside from the bizarre blue lips, there really wasn’t anything that tied us all together for whatever the idea was for that night. Just a night of mingling, snapping pictures, and literally everyone asking why you have smurf lips.
I’ve heard those Violent Lips tattoos are horrible! Finally, do you have any quick life-saving beauty tips you’d like to impart?
Life-saving? I’m trying to run through a bunch of possibilities in my head and give you a useful answer, but I can’t think of what real disaster can be fixed quickly, you know? Keep your hair strong with oil and care. Keep your skin soft and breathing. Feed your skin its vitamins. Bright eyes, bright mind.
I would like to thank Lily for taking time out of her hectic schedule to speak with me! Please go watch her movies everyone!