As Gossip Girl’s season begins to come to a close, we’ve barely been able to keep track of all of the twists and turns. Between Blair’s boy-hopping and Charlie’s name-changing, the cast has been extremely busy this year. We caught up with Kaylee DeFer, who plays bad girl Ivy Dickens (formally known as Charlie Rhodes) for a 70s inspired editorial in our studios.
Kaylee came fresh-faced and ready with newly dyed auburn hair, noting that whenever she’s done shooting she loves to play around with her hair color, and she fed into my obsession with cotton-candy hues by lusting over a bright pink shade in some inspiration images we had set aside. Our shoot went perfectly hand-in-hand with her mood as she was getting ready to head off for Coachella, so we made sure to teach her everything as we went, and we learned a few key things along the way. Read on below as Kaylee shares whose wardrobe she’d steal from Gossip Girl, what her beauty must-haves are, and why she has a love/hate relationship with horror films.
Rachel Adler: Ivy is known to be one of the villains on Gossip Girl, and she’s obviously comfortable taking on other people’s identity. If you could be styled like anyone else on the show, whose beauty look would you steal?
Kaylee: Probably Leighton’s or Blair’s. Her outfits are just outrageous, and she’s constantly wearing the most beautiful ball gowns, and jewelry, and embroidery, and she’s like a modern day princess really. Every episode she looks so stunning, so I think I would want to wear some of her ball gowns.
RA: Do you think you’re anything like Ivy?
Kaylee: Um….no. No, I mean I think that every time you play a character you’re playing a bit of yourself personality wise. But, I think that she’s just … I don’t know, I think I don’t really relate to her at all really.
RA: Do you think that makes it harder for you to play or easier?
Kaylee: I think it’s easier because I can be completely separate from it. I don’t have to over-analyze things or think about it too much. I just kind of do what they want me to do. But sometimes when I’m reading it, I’m just like “Really? What the hell?” She’s such a sucker! She’s always like, getting dissed by people, she never stands up for herself, but you know it’s easier to take yourself out of it when you don’t need to think too hard, you don’t have to relate.
RA: When you’re not filming, what are your go-to beauty products?
Kaylee: Let me think about this one. I use Caudalie products and they’ve completely changed my skin. I’m obsessed with Caudalie! I use the Vinoperfect line it’s amazing. My skin’s been completely clear ever since. I used to have breakouts and acne around my mouth and on my cheeks, and it’s even getting rid of my acne scars without having to do laser treatments. It’s amazing, it’s taking away the redness and it’s the best. And then I use Sam Brocato, it’s called Constructor. You can use it as a shampoo or a conditioner, but it basically high in protein and it literally wraps your hair and saves it from all of the blow-drying and the product and the ironing. It’s amazing, it’s completely changed my hair. My hair’s thicker, it’s healthier, it’s been growing quicker, it’s amazing.
RA: That’s what everybody wants!
Kaylee: Yeah, exactly. And then, I use Giorgio Armani Face Fabric Foundation. It has full coverage but it doesn’t look caked on, and it has this kind of dewy look to it so you don’t really have to powder too much and it’s amazing. Oh, my new favorite mascara (I’m a big mascara girl) is Shiseido Perfect. OH MY GOD it’s amazing! It makes you look like you’re wearing false eyelashes! It’s unreal. And I use Oribe. Oribe products are the best. They smell delicious. Their hairsprays, Wave spray and the Dry spray. Oh, and I use the Klorane Dry Shampoo. That’s my favorite. You don’t have to wash your hair every day! I can’t wash it every day because of my red hair, it’s hard to keep up.
RA: If you could choose any decade to live in, what would it be?
Kaylee: I think it would be … man that’s a tough call! I’m constantly in an inner battle with myself over this discussion. I would probably say be born in the 60s, live in the 70s and 80s. Hit them all! I think being born in the 60s, having the crazy revolutionary period with the hippies and the music, running around naked with flowers in your hair.
RA: So you grew up kind of on the west coast, how did you have to adjust your beauty routine to New York City life?
Kaylee: Well, I’m originally from the southwest, and then I went to LA for 8 years. It’s fairly similar temperature wise, but there’s a lot more humidity in Los Angeles. It’s completely dry heat in Tucson, Arizona, so admittedly it was a new game for me. I think, you know I really didn’t switch much up. My hair’s pretty easy, it’s straight so I don’t have to worry about frizz or curliness or anything. I think the one thing I learned was sunscreen, because you’re constantly walking outside in LA and driving everywhere you go. Sunscreen, and during the summertime, I barely wear body lotion at all, because it’s so sticky. That’s about it. OH, sandals! I had to throw away all my sandals! You can’t wear sandals in New York, it’s disgusting. Oh my god! I wore sandals the first time I moved here in July and I came home thoroughly disgusted. It’s awful, you’re wearing the city on your feet.
RA: Not enough people warned me about that either.
Kaylee: No! No one warned me about that at all.
RA: What can you tell us about upcoming projects?
Kaylee: Well, currently, there’s a couple projects that I am reading for, I um, can’t really talk about too much detail, but one is an independent film that films in Europe this summer and it would incorporate my music. I’ve always kept my music mostly to myself, just because I refuse to be another “actress/singer” or an actress that’s on a TV show that decides she can sing and starts doing it. But I’ve been doing music my whole life, and playing piano and writing. I actually wrote music for an Independent I did a couple years ago called In My Pocket, and I wrote a song called “Dear Friend” that was the closing number into credits. And I’ve never really wanted to just be, like go out and start playing shows or do anything like that. I like to more just write for my projects. So I’ve been looking for projects that allow me to do that creatively. And my fingers are crossed on this one. I hope that I can get it. But yeah, there’s just two films right now that are up in the air, and then I did a horror film last hiatus, an independent called Dark Room, and I was in 98 percent of the film and most of it just kind of sitting with my fear. It was really intense, it was a really intense project.
RA: Are there any TV show that it would be your dream job to guest star on?
Kaylee: Breaking Bad! But it’s one of those things where I just want to kind of be an outsider looking in, I don’t want to get too close to my most favorite show on television, it could ruin it a little bit. That’s my most favorite show hands down. I’d love to do Shameless, or this new show Girls, with a really talented cast. What else is out there? You know what I really secretly want to do and be on? Ghost Adventures. I want to go on a walk through a haunted place. They do! They take actors and pro wrestlers and stuff. I should write them or tweet them. I want to so bad! I’ll send them this article!
Hair: Wesley O’Meara, The Wall Group
Makeup: Quinn Murphy, De Facto Inc.
Nails: Fleury Rose, Artists By Timothy Priano
Photographer: Spencer Wohlrab
Stylist: Liz Doupnik
Editorial Producer: Marni Golden
Beauty Director: Rachel Adler