Tommy Dorfman Wants You To Lean Into Pleasure

The actress and activist on the beauty products she can’t live without, her favorite day-to-night makeup tip, and her strangest skin care ritual.

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Tommy Dorfman is the kind of celebrity who’s so busy, it’s hard to decide how exactly to specify her multi-hyphenate status. She first came into the public eye as an actress in the hit 2017 Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, but more recently has found herself in roles behind the camera. This year she’s set to make her directorial debut with I Wish You All The Best. The movie hasn’t even come out yet, and already she’s been tapped to direct a film adaptation of another LGBTQ+ coming of age story, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me.

But Dorfman’s ambitions don’t just stop there. She is also the founder of the all-inclusive digital lifestyle platform, Club Curran, which she describes as “a space for LGBTQ+ writers and artists to explore the vibrancy and nuances of joy, wellness, creation, identity, and intimacy.” Recently, she added an online shop to the platform which features a curation of queer and trans-owned beauty, clothing, accessories, and home goods brands with 3% of the shop’s proceeds going to support the Ali Forney Center. So, if you’ve been coveting Dorfman’s ethereal glow on Instagram, you’re in luck. She’s been generous enough to share some of her beauty secrets with NYLON — and now you know where to find the tools.

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What is your first beauty memory? Do you remember the first beauty product you ever loved?

As a kid, my mom would let me apply makeup on her before going to events. She was a Bobbi Brown loyalist and Clinique lover. Both these beauty brands shaped me as a child.

How has your relationship to beauty grown and changed as you’ve grown up?

My relationship to makeup on myself was centered around ballet performances and musical theater as a kid. I found makeup to be a great tool to create character and transform myself. But aside from that, I certainly was obsessed with anything glittery or glossy — and that remains true today.

What’s your favorite beauty category now?

Skin care [is my favorite] and especially the fusion of skincare and makeup.

How much time do you think you spend on beauty in a week?

I spend approximately an hour a day on beauty. So seven to eight hours a week!

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What’s the weirdest or quirkiest part of your beauty routine?

I'd say my weekly facial ice plunge gets the most side eye at my house.

What are beauty products that you use every day or couldn’t live without?

Tatcha Dewy Skin Cream, Saie Slip Tint, Glossier [Lash Slick] mascara, Noto Botanics Multi-Bene Sticks, SkinBetter science [Instant Effect] eye gel, and About-face everything.

What’s one beauty look you haven’t tried yet, but would like to?

I'd like to learn how to do a perfect crease cut.

What’s the best beauty tip you’ve ever gotten from the internet?

I’ve learned blush and contour placements.

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What’s your favorite beauty look you’ve worn recently and why?

Fine wing-tip eyeliner. I love the Pat Mcgrath [Perma Precision] Liquid Eyeliner. It’s great from day to night.

Do you have a beauty philosophy?

Lean into pleasure.

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