Between her daring faux-hawk and her stunning Rodarte x Target frock, Delaney Wessel turned every single head at our most recent bash. Not many folks can pull off this lethal combo of sweetie pie-meets-tough-cookie with such aplomb. So, we were naturally on our knees, thanking the hair gods, when she agreed to give us the skinny on her beauty routine.
From the comfort of her tiny Silver Lake abode, Wessel proved to us that half the hair means double the style potential. And, if you can believe it, her 'do is just the tip of an interesting iceberg — she translates German for a living, is often joined by a domesticated squirrel in her communal garden, and has a serious affinity for bow ties. So, for anyone who's toyed with the idea of a buzz cut, here's your ammo — as for everyone else, get ready to meet your new wannabe BFF.
Photographed by Molly Cranna
Tell us the story behind your hair. What made you go for the buzzed sides?
"I had been considering this cut for some time. Initially, my stylist refused to do it! She said she had seen too many mohawk meltdowns and told me to go home and think about it for a week. I kept gushing about the dilemma and finally my friend Lucas said, 'Do it or stop talking about it!' So, I did it — and, I've never regretted it."
Does it take you longer or less time to get ready in the morning now that you have less hair?
"Occasionally, I'll straighten my hair or curl it overnight with pink granny curlers. But, I mostly do the beachy wave thing. Buzzing the sides takes the most time — sometimes I enlist my roommates for help once a week."
Gap Dress, J.Crew Sweater, Anthropologie Belt, Frye Boots, Handmade Socks, American Apparel Leggings, D&G Glasses, Forever21 Earrings
What is your signature makeup look?
"I like very natural-looking makeup with a smoky black eye and a pop of color on the lips. I tend to use a lot of blush because it makes me feel happy."
How much did your beauty routine change when moving from the Midwest to Southern California?
"My skin was so dry during the Wisconsin winters that I would coat my arms and legs with baby oil before bed. I also had to put Vaseline on my face when I went outside to protect it from wind burn. Plus, wearing eyeliner and eyeshadow was hopeless because my eyes water when it's negative 10 degrees outside."
How would you describe your style in three words or less?
"Romantic, preppy, whimsical."
What's the one beauty trend that you will never try?
"Probably tanning beds — they scare me! A little natural sun makes me feel good, but I don’t want to fry my pale complexion."
What has been your biggest beauty splurge?
"I actually plan to splurge on a dye job at the Chaz Dean Studio
over the holiday break. They use happy, healthy color with no bleach, so I think it will be worth it. My hair feels great right now, and I don’t want to go back to the harsh chemicals."
Do you remember your worst beauty blunder?
"I did come home from Sweden with a little rhinestone tooth gem once. I had to go to the dentist to have it applied. They were popular in Europe, I swear!"
J.Crew Jeans, Sweater, and Button-Down, Pink Studio Shoes, Gifted Bow Tie, H&M Earrings, Swatch Watch, Vintage Rings and Lapel Chain
Which beauty trends are you totally trying out?
"I fell head over heels for the signature J.Crew
orange lip and drove to four different locations just to buy the Poppy King tube! I’m also crazy about the Sally Hansen Salon Effects
nail polish strips. They last a long time, and the designs are so cool. Oh, and ombré hair color is having a moment, which has been convenient for me, as I grow out my bleached hair!"
What products do you always carry in your makeup bag?
"A toothbrush and toothpaste! I’m a little paranoid about my coffee, tea, and red wine intake, so I brush three times a day. I have cherry Chapstick and blush, too — those are my pick-me-ups."
Who are some of your icons when it comes to beauty and fashion?
"I love women who keep it simple and elegant. I like Princess Catherine’s style, I love the J.Crew style guide, and I think Emma Stone is doing a great job of dressing in a stylish and age-appropriate way."
What's the best beauty advice you've ever received?
"A dermatologist once told me to apply moisturizer not only to my face, but also to my neck and décolletage because those are extensions of the face. Another classic tip is to always smile. And, finally, if you get a blemish — embrace it! It makes you more approachable."
Which drugstore products do you swear by?
"I go through a lot of Dove hairspray
and Goody's Blonde Metallic Bobby Pins
. I leave a trail of bobbies everywhere I go, but I can always find my way home! I also did some translation work for Wen Products
and fell in love with its Cleansing Conditioner and Intensive Hair Treatment."
What are some of the most notable cultural differences between the Midwest and SoCal?
"As far as the clothing culture, I think everyone is just trying to stay warm in the Midwest. I had a black unitard of long underwear that was permanently affixed to my body from September to March. And, one year, my big Christmas treat was a North Face sleeping-bag coat. I was addicted to the sauna and Bikram yoga, simply as a means to warmth. In SoCal, it's more about looking good all the time, weather be danged. Milwaukee is a stylish city though — we have to give 'em that."
Zac Posen for Target Dress, J.Crew Pumps, Vintage and J.Crew Rings, Gifted Bracelet, Forever21 Earrings
How many languages do you speak?
"I speak Swedish, German, and some Polish. I have a very happy and personal relationship to Swedish and use it most in my daily life. I have an academic and respectful relationship to German, so it would be impossible to choose my favorite!"
What is your typical day like as a translator?
"I had so many different and fascinating projects as a translator this past fall — I helped cast the actresses for the Swedish market cosmetics commercials, I translated copy for a mobile app called textPlus, and I taught Swedish and German to both kids and adults. No matter what, I always try to update my Germanic languages blog
during my lunch hour. I’m constantly on the lookout for my next language adventure!"
You live on the Eastside — what are some of your fave places to eat and drink in your 'hood?
"Silver Lake is such a magical place! I naturally love Berlin Currywurst
for dinner, Proof Bakery
for coffee and celeb sightings, and Bar Covell
, of course! The Soap Plant
is the best place for books and gifts, plus there are some hidden gems for vintage shopping in Atwater. Pop Physique
is such a fun place to workout, and the improv at Upright Citizens Brigade
always makes me laugh — especially if I smuggle in a few beers!"
Where do you love to shop in Lala?
"I haven’t done too much shopping since I arrived, but I have gotten some great things at the flea markets around town. Long Beach is my absolute favorite because it's way more manageable than the Rose Bowl
. I go gaga for everything on Abbot Kinney, especially a Swedish store called Huset
and the new Toms Shoes
Since Quaker was too shy to join us at the photo shoot, why don't you describe her to our readers?
"One of my roommates has tamed a squirrel to the point of almost total domestication. Quaker comes when called, walks around in our house, and has a steady diet of organic blanched almonds. I'm not fond of Quaker since I am quite scared of most animals, and she tears up my plants. I have to admit that she is a pretty good-looking squirrel, though!"