Meet Molly Young

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Molly Young was born in San Francisco and now lives in New York, in a tiny Chinatown apartment. She is a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine, and writes a column called “Help Desk” in the New York Times Book Review. Molly has worked as a director at Warby Parker since 2011. She also makes funny little high-concept calling cards through her side business, Compliments Of.
 
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  Top, Topshop ;  Jeans, Levi's

Top, Topshop ; Jeans, Levi's

on her morning routine

My morning routine: I put on a podcast (Open Source is my favorite; it keeps me smart). Splash cold water on face, apply Glossier Priming Moisturizer, put on makeup (Makeup Forever Eyeshadow, Maybelline Great Lash MascaraTonymoly Easy Touch Coloring Browcara, Givenchy Magic Khol EyelinerRMS Living Luminizer) dress, walk to my office, and make a very strong cup of Irish Breakfast tea

on taking a break

If I need a break at work, I like to watch the live auctions at Sotheby’s—they broadcast them on the website. One of the paintings that failed to sell last year at an Old Masters auction in London was this freaky little baby-man from the 1500s. I contacted the department and asked if I could make a deal with the seller, and a month later my painting showed up in a crate.

My pal James Siena (who is an artist and former frame maestro) helped me reframe it. It is the oldest thing I own by several hundred years.

 Molly's favorite books
I love books that are virtuous and weird. Amelie Nothomb hits both qualities out of the park.
— on her favorite books
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on getting work done

If I need to concentrate on writing, I turn off my phone. But I still like to know what time it is. (Slightly compulsive.) Hence, there is always at least one clock within eyeshot of me. I buy them on eBay or Etsy.

on home decor

My advice on how to decorate your place is to first figure out what your favorite colors are and fill your house with them, then figure out what houseplants thrive in your apartment and fill your house with those, too.

on her personal style

I find a uniform and wear it until it bores me. Now I am wearing white Levi's 501 jeans every day with a white cotton or silk top. Yesterday, my younger brother said to me, 'You are dressed like a tampon.' I am fine with that.

 

on her beauty routine

I don’t really have a beauty routine, but an Aquis towel is magic if you have long hair. You wrap it around your soggy strands after the shower and five minutes later, your hair is 90% dry.

I also recommend Skin Trip Coconut Moisturizer by Mountain Ocean, Bumble and bumble Hairdresser's Invisible OilChanel No 19 Eau De Toilette Spray, and Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation.

on writing advice

My only writing tip is to read a lot. As for career tips, turn in your work on time, find good editors to work with, and accept their edits gratefully.

Steve Martin used to hand out these calling cards to fans who approached him. A friend and I thought it would be fun to make similar cards, but with VERY VERY specific compliments written on them. It’s the analogue version of hitting the “like” button. I use them as gift tags on presents and as place cards at dinner parties. They make everyone giggle.
— on her project: compliments of

molly's favorite books

Tokyo Fiancee by Amelie Nothomb, What Do You Desire?: Vol. II: n+1 Anthology by Various Authors, London Fields by Martin Amis, Martian Dawn by Michael Friedman, Loving Sabotage by Amelie Nothomb, The Man Who Invented Saturday Morning by David Owen

molly's favorite places in nyc

My favorite neighborhood bar is Clandestino

Lucky King Bakery has the best crispy sesame balls for an afternoon snack.

Odessa is my #1 diner. (Best banana pancakes.)

I look forward to every new issue of n+1  that arrives in my mailbox from Brooklyn.