She’s mastered the skill of capturing old world beauty in the hairstyles of some of today’s most glamorous leading ladies (think Penelope Cruz, Emma Stone, Sofia Vergara, Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford)—thanks in part to her vibrant resume. She was a key member of Madonna’s hair team on 2006’s Confessions tour; she’s been mentored by hair masters like Andy Lecompte, Guido and Danilo; and she’s made sure the locks of top models were catwalk-ready for designers like Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Chloe, and Alexander McQueen. But her most recent personal accomplishment? Having one of the One Direction boys Tweet her—and gaining 7,000 new followers in the span of five days. Not bad. So, here’s to you, Ms. Atkin.
ELLE: What is your favorite smell?
Jen Atkin: I love Child perfume. It smells like Gardenia, and it’s very girlie. I also love the smell of perms, weirdly enough.
ELLE: What do you consider the epitome of happiness?
JA: Having my feet in soft sand, a breeze, and clear blue water… with no schedule in sight.
ELLE: How do you define luxury?
JA: The Viceroy Hotel in Anguilla. Kelly Wearstler did the best job with the interior design. Also a Slim Aarons photo makes me think of luxury.
ELLE: What is the last dream you remember?
JA: I don’t really remember dreams unless they are really sad. I had one where my boyfriend Mike Rosenthal was in an accident, and I woke up crying.
ELLE: What’s your favorite childhood memory?
JA: Driving around the island of Oahu as a kid. But snorkeling in Hanauma Bay in Hawaii is my favorite memory.
ELLE: What’s the last book you read and loved?
JA: Kris Jenner’s book! Shania Twain’s biography! Rob Lowe’s book! I like hearing real life experiences.
ELLE: Describe your home’s aesthetic.
JA: It is very clean with pops of color. My boyfriend’s photos are on the wall, and we always have fresh orchids around when we are in town for more than a week. Our bedroom is very vacation-inspired with lots of seashells from trips we’ve taken. The whole room has a Peter Beard vibe.
ELLE: What are your vices?
JA: Eating Fonuts—which are gluten-free baked ‘donuts’ from their shop in LA. Reading Kris Jenner’s book more than once. Listening to One Direction. Eating McDonald’s ice cream cones.
ELLE: Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
JA: I LOVE TO HAVE FUN!
ELLE: What possession will you never throw away?
JA: The first purse I ever bought from Disneyland. It’s red and has Mickey Mouse on the front. Clearly the bag obsession started early.