Dorothy Martin is running late. She’s due at a photo shoot in about an hour, but one look at her physical state — wrapped in a robe with her hair in a messy bun and a sheet mask covering her face — is enough to know that she likely won’t make it on time.
Martin, the lead singer of rock band Dorothy, is on the tail end of the group’s 2017 tour. She’s turned her room at the Sixty LES Hotel in Manhattan into a spa, combating the stressful, fast-paced nature of tour life with facials, hair masks and humidifiers. “You must be laughing at me ’cause I have this big mask on,” she says through the mouth slit of the sheet mask. “But it puts lotion on my skin.”
Martin inherited a love of music from her father, whose vinyl collection served as the soundtrack to her childhood. Today, she’s practically an encyclopedia for soul and rock, name-checking the Commodores, Bee Gees, Janis Joplin, Pink Floyd, Cher and Blink-182 all in the same sentence. She started singing after mastering impressions of LeAnn Rimes and Britney Spears, which she picked up after learning how to yodel.
Contrary to what it might suggest, the title of Dorothy’s debut album, “Rockisdead,” is not at all how Martin or her fellow band mates — Dylan Howard, DJ Black and Gregg Cash — view the genre. “Somebody had mentioned calling a tour that and I started cracking up,” she explains. “I didn’t know that [Kiss frontman] Gene Simmons had announced to everybody that rock is dead, which Gene, I’m sorry, but you’re wrong.”
Dorothy is currently working on its sophomore album. Martin isn’t sure yet about a title or release date, but she excitedly reveals the project may include songs the band wrote with Linda Perry. “She wrote ‘Beautiful’ for Christina Aguilera,” she says. “No big deal, just one of the greatest songs of all time.”
In addition to her extensive knowledge of music, Martin is well-versed in beauty products and vitamins. Her skin is perfect — smooth, blemish-free and well-moisturized — or so it seems through the sheet mask, anyway. When asked, she rattles off a list of brands she likes, including SK-II, Jurlique, Tatcha, La Mer and Eminence, and says she often goes to Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles to buy “boxes” of masks.
“I had a beauty blog back in the day when I was bored with my life,” she says. She kept it for about a year “just as a hobby,” using it to post products she liked. She recently collaborated with Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, a vegan brand based in New York, on a lip color called Hellcat. “We did a dark, dark red,” she says. “It’s kinda hard to pull off. I was like, ‘Maybe I screwed up and should’ve done a more neutral shade.'” Though it’s no longer available online, Martin has been bringing boxes on tour with her for those attending Dorothy’s shows.
Despite her tendency to splurge on beauty products, Martin typically shops for clothing at thrift stores. “I feel like I could be a mixture of Jessica Rabbit and Marilyn Monroe and Kurt Cobain,” she says of her personal style. “But then I have this gypsy thing going on.” She prefers “flowy dresses and vintage coats,” one of which appears to be making an escape from her suitcase as she’s speaking.
Martin has been working with a stylist to help craft her look, but says she’s pretty good at putting things together herself now. She ultimately looks for clothes that make her feel “glamorous.”
“I think fashion is an art form, just like anything else,” she says. “There are no rules, and you just wear what makes you feel sexy and what makes you feel confident, and you’ll be fine.”
Sometimes it takes a vintage T-shirt and a faux-fur coat to make you feel sexy and confident. Other times, a robe and sheet mask have the same effect.