Everything I stocked up on at Sephora the other day

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I found myself in suburban Connecticut recently with time on my hands, so I did one of my favorite things to do in the suburbs, and went to the mall. It was a practical decision as well: Now that I live in a brownstone with no doorman, it’s tougher for me to do my shopping online—if I’m not home to receive a package and it’s left on the stoop, it will most likely be stolen. Annoyingly. So I was looking forward to checking a number of items off my list at Sephora, and that is what I did. For starters, I picked up this SPF 40, because I kept reading and hearing about how good it was. And it appears that the raves are entirely founded: this stuff goes on super-light and works to hydrate skin as it protects. Also, the formula is pearlescent, and leaves skin with a lovely glow.

I think I have maybe been loyal to Benefit’s Rollerlash mascara longer than I’ve been loyal to any mascara in recent memory. When I want big eyelash drama I’ll still reach for my Nars Climax, but for everyday, it’s the Benefit. It lifts and curls your lashes and manages to look deeply natural always.

I ran out of my Kosas Tinted Face Oil not long ago, so I used my old foundation for a week or so, and boy, is the Kosas better, especially for summer. It’s light, has enough coverage without making you look spackled, and is actually good for your skin.

Under typical circumstances, there are about three or four products I put on my clean skin in the morning, but when I’m in a rush all I go for is this Drunk Elephant Marula Oil, because it hydrates my skin really well and absorbs pretty quickly, leaving a supple surface for makeup. (I am curious, though, about this marula oil from The Ordinary, which costs a mere fraction of what the Drunk Elephant does, and is maybe just as good? Does anyone know?).

I was thrilled to find full-size specimens of this Milk bronzer, because it is constantly either sold out or only available in minis (and, alas, all Sephora has for sale online is the mini so that’s what I linked to). I—and clearly lots of others—get excited about this stuff because most bronzers have at least a little shimmer in them, and sometimes rather a lot of shimmer, and I dislike that. This stuff goes on totally matte (and is also lighter than it looks here) and truly makes your face look naturally tan.

And speaking of summer, I long ago learned that if I want to wear eyeliner when it’s hot and sticky out, it had better be waterproof. I also vastly prefer a pencil liner for ease of use. So I was delighted to discover this waterproof pencil eyeliner from Sephora’s in-house brand. It is a nice, deep, rich brown (but also comes in a ton of other hues) and stays put like crazy.

I am just so bad at applying eyeshadow, so I like products that make it easy for me, like this Ilia formulation (the color is called Dim), which is a super-pretty grey with a hint of lavender. It goes on liquid-ish but then dries as a powder, and is as difficult to screw up as you please.

What is your white whale beauty product?

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We all have (at least) one primping item that we stay on the lookout for the perfect version of, and for me it is mascara: I am endlessly searching for the ideal one, and as soon as I’m pretty certain I found it, I go hunting for one that’s even better. Right now, I’m pretty enamored of Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions Mascara, which goes on nice and thick, with nary a clump in sight. How about you? What are you forever in pursuit of?

11 beauty products I use to the last drop

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I had a very sobering realization while packing up my old apartment—and, specifically, my beauty products—last month. And that is that there are an awful lot of them that I tried once or twice, was underwhelmed by, and never used again. Because my taste in skincare and makeup does not run cheap, this isn’t a good way to operate, so I’m attempting these days just to stick with the tried and true. And speaking of which, I have never, in the history of ever, used up an entire container of eye cream, because none of them seem to move the needle much—except for this stuff, which contains banana powder, which is an old makeup artist trick, and supposedly brightens up undereye circles. I think it actually does do this, and it’s nicely moisturizing too.

I don’t like washing my face, and who knows why, so I use this micellar water, which is gentle (this is the sensitive skin formulation) and really gets the job done. Your face feels clean after using it, but not all dried out the way some cleansing potions can do.

I treat my SKII sheet masks like gold—lord knows they probably cost as much, pound for pound—and only use them if I’ve got a promising date or important Zoom meeting or something like that. They’re deeply hydrating, and I swear they make me prettier. And after you use it, there’s still a bunch of mask goop (I guess the more accurate term would be serum) left over in the little envelope for you to get a couple of more uses out of it.

 

This C.O. Bigelow body wash smells ever-so-faintly of musk, and suds up like nobody’s business.

 

This pencil is applied to the lower rim of the eye and is great for those times when you’re tired or burnt out and your face needs a little waking up. I don’t use it every day, but when I’m feeling and looking a bit bedraggled, it really makes a difference.

I like Milk’s bronzer because, unlike most bronzers, it’s perfectly matte, so your face doesn’t resemble a disco ball.

I wear lipstick every day, even now, which might seem ridiculous to some of you, but I’ll bet that others of you get where I’m coming from: even if I’m the only person to see it, that’s enough. My shade of the moment is Royal, by Kosas: it’s a kind of pinkish, berryish shade that really flatters, and lasts reasonably a reasonably long time, if not forever.

My new favorite mascara is Hourglass Unlocked Instant Extensions, and the length it endows your lashes with is, indeed, almost as good as extensions.

Kosas Tinted Face Oil feels so much lighter than your average foundation, is nicely sheer, and leaves me feeling particularly glowy.

I work this Davines Oi All in One Milk through my hair before blow-drying, and it makes my hair behave so much more nicely than if I hadn’t used it. I’ve been relying on it for years, and will be seriously lost if it’s ever discontinued.

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About

Kim France

I was born in Houston, Texas in 1964 and have lived in New York City since 1988. I had a long career in magazines, working at Sassy, Elle, New York, and Spin, and in 2000, I founded Lucky magazine, which I edited for ten years.

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