This stuff really works

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I sweat like a man in the underarm area—not to share too much information, but I do—and for that reason, I have always been reluctant to switch over from chemical-y-but-powerful antiperspirant to natural deodorant, which I’ve never had good experiences with, even though the potential dangers of antiperspirant scare me. But then, just the other day, I ran out of my regular stuff and tried the Real Purity Deodorant I’d purchased at some point over the summer, and I have to say I’m impressed. This stuff is really effective, has only the mildest scent, and is my new go-to.

My essential travel size beauty products

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I love a travel size product—not only are they great for anyone constitutionally incapable of checking a suitcase, but they’re also a good way to sample something before investing in a regular-sized version of it. Plus, they’re cute. I have been banging the drum about Drunk Elephant’s T.L.C. Babyfacial for a while now—my skin glows like crazy on days that I use it—and their mini version comes with a bonus sample of their excellent Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil.

Charlotte Tilbury’s Wonderglow primer is an essential of mine for days when I want to bring everything up a notch—it helps makeup go on smoother, and just sort of evens everything out.

I use Sol de Janeiro’s shower cream every day at home, (sometimes followed by their Bum Bum Cream, which sinks in amazingly quickly and also comes in a handy travel size) and I love the caramel-y scent.

Portrait of a Lady is my perfume of choice—a blend of Turkish rose and patchouli that is neither too floral or hippie girl but somehow exactly right. I have had people compliment me on my scent at gas stations on the Long Island Expressway, it’s so good. And if you’re afraid of the bottle breaking in your cosmetic bag, you can always go for this spiff red case.

My skin never feels cleaner than when I use Bioderma, and it removes even the most stubborn makeup. Plus, it hydrates, which is the opposite of what most cleansers do.

I rarely exfoliate at home, but after a flight I always get a little obsessive about unclogging my pores, and so I bring along Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate, which is pleasantly tingly and really gets the job done.

A very natural-looking bronzer for fighting winter pallor.

I just bought a mini-tube of this mascara, and I can’t find it anywhere in my apartment, and it’s making me a little nuts, because it volumizes like nobody’s business.

 

I can use any old shampoo, but if I don’t have my Davines Love Conditioner, my hair completely freaks out.

The only two natural remedies I believe in

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In my late 30s and for much of my 40s, I suffered badly from migraines, on account of (in retrospect it seems so clear) a super-stressful job that was too good to leave, even though I knew it wasn’t good for me. But I stayed, for years, until they kicked me out, burning this lavender candle at my desk to soothe my head, and—I’m pretty sure—completely zonk out anyone who entered my office for a meeting. But it really is the most excellent scent: strong and green and deeply sedating.

This essential oil from C.O. Bigelow is extra-powerful too.

And I don’t know if I will be able to resist these Liberty of London lavender sardines for the unmentionables drawer.

The other day, I banged the hell out of my ankle trying to move the sofa back into its space after my dog Mister dive-bombed it and sent it sliding across the floor (this, alas, is a near-daily occurrence). It hurt so much a bruise was imminent, I knew, and I bruise badly. So I went directly to the medicine cabinet and applied Herb Pharm’s arnica oil to the affected area, and it never turned purple and gross. Because I am such a bad bruiser, I have tried other arnicas, and some of them are good, but none are as effective as this stuff. It must be highly concentrated or something, I don’t know.

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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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