Let’s talk perfume


My scent for the past however many years has been Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle. It’s a really appealing combination of earthy and floral, with just the vaguest hint of patchouli. I dislike wearing perfume, though (the fumes make me headache-y) so I go for this Hair and Body Oil, which smells divine, moisturizes nicely, and, for my money, lasts longer than spray perfume. OK, your turn: what’s your go-to scent and why?

Top 5 of the week: My new favorite (tour-approved) minis


I returned to the east coast Monday morning after a punishing red eye from Seattle—during which I slept not at all, and also contracted a nasty cold, which I know I should be grateful isn’t something far worse. Aside from that, the trip was great, if spectacularly rainy, and it provided me with an excellent opportunity to try out some intriguing new travel minis, including this diminutive razor, which I think I’ll be using at home from now on, because the shape makes it much easier to shave the tricky backside of your legs.

A quality sunscreen that goes on light and pretty invisible.

This product from Smashbox is my new favorite primer—it smooths skins and minimizes pores like nobody’s business, and it’s oil-free.

My skin gets so lackluster when I’m traveling, so I was delighted to find my favorite at-home peel, which always brings a brightness to my skin. Also, please do note that this travel size is a limited edition, and don’t delay if you’re at all interested.

This bronzer isn’t cheap (and it’s not technically a travel mini), but you just use the eensiest bit and it lasts forever. I mix it with my Kosas face oil, and it imparts a pleasingly subtle glow.



All the makeup I put on my face


Recently, I shocked a friend by telling her that I got up every day during even the darkest months of Covid quarantine and applied makeup, without fail. I might not have changed out of the sweatpants I’d worn the previous day (and maybe even slept in), but I did inevitably perform this beauty ritual daily. Why? Well, like everyone else I was Zooming a whole lot back then, and wanted to look good for others. That was part of the thinking. But also, I just thought about the fact that on an average day one catches oneself in the mirror countless times, and why wouldn’t I want to look good for myself? Here, in order of application, is everything I’m currently using, starting with this tinted face oil, which is a good substitute for foundation if you don’t want the heavy coverage of a foundation.

This MiracleBalm has been a straight-out-the-gate bestseller for Bobbi Brown’s new natural beauty line, and for good reason: it goes on super-sheer—much lighter than it appears here—and I apply it to my cheeks for a nice, natural-looking wash of color.

I have tried scores of brow products, but this pencil is my favorite yet. It fattens up my brows nicely, and doesn’t look fake.

Next, I apply this eyeshadow, which is super-subtle and tough to mess up.

If I’m in the mood for some additional drama, I’ll go for this eyeliner from Shiseido, which has a satisfyingly fine point, making application easy even for makeup clutzes like me.

My mascara regimen is a two-parter: first I apply this Mac mascara for volume.

And then I apply this one for length.

This has been my favorite lip color for over a year, which is some kind of record in my book. It’s just a nice, poppy, berry-ish shade and it goes on very matte, if that’s your thing.

If I’m in the mood to top that lip color off with a glossy shine, or if my lips are chapped, I’ll apply a light coat of this tinted lip balm.

Finally, I spritz this setting spray, and voila! All that makeup lasts literal hours longer than it would otherwise.



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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