Things I bought, things I want, beauty edition


I recently ran out of my favorite eyeliner—the one I use every day, without exception. I don’t recall which brand’s eyeliner it was, though, and the packaging provided no clues, which is pretty bad packaging, I’d say. In any case, on Saturday I took a stroll to the horribly-named-but-very-cool clean beauty emporium Detox Market, on Houston Street, used-up eyeliner in hand, to see if it rang any bells with the staff there. It didn’t, but I was directed to this pencil—I much prefer a pencil to a brush—in a really rich brown, which I’m told is far more flattering for my coloring than black.  And after several days’ use I can say that this stuff does not budge. I even applied eye drops the other day, which is always such a mess, and it stayed put.

I almost never accept free skincare samples when I buy stuff, because I have a pretty set routine when  it comes to that kind of thing, and that’s that. But at Detox Market, the guy who was helping me gave me a small container of this Squalane Facial Oil and I was intrigued, mostly because I’d never heard of this squalane ingredient. Apparently it has great anti-aging properties, and that was enough for me. I’ve been slathering it on my face after cleansing at night, and in the morning I’ve woken with a glow that’s quite unusual for me at that time in the morning.

I’m not going to lie: I’ve been wearing lip color some of the time lately. Just so that maybe I just look a little extra-nice when I catch myself in the mirror, if for no other reason. And lately I’m liking this Hourglass lip tint in Rose, because I’ve been told for ages to switch from darker lip hues to pink-ier ones, and I’m finally listening. This stuff goes on slightly glossy but quickly settles into a deep stain that lasts.

I’ve wanted to try this mascara ever since the experts from the Breaking Beauty podcast appeared on Everything is Fine a few weeks back. It’s supposedly completely smudge-proof, and the price is drugstore-cheap.

Also on the mascara tip: I recently ordered—but have not yet received—this formulation, which I hear creates crazy volume. Expectations are high, and I hope this stuff meets (and even exceeds) them. UPDATE: It’s really good. Lengthens with precious little clumping.

The Breaking Beauty ladies also highly recommended this eye cream and concealer in one, and I very much like the idea of those two steps being compressed into a single entity. It’s also got hyaluronic acid, just as an added extra plus. As soon as I can figure out what shade I am, I’m ordering it.

You know how sometimes you have a product for a while and are never that sold on it, but then it just somehow comes off the bench and becomes the star quarterback of your beauty regimen? That’s how I feel about this Hourglass bronzer. I don’t use it every day, but on those mornings when I feel almost translucently pale, it’s a lifesaver.

Lately I’ve been feeling as though I’ve got a lot of product buildup on my hair that a regular old shampoo just isn’t going to wash out. So—because lately I like stuff from this brand—I’m thinking of giving R&Co’s Crown Scalp Scrub a shot. Not for everyday shampooing, but just every once in a while.

A couple of new—to me—products I am liking


Even before Covid I was a compulsive hand-washer, and now I’m like twenty times more ardent about it, which can be quite drying for the skin. So I use this hand wash from C.O. Bigelow, which is lightly—and dreamily—scented, and very, very rich: it contains shea butter and sweet almond protein to keep your skin from getting all flaky and gross. My hands actually feel more moisturized after I wash them, which is a definite first. I like this stuff so much, in fact, that I just ordered the body wash version.

I have epic insomnia—like, nights when I literally get zero hours of sleep, and any advice you have to offer in the comments will be appreciated, but I also very much feel like I’ve tried everything. Some of it even helps, like this aromatherapy balm, which contains not only good old reliable lavender but also ylang ylang and palmaroso too. There’s a little chamomile in it, but that scent doesn’t overpower like it usually does in products of this kind. And if you slow down and really inhale it, deeply, several times and then also exhale deeply, you might feel a bit like you’d taken a klonopin. This stuff doesn’t put me to sleep, but it does take me to that drifting-off-and-drowsy place right at sleep’s gateway. And getting there is half the battle.

This stuff is magic


My hair gets big and fluffy—in a decidedly not-good way—when there’s any humidity in the air at all, and that makes me cranky. So I was excited when I was last at the hairdresser and she whipped out R+ Co’s Moon Landing, and gave me a spritz. This stuff somehow keeps things from getting all frizzbo, I know not how. What’s the magic potion that makes your hair do what you want it to? Please share in the comments.



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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