Every product I put on my face, from start to finish


I’m not very good at paying compliments to myself, but would say that I have pretty decent skin, which in recent years I have started taking much better care of. What follows is my morning routine (I, shamefully, do nothing at night and sleep with my makeup on, which is really bad, I know), starting with Bioderma, which I use to clean my face. It’s so much more hydrating than a foaming cleanser or something along those lines. This Garnier formulation is supposed to be good too, and costs less.

I apply the Bioderma (and the product directly below this one) with cotton pads from Japan, because I read once that Japanese and Korean cotton pads are better than American ones—they don’t pill on your face and are less abrasive. Also, they don’t absorb as much, so your products last longer.

I am a total convert to Biologique Recherche’s Lotion P50W, which smells like hell and costs a small fortune, but exfoliates like nobody’s business. I use the formulation for sensitive skin, because that’s what I have. This stuff is supposed to be pretty good too, and it costs less.

Next, I use Good Genes by Sunday Riley, which I know some of you don’t like because the people at Sunday Riley were caught writing positive reviews of their own items, but I think this stuff really works. The lactic acid plumps up my skin, exfoliates, and smells dreamily of lemongrass, which offsets the stink of the P50W. This stuff from The Ordinary apparently performs the same function for a lot less cash, but it is endlessly out of stock everywhere.

Into the Good Genes I shake a little Vitamin C Powder from True Botanicals, which a beauty editor I trust swears by. It costs more than a lot of Vitamin C  formulations out there, but Vitamin C degrades in water, so it’s supposedly much more powerful in powder form. I think it does a good job of brightening my skin. Here’s another powder that’s much cheaper, if you’re interested.

The next three items I mix together and apply to my face, starting with this Vitamin B serum, which hydrates nicely.

This moisturizer is meant to be used in the evening, and I can see why: it is pretty rich. But it works for mornings as long as I take enough time for it to sink in before applying makeup.

Marula Oil is supposed to be good for aging skin, so I add a few drops of this to the mix.

As for sunscreen, I use this stuff, which goes on nice and light and is slightly tinted, for a subtle glow.

Once a week, I’ll use this Drunk Elephant mask, which stings for the first minute or so, but leaves my skin so smooth and glowy.

And for very, very special occasions, I’ll go into my cache of SKII sheet masks, which are deeply hydrating and altogether beautifying.


I love this stuff


I received a lovely care package the other day from my friend Lisa, who founded and runs the excellent beauty brand Soap & Paper Factory. Included among the goodies was this marigold-calendula hand cream, which smells like a dream—it has notes of cyclamen, peony, and ylang-ylang—and sinks in quickly and un-greasily. After I put it on, I can’t stop smelling my hands: the scent is really uplifting and fresh. And it leaves my sad, dry, chapped skin super-soft.

Every single beauty product mentioned in our most recent podcast episode


Several of those of you who listened to our podcast episode with beauty editor Jean Godfrey June requested that I post all of the items Jean recommended, so here you go, ladies (to those of you who haven’t listened in yet, I ask: what are you waiting for?) My first question for Jean was whether there was one item every woman should use on her skin, and Jean’s answer was Vitamin C, which, she says, is “great for everyone’s skin,” and especially good “…if you’re breaking out, if you have wrinkles, or if you want a glow.” She likes True Botanicals Vitamin C Booster because it comes in powder form. Apparently, Vitamin C degrades fast in water, so once you’ve used about 20% of your product, it starts losing its efficacy. You’re supposed to mix the powder with a serum, but Jean finds it most effective when mixed with water.

Jean declared that Weleda Skin Food to be “The very best moisturizer of all time.” It is quite heavy, though, so if that doesn’t appeal, try their light version.

Jean also loves a cleansing oil, and says that Tata Harper Nourishing Oil Cleanser is “fantastic.”

I was the one who brought up the excellence of Tata Harper’s Resurfacing Mask, but Jean concurred, saying that it is “gentle but makes it happen.”

For makeup removal, Jean likes RMS makeup wipes. “You take them out and they feel dry,” she says. “They’re just coconut oil. But they leave your skin so soft.”

As far as drugstore products go, she digs Burt’s bees lip balm.

Jean has made a switch in recent years to clean beauty, and nowhere is that more important, she says, than with sunscreen. She likes a brand called All Good because “It’s clean and nontoxic. The good thing about clean sunscreen is that it doesn’t irritate your skin, which chemical sunscreens can.” And if you jump in the ocean wearing chemical sunscreen, she continues. “You kill coral. And if it’s killing coral, then what’s it doing when it’s sitting on your skin?”

As for tinted sunscreens, she likes Beautycounter’s Dew Skin: “Such a good product. Everyone looks good in it.”

For self-tanning, she goes for Vita Liberata Foaming Tan Water, which she declares is “really good.”

At night after makeup removal, Jean applies Vintners Daughter Active Botanical Serum. “It’s a great skin smoothing, plumping, glowifying product,” she says.

Once a week (and only once a week, as they are super-strong) Jean uses Goop Glow Overnight Glow Peel. “I live for them. You swipe them on at night, and in the morning you’re super-exfoliated.”

Here’s a little trick Jean employs for a quick brighten-up: apply Kosas Rosewater lipstick, and then dab a little of the color from your lips on to your cheeks. “Whoever does this sort of looks like they got their makeup done,” she says.

Jean confirmed what I have been telling people for years: that the only cure for dark under-eye circles is concealer. She likes Rituel de Fille concealer for this purpose. “To me it’s the ultimate, she says. “And it’s very pigmented so that you don’t have to use so much product.”




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.

Find Out More


[wdi_feed id=”1″]

Join my newsletter! The latest fashion, beauty and inspiration for all the girls of a certain age.