Style

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

Klancy Miller is a pastry chef and the author of Cooking Solo, a cookbook all about the joy of cooking for oneself. Klancy grew up in Atlanta and Philadelphia, and now resides in Brooklyn. But she spent her early 20s studying at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she fell in love with French beauty — and French drugstore products. Here, Klancy shares her best finds and an amazing moisturizing trick…

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

How did you first learn about beauty and makeup?
My mom is my touchstone for beauty stuff. She’s a big believer in facials, and she religiously got them at the Christine Valmy salon when I was growing up. She encouraged me to get them, but you know, you always have to rebel against your parents, so I avoided them for a long time. It wasn’t until I went to culinary school in Paris that I realized how they give you a fresh start with your skin. I really like getting the extractions, weirdly.

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

What else did you pick up in France?
Many of the French women I know are into a no-makeup look, so the emphasis is on maintaining your skin. I used NUXE products for skincare (I loved their honey face wash). And I always used Phyto shampoo and conditioner for curly hair. You can get it here, but it’s much cheaper in France. My friends used to give me money to bring some home for them.

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

Now that it’s spring, are there any seasonal fruits and veggies you’re into?
I love asparagus. There’s a recipe in Cooking Solo for asparagus roasted with berbere, an Ethiopian spice, which is so good. I also love my friend Julia Turshen‘s recipe for asparagus salad with marcona almonds. Oh, and lemon risotto with asparagus or spring peas! I eat lots of vegetables and fruit; they make me feel energetic. I love pomegranates, rambutan, apples, cherries, mangoes, papaya and all of the berries. I got that from my mom, who is a major health nut. She’ll literally call me sometimes and be like, ‘Are you eating enough blueberries?’

What does your routine look like these days?
I wake up between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. I look at Instagram. Sometimes I stretch to an old Jane Fonda video that my mom loaned me. Sometimes I do Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. I boil water, add the juice from half a lemon, and drink it. I make a to-do list for the day, and then I make breakfast, which is usually toast and tea, a blueberry smoothie or oatmeal. Sometimes I’ll whip up a breakfast taco with a sunny side up egg, avocado and tomatoes. Then I shower and get ready for the day.

Is the hot lemon water a digestion thing?
It’s just because I need all the help I can get drinking water. I’m just like, one glass of water down, seven more to go!

Do you have a morning skincare regimen?
Yes, Tracie Martyn is my go-to for skin care products. Years ago, I went to a beauty event, and she used her cleanser and a mask on me, and afterward my friend looked at me and said, ‘You look visibly different. You look better.’ I thought, sold! I use the Amla Purifying Cleanser and the Firming Serum. They work the way they say they will, and I love the way they feel and smell. I see a huge difference in my skin (my mom always notices, too!). But they’re expensive, so when I run out, I have a good backup: Weleda’s Gentle Cleansing Milk. It’s less pricey and smells great. I love any fragrance with sandalwood, orange blossom or honeysuckle.

Do you have a signature scent?
My favorites are Santal 33 by Le Labo and Zagara by Santa Maria Novella. I also like Aesop Spray Deodorant, which doubles as a perfume. I know that sounds weird, but it smells really good.

Are you a makeup person?
Yes! I swear by Laura Mercier and Bobbi Brown products, which I’ve used for years. On a regular day, I start with Laura Mercier Hydrating Primer, which serves as my moisturizer. Then I put on Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer as foundation. I don’t use concealer; my sunglasses are my concealer! I use Tarteist Double Take Eyeliner and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Brow Pencil. I finish with Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara and Bobbi Brown lipstick in Red. That’s something else I picked up in Paris — a red lip.

What about special occasions?
Ha, well, the hardcore routine — which I only do if I’m going somewhere genuinely fancy — is to go to the Bobbi Brown counter at Bergdorf Goodman, and have them do it. It’s worth it to me on those occasions. I feel proud that I can do eyeliner, but that’s my only real application skill.

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

Do you do any other treatments?
I do get acupuncture if something needs tweaking. I started last year when I had a terrible stiff neck. I went to Yuka at Olo Acupuncture, and it was amazing! I also noticed that I was more chill and relaxed, which was an added bonus. I only go when I need to, but I love it. It’s kind of like meditation, but with a bunch of needles stuck all over you.

What about soap or body wash?
The one I use most often is Dr. Bronner’s. But I recently stayed at an Ace Hotel and fell in love with the Rudy’s body wash that they have in their rooms. It’s orange-scented, and it’s so freakin’ good. I was thrilled to find out you can buy it!

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

Any other body-care accessories?
In 2017, I was visiting a friend in Tokyo, and we went to the onsen, a traditional hot-spring bathing spa. Before getting into the bath, people will often scrub themselves down with mitts or brushes, pretty hard. I went to the pharmacy after and picked up a I use a Japanese silk bathing mitt for myself, and I use it all the time to exfoliate at home.

Do you use lotion when you get out of the bath?
Yes, Bliss’s Naked Body Butter. If I need extra moisture, I use argan oil. I also learned an Ayurvedic trick for moisturizing recently, which sounds very weird but I love.

Do tell.
I went to a talk by Shrankhla Holecek, the founder of UMA, an Ayurvedic skin-care line. She mentioned this thing where you put coconut oil in your belly button and it moisturizes your lips! I was like, that is wild — but I had to try it. So, I put a little coconut oil in my belly button overnight and when I woke up, my lips did feel good! I know! I don’t even understand how it’s possible, except that the human body is so mysterious.

Let’s talk hair care.
For a long time, I used tons of oils in my hair. But now I have a wonderful hairstylist, Flavia, at Vidal Sassoon. She was like, ‘You’re using way, way too much.’ She pulled out this magic bottle of Davines Oi Oil and said, ‘This is all you need.’ So, now I put a little on after I wash, and that’s the only hair product I use.

When cooking, kitchen burns are a hazard of the trade. Do you have any chef secrets for treating burned skin?
I recently got a tip from Carrie Ann Purcell, the food stylist for my cookbook. While working in the kitchen, she learned that you can put a raw tomato on your burns. I’ve tried it, and it does make it feel better. Otherwise, if I burn myself, I just kiss it and put ice on it and suck it up.

Speaking of your book, I love the idea of a cookbook designed just for cooking for oneself.
It’s been so gratifying to hear people’s stories. Recently, a woman came up to me at a party and said, ‘I just got divorced, and your cookbook has been so helpful during this time.’ I’ve heard the same from other single people or young folks just out of college who are living on their own for the first time. And interestingly, I’ve also heard a lot from people who are married and have children, but everyone in their household eats something different because of allergies or preferences. So, they’re often cooking for themselves too.

What do you make for yourself, when it’s just you?
My go-to is a large salad and a piece of seafood. Sometimes I’ll dress it up myself with preserved lemons, olive oil and salt. I also like Haven’s Kitchen chimichurri sauce. Sometimes I’ll put some on a piece of salmon, pop it in the oven, make myself a salad and call it a day. It’s easy, and it’s great.

My Beauty Uniform: Klancy Miller

Thank you so much, Klancy!

P.S. More women share their beauty uniforms, including a polar explorer and a poet.

(Photos of Klancy in striped blue shirt by Jenny Huang. Headshot with pink background by Katie McCurdy. Photo of Klancy in an apron by Davis Thompson Moss. All other photos courtesy of Klancy Miller.)

  1. Anna says...

    Wow – she is radiant!

  2. Kirsten Outcalt says...

    She is beautiful! And yes always, to acupuncture. The belly button is the source of gu qi (food source in the womb, think umbilical cord). It corresponds to the mouth in this way. There are different modalities in varying cultures to nourish the source. In TCM, we use moxabustion, but I see how the oil can work. Ayurvedic medicine is wonderful. I love all the original health and beauty tips in this post. Thank you.

    – Kirsten, an acupuncturist in Denver CO :)

  3. Lili says...

    Thanks for such an interesting interview. I love her easy style and approach to hair and makeup. Also love her glowing beautiful skin and hair. Good luck with the Cook book! I will check it out.

  4. Tracy says...

    I recently started getting acupuncture treatments so it was cool to hear about someone else embracing alternative medicine. I also like how she focuses on skin care instead of makeup. I like that she embraces self care that isn’t just bath bombs and massage.

  5. L says...

    Where do you find this FABULOUS WOMEN???? She’s BEAUTIFUL! I

  6. Fiona says...

    loooooved this! Am going in search of anything that makes my skin glow like hers!

  7. Ksm says...

    The oil in navel for smooth lips is such an Indian thing. I doubt there would be any indian grandmother who has never hounded the children for it. Made me smile.

    • SR says...

      I was thinking just the same! Its such a regular thing in our household, i never gave a second thought about it :D

  8. Rae says...

    What a face! I could hear the worst news from her and feel okay. I use some of the products she uses and love them — off to check out the others…

  9. Christie says...

    Beautiful, cool and humble. A winning combination!

  10. Natalie says...

    Not sure if this has been done here before, but I would love to see a beauty uniform for a women who has problem skin (acne, rosacea, etc.). I have struggled with moderately crappy skin for most of my life and even at 32 it’s still an issue, even though now I have to add the anti-aging stuff, ha. I need to look polished at work, so that means a decent amount of work every day to get that clear skin appearance. It’s always nice to see someone who also puts in a lot of effort to look like they have good skin – I find folks who only need to wear tinted moisturizer or can go without any concealer without looking like death inspirational, but less realistic for my life. (Also I get that I don’t have to cover up my imperfections, but I feel better when I do and I feel more like me, and that’s just as powerful as the opposite.)

    Love Cup of Jo! :)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes for sure!! great point, we’re on it!

    • Mel says...

      I’d love to see this too! I dismiss most recommendations as they always seem to be for dry skin.

    • Cara M says...

      Natalie, you read my mind! I came here to post exactly this same comment. I have limited scleroderma and my face is marked by broken red capillaries. I’ve recently embraced venturing out into the world without makeup – but it is a rare day. While I love my face (and wouldn’t trade it), it would be awesome to see how someone else works within these challenges.

    • Victoria says...

      Yes please! Any other lifelong acne sufferers? I really don’t want to go back on a medication but since trading birth control for an IUD, it’s been even worse. Do I have to wait until after menopause or what? (I’m in my late 30s)

    • Kelly says...

      Yes, that would be great! I’m nearing 30 with acne (STILL!!), and I’d love to know what people with adult acne use on their face both skincare and make-up wise. In all my years of having acne (15+), I’ve really yet to find a concealer/foundation that doesn’t look a bit off in some way with acne–highlighting dryness, doesn’t really cover a whitehead all that well, makes it look worse.

    • Michelle says...

      Wanted to weigh in on this in case my experience could help someone. Our skin is an incredible indicator of what is happening on the inside. I used birth control for 15 years and a few months after stopping my skin began to purge everything that the BC was suppressing for all those years (check out Woman Code on more info for properly getting off BC). Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I would have acne the way I did. I was already a healthy person and eating clean and what I thought was supportive to my body. But I went above and beyond to gently recover all those years of putting chemicals in my body. It took about two years of gut healing, following an Ayurvedic diet, getting frequent acupuncture, (community acupuncture is a wonderful resource) and using Marie Veronique Treatment line. Non toxic and science based – this shit works! There were days where I couldn’t bare to look in the mirror and then there were days when I said f*ck it I’m going makeup free. I did find that Kjaer Weiss foundation worked well to cover the redness and didn’t make my skin feel like it was suffocating plus the packaging is refillable. It’s such a frustrating thing to deal with especially because it’s assumed that you will outgrow skin issues as an adult.

  11. Mims says...

    ADORABLE! she was stunning as a child, likely will be a stunning elder too. Love her style and the shout for acupuncture. BTW, many communities have low cost, sliding scale acupuncture clinics, you need not be wealthy to get acupuncture! https://www.pocacoop.com/what-is-ca-long-answer

  12. Wendela says...

    Love this! Gorgeous woman!

  13. CHristina says...

    She has great style!

  14. Katie Peshek says...

    Love love love that mother daughter photo – what a stunningly beautiful duo!

  15. Nina says...

    Wow. that picture with the pink background – she is simply stunning. I love that she and her mom both have a blue striped shirt, so cute. She’s lovely. thanks for sharing

  16. Rachel says...

    Would you ever do a Beauty Uniform with a woman who serves in the military? My college alumni magazine just featured this article: https://magazine.byu.edu/article/facing-ranger-dangers/ and it got me thinking. COJ always does a great job of featuring inspiring women!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, that’s wonderful! thank you, rachel!

  17. Karyn says...

    Absolutely wonderful profile. I cannot wait to try the coconut oil trick with my 7yo, who cannot stand the feel of lip balm, but who I think will be fascinated by the belly button experiment!

  18. Gemma says...

    Absolutely loved this BU!!! and buying at least half of these products and her book ASAP.
    Also drenching my belly button in coconut oil as I type this.

    Gx

  19. Corinne says...

    Just love this post. Thank you!

  20. Andrea says...

    Oh, I so enjoyed this! Klancy is so beautiful, she glows. And she seems like such a lovely human, the kind that seems to have unlocked some secret to life, if you know what I mean. Loved getting to read these responses and feel like now I have a bit of that secret too.
    And this cookbook concept! Saved to my list of go-to gifts!

  21. K says...

    Her lips are just AMAZING. Her red lipstick is a such a gorgeous statement.

  22. I’m so jealous you get to be in France! It’s my dream place to travel to. I love how they go by the no makeup look. America needs to do more of that. Natural beauty is always better in my opinion. Your skin looks great by the way.

  23. Eboni says...

    This is so wonderful! I wonder if Klancy/Cup of Jo staffers might have recommendations for facial salons. I have darker skin and sometimes get nervous about finding the right place. Any suggestions would be welcome! Thank you!

  24. Michelle says...

    She is lovely! Love her taste in products and style.
    Also, love the Ayurvedic shout out! I trained with an amazing teacher in NY to become a practitioner. It’s an incredible science that supports who you are and what is best for YOUR body. It constantly amazes me when I am putting it to practice to see just how connected our bodies are within itself and with the earth.

  25. emily says...

    Damn, Klancy’s glow in that first photo is unreal. She looks like a painting! And filing away that coconut oil tip to try on my own.

  26. Noemi says...

    Ohmg, Yuka at Olo is a genius woman who performs magic. Seriously her acupuncture is life changing.

  27. Mary Beth says...

    OMG I just love her!

  28. Chandra says...

    So beautiful! She reminds me of my best friend.

  29. Merri says...

    Aesop deodorant is also my perfume most days. I love having a perfume soul sister out there!

  30. Lauren says...

    Great post but that headshot!!! I literally went ‘whoa’ and thought wait a minute, does this girl realize she’s the most beautiful woman in the world??! 😂 😊

    • Andrea says...

      She is stunningly beautiful!

    • Seriously!!

  31. I’m so trying the coconut oil in my belly button tonight!

  32. AW says...

    Gorgeous skin and hair! Thank you for the tips.

  33. jeannie says...

    Such a beautiful, down to earth woman with so many good tips! (Her mom is gorgeous, too.) I have been toying with the idea of getting a facial and Klancy’s enthusiasm for them has convinced me to do it. And I loved this line: “I don’t use concealer; my sunglasses are my concealer!” Can’t wait to take a look at the cookbook!

  34. Klancy is beautiful! Thank you for this post.
    About the bellybutton and lips… I’m an acupuncturist and facial diagnosis is one of the tools we use to understand what is going on in patients’ bodies. The stomach is reflected in the lips! It’s great to hear about another way of using that connection.

  35. Emily L says...

    For burns – I swear by putting honey on it! My husband burned himself BAD on the oven a few years ago and I quickly googled home remedies and found out that sometimes ice can actually make it worse.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/health/19real.html

  36. Aidan says...

    This is beauty!!

  37. NN says...

    Love her blue striped shirt! Where is it from?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      It’s from & Other Stories!

  38. Deb says...

    Gosh Klancy is radiant :-)

  39. Maia says...

    She’s stunning and seems so genuine. I always perk up when there’s a beauty uniform from a beautiful black woman. However, putting ice on burns is a no-no! Cold water only. Everything else she mentions is in my shopping cart.

  40. Sara says...

    Love Klancy!

  41. Hope says...

    She has the most beautiful smile!!

  42. KL says...

    My favorite beauty post yet! So glowy!

    • Christi says...

      Agreed! I love how CoJ features ALL kinds of women, but this one was so accessible to me, and she seems so beautiful inside, too. And the line, “Otherwise, if I burn myself, I just kiss it and put ice on it and suck it up,” Ha! Too cute.

  43. Cynthia says...

    Klancy’s smile is amazing and her complexion just glows!

  44. Jimena says...

    Speaking of Adrienne, I’d love a My Beauty Uniform of her :)

    • Hilde says...

      Yes! I love her!

    • B says...

      Me three!

    • Marisa says...

      Yes please!

  45. Elisabeth says...

    She’s gorgeous, and can’t wait to check out her book. I agree, I’d love a week of outfits, too!

  46. liz says...

    love her! she’s so beautiful and seems down right awesome

  47. t says...

    I love, love, love Klancy’s aesthetic and look. and I just learned several new words reading this such as rambutan and Ayurvedic.

    Great post!

  48. Carolyn M says...

    Loved this! She is so stunning! My first thought though was why not just put coconut oil on your lips?!

  49. Helen says...

    I love this so much! Her style is perfect. Could you by chance share the source of the fedora? I feel like this would complete my summer look :)

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Hi Helen! Klancy’s hat is a Panama hat from Goorin Brothers.

    • Helen says...

      Thank you!

  50. Michelle Ask says...

    My Grandmother from Iran swore by lotion in belly button trick to cure chapped lips as well. No idea why, but it really does work!

  51. Yasmine says...

    How beautiful and inspiring! And that picture of Klancy as a child is just too cute!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      the cutest!!!! she has the sweetest photos on her instagram of her growing up, and also nowadays with her parents. xoxo

  52. Nay says...

    She is flipping gorgeous.

  53. Her skin is AMAZING. Love her insights into red lips and no-makeup French look, too. Also the sweet relationship she has with her mom.

  54. Kathryn says...

    Wait, just commented. But PLEASE consider inter-generational beauty uniforms. There are many (MANY) adult women out there who are without our own mothers, and we would love to hear about the beautiful chapters to come (in life, beauty, mind, spirit: all areas) from mature women.

    • Ariana says...

      I second this!!! Would love to see.

    • Beth says...

      Yes!!! Please! I love those!

    • A says...

      Oh my gosh I would love to read an interview with Klancy’s mom! She seems to have so much wisdom on beauty!

  55. JessicaD says...

    Oh my — I only rarely comment, and I don’t think I’ve ever commented on a beauty uniform, but Klancy is radiant and stunning and joyful. I’m certain that no product produces that and that it emanates from inner beauty (although the red lipstick is also wonderful!). Thank you for sharing – reading this made me happy!

  56. Kathryn says...

    This is perfect and so encouraging, thank you for a fantastic profile! So many good tricks and product insights; looking forward to trying the belly-button…..!

  57. J says...

    Klancy, you just started a coconut-oil-in-belly-button revolution!

  58. M. says...

    Love you guys so much (and Klancy! What a lady!). Just a note…it’s regimen, not regime. :)

  59. Meghan says...

    Beautiful both inside and out, as my mom would say. Thank you for sharing — very inspiring!

  60. Kate says...

    I am definitely going to put coconut oil in my bellybutton tonight!! Her skin is insane and every lip color is incredible on her. Also, I’ve been putting various face things in my online carts all week but I think I’m going to hold off and get my first ever facial instead…

  61. Laurel says...

    I’d love to hear her mom’s beauty uniform too!

    • Anni says...

      Yes!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes!!! that’s a great idea.

    • Dee Menaker says...

      Joanna,
      Have you ever done your mom’s beauty uniform?
      – Dee

  62. Steph says...

    Love her!

    Also love this: Klancy Miller’s beauty uniform by Kelsey Miller! Same last name and same initials.

    You have to find little things to celebrate if you want to make it happily through your day.

    • I was tickled by the names, too!

    • Linda says...

      Love this! She radiates joy. Would love to know where the cute striped top is from.

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      Thanks, Linda! Her striped top is from & Other Stories.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      haha you’re right! so cute. and here’s the link to her top! http://bit.ly/2V777LQ

  63. LLBR says...

    Luminous beauty. Inspiring joyful attitude.

  64. Laura says...

    She is such a beauty. I’ve made her Lemony Kale Risotto when it was shared here awhile back and it is so easy & delicious.

  65. Michelle says...

    I loved this interview! Klancy is gorgeous and has beautiful skin! Motivation to step up my skin care regime. And I’m definitely going to try a little coconut oil in my belly button :)

  66. janee says...

    This reminds me, my neighbor of years ago was an incredible aesthetician who would trade 2 hour facials for cat-sitting (as well as paying me a couple hundred which I thought was very generous) when she traveled. I am fortunate to have been born with great skin so getting facials never crossed my mind but HER facials were in-credible.

    It’s next level self-care I never knew I was missing out on. Yes my skin would look very glowy and etc but it was just so nurturing and relaxing and luxurious. We all need these weekly. I mean, these types of ‘extra’ self-care ARE how you maintain sanity in this crazy world! Highly recommend.

  67. Lindsay says...

    Talk about someone with an inner & outer GLOW! I love this (she totally renewed my love of red lipstick), want her book, and would love a wardrobe post from her as well!!

  68. Rae says...

    Love this feature! Great French recs – I am going to France this summer and am going to pick them all up. Would love to try the spray deo too!

    Can we please have a week of outfits next, COJ?

    And Klancy, were is the striped top from in the first photo and what are your best French recs for clothing stores? :)

    • Sandhya says...

      Yes, please — where is that striped top from?!?!?

    • Caroline Donofrio says...

      The striped top is from & Other Stories!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      here’s the link to her cute top! http://bit.ly/2V777LQ

    • Sandhya says...

      Thank you, Caroline and Joanna — especially for answering this question multiple times in multiple commenter threads!!

  69. Jessica says...

    Klancy is just glowing. She emanates happiness and joy!!

  70. camile says...

    I love her! First of all it is, (still), always amazingly refreshing to see a young successful black woman featured but aside from that I really enjoyed her upbeat attitude and gorgeousness.

    Off topic but it would be fun to hear people’s backstories: what their parents did, how they were raised, and how they made it through the transition from living at home to living on their own – whether that includes parental support or not, no judgement, it’s just super interesting to see all the paths people take. Er… why, yes I am struggling with that right now : )

    • camile says...

      Oh wow, just checked out your insta and see that you’ve shared your path on the james beard page, thank you!

    • camile says...

      PS: LOVE your that shorter hair style on you! You look stunning!

    • Tina, NYC says...

      Camile I totally agree. I love the beauty and wardrobe and home stories but often want to know more. So just huge kudos to CoJ team for finding such diverse and captivating women to share with us.

      And I just downloaded Klancy’s book on overdrive and wanted to share her touching dedication.

      THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO MY PARENTS, ROSE AND ISAAC MILLER, FOR TEACHING ME THE JOY OF LIVING AND EATING WELL.

      What a beautiful woman, inside and out. I can’t wait to read the book and cook from it.

      Congratulations Klancy!!!

  71. Leah PS says...

    My daughter’s name in Clancy. What a beautiful woman to share a name :)

  72. Amy says...

    I’ve never been able to convince myself to spring for a facial, but that close-up of Klancy with the pink background is making me think I should justify it!!