Style

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

The wonderful Kelsey Miller is a frequent contributor to Cup of Jo, and today we’re thrilled to share her beauty routine. She’s an author and journalist who writes about everything from pop culture to body positivity. “I am also a die-hard beauty fan, so I’m bouncing-off-the-walls excited to share my finds,” she says. Here, she reveal her love of Japanese scrub towels, why she puts donkey milk on her skin, and the perfect lipstick she finally found…

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

What is your morning routine?
I’m usually up between 7 and 8 a.m., and once I can confirm my husband Harry is awake, I tell Alexa to play WNYC. While the coffee water is boiling, I splash warm water on my face, then down some psyllium (I love fiber — it is the unsung hero of nutrients — key for digestion and keeping your blood sugar steady) with lemon water (because it tastes good) and make breakfast (usually eggs scrambled with whatever vegetables need to be eaten ASAP). I work from home about half the time, and on those days, I take advantage of not having to worry about sun exposure or human contact. This means no makeup, only skincare.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

To that end, what products are part of your daily skincare regimen?
I start with a vitamin C serum — SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic, which is expensive but works. I tend to get melasma (brownish spots usually caused by hormones) under my eyes, and per my dermatologist, I started trying various vitamin C products a few years ago. This is the one that really helped. After that, I put on Vicco, a turmeric-based Indian moisturizer, which I am NEVER without. I started using Vicco for mild rosacea a few years ago — my skin is both very sensitive and very cranky — and not only did it instantly zap the redness, it calmed my face the hell down. Vicco was a miracle find (for me, an American, but not for many Indian people, who’ve been loving it since the 1950s!). It’s great for acne and unevenness, and is so soothing I’ll even use it on a sunburn.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

Any other miracle finds?
After the Vicco, I finish with a dab of donkey milk eye cream — which is a thing. I picked it up on my honeymoon in Greece, because the first thing I do before traveling to another country is google the skincare products I can find there. Donkey milk is a rising star of skincare ingredients, full of fatty acids and other skin-soothing properties. I bought it because I thought it was fun, but turns out, it really is a great, gentle moisturizer! It does a great job of keeping my eye area soft and hydrated, and never causes irritation.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

How about body products?
I always put on some deodorant, because I will leave the house at some point. I started using Schmidt’s a year ago, and holy cow, that stuff is good. Natural deodorant has come a long way since that salt-crystal thing my mom used in the ’90s. I usually stick to Geranium from their sensitive skin line. Then, right before sitting down to work, I apply a good squeeze of Weleda Skin Food on my hands. Like Caroline, I am a Skin Food evangelist. It works so many wonders, but the best, in my opinion, is how little I actually have to use. I use it once in the morning, and once before bed, and my hands are always soft, no matter how often I wash them.

What about the days when you’re not working from home? Do you wear makeup?
I always put on makeup for meetings, not because I feel obligated but because I really enjoy makeup. I start with Dr. Jart+ Premium Beauty Balm, another product in my anti-brown spot arsenal. My dermatologist told me to always use a zinc-based sunscreen with no less than 45 SPF, and this product is both those things, plus a perfect base. The coverage isn’t as heavy as foundation but it’s enough for me. I use Glossier’s Cloud Paint, which is the only blush I’ve ever been able to apply without looking like Marie Antoinette. I finish my face with Laura Mercier’s translucent setting powder, which is just as good as they say.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

And now for a very important question: Do you have a favorite lipstick?
I’ve spent my life looking for a lip product that, A) will subtly enhance my natural lip color, B) won’t make my hypersensitive lips peel, C) does not require my looking in a mirror to apply, and D) doesn’t need a lot of touching up. As it turns out, this unicorn product exists! They’re usually called “mood balms” because they go on fairly clear, then pigment up after a minute on your lips. The first one I got was Dior Lip Glow. I’ve since added Kaja Mood Balm and Buxom Powerplump to the mix, and I switch it up depending on the occasion. They all have slightly different colors and levels of pigmenting, but all of them are easy to apply without a mirror.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

Let’s talk hair. How do you typically style it?
My go-to hairstyle is, um, down. I’m lucky to have pretty low-maintenance hair, which I never blow dry. The only downside is that I never learned how to style it. The most I do is throw a dash of Bumble and Bumble Prêt-à-Powder (fancy talk for dry shampoo) onto my roots and rub it in for a little lift. Then I rub a tiny dab of Ouai Finishing Cream between my hands, rake it through my hair, press it on my ends, then run out the door.

Do you have a favorite shampoo and conditioner?
I mix it up with shampoo and conditioner, but honestly, the one I always default to is good old Pantene — usually the Smooth & Sleek line. It just works with my hair! After towel-drying my hair, I use a Wet Brush to get tangles out. Ideally, I’d do this before I shower, to prevent breakage, but I forget at least half the time. The good news is the Wet Brush works: You can use it on wet hair with minimal damage. I asked my hairstylist about it and she confirmed it’s the best. Woo!

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

What is your shower routine?
I tend to work out in the evenings, so I am a shower-at-night person. In the shower, I’ve used Boscia’s charcoal cleanser for years because it’s gentle but super effective. It warms up a little, which helps get all the excess gunk and makeup totally off.

What’s your current workout routine?
I used to have a really disordered relationship with exercise, thinking of it exclusively as a means of undoing eating. I went through a huge shift with that in my late twenties, when I quit dieting and started intuitive eating (something I’ve written a LOT about). I’ve now become one of those people who actually LIKES exercising. It’s a way of treating my body well, not abusing it. I normally do basic stuff like StairMaster and resistance training, but this summer I had the brilliant idea of joining an outdoor pool in Brooklyn, so now I do laps 3 to 4 days a week. I love it so much because it’s a wonderful, fun workout — but also because getting in a bathing suit every day is a GREAT way to reinforce my sense of body acceptance. It’s kind of a scene-y pool too, and there’s always people hanging out and looking glam. Then I turn up in my goggles and swim cap looking utterly dorky, and I don’t even care! I’m so happy to be the pool dork.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

Do you use anything to exfoliate?
I am a major exfoliation enthusiast, and for years I used something called the Baiden Mitten. It makes the dead skin come off in rolls, which is sooo satisfying — but you have to soak in a tub for like 20 minutes to make it work. I gave up on it when I learned about magical Japanese scrub towels from my pal Connie’s beauty uniform. They’re the best, they last forever, and you can get a super-fast full-body exfoliation in the shower. I try to use mine at least once a week.

You are very loyal to your hair removal method. Can you tell us about it?
Years ago, when working on a story about hair-removal, I tried epilating (a device that grasps and pulls out the hairs) and got totally hooked. Yes, it hurts a bit, but it’s not wax-level pain. Plus, your hair gets finer over time, making it easier and easier the more you do it. The perks far outweigh the discomfort: I only do it once a month or so, I never have stubble or razor cuts, and it’s so much easier on my skin. Plus, I’m not throwing out disposable razor heads all the time! I use the Braun Silk-épil, but they’re all pretty good and last for several years.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

Do you do any other treatments, like masks or facials?
When it comes to masks, I get ansty sitting around waiting for them to dry, so if I’m gonna do one, it’s gotta be GOOD. Enter the Glamglow Supermud mask. Every glowing review is true. It took me years to try it because it’s pricey, and I didn’t cave until the week my first book came out. With my first-time author nerves, I somehow found myself at Sephora late one night with a basket full of anxiety purchases. I topped it off with a travel-size Glamglow mask, which was one of the best impulse-buys ever. It calms and evens your skin tone, and seems to dig out crap from your pores that you didn’t know was there. It’s almost as good as getting a professional facial.

My Beauty Uniform: Kelsey Miller

Do you have any rituals before you go to sleep?
The last thing I do before bed, once I’ve spent the requisite 20 to 45 minutes looking at my phone, is kiss my husband goodnight, move the cat off my feet, and apply a layer of Dermophil lip balm. In 2011, I was visiting my friend in Switzerland and took a day trip to the mountains — which was so cold and windy that my lips just about fell off. I went into a pharmacy and pointed at my hideous mouth in desperation. They handed me a small green and white tube, which I immediately rubbed all over my lips, and within hours I was FINE. No reaction whatsoever, just miraculous soothing. I bought half a dozen before flying home. You can’t get the original formula outside of Europe (PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong), but you can get other types of Dermophil on Amazon.

Thank you so much for sharing so many wonderful tips and recommendations! Do you have any parting words?
I remind myself that beauty stuff is for fun, and none of it is obligatory. I spent so much of my life in a toxic relationship with my physical appearance — my body shape and size, in particular. What I love about doing skincare and makeup is that it never felt motivated by the self-loathing and panic that drove my disordered behavior with food and exercise (which I’m now thankfully recovered from). If anything, beauty rituals affirm my self-acceptance. It’s a habit that puts me face-to-face with myself in the mirror every day, urging me to look on my 35-year-old face, with all its divots and freckles and slowly but surely emerging laugh lines. I don’t feel the need to fix that girl — she’s a real lady, after all. But it feels good to take care of her.

https://amzn.to/2NalhZU

Thank you so much, Kelsey!

P.S. Kelsey’s week of outfits, if you’d like to see. And more women share their beauty uniforms, including a World Cup winner soccer player (!) and a restaurateur.

(Photos courtesy of Kelsey Miller, including many shot by her husband Harry Tanielyan.)

  1. Joanna says...

    OMG – Vicco has been a LIFESAVER. My skin has been terrible since coming off birth control and this has been the only thing which has helped. THANK YOU!

  2. RebeccaNYC says...

    So, based on your recommendation, I clicked on the link and bought the 3 tubes of Turmeric Vicco cream. I am having a love/hate relationship with it right now….the stench of the sandalwood oil is overwhelming but I love the way the cream feels and have high hopes for the efficacy of this product. I am going to order the cream WITHOUT the sandalwood in hopes that the smell is a bit more palatable. Meanwhile, what to do with the other 2 tubes that came with the order? Anyone want them?

  3. Lasara says...

    Kelsey, Do you use the Vicco with sandalwood oil? I recently developed rosacea and want to try Vicco but I’m worried about the oil breaking me out.
    Thanks!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Yes, that’s the one! I had the exact same concern the first time I used it, but this is a very light moisturizer and doesn’t feel oily at all. It does the opposite of breaking you out. It’s extremely calming. I have very reactive skin and am prone to clogged pores as well, and this really is the safest product in my arsenal in terms of keeping my skin chill.

      FYI, they do make a version without sandalwood oil (for those who are allergic) but I advise against trying it unless you have an allergy. It’s doesn’t have the same calming effect and, IMO, feels heavier than the original.

  4. Lasara Jarvis says...

    Kelsey, Do you use the Vicco with sandalwood oil? I recently developed rosacea and want to try Vicco but I’m worried about the oil breaking me out.
    Thanks!

  5. Ahhhh Kelsey!!! I cannot quite get myself to purchase the donkey stuff but I did buy a Japanese exfoliator just now (and have also gone down the rabbit hole of past beauty uniform posts – what a treasure trove). PS Les Miz shirt at the gym I love you so much.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      So glad I’m not On My Own in terms of musical gym-wear. ;)

  6. Nicole says...

    reading Big Girl was what gave me the push to finally find a HAES dietician and begin the work of intuitive eating. I’m a little over a year into my journey and have finally made peace with food, and am still working on the body part (I am large enough that accessibility in public spaces is an issue at times and I’m just barely sized out of the new trendy plus lines so am struggling with all of that). Kelsey’s writing has meant so much to me and I am so grateful for that push! I also have some mild rosacea and am ordering that Vicco product NOW :)

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      This means the world to me. Thank you so much for sharing (and for reading). xo

  7. Suman Saran says...

    I can’t believe she uses Vicco! I saw that stuff in Indian stores all the time growing up, and in India as well. In my 20s, I used it quite often – it is really underrated! I don’t think it is very popular anymore but it deserves a comeback.

  8. Beatrice says...

    Thanks, Joanna and team for all the great posts! I admire Kelsey and other ladies talking about their beauty routine or outfits. My personal current question is coming to terms with being a plus woman. Since my late teens my weight kept fluctuating, sometimes changing back and forth a lot. I am 47 now. Last spring, my weight was 33 pounds less. Well, yes, in the meantime I re-started taking anti-depressants, but anyway (I only first started taking them at 36, not in teenage years). I am at a point where I do not want to try and become thinner on purpose anymore. So now it is important for me not to think about myself as a “before” picture, allow myself to wear something because I like it, and not because it is supposed to make me look thinner. And yes, I do want to eat healthier and exercise more, but, first of all, because it is good for me.

    • hannah says...

      I so identify with this. I recently read “The F*uck It Diet” and it’s a HARD recommend for decolonizing how we think of our bodies. A lot of the “eat what you want” stuff was already second nature for me, but the way I thought about my body and food was pretty revolutionary. I really wish I could have read it when I was 13 and could have saved myself years of fretting!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Hi Beatrice. Thanks for the thoughtful comment. It takes a lot of time and effort to achieve body acceptance in a world that tells us, constantly, that our bodies are problems to be fixed (no matter what kind of body you have). It’s hard, but it’s work worth doing. I agree with the commenter below on Caroline Dooner’s book, The F*ck It Diet. She’s a great person to follow in general. I’d also suggest checking out Christy Harrison’s podcast, Food Psych, and Laura Thomas’s podcast, Don’t Salt My Game. Both of them are anti-diet dietitians, and they talk about health, fitness and nutrition in a totally diet-free, body positive context. You could also check out my own memoir, Big Girl, which chronicles my own journey breaking the diet cycle and learning body acceptance. I hope this is helpful!

  9. Nicole Brant says...

    I’d love to know which shade of the Kaja lip balm Kelsey uses. Thank you!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      It’s the shade called “First Thing.” :)

  10. Amy says...

    Damnnn, sunglasses goals! Would Kelsey mind sharing where she finds her all of her excellent shades?

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      I’m sorry to say I have no idea. I always lose sunglasses (including both pairs featured here) so I make it a rule to only buy cheapies!

  11. Alex says...

    Am I the only one who ordered Vicco cream before even finishing the article? :D :D :D Great tips, thank you so much and sending you the best wishes from Slovakia !

  12. Christina says...

    I think I’m in love with Kelsey. Thank you for featuring her!!

  13. Erin says...

    Can I ask what you are wearing in the hammock picture? Because I don’t even care if it’s a swimsuit or lingerie or whatever, it’s gorgeous and I want to at least know the brand!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Haha, believe it or not that is a VERY old Gap Body pajama top!

  14. Abby says...

    What a fun read! Would you mind sharing the source for your bathing suit? Thank you!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      it’s from swimsuits for all!

  15. Camille says...

    Kelsey– you’re a gem of a human and I’m so excited to get Vicco. You are beautiful!

  16. Steph says...

    Ok your swimsuit is just the prettiest ever!!

  17. Karina says...

    beautiful pictures !

  18. Kayla says...

    I really enjoyed this. Beautiful post.

  19. Annie says...

    She is so cute and funny! Glowing skin and awesome recommendations! Where did she go on her honeymoon in Greece? That picture looks like a great place to stay.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      I went to Athens, Naxos and Santorini. Greece was magical, and I highly recommend Naxos in particular. But the shot in the hammock is from a trip to Antigua a few years ago!

  20. Elise says...

    I love this! I’m also a pool dork, but my version is an indoor pool with super intense lap swimmers and, until a few weeks ago, me with my sports bra and suit bottoms, swimming slow nine-month-pregnant laps.

  21. Abby says...

    “I don’t feel the need to fix that girl — she’s a real lady, after all. But it feels good to take care of her.”

    I needed these words today. Thank you!

  22. Jennifer says...

    Kelsey is literally my favorite person on the Internet & I have loosely followed her contributions for years. This is so good. Will try the tumeric thing and the donkey milk eye cream…I just don’t know, Kelsey. I just.don’t.know. Thanks for featuring her.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Holy cow, thank you so much! Enjoy the donkey milk!

  23. Fab beauty tip Kelsey! I have seen tumeric face cream in my local Indian Supermarket before and have always been curious about it, but terrified it will stain my face yellow! I shall now give it a go!

  24. Roxana says...

    Kelsey, you are truly lovely and delightful and inspiring! This has been, by far, my favorite beauty uniform.

    You also have gorgeous skin, but, as others have noted, this is the absolute best part: “I don’t feel the need to fix that girl — she’s a real lady, after all. But it feels good to take care of her.” Right on!

    Also, congratulations on your precious little one! God bless you!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      That is so kind of you! Thank you!

  25. Sarah says...

    I want to be Kelsey’s swimming buddy! I’m still getting over my fear of going to the pool and wish I had her courage!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Oh listen, I still get that fear too sometimes (and not just in swimsuits!). I wish I could say I got over it, but really I just live by that old motto: “feel the fear and do it anyway.”

  26. Mary says...

    “I don’t feel the need to fix that girl – she’s a real lady after all. But it does feel good to take care of her.” What a great line.

    And lady, whatever you’re selling I’m buying, because you have a glow like I imagine Moses had after he hid in the cleft of the rock and God walked in front of him.

    • cg says...

      What she said, never have I been more compelled to click on all the links she shared than in this post. So ordering the vitamin C serum, and the Skin Food lotion, and if I don’t break my budget, some of the other stuff mentioned here.

    • Monica says...

      HAHA! This comment is so funny! And yes to ordering some of the products. I’ve got my eye on the Weleda and the scrubbing cloth.

  27. adrienne says...

    I actually got teared up with Kelsey’s parting words here. I love her work. Big Girl got me started down the intuitive eating path, and I’m forever grateful. Thank you so much for this post!

    • Brooke says...

      Adrienne, I teared up too. Kelsey’s life energy GLOWS off the screen and her writing is wonderful!! I am so happy I found intuitive eating and it feels connected to intuitive LIVING. Joy and freedom and laughter and being here, woot woot!!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Oh my goodness, that’s so wonderful to hear! I’m thrilled you found intuitive eating through Big Girl. Thank you for reading!

  28. Shwetha says...

    OMG! I am from India & I’ve been seeing Vicco ads on TV since I was a child. When I first read it, I was like wait, what! The ad jingle ran in my head, they categorize it as an ayurvedic product not a cosmetic. But sadly I have never used it myself. I think it was a big thing in my parents generation, very old school product, now I am going to try & bring it next year when I go home. Love all the recommendations on this post. Thanks, Kelsey!

    • Ks says...

      Haha same here. “Vicco turmeric nahi (not) cosmetic” was the jingle and just like you I cannot stop singing it now. It was a very popular product till the mid 80s and then the cosmetic industry boomed and ponds and Nivea took over. But the true fans remained devoted. And yes it works the best to calm the redness on the face. And kudos to Kelsey for Embracing it and it’s weird color. It is a time tested and a good product and I am glad to see it on ‘The’ lifestyle blog.

    • Ks says...

      @Shwetha You can find it in most Indian grocery stores here.

  29. Stefanie says...

    I love hearing your voice, Kelsey! Always inspiring to me:)

  30. Samantha says...

    Yes! This! Two of my fav columns in one. <3

  31. Dana says...

    For some reason this post really just made me feel good and even made me tear up. I think it was the part about the swimming. Kelsey is a bad-ass and I’m now inspired to be the dork at the pool, rocking my nerdy one piece and imperfect body. Thank you Kelsey!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Aw, thank you so much! ENJOY THE POOL!

  32. Kelly says...

    I have a friend in Greece right now and I’m super tempted to email her and ask her to pick up this donkey milk cream. Does Kelsey or anyone else know approximately how expensive it is (or should be) and/or if it’s relatively easy to find in Greece? Thanks!!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      I saw it all over and for the most part the products weren’t super pricey! If she goes into any local-products shop, or any beauty store, she’ll definitely find it.

  33. Caroline says...

    Kelsey— where oh where did you find an outdoor membership pool in Brooklyn? I googled and can’t find—-thanks!!!!

  34. katie says...

    goodness gracious, she is just LOVELY

  35. Deeann says...

    First off, I thought Kelsey was in her early to mid-twenties, tops! Her skin is marvelous. And secondly, can we find out where she got the black bathing suit??

  36. Sasha L says...

    Kelsey, you always seem such a genuinely beautiful person – I imagine you a good friend and listener and fun too. Thanks for sharing! Fun to peek into your routines and wonderful pictures. You have the best smiles and expressive eyes.

  37. Fiona says...

    AH! I have always loved Kelsey’s contributions to COJ, and I separately read and loved her book, I’ll Be There For You, but it wasn’t until this post that I realized that this Kelsey Miller is the person who wrote that! Too funny!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      C’est moi! Thank you so much for reading!

  38. Heather says...

    Kelsey!!! Such a huge fan!!

    I went down a rabbit hole reading Kelsey’s writing on other sites earlier this week, and I came across this article about the Friends sex discrimination case. WOAH. I forwarded to basically every woman I know.

    Kelsey, I love your writing. Keep it up. And keep up being the weirdo at the pool. <3

    https://www.bustle.com/p/the-ruling-in-this-friends-lawsuit-set-back-the-metoo-movement-by-years-now-the-woman-at-the-center-of-it-speaks-out-12636045

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Oh, thank you so much for reading and sharing that piece! I was so, so grateful to have had the opportunity to interview Ms. Lyle and share this story in the book and online. I really appreciate you spreading the word!

  39. GG says...

    I totally enjoyed Kelsey’s voice, approach to beauty/health and tips. I need to get her book!

  40. Leslie Burket says...

    What a dream! I love her and I love these posts! ❤️

  41. Hannah R says...

    It’s so true. Glamglow is the BEST. I have been using it once a week for almost a year now and it seriously makes ALL the difference. It’s worth every penny!

  42. Kelly says...

    Do you have any contributors who aren’t awesome and beautiful and informative at Cup of Jo? No you don’t. That’s why I tell everyone to read this blog. Thanks again for a lovely post.

  43. Meggles says...

    It is so refreshing to see different body types and different forms of beauty. And to see someone so happy in her own skin. I really enjoyed this. LOVE the red skirt, Kelsey. You look amazing. (())

  44. Lizzie C. says...

    Here to sing the praises of “mood balm!” The version I discovered is Moroccan magic lipstick, which I found…in Morocco…and it’s green in the stick but turns pink on contact with skin, thanks to body temp/pH/science. Also thanks to those things, it can turn a different shade of pink on different people! The Moroccan kind also contains argan oil so it feels amazing. I get mine in multi-packs from Etsy and now it’s the only lipstick I wear! Kelsey is spot on about it.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Ooh, will check this one out!

    • Annabelle says...

      The one I use is also green, Frog Prince by Lipstick Queen. It feels AMAZING.

  45. Jamie says...

    This was amazing. I ordered the hand cream and epilator. Can’t wait to try it. And will be on the look out for that lip balm when im in Europe!

  46. Cynthia says...

    Fabulous post! Kelsey is beautiful inside and out! I didn’t know that anyone milked donkeys! I guess I learn something new everyday, but it makes sense when you travel to another country to try some of their beauty products.

    • Brooke says...

      Haha I had the same reaction Cynthia! Bless and protect to that person ;p.

  47. liz says...

    side note: i don’t understand at all why so many ladies here love to find beauty products overseas. It would frustrate me so much to find something that I loved and then have to struggle/search all over or pay a ton in shipping to get more.

  48. Megn says...

    Every one of these in this series is my favorite, but I’m for real this time – THIS is my favorite. Thank you for sharing!

  49. Nicole says...

    I loved this beauty uniform! The GlamGlow mud mask is the only product I’ve ever tried that calms those painful underground pimples. I find it too drying to use all over my face (even though I have combination skin), but I swear by it as a spot treatment.

  50. LW says...

    Absolutely everything about this beauty uniform speaks to me. The journey to self acceptance; the breaking of toxic habits; and the view that beauty rituals are about self care.
    Kelsey, your grounded joyfully energy just shines through for me. Thank you. Ps I intend to try everything product you’ve listed

  51. Kate says...

    As usual, I love Kelsey’s take on pretty much anything! I love how her love of beauty products comes from a place of taking care of herself rather than loathing herself. Plus, there were so many product recs in here that I will be checking out! Love it!

    My lipstick requirements are similar, and I’ve found one I love that is actually a true lipstick, not a balm. It’s from the flesh line (I bought at Ulta). I wear the “chew” shade. http://bit.ly/2O48CIr And when I don’t want lipstick, I love Burt’s Bees tinted lip balms, in hibiscus and red dahlia!

  52. Leyna says...

    Kelsey – can you share where your beach photos were taken? Was it your honeymoon in Greece? I’d love to hear! Thinking of going there for my honeymoon next year. Thanks!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      OMG, DO IT! The shot of me with the sun hat is in Greece — on Naxos in the Cyclades. It was so wonderful and I cannot recommend it highly enough! The other two shots (me in the hammock and me in the ocean) are in Antigua a few years back. My husband took all of these shots. :)

  53. Ok, you’ve convinced me. I’ve been looking for quality face moisturizer that’s tried and true instead of some other newfangled “age-reversing” potion. Trying out Vicco!

  54. Lacey says...

    I had many things to say but I will sum up: I love her, I want to be her, and also be her best friend.

  55. jrg says...

    i added like everything she mentioned to my cart on amazon. this was so great!

  56. Sara B says...

    Her skin is so glowy and beautiful!

  57. liz says...

    love this and her! so great. thank you, Kelsey! I especially love your lip color requirements. I’ve never worn lipstick but think I can get behind a product that fits those requirements, so I’m going to give one a try

  58. Tami says...

    Confident, beautiful and REAL.
    So much admiration for you Kelsey.

  59. Mary W says...

    Yes to swimming! As counterintuitive as it seems, it’s the best for improving body image. When I started, I was so concerned about my weight, body hair, etc. You know what, nobody else cares. Just stick to your lane and everything will be cool.
    No to epilating! I never had such horrible ingrown hairs (yes, I exfoliated as directed). Despite using it for a year or two, it never became less painful. Try at your own risk.

  60. Francine says...

    I had to read up on Dermophil after you mentioned it!
    Just wanted to mention that the manufacturer recommends using Dermophil only until the healing process is complete, not when the lips are fine, as a precaution against developing contact eczema caused by the active ingredient.
    http://www.melisana.ch/en/brands/Dermophil.html – the very last sentence on the page when you scroll down.

  61. Karen T. says...

    Gorgeous on the inside and out! And that glow-y skin….#goals

    • Jessica says...

      I couldn’t have said it better. We love Kelsey!

  62. Inga says...

    Hi guys! I am a frequent reader and love the section My Beauty Uniform. As an international reader I have also always enjoyed the Motherhood Around The World Series. So I just came up with the thought: It would be great and interesting to have the section “My Beauty Uniform” with international contributions. We might end up with more ideas and inputs like donkey milk, alternative use for olive oil, Shea butter etc.
    Have a good day!

    • Mel says...

      I love this idea!!

    • Susan says...

      Me too!

    • Nikki says...

      That is a fantastic idea!

    • Cynthia says...

      Wonderful idea!

  63. Ally says...

    what amazing skin…and so many good product tips (off to check out Vicco and DermoPhil now)! And I love that line about no longer feeling the need to fix yourself, but rather take care of yourself…

  64. Erin says...

    Love! I’m curious about both straw hats–both at the beach and sipping coffee! Any chance we can have a source?

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      The small one is from years ago, and I don’t remember unfortunately (but it wasn’t great quality anyway!). The second I got last summer on Amazon and it’s GREAT! It travels well and is super comfy. Here’s the link: https://amzn.to/32mzYMQ

  65. Jessica says...

    Absolutely loved this – now desperately googling how many of the items listed are available in the UK! Wonderful content as ever :)

  66. K says...

    Not gonna lie, I still think of exercise as for body image and I don’t know how to change that! Whether it’s losing weight, trying to get toned legs and a flat stomach or better skin or digestion/ feeling not sluggish/ better circulation, better posture, more strength…something more spiritual than that is much lower on the list. I honestly really don’t like being active, and just see it as a means to balance out my natural urge to be a potato. If I could have the body of x celebrity without going to the gym, I would not be going to the gym 🤭

    • Alison says...

      I don’t know if this could somehow translate into your life somehow, but I helped detach myself from the body image piece of working out when I got into hiking. It started as walking/spending more time outside, which led to hiking regionally, which then led to doing hiking when I travel as a way to spend more time in nature and unplug from life’s chaos. I started to realize at the gym that instead of beating myself up for how my legs looked or thinking I needed to do more arm exercises, that I instead was thinking of doing the stair stepper because it’d mean I could hike an incline faster next time or keep up my stamina for a longer trek when I’m in Colorado, etc. It’s made me look at training in a way that I never have before where it’s helping my future body to accomplish things — regardless of what I look like! I find myself way more excited to go to the gym when I’m in that mindset than when I’m feeling down about having eaten too much pasta. Doesn’t have to be hiking, but maybe you have something else in your personal life that you could tie to the gym (besides body image) that would help you reframe this! It’s a tough journey, so good luck. xx

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that, alison!

    • liz says...

      I used to be like — I think that changed for me when I started doing things for exercise that brought me joy/peace as well as got me to move my body (don’t mean to sound so cheesy but for real). Going for long bike rides or runs (while are both great work outs) are honestly fun and calming. I also practice ashtanga daily and honestly don’t care at all that it might not be an efficient fat burning activity because I get so much more from having a practice. SO much more. It’s just a bonus that it makes me strong and sweat. What I’m trying to say is maybe you don’t need your mindset first. Maybe, just change up the activities you do for exercise and perhaps finding something you love doing will change your perspective. Just sharing my experience in case it helps!

    • Heather says...

      I’ve learned from experience that doing a ton of exercise doesn’t change my body that much, and certainly never like a celebrity, but I still do it, because:
      – It dramatically improves mental health, sleep, and well-being
      – It’s good for your skin! (just make sure to spritz it with something anti-inflammatory post-workout if you’re the type whose face turns tomato red after exercising)
      – You absolutely must do it to maintain bone density, or around the time you turn 40, the compression of your spine will start to change the shape of your body (and not in a way you’ll like), and your joints will start giving you issues
      – It lowers your risk of… basically all of the diseases
      And you don’t have to go to boot camp or run a marathon to get those benefits. You can walk for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, and still get those benefits (although you may want to add in some push-ups or jumping jacks for the bone density piece).

    • Brooke says...

      K, I don’t know if this helps but Rachel Cole, Christy Harrison, Carmen Cool, Curvy Yoga, and Be Nourished are all women who do podcasts and writing online about how to change from “exercise” to joyful movement…which might be stretching, dancing, gardening, somersaulting in the water or on grass, walking in a rose garden, roller skating. Anything that’s about the joy of being alive in a moving body versus thinking about that body being looked at and needing modifying. That has helped me a lot~I’m still a major cozy person but it has softened and added joy to my experience of movement.

    • Angela says...

      Looking at the responses to this comment, it seems like CoJ could write an article on how women get around exercising just for body image.

      Funnily enough, yesterday I was reading a book called Ýoga Bodies’. One man interviewed for the book was blind. He emphasised how being blind had been a real advantage to his yoga practice – he had to focus on the way he feels in poses, not the way he looks. I realised that’s why I love practicing yoga at home….

    • Christy says...

      I mostly exercise cause of childcare at the gym and it’s a break from them and I can watch TV and get my blood pumping.

  67. Hannah says...

    Love love love the Silk-épil, even though I don’t get 4 weeks of smooth legs (more like 2 and occasionally even less). No more cuts, no more “my bathtub looks like I slaughtered something”, no more scars from razor cuts (though the old ones on my ankles remain). The epilator has worked fine for 4 years (just think of all the money I didn’t spend on plastic razors!) and I just bought a new head (20 Euros only), because the old one suddenly made weird noises – hoping for another 4 years now.
    Another thing: I definitely recommend psyllium! I know you’re supposed to drink it, but I mix it into my porridge every morning. Makes it extra sticky and gives me a healthy dose of fibre,

    Great beauty uniform!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      That’s a great psyllium tip! I sometimes use it in soups as well. Great fiber boost, plus thicker texture!

  68. Nicole Brant says...

    Loooove this! I can’t wait to try some of these products!

  69. cilla says...

    I am from Europe and travel to USA from time to time. But of course usually I forget to buy beauty products that are sold only there. But I would never forget to bring products that “friend via CoJ comments” would asked me to bring :)
    So, we could have a platform, making favours to each other and bringing cosmetics overseas ;)

    • margie says...

      I love this idea!

  70. Alexandra says...

    Crying laughing at the Amazon reviews of that epilator 😂

    • Megan says...

      Alexandra, same here! “The finest torture device I have ever purchased” — lol! Strangely enough, I am half convinced to buy one for myself….

  71. Elliesee says...

    I bought the book for my daughter! I’ll be there for you – and happily read it. I found my first brown spot under my hair and I’ll try to get on top of it. Why would you move the cat from your feet? I loved that my now deceased cat did that, and disappointed that my new ingrate boy cat prefers to sleep in his box.

  72. Kelly says...

    I’m getting my first laugh line! I’m 27. Trying to practice some of that bodily acceptance. I’m chronically ill, so the “all bodies are good bodies” feels hard to internalize sometimes. Intuitive eating has been so helpful for me.

    I love your style and I’m definitely grabbing some Dermophil next time I’m in europe

  73. Alex says...

    Love this profile!

  74. Laney says...

    Love her, love her writing, and just made a list of her recommendations that I’m sure I’ll love as well!

  75. Anna says...

    I love Kelsey’s style! Can we get a Week of Outfits post with her??

  76. Sarah says...

    What an inspiring post! I just moved to the US/ NY/ Brooklyn and my melasma is going strong after a week on Fire Island (inspired by A Cup of Jo!) -is there any chance you could share your dermatologist’s deets, Kelsey, please and thank you?

  77. Allyson says...

    She’s so great. And I love the un-staged office pic. Real + Cool. Love it!

  78. I adore her. Fantastic. 💕

  79. I have to say- I cannot recommend putting Pantene on your head. I had a stained tub and I tried all
    kinds of harsh cleaners with no luck. Then I accidentally spilled a bottle of
    Pantene and when I washed it away, my tub was sparkling white! From that day on, I bought Pantene and used it as a cleaner, but I never again put it on my head.

    • Lisa says...

      I am going to try this asap :o

  80. Carol says...

    A lot of great product info here!! Can’t wait to try some of it. She is adorable.

    • Bec says...

      What a sweetheart! And 100% yes to being a pool dork!

  81. Jill says...

    Oof, I loved this Beauty Uniform so much! Her advocacy for gentleness toward self, her recommendations (I am finally going to breakdown and spring for that damn mask I keep reading about!), and mostly, that she lift weights in a Les Miserables tee. Clearly we should all be doing whatever Kelsey Miller’s doing.

    • Alex says...

      Haha, I loved her Les Mis shirt, too. CAN YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING??

    • Janice O'Kane says...

      Yes, yes, yes to everything you said here! We all need to copy Kelsey Miller – she’s fabulous!

  82. l says...

    sooo many things i can’t wait to try. THANKS!
    (and here’s hoping the epilater is less painful than laser (which didn’t really work:/))

    • Abby says...

      Total game changer for me! Will never go back to any other method for my leg hair. Also my boyfriend keeps saying “such smooth skin” whenever he strokes my legs, so yeah. Good choice that Braun Silk épil 5 years ago :)

    • Abby says...

      Also worth noting: you can get a new head and don’t need to buy a completely new epilator because Braun still sells spare parts! #sustainability
      Mine only broke recently (five years in) and I was so happy to find out that it was so easy to replace.

    • right?! Laser definitely didn’t work for me!

  83. Lindsey says...

    Omg I love her! I’m a fellow skincare enthusiast so this was a gold mine for me. And the line, “I don’t need to fix her, she’s a lady after all” is THE BEST!

  84. MCM says...

    The plastics and expense of changing razors always drove me crazy too!! I’m too nervous with my sensitive skin to try an epilator but I’ve been so happy to find Leaf Shave – a solid metal razor where you just change individual blades. It’s been a total game changer for me.

  85. Rachel says...

    Please! Where is that bathingsuit from? I love it

  86. Gemma Burgess says...

    YES DERMOPHIL SAY IT AGAIN YESSSSS

    Literally my favorite thing out of 18m living in Switzerland, apart from my first child. Must restock, now that I think about it. (Dermophil not first child.) You can find it on eBay, sometimes questionable authenticity but then again, who is going to go to the effort to fake a Swiss lip balm? Exactly.

    Gx

  87. May says...

    Oh my gosh, this is my favorite one ever! Kelsey really inspires me. She seems to have incredible heart and presence and wisdom. Thank you for sharing all of this, Kelsey! Your successful healing and confidence and love of life empower me to claim my own even more whenever I see you on CofJ :)

  88. D Kiely says...

    This is fantastic. She knows her stuff!

    I don’t know if you ever consider the requests on these comments (you must get hundreds!), but if you did, mine is one for the service industry! How do they keep their nails/hands intact after long service hours, plunging their hands into hot water for cleaning cutlery, deep cleaning, chefs who’s upper bodies (especially faces) are subject to huge heat endurance, etc. I see all these gorgeous head chefs online (perhaps due to the photoshoot element of their jobs), and would love to know their beauty tricks in an environment like a hot kitchen!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      What a fun idea!

    • katie says...

      I’ve also always wondered how hair stylists and their assistants keep their hands moisturized all day. I have a desk job and I constantly need to apply hand moisturizer. And I splurge for good stuff!

  89. Jessica says...

    I can’t believe you use the silk-epil! I had one as a teenager, that thing was torture! I didn’t think anyone else knew it existed. I’m glad it works for you, I couldn’t handle it. I once used it on my bikini-zone; I don’t think I’ve ever known pain like that :)

    • A says...

      Hahaha my immediate thought was how can she compare epilating favourably with waxing, epilating is 1000 times more painful! But glad it works for her :)

    • Jeanne says...

      I just tried epilating as I was inspired from the previous post about shaving. I made sure I followed all of the steps correctly and at first I thought it was great (pain aside), but when my hair started growing back in it was an utter nightmare and I have fine blonde hair. It was beyond itchy and so many ingrown hairs. I have 4 scars from probably scratching the ingrown hairs. It was so bad I’ve had hairy legs for the last month to recover. I read that you should alternate shaving and epilating if ingrown hairs are a real problem, but that just defeats the purpose for less maintenance. Beauty fail for me. I love this post though! She has some great recommendations.

  90. elizabeth says...

    Great post! I would be forever indebted if Kelsey shared the color of blush she uses. Her skin tone is similar to mine and her make up, but especially the blush, is killer.

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Thank you so much! I use Glossier, usually the Puff or Beam colors, and occasionally Haze: http://bit.ly/32qsYyH

  91. EH says...

    Wow, what great skin she has! I love this beauty routine!

  92. Liz says...

    What is the white chair she uses at her desk? Is it comfortable? Would love a review!

  93. Abesha1 says...

    Lovely lady, lovely attitude.

    Cup of Jo, I feel compelled to say… while I appreciate product links, I really wish they weren’t so often to Amazon. As we learn more about how Amazon treats its employees while enriching the wealthiest person in the planet, it’s good to remember that there are many, many places to purchase our goods that don’t involve that company. Often we can go straight to the manufacturer online, or to a local store (which employs our neighbors), and cut down on cardboard boxes and carbon emissions from shipping. I totally get how convenient Amazon can be, but it’s worth thinking about.

    • Beata says...

      I second this!

    • Anne says...

      THIS. EXACTLY.

    • Sarah says...

      I thought the same thing. People are starting to grow tired and distrustful of Amazon, aren’t they?

  94. Kelly says...

    This is one of my favorite beauty uniforms to date!! Thanks for sharing! <3

  95. RN says...

    Gorgeous woman. Absolutely stunning. I needed a dose of her attitude today (and every day). Thank you!

  96. Kari says...

    wow wow wow her skin!!

    Really thinking about what she said about beauty being for fun and not driven by self-loathing. Really prompted some self-reflection. I’m a real skincare nerd but if I’m honest with myself, it’s not motivated purely by fun but rather by other insecurities. I swear the CoJ comments are like therapy sometimes. :)

    • Mouse says...

      Yes, I agree; that’s a brilliant way to think about it. I realize that some things I used to do–concealer, mascara, blush–were about “correcting” something. Now at the age of 59 I brush some colorless powder eyeshadow across my lids, put on a dot of Benetint on my cheeks, curl my lashes and that’s it. None of that is motivated anymore by a desire to correct, rather just to look a bit nicer. But I am also aware that I have tried to adjust my eye to aging over the years, so that I don’t look into the mirror and think I should see the 25 yr old Me.

  97. Cady says...

    Not the main headline but I am DYING to know:
    Where is there an outdoor pool in Brooklyn available to join??!!!

    • YES I had the same question! So hard to find a good place to swim in Brooklyn.

    • Omg same—please tell us!!!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      It’s at one of the hotels near my place! Turns out a lot of them offer day passes or seasonal memberships!

  98. Lalit says...

    +1 Great idea!

  99. Lindsay says...

    I have to know – where are you on vacation in the hammock photo? It looks absolutely dreamy!

    • Ro says...

      Yes this! So many amazingly fun pics, I want to know where!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Antigua — and it WAS!

  100. Andrea says...

    What a beautiful lady. She absolutely glows in the photos! And her complexion!!!! A true beauty inside and out!

  101. maria says...

    A true beauty with such a great (and hard-won) attitude about self-acceptance. Kudos. I’d love to know where the hammock photo was shot – it looks glorious!

  102. Elizabeth says...

    Kelsey, try the Lipstick Queen Frog Prince!! It’s my absolute favorite lipstick for all the reasons you mentioned.

    Also, thank you so much, COJ, for showing a normal body in a swimsuit. You look beautiful, Kelsey, and looking at you makes me feel more beautiful, too.

  103. Lauren E. says...

    Annnd I just spent $150. These are some amazing recs, and her skin looks absolutely GORGEOUS so I’m going to go ahead and give them a whirl!

    On the natural deodorant topic, I just bought one that I absolutely LOVE (and I’ll say I am a super, super sweaty/stinky person – cute, I know – and it’s 90 in NYC). It’s called Lume and I can’t recommend it enough.

  104. Laura B says...

    I love basically everything about this, but seriously need to know where that off the shoulder black top/pompom fringed red skirt combo is from because it is giving me some major style goals!!!

    • Christine says...

      Right? Such a stylish look!

    • Kelsey Miller says...

      Thank you! The skirt is ELOQUII and sadly no longer available. The top is one of ASOS Curve’s Bardot Tops, which are a regular item but go in and out of stock. Right now it’s available as a bodysuit: http://bit.ly/2lozkxe

  105. Emma says...

    She is wonderful. Love this lady!

  106. Bonnie says...

    Loved this!

  107. Favorite beauty uniform post so far!!!

    • Meg says...

      Gorgeous lady—I loved this one!

  108. Marti says...

    We are beauty twins!! I am astounded! Besides the donkey milk cream (which BTW I am going to try, ASAP) we use pretty much all of the same products — even down to the exfoliator. AMAZING.

    • anjie says...

      You use Vicco too? I grew up in India and we used to watch the brand’s advertisements with great amusement. Was so chuffed to see it mentioned here!

    • Kuntala Bandyopadhyay says...

      “Vicco turmeric/ nahin cosmetic/ Vicco turmeric Ayurvedic creeeeeeaaaam”

      For the uninitiated, this jingle proclaims that Vicco Turmeric is not just a cosmetics product. It is an Ayurvedic wonder with medical benefits.

  109. Claire says...

    “I don’t feel the need to fix that girl — she’s a real lady, after all. But it feels good to take care of her.“ What a great line. Loved this!

  110. Emily says...

    Love! But that picture with all her sticky notes and bulletin board makes me want a “my work/productivity” routine series!

    • Megan says...

      YES! I love sharing how I organize my time and my work, and I would love to hear about how other badass ladies do it too! Great idea, Emily!

    • Ashley says...

      Seconded!

    • Emmy says...

      Yes!! This would be so fun and amazing. Maybe it could also include a Rest/Time Off/Ways I Recharge element (to keep re-balancing our cultural slant towards overwork!).

    • Jo says...

      Yes please. Your mom balancing life series is one of my favorites on this site. Especially the one with Pilar of Martha Stewart

    • Melanie says...

      YES! Work-productivity routine!!!!

    • Robin says...

      Yes! Like the balance comment too.

  111. katie says...

    The Japanese scrub towels are AMAZING! I started using them when the owner/advice columnist of my other favorite blog, Dear Wendy, suggested them. I will never use a pouf again.