Kim Rhodes, our beloved associate editor, moved from Oklahoma to New York three years ago (and we’re so glad she did). “In Brooklyn, I feel like I can be as crazy with my style as I want to be,” she says. Here, Kim shares her morning rituals, the product that makes her skin glow and how her hair is all about extremes…
How did your style change when you moved to New York from Oklahoma?
In small town Oklahoma, everyone was in each other’s business, but in New York, everyone is like, I literally don’t care what you do. It’s so refreshing. No one will look at me sideways if I have pink hair; so do 12,000 other people in the city right now.
What are you up to during quarantine?
Right now we’re into this new HBO show called Lovecraft Country. Scary sci-fi usually isn’t my thing at all, but the show is set during the pre-civil-rights 1950s era and the heroes are Black so they’re dealing with racism in their town and fighting both monsters and the people that live next door. It’s gripping and thrilling. Ashley C. Ford does a podcast about it — she loves horror and gore and all that stuff — and it’s really interesting to hear.
Are you counting the days until this is all over?
Whenever New York opens up, it will be a party for a week straight. People are leaving New York, but don’t you want to live through the bad times to get to the good times? As a writer, I’m like, it’s all such good material! We will be like, we lived through this and we saw it turn around again.
What do your mornings look like?
I get up around 8:30 a.m., splash warm water on my face, and drink a glass of water before I do anything else. I put on chill music like Lianne La Havas or do Yoga with Adrienne to wake up my body. It helps me center myself before I begin the day. After that, I usually have a bowl of cereal with oat milk and a couple scrambled eggs, then run around the corner to grab a cup of coffee. Being outside early helps me get out of my head and out of my apartment — and helps me keep perspective.
What’s your skincare routine?
After Allison Rhone’s beauty uniform, I decided to experiment with Glossier products. I love Glossier Milky Jelly Cream Cleanser as a mild cleanser through the week, and I use an exfoliant cleanser at least once a week. I use a Boie silicone face scrubber, for a little extra oomph and it always does the trick. The next step I picked up from my boyfriend in quarantine — toner. I use Dickinson’s Witch Hazel hydrating toner after cleansing, and I swear after a couple of uses my skin’s texture became so even and smooth. Next I use Glossier Priming Moisturizer. I love that it leaves a soft, matte finish but still has plenty of moisture. My face is really dry, so it’s not always easy to get that balance right. And finally, my favorite step — serum! I’d never used a serum until a few months ago, but figured now was the time to start. I apply it after moisturizing, otherwise my skin will get too dry. I love how Glossier’s Super Glow serum makes my skin glowy and vibrant.
What about in the shower?
I usually shower at night, as a way to help me wind down and wash off the day. I love fresh lavender — it’s so earthy and grounding — so I use Dr. Bronner’s lavender bar soap with an exfoliating loofah. It leaves my skin super soft and fragrant. Afterward I follow with Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion for Dry Skin – it quenches my dry skin without leaving it greasy.
What’s your relationship to your hair?
I’ve always been a fan of extremes, so I love my hair most when it’s in long braids or is short short. One of the times I’ve felt most me was when I had pink braids. I still think about them all the time! The other time was when I shaved my head and bleached it. A couple months ago, Steven was giving me a trim and cut my hair to the point where I was basically bald (he forgot to put the guard on!) but I just rolled with it and actually really loved it after a while. Right now I use jojoba oil on my scalp and Shimmer Lights purple shampoo and conditioner to keep my hair from turning too yellow.
Have you ever had any regrettable beauty moments?
Oh, yes. In 2012 I decided to cut my hair short for the first time and I literally said, “Give me the Kris Jenner.” I was dead set on having a hairstyle like hers — I was obsessed. I was so excited that day I did my own photo shoot in a Gap dressing room. Looking back on it is hilarious but I don’t regret it! I wanted the quintessential white girl short haircut and I got it!
What about makeup?
I rarely wear makeup because I prefer to have a fresh face, but when I do, I use IT Cosmetics CC+ Illumination cream in Rich Honey. I usually hate the way foundation feels on my skin, but this one is so light. I also love that it’s a full coverage sunscreen and anti-aging serum, all in one. For eyes, I use the Urban Decay Naked3 palette. It has all the golds and rich bronzes that set my skin off just right. I finish off with E.L.F. liquid eyeliner, which has a wide handle for easy application. I think I’ve finally reached the intermediate level of eye liner application.
I always go with a bold lip, even if I’m not wearing any other makeup. My favorite is Stunna Lip Paint by Fenty, in Uncensored. It’s the perfect bold, bright red for all occasions. Another more subtle red I love is Beso by Stila. They have the best brick reds and oranges for the colder months, which I’m super excited about. For everyday wear, I use Glossier Balm Dotcom. The mango is my favorite because it has a tiny orange tint.
What do you like to do for nails?
A little over a year ago, I saw an image from a photo shoot with red nails and light pink nails. I tried it once and now it’s become my thing. I mix it up with different shades and colors for different seasons, and just whatever I think will look fun. It’s a good way to take your regular manicure to the next level and create a color story!
Okay, here are some lightning-round questions.
How would you describe yourself in five words? Funny, vibrant, writer, loving, crazy.
What are your favorite movies? My Best Friend’s Wedding is my go-to when I’m hanging out, About Time, and Rear Window is one of Steven’s favorites, so we just watched it together and I loved it.
Your favorite food? I’ll be boring and say pizza. I just had the best New York pizza I’ve ever had the other day at L&B Spumoni Gardens.
Favorite place in the world? I want to say a place in Europe, but I haven’t been to Europe yet. I know that will be my favorite place. Past-life me already knows.
Book character you’d want to be friends with? Jo from Little Women! I love her.
Do you have a beauty philosophy?
I’d say find what makes you feel powerful, even if that powerful feeling varies day to day. Growing up, I assumed I was ugly because I was in predominantly white spaces and didn’t see my beauty reflected back to me almost anywhere. It took me a long time to realize there’s nothing wrong with the thick build of my body, my big eyes or my brown skin. My relationship with my body has drastically changed in the past few years as I’ve discovered what I’m capable of mentally and physically. There are times that I’ve felt prettier and better about the amount of fat on my body, but right now I feel powerful, and that in itself carries its own weight of beauty.
Thank you so much, Kim!