Former Lucky editor: Nine beauty products worth spending money on.

The language of style.
Nov. 8 2010 10:11 AM

Is Shampoo Worth $140 a Tub?

As Lucky's editor, I got all the beauty products I wanted for free. Here's what I'll use now that I have to buy my own.

Slide Show: Kim France: Nine Beauty Products Worth Spending Money On. Click image to launch.

After 10 years as the founding editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine, I became, one Wednesday not so very long ago, Lucky's former founding editor-in-chief. This development brought about a number of changes. My job came with some unimaginably great perks, and in an instant, they were gone. The clothing allowance, such a glamorous lark as to be risible. The car and driver, the first-class air travel, the suites at the Four Seasons in Los Angeles. All relics of a time and a place that were suddenly and decisively in the past.

As it turns out, losing all of this has felt more like a course correction than a jarring plunge into the unknown. Most of us didn't enter the field of magazine publishing to make a killing, and I'd never been foolish enough to expect that it would last forever. I think it's kind of wild that I got to live that way even for a while.

Still, after spending so much time on the gravy train, it has hurt just a bit to fall off. I had discount cards from a broad and enticing range of clothing chains, boutiques, e-tailers, and designers; I will miss that. A new bag from Chanel every Christmas was in no way a downer.

And, from the moment Lucky launched, I never paid for any beauty product. Cosmetics companies send boatloads of product to magazine editors to be tried and tested—and hopefully written about—on a daily basis. They were stored in a room called the beauty closet, and there is no overstating the quantity of gels, creams, glosses, scents, and other delightful confections to be found there. The beauty closet was my Neverland. There was no more perfect way to slide into the weekend than sprawling out on the closet floor late on a Friday afternoon sampling sugar scrubs and cheek stains. Once I'd fallen in love with a product—or was curious about some other one that I'd heard about—I was free to lodge a request, and that item would arrive on my desk the next day, possibly in triplicate.

I've got more than enough clothes to keep me going from here until the next decade. This pleases my accountant, who has had stern conversations with me about watching my monthly burn rate. Unfortunately, there's another category for which spending is about to go through the roof. But at least when the AmEx bill comes, I will feel justified, confident in the knowledge that—after years of informal but nonetheless impassioned research—I'm buying the good stuff. Here's what I'll be shelling out for.

Click here to read a slide-show essay on beauty products worth spending money on. 

Like Slate on  Facebook. Follow us on  Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Foreigners

The World’s Politest Protesters

The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.

The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:58 PM The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans  

The Feds Have Declared War on Encryption—and the New Privacy Measures From Apple and Google

The One Fact About Ebola That Should Calm You

It spreads slowly.

These “Dark” Lego Masterpieces Are Delightful and Evocative

Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Activists Are Trying to Save an Iranian Woman Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 1 2014 7:26 PM Talking White Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 1 2014 2:16 PM Wall Street Tackles Chat Services, Shies Away From Diversity Issues 
  Life
Outward
Oct. 1 2014 6:02 PM Facebook Relaxes Its “Real Name” Policy; Drag Queens Celebrate
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 5:11 PM Celebrity Feminist Identification Has Reached Peak Meaninglessness
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 1 2014 9:39 PM Tom Cruise Dies Over and Over Again in This Edge of Tomorrow Supercut
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 1 2014 6:59 PM EU’s Next Digital Commissioner Thinks Keeping Nude Celeb Photos in the Cloud Is “Stupid”
  Health & Science
Science
Oct. 1 2014 4:03 PM Does the Earth Really Have a “Hum”? Yes, but probably not the one you’re thinking.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?