For Jessica King, the beauty business is in her DNA. Her mother, Jean, worked at Chanel Beauté from before she was born until she was about 23 years old: “I have SO many Chanel memories. Like, I was IN the room when they came up with the name Vamp! How insane is that?”
I met Jessica, or Jess as I call her, as a freshman in college. We bonded over being the only two rebels in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. We lived together sophomore year, and I had the pleasure of being one half of the receiving end of her mom’s “care packages.” These packages weren’t just any old care packages. They were filled to the brim with Chanel Quad Eyeshadows, moisturizers, eye creams, No. 5 and Mademoiselle. It was magical. Jess was a pro at applying eye makeup and I think I actually learned how to do it myself from watching her. It was during this time that I really fell hard for beauty.
After graduating from school and moving to New York, Jess’s mom was the first person I contacted. She set me up with an interview with Chanel human resources, which is where I landed my first job. I pretty much owe everything to Jess and her mom for launching my career.
Jess chose fashion after school. She interned at Vogue and Vanity Fair, worked as a fashion editor at Elle Accessories and now works as Stylist at the NY Daily News. When she’s not working on her blog, creating whimsical notecards for her shop on etsy, knitting or throwing a one of her world famous Pinterest-perfect parties, she is at home in Brooklyn with her husband and two stunning girls. Speaking of her kids, can we just talk about Indi and Sophie for a minute here?! They look like they just stepped out of Gap ad campaign.
Jess is my latest Glow Girl because she manages to always look so put together and truly exemplifies the mom who does it all. She’s also got the best hair and nail beds around. For all moms and non-moms out there, this is one girl you’ll definitely want to know all about.
Jessica: For as long as I can remember my mother talked about the importance of moisturizing. I also remember when I was around 12, I was in California visiting my big sister Katie and I had just started experimenting with makeup. She looked at me and said, “Oh honey there is a difference between night time makeup and daytime makeup.” So, weirdly, that little comment has always followed me. I used to be so high maintenance – blowouts, makeup, facials – and I just don’t have time for that anymore. I never used to understand why my mom cut off her hair in her early 30s. She would always say, “sweetheart I just don’t have the time for all that hair.” And now I fully get it. I’m this close to chopping it off. I couldn’t imagine sparing an hour to do my hair (or more!) at this point in my life.
My mother would never describe herself as glamorous or stylish, but she is definitely both. She is, however, extremely low-maintenance and down to earth. She has a talent for looking like a million dollars in 10 minutes, and for being as comfortable in a Chanel suit as in trousers from the Gap. A lot of how I live my day-to-day life comes from always watching her transform in minutes, but always looking like herself. It’s amazing what a little lipstick can do.
Annie: What do you think is the key to beautiful skin?
Jessica: A ton of water (even more than you think!), eating whole, fresh foods (this is not to say I don’t fully break this rule from time to time), enough sleep, and consistent moisturizing.
Jessica: I have slowly become more and more low maintenance as I have gotten older. I just don’t feel like myself if I’m all dolled up. But for the most part, my beauty routine has really remained the same. While I am low-maintenance, I still am psychotic about my nails. If I don’t have my nails done, I feel wretched and awful. So I have switched to gel manicures, which keeps my nails chip-free and shiny for 2+ weeks through all the bath times, playground trips and sticker-from-furniture removals. When I was pregnant and breastfeeding, I was definitely more conscious of using organic whenever possible.
Annie: Can you walk me through your skincare routine now?
Jessica: In the morning I need to be pretty quick, as I usually have the 2 girls pulling on me and then have to jet to work. I will start by quickly rinsing my face with cold water and apply Biologique Recherche P50 all over my face with a cotton round. Then I will follow with Clinique All About Eyes eye cream and Clinique Superdefense Daily Moisturizer SPF 20. I like to let it sit for about 10 minutes before I apply any makeup. I am a weird freak about dental hygiene so I brush, floss, re-brush and re-floss again. Then I will put some hand cream on (5-7 times a day will keep your hands from looking like a crypt keeper’s in 10-20 years).
When it’s time to put on makeup, I put Cle de Peau Concealer under my eyes and on the outer corners of my eyes, on the redness around my nose and on any small discolorations or spots I may have. Then I will blend some Benefit Benetint on my cheeks to get a rosy glow, and dab a little Aquaphor on my lips. If I’m feeling fancy I like a delicate liquid liner cat eye, and if I’m feeling really fancy I’ll layer gold liquid liner on top of that. That’s pretty much it.
At night I have more time after the girls are asleep, so twice a week I do a little mini facial. I’ll do an exfoliating mask and a pore cleansing mask and also exfoliate my lips with Fresh Sugar Lip Polish. After that I’ll dab on a pea sized amount of La Mer, some Clinique All About Eyes and a little Aquaphor on my lips. Occasionally I’ll do a hair mask like Bumble and bumble Crème de Coco while I watch a tv show or something.
Annie: What’s the beauty product or technique that has changed your life? Are there any products you simply couldn’t live without?
Jessica: Gel manicures and eyelash extensions really changed my life. I can go about my day and not think at all about how I look. My nails never chip and I always look like Bambi with my eyelashes. As for products, I’ve always used La Mer since middle school. Not only do I love the smell, it’s really easy to conserve—a little goes a long way. Really a pea-sized amount is enough every night – so while it is prohibitively expensive, it lasts for ages.
In terms of my all-time favorite products, Cle de Peau Concealer really lives up to the hype. I have legit blackness under my eyes and I have tried every concealer ever. I would literally pay anything for a good concealer, so leave it to me to love the most expensive one. It’s worth every penny though. I love Weleda Skin Food hand cream – it has the most irresistible smell. Also, about 4 or 5 months ago I started using the cult product [you’ve read about it here and here] Biologique Recherche P50 and my skin really has taken a turn for the better. It gives me a creamy glow. My pores are SO much smaller, I really can’t believe it. At first, my skin broke out horribly, but I learned it’s part of the process, and stuck with it. It was totally worth it.
Jessica: At first, my biggest piece of advice is to give yourself a break.You don’t have to pressure yourself to lose the weight, brush your hair, shave your legs, etc. Really. Your baby doesn’t care how you look. When you start feeling inspired to be “yourself” again (whatever that means) find small ways to make time for just you. This is, however, not possible for everyone. In the NYC world of nannies, so many moms can just jet off and get a mani pedi every week. My life is not like that. I have to put 40 wheels in motion just to go grocery shopping alone. But when I can, I try to find small windows of time here and there to do what makes me feel good. A good manicure and getting my eyebrows done makes a world of difference for me. After the kids are asleep, I’ll also take a bath and give myself a mini facial.
Annie: What are your thoughts on cleansing or juicing?
Jessica: You know, I go back and forth on this one. I’ve tried juicing before, but I prefer sticking to a clean organic food diet: No white foods, no artificial sweeteners, no booze, and no caffeine. I think that using cleansing to reset your body to start living a consistently clean-ish life is a great idea. But juicing for 5 days, or even 30, is not going to be a magic cure for anything – whether it be health or weight loss. Everything is about moderation and consistency.
Annie: What are your five desert island essentials?
Jessica: Definitely organic coconut oil, floss, a friendly nail aesthetician to make sure my nail game is on point (in lieu of that, a nail file will do), Clarins Sunscreen Care Milk-Lotion Spray SPF 50+ or Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Spray SPF 35 and baby wipes.
Annie: You always have got a good lip situation going on. What are your favorites for your lips?
Jessica: Benefit Benetint is really for your cheeks, but I use it sparingly on my lips and it is literally the perfect tint. I feel like I look like I just stepped in from the snow. It dries out my lips really badly though so I will only use it on a special occasion. For a good red, I’m obsessed with Nars Satin Lip Pencil in Hyde Park. Also nothing gives a perfect natural lip sheen like Aquaphor.
Neighborhood Nail Salon: For a good everyday manicure, I go to iPlaza on Greenwich and Canal. If I really have time for some luxury, I will go around to corner to Jin Soon for a bomb Breath of Milk and Honey pedicure. It’s a great place to chill out. For the ultimate nail art situation (checkout her nail collage below), I go to Valley. I also like Primp and Polish in Williamsburg.
Haircut: Bumble and bumble for both cut and color. Denise is the patron saint of scissors, and Mai a master of color. Before I was going to AJ at Pierre Michel. She was also a goddess. I have being doing ombre for a long time. It really works for me and my low maintenance lifestyle.
Beauty DIY: Coconut Oil is really a cure all. Frizzy hair day? Coconut oil. Rough winter skin? Coconut oil. Diaper rash? Coconut oil. Itchy mosquito bites? Coconut oil. For real it’s like the only thing you could ever need.