Photo illustration: an eagle; Photo: Bettina Niedermann
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably wondered what celebrities add to their carts. Not a JAR brooch and a Louis XV chair however hair spray and the Electric toothbrush. We asked actress Julie Bowen — who was recently divorced JB Skruba skincare line for teenage boys—about her favorite non-burning retinol serum, the pop art site she haunts, and the detox spray her kids call “Smelling Good.”
I moved into a new home a little over a year ago. In my entryway, I had a beautiful antique wool rug that my dog had begun to use — without my knowledge — as her pee area. Finally I was like, I must save this poor rug. I’ve used Ruggables in my laundry room and bathrooms, but they’re all neutral. When I found this rug from the Jonathan Adler Collection, I wanted to put it front and center because it’s so much more than just a doormat. It’s such a game changer that I could almost slip it in the laundry. I think I need a dog trainer too.
My former assistant is from Carmel, California, and I think this salad dressing is a homegrown phenomenon there. She would bring it to me after every vacation, and it was so good. With my production company, Bowen & Sons, I work out of my home, so four women are here all day every day. We always make a salad for lunch. These things are delicious, and you can order them by condition, which we do now. It’s not super garlic or onion, which are my big beef. I don’t like the taste of my pads after four hours, and I don’t want to re-burp them. I also gave it as a gift, and everyone thinks it’s wine because it looks like it comes in a wine bottle. It’s better than wine. Some people have racks of wine and I have a rack of French poodle.
The scents i get with my 3 kids are great, so i keep a large spray bottle at home and a small one in the car. It has a lot of eucalyptus in it, which reminds me of a spa. When my boys were little, they called it “good smell” because I used to spray it in each of their rooms. Anyone who knows me knows I’m constantly pulling this on and airbrushing.
I became interested in outdoor or folk art through my friend Rachel Zabar, a vintage clothing saleswoman. She turned me on to Slotin, this auction site that features artists without professional training or who have experienced marginalization in the art community. I was a pioneer in Italian Renaissance studies, and am familiar with many classical artists, but seeing what these artists create always amazes me. I love site stalking and finding really unique pieces.
Early on in the pandemic, I was going through a stressful time and decided to try calm. It contains magnesium, so a little goes a long way. Too much can really upset your stomach. I’ll drink it with water before bed or as a cocktail mixer, which is my personal plus. It has a citrusy sparkle that pairs well with a little tequila and soda. Why not?
I will not use retinol products that cause itching or burning in my skin. I use this in conjunction with my night lotion, and it does feel tingly but not uncomfortably so. I started out three times a week, but have now worked my way up to where I apply it every night. I’m not a braggart, but people tell me my skin looks exceptional. Full disclosure: A friend of mine works there, and I was involved in some early testing of the product. She would bring me things like, “What do you think?” And then when the line came out, she sent me some, and I said, “I love this. I really, honestly love this.”
Certain fragrances remind me of certain times in my life, and sometimes I realize it’s time to leave that scent behind. I’ve been talking about Jo Malone Orange Blossom for a long time, but then I was ready for something new. Back in the Barneys (RIP) days, Frédéric Malle had a counter there, and that’s how I found Portrait of a Lady. Most people spray perfume on their necks, but after showering, I slather it on the middle of my naked body. Then during the day, while warming up, the scent slowly releases. Everyone says “That’s what Jolie smells” or “Jolie was here.” I could have a lot more on hand, but I don’t care. it is delicious.
Alli Webb, founder of Drybar, had a holiday boutique event at her home, and decided to stop by. I went crazy for these cashmere sweaters, so my business partner bought me two. It’s just the perfect blend of softness and comfort without being too expensive. This cream has an elegant look. It reminds me of the jacket that Chris Evans wore in the first Take out the knives With all the holes in it.
Jill Byrne and I wanted to create a product for teens who are about to hit puberty and may not let their mothers go to the bathroom anymore. We created the JB Skrub with our boys in mind, but it’s for anyone who identifies with boyhood. Body wash, which is our hero, is only designed to be pumped twice because if you give a kid a regular squeeze bottle, they’ll use 90 percent of it in one shower. It also has a refreshing orange peel scent that doesn’t linger for as long as some chemically scented men’s grooming products. Under the directions, it also says “PNB,” which I originally wanted to call the product. It stands for “pits, nuts, and butts,” in that order.
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