Step by Step
The Chef DeVonn Francis’s Beauty Regimen
Left: The chef and founding director of Yardy World, DeVonn Francis. Right, clockwise from top left: Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste, $57, aesop.com. Koa Mineral Face Sunscreen, $29, livingkoa.com. Muri Lelu Mauvaise Herbe Indica Oil, $135, murilelu.com. Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo, $32, shop.sachajuan.com. Yardy World All Hands Oil, $40, yardy.world. Le Labo Tonka 25 Eau de Parfum, $220, lelabofragrances.com.Credit…Portrait: courtesy of DeVonn Francis. Products: courtesy of the brands
Interview by Caitie Kelly
I’m constantly asking my friends what they’re using. My routine also changes based on whom I’m dating sometimes. If that person is more adept at beauty than I am, I will absolutely steal their products and pretend I knew about them the whole time. I use a superlight face wash, sometimes Curology Gentle Cleanser or Aesop Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste. To exfoliate around my beard area, I’ll use a konjac sponge to make sure I’m preventing ingrown hairs. On my beard, I like the hair oil that my sister makes. I use the Muri Lelu Mauvaise Herbe Indica Oil every other day and Costa Brazil Face Serum. I top those with Algenist Algae Peptide Regenerative Moisturizer. At night, I use Allies of Skin Retinal & Peptides Repair Night Cream. Growing up I was taught that as a Black person I didn’t need to use sunscreen and that is such a lie. Right now I use Koa Mineral Sunscreen.
My family is Jamaican and I’m very much a home-remedy person. I’ll do an Aztec Secret Clay mask — it’s just a dry powder that I add water to — once a week. If I have any dark spots, I’ll also do some turmeric on my face. I mix it with grapeseed oil. On sensitive spots that need some cooling down, I’ll use aloe and sometimes a cold compress. If you get a cut or a sunburn, it’s a very Jamaican-grandma thing to have an aloe plant at home. My facialist is an amazing woman named Ingrid Tsung. I’ll go to her every two or three months and do a little bit of microdermabrasion and oxygen treatments.
I have scalp eczema (seborrheic dermatitis), which means I constantly have to manage it. Having treatments that help bring down inflammation is so important. Diet and stress management help, too. I have a prescription for a shampoo with salicylic acid and also use Sachajuan Scalp Shampoo. My hair is really important to me. If it’s not in place and looking good, I don’t feel good. My sister is a hairstylist so we’ll often do a pure aloe hair mask together. I’ll get a hot oil treatment, too, which involves heating up jojoba or avocado or coconut oil and having it just sit on the scalp after the aloe moment.
I love using Saipua soaps in the shower. On my hands, I use the Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm and our Yardy World All Hands Oil. As a chef, I’m often around a lot of food aromas so I keep Le Labo Tonka 25 on me at all times — and a change of clothes.
A Renovated Belle Époque Hotel in Biarritz
By Monica Mendal
Last year, the hospitality company Experimental Group bought the 1907 Regina Hotel & Spa, a Belle Époque beauty that sits perched atop a cliff overlooking the Bay of Biscay, and transformed it into the Regina Experimental hotel, scheduled to open next month. The French designer Dorothée Meilichzon renovated the interiors, taking cues from the Basque and Paquebot (or ocean liner) Art Deco movements, defined by their curvy forms, long lines and nautical features. The original glass-ceiling atrium holds a lounge space and a bar with a central piano, while wraparound corridors above lead to the hotel’s 72 rooms. Inside, the rooms’ design details include marine stripes, Japanese straw mirror frames and Meilichzon’s signature whimsical headboards (this time made of wood lacquered in a pale blue). Outdoors, there’s a pool, an orangery and the Golf du Phare golf course. But perhaps one of the biggest draws is the restaurant Frenchie Biarritz, the latest outpost from the Paris-based chef Gregory Marchand, who also partnered with Experimental for the group’s hotels in Paris’s Pigalle neighborhood and Verbier, Switzerland. Marchand plans to center the menu on Basque cuisine, sourcing ingredients from throughout the region, including trout from the village of Banka and black pork from Gascony. And if Regina is all booked up, Experimental has a second property a short walk away: the 27-room Le Garage, which was converted from an old classic car park and opened in 2022. Experimental Regina opens July 7; from $320 a night, reginaexperimental.com.
A Collection of Flower-Dyed Linens and Swirled Glassware
By Amy Fang
For her latest tableware collection, the designer and prop stylist Kalen Kaminski drew inspiration from a 200-year-old schoolhouse. Kaminski, who started her home and clothing line, Upstate, in 2011, purchased the Berkshires building after becoming enamored with its open floor plan and history. “I’ve always loved the idea of living in a space that was not intended to be a home,” she says. Its former occupant, the Avalon School, provided the collection its name, while the seasonal hues of the forest surrounding the property are soaked into its colorways. Napkins and tablecloths are hand-dyed with natural materials such as tree bark, madder root, cochineal and marigold flowers sourced from the Seattle-based dye house Botanical Colors. The glassware, ranging from stackable wine glasses to pitchers with swirls of burgundy, pink, yellow, purple and green, is handmade by glassblowers in Brooklyn. Later this month, Kaminski will host a dinner at her Chinatown studio in celebration of the launch with a meal by the chef Woldy Kusina, who’s known for his color-saturated Filipino cuisine, and the photographer and chef Andrea Gentl, who recently published the book “Cooking With Mushrooms.” On the menu: slices of seasonal summer tomatoes sprinkled with edible flowers served on pink glass platters and mushroom margaritas poured from bulbous lavender-and-green pitchers. From $32, youreupstate.com.
A Bronze Closet as a Memorial in New York City’s West Village
By Jameson Montgomery
The New York City AIDS Memorial is within St. Vincent’s Triangle, a traffic island in the West Village that was named after the former hospital in whose shadow it sits — the first hospital to establish a dedicated ward for the treatment of AIDS in 1984, soon after the disease’s identification. The park itself, which commemorates the lives of over 100,000 New Yorkers who died of AIDS complications, opened in 2015, featuring a geometric steel pavilion designed by New York’s Studio Ai in collaboration with the artist Jenny Holzer, who arranged engraved passages from Walt Whitman’s 1855 poem “Song of Myself” on the memorial’s pavement. This year, a sculptural installation by the artist Jim Hodges has been added to the triangle’s small lawn. Titled “Craig’s Closet,” the work honors the musician Craig Ducote, with whom Hodges lived at the time of his death in 2016. To make the piece, which is a faithful re-creation of the contents of Ducote’s closet, Hodges started by taking photographs and 3-D scans of the real-life version to ensure all details were accurate and, as he puts it, “to preserve the specificity of his essence as it was revealed in the precise placement of his things.” The bulk of the sculpture was carved from granite in Garfagnana, Italy, with additional fragile pieces cast in bronze at Washington’s Walla Walla Foundry. The result is a monochromatic black wall whose inverse reveals the cross-section of a crowded closet full of T-shirts, books and boxes, the end of its rack displaying a jumble of unused hangers. Its installation here feels universal; a remembrance of lives lived through objects gathered on the way. “Craig’s Closet” is on view through May 2024, nycaidsmemorial.org.
A Tranquil, Seaside Resort in Morocco
By Alexander Lobrano
“This is the most peaceful place I know,” says Yasmina Antonia Filali, sitting on the terrace of a villa that’s part of La Fiermontina Ocean, the hotel she and her family plan to open on June 27. Thirty years ago, her brother, Fouad Giacomo, traveled to the coastal town of Larache, a 45-minute drive south of Tangiers in Morocco, and bought land to build a family home. Now, the house has been joined by a seaside compound of 11 suites, two villas with private pools and four traditional houses that make up La Fiermontina Ocean. The interiors, overseen by the Laboratoire Design agency in Rabat, are adorned with traditional and contemporary Moroccan furniture, accented with antiques from the ’50s and ’70s. Filali and her family set out to create an eco-resort that could serve as a model for a new type of rural tourism in Morocco. Using the knowledge gained from their Orient-Occident Foundation, which they established to promote cultural exchanges between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, the Filalis pushed for the region to be protected as a national park and are planning to establish a women’s cooperative that will produce and sell products including honey, jam and couscous. At the heart of the hotel is the Maison du Cadi, a memorabilia gallery of the Filali family’s Italian Moroccan history and heritage — Yasmina’s grandmother, Antonia Fiermonte, a Catholic-raised painter from Puglia, married Cadi Thadi Filali, a professor of Quranic law. In keeping with the hotel’s cross-cultural theme, the hotel restaurant is a delicious combination of Italian and traditional Moroccan dishes. From about $687 a night, lafiermontinacollection.com.
A SoHo Diner With French Sensibilities From the Owner of Raoul’s
By Reggie Nadelson
At 179 Prince Street in SoHo, the new luncheonette Revelie is an evocation of a 1950s all-American joint: There is a counter with old-fashioned stools, black-and-white striped booths, tiled floors and a pressed-tin ceiling. The Manhattan restaurant is the offspring of Raoul’s, the legendary (pushing 50, now) French bistro across the street. For years its co-owner, Karim Raoul, dreamed about a green chile cheeseburger he had eaten once in New Mexico; it’s now on the menu at Revelie, which is named for Amelie and Reve, his children with Jillian Fracassi, who runs the new space. “The idea was to bring a neighborhood place to SoHo because we really haven’t had one in such a long time,” she says. The menu also features diner staples like a patty melt and a BLT alongside French flavors including the croques (monsieur and madame), a cheesy onion soup served in a copper pot and a hanger steak in a reduced wine sauce with caramelized shallots, smashed garlic potatoes and fresh spinach. On the counter is a cake stand with a stack of jambon beurres — ham, butter, French bread, perfection. instagram.com/revelienyc.
From T’s Instagram
A Book That Explores the Design Sensibility of a Brazil Hotel