celebrity shopping

What Model Beverly Johnson Can’t Live Without

Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images, Illustration: Joe McKendry

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hairspray and the electric toothbrush. We asked model and entrepreneur Beverly Johnson — who recently became the face of skin-care brand Retrouvé — about the mattress, foundation, and bra she can’t live without.

I was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show, oh, I don’t know, a decade ago at this point, and she said, “Soma bras are the best bras in the world!” I was like, Yeah, okay. Whatever, Oprah. Then I was walking down the street, and next to Chico’s, I saw a Soma store. I went in and bought the bra she talked about on a whim. Oprah was right — this is the best bra. I’ve been buying them ever since. There’s no wire, and it’s made out of a really comfortable material. It covers everything really well and gives support without feeling constricting. I used to be a braless person because I love comfort, but now I can wear a bra and not embarrass my daughter.

As a Black model, you usually have to run around with your own foundation. Throughout most of my career, very few makeup artists were equipped to work with Black models, so I got used to carrying my own stuff. Then I met this Black makeup artist named Uzo, and when I handed her my foundation, she said, “I’m not using that. I have the foundation for you.” Not only was that just a wonderful experience, but I fell in love with this foundation. That was it for me. It’s beautiful and light. You see your skin through it. You can wear it all day long and it doesn’t get cakey. I’ve tried a lot, and it’s the best.

My bathroom looks like a CVS beauty aisle. I’m just so into products. Drugstore products and the most expensive products in the world — I want them all. I’m a model, I can’t help it. This cleansing product (it’s a spongy thing with a cleanser in it) was in a gift bag I got at an event. The first time I used it, I thought it was very, very good. It really cleanses the skin — maybe a little too much if you’re not careful. It feels so good to use, and I love the concept of a bar as a cleanser, instead of a foam or whatever. I’ve been using it nonstop ever since I got it in that gift bag.

I did the Anthony Anderson Celebrity Golf Classic in Palm Desert, and some Tuft & Needle pillows were in the swag bag. I was like, Oh my goodness, these pillows are unbelievable. There was also a card in there with the brand’s contact number and more information, so my fiancé Brian called to learn more about their products. He came to me and said, “Beverly, they have mattresses!” We had been looking for a mattress. Full disclosure: They sent us one to try out. But oh boy, I would buy this mattress over and over again. When it arrived, it came in a box and I was complaining the whole time: “This is ridiculous, there’s no way a comfortable mattress could fit in a box this size.” But we get the best sleep ever. It’s fabulous. I’m a light sleeper and so is Brian, and I don’t hear him get up. I sleep on my back with my arms crossed, and I’ve been told that when I do that, my eyes stay halfway open. Brian said I scared him.

You put it on at night, and wake up with the softest lips ever. Nothing compares. My daughter and grandchildren always have chapped lips, so I’m giving these to them as little presents. My daughter thinks she knows everything — I’m sure she’ll be like, “Listen, Blistex works for me.” But I know best.

The best sheets ever. They’re beautiful to sleep in. I only bought them recently because I always felt they were a little exorbitant to just buy randomly — I could never justify them even though I always wanted them. But I had a session with my life coach, and we talked about how I need to be nice to Beverly and be good to Beverly and just start seizing the moment, so one day I decided to splurge and get the sheets. I realized I’m worth it. And now I know why everyone raves about them.

I love the look of bright white eyes. I’m an eye-drop junkie, I always have some on me. I remember when I used to go to Europe, we used to use these blue drops — I don’t remember the name, but they’d make your eyes so white and they were blue. When I went back to using regular eye drops, they didn’t do quite the same thing. Then I saw a commercial for these Lumify drops while watching television. I tried them out and they work so well. They give me the whiteness, but they also keep my eyes hydrated. I like to read, and now with all the screens and everything, my eyes get very dry from staring. I also live in a desert, which makes them dry too. Lumify just makes a really great eye drop.

Nick Chavez is unbelievable. He’s Native American and has this long, beautiful hair — he was a model and is drop-dead gorgeous. Everybody is in love with Nick. He’s an amazing hairdresser, too. His products are fabulous. I use a few, including this hair spray. I have this bit of hair that falls down in my face all the time, but some Nick Chavez spray always fixes it, and my hair never feels hard or crunchy. He truly makes the best hair products.

This necklace has a good story behind it. The year my book The Face That Changed it All came out, I told Brian that all I wanted for my birthday was to be on the New York Times best-seller list. I knew it was an outrageous ask and not one he had any control over, but that’s what I really wanted. While on a plane on our way to do interviews for the book, he passed me this little blue box. I was stressed, so I said, “No, Brian, I can’t do this right now.” The lady next to me leaned over and said, “If somebody gave me a little blue box, I would open it right away.” Brian agreed, but I couldn’t do it. I was not being very nice that day. When we got back to the hotel, I thought, “Okay, maybe I should open this.” So I did and saw this beautiful heart inside. I went into the bathroom to put it on and thought, Oh my god, this man just gave me his heart. By the time I went to thank him, he was snoring and fully asleep. So that ended that. The next morning, I thanked him for the necklace. He was sitting at his laptop and looked at me and said, “Beverly, you just made the New York Times best-seller list.” So that birthday I got a beautiful necklace, a spot on the best-seller list, and a wonderful man’s heart. The necklace reminds me of that very special moment every day.

I have every kind of cream, oil, lotion, and whatnot for my body sitting on my bathroom counter. I came across Retouvé’s body oil some time ago, and if I’m going to be completely honest, it sat there for a while before I used it. But when I finally did, I was like, Wow! What is this? It’s so nice and thick, but it just seeps right into my skin almost immediately and leaves it soft and hydrated. Retrouvé products are not some bogus hocus-pocus kind of thing. They’re all based on science and they really do make the skin better. You can tell the ingredients are high quality right away; they’re also clean, so I’m not putting anything harmful on my body. My granddaughter uses this, too — she’s 9 years old and all legs, with deep mahogany skin that’s just gorgeous. But she’s always ashy. She can put lotion on, and two minutes later the ash comes right back. So one day, while we were taking pictures at a party, I put the oil all over her legs and it completely took out the ash.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Model Beverly Johnson Can’t Live Without