Phillip Picardi

The Beauty Closet Questionnaire

Does the Beauty Industry Exist to Make Us Insecure?

Megan O'neill and Jean Godfrey-June

goop beauty editors Jean Godfrey-June and Megan O’Neill love to ask—and answer—questions. On their podcast, The Beauty Closet, they’re doing both. To familiarize you with each week’s guest, we came up with a goop beauty (and life) questionnaire.

This Week We’re Talking To:

Phillip Picardi, host of the podcast
Unholier Than Thou, journalist, and beauty writer

A major force behind the woking up of Teen Vogue, editorial director of Them, editor in chief of Out magazine, and now podcast host and influential writer, LA-based Phillip Picardi started out…like us, as a beauty editor. So our Beauty Closet podcast episode is a fascinating look at many of the questions he raises around the topic, not to mention everything from racism, religion, LGBTQIA+ rights, and abortion to face oil. On our podcast, he challenged us to think about the difference between harping on insecurity for profit and trying to solve legitimate beauty problems (he famously explored this topic in an article on butthole grooming), and he asked us to consider how our perceptions of beauty might be intertwined with racism. At the same time, he gave us steps to take to make the world a better place.

We explored how working in the beauty industry affected his activism around Blackness and queer and trans rights; the story behind his brilliant podcast, Unholier Than Thou; and the ways each of us might help shift inequity. “When you’re gathered with friends, if you notice all of them look a certain way, talk a certain way, were educated a certain way, you’re part of the problem,” he says. “And you can make a really proactive effort to be part of the solution.” Listening to his ideas for fixing the world—rather than simply bemoaning the sorry state of it—inspired and energized us, so definitely take a listen.

Because his roots are in beauty, we couldn’t wait to see his goop beauty questionnaire answers.


Ex-Catholic, cat dad.

First job?

McDonald’s cashier.

Currently in your goop shopping cart?

The lovely dry brush, the rose luminizer from RMS Beauty, and Juice Beauty overnight cream.

  1. goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush
    goop Beauty G.Tox Ultimate Dry Brush goop, $20
  2. RMS Beauty Champagne Rose Luminizer
    RMS Beauty Champagne Rose Luminizer goop, $38

Mikki Halpin [writer and editor] and Marie Suter [VP creative director at Glossier].

Go-to weeknight recipe?

I love Mark Bittman’s salmon recipe from NYT Cooking, except I swap out the butter and dill for olive oil and fresh thyme—it is so delicious. I also cook Samin Nosrat’s buttermilk roast chicken at least once a week, usually with a side of broccoli roasted with garlic and olive oil. And you can’t go wrong with David Tanis’s chicken paillard with black-olive tapenade. (Most weeks I just cheat and grab a jar of Divina’s olive tapenade instead of making my own!)

Essential clean beauty and grooming products?

RMS Beauty Living Luminizer, Herbivore rose body polish, Susanne Kaufmann Evening Primrose Ointment, Éminence Organics kale mask.

  1. Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish
    Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Body Polish goop, $36
  2. RMS Beauty Living Luminizer
    RMS Beauty Living Luminizer goop, $38
Bath or shower?

Shower! One visit to the Long Beach Aquarium and you’ll be timing your showers as I do. Five minutes or less, people!

  1. goop pick
    goop Beauty G.Day Ginger + Ashwagandha Energy Body Wash
    goop Beauty G.Day Ginger + Ashwagandha Energy Body Wash goop, $32
Instant glowy-skin trick?

Apply your favorite face oil, then mix luminizer with a skin balm or a coconut oil. Tap onto the high planes of the face and the corners of the top of your nose.

  1. goop picks
  2. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum
    Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum goop, $185
  3. Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick
    Westman Atelier Lit Up Highlight Stick goop, $48
  4. 8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil
    8 Faces Boundless Solid Oil goop, $88
goopiest moment so far?

I recently started acupuncture in an effort to treat my psoriasis without harsh medication or steroid creams, much to the eye rolls of my doctor fiancé. I was given a Chinese herb supplement that’s designed to “cleanse” the GI tract, and I naively thought I could jump straight to the maximum dose. I spent three days running to and from the toilet—I literally couldn’t leave my house. It was a mortifying seventy-two hours.

Best breakout fix?

An overnight drying lotion followed by a nice exfoliation to peel off the dead skin in the morning. Then apply face oil to clean skin and smooth on concealer immediately after with the tip of a sponge, which helps round out the surface area of a zit. Finish by tapping with your fingertip so that it all blends nicely.

  1. goop picks
  2. goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator
    goop Beauty GOOPGLOW Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator goop, $125/$112 with subscription
  3. KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil
    KORA Organics Noni Glow Face Oil goop, $68
  4. Rituel de Fille Ethereal Veil Conceal & Cover
    Rituel de Fille Ethereal Veil Conceal & Cover goop, $34
You wouldn’t leave home without?

My phone, my AirPods, and I never take off my gold chain necklaces: One is Tiffany & Co.; the other is Cartography NYC.

  1. goop pick
    Laura Lombardi Rosa Chain
    Laura Lombardi Rosa Chain goop, $110
Best instant great-hair trick?

Get a buzz cut.

Blow-dry or air-dry?

Get a buzz cut.

Best quarantine date-night grooming advice?

Honey, if you haven’t heard of weed lube, you’re really missing out.

Secret to cutting your hair at home?

Ask a very handsome man to do it for you.

Face oil or face cream?

I always use face oil if I’m applying makeup afterward. Otherwise, in order not to mess with my SPF, I prefer face cream.

  1. goop picks
  2. Balmyard Beauty Moonlight Lover Facial Oil
    Balmyard Beauty Moonlight Lover Facial Oil goop, $95
  3. The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 30
    The Organic Pharmacy Cellular Protection Sun Cream SPF 30 goop, $69
  4. MACRENE actives High Performance Face Cream
    MACRENE actives High Performance Face Cream goop, $225
The things you buy in bulk?

The Laundress’s Scented Vinegar and Nike athletic socks.

Favorite book?

This is an impossible question because I’ve already read about fifty books this year, but I choose: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou, The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman, Heartburn by Nora Ephron, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion, and Circe by Madeline Miller.

Preferred form of exercise?

Tennis lesson.

Proudest moment?

Offering myself for the chopping block at Out magazine.

Favorite podcast?

I could listen to Akilah Hughes and Gideon Resnick of What a Day at least twice a day.

Perfect Sunday afternoon?

A hike or a bike ride, some quality time with a book or a newspaper, a beautiful meal that I have not cooked for myself, and a gorgeous bottle of wine—preferably something from the Loire Valley.

What would you put on your neon sign?

You’re angry because you’re getting it.

How often do you recharge your crystals?

I hope Chani Nicholas isn’t reading this because I consulted her on every crystal I own in my home, but I’ve yet to recharge them! Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to finish this book I’m writing…

We hope you enjoy the books recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.