Oh—hello there. I didn't see you, hiding behind my shower curtain, even though I always check behind my shower curtain before I go to the bathroom because that is where the murderer would hide. Welcome to my gorgeous bathroom. Today I'm going to gut every single pore on my face while you watch. Isn't the natural light in here beautiful?

Six days a week I'm just your average, cool, collected, devastatingly funny skincare user. But every Sunday, under the cover of nightfall, I hole up in my bathroom and go American Psycho on my pores—because my obsession with blackheads is pathological, and I'm from the Midwest. No, I've never read American Psycho, what's it about? Ugh, the main character is a banker? I'm already bored. Can we please keep talking about my skin?

The whole thing is a multi-step exfoliation bacchanal, complete with several steps that are not at all dermatologist-endorsed. I'm telling you this because I care about you—if you're worried about scrubbing your delicate little face into oblivion, than this story is not for you. Go read this story about redness, written by a wimp. The rest of you bravehearts, follow me. This is the Great Pore Deep Clean!

Step 1: Wash your pores.

If you're anything like me after a week of walking around New York City, your face is a sprawling metropolis of bacteria. I like to do a full face cleanse with my wash of choice, Root Science's Bar Cleanser, followed by a targeted clean only on the areas where my pores are the biggest and baddest. That is: bridge of nose, around outside of nose, between eyebrow region, skin right above eyebrows. If you forget these instructions immediately, just imagine a fleur-de-lis. How elegant.

Boscia's Charcoal Deep-Pore Cleansing Stick Treatment is ideal for this, because it's a stick—perfect for drawing things on your face. Then you rub it in a little bit, it emulsifies, and you rinse it off. For a cleanser that lends itself to "deep pores", the composition of Boscia's stick is actually fairly gentle—balancing out glycolic acid with conditioning glycerin and coconut/jojoba oils. That's nice, because from here on out, we're really going to fuck it up.

Step 2: Exfoliate your pores.

Next up is my favorite exfoliator as of late—Grown Alchemist's Enzyme Exfoliant. The hero ingredient is papain, short for papaya proteinase I. Did you know that people use papain to treat parasitic worms and inflammation, and also to chill-proof beer? Useful! Topically, it exfoliates and fortifies—there is some buzz on the internet about adverse reactions when used on the face, but in my experience, it enhances that post-scrub glow factor. Dermatocare.com calls it "magical" and I agree. Again, I'm just focusing on my porous regions. Leave it on for five minutes and then rinse it. We've got more work to do.

Step 3: Mask your pores.

Ever heard of Glamglow's Clearing Treatment? It is the whisper on every oily face across the land. This is a legendary mask for its purging abilities and is not for the faint of heart. Kaolin clay + charcoal + glycolic acid + lactic acid + yes, mandelic acid + holy hell, are you ready for this? SALICYLIC acid. It is a miracle that you have a face at all after using it.

But it's great. I'm just putting it on my nose and cheeks, and a little on a pimple I'm nursing, for 10 minutes and not a minute more. This is your chemical portion of the Great Pore Deep Clean—getting in all of those all-important BHAs that are essential for removing blackheads. The treatment very quickly turns from charcoal to nimbus, and when you're ready, you can rinse it away. Where did your pores go??

Step 4: Evaluate your pores.

Because you might be done! To review, we've rinsed, treated, and peeled the face. That might be enough. If you wish to go further, you cannot legally hold me accountable for what you're about to read.

Step 5: Steam your pores.

Ahhh. It's OK, you can handle this. Boil a pot of water—here, walk over with me to my kitchen. When it starts to boil, lean over the stove and drape a towel over your head to trap the steam. FYI, it is a MYTH that steam "opens your pores," but according to Renée Rouleau, the increased temperature helps soften whatever is inside. Do that for 10 minutes, and don't let the towel touch the stove. I mean, obviously, but I thought I'd include that. Please don't burn down my apartment.

Step 6: Do you have scaling fluid? (Just asking!)

On Monday I had a facial at Silver Mirror on New York's Upper East Side, which included some of the most relaxing and painless extractions of my life. I thought this was because Christine, my facialist, has angel hands—but I think it was in part thanks to scaling fluid, which she applied right beforehand. It was one of the only products she didn't name immediately, which made it sexy and secret. "I'm applying a little something to your nose," she told me. Pig's blood? Molten caramel? I didn't follow up.

…until after. And Christine must've seen the glint in my eyes, because in the same breath as she introduced Dermalogica Scaling Fluid, she told me that it was for professional use only and is not available for me. Whatever. It's on Amazon, but I haven't purchased it. If you've got some, you're either a professional or a liar. Congrats on your esthetics license, or congrats on being a sociopath.

Step 7: Go American Psycho on your pores.

At this point, I'm unsheathing my Tweezerman No Slip Tool, and you're gasping or screaming or fainting. I know how controversial this thing is. But I also don't believe that manual pore extraction is a technique reserved just for pros—that's prohibitive. I believe in doing it at home, but with a light hand. Each step until now has softened and loosened your pore grime so you're ready for this. Use the bigger loop on the Tweezerman and gently run it down the length of your nose. Use the smaller loop for getting in the crevices around the nostrils. Be careful of sebaceous filaments, which are pores that appear clogged but really aren't. They're fine, but if you take a few out, that's OK too.

Some things will come out and some things won't. Don't force anything that doesn't want to leave! Sometimes an eel won't want to leave its eel-home, and that's fine. We all have pores, we're all monsters, it's fine.

Step 8: Sand down your pores.

Grab your Clarke American Sanders Floor Sander—just kidding! Ha! You're done.

Real step 8: Moisturize.

You've earned it. Now get out of my house.

—Brennan Kilbane

Photographed by Tom Newton.

If you've got pores, Brennan's got solutions. Read all about the best pore primers before makeup, the blackhead mask you can make at home, or more skincare stories.

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"I was born in New York. I’m American but my father, who was an art director, fell in love with Paris when I was young, so we moved—that’s why I’m an ex-pat. I grew up in France, but came back to go to the Parsons School of Design for Communication Design. I was also the editor of the Parsons paper which was fun. I’ve always loved typography, graphic design, photography… My grandfather was the head of the typesetting union and worked in magazines, so I’ve always been interested. Before I moved back to Paris, I was working at Interview magazine, but I decided not to stay in the States. I came back to France during a really difficult time—it was hard to be independent as a young person and the culture was very conservative. I started doing anything that would help me accumulate experience in design and in labs. Those things start to add up.

In ’94, we started Self Service because we wanted to create something that reflected the youth and what we were interested in. At first it was very naïve of us but it became very fun. It was a way to support creative thinkers and we had all these wild conversations with people—CEOs of companies to 24-year-old writers. We always had our conversation section at the end and creative forums where we asked different people different things. Now it’s one of the only magazines where we can give people—David Simms or Juergen Teller—the possibility to show our readers their process. Creating it has always been about the collaboration, instead of just commissioned work. Having a strong team is very important.

In those early days, it was difficult because you aren’t always getting the clothes you want to shoot, or the talent you want to feature. Sometimes you just feel like, where do you find the energy? It’s overwhelming. But that’s not being very grateful. We create this object that people wait a half a year for—that’s part of the reason we started binding it in hardcover. In the library, old Life magazines are bound and we thought maybe we should bind our old things. And we also realized that we are an independent magazine…we’re not trying to be an ego-publication that thinks it reaches more people than it does. So we made it a luxury, and we made it expensive. Our obligation to the reader is to deliver quality every time.

Around the same time, we started the magazine, we started what became Petronio and Associates. First it was called Work in Progress and we would work with clients on developing creative direction. Four years in, we started a project with Comme de Garçons Parfum. Rei Kawakubo and Adrian Joffe were dream clients. We would sit with them and Adrian would translate for her, and she’d bring over our garbage to see what our process had been like. She wanted to see the whole process. I remember we did an invitation to a show and we would get a fax at 4AM—because it was faxes then—everything would be OK but she would want to increase the size by a half point on the RSVP.

We also worked a lot with Miuccia Prada—for 10 years. For Prada’s beauty line we did all the visualizing and graphics. It was a big investment, and the product was extremely good, but I think it was too extensive a project and too ahead of its time to truly succeed. But Miuccia would always challenge me like she challenges everyone to get the best out of themselves. I remember once, when we were coming up with the story for a perfume, she decided she wanted to work with Irving Penn for the design. He was still alive but was quite old. So I go and I meet with him. We spoke for two hours and he asked me a lot of questions. I presented the whole concept and then he takes a piece of paper and scribbles something upside down. He just did a composition, a little accumulation of things and turned the paper around and said ‘This is your campaign.’ He gave it to me and I rush and I fax it over to Miuccia. She calls me up and is like, ‘Ezra! That’s not it! It’s too simple. Can you ask him to do something simple, but more modern?’ What do you want me to say to Irving Penn? [Laughs] So I called his agent. But that’s another example—she couldn’t care less. Someone could say that’s disrespectful but obviously she just wants to do the best all the time. Those kinds of things show you how we are taught.

Where my team excels most is when we are working on long-term and overall creative direction, coming up with the whole DNA for the advertising of a brand. I call it creative dogmas. With each brand, you really spend time immersing yourself and hearing what their strategic objectives before creating a creative dogma. Like Prada is always classic with a twist. Which is why in the packaging we introduced the big, big logo. I brought that back when we were doing Infusion D‘Iris. Everything was really beautiful, on old traditional green paper and all the type was centered and we just took the whole block of type and off-centered it on the packaging. Or we would take the logo and overlay and emboss another one over it. But that kind of care doesn’t happen as much anymore. Name brands have a tendency to segment especially with digital. There is one art director for the brand, but then for each campaign, there’s another art director. We just did a perfume ad for a big American brand and it was quadruple the time. And throughout the process of working on this big project there were four project managers and we kept on having new teams come in non-stop. They had hired us for our expertise because they loved what we did but we were struggling to keep that level of excellence with so many people in the room. I don’t think that works well because things become very disconnected. Then the brand doesn’t feel coherent. I think companies are getting a little bit restless and aren’t always thinking things through. Gucci is a good example of what works, though. It’s a coherent brand, from the window display to the global luxury.

But I’m not nostalgic about the past. there are a lot of great things happening. You have to deal with that and work differently. Spend more time speaking and challenging people. We just created a new agency called Content Matters and it’s a story telling and narrative brand because we realized the magazine got a lot of requests for branded content creation. It’s different than what we do at the magazine but it’s actually fun speaking to clients in America. They don’t call their campaigns ‘advertising’ anymore—they call it content. So now we do content campaigns that are completely separate from the magazine. Things are different. But that’s OK. Some people knew me through the magazine, some people know what I’ve done with the agency. Young people know that I’ve photographed Victoria’s Secret Models. But I’ve always designed that perfume bottle and people don’t realize. You just have to let it go."

—as told to ITG

Ezra Petronio photographed by Tom Newton in his home in Paris on December 1, 2016.

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Ah, red lipstick—all the versatility of beauty's Swiss army knife with none of the functionality. And the term alone contains multitudes! You've got your blue reds, orange reds, red-oranges (there's a difference), nude reds (yes!), pinks that are kind of red, but not really, are you sure this is a red? Etc etc, the list goes on for the next 100 years, and your need for a proper red lipstick has disintegrated along with most of your cell tissue.

That sounds deeply unpleasant—let's settle on six essential reds instead. Anything more inspires fatigue, and anything less is too limited. Truly, the perfect red lipstick is a wardrobe of red lipsticks, all wont to be layered and played with and worn out and kissed off. We've said it before, we'll say it again: one just isn't enough.

The Unred: Tom Ford Wild Ginger

Profile: Notes of vivid orange
It qualifies, sure, but only just barely—a freshly-picked blood orange is the de facto red lip of summer, but looks unexpected (and optimistic) when worn in the cold, too.
Carola wears a Tibi top and pants

The Fluorescent: Chanel Rebelle

Profile: Poppy, but not pink.
Instant classic. And Chanel, of course.
Carola wears a Ji Oh top, and a Betty Barbs ring

The Hint: Tatcha Red Camellia Balm

Profile: Just a touch of color
Red is such an obvious choice for balm that it's a wonder people don't reach for it more. Tatcha's balm melts in like a moisturizer and gives off a barely-there tint, which is both the antithesis of red lipstick and the beauty of it. And it looks just as good on cheeks.
Carola wears a Claudia Li dress

The Redwood: Kevyn Aucoin Bloodroses

Profile: Rooted in earthy brown.
A favorite of makeup artist Ingeborg for its seamless combination of warm mahogany and a cool red, which makes it simultaneously complexion-warming and teeth whitening. How many of your current lipsticks can do both?
Carola wears a Phelan denim jacket, Agnona sweater and Sea NY shorts

The Siren: Sisley Tango

Profile: Five alarm fire engine red.
A standout color that's equal parts magenta and ruby. As such, best worn instead of jewelry.
Carola wears an Agnonla dress and an Amanda Pearl necklace

The Full Vamp: Troy Surratt Seductrice

Profile: Full-bodied burgundy.
Doesn't the shade name say it all?
Carola wears an A Détacher top

Carola Remer (Marilyn) photographed by Tom Newton. Makeup by Ingeborg. Hair by Timothy Aylward. Styled by Rachel Gilman.

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"What do I do? Well, I've been working in fashion for awhile. I worked at a few Danish publications and decided three years ago to start my blog, which I've now closed—I wanted to go back to my roots. I took a Fashion Director position at the platform that hosted my blog, which meant I could write about fashion and be more objective in my job. And I decided at the same time to start my agency Social Zoo, a company where [my Co-Founder and I] handle talent accounts and work with brands to figure out ways to work together on their social platforms. I thought, maybe I'm a bit tired of doing things about myself. Maybe I can help others in a way.

Otherwise, I'm still working with stylists, and I love that—that's where I get my creative flow out. I'm also in the process of writing a book about Scandinavian style. And I’m getting married next year! We're planning it the romantic way—actually going location hunting for small places here in Denmark and in the south of France and Italy. We're looking around to figure out what's possible. You look at pictures and you have a feeling it’s going to be a certain way, but maybe there’s another atmosphere, you never know. And you have to connect with the owners as well, because Danish people party hard, so prepare yourself. We're Vikings. [Laughs]

The Danish beauty attitude is very relaxed. What I really care about is that everything I wear is comfortable. You feel good, you feel stronger, you look better when you're comfortable. Because you're taking my photo today, I'm wearing mascara for my brows and a bit of concealer. That's about it—kind of boring. I curl my eyelashes and I do this Lash Food Conditioning Drama Mascara, both on my lashes and brows, and I fill in with Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil in Medium Brown. Every day, really, that's what I do.

I love this Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer in Nude. Sometimes I'll put her Secret Finish Mattifying Gel on my forehead because I'm a shiny discoball. If I decide to contour, I like Hoola Bronzer from Benefit—it's really good for that. This is actually my second Chanel Ombre Essentielle, you can tell how much I've been using it. The shade is Blazing Gold and it gives that kind of shimmery effect. I love gold. Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Above and Beyond is here too. It's super red, too much for me, but I love the packaging. So beautiful. Sometimes I’ll do MAC Ruby Woo on my lips. I wore it for my engagement party. I think it's a really nice color and I like it because it stains.

I do really care about skincare. When you fly as much as I do, your skin dries out really bad, so I learned to be very considerate. I've been going to the same facial treatment girl for four years, I try to go every month. She has this massage technique that lifts up your skin—you know, I get puffy because I'm eating all the things I shouldn't be eating. But she massages my skin for 10 minutes, and it's perfect. Her name is Line Friis. She's incredible, and very spiritual. I feel so good when I leave.

When my facial lady doesn't have time for me, I use Raaw in the jar. Have you heard of it? These two Danish girls started producing these organic oils, and they're incredible. When I get puffy, I put the Laminaria Eye Cream under and over my eye. I use Murad Hydro Dynamic Ultimate Moisture For Eyes. My moisturizer right now is Tromborg's Anti-Aging Molecular Messenger—I'm 31, so I've started using anti-aging. They need to do a travel size! I tend to dry out a lot, so I need a lot of moisturizer.

Emily Weiss gave me an advance sample of Priming Moisturizer Rich over a year ago when she was still developing it and I've been using it a lot. You can see how much I've used it—it's the best rich face cream I've tried. I like really rich moisturizers, not with tons of actives, but that are hydrating. It sinks in quickly but my skin feels great all day. I've used La Mer, but it’s not my favorite thing. I love the packaging and everything about it but it doesn’t feel like it goes into my skin. For serums I like Decubal Intensive Face Vital Cream for Very Dry Skin, and at night I'll wear Sunday Riley Juno Oil. My cleanser is Rodial Glamtox Cleansing Balm. It’s really good and it’s really fun—you put it in your hand and it kind of warms up the skin in a way. It’s really weird. Then your skin brightens up after. It’s the best one I’ve tried, because I can’t exfoliate my skin every day because it would be like, 'My skin’s going to fall off!' [Laughs]

And then I always wear sunscreen on a day like this. Rudolph Sun Body Lotion 30, Danish Beauty Award winner 2015. It’s really good. I get a lot of pigmentation, it's so annoying. I was on a road trip with a friend of mine, we were driving and we took the top down, and I wasn't wearing any SPF. The next day I was super burned, it did all this damage to my skin, on just one day! So now even if it's raining, I wear sunscreen. Murad's Essential Sea Sun Balm is also really nice. I sometimes use this Skinceuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector at night, which helps even my skin tone out.

There's a reflexologist I go to every month–that's kind of my secret to relieve stress, or even just a run helps. Running is really good, but sometimes you need something more. I run maybe two times a week. My hands and body get so dry, and I keep Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream next to my bed for hands and lips. I love Glossier Coconut Balm Dotcom, too—that one I keep in my bag. I like it better than the unscented one. On my body, I like the Aesop Resurrection Intensive Body Balm.

I love Oliver Gustav Studio Terre Noir Room Scent—it's an oil you can use with a diffuser. He has this really amazing store in Denmark. It’s beautiful, and he does candles as well with Mad et Len, which is really close by. Of course, my perfume is from Le Labo, the Santal 33. I've used it for about two years and I can't smell it on myself anymore. I think it's the best one, and it's unisex. For a long time, actually ever since I can remember, I've been wearing men's perfume. I'm not into flowers—I like things that are more musky and masculine."

—as told to ITG

Pernille Teisbaek photographed by Tom Newton at her home in Copenhagen on August 11, 2016.

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"Hi! I'm Isabel Halley (@isabelhalleyceramics). I was born and raised in NYC and I moved to Brooklyn last year. I'm a ceramicist who makes porcelain things for a living—I'm supporting myself doing it as of June 2016 and I go to my studio in Carroll Gardens M-F just like a regular girl. My favorite thing about my job, especially this month, is that I really get to play and create as I ready my collection for spring. My least favorite thing about my job this month is that the clay dries my skin out like CRAZY. I have lizard hands if I don't moisturize before and for hours after work. I layer lotions on my hands the way I layer serums on my face. Since art school I've used Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. It drys quickly and the eucalyptus soothes itchiness. I usually put calendula on my knuckles and cuticles before bed, followed by Pai Fragonia Instant Hand Therapy.

I'm pretty obsessed with Top Shelfies and have been for some time—women's medicine cabinets have always been interesting to me. Over the years reading ITG and going through my friends' bathrooms, I've seen women use their fancy candle husks as catch-alls for their brushes, eyeliners, ect. Simultaneously, I've had many women buy my cups for the purpose of keeping their tall bits and bobs. I saw a need that I wanted to fill—a totally fantastic-smelling candle that turns into a beautiful, functional vessel—so I made my candle. I really wanted to make my mark in one of my favorite places in people's homes—their medicine cabinets.

My own beauty approach is polarized, but I'm much more inspired by the beauty aisle of a health food store than I am by Bloomingdale's or CVS. I use a Mater Charcoal Tea Tree Soap Bar in the morning, to wash away the cobwebs. It preps my face for toner—either Dr. Hauschka or some kind of rosewater from a health food store. Then I get real. My serum of choice right now is Regenica, with synthetic human growth something or other. Once that's dry, I put on Skinceuticals CE Ferulic. If I have a blemish, which I often do, I spot treat it with Skinceuticals Age and Blemish Defense. It really does nuke the sucker. I get dressed while that sinks in, and then I slather on the Remede Alchemy Moisture Emulsion. I top all of that off with Skinceuticals Tinted Sunscreen. The first time I used it, I ran into someone from middle school on the subway who told me that my skin was glowing. Game over.

After skincare, I take myself over to the brightest part of my bedroom where I keep my makeup. I'd been using W3ll People Bio-Correct Concealer, and I really did like it, but then my mom got me Clé de blahblah concealer for Christmas. That stuff is incredible. It's super creamy, goes on so smooth, blends like whoa, and is not noticeable. It's like the delete button. My other favorite thing is Nars Orgasm. It's the perfect flush of color with the tiniest luminescence. I use it every day because I'm very pale, and if I don't, I look like I have the flu. I'm also a huge fan of their 413 Bleecker Blush. It's a gorgeous hot pink color that makes me look like a freaking beautiful seven year old. Gross? Maybe. But all I care about when it comes to beauty is looking like I am naturally gorgeous. After blush, I use Glossier Haloscope and Boy Brow and I'm all set.

I only use natural deodorants. I feel strongly about not using aluminum, but I'm also a potter so it's perfectly normal to have a bit of B.O. I rotate between Dr. Hauschka Liquid Roll On Rose Deodorant, The Healthy Deodorant in Vanilla Lavender, and Lucky Tiger Head to Tail, which is a spray. I think the most effective one is The Healthy one, but I love Lucky Tiger because I can spray it all over the place. My winter body lotion is Alba Botanica Unscented Original Body Lotion. It's a big bottle which inspires me to use a lot of it. I also swear by my Benadryl Anti-Itch Spray. If I feel any sort of itch coming on I spray it on the affected area and I'm all good. I can't fall asleep if it isn't by my bed.

My best beauty tip is how I got my hair to grow when I was getting ready for my wedding. I used Leonor Greyl Regenerescence Naturelle on my scalp 20 minutes before I washed my hair. I'd give myself a vigorous scalp massage, and right before getting in the shower I'd brush a small amount of L'Huile de Leonor Greyl through the lower half of my hair. Then, shampoo with Crème Moelle de Bambou right away. No conditioner, just those steps and I swear, it protects your hair as you grow it out. I started six months before I got married and I gained three inches, after two trims. My hair is naturally wavy so I always blow it out with a round brush after I wash it, which I only do twice a week. Then, before bed, I pull all my hair to the top of my head, twist it around into a high bun, and pin it with a couple of bobby pins. In the morning I take the pins out and I have the perfect wavy bedhead. I've shared this secret with lots of women, and they're all very grateful."

—as told to ITG

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