Guest Shopper: Alison Roman
Looking for long-lasting lipstick with the best-selling cookbook author.
If there’s one thing I am more clueless about than cooking, it’s beauty products. Both overwhelm me to the point where any time I try to engage with either, I tend to make things worse, not better. But if there’s one person on this planet who could help me demystify both, it’s.
You’ve probably heard of her. It’s safe to say that Alison’s cookbooks, Dining In (2017), Nothing Fancy (2019), and most recently, Sweet Enough (2023), are shaping a generation of young chefs. Her recipes are so popular, they are known simply as: “The Cookies,” The Stew,” and “The Dip.” The same goes for her newsletter: A Newsletter. Fans gravitate towards her writing, her Instagram, her YouTube channel, and now her corner store upstate for what Molly Fischer once described on the Cut as an “invigorating bossiness,” or a “fight-me bravado” about specific steps and ingredients. In other words, she knows what she likes and how she likes it, and perhaps more importantly, what she doesn’t like. We’re just a bunch of Fleabags in the kitchen, kneeling at her feet, begging her to tell us what to do.
I’ve made The Stew once or twice, and even in my inexperienced hands, it wasn’t awful—a testament to the approachability of Alison’s recipes. But what I’m really after at the moment is The Lipstick. In her “Home Movies,” Alison often wears a bold, red-ish lip, which never seems to smudge or fade. I, too, often wear a red lip. It’s the only make-up I’ll ever put on my face. But I have yet to figure out how to get it to stay on through a night of eating and drinking—an issue of the utmost urgency as we enter the holiday season.
So I shot my shot and asked Alison if she’d go lipstick shopping with me during what I could only assume is the busiest time of year for her—the week before Thanksgiving—and ever so graciously, she said yes. We agreed to meet in the beauty department of Bergdorf Goodman at 4 p.m. on a Friday. Chic. “My final form involves a small dog, furry hat, and spending 6-to-9 hours at Bergdorfs,” she tells me. I was grateful for just one hour of her time, and in that short window, we both managed to find The Lipstick we’d been searching for…
Alison arrives wearing her everyday Olio E Osso Balm No. 3, but she’s immediately ready to wipe it off and get into the good stuff, specifically Chanel. “I’m a legacy brand hoe,” Alison says at one point with a shrug. To which I reply: When in Rome.