Billy Porter Wants You to Mask and Have a Drink With Him

The Emmy-winning Pose actor is all for decadent skincare, binge TV, and a good cocktail during lockdown.

Billy Porter
(Image credit: Getty Images, Hanna Varady)

In the ultimate quest for inner beauty and outer glow, Marie Claire asks our favorite trailblazers to share intel on finding balance in their busy lives. Read it all here, in Beauty Inside & Out.


“I have been taking lots of bike rides, sitting at the beach, meditating, working out. My husband and I just bought a house on Long Island so I'm getting in touch with my nature side,” says Billy Porter over the phone, on a break from shooting the highly anticipated third season of Pose (opens in new tab). “I'm a city boy—I've never owned any property before—so all this has been really healing.” Porter has spent much of his lockdown in self-reflection mode, quietly writing a memoir and loudly advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and voting. “The difference that I'm feeling and how I move through life is profound.” He's also been known to enjoy a good cocktail, as evidenced in his latest partnership with LG Homestyle (opens in new tab), alongside 2 Chainz, Alex Rodriguez, and Baddie Winkle. Now, back on his demanding shoot schedule, the Tony-, Grammy-, and Emmy-winning actor and singer shares a few feel-good insights.

Inner Beauty

Power Start:
“First of all, I eat well. I'm diabetic. My diet is a lot of vegetables. But I pretty much eat a bowl of oatmeal with some fruit and cinnamon and sweetened with agave every day. And have my Nespresso (opens in new tab) coffee. I do drink a lot of coffee. It's not the cheapest coffee, but it's really good.”

Molton Brown Bath & Shower Gels (opens in new tab):
“The Molton Brown soaps are the ones that my husband and I love the most. They have beautiful, wonderful scents. You are so lucky that I am sitting right here in my house so I can tell you these flavors! I like the Coastal Cypress & Sea Fennel, the Tobacco Absolute, the Fiery Pink Pepper. And there's a Russian Leather.”

Baxter of California Ash Candles (opens in new tab):
“There's this candle series that Baxter of California does with ash—three or four different smells of ash. It's smoky and spicy and earthy and woody. It doesn't smell like food or cinnamon. It smells really masculine and expensive. And I don't really care about masculinity, but sometimes I'll want to try to act like I'm masculine. Sometimes. Some of our other favorites are the Michael Aram candles (opens in new tab).”

Tara Brach Meditation (opens in new tab):
“Tara Brach is who I've landed on based on recommendations and stuff through therapy. Whenever I have a free moment—morning or afternoon—is when I do it.”

Binge TV:
“Because I'm an artist, because I work in film and television, and because I am becoming a content creator and trying to move into that side of things, I really calm myself at night by watching television. I'm not a big, huge reality television show person, but sometimes I land on Chef's Table (opens in new tab) or a good documentary and I'll binge watch. I found this new series called Woke on Hulu (opens in new tab) that was really pleasant and really powerful. It's nice to be able to have time to just investigate, see what's out there.”

Outer Glow

Everything Kiehl's:
“Kiehl's has been my product for 30 years. My favorite [body] lotion is the Crème de Corps (opens in new tab). I love the thickness of that. I always do my face regime in the morning and sometimes I will give myself a mask at night, especially when I'm shooting, just so my skin looks good on screen. The Ginger Leaf and Hibiscus mask (opens in new tab) is great. The Vital Skin-Strengthening Serum (opens in new tab) is great. And I like the Midnight Recovery Concentrate (opens in new tab). [The glam teams] like me because they're always like, 'You come prepared!' Well, yeah, I'm going to wash my face before I come here, so I might as well do it right.”

Glossier Priming Moisturizer (opens in new tab):
“It's really rich. That's also why I like the Créme de Corps too. Black people, we moisturize. A lot of white friends asked me, how does your face look like that at 51? Because I have moisturized since the day I was born. You can't start doing it at 45. You have to start doing it at birth. And then your skin remains soft and supple, darlings. Starting young keeps it tight.”

La Prairie Cellular Radiance Cream (opens in new tab):
“It's just really nice. It's from Switzerland, and it looks high class. Expensive. I use that under eye cream (opens in new tab), too. And it smells good.”

Recipe for Success: Craft Ice Texas Martini

Ice Texas Martini

(Image credit: LG/Hanna Varady)

I like a spicy margarita. I usually make it at night. My sleep is often irregular so I like to sip a little tequila in the evening.

Prep Your Glass

Swipe a lowball glass with a wedge of lime then rim with Tajin seasoning. Add a large craft ice (opens in new tab) ball to your glass and set aside.

Mix, Shake, and Pour

Fill a martini shaker with ice cubes and add 2 oz of tequila, 1 oz of freshly squeezed lime juice, ¾ oz of Cointreau (as a diabetic, Porter skips the Cointreau), and ½ to ¾ oz of jalapeño agave (which “does not make my blood rise,” he says), adjusting for your sweetness preference. Cap and shake well then pour it over the ice ball. Garnish with a twist of lime rind and enjoy.