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What Lauren Graham Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Joe Pugliese, courtesy of Netflix

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 hair spray and electric toothbrush. We asked actress and writer Lauren Graham — star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood and author of four books, including Have I Told You This Already? — about the socks she hikes across New York in; the perfect red nail varnish; and the best-tasting, celiac-friendly bagels.

I wear a lot of sneakers and loafers, to walk all over New York, and it is an endless battle of socks versus blisters. These are amazing in that you can walk all day in them and they don’t fall off, and that I feel is a win for life. You can spend the rest of your life without your socks falling off and you’ve conquered that problem. Stance has a couple of different materials: You can go regular cotton, and then it has futuristic materials that I don’t really understand. The socks are genuinely softer and thicker, and they don’t wear out, which is another problem I’ve found. If you’re a city walker, you find holes in your socks, which I just think is the most depressing thing as an adult. Nobody should have holes in their socks.

It just suddenly happened. I was doing a movie with Jeff Daniels years ago, and he said, “Forty-two, that’s when you’ll lose your ability to read close up.” And I got to 42 and I was like: Haha! I’m fine. And then I got to 43 and it was all over. I feel like there should be a horror movie where someone cannot find their reading glasses, because it’s like that scene in It’s a Wonderful Life, where the pharmacist almost gives the wrong prescription and nearly kills someone. That’s the level of panic when I don’t have my glasses and I can’t read. I wear these everywhere, and they’re light enough so that they don’t leave a mark on your face, and I think that they just have a good ’70s vibe. I was wearing them once when somebody said, “Gloria Steinem called: She wants her glasses back.” I took it as a huge compliment.

The way I found this nail polish is through procrastinating. When I’m supposed to be writing or I’m on a deadline, I will decide that it’s suddenly really important to solve the big questions of the world. Questions like: What’s the best red? That is an answer you can literally spend your life pursuing and reading other people’s opinions of. I have these ideas of what chic ladies have, and I want to be a person that has a signature nail color. Red is a color that I think is universally flattering. This one really does stay on and stays shiny, and now I have a signature color. Next stop? Lipstick.

Momofuku Liquid Starter Pack

This is one of my favorite restaurants. [David Chang] is a celebrity chef, but one of his original restaurants on Second Avenue doesn’t exist anymore. There are a few dishes he makes that are just unlike anything you’ve ever had. I make a salad dressing that people think is some sort of genius concoction, but all it is is tamari, toasted sesame oil, a little bit of rice vinegar, and a little lemon. It just makes everything taste so good: It’s good on rice, it’s good as a dressing, it’s good as a marinade. And I find the Momofuku packaging cute.

$28 for 2

I’m obsessed with things that are good to use on planes. This is one of those things that, if you’re traveling, is very light. You can use it as a face mask, as a lip balm, for flyaways. I got it on a trip to Italy, where the pharmacies are just amazing. I thought: I’ll try and get something that I’m not sure what it is, and look it up later. I looked it up later, and it’s a very natural, all-purpose thing to have in your bag. I just flew yesterday, and someone was doing a face mask on the plane: That is a bridge too far. I feel like we can not start using the plane as a private bathroom. But I do like to do something. Flying seems like an illogical way to spend time, so I find a way to get back whatever the perceived drain is that the plane is taking. I don’t really eat plane food anymore. But I’ll have a nice moisturizer with my vodka.

Santa Maria Novella makes so many classics, and this does not have a dry or old scent. It smells really fresh, like your home is also a garden. I describe it as potpourri that doesn’t smell like the ’80s. It’s sneaky. I don’t like scents that are really perfume-y, or any home fragrance where you put the stick in the oil. They just smell too strong. But I love when people walk into your house and say, “Your house smells so good.”

I like things that could almost convincingly look like your natural skin, your natural rosy blush, and this does that. It comes in colors, but you don’t even really need a color. I know the term dewy is overused, but it does really give you a dewy finish. As the container is quite large, I put it in a smaller lip balm container to take with me — for example, on the plane. Dip it in and smudge it around, and you can’t go wrong. It’s very light, very translucent.

I was diagnosed a few years ago with celiac, which means I’m gluten intolerant. Since then, I have probably spent more time eating bread than I ever did before, on the quest for gluten-free bread that really tastes like bread. These are the closest, in a truly spectacular way, to a regular bagel — because that texture is so hard to replicate. What gives a bagel chew and texture is gluten, so when they try to duplicate it without, there’s no comparison. Fake bagels are just spongy, and most bagel places won’t have a dedicated oven for cross-contamination or even have a gluten-free bagel. So it’s a miracle on several levels that the entire place is gluten-free, in New York, and they will ship. I would say in college — I went to college here in Manhattan — 90 percent of my diet was Columbia Hot Bagels. (RIP, it doesn’t exist anymore.) So they are incredible, they ship nationwide, and it makes me feel like I’m back in college.

I’m a fan of pens, especially pens made in Japan (like this one is.) I like different pens for different reasons: If I’m signing books, I’ll use one slightly thicker. But usually this pen is the perfect width, and something about it makes my handwriting look really neat and more elegant. The slimness of it is very satisfying. They make them in dazzling colors — none of which I use, because I always use black — but I appreciate that the different colors exist. The ink dries quite quickly, but it’s not smudgeproof. It wouldn’t be the pen you use to send a package across the country, but it’s the one I come back to over and over for the smoothness of the writing experience. And it doesn’t overly bleed — it’s the perfect pen.

My mother grew up mainly in Tokyo, and probably partially because of that I love Japan. I discovered there’s a store in L.A. called Toiro, and the owner imports all these Japanese pantry items and beautiful clay, and it was sort of on a whim that I bought this. (But it was also because of owner Naoko Takei Moore’s cookbook — she makes so many things.) It’s like an all-purpose pot; the clay gets very hot so it keeps food hot. But these pots are probably the ones I use the most, to heat things up and to make soup and Japanese rice with the perfect texture: not gloopy, not dry. You can also use it like a big soup pot and put it in the center of the table and everybody helps themselves. So it’s a rice cooker, but it’s also a party.

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What Lauren Graham Can’t Live Without