Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature where ITG editors discuss our favorite products. They’re the best things we’ve tried, reviewed, photographed, and anthropomorphized for all month before we have a chance to get fed up with them and move on to something new. It’s that time of year again! Trees are lit, celebrities are releasing albums with Christmas envelopes, and slices of orange a la Little Women aren’t the only things drying up. November was the time to lock up our healthy, damp staples before things drop below freezing. We have hard-working moisturizers, gentle cleansers, shiny shiners … and maybe your attention? If so, read on.
“This month I finished the last part of my OG Weleda Skin Food Tube. I tucked it away for a while and didn’t want to squeeze the last of it because the packaging changed! (sobs) But the time has come and the tube is empty. When I revisited the cream in those colder weeks, I realize why I fell in love with it in the first place. It locks in moisture like no other moisturizer I’ve used on my face, but I find it to be even more effective as a body moisturizer. After a shower, its green scent is really addicting and I’m always amazed at how a bit can go the mile and cover so much skin. New packaging may need to be reissued. “- Give Mbagwu
“I haven’t always loved you. The first time I tried it, I sprayed it on a postcard and decided it wasn’t for me. What can I say? I’m just not really a perfume person, and it wasn’t until the summer when I sprayed it on my skin that I finally got it. It’s so incredibly hard to describe you because it literally smells like its namesake. And you have to spray it on your body to really appreciate the scent. It smells familiar and modern at the same time. It smells like the inside of a sweater that hasn’t been washed because it smells like you again. It’s warm, calming, and not overwhelming. It’s neither subtle nor loud. It opens up with pink pepper, which gives it a little friendly bite, and then dries up into something less glitzy and casual. I’m totally obsessed now. – Ashley Weatherford
“It was a year of the hair revelations – I could write a whole story about them. But my most recent brain buster was product replenishment. All my life I have tried using bulky products to combat the tendency of my hair to hang close to my head. You know more Kacey Musgraves than Afghan Hound. But bulky products, especially if you are not used to hair products in general, are terrible. They’re either uncomfortably crispy or excruciatingly sticky, and the ability to run your fingers through my hair has always prevailed against my desire for volume. Instead of adding grit, bulging products use high-tech ingredients similar to those used in skin care products to enlarge the diameter of my fine hair, creating a visual difference in volume. If this sounds like something you’re in the mood for, The Inkey List’s peptide treatment is a good place to start. It costs $ 10, makes my hair look so much thicker and never detracts from its silky smooth texture. I apply it to damp hair from roots to ends, then air dry it for a guaranteed good day. “- Ali Oshinsky
“Towards the end of the year, I clean my face less and less. It’s strange – not so long ago I was looking at my screen from the side after reading Top Shelves, which described a morning “clean” as a simple splash of water. Now I have joined the club. The whole approach has become less of a horror story because I threw that busy cleansing oil into my PM routine. At night I use a pair of pumps of this material to remove my makeup, sunscreen, and other sticky skin care products. As soon as water hits my face, it turns the cleaner into an oil-milk slick with a scent that reminds me of the changing room in the Rescue Spa: a little herbal, instantly refreshing and pleasantly spa-like. The best thing about it is that my skin feels soft and is still clean – an ideal starting point for a follow-up cleansing with Klurs Gentle Matter Cleanser. “-EH
“While the holiday season is in full swing, I’ve been working longer than usual. But can someone please tell my moisturizers that summer is over on Fridays? They all post early and leave me with dry, flaky skin by 4 p.m. Everything except the Super Smart Hydrator from U Beauty. I like that it has no scent (it tends to make winter face worse) and comes in a pump bottle (no fingernails on the face). The real power, however, comes from proprietary Siren technology, which basically works like this: Free radicals break down the capsules of dehydrated hyaluronic acid throughout the day, and each time your skin gets a fresh burst of moisture. As the capsules break down, fewer free radicals get on your skin. You wouldn’t believe moisturizing would require such a high-tech approach, but apparently it does. It’s the only one-of-a-kind product that keeps me completely flake-free all day, and the only thing that ever got my boyfriend to say “Wow, you look shiny”. Although it’s expensive, you can ration it – one pump will do my whole face. “- AU
“Sometimes all you need is a little treat, and that’s exactly it: a tiny, beautiful, shiny, decadent treat. You can apply it anywhere on your face – eyelids, cheekbones, lips – and then the shine will act and dry out into a thin, shiny, but not shimmery finish. It’s not exactly a highlighter since there’s no pearlescent or glitter at work here, and it’s not even a moisturizer in itself. Instead, it’s more of a targeted topcoat for everything I’ve got on my face. When I’m not wearing makeup, the strange, long-lasting, subtle sheen makes me look healthy and happy all day. It looks smooth over eye shadow or lipstick, but not goopy. I like that it isn’t as thick as a traditional eye shine so I can actually wear it comfortably. And the packaging! So pretty that I’ve already decided to use it again when I’m done. “- AW
Photos via ITG