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 the opportunity to get fed up with them and move on to something new. To wrap up a true horror show for a year, we step forward lightly. Nourishing formulas, low-tech tools, and familiar scents kept the status quo up while we sat back at home. Sounds as boring as a Christmas Eve that Bridgerton bit on? OK Good! It was only half a truth. The fact of the matter is, most of the product testing we did this month was for something else. You’ll find out what it is next week – here are the staples ITG editors got through December.
“After yo-joing all year round, my skin is in a good place right now. And because I’m not actively trying to get things done (my breakouts are calmed, dark spots mostly healed, dryness at bay), I’ve simplified my routine completely. I love it when I can. One of the few things I couldn’t get out of the rotation is good detergent, and the one I’ve been reaching for lately is Jordan Samuel’s Skin The After Show. The gel-to-oil formula caught my eye, and before I tried it, I figured it might have a texture similar to my all-time favorite Wonder Valley cleaner. Reader is not. It feels less like honey than petroleum jelly and breaks down dirt, sunscreen, and makeup better and more gently than the actual makeup remover. I also love that it’s in a squeeze bottle rather than a tub that I have to stick my fingers in. When I add water to emulsify it and then rinse it off, my skin feels clean but not at all tight – the cleanser leaves a sheen, almost like nourishing facial oil. It’s perfect for those times when I want to wash my face without immediately following a whole routine. (PS, they also make a fruit-free version for those with sensitivities.) ”- Ali Oshinsky
“For some reason, after the seasons change, it takes so long for my routine to catch up with my skin. This month I endured an onslaught of stress, a rollercoaster ride of cold-hot-cold temperatures in my brownstone apartment, and good old-fashioned hormonal acne. I adjusted my routine to resemble a salt diet, but it wasn’t until I started using Moon Juices Cosmic Cream that my skin finally felt good. (I was still using the light Cerave moisturizer that held me tight for most of the fall.) When I first apply the cream it instantly melts to buttery goodness and my skin feels refreshed and cool – I am myself making sure it’s a glass helps keep it chilled. It contains oils like jojoba oil, grape seed oil and shea butter that don’t mess up my skin barrier. A few clacks and my skin is happy about the day. “- Give Mbagwu
“A piece of advice on skin care: Always take it from Danuta Mieloch. You never get empty logic, just helpful solutions backed by science and her intimate knowledge of the skin. The results are visible and also after one of her facials. ” in their own skin (frankly, photos barely get over the smooth, but not unnaturally smooth canvas that is their face). When Danuta says she uses Valmonts Prime Renewing Pack regularly, I have to use it all the time too, It’s like an instant facial for your skin. The radiant, refreshing effect of the skin comes from the cream’s healthy supply of peptides, which signal your body to produce more skin-tightening collagen. I know this all sounds a bit abstract, but it really likes to work. I love to use it at this time of year when my skin looks especially bad while wearing it because it’s so dry too. You can use them as an occasional mask or like me. as an everyday cream (if you apply a thin layer). The catch is the price. A full glass costs a Whopp $ 230, but here’s my advice on that: from time to time, it sells in a smaller set size for around $ 100. The smaller jar pictured above will last all winter and then I don’t have to worry about it spoiling in the warmer months when I’m less likely to use it. It is my annual pleasure for my skin and for me too. “- Ashley Weatherford
“There are so many different ways to exfoliate your body and everyone here at ITG has their own preferred method. But mine has been dry brushing for a few months now. It’s just that simple: just before I hop in the shower and wait for it to warm up, I quickly go all over my body with Wilding’s Aura Sweeper brush. I particularly like these on the long-handled drybrushes I’ve tried in the past because their ergonomic shape works like an extension of my hand. I make quick but long movements on my legs, arms, and stomach, and then my neck and shoulders towards my heart to aid in lymph drainage. Then I shower as usual, dip my dabbed dry body in oil and enjoy incredibly smooth skin. If I add dry brushing to my daily routine (before showering), I will stay constant as I was. And I keep the brush for easy access on my sink – while comparable in price to other similar dry brushes, this one is exponentially nicer. “- AU
“Unfortunately, one of my favorite special occasion candles reached the end of its wick this month. It was a beautiful candle object in a glass that also served as a statement on my coffee table. Its cozy, hearty, grassy, woody fig scent made it irresistible. I lit it on birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays with close friends and roommates, and on days when I just needed a little extra joy. If this description feels like an eulogy, know I keep my chin up: The Takamichi Beauty Room is still open in Gramercy Park, so I’ll always stop by whenever I venture out of Brooklyn (hopefully soon!) To to pick him up. Another. “-EH
“If your 20s are about asking why you need an eye cream in the first place, then I think your 30s is about realizing the answer. The self-sufficient machinery that keeps your skin relatively balanced for over 20 years, slowly slowing down. and you notice it around your eyes first. No wrinkles per se – more like general dryness – and I think one of the best insurance policies is Amartes Eyeconic Eye Cream. I can’t get enough of it. It’s 3.8% Retinol Inside (not in retinyl palmitate or any other weaker form), in addition to humectants and oils in abundance, it not only moisturizes but also strengthens the skin. The airless pump keeps the ingredients fresh and plentiful, and peptides fill this sensitive skin I’ll admit I’m not the best at keeping up with this nightly ritual, but when I do (like the past two months), di pays off this extra step out. Just ask the concealer I haven’t touched since November. “- AW
Photos via ITG