Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature in which ITG’s editors discuss our favorite products. They’re the best things we’ve tried all month long, reviewed, photographed, and anthropomorphized before we have the opportunity to get sick of them and move on to something new. This month, we’re reassessing our beauty stashes. From a serum that does it all to a razor that simplifies, we’re cozying up to the products that make our lives easier. We’ve got other things on our minds.
“I’m no fool: I buy my razors in the men’s aisle, because I know they’re more sophisticated and pink-tax free. It was there that I first noticed the safety razor. The safety razor is, basically, one blade sandwiched between two metal buffers, with a handle that screws on perpendicularly to hold it all together. It’s not high-tech, or even new: actually, it’s just one step up from the straightedge that Mr. Smee uses to shave Captain Hook’s beard with. But, for whatever reason, using a single-blade razor on a woman’s body feels…revolutionary? Mostly because the hair doesn’t gum up in that spot between the blades and the backing, like it does in a traditional, multi-blade razor. But the reasons to switch are aplenty, like: fewer ingrowns (the main issue with shaving), less razor burn (like, no red bumps), less plastic waste (and the blades are easily recyclable), plus the simple fact that they’re so much prettier than whatever Ultra Mega Manly Man Infinity Blade razor I was using before. Makes sense that the brand’s founder is a woman, too.” —Ali Oshinsky
“If a bad reaction to a product is the hardest part about being a beauty editor, then giving up your trusty tried-and-true whatever product in order to test out something new is the second hardest. Because I don’t know where things will land—maybe the new thing will be great! But more often than not, my tried-and-true comes out on top. So when I gave up my P50 for U Beauty’s Resurfacing Compound, I braced myself for disappointment. With all of its acids (AHAs and hyaluronic), peptides, retinol, and vitamin C, the
compound is supposed to tighten, brighten, and up your skin’s collagen factor. For best results you’re instructed to start out using it twice a day for two weeks. After week two you can bump down the frequency to once a day, and that’s around the time I started to like what I was seeing in the mirror. You’d think that something so loaded with actives would be irritating but, nope, not this guy. Can’t account for why…maybe it’s the aloe vera that’s at the top of the ingredient list, but the bottom line is that my skin is freakishly smooth now. In fact it’s bad-scrub smooth. You know those scrubs—the ones that annihilate your moisture barrier but make your face feel like glass. Fortunately there’s no moisture barrier destruction here, though. Just a happy face that’s found a P50 dupe.” —Ashley Weatherford
“Going to sleep–an activity I used to look forward to–has been harder than usual these days. I’m being proactive: I cut out coffee, am trying to be as discerning as I (a social editor, whose job it is to look at screens) can be with screen time, and even made a playlist comprised only of box fan noises to lull me to sleep. And yet, the journey to a blissful sleep has been tumultuous at best. I knew the culprit was my racing brain…I mean who isn’t under some kind of stress right now? So I recruited Gossamer’s full spectrum CBD Oil, Dusk, to help me zone out. Once I take it and it settles, I feel as if my heartbeat volume turns down–I’m still aware, but I’m relaxed. It’s been helping me feel centered.” —Utibe Mbagwu
“I’ve been looking for silver linings everywhere lately. If I’m home all day I’m upping my cooking game; if I can’t be with friends and family I’m more proactively reaching out via text. I’m also giving in to small pleasures because if not now, when? We all deserve. One way I’m going about it is with an intense daily moisturization ritual—there are layers to this. First I put on a body serum, followed by a body lotion, and then I finish with the star of this ritual, a body butter. It’s a super fancy one because again, I think now’s the time we should all be giving ourselves a pass to let our hair down and give in to what makes us happy. Rich moisturizers make me very happy, and Mutha’s is chock full of them, with shea butter, cocoa butter, and oils upon oils. The cream is so thick that it’s a solid, but it melts into a soft oil with lots of sheen on my skin. I even put a bit on my feet, and then I put on some thick socks and—boom! Instant foot mask. An hour later when I take off the socks, the slipperiness is gone but the softness remains.” —AW
“Do I think all good beauty is easy beauty? No. But will I ever wash my hair, GET OUT OF THE SHOWER to apply a hair mask, and get back in the shower 20 minutes later to wash it out? Absolutely not! Just the thought of wrapping myself in that same damp towel is enough to put me off of the idea entirely. What I’m trying to tell you is that I’ve been exclusively using hair masks wrong for, oh, I don’t know, forever. Moremo broke that streak. I don’t know who hurt this protein-packed hair treatment in the past, but its expectations of me are low. It’s like Olaplex, if no one told Olaplex it was worth all the time, attention, and money. I just have to squeeze some of the liquidy treatment on wet, already shampooed hair while I’m in the shower, leave it on for literally 10 seconds, and rinse. Within that sixth of a minute, the Miracle 10 zips up my split ends and imparts a shine to the rest of my shaft that prompted someone in a recent Zoom meeting to ask me why my hair looked like I was in a music video. The fact that this product comes from the same folks who brought you the 10-step routine just proves that K-beauty has range.” —AO
“The best time to try unsexy and downright repulsive beauty behaviors is when you’re stuck home for an indefinite amount of time. I, for one, am taking full advantage of the opportunity! As of late, Baby Foot, callus removers, and dermaplaning razors are rounding out my Bottom Shelf, and on any regular day, a natural deodorant would reside there too. But over the last couple of weeks, a new–dare I say elegant?–natural deodorant has earned its place among my Top Shelf routine. The world of natural deodorants is always improving, and I’ve been drawn to try out many, but The Deodorant is probably the most effective I’ve used. At its base, it has zinc and kaolin clay—two moisture-wicking mineral ingredients—but the pH-neutralizing acids are what keep odor at bay. Plus, its special lotion-y texture never leaves my underarms uncomfortably wet, and doesn’t pill or leave streaks inside my clothes either. The eucalyptus scent is so soothing, it’s an easy way to treat yourself.” —UM
Photos via ITG.