Did your mother (or your friend's mother, for that matter, as this seems to be distinctly true of mothers in general) ever scold you for “getting fresh"? Because we never will. Why? Because we'll assume you're referring to cult beauty brand Fresh, those pioneers of naturally-derived (sugar, milk, soy, rice) and luxurious skin and body staples (scrubs and creams and oils, oh my!) that you find yourself replenishing again and again. And also because, when the brand asked us to come visit their serene, market-esque Union Square shop in honor of their new Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream and curate their smorgasbord of goodies into a group of ITG-approved, must-have items, well, all we wanted to do was ‘get fresh.’ (And you know what they say about people who live in glass houses...)
Intrigued by both the store, itself—you can pour your own perfumes, people, like it's a pub or the olive and pickle bins at Whole Foods—and Lotus Youth Preserve (see below), for two weeks, we cleansed, exfoliated, and moisturized to our hearts' content. Best news: you can, too! Below, our Fresh-sponsored guide to a super-pampering spa day in the comfort of your own bathroom, utilizing our fave products because, hey, sometimes we're into one-stop shopping, too. Who says spa days are only for Sundays?
Because we’re serious about bathing: And even more serious about making it the most indulgent experience possible, Fresh’s Sake Bath with ginger-root extract is a treat and a half. While, admittedly, we normally take our sake cold and in those little glasses supplied at Japanese restaurants, this purifying soak (made up of over 50% real filtered sake) is a skin-softening, warm-and-tingly, intensely-relaxing experience. Yes, we like our baths to be “experiences" whenever possible. Don't you?
Because after a bath there’s nothing worse than getting greasy: Rice Dry Oil (that’d be a blend of rice bran, jojoba, grapeseed, ginseng, passionflower, and anti-inflammatory arnica, with a rich citrus scent) absorbs in about a half-second, leaving you with a silky finish and a nice all-over sheen that’s less “I was just tanning in Miami Beach in 1982” and more "I'm just a naturally healthy, dewy person." It kept our skin soft for the whole day, without feeling oily or sticky, which was almost a shame, because we really got into the whole massaging-it-in step.
Because sometimes you’re too lazy to take your makeup off separately when washing your face: The Soy Face Cleanser works for all skin types and is extra-gentle while it multitasks—we’re not kidding, it takes off your eye makeup in one wash without irritating your skin, and the hint of rosewater and cucumber left us feeling calm and clean... and under control? ‘Is this like a total Noxzema commercial, or what?’ (If you don’t get that reference, get off this website and go watch Clueless now. You’ll thank us later).
Because we’re suckers for a great face mask and the whole “well-kept, refreshed” look, to boot: Mild and moisturizing and packed full of rose petals? Color us into it. The Rose Face Mask is pleasingly gelatinous, light enough for everyday use, seriously moisturizing (thanks to porphyridium cruentum, a “smart algae” [Ed. note: Are there dumb algae? Can someone send us some?]), and packed with antioxidants (green tea!). Keep it in the fridge for a cool, dewy fix, and use it as often as you like. (We might use it too much... So sue us.)
Which brings us to (drumroll please) our new everyday reach: the above-mentioned Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex. See, we love products—we really do—and we love experimenting with them and telling you about it, and figuring out what works when and for whom, but there’s something to be said for a simple, everyday face cream that'll keep you moisturized for 24 hours (and kids, that was both clinically and ITG-proven) while improving the clarity of your skin with a mix of vitamins and extracts. Simply put, this deceptively light, heavy-hitting cream will leave you with a bright and healthier-looking mug. Easy, breezy...you get the picture. Use it every day, and again and again. We’re hooked.
Want to become Fresh 2 Death (SO many good puns. Sorry we're not sorry.)? Sign up below and enter for a chance to win a set of our favorite Fresh swag!** We're giving away three. Because damnit, you deserve it.
**The giveaway is now closed. Winners will be notified soon!
Find ITG's Fresh faves:
1) Sake Bath
2) Rice Dry Oil
Photographed by Emily Weiss in New York.