Our Favorite Products: November 2018 Edition


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 November we're scrubbing, brushing, and zapping our way to something resembling our warmer weather selves. At least we smell nice.

The Nue Co Functional Fragrance

The Nue Co's first perfume claims natural ingredients, proven science, and anti-stress properties—it's right there on the side of the box. But your interest in those things is for you to decide. What I'm here for is the packaging, the branding, and the scent. It's like chai mixed with a really good wreath—lovely and wintry and cozy all at once. And if it's destressing me at the same time it's looking so good on my vanity and smelling so good on my pressure points? So much the better. —Emily Ferber

Evo Truman Tail Comb

Oddly enough, Hillary Clinton made me get this comb. Really! No jokes here. About two years ago, at a bag-inspection checkpoint ahead of Black Girls Rock, her security team tossed my rattail comb in the trash. First off, how dare they. If I had known ahead of time about her surprise appearance, I would’ve gladly budgeted 45 minutes to straighten my hair at home—keeping my sharp weapon of detanglement away from her general vicinity. So after that I was in the market for a new comb and picked up this guy. It’s perfect—and something that’s gotten a lot of action this month, now that it’s too cold to go outside in wet curls. I use it to comb small sections of my hair as I sweep my flat iron through for maximum straightness. It’s made from wood (from "well-managed forests," says Evo), so it’s not a melt-risk, and because the teeth don’t get hot, I don’t have to worry about singeing my scalp. Not to mention it looks good. I’m all about the important stuff. —Ashley Weatherford

Jo Malone Vitamin E Body Treatment Scrub

I got this as a "treat myself" sort of thing last winter. I love shower gel and don't love baths, but I never gave scrubs too much of a thought. After using this one, I definitely don't care to use any others—it's the end-all-be-all for me. It's sublime! The smell is incredible, sweet, dessert-like and clean—but, expensive sweet, not cheap. It makes your skin so damn soft, and the smell lingers in the nicest way. I want to get this for a few people for Christmas, actually; I need to spread the gospel. —Tom Newton

Nuface Trinity Toning Device

I don’t like to make a habit of falling in love with $325 skincare devices. Nor do I typically feel comfortable encouraging others to do the same. But hear me out: The Nuface changed my life. Every time I use it, my face immediately looks like it would if I had just come back from a run. My skin is lively, full of color, and radiant. When I travel I pack it alongside my toothbrush and use it after every flight; the difference is almost dramatic. I swear it keeps me from breaking out and getting that pinched, dehydrated (while simultaneously greasy) look airplanes usually give me no matter how many liters of water I drink. Of all the expensive beauty routines, this is the one I’ll vouch for. (The ZIIP is also great, but I like the shape of this one better and it’s about $200 cheaper.) Against my better judgement, I love you, Nuface. —Anna Jube

Lumify Eye Drops

My eyes are often red, either because I’m A) tired from staring at a screen all day, B) crying, or C) in California and imbibing in some legal green. But after a recent run-in with an old friend where I had been B so hard that I appeared to be C and had to insist I was just A, I decided life would be easier if I were the kind of a person who carried whitening eye drops. I have historically used the green Rohtos, which always succeeded in making my eyes not red, but I impulse bought Lumify instead. These drops have brimonidine tartrate, a formerly prescription-only ingredient that, according to the bottle, will keep your eyeballs white for eight hours. And boy, do they make my eyes white, almost like Photoshop in real time. Kind of freaky, but amazing. After my first use I couldn’t stop staring in the mirror—and not just because I happened to be C. —Ali Oshinsky

Escentric Molecules 04

It’s sharp, slightly citrus-y and bitter. And kind of…fizzy? After wearing it a few times, I concluded that it’s essentially how your palms smell after peeling a couple grapefruits and rinsing your hands right after—a hint of a scent, but everywhere you go. Then, I remembered that I don’t really like grapefruits, and so this herbal, carbonated “anti-perfume” quickly became too much to handle on its own. So I sprayed it on top of Dior’s Sakura on some days, Nemat’s Amber on other days, and suddenly I became the girl who writes down what perfume she's wearing in strangers' iPhone notes. I’m still learning what this perfume is all about, but I know it gives just the right boost to whatever else you have going on. In short, this may be the Spindrift of perfumes. It’s about the experience—and I’m okay with that. —Utibe Mbagwu

Ohii Wake Up Pen in Peach

The other day, I looked across my desk at Ashley Weatherford and she said a very nice thing: "Your eyes look so bright! Did you do something different?" (This is always surprising to hear as a sullen, dark-souled person like myself.) In my shock, I could not immediately recall my morning makeup routine to confirm or deny any hero product used. Must just be a good face day! It wasn't until that evening when I returned home and found my makeup bag still laying on my bed that I put it all together. It wasn't more sleep, a better attitude, or a new lease on life; it was the Ohii Wake Up Pen, bless its little beauty product heart. In Peach, it counteracts those blues and greens that start to show after rough days and sleepless nights. I use it with foundation or without, whenever sleep is low on the priority list. A compliment never fails to sell me. —EF

Essie Gel Couture in Lace Is More

I don’t like Essie’s Ballet Slippers because the Queen of England is supposedly a fan—I like it because I’m boring and I know it’ll never not look good on me. Lace Is More is Ballet Slippers’ longer-lasting, slightly less pink cousin. I’ve been wearing it all month and things are looking up. My nail length is hitting numbers it hasn’t seen in a while (at least 2mm—not nothing), and because Gel Couture doesn’t require a base coat, I’m down a step in my manicure routine. It’s not a real gel polish (no UV light required), but it’s so shiny and cushiony that its makes for a better-for-your-nail-health alternative. All positives here. —AW

Christine Chin Resurface Exfoliating Scrub

Another scrub—I like to get rid of that extra skin in the winter. I've been washing my face a bit less and it's been really good, but I find that every once in a while I crave a deep cleanse. Instead of reaching for old friends, I've been going to this. It's a creamy scrub, but not too micro—I like a thick scrub that feels like a massage, not a bunch of micro tears. It leaves my skin soft but not agitated. —TN

Amlactin Body Lotion

While definitely more of a Bottom Shelf item, Amlactin has been doing wonders for my body. The KP on my arms is diminishing and everywhere else is brighter and smoother than ever. I use it after I shower in the evenings because the smell isn’t great (it kind of makes my nose tingle), and I switch it out for Body Hero in the mornings. Every couple of days I’ll do a once over with the Salux in the shower and so far, the late fall air hasn’t made a dent in the way the skin on my body feels. Here’s to the bottom shelf and dermatologist-recommended beauty products. —AJ

1509 Elisabeth Fragrance Oil

I bought this because something about it reminded me of my mom. It wasn’t the scent itself—my mom doesn’t smell like this—but it was kind of… cozy? Comforting, in some mysterious fragrance oil way. I usually mix it with my other perfumes when I wear it because truthfully, I have no idea if anyone else can smell this on me. But I sort of think of it as my fragrance moon sign: Personal, emotional, and still an important part of the bigger picture. I put it on all the normal places one puts perfume oil, plus a little dot under my nose so I can really enjoy it. It’s also great aromatherapy for all the nauseating car rides and smelly airplanes that seem unavoidable this time of year. —AO

Maryam Nassir Zadeh x Make Beauty Celeste E Verde Palette

Late to the game, but MNZ and Make Beauty have made the perfect eyeshadow palette that a person making baby steps towards eyeshadow could ever want. There’s Brick, a terracotta shade that’s a smidge deeper than my own skin tone (for the casual, sunken Tamira Jarrel eye). Earth is a charcoal-y brown that Ali gratefully demystified as an ideal eye crease eyeshadow and depth-adder. Baby blue Celeste and powdery yellow Palermo are muted, but lively enough to wear on the occasion that I want to be a little extra. And then on the flip side of the palette, there are the lip colors that everyone in their right mind should definitely also use as blush. Love. Getting ready before work (or to leave work) has never been so fun, simple, and easy. —UM

Photographed by Tom Newton