Things We Finish: Winter 2019


When you work in beauty, a big part of the job is trying out new products, no matter if you already have your favorite face moisturizer or red lipstick. Which isn't to say you can't have a few standbys, but the name of the game is experimentation: You're constantly moving from one product to the next to see what works and thus what's important to tell the world (i.e., you) about. It's a rare experience, then, to find yourself coaxing out the last drops from a moisturizer tube, or fumbling with a tiny stub of eyeliner. You gotta really love it. Hence this occasionally recurring feature: Things We Finish, in which we talk about the products that we spoiled beauty junkies squeeze, scrape, or shake 'til there's nothing left. Here are the beautiful empties we’re going to need to refill next season:

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

Finished by Laura D'Angelo, Marketing Insights Manager
“Over time, my skincare (and overall life) motto has evolved into: the simpler, the better. After years of struggling to find a mild cleanser that wouldn't irritate my sensitive, eczema-prone skin, yet would also be able to take off my eye makeup at night, I've finally found my holy grail in Vanicream. It's a no-frills, unscented cleanser that gets the job done without being drying or harsh and, after trying everything from Cetaphil to Clinique to Chanel, I've come to appreciate the simplicity and gentleness of the formula. It may not be the prettiest bottle around, and smells like, well, soap, but at under $10, it's quickly become a staple in my routine.”

Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask

Finished by Samantha Addison, gTeam Editor
“First of all, I would probably continue to use this for the name alone. It evokes a feeling of having fresh-squeezed orange juice on a beach in Greece instead of sitting crammed in a middle seat on a four-hour flight. This is my ride-or-die product for flights or anywhere I feel my skin gets dry or stressed. It goes on clear so you don’t look “like your skin is coming off” as my partner lovingly says about sheet masks (yay to not scaring your in-flight seat buddy!), and it works as a shield from all the angry, recycled air. I usually don’t even have to rinse it off because my skin absorbs it so well! Extra perk, it’s 90mL, aka TSA-approved.”

Biologique Recherche Lait U

Finished by Emily Ferber, Editorial Director
“My skin has a lot of needs right now. I need to keep breakouts on my forehead at bay, address some latent rosacea on my cheeks, all the while handle what appears to be an eczema explosion on my jawline and neck. A lot of conflicting priorities all fighting for top billing. Lait U is gracefully handling all of these issues while keeping my skin clean. It’s my security blanket cleanser. When all else fails, fall into its soothing, milky embrace like a newborn babe. Nothing can hurt you now.”

Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak

Finished by Roya Shariat, Communications Manager
“My thick, curly locks are always in need of some love—when left to their own devices, they tend to get dry and frizzy. I came across Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Deeply Repairative Hair Pak when scouring ITG for articles on deep conditioning and bought it after reading endless positive reviews. It has a consistency somewhere between Greek yogurt (side note: I've been known to make hair + face masks with Chobani) and marshmallow fluff, which is extremely satisfying to dunk your hand into. I use it as a hair mask once a week before a cycling class—I think the heat and sweat makes it more effective, but I have no scientific proof. I primarily put it on my hair at the mid-shaft and ends, with a smidge on the roots, then twist my hair into a braid or high bun for my workout. Even after one use, the Pak makes my hair smoother, less frizzy, and seemingly more resilient and shiny, especially when I use heat tools. It smells heavenly, never leaves my hair feeling weighed down, and and works wonderfully as a quick, in-shower conditioner when my hair needs extra TLC.”

Farmacy Honey Potion

Finished by Nicholas Kim, Planning Manager
“Every winter, the name of the game is hydration, and (for me) moisturizers are simply not enough. I use this mask after walking around the city on the weekends, and it has been incredibly hydrating. The combination of humectants and the warming effect feels like it is literally locking in the moisture and my open-pored skin just drinks it all in. Needless to say, I upgraded to the four-ounce bottle as soon as I finished the first.”

Eminence Strawberry Rhubarb Hyaluronic Serum

Finished by Kata Knezovic, Paid Search and Affiliates Manager
“This serum was introduced to me when I was getting a "Spotless Reputation" facial at Face Haus in LA. It felt magical as the esthetician cooled my face with ice globes and then applied this gel-like strawberry lemonade smelling serum. It doesn't smell artificial though. I bought it immediately after and have squeezed out every last drop. It penetrates my skin quickly and does more for me than my past hyraulonic serums. I love the plump glow it leaves me with and it seals in the moisture that I needed this winter. It truly feels like the dessert to my skincare routine and might even taste like it too!”

L'Occitane Immortelle Precious Eye Balm

Finished by Kelsey Fernandez, Recruiting Coordinator
“I came across the Immortelle Precious Eye Balm while casually browsing a L'Occitane store with a friend. The lady working there that day was honestly wonderful (shout out to amazing customer service!) and really was able to dig in to what I might need. I've always had an issue with dark undereyes—I'm sure they’re from being exhausted all of the time, and probably from genetics, too. This is the first product that truly made a difference for me, and quickly too (within a week or so)! The consistency is ridiculously smooth, and I love that it has no fragrance. While I've never been a big fan of products that come in pots, I give this one an easy pass due to how well it works, and how affordable it is. Highly recommended, and because you need such a small amount, it'll last you a long time! I always look forward to this with my nightly routine.”

Mondo Mondo Perfume Oil in Hysteria

Finished by Colleen Kelsey, Copywriter
“I’m very picky about fragrance! It’s always been a challenge to find one that really feels like me. Mondo Mondo has a really interesting lineup of perfumes, and now I’ve finally ticked off the “find signature scent” box on my to-do list with Hysteria. The blend of tuberose, jasmine, palo santo, coconut, sunscreen, and musk notes is heady and intense, but also fresh. The oil feels close to the skin, lingers beautifully, and the rollerball vial fits comfortably in whatever tiny bag I'm taking out for the day. A roll on the throat, nape of the neck, and inner wrists and I’m good to go.”

Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser

Finished by Lindsay DelGrosso, Executive Assistant
"There is literally no better feeling than a clean face, especially after a day of existing in New York City. I have oily skin, so in the morning after a long slumber, in the evening after a days work, and after doing just about anything... I yearn for the freshly cleansed face feeling. I am a skincare fanatic and have tried most anything anyone has suggested I use, but Boscia Clear Complexion Cleanser is the one thing that has stood the test of time in my routine. It’s like no other, fragrance-free, does not strip my face, keeps my complexion clear, it's not even a bad price point. Is it too good to be true? I think so, but I hope it never changes. Pro tip: pair it with the konjac sponge for an even deeper cleanse. Goodbye, I am going home to cleanse my face just thinking about it..."

Violets Are Blue White Tea and Evening Primrose Facial Cleanser

Finished by Maura O’Neill, Project Manager
“My many other 'gentle' cleansers tend to leave my skin feeling stripped, so I was pretty surprised when this one kept me soft and smooth. After a month of using it, I noticed (and started to receive compliments on) how much my skin cleared up—with acne, with dryness, and with redness. It's now the only product I will never substitute and I always make sure I have a backup bottle...just in case. I also just love that Violets Are Blue was started by a cancer survivor, and that the brand donates a set of their products to women beginning chemotherapy for breast cancer at Mount Sinai hospital here in NYC.”

Susanne Kaufmann Body Butter

Finished by Emily Ferber, Editorial Director
“I am a lover of a luxuriously packaged body product. The statelier the better. I want it to sit on my counter with majesty and heft. But of course, that makes it a bitch to travel with. Which is why, before my big move this month, I had to finish my Susanne Kaufmann Body Butter. It’s incredibly rich and buttery, perfect for winter. But it also smells a bit like a mango parfait—perfect for summer! A luxurious body cream for all seasons. Use it up!”

Clarins Gentle Care Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate

Finished by Mary Martha Stasinopoulos, Consumer Insights
“My skin is easily irritated, prone to overreacting, and hates change. To be fair, I could be describing any native New Yorker. I used to treat any sensitization/irritation with a firehose of thick calming cream...which would then clog my I’d apply a strong exfoliant or spot treatment...and start the angry reaction all over again. Only the Clarins Skin Beauty Repair Concentrate broke this irritating cycle. It's a tiny bottle of thin, runny oil that tells my skin to calm the hell down and get its shit together—without clogging pores or interfering with other steps in my routine. It's my solution for everything from irritation, to angry spots, to rosacea flare-ups, to 'my skin looks upset and I don't know why.' I slather it everywhere when I'm on a plane, put it on sensitized skin under my eyes before I sweat in the sauna or in SoulCycle, mix a pump into my favorite moisturizer to give it a boost, and even use it to thin out foundation. My husband swears by it for razor burn and dry hands. It’s a tinnnyyy bottle for the price, but it seems to last forever. I’m still using the bottle I bought six months ago to soothe a late summer sunburn, but already have a spares in my medicine cabinet—and my desk drawer, if anyone at Glossier needs some!”

Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+/PA++++

Finished by Ariel Herman, Engineer
"I wear sunscreen every day on my face and neck, so I am constantly using my Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+/PA++++ to the last drop. I get it off Amazon in packs of two so that I always have some on deck at home and in my travel toiletry kit. My complexion is medium-dark (Perfecting Skin Tint G6 for reference) and my skin is combination with an oily t-zone. I used to use La Roche-Posay Anthelios but found it too oily. So I switched to this Japanese sunscreen and it's the only one I've found that doesn't leave the dreaded white cast on my skin and isn't oily. The formulation is a light cream with an oh-so-subtle, barely-there hint of citrus scent. I use the Fenty Pro Filtr foundation most days and it sits well under that without causing my skin to get extra oily, even on a muggy New York summer day. If this sunscreen were actually mattyfying it would truly be my end-all-be-all.”

Photo via ITG