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. Last month marked the start of spring, and maybe the seasonal shift is to blame, but a few of us are stepping into bold new territory. We’re talking new scents, new moisturizers, and [gasp] face scrubs. Here’s what we liked the most.
I’m a sweater (you know, a person who perspires a lot, not a garment…), so the second the weather turns to jacket season, I reach for one of my pore-clearing clay masks as a preventative measure. This one from Kiehl’s is one of my favorites because it is relentless. It is incredibly drying. That’s just to say that it’s not ideal for all of my face, but for the skin around my nose (where sweat tends to accumulate and magnify my pores), it is a star. I plop on a thin layer maybe two nights a week, after washing my face. So far, so good—no new blackheads in sight. Now, if only I can keep this routine going through August... Let's hope. —Ashley Weatherford
I’ve been going steady with one concealer for the past two years now. I think it might be a personal record. Yes, she is a little drying; no, she doesn’t always blend seamlessly into my skin—but it’s concealer! Not one is perfect. Until maybe now, that is. Nam Vo shade matched me to a stick of Marc Jacobs Accomplice Concealer & Touch-Up Stick this month and now I find myself quietly ghosting my old concealer flame. (I don’t date—is this considered very rude or…?) If you know the Clé de Peau texture before they added SPF, this is that. It lives comfortably between the worlds of Nars Soft Matte and Nars Radiant Creamy. I stripe it all over my face and buff it out with a flat foundation brush for light, tinted coverage that doesn’t require extra spot coverage for specific blemishes. Thank you to Nam, thank you to my old concealer for your many years of service…here’s to new beginnings! —Emily Ferber
The air is really dry in my apartment, so I’m forcing myself to find a moisturizer that I love, once and for all. The hunt is going well so far. This one in particular is great—it spreads smoothly and doesn't feel too heavy. I feel very dewy when I wear it—I think that’s called being moisturized? It has squalene (which I love the feel of), and rosemary (which I love the scent of). This isn't fragrant for a “natural” brand though—the scent is actually very subtle. Just wish I discovered it four months ago... —Tom Newton
In my never-ending search for the next best nude lip, I’ve landed on Laura Mercer’s Rouge Lipstick in Brun Naturel, and I’m feeling pretty good about it. I’d describe my dream neutral lip as creamy, and rosy-brown. I’ve gone through Pat McGrath’s Flesh 004, Nars Sheer Matte Pencil in Dance Fever, and MAC’s Persistence, and Laura Mercier’s Brun Naturel cherry-picks some quality traits from them all. It’s brown enough to appear seamless with my skin tone, but fleshy and taupe-y enough to look like my lips (but cuter). It goes on velvety, and the pigment is opaque, and it wears comfortably on my lips for hours. But the best test of its wearability was seeing how many compliments I racked up while wearing it—I got five last week!
Four years ago a bunch of dermatologists told me that face scrubs could damage my skin. That was enough for me to give scrubs the old boot... until I fell under the spell of Mary Allan Skincare. As I wrote a few months ago, Allan used to be a formulator for Dermalogica, and now she has her own brand. After trying and loving one, two...five of her products, I trusted the lineup enough to give the scrub a try. For starters, it’s not a regular scrub; it is a smooth scrub. The granules are made from charcoal and are only mildly abrasive. That’s just the kind of exfoliation experience I’m looking for—effective but not abusive. I use it about once a week, and each time I do, I’m reminded that while chemical exfoliants are great at smoothing skin after a certain period of time, there’s nothing quite like the immediate relief of a really great scrub. —AW
It took me a while to find BioIonic. There are a lot of hot tools that have been vying for my attention—and very loudly at that. But BioIonic just quietly does its job (which is: get very hot, curl or straighten my hair, and not burn down the house in the process) and I’ve been noticing. Reliability is a rarity in beauty and BioIonic has that in spades. Now, it also has a new line called Graphene MX, which features (you guessed it) Graphene, also known as the best heat conductor in the world. This makes the heat transfer to the barrel and plates that much more efficient—keeping it consistently hot so you can curl on the first go ‘round (and stop wondering why pieces of hair keep spiraling off the rod to just fall limp against your head). I’m using the 1.25” size on my just-past-shoulder-length hair for waves that are bigger than my typical 1” and more natural-looking. Brushed out, they hold their shape juuuuuust enough for me to pass as casual. As casual as a person who curls their hair can be. —EF
I got a sample of this while picking up one of the Byredo hand sanitizers for last week’s story and I fell in total love. It's a bit sweet, kind of pungent, but totally dreamy, and warm and crisp-feeling. I think it'll be the perfect scent to take on vacation. Spray it in your suitcase before you leave, and on your beach towel when you arrive—something like that. —TN
Months ago when we sprayed, sniffed and ranked all of Dior’s fancy perfumes, I came across Sakura and latched on. It’s floral, but not in an overpowering or obvious way—it’s plush and intimate, and smells like how you feel when a cute person gives you a hug. It still has white musk, a note that underscores almost all my other favorite fragrances, but Sakura is decidedly dreamy—a complete 180 from the peppery, warmer scents I usually go for. I’m so happy to see it in mini form, so I can dot my pulse points with a little bit of whimsy anywhere I please.
Photographed by Tom Newton