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. It’s that time of year again! Trees are being lit, celebrities are releasing albums of holiday covers, and orange slices a la Little Women aren’t the only things getting dried out. November was the time to lock down our healthy, dewy staples before things drop below freezing. We’ve got hardworking moisturizers, gentle cleansers, shiny glosses… and maybe your attention? If so, read on.
“I finished the last of my OG Weleda Skin Food tube this month. I’ve stowed it away for a while, not wanting to squeeze the last of it because the packaging has changed! (sob) But the time has come, and the tube is empty. As I’ve revisited the cream during these colder weeks, I’m realizing why I fell in love with it in the first place. It locks in moisture like no other moisturizer I’ve used for my face, but I’m finding it’s even more effective as a body moisturizer. Post-shower, its verdant scent is really addicting and I’m always surprised by how just a little can go the mile and cover so much skin. May have to re-up, new packaging aside.” —Utibe Mbagwu
“I haven’t always loved You. When I first tried it, I sprayed it on a postcard and resolved it wasn’t for me. What can I say? I’m just not really a perfume person, and it wasn’t until over the summer when I sprayed it on my skin that I finally got it. It’s so incredibly hard to describe You because it quite literally smells like its namesake. And you have to spray it on your body to really appreciate the scent. It smells familiar and modern at the same time. It smells like the inside of a sweater that hasn’t gone in the wash yet because again, it smells like you. It’s warm, comforting, and not overwhelming. It’s neither subtle nor loud. It opens with pink pepper, which gives it a little friendly bite to start, and then dries down into something less sparkly and more casual. I’m full blown obsessed now.” —Ashley Weatherford
“It’s been a year of hair revelations—I could write a whole story on ‘em. But my most recent brain buster was plumping products. All my life, I’ve been trying to use volumizing products to fight my hair’s tendency to hang close to my head. You know, more Kacey Musgraves than Afghan Hound. But volumizing products, especially if you’re not used to hair products in general, are awful. They’re either unpleasantly crunchy or unbearably tacky, and being able to run my fingers through my hair has always won out against my desire for volume. Instead of adding grit, plumping products use high-tech ingredients similar to those in skincare to increase the diameter of my fine hairs and therefore make a visual difference in volume. If this is starting to sound like something you want in on, The Inkey List’s Peptide Treatment is a great place to start. It’s $10, makes my hair look so much thicker, and never compromises its silky smooth texture. I apply it from roots to ends on damp hair then air-dry for a guaranteed good hair day.” —Ali Oshinsky
“As the year comes to a close, I’m finding myself cleansing my face less and less. It’s weird—not too long ago, I used to side-eye at my screen when I'd read Top Shelves that described a morning ‘cleanse’ as a simple splash of water. Now I’ve joined the club. The whole approach has become less of a horror story because I’ve thrown this hardworking cleansing oil into my PM routine. At night, I use a few pumps of this stuff to slough off all my makeup, sunscreen, and other sticky skincare. Once water hits my face, it turns the cleanser into an oil to milk slick, with a scent that reminds me of the changing room at Rescue Spa: a little herbal, instantly refreshing, and pleasantly spa-like. The best part is the way it leaves my skin feeling soft to the touch but still clean—an ideal starting point for a follow-up cleanse with Klur’s Gentle Matter Cleanser.” —UM
“With the holiday season in full swing I’ve been working longer hours than usual. But can someone please tell my moisturizers that summer Fridays are over? They all clock out early, leaving me with dry, flaky skin by 4PM. All, that is, except U Beauty’s Super Smart Hydrator. I like that it doesn’t have fragrance (it tends to exacerbate winterface) and comes in a pump bottle (no fingernails in the face goop). But the real power comes from its proprietary Siren technology, which basically works like this: free radicals break down the capsules of dehydrated hyaluronic acid throughout the day, and each time they do, your skin gets a burst of fresh hydration. Plus, since they’re busy breaking down the capsules, fewer free radicals actually reach your skin. You wouldn’t think moisturization would need such a high-tech approach, but apparently, it does. It’s the only single product that leaves me completely flake-free all day, and the only thing that’s ever elicited a ‘Wow, you look glowy’ from my boyfriend. Even though it’s expensive, you can ration it—one pump is enough for my whole face.” —AO
“Sometimes you just need a little treat, and that’s exactly what this is: A tiny, beautiful, shiny, decadent treat. You can put it anywhere on your face—lids, cheekbones, lips—and then the gloss gets to work, drying down to a thin, shiny but not shimmery finish. It’s not exactly a highlighter because there’s no pearlescence or glitter at work here, and it’s not even a moisturizer on its own. Instead, it’s more like a targeted topcoat for whatever I’ve got going on my face. If I’m not wearing makeup, the curiously long-lasting subtle shine makes me look healthy and happy all day. Over eyeshadow or lipstick, it gives off a smooth but not goopy effect. I like that it’s not thick like a traditional eye gloss, so I can actually wear it comfortably. And the packaging! So pretty that I’ve already decided to repurpose it when I’m done.” —AW
Photos via ITG