Our Favorite Products: March 2021 Edition


Welcome to Our Favorite Products, a monthly feature in which ITG's editors discuss the best things we've tried all month long. Glossier copywriters Amanda Keffer and Leaya Lee join the fun this month—they write about product all day long, and have a thing or two to say about their own routine mainstays. With re-entry to normal life getting closer each day, we’re lotioning our limbs and socially un-distancing from our makeup collections. A discussion of beauty transitions, plus what to save and splurge on, below.

Emily Ferber, Editor-at-Large: Amanda’s been talking about this product for as long as I’ve known her. This is the moment.

Amanda Keffer, Senior Copywriter: The one product that I would have to take anywhere with me is the Sol de Janeiro My Sol Stick SPF 50. I’m of the mind that lip sunscreen needs to be applied often because we’re always eating it, and the Fresh Sugar Lip Sunscreens are the only other SPF lip balms that I don’t think taste horrible. But they’re so soft that they’re a little melty during the summer, and this one never melts or breaks off. It also doesn’t goop up in the corners of my mouth, which is my big issue.

Ali Oshinsky, Associate Editor: Wait, Amanda, what sparked this passion? Have you ever had a lip sunburn?

AK: A lot of my family members had really nice lips when they were younger and... I get compliments on my lips now, but I’m worried about them aging. I don’t know—I read somewhere that the collagen in your lips is very fragile, so I’ve just been slathering them in sunscreen. It’s like how they say your hands give away your age. I can hide my hands! My lips are very front and center.

AO: Does it have that Sol scent? I know people love it but I personally do not.

AK: It’s a little sickeningly sweet. That’s the downside for sure, but it disappears really fast. It’s not nearly as strong as the other products.

Leaya Lee, Senior Copywriter: If you’re a lipstick wearer, can you layer it on top?

AK: Yeah, it’s very thin.

AO: That’s great because I have some lipstick. I was so excited about trying these because I’d seen the brand, Hera, a lot on Instagram. Jennie from Blackpink is the face and posts about it all the time. When I got the email that they were launching in the US, I had to get some. The Rouge Holic is phenomenal. It feels almost like a balm, and I swear it—you know how some people get lip filler so their lips look smoother? This looks like that. It’s like a lip plumping effect solely from the hydration, and it’s not even particularly shiny. Like, it looks way shinier on the website than it is in real life. I have Soul Pink, which is the kind of nude-leaning but brighter than my natural lip color pink I love.

Ashley Weatherford, Senior Editor: What’s the wear?

AO: I would say it comes off with eating and drinking and living your life, which is kind of what I want my lipsticks to do.

LL: Ali, I was inspired by Jennie too! I decided to take a break from bleaching my hair to make it healthier, and because the root situation was driving me crazy. So I dyed the top part back to black and left the bottom bleached, kind of like her style.

AO: I love that!

LL: My Olaplex conditioner really saved me. It’s the No. 5. I have so many hair masks and conditioners that only feel like they’re working if I leave them on for what feels like the whole day, but I only leave this on while I’m showering, and my hair feels as though I’ve used an all-day hair mask.

AW: How does the conditioner compare with the original, No. 3? I always used that one as a conditioner.

LL: It mimics that, and I don’t need to leave it on as long. Also, they’re the same price and this is in a bigger bottle.

AW: I’d really like to talk about my Cleansing Spa Water. I love this stuff so much. I’ll use it whenever I’m feeling super lazy, and it really does feel like I washed my face. I can’t say that about any other cleansing water, and I think it has to do with the fact that there’s lactic acid in it. If you’re not going to wash your face at night, in my mind this is the only adequate substitute.

AO: Can you use it to take makeup off?

AW: I mean, I do.

EF: They describe it as slightly acidic—you don’t feel like you exfoliated, but you do feel properly clean. I also love this stuff, but have replaced it with Bioderma in my routine because I could not stomach the price.

AW: I know $66 is very expensive, but I seriously cannot recommend it enough. Two pumps will get my makeup off and my face clean. I honestly don’t know how it compares to Bioderma because it’s been a minute since I used that, but I will say that I end up regretting any other thing I use to shortcut washing my face. Including the wipe version, even though those are very easy to travel with.

AO: I too have been being very lazy with my skincare over the past year, but I have been masking on the weekend to kind of make up for it. I love this new Mara mask. It’s a clay mask, and my history with clay masks is very mixed. I have pretty dry skin so they never worked for me, but when I was giving facials in aesthetics school I saw what they did for people with oily skin. The instructors encouraged us to mix and play around with back bar products, so I would take a clay mask and put a little bit of exfoliating liquid in it, and it was amazing. Things would just come right out of people’s pores. That put me on the hunt to find a clay mask that would work for me and the first one that really did was Klur’s, because it’s also so moisturizing. This Mara mask differs in that it also has that exfoliating component.

EF: How long do you leave a clay mask on?

AO: Well Lesley Thornton, the founder of Klur, told me that you should never leave them on to the point of cracking. I wash when it just has a little slip to it. When I wash off the Mara mask, my skin is moisturized and less red and clearer. I think it’s going to be a new staple.

LL: My newest staple are these Loveseen lashes. As somebody who used to get lash extensions all the time, and has really, really short, Asian lashes, these are great.

EF: Which style do you have?

LL: I have Iris, which is good if I want to look more dramatic, but I also have Cate which looks more natural, like you were just born that way. I did get the tool that they sell on their website too, but I find that I don’t use it. I just need my hands, and glue, and like five minutes.

AO: You must be good at false lashes, because I needed the tool.

LL: Honestly these are the only false lashes I’ve ever used! There are lots of videos on their Instagram and website that make it look so easy, which made me feel like I could do it. It took about five times to get the hang of it, but I did. And each pair is good for 10 uses.

AW: I feel like it’s a huge endorsement that you’ve never used false lashes before and find these really easy to apply. Have you ever tried Lashify? I can’t do false lashes without looking crazy, but I can do Lashify.

LL: That’s my next thing! My sister uses them and says they’re amazing.

EF: My surprise pick for this month is the Dr. Jart Ceramidin Body Lotion.

AO: Surprise?

EF: It has a pretty liquid-y texture, and since I’m not a lightweight lotion person I thought it wasn’t going to cut it and kind of moved on. Now this is why it’s surprising. For whatever reason I put it on again last week, and that’s when I realized it’s a stealth lotion. I don’t feel like I have lotion on, but I feel so soft and so moisturized, like a gosh darn baby. I don’t know if there’s hyaluronic acid in this, but it feels like what hyaluronic acid does to my face. Can’t go wrong with the Ceramidin line. Aces across the board.

AO: What would happen if I put it on, and then put jeans on?

EF: It sinks in, and then it’s gone. So you could totally put jeans on. A lot of lotions say that, but this is the only one that I think walks the walk.

AW: You’re selling this. I want to try it now. But would you say this could be used as a body serum layered under something else? Because that’s probably how I would do it.

EF: I certainly don’t have the patience, but I think you’d love this as a first step under a nice, delicious oil or a thicker Kiehl’s whipped body butter type of deal.

AW: Or this Gold Bond Healing Lotion, maybe? That’s what I came here to talk about! But wait. Let me backtrack. My face is always oily and my body is always dry, which drives me bananas. I get like 90-percent of my body skincare advice from my brother because he has eczema, and he used to use Gold Bond, which I always thought was weird because at that point I thought Gold Bond was just a powder for athlete’s foot. But this stuff slaps.

EF: I love a drugstore product. There’s something, to me, very glamorous about knowing the best drugstore thing.

AW: It could not be more different from your lotion, Emily. It’s super thick, it doesn’t have anything fancy in it—glycerin is the main hydrating ingredient, which is fine by me. I also quite frankly don’t care that there are a lot of silicones. It moisturizes so well, but it’s not shiny. You can use it on your feet too, and I’m really particular about my foot creams. But what I really love is that I don’t feel guilty putting a shit ton on. I wouldn’t do that with the Dr. Jart because it’s expensive! This is like $4. I cannot recommend it enough.

EF: That’s exactly how I feel about my new favorite candle. It’s from Le Coco Candles, and the scent I have is called Oasis Vert. All I can say about it is that I think it smells very expensive. If you told me this was Diptyque, I’d say, ‘Smells great, thanks so much.’ But they’re $35 for nine ounces, which I think is a pretty good deal for an elevated scent. I can burn this all day and not feel like I’m burning money.

AO: All of their scents sound really interesting.

EF: I definitely would not have gone for this one—I’m more of a Feu de Bois kind of girl, and this is tiger grass, lemon, basil, and geranium. It smells like springtime. It’s a great bathroom candle or ‘I’m nursing a hangover’ candle which is how I used it this weekend. Two thumbs up for this brand I’ve never heard of.

AO: Amanda, you started us off so why don’t you finish it. What else have you been enjoying?

AK: My liquid melatonin. I’ve gotten a barrage of targeted ads to quit drinking since I tried the Haus low-alcoholic elixir things—which, I’m not trying to quit drinking, I just like to try new flavors. That’s how I found this brand Kin, which makes what they call social euphorics. Dream Light is basically liquid vitamins to put you to sleep—melatonin, magnesium, l-thiamine, and tryptophan. I am obsessed with this stuff. I mix it up with macadamia milk and use my milk frother, and it tastes very ‘sitting in a big leather chair.’ The pomp and circumstance surrounding the branding is insane, but I have been sleeping very well.

EF: Sounds like I need this.

AW: I had a meeting with the brand once, and they told me about a hotline...?

AK: Oh, yes. There is a hotline. If you’re feeling crazy when you’re drinking it—they describe it as this acid trip where you don’t know what’s going to happen—you can call the hotline.

AO: As someone who has dabbled in psychedelics and tried this stuff, it is not like an acid trip at all. However! What it did do is knock me out immediately. Quite literally within 20 minutes I was passed out on the couch. Granted I’m not a regular melatonin user, so maybe I just wasn’t ready.

AK: Before I was taking extra-strength melatonin gummies and waking up in the middle of the night, but with this I am asleep. I can’t hold my eyes open.

This conversation has been edited and condensed.

Photo via ITG.