Our Favorite Products: April 2021 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 month, as we inched ten degrees Fahrenheit closer to summertime, our routines had to change to keep up. If spring, full of new growth and sometimes-awkward changes (pollen allergy, anyone?) is like the seasons going through puberty, we’re at the cusp of getting our braces off. We’re still wearing masks, but now we’re also wearing shorts, so a good full-body scrub-down was in order. The makeup is bronze and golden, the skin is clean and shiny, the hair is messy and insouciant. And what great timing? Re-emergence to the homies feels just around the corner. In May, why don’t you try…

A Bronzer With No Sun And No Mess

“I don’t need my makeup to be so easy, a caveman could do it. But there’s a time and a place for meticulous application, and just like I wouldn’t jet ski to work when there’s a subway stop right outside my apartment, it’s the stuff that asks the least of me in my daily rotation. This is how I’ve ended up with lots of bronzers I almost never touch: the liquid ones get all over my hands (and hand towels), while pots and powders almost always require a brush I don’t want the responsibility of cleaning. Frankly, the fact that Milk engineered a solution as simple as this soft, blendable cream stick seems almost too easy. I dab the shade Baked where an e-girl might apply blush (unlike contour sticks, it’s warm-toned and looks best where the sun hits), tap it out with my fingers, and suddenly look like I’ve been tending my crops. Or something. No mess, no fuss, and no shimmer, which is an unrelated thing I just generally prefer. Might I also strongly advocate for this itty bitty version? You might be paying a bit more per ounce, but you’ll never, ever finish the big version (I learned this lesson from Soleil Tan de Chanel) and a smaller tip offers more precision.” —Ali Oshinsky

A Minimalist's Bar Soap Dream

“I’m not sure when the alien invasion took over my mind and body, but it happened because I’m a bar soap person now. First Glossier’s Exfoliating Bar and now this, a dang soap cube! It’s from Brooklyn Candle Studio, and while I truly love their candles, I was doubtful about their expansion into skincare. Well, sorry to the fine folks there because they hit it out of the park. My favorite is the Bergamot Neroli Pink Clay soap, which feels like I’m washing my body with sudsy lotion. Seriously, if you have dry skin I kindly recommend this bar soap to you. I don’t have dry skin per se, but I’ve started to need a lot less lotion post-shower. Argan oil and shea butter are the moisturizing powerhouses at work here, and kaolin clay ensures an effective clean. And this cube looks so pretty! Gah! The cherry on top.” —Ashley Weatherford

A Buffet For Plants And Hair

“My hair’s been through a lot this past year—six-inch quarantine roots, a brief foray into red (“Princess Anna from Frozen hair,” according to my 3-year-old), then a (half) return to black. After all that, it felt kind of brittle. My colorist once mentioned that chlorophyll supplements might help with hair health. I’m such a skeptic when it comes to supplements and vitamins, so I took all the claims (it’s a magical green potion for clearer skin, hair growth, and improved digestion!) with a grain of salt. But also I thought…it couldn’t hurt to try, right? I’ve been putting a couple of dropperfuls of this concentrated liquid chlorophyll from Sakara in a big glass of water once or twice a day for the past five months. While it’s nothing as dramatic as all the before-and-after chlorophyll videos on TikTok, my hair seems less fragile and definitely looks shinier these days. I also haven’t been getting the deep chin pimples (or chinples, as I like to call them) that I usually get right before my period starts. Sure, I could just eat a ton of spinach every day to get similar benefits, but I’ll be honest: that’s not going to happen. And even if this is all in my head, I feel better and at the very least, I’m drinking a lot more water.” —Leaya Lee

A 3.3 Oz. Bottle Of Liquid Gold

“Ugh. I know. I know. Glossier girl talking about Glossier products. But this cleanser—my word, this cleanser. It’s ruined all other cleansers for me. It is absolutely perfect. The king of my medicine cabinet. The lynchpin of my entire routine. So what does it do? First of all, it emulsifies all the city grime and sweat off my face for a canvas that is absolutely clean, but still comfortable and not stripped (I should know; I am not above washing my face with Dr. Bronner’s when I really wanna feel that clean). But beyond doing the bare minimum (cleansing your face), it’s a whiz at clearing skin of congestion, leftover blemish marks, and other acneic-type occurrences. When I use it, my skin is bright and shining clear. It’s a level of skin pride that’s evaded me for years. I started hoarding samples of this formula last fall and have been waiting patiently for April to arrive so we could finally launch the sucker and I could have a full size bottle. I use it in the shower as my daily cleanse (I don’t cleanse twice a day anymore—skin is too dry and I’m no longer breaking out) and follow up with retinol some nights, antioxidant serums other nights, and sometimes just moisturizer. My skin is in excellent shape and I’d like to thank this cleanser for being a part of the team. Highly recommend.” —Emily Ferber

A Finger-Friendly Texturizer Spray

“Hey, you, reader with very long hair. I bet you think having short hair is a cakewalk compared to your daily routine, huh? Well, you’re wrong! Sort of. As anyone who’s ever made a big chop from long to short knows, the grass is not always greener on the other side and both lengths come with their respective trials and tribulations. Now that my hair is about 10 inches shorter than it was, I brush it less but do have to put more thought into styling. A great haircut does most of the heavy lifting, and last time Clara Leonard was trimming mine she passed on her personal half-empty bottle of Sam McKnight’s Easy Up-do to help with the rest. It feels soft and clean to the touch but maintains a tousle. When I’ve slept on my hair funny, or it starts settling back into Lord Farquaad-y straightness, I can spritz again without creating a sticky buildup that compels me to shower. So yeah, OK, fine! The grass is pretty green on the short side of things. Maybe you should consider a vacation here.” —AO

A Sunshine-y Shadow Stick

“I am not an eye shadow person. Nor am I an orange person. Not really a sparkle person either. So I have no idea what demon possessed me to try out Byredo’s Color Stick in Sauce the other night (I had big plans: I got takeout ramen and watched my iPad in bed), but turns out—Sauce is really good! What looks orange turns into this golden glow all around the eye. It’s what I imagine I might look like if I went on vacation in a Net-a-Porter ad. It’s got me looking forward to summer (a season I universally dread on almost all counts). Formula-wise, it’s buildable, which is good for me because I truly only want a wash of barely-there color. Chubby sticks for the eye are nearly universal at this point, but this one is truly impossible to mess up. Bring on the heat!” —EF

And A Sunset-esque Shadow Quad

“Let’s face it: eyeshadow palettes are boring. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. On top of that, the color payoff can be inconsistent, and the wear underwhelming. I’ve worn exactly one eyeshadow in the past year because eyeshadow is so unmotivating, but then I saw Roen’s Mood 4 Ever Palette in action and I was sold. It’s a palette of zesty neutrals with a formula consistency that straddles a powder and a cream, which means I can achieve full eye coverage in one swipe (thank you, cream), and it doesn’t melt away in the blink of an eye (that’s the powder for ya). As I said they are neutrals, but man do they pop! Impressions, which is the deepest red-brown shade, looks like a sunset on my eyes. Bright Crema's my go-to in my inner lid corners, and Elated and Toasty are my easy everydays—except for when I want to mix and match, or just generally feel inspired for change, which these days is happening more and more.” —AW

A Body Scrub You'll Want To Eat

"I have dry, sensitive, prone-to-turning-really-red body skin complete with keratosis pilaris. So a scrub needs to tame my bumps without offending my skin in some other way—ideally it should be gentle, have lots of moisture, and some calming ingredients. I stumbled upon Pacha Soap Co.’s Whipped Soap + Scrub on a browse through the Whole Foods’ lotions and potions section. If I were a contestant on The Price is Right, and had to guess how much it cost based on fragrance alone, I’d say at least $35 (and I’d be wrong because it’s only $10!). It’s neither fake perfume-y nor overly essential oil-y, and it gives my shower a steamy spa ambience. The texture is eerily reminiscent of the step in making cookies where you soften the butter and whip in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. It's largely shea butter, sunflower seed oil, and super finely ground pumice, which I personally choose to leave out of my desserts but really appreciate here. This scrub fills my tall order, and I don’t know that I’ll ever buy groceries without also buying this." —Amanda Keffer