Things We Finish: 2021 Edition


Ever have a fling with a beauty product? It’s all you can talk about for a couple months, and then, poof! A reality star reveals they bathe in baby oil jelly and you realize you’ve been love-blind to all the other possibilities. That fling? Over as quickly as it started.

Monthly Favorites is an ode to the beauty fling. They’re new, they’re exciting, they get us through the workweek. But Things We Finish? That’s testament to the long-haul, the bottled equivalent of a till-death-do-we-part spouse. As December wraps up 2021, we asked Glossier HQ which products they scooped allllll the way out of their jars this year. (And for some, emptied multiple times over.) Below, an empties hall of fame, if you will. Find your next long term relationship below.

Hourglass Arch Brow Sculpting Pencil

“Too much overwaxing in the early 00's left my brows a bit sparse. Tinted gels don’t really fill in the gaps, and most of the pencils I’ve tried required a hand more deft than mine. But now, I finish one of these Hourglass pencils every five or six weeks. It is my favorite pencil by far—a powdery crayon with a wide tip that doesn't require me to be so exact. It also has a spoolie on the other end, which is on the wider side and (I think) helps spread the product more evenly. The result is incredibly natural-looking filled in-brows that stay on all day. It's the only makeup step I don't leave the house without, regardless of whether I do a full face or not!” —Aviel Selkovits, Lead Product Manager

Manuka Health Raw Manuka Honey

“My friend (and personal skincare consultant) Sam Verdile put me on to the power of manuka honey—she calls it ‘nature’s Neosporin’ because of its soothing and anti-bacterial qualities. When I started struggling with perioral dermatitis early in the pandemic, I stripped down my routine and started using manuka honey to cleanse. It’s not as sticky as it sounds—just a touch of water gives it a lot of slip. It also doubles as a mask treatment when I need to hydrate or calm down my skin, and a spot healer when I get too aggressive picking at a zit. I’ve gone through two jars in the last year and am anxiously awaiting the delivery of a new one.” —Bela Yousif, Senior Communications Manager

Lesse Refining Cleanser

“After finding out I was newly pregnant, I overhauled my whole beauty routine. Suddenly, every ingredient list scared me! That’s when I started using Lesse’s cleanser, which lasted me all nine months. It smells like Pez candy (fun!) and has a satisfyingly sudsy application. I have pretty sensitive skin, and this stuff gently exfoliates without feeling drying. My skin loves it! I used it once a day, and after I got into a good exfoliation groove towards the end, I found that I didn’t have to use it as consistently.” —Elizabeth Sochko, gTEAM Supervisor

Goop G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo

“When I first tried this Goop shampoo I was…nervous. It has an unusual salty, whipped texture that had me feeling very apprehensive as I scooped it out into my hand. I’m happy to report that my nerves were unwarranted! After I got used to it, it became one of my most beloved products. It has the foamy lather of a shampoo alongside the scalp exfoliating element, and it’s great at dislodging the dry shampoo I use in between wash days. It also helps give my hair volume, perfect if my hair needs extra help pre-blowout. Did I mention it smells amazing? I’ve gone through two already in 2021, just purchased another, and never travel without the mini. It truly is my go-to!” —Maura O'Neill, Senior Manager, Creative Operations

Etude House SoonJung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream

“Oh Etude House Soon Jung 2X Barrier Intensive Cream: how would I survive the cold months without you? So plush, so moisturizing, so soothing... It is just occlusive enough to keep all the hydration I layer underneath in, and never overly thick or sticky. A little goes a long way, but I just can't help but slather my parched skin with this stuff. And it’s exactly what I need to stay protected during the harsh NYC winter. It takes me just about three months to finish off a tube, and now that I did, I can't wait to open my next one. It's the cream I always fall back on.” —Ariella Pasman, Associate Manager, Product Development

Ole Henriksen Goodnight Glow Retin-ALT Sleeping Crème

“Recently, this stuff has been running out of stock… everywhere. I found it when I started looking into clean beauty night creams at Sephora—it was high rated, and I had a positive experience with the brand’s Banana Bright Eye Cream, so I went for it. As soon as I put it on I feel like I’ve just left the spa. It leaves my skin glowy, smelling like fresh lemon water, and as soft as a baby's bottom. I finish a jar every three months which feels pretty reasonable since I use it so often (five nights a week). So when I noticed it getting harder to find, I scoured the internet to buy backups. I would be lost without it.” —Jordan Fontini, Senior Project Manager of Construction

Wldkat Orchid Stem Cell + Magnolia Berry Adaptogen Eye Gel

“A few months ago I went out to dinner with a friend and mentor of mine, Amy Zunzunegui, who also happens to be the founder of Wldkat skincare. As a parting gift, she shared her new eye gel. I hadn’t used an eye cream in a year—for me, eye cream was all about crows feet, so once I bought into Botox what was the point? Out of curiosity (and friendship) I decided to throw this into my routine. The light, almost whipped gel texture was instantly addictive—cushiony and hydrating without being thick and heavy. I started using it twice a day, finding that it absorbed quickly and that the silky-suede finish played nicely with my concealer. After a few weeks my eye area was looking more…vibrant? I couldn’t argue with the brighter, smoother, less puffy eyes staring back at me. I am now scraping the ruminants of my second jar and re-sold on eye cream.” —Chenaya Devine-Milbourne, Senior Director, Product Marketing & Development

Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask

“I cannot say enough good things about Jet Lag. But ultimately, I love it because it truly makes my skin look healthy, radiant, and silky smooth. Even though it’s technically a mask, I use it as an overnight moisturizer year round and a daily moisturizer during the colder months.
It's very creamy and thick, but surprisingly still feels pretty lightweight on the skin. I think that’s because it absorbs really nicely. A little goes a long way if, but if you put too much on it sinks in after a few minutes. I’ve gone through maybe three or four tubes at this point!” —Liz Tufano, Senior Project Manager

.025-percent Tretinoin Cream

“For basically the past year, my mangled tube of tretinoin is how I measured time. Because once you’re aware good things lie ahead (in this case fewer breakouts and the choice to level up to something more powerful) the present gives you the finger and takes its sweet time moving. I got it in March. I used a pea sized amount twice a week for two weeks. Then I increased to every other night, for several months. By October I was retin-A-ing every night, and just when I took a step back and thought, Hey, does my skin look glowier than usual? the aluminum tube burst at its back corner, and I had to chuck it. It was pretty much empty anyway—an anticlimactic end to my retinoid journey phase one. I’m too distracted by my new .05-percent tube to go looking for any symbolism there.” —Ali Oshinsky, Associate Editor

Glossier Invisible Shield

“As someone who lives in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona (literally 300 days of sun a year!), Invisible Shield is the biggest staple in my routine. I blow through it in the summer when I’m outside a lot, but for most of the year a bottle lasts me about two or three months. I wear a few pumps every single day, without fail, and always have some on me—there’s emergency bottles in the car, in my purse, and everywhere else. What I love about it, as a person who doesn’t love to wear foundation, is that it gives me a great dewy, low maintenance glow just on its own. I’m constantly gifting this stuff to friends.” —Courtney Carmona, gTEAM Editor

Flamingo Daily Moisturizing Lotion

“I know we’re in the middle of winter, but the product that made the greatest impact on me this year was my summer staple, the Flamingo Daily Moisturizing Lotion. If my skin is drier I sub in a body oil, but this stuff is my ideal lotion for the warmer months: it hydrates skin without feeling greasy or sticky, and has a long lasting, clean scent that is not overpowering or irritating. My skin always feels refreshed and smooth after use (probably thanks to the exfoliating BHAs and enzymes), and the affordable price point ($7.99 !!) is truly the cherry on top!” —Sarah Bernard, Product Development Project Manager Associate

Jao Goe Oil

“It’s hard to put a finger on it… there’s just something so luxurious about Goe Oil, which you’d think is purely utilitarian. I started using it at the beginning of COVID, after stumbling upon it on my friend’s mom’s Instagram. I wanted an uber hydrating cream to counter all of the hand washing I was doing, and I also liked the idea of something multi-purpose and not just for hands. It is incredibly moisturizing, and I truly put it anywhere I need moisture—mostly my hands, but a few weeks ago I ran out of my normal go-to face cream and used this as a replacement. It worked wonders. It is on the pricey side, but the citrusy-floral scent of Tahitian Monoi makes me feel like I’ve just stepped out of a fancy spa treatment, and a little goes a LONG way.” —Callie Monroe, Operations Analytics & Strategy Associate

Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Kojic Acid Body Bar

"I've always been self-conscious about how dark my underarms were—I tried so many home remedies and naturally-derived products to lighten my pigmentation there, but they never worked. I stumbled upon the Takesumi Bright Kojic Body Bar at Credo and added it to my haul optimistically. It has been a game changer! Immediately after I started using it, I saw significantly lighter pits (lol) and I've been hooked ever since. I HIGHLY recommend it to help lighten stubborn areas!" —Danika Fraley, Product Development Lead

Crosby Hair Perfume

“I first fell in love with Crosby Element's Hair Perfume when I was living in Portland, Oregon. Emerald smells like balsam, palo santo and cypress, and its subtle but palpable fragrance lingers in my hair for the whole day. Even though I’m no longer living in the pacific northwest, its scent has become my signature scent no matter where I find myself. The formula itself contains argan oil, which has become my secret to styling my naturally curly hair into bouncy ringlets. I usually do about three spritzes directly on my hair after a shower, or to refresh my hair on days I don’t wash, then two extra into my hand to scrunch in along with my regular hair oil.” —Ariela Rose, gTeam Editor

Frédéric Malle Dans mon Lit Linen Spray

“I went through many different phases during quarantine. I revamped my apartment (thank you to all of the furniture shops on Instagram), I dyed my hair 5+ times, and I even tried to learn Arabic. On top of all that, I became weirdly obsessed with fancy linen spray. I received this one from Frederic Malle as a gift years ago, and used every single drop of it during quarantine. Now it has become part of my self care routine. I ordered a new bottle at the beginning of the year—I don't splurge on things often so this feels like the ultimate indulgence. On days I feel a little less like myself, I wash my sheets, make my bed, and spray a little Dans Mon Lit on my pillows. And for those few final minutes I'm awake, I get to pretend like I'm laying in a bed of roses and not a Casper full in a Brooklyn Apartment.” —Cherie Camacho, People Experience Lead

Glossier Stretch Concealer

“Stretch Concealer is so moisturizing, easily buildable and versatile. I love that I can put it everywhere on my face, but vary the level of coverage depending on where I’m putting it. I don’t really wear heavy foundation, but I can make Stretch into a sheer one to brighten and even my skin tone by blending it with a brush through the center of my face (chin, around the nose and eyes, forehead). Then I set it with powder, and my skin looks so glowy. For more coverage on my acne spots, I use my fingers to apply a heavier layer and lightly tap it on. It builds very well! One little pot lasts me about six months, even though I use it nearly every day.” —Rachel Schachtman, Lead Product Manager, Growth

Saie Slip Tint

“I think Saie Slip Tint might be the first foundation I’ve ever finished to the last literal drop, which is funny, considering it’s not really foundation. I’d say it’s part-SPF-part-moisturizer-part-foundation. And yet, it is all dew, which is [chef’s kiss] perfect for these cold, dark months when I feel and look completely dead to the world. Slip Tint is easy to apply with my hands, and I love that it protects me from the sun (if it even exists in NYC winter?). It gives me a super natural look that’s keepin’ me glowing like the top o’ my Christmas tree!” —Mallory Pendleton, Manager, Training and Education

MAC Lip Liner

“I have been wearing MAC lip liner, specifically in the shade Spice, for over 10 years. (Yikes!) But it really came into its own over lockdowns and WFH. I love that it stays put, stays on under a mask, and has a smooth, creamy texture that's perfect for both outlining lips and coloring them in. And the shade makes me feel, well a bit spicy! It’s a perfect cinnamony nude pink. I’m down to the nib of the pencil after 12 months of applying it twice a day. For the perfect zoom pout, I just line my lips and then gently diffuse the line with my finger tip. Voila!” —Annabelle Scown-Geary, Senior gTeam Editor

Photo via ITG