More stories

  • in

    Our Favorite Wardrobe Essential From Target Just Came Out in 14 New Colors—and It’s $4 Right Now

    Last summer, I discovered something that truly changed my life. It was so simple, yet also the perfect summation of everything that was missing from my wardrobe. It’s flattering, versatile, the perfect cut, comfortable, and most importantly, incredibly affordable.So Jess, what the heck is it?! It is Target’s A New Day Ribbed Tank. The obsession started when I purchased just two tanks—but, by the end of summer, I owned six. I am telling you: that’s how good they are. Many of our editors also own them, and they all own more than one. You just have to trust us that once you put it on, you’ll never want to wear another tank again. 
    Although this tank is a summer wardrobe staple, I managed to continue to wear mine all through fall and winter by layering them with sweaters, cardigans, and jackets—proving that it is truly the most versatile piece in my closet.

    Now fast forward to last week, and something appeared on my “For You” page on TikTok that made me audibly gasp. There it was, the famous Target tank, back and better than ever—not only in a ton of new solid colors, but also in TIE-DYE (!!!!). I sent the TikTok to my coworkers faster than I could even say “pastel tie-dye.” 

    As if all of that wasn’t amazing enough, it also comes in sizes XS-4X, is available in 14 colors, and is currently on sale for $4. Yes, $4. Less than the price of a Grande Cold Brew. Stock up now before they sell out! 
    Get your credit card ready, because you’re going to want one in every single color:

    Source: Keely Geist

    Source: Abigail Yonker

    Source: Jessica Welsh More

  • in

    Best in Beauty 2020: The Best Skin, Hair, Makeup, and Body Products of the Year

    We’ve discussed at length the horrors of 2020—and trust me, getting this year over and done is at the top of my to-do list right now. But when I take a step down memory lane, I realize just how much beauty has shaped my year. I’ll never forget the way applying a hair mask during the workday felt last March, or the way putting on makeup to see my friends for the first time in months made me feel in June. I’ll always remember what it was like making that first hair appointment after months of grown-out roots, and the joy I felt tipping my stylist for the hard work she put in bringing these strands back to life. There was joy and excitement around finding new Black-owned brands to support, and I felt pride in being able to fill my routine with new companies and products that benefited historically-marginalized communities.Although it might seem surprising, beauty products themselves are a reminder of everything that we’ve been through this year. The face masks we tried when we had nothing to do at home, the spot treatments we used when the other face masks broke us out, the eyeshadows we wore to make our eyes the star of the show when you couldn’t see the rest of our faces, the hair treatments we purchased to keep our color intact when we couldn’t see our stylists, the images we Pinned when we thought we wanted quarantine bangs, how we finally tried Baby Foot and retinol and all those products that make you look wild for a few days because we weren’t seeing anyone, the way we welcomed the splurges on the daily essentials like body wash and razors—what the heck, the world was ending! 
    The beauty industry, much like fashion and wellness, will never just be products; they’re ways we’ve experimented and shifted and grown throughout time. And because of this, we felt it was necessary to give back to them this year. In honor of the ways beauty has impacted us this year, we pulled together a truly robust list of every beauty favorite from our team and our readers in every category you could possibly think of. As you’re reading this list, you’ll see favorites from our team, suggestions from our readers (some that we love too and others we’re dying to try in 2021), as well as the “hero products” our entire team was obsessed with in 2020. Plus, we’re breaking down the best innovation, the best splurge and budget-finds, the brands we loved, and what we used at our WFH desks all day. Whether you’re a beauty-lover or looking for a new favorite, we hope this list inspires you to think about the way beauty has impacted your 2020. 

    Makeup Remover
    Face Halo Reusable Makeup Remover Pads
    2020 was the year our editors officially said goodbye to makeup wipes, introducing this makeup removing cloth for everything from removing cleansing balms to washing our face after a workout.

    Essence/Toner
    Laneige Cream Skin Toner and Moisturizer
    This innovative toner balances your skin’s pH while leaving it ultra-moisturized. It’s enough of a moisturizer for oily skin and leaves dry skin plump and ready for heavier products.

    Cleanser
    The Ordinary Squalane Cleanser
    I picked up this squalane cleanser from The Ordinary this summer, and I’ve never looked back. I have super dry skin all year round, and time and time again, I’ve trialed cleansers that have left my face feeling stripped and dry AF. It applies similar to an oil cleanser and leaves my skin feeling smooth and moisturized. It’s super affordable and is now offered in a larger size (150 mL) which I’ll be buying when mine runs out.—Ashley Selleke, Editorial Assistant

    Moisturizer
    CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream
    After testing basically every product in CeraVe’s line, our editor found this one: the perfect night cream to moisturize, smooth, and balance skin.

    Hydrating Serum
    The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5
    If there’s one product Evergirl readers are obsessed with, it’s The Ordinary’s Hyaluronic Acid serum—and our editors couldn’t agree more!

    Moisturizing Mask
    Town and Anchor Golden Masque
    We love face masks that we not only feel good putting on our skin, but we feel good buying. This 99 percent naturally derived, vegan, sustainable, and cruelty-free luxurious mask comes from one of our favorite small beauty businesses in Chicago. The Golden Masque (you know it’s luxe when it’s spelled masque!) is a go-to in my beauty cabinet because of the rich antioxidants and essential minerals that stimulate renewal and reduce inflammation for instant brightening and boosted glow. Gentle enough for sensitive skin yet entirely effective, it’s the perfect mask for any skin type.—Josie, Associate Editor

    Detoxifying Mask
    Rosen Earth Mask
    For keeping skin clear and moisturized (two traits you often don’t see in a skincare product), our editor raves up and down about this mask.

    Tool
    NuFace Mini Facial Toning Device
    The tool that took over our editors vanities and wishlists this year, the NuFace is *the* facial toning device on the market that truly makes a difference in the texture, tone, elasticity, and tightness of your skin.

    Facial Oil
    Biossance 100% Sugarcane Squalane Oil
    I love oil products, but this squalane one has been a staple for years. Made of sugarcane, the natural oil is so hydrating that it gives you that dewy French-girl glow without even trying. You can actually use it for your hair, body, or face, but I choose to use it as a more luxurious (yet totally affordable) face oil at night.—Thao Thai, Executive Editor

    Lip Balm
    Aquaphor Lip Balm Repair Stick
    This classic lip balm will always live in our bags—and our hearts. We love this stick version for wearing under a mask!

    Brightening Serum
    Maelove Glow Maker Serum
    You might be living under a rock if you’ve never seen us rave about this serum. If you want glowy skin, this is it—there’s not much else to say.

    Retinol Serum
    Versed Press Restart Gentle Retinol Serum
    When I was interested in introducing a retinol into my skincare routine just this year, I found that this product was a good starting point. This gentle serum is perfect for first-time users. I use it about every other night under my moisturizer and definitely have noticed a healthy glow and softness to my skin. As someone who has heard of people breaking out badly when using a retinol, I was worried at first but because it’s not too intense and contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, I never experienced that. I highly recommend this product for beginners!—Keely Geist, Social Media Editor for The Everymom

    Sunscreen for Light Skin Tones
    EltaMD UV Daily Broad-Spectrum SPF 40
    Our editors swear by a whole host of EltaMD’s sunscreen line—whether it’s for acne-prone, oily, normal, or dry skin types, there’s a sunscreen in this line for every concern.

    Concealer
    Pat McGrath Labs Sublime Perfection Concealer
    I tried a lot of concealers in 2020. When you’re stuck inside for weeks at a time, finding the motivation to apply a full-face of foundation, let alone wear it all day, is simply far-fetched. I began using concealer exclusively most days, which began my quest for the best concealer that I could use under my eyes and all over the face. In a last-ditch effort a month ago, I tried Pat McGrath’s Sublime Skin Perfection concealer, and now I’ll never be without it. It’s so good, I use it as a foundation all over the face pretty much every single day. It’s a lightweight formula with a satin finish that dries down without looking cakey or settling into lines. It’s officially the gold-standard of concealers for me. —Beth, Associate Editor

    Blush
    Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush
    When we asked our readers their favorite products, we heard an outpour of love for this highly-pigmented cream blush from Selena Gomez’s new line, Rare Beauty.

    Highlighter
    Vesca Beauty Stargaze Luminous Glow Highlighter
    The creamy texture and the glowy pay off with just a touch of product has made this highlighter a front runner for me. I use it on my cheeks, brow bone, and as an eyeshadow. It’s so versatile, and the compact packaging makes it easy to pop into a bag without taking up too much space. —Bianca Lambert, Contributing Editor

    Eyeshadow Palette
    Colourpop Eyeshadow Palettes
    Whether you’re going for a classic neutral eye or changing it up with bright colors, Colourpop has the formula and price to make it happen.

    Fenty Beauty
    Cheeks Out Freestyle Cream Bronzer

    A good bronzer is hard to come by, especially in a cream formula. But our editors fell head over heels for this as soon as it released last spring. Available in varying shades to contour and bronze all skin tones, this blends evenly and stays put all day. We couldn’t ask for anything more.
    Read our full review!

    Mascara
    Thrive Causemetics Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara
    I must admit: I hate mascara. I hate when it looks clumpy, when it sheds onto your face, and (most of all) when you have to remove it. Thankfully, the Thrive Mascara solves literally all of those problems (and makes me feel, instead, like a mascara lover). It goes on very liquidy (so don’t sneeze!), meaning it doesn’t flake or clump off, but elongates. It makes your lashes look much longer, but then (thankfully) isn’t a pain to take off. When the day is done, I use cleansing oil followed by a gel cleanser, and my eyelashes are back to their clean (short) selves in no time. —Abigail Yonker, Social Media Editor

    Eyebrow Pencil
    UOMA Beauty BROW-FRO Baby Hair
    Eyebrow pencils are not all created equal. This has a variety of shades for all hair colors, and the formula is waxy enough to stay put all day long.

    Eyebrow Gel
    Patrick Ta Beauty Major Brow Shaping Wax
    The bushy, model-esque brow trend finally became available this year in the form of this brow shaping wax. Use with water or setting spray and a spoolie to make your brows look like you just got a brow lift.

    Lipstick
    Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Color
    There is no lipstick on the market that looks like a Lisa Eldridge True Velvet Lip Color. As a veteran makeup artist (for celebs like Dua Lipa and Eva Green) and Youtube tutorial queen, it’s no wonder Eldridge created what is perhaps the best lip product I have ever used. These lipsticks are the softest texture, both gliding on and staying put throughout the day (no drying out or cracking). They are so gorgeously pigmented, it’s like you covered your lips in a bolt of the richest velvet fabric, and the colors range from creamy beiges to the moodiest wines to shocking, saturated pinks. The tubes are gold and heavy—super luxe and worth the price. If I could only wear one lipstick for the rest of my life, this would be it—in the shade Velvet Beauty, the perfect deep, dusty rose. —Kelly Etz, Senior Graphic Designer and Course Director

    Tool
    Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
    There’s nothing this sponge can’t do: apply foundation, blend cream blush and bronzer, pat down concealer and powder, and take away any cakiness. Oh, and it’s under $7.

    Shampoo and Conditioner—Medium/Thick Hair
    Rahua Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner
    I trade out my shampoo and conditioner as often as I change my clothes—flirting with different brands without commitment, trying everything and anything under the sun to find that perfect formula. I bought Rahua on a whim after hearing about the brand for ages on Instagram and in the (web) pages of Into the Gloss. The clean brand is all about healthy hydration, which my hair sorely lacks. I loved both of these so much that I would repurchase—high praise from a shampoo addict bent on trying everything she can. I could tell right out of the shower that my hair was silkier and easier to manage than usual and my blow dry (while still arduous—your girl has a LOT of hair) yielded salon-worthy results. If you’re looking to splurge on your hair, this is your product. —Kelly

    Shampoo—Curly/Coily Hair
    Curls Blueblurry Bliss Reparative Hair Wash
    Readers shared that they love this budget-friendly, Black-owned haircare line for curly/coily hair at Target, suggesting this hair wash for clean, bouncy, moisturized curls.

    Shampoo and Conditioner—Curly Hair
    DevaCurl Wavy Curls-On-The-Go Kit
    Our editor loves how easily this set makes her her wavy/curly hair look good—without any heat styling.

    Dry Shampoo
    Living Proof Perfect Hair Day (PhD) Dry Shampoo
    Dare we say it: no dry shampoo on the market compares to this. Readers swear by it for keeping your hair looking clean and healthy but also making it FEEL clean—a conundrum we all struggle with.

    Scalp Treatment
    Kristin Ess Instant Exfoliating Scalp Scrub
    This scalp scrub, from our editors’ favorite budget-friendly line from Kristin Ess, removes build-up, flakes, and dry skin on the scalp, revealing healthier, cleaner hair.

    Curl Gel/Cream
    Miss Jessie’s Honey Curls Curl Enhancers
    Miss Jessie’s Honey Curls has been my go-to gel for almost two years. I used to think that my hair was too kinky for a wash-N-go, but this gel proved me wrong. I love that it not only helps give my curls definition without the crunch, but it keeps my 4-type curls hydrated for days.—Bianca

    Hairspray
    Authentic Beauty Concept Working Hairspray
    A hairspray that tames frizz, dries quickly, and doesn’t make us feel crunchy is hard to come by—until our editor found this one that does it all while being vegan, cruelty-free, and clean.

    Tool
    Gisou Curling Tool
    After struggling with curling irons forever (who hasn’t?!), our editor swears this brings her curls to life for days, leaving them volumized and damage-free.

    Leave-In Product
    Prose Hair Oil
    My beauty queen friend gifted me this gorgeous hair oil, and let me tell you, it could not have come at a better time. My hair was getting brittle from too-few salon visits (thanks, pandemic!) and frosty Midwestern temps, and this hair oil revived those strands right up. It’s customized to my exact needs and smells like a dream. Plus, it lasts forever! —Thao Thai, Executive Editor

    Body Wash
    Plant Apothecary Start Happy Body Wash
    A nice body wash was the luxury we didn’t know we’d need in 2020, but after testing this, we’ll never live without its gorgeous scent and moisturizing texture.

    Body Moisturizer
    Kiehl’s Since 1851 Crème de Corps
    This old favorite moisturizer will always be on our lists for its ability to deeply moisturize the skin without feeling sticky and heavy.

    Body Scrub
    Tree Hut Tropical Mango Shea Sugar Scrub
    With the world coming to halt drastically this year, I was able to make personal care a priority—and in comes Tree Hut’s Exfoliating Body Scrub. This body scrub has been a staple for me since the beginning of the year. It’s affordable, comes in a variety of scents and ingredients based on your needs, and it leaves my skin amazingly smooth, especially after shaving and waxing. I use this scrub at least twice a week all over, and the gentle scrub doesn’t irritate my skin at all. This is the perfect affordable body scrub for soft, smooth skin that I plan to take with me into the new year! —Blair Bedford, Contributing Editor

    Deodorant
    Kopari Coconut Deodorant
    Natural deodorant can be quite a hit or miss, so you have to sing it from the rooftops when you’ve found a good one—like our editors’ have done with this coconut deodorant from Kopari.

    Razor and Shave Cream
    Flamingo 5-Blade Razor and Foaming Shave Gel
    After years of buying the most very basic skincare products from local pharmacies, 2020 was the year I choose to invest in my skin. I’m also very much a sucker for fun packaging, so I started using new products like the Flamingo razor and foam shave gel to enhance my shower routine. I love how silky smooth they make my skin feel and both the razor blade and the foam gel have lasted a lot longer than my others have. It’s the little things, you know?—Leigh Ryan, Junior Graphic Designer

    Hand Sanitizer
    Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer
    I’ve been obsessed with Megababe’s products for a while now (the Thigh Rescue is a literal lifesaver—if you know, you know) but hadn’t tried their hand sanitizer until earlier this year. I found it in-stock on Megababe’s website when all other sanitizers were flying off the shelves, so I ordered a big bottle to try out. Since then, it has become my all-time favorite hand sanitizer—I’ll never go back! Unlike others, its formula includes plant-based alcohol (plus, no parabens, phthalates, or sulfates) to keep your hands feeling soft and moisturized while still killing 99.9 percent of germs. Being able to use sanitizer often without majorly drying out your hands is key, especially this year. And it smells lovely, which we all know cannot be said for every sanitizer out there. Highly recommend! —Julia Poulter, Managing Editor of The Everymom

    Hand Cream
    Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
    Hand cream stopped becoming a luxury and began its tenure as a necessity this year, and we’re loving this inexpensive one that’s ultra-mosturizing without feeling sticky on the hands.

    Nail Polish
    Olive and June Nail Polish
    Our entire team touts these nail polishes as the easiest to apply and best-looking polishes on the market. Plus, their shades are always on trend.

    Our Best New Find—the product our editor just couldn’t wait to tell the world about:

    Vitamin C Intense Night Cream

    The second the temperatures drop below 60 degrees, I get EXTREMELY dry skin. And for some reason (as if 2020 wasn’t bad enough), it has been so much worse this year. In searching for anything that might help hydrate my face, I read a few recommendations that I should incorporate a heavy night cream. So, I went to Ulta’s website, found this one, and decided to try it solely based on the glowing reviews. It not only has helped keep my skin hydrated, but the Vitamin C makes a visible difference in combatting dullness and redness. Every time I use it, my skin feels brighter! I will definitely be repurchasing.—Jessica Welsh, Editorial Assistant

    Best Product Innovation—the most genius product on the market this year: 

    Wonder Water

    L’Oreal’s Wonder Water was by far the most standout hair product I tried this year. The technology it new and innovative; lamallar water is super lightweight and is able to penetrate the hair cuticle, where heavier conditioners can’t. Literally in 10 seconds, it manages to completely smooth out your hair and leave it looking shiny and healthy, without absolutely any weigh-down. It’s also super affordable—I’m so glad L’Oreal released it before any high-end brands did, because I’m able to make it a part of every hair wash. I don’t even remember what my hair was like before this, and I notice a difference each and every time I use it.—Madeline Galassi, Associate Editor
    Read Maddie’s full review!

    Best Splurge—the product worth the $$$$: 

    Kansa Wand—Facial Massage Tool

    Face tools come and go in my routine, but using this handmade Kansa Wand always feels special. Each time I use it coupled with a facial oil, my skin glows, which can likely be attributed to the wand’s copper head. Copper is known to help promote natural collagen and elastin production. Not to mention, my jawline —where I carry much of my stress—gets an instant and much-needed release.—Bianca

    Best Budget Buy—the product we can’t believe only cost $:

    Favorite Black-Owned Brand—the brand we loved supporting this year whose products blew us away:

    UOMA Beauty

    UOMA Beauty had been on our radar ever since their Say What?! Foundation launch, but after testing the brand further, their products have become must-haves in many of our daily routines. From their brow pencil to their concealer to their lipsticks, we can’t stop raving about their formulas, their packaging, and their brand message. (Little known fact: their founder created the #PullUporShutUp movement to encourage brand owners to share the demographics of who make up their teams!)

    Favorite Clean Beauty Brand—the brand we feel good about putting on our skin:

    Tower 28 Beauty

    After interviewing the founder of Tower 28 Beauty on The Everymom, our team immediately became enamored with the brand and its cool, unique products. They’re made specifically for those with sensitive, eczemic skin, so you don’t have to worry that anything will cause flare-ups or break you out. Our favorite products are their cream blushes and bronzers and their lip glosses—as shown above.

    #1 Work-From-Home Essential—the product making working remotely bearable: 

    Bybi Beauty
    Blueberry Oil Booster

    Of all the facial oils out there, this non-toxic option is a unique go-to. It’s made of 100 percent cold-pressed blueberry seed oil, which helps defend skin against blue light damage by absorbing the light before it penetrates the skin. But that’s not all it can do: blueberry seed oil is high in antioxidants and contains ingredients like beta-carotene and omega 3,6 and 9 to fight inflammation, nourish skin, and improve overall radiance. —Josie More

  • in

    A Ranking of Our Editors’ Favorite Glossier Products

    Everyone has a brand they’re incredibly loyal to. For us, it’s Glossier. Their products are innovative, budget-friendly, and high-quality to boot. Between our editors, we’ve tried a mountain of their products from skincare to makeup to body care. Heck, we’re even fond of their GlossiWEAR clothing. So, what do we think about all the products we’ve tried? We sat down to rank our Glossier purchases, of course.Ranking your beauty products is honestly an impossible task. How am I supposed to say if this cleanser is better than this mascara which is better than a lip gloss? It’s just apples to oranges, people. But we can tell you exactly what’s worth your money and what you should remove from your cart immediately. Note that beauty is really subjective, so while there were some products that were a favorite for one editor, another editor hated it. Based on our descriptions, you should be able to decide if a product will be your new best friend or not. Here’s what we’d recommend, what was so-so, and what we’d skip!
    This certainly doesn’t include every single product in Glossier’s inventory, so if something is missing, it just means we need to add it to one of our next orders! 

    Our Editors’ Absolute Favorites:

    6 shades available
    Cloud Paint

    Glossier makes a few of my favorite skincare and beauty items, but the Cloud Paint really impressed me. Usually, when I hear that everyone likes a product, I’m skeptical about the hype. However, the Haze Cloud Paint is now the only blush I use because it’s so natural and hydrating. The hype is valid.- Bianca Lambert, Contributing Editor
    Every editor who’s tried this ranked these at least top three, so you know there’s gotta be something to the hype!

    4 shades available
    Boy Brow

    This product was widely loved by the entirety of our team (almost everyone mentioned it as a top product!)—you can’t go wrong with this cult-favorite brow product.

    Futuredew

    I’ve only tried FutureDew (I need to try out more Glossier products ASAP)! However, I love to use FutureDew as a makeup primer for an all-day glow. It’s the perfect extra touch to make my skin glowy and give me a great base for makeup. I also wear it on no-makeup days if I just want a little extra something! I love that it’s not too heavy or sticky.- Jessica Welsh, Editorial Assistant

    8 flavors available
    Balm Dotcom

    As someone with consistently dry lips, a love for all things in chic packaging, and the unfortunate habit of losing things often, you’d think I would not be a prime candidate for fancy lip balm. Well, you’d think wrong! I absolutely love balm dot com and carry them around with me everywhere I go (which, these days, is really just back and forth between my bed and my desk). It’s SUPER hydrating, the tubes are cute as heck, and the flavors/tints are light but noticeable. I’m a lifelong fan.- Abigail Yonker, Social Media Editor
    Basically our entire team raves about this lip balm. Bianca said she loves to use it on her cuticles and elbows too!

    You Perfume

    This is, by far, my favorite scent of all-time, and it’s around half the price of other really popular perfumes. It does really make you smell like yourself but better, and it’s the only perfume I’ve ever gone through multiple bottles of.
    – Madeline Galassi, Associate Editor
    Kelly and Beth also raved about this perfume! The scent is so distinguishable in the best way, and the price is really competitive for a high-end perfume.

    6 colors available
    Generation G Lipstick

    OK—so I’ve definitely heard mixed reviews on this one, as with the older packaging, people didn’t love how it was quite flimsy and how the formula turned out. I can only speak for the newer packaging version of these when I say that I freaking love this product. For a bit of background, I have always had a timid relationship with lip colors, and don’t like the look that most lipsticks and tinted balms I’ve tried give off. I wanted a buildable, sheer formula with a soft matte finish that faded evenly and subtly as the day went on, and for that reason, Gen G is perfect. Bonus: the lychee rose scent is fab, and none of the colors I’ve worn have come off on a mask so far!- Shriya Khanna, Editorial Intern
    Beth loves these too for a natural lip look!

    12 shades available
    Stretch Concealer

    I’ve struggled with acne for half my life—but now that my derm and I have finally gotten it under control, I’m feeling more prepared to ditch heavy makeup and go for lighter coverage. I first used the stretch concealer while my skin was at some of its worst—so you can rest assured that it does provide hydrating (read: non-cakey) coverage for breakouts and scarring—but when used to brighten up dark circles, it really shines. It’s light, breathable, and looks very natural.- Abigail Yonker, Social Media Editor

    3 shades available
    Haloscope Highlighter

    I’ve been using Haloscope for years! I tend to go for a more natural makeup look for day-to-day, and this highlighter gives the exact look that I want. I’m obsessed with the warm, dewy glow that it gives me. I’m no makeup guru, so I also appreciate how easy it is to use. I just slide it on the top of my cheekbones and blend it in with my finger. It’s also a great product for the summer when it’s hot and I don’t want a lot of heavy products on my face!- Keely Geist, The Everymom Social Media Editor

    Pro Tip Liquid Eyeliner

    A good, solid black eyeliner is without a doubt my #1 makeup must-haves (especially when all you can see is my eye makeup these days!). A liquid liner has to have three attributes for me to deem it worthy of repurchasing: it has to be an easy-to-use pen (versus the brush-and-dip-type deal); it should dry fast and be smudge-proof; it should be free of any strange fragrance (because trust me, I’ve met my fair share of smelly liners that just end up irritating my eyes). This baby passed the test with flying colors.- Shriya Khanna, Editorial Intern

    Lash Slick Mascara

    This is hands down my favorite everyday mascara! I always buy a new one before I finish my current one so I never run out. There are a few things I never leave the house without on my face, and this is definitely one of them. I love how naturally long it makes my lashes look without getting all clumpy and gross. I’ve even had people ask if I had on extensions while wearing Lask Slick, so my suggestion to you is to save yourself a lot of money and try this instead.- Keely Geist, The Everymom Social Media Editor
    Josie also loves this mascara for lengthening her lashes to the extreme—this picture! is enough explanation! She says it’s the only mascara she owns.

    3 shades available
    Lip Gloss

    Lipgloss is one of my favorite makeup products, especially now that no one but me ever really sees my lips. I have both the clear gloss and the cherry red, and I love them both the same. They’re really hydrating and comfortable to wear all day long with whatever look I create, whether it’s a smokey eye or no makeup.- Beth Gillette, Associate Editor
    However, Shriya said she thought it was a little too sticky, so if you’re sensitive to lip gloss formulas, this might be a skip for you.

    6 shades available
    Lidstar Glistening Eye Glow

    My makeup vice of choice has always been lipstick and I usually skip the big palettes of eyeshadows due to inevitably only using a single shade. But I fell hook, line, and sinker for the simplicity of Lidstar and the slick, matte-yet-gloss consistency.
    I love that it’s foolproof to use (no need to mess with your crease and multiple shades) and you can just swipe, tap, and go. I have the shades Cub and Moon, which are both are perfect for that slightest bit of shimmer. Moon is by far my favorite—it’s so barely there it’s almost just a reflection. As if you’re dancing on a patio with a handsome stranger, you close your eyes for the barest moment, the moonlight kissing your face. And they think, “Wow, she is resplendent.” And you open your eyes, look to the camera, wink and say, “Thank you, Lidstar!” This fantasy brought to you by Lidstar.- Kelly Etz, Online Course Director and Senior Graphic Designer

    The So-Sos:

    14 shades available
    Colorslide Technogel Eyeliner Pencil

    I snagged the mustard shade of this liner the day Glossier released their “Play” makeup line, and it’s been a favorite liner of mine ever since. It’s really smooth and glides on with ease, and I absolutely love the color options. I don’t usually pay this much for an eye pencil (these from NYX are so good and SO cheap!), but these come in so many unique shades I’ve never seen anywhere else. They’re also really pigmented, so I use mine for fun winged liner, blended as a shadow on the lid, on the lower lashline, or for a pop of color in the inner corner. Writing this right now is reminding me that I need to order more shades ASAP! This gorgeous burgundy is my fall dream.- Beth Gillette, Associate Editor

    Body Hero Oil Body Wash

    Back when we still went to weddings, I was attending one with our very own Editorial Director, Allyson. I remember arriving, hugging her, then immediately accusing her of being a witch because her skin was SO SOFT. When she attributed it to Glossier’s Body Hero products, I bought them the literal next day because I don’t waste time. I like both of the products just fine; I think the oil wash had a nice lather in the shower and the Daily Perfecting Cream blended in to my skin pretty well. However that was the first and last time I bought these products because THE SCENT.
    What to say about this smell? It felt like living inside a bottle of Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino without all the interest and decadence. Truly just a straight hit of neroli that was so overpowering at one point I had to open the shower curtain to try and get a cross breeze going. Scents are incredibly personal (I’m a huge fan of the polarizing Ouai shampoo smell and I love a good hint of gasoline) so I’d recommend getting a sample of these before committing because you might love it. But if you’re not into fragrance or strong smells, steer clear, my friends. Just a hot tip from me to you.- Kelly Etz, Online Course Director and Senior Graphic Designer

    3 shades available
    Brow Flick Liquid Eyebrow Pen

    So, here it is: I really do love this product, but the shade range is absolute garbage. I got the lightest shade because I was worried that the brown would be too dark on my eyebrows. Lo and behold: the “blonde” shade is way too light that it barely looks like anything on my skin. But I absolutely love the result when I can build the color up. It’s the most natural-looking brow ever, as if I have real hairs in all the sparse places. I would rate this so much higher if the shades were better.- Beth Gillette, Associate Editor

    Priming Moisturizer

    On my first impression of this stuff years ago, I loved how rich and creamy this priming moisturizer was! It served as a light, moisturizing base for makeup, but once it ran out, I again opted for more affordable brands (like the CeraVe Daily Moisturizing Lotion and The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA which have been saviors for my super dry skin).- Ashley Selleke, Editorial Assistant
    I’ve tried the Priming Moisturizer Rich as well, and would say it is so-so. I much-preferred the consistency of the original Priming Moisturizer because it was lightweight, whereas the Rich formula didn’t make me feel any more hydrated, just heavier on the skin.- Beth Gillette, Associate Editor

    4 shades available
    Niteshine Highlighter

    If you’re between Glossier’s two highlighters, I’d go with Haloscope instead unless you really love a metallic highlight. This one is pretty, but it does dry down to a more matte finish, which is typically the opposite of what I’m going for with my highlighter. I already spent money on it, so to use it up I like to put it underneath my foundation or I’ll use a clear face gloss on top (like Haloscope in Quartz) to make it dewier. This product isn’t bad, and maybe you’ll absolutely fall in love with it if you have really oily skin, but it definitely wasn’t for me.- Beth Gillette, Associate Editor

    Skips:

    Super Glow Vitamin C Serum

    This Vitamin C serum was the first serum I ever purchased so I’m quite nostalgic about it. I had heard that vitamin C serum was good for anti-aging and improving the skin’s radiance so it wasn’t a difficult choice when I decided to give it a go! The serum worked in helping to brighten my complexion and added some hydration to my face, but I simply didn’t replace it because I started using The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension which boasted a better price.- Ashley Selleke, Editorial Assistant

    Solution Exfoliating Skin Perfector

    I got this right when it came out and had such high hopes. I had scoured Reddit and YouTube, seeing basically all positive reviews. So when I used up a whole bottle and noticed not a single difference in my skin, I was pretty disappointed. It didn’t hurt my skin at all, and I’m sure it was doing some micro-effects I couldn’t notice, but I experienced zero physical differences, which made the $24 price tag just not worth it to me.- Beth Gillette, Associate Editor

    Bubblewrap Eye + Lip Cream

    Back in January when I was visiting London, they just happened to have the biggest, most grandiose Glossier pop-up set up in the heart of Covent Garden. I didn’t need anything, per se, but I was feeling festive and felt compelled to purchase something that I could qualify as “practical enough.” With it being the coldest month of the year and my lips looking like I had recently risen from the dead, I asked about the best products to hydrate lips and I was recommended Bubblewrap, which doubles both as eye and lip cream. I only utilized it on my lips a few times during that trip, and instead of the “slightly soft tingle” I was promised, it felt more like I had badly sunburned my entire mouth, with a weird chalky essence to top it off. Sadly, I had to plod back into fancy London Glossier to return this.- Shriya Khanna, Editorial Intern More

  • in

    Our Favorite Things We Splurged on This Year

    Deciding when to take the plunge on a splurge is hard; it’s a lengthy process that takes some evaluating, strategizing, and a whole lot of review-reading.But when the day comes that you can wait for the UPS truck to come drop off your much-debated purchase and you finally have it in your hands, sometimes, you automatically know it was worth it—and when it was, you want to shout it from the rooftops.
    Our team has a wide variety of tastes and priorities in what we spend our money on, but this year, these were the very best things we splurged on; the ones we’d buy again in a heartbeat. 2020 didn’t bring us much, but it did bring us these stellar shopping choices.

    JENNI KAYNE
    Cashmere Cocoon Cardigan

    I fell in love with all things Jenni Kayne well over a year ago but just could not justify pulling the trigger on the high price point. When I found myself 7 months pregnant, in a global pandemic on my birthday this year, I finally splurged and invested in the Cocoon Cardigan for myself. It was the best clothing investment I have ever made and if I could throw out all of my other sweaters and only wear this forever I would. I have worn it multiple times per week since it arrived and it is the softest, oversized, and flattering staple in my closet. It looks adorable over jeans, skirts, dresses, and even joggers! My cost per wear at this point is significantly less than my $100 sweaters and they often offer discount codes of 15-20% off if you sign up for email or get their catalog in the mail. I give this purchase 5 out of 5 stars!

     

    N1 NANO

    I had my eye on this bag for over a year, and after hitting a few of my personal goals this year, I decided to take the plunge. Polène has been around for a minute now, but while I see their bags on Instagram a lot, I’ve never seen another person have one in real life. I love that it has a unique structure and design and could be recognizable to some, but that it doesn’t have any obvious branding on it. It is so, so beautifully made, comes with a real luxury experience (their packaging is beautiful), and is in a price range that is well below designer bags (I didn’t feel sick about the price, but it was also a huge treat to buy it!). The next bag I buy will inevitably be another one of their bags—I couldn’t be happier I took the plunge on this.

    PAT McGRATH LABS
    Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette – Bronze Seduction

    At the beginning of 2020, I swore to myself that I’d finally splurge on this palette when it went on sale, and when my bank account and a 25 percent off code aligned, I pulled the trigger on the most expensive makeup item in my collection … and I could not be happier about it. Pat McGrath is arguably the most renowned makeup artist in the world right now, and you can tell through her formula. These eyeshadows blend like an absolute dream—I barely even have to do any work. Plus, this includes four of her “special shades”: ultra-glittery, shimmery shades that are like nothing else on the market. At $125, this guy is a bit much, but if you find it on a sale, snag immediately.

    BreatheSmart 45i True HEPA Air Purifier

    If this year has taught me anything, it’s definitely taught me to be more mindful of my overall quality of life, including the air I breathe while spending more time at home. I put more effort into learning about air purifiers the past few months, especially after purchasing a new home, and decided to give the Alen BreatheSmart True HEPA Air Purifier a try. This air purifier cleans the air of harmful particles throughout the day while detecting when the home’s air quality changes with its LED smart sensor that changes colors depending on the quality. It works quietly in the middle of my home killing mold and bacteria and getting rid of unwanted odors (especially that outside puppy smell!). This a great purchase for overall better air quality, especially during cold and flu season.

     

    V7 Trigger Cordfree Handheld Vacuum

    This was my first impulse quarantine purchase and it’s one that I’ll never, ever regret. At the time, I already had a pretty decent vacuum, but pulling it out of the closet and zig zagging around with a cord as a tether to pick up a small mess was the bane of my existence. So when I found out that Dyson had a handheld, cordless vacuum that I’d be able to quickly grab to address spills and cat hair galore, I lost my marbles and added it to my cart at an alarming rate. I reach for this at least once a day and honestly, I never knew that vacuuming could be so fun. So much so that I asked for the Dyson V8 cordless vacuum for Christmas.

    Nespresso Vertuo
    Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle

    I never thought I’d be a person to enjoy at-home coffee but alas, this Nespresso machine totally changed the game for me. Making my vanilla oat milk latte has become my favorite part of the day. This bundle came with a frother which has allowed me to create some super frothy, satisfying coffee pours! With five dollar lattes being a thing of the past, this splurge ultimately saved me so much money.

     

    Roomba 614 Robot Vacuum

    Not only my favorite splurge item this year, but perhaps my favorite splurge item ever, the Roomba is like family to me at this point. My floor has never looked cleaner and I haven’t had to put in any effort to get it there, thanks to this nifty floor vacuum that sucks up all crumbs, dust, and dog hair. I have it automatically set to do a full-apartment sweep every night around 8 p.m. (so it’s typically after I’ve cooked dinner to get all those crumbs) to fall asleep with a clean home, but I also love starting Elsa up (yes, I did name my vacuum, and yes, the name is Elsa) when I’m doing an apartment deep clean whether it’s for weekly cleaning or before company comes over (pre-pandemic, of course). It’s like we’re in this together! My home is so much cleaner than ever before, without any energy or time from me. Thank you, Elsa!

    Barefoot Dreams
    Cozy-Chic Heathered Throw Blanket

    In 2019, I would’ve never believed a throw blanket would be one of my splurge items of the year (I would’ve much rather saved my money for facials and shoes). But 2020 came in hot and I felt a strong feeling like I needed to pull the trigger on a Barefoot Dreams blanket, which I had lusted over for years. When it arrived and I finally felt it, I was immediately mad at myself for not pulling the trigger sooner. I’ll explain it like this: it is cozy in a way you did not even know cozy could be. I have at least five other throws in my apartment (most of which I would have deemed “soft” before I felt the heavenly fabric that is Barefoot Dreams), but have not touched any of them since getting this blanket because nothing can compare. It is draped around my legs while I work everyday and my favorite item to snuggle up with during a Netflix binge (yes, even more so than my boyfriend). Trust me, you will never regret purchasing this throw blanket, but you’ll probably regret not getting it sooner.

     

    Simple Suede Tote

    This is not the EXACT tote I got (mine is a deep green leopard print, which sounds weirder than it is—but that colorway is no longer available), but it’s the same style and material. I first saw it, the tote of my dreams, at the Nordstrom sale, and I was OBSESSED (I scoured the website practically hourly, since it kept going in and out of stock). Once I finally ordered it and received it in the mail, I’ve never looked back. Not only does it look chic and just different enough from other totes out there, but it’s also incredibly high quality. It’s one of the most grown-up purchases I’ve ever made, and I don’t regret it for a second. It holds a ton, and I get compliments on it allll the time!

     

    Crate & Barrel
    Edge Black Arch Wall Mirror

    I’d been wanting a big statement mirror for years and I knew it was going to be a splurge item. I hesitated and wished over this particular one—that shape!—for what feels like ages and finally bought it earlier this year. And drumroll please because… I ADORE IT. It is incredibly heavy and feels like such a quality piece, definitely lives up to the price. It’s one of the most complimented and asked about items in my apartment and when I moved earlier this year to a new space, it fit seamlessly in. I know I’ll have it for many more apartments and homes to come and I love that it will move and grow with me.

    Apple Watch SE

    I bought myself an Apple Watch this year and I honestly felt kind of embarrassed by it because I’m not particularly sporty and am more of an “indoor” gal. But I actually really love the watch, I think it’s helped me move so much more than I would otherwise, especially during this year where my only commute is from my bed to the couch. My sister-in-law recently bought one as well and we’ve been sharing our activity data and it’s helped keep me motivated and connected to her and to a feeling of wanting to be healthier and more active. I’m definitely still not a sporty person or a runner by any means, but even just the reminders to stand up throughout the day help me feel more accomplished. It’s the little things these days.

    Nespresso Vertuo
    Coffee and Espresso Machine Bundle

    OK, I know this is the second time this item is appearing on this list, but maybe that just goes to show how absolutely amazing this is. I actually have the version with rose gold accents (which really sold me even more), but that is currently out of stock everywhere. This might sound crazy, but my Nespresso has been a shining light of 2020. I love to use espresso pods and oat milk in the frother to make iced lattes at home, so not only am I saving money, they are DELICIOUS. I will never accept another at-home coffee maker again.

    Abercrombie & Fitch
    Ultra Tech Parka

    I’ve had the same black Michael Kors parka (I’m sure you know the one) since my freshman year of college, and while it’s served me well, it was time for an upgrade. Honestly, I’ve been searching the internet since last winter for a new one that I loved, but none were really standing out to me. A couple of weeks ago, however (during a sale of course), I saw this one from Abercrombie and fell in love with the cream color. I love that it’s different but still neutral and I’m obsessed with the matching fur on the hood. When it arrived, it did not disappoint! It is so cozy and warm, and I know it will serve me well in the cold that is still to come this winter. And FYI, I did have to exchange it for one size up from my typical size in order for it to be comfortable enough to wear sweaters with it!

    SET ACTIVE
    Sculptflex Leggings and Box Cut Bra

    Believe it or not, before I purchased these leggings – I had yet to find my favorite black pair and when I say these are life changing and not just a “trend” – I’m being serious. They suck you in and are so smooth and tight, just the way I like it. It’s quite pricey but worth the price – 1 million percent. Also, if you’re feeling like treating yourself a tad bit more, add the box bra and you have an entire fit and you’re ready to get out the door.

    The North Face
    Gotham 550 Fill Power Down Hooded Parka

    A really good, warm winter coat is definitely an investment piece, and one I normally hang on to for the better part of a decade. This year though, I left mine in Chicago, where it is currently sitting in storage, when I came home for the pandemic. I’m not sure when exactly I’ll go back and get it so, in the meantime, I purchased another super warm, durable coat to get me through the impending cold New England winter.

    AWE Inspired
    Harriet Tubman Coin Necklace

    After seeing stacked gold jewelry everywhere this year, I decided I wanted in. I wanted to make sure I was purchasing a piece that would last and was meaningful, so I decided on this coin necklace. I love that it represents strength, and 100 percent of proceeds from each sale—along with a matching donation—are donated to the NAACP.

    Bike + Essentials

    After a year of talking about the Peloton, my husband and I decided to split one in February. We both have birthdays in the same week and agreed this was our Valentines/Birthday/Anniversary/Christmas present for the year. At first I was worried about it being a fad, but then the world shut down a week after it was delivered. It quickly became our saving grace through isolation. From 15 minute quick blasts that will leave you breathless (yes, really) to a 45 minute Backstreet Boys ride that is an instant boost of serotonin, you can always find a workout that works for you. Even with gyms in our area opening back up, we have no desire to abandon our bike. It was our best purchase of 2020, hands down. More

  • in

    18 Things That Have Made Our Winter Work-From-Home Days Better

    When we first entered quarantine last spring, I’d have bet a large sum of money and lost that there was no way we’d still be working from home come December. But here we are, and I’ll be honest, I feel like we’re all making the most of it. Being stuck at home in the winter is an entire different ballpark than the killjoy of being stuck inside when it’s sunny and 80 degrees out.But we’d be remiss if we didn’t discuss the couple of items making it way better. Because a cozy day at home *while* you’re working is possible—as long as you have these essentials. 

    Mid-Rise Cozy Faux-Fur Jogger Sweatpants

    I ordered these a couple of weeks ago realizing that I needed to give up the dream that I’ll get dressed every single day for work, especially when it gets freezing. These are a cool fabric and style that make me feel kinda dressed up, but they are also the freaking most comfortable thing I’ve ever put on in my life. I’ve worn them like four days the last week with sweaters, T-shirts, and everything in between. I run very hot, but I moved into an apartment that has minimal heat and poor windows, and I am freezing 24/7, so these have

    Water Sleeping Mask

    On the days I don’t put makeup on, I give my skin some extra TLC—one of the many benefits of being at home all day! The winter weather has taken a toll on my skin, as it has most of us I’m sure, so I’m loading up on moisturizing ingredients to heal my moisture barrier and hydrate as much as possible. It’s an extra self-care step that feels fun to break up the monotony of my days and makes me look forward to something. This mask is meant to be worn while you sleep, but staring at a screen all day writing words over and over is similar enough, and I’ve experienced the same moisture at the end of the day as I do when I sleep with it on. Plus, it’s clear, so I’ve worn on it more than a few Zoom call occasions than I care to admit. Hehe, coworkers! 🙂

    Equilibria
    Daily Drops

    At around 3 p.m. every single day, my anxiety sets in. How on Earth am I supposed to get the 10 tasks still on my list done all before the end of the day? I know I work best in the crunch time, but it doesnt stop my stress from creeping in. Lately as this is starting to really affect my day-to-day health, Ive tried putting my Equilibria Daily Drops in an afternoon glass of decaf tea. It really helps calm me down and has become quite ritualistic. I look forward to it every day!
    Use code THEEVERYGIRL for 20% off your first order at Equilibria!

    Glass Water Bottle with Protective Silicone Sleeve

    I’m not a water person. There have been more than a few days where 9 p.m. rolls around and I realize I haven’t had a sip of H2O literally all day. But ever since I got this Porter water bottle, I’m getting through multiple refills. There’s just something so fun about drinking from it: I love the rolled glass opening that fits my mouth perfectly and the silicone sleeve that is grippy-y and easy to pick up. It’s also dishwasher-safe, so it’s super easy to clean. Honestly, 10/10 would marry Porter.

    MALA THE BRAND
    Fireside Candle

    I find I work best from home when I cultivate a mood. I make sure my work area is tidy. I plug in my Christmas tree. I cue up the fireplace channel on my TV. I throw on a coffee shop sounds video on Youtube. And I light this truly excellent hand-poured soy candle that smells like all your holiday dreams coming true. And it does make the work day feel a bit more fun and festive.

    Simple Modern
    Insulated Tumbler with Straw

    If you’ve been on TikTok even one single time, you’ve likely seen this tumbler that basically went viral this year—and I’m here to tell you the hype is real. I love drinking my water out of this all day long and have it with me no matter which corner of my apartment I’m working in. I got the largest size and it’s upped my water intake by at least double. I can’t wait to drink homemade iced coffee out of this when we go back to the office.

    Barefoot Dreams
    Bouclé Knit Hooded Cardigan

    I am known as being a very cold-running person, and so when I knew that we’d be working from home throughout winter, I wanted to make sure I could maximize my coziness (and warmth) as much as humanly possible. I bought the leopard version of this during the Nordstrom sale, so it was slightly cheaper, but I swear I have gotten my money’s worth already. No matter what I’m wearing (even if it’s a sweatshirt), I throw this on top and lounge in it every single day. It’s so warm without being as bulky as a robe, and truly sparks joy every single time I wrap up in it. It’s definitely a splurge, but if something happened to mine, I’d buy it again.

    Hamilton Beach
    Personal Blender

    I purchased this 14 ounce personal blender years ago, and haven’t used it as much as I have this year working from home. This blender is perfect for a quick smoothie or shake before logging into work. It blends quickly and its compact style allows me to take it to my workspace and drink from there without having to transfer it to another cup. This blender lets me get a quick breakfast in before the day picks up!

    Hydrating Shea Body Butter

    Between working from home during the dry fall and winter season and washing my hands multiple times a day, I have been neglecting my hands and feet, which have been drier than usual. To make sure I infuse some moisture on my skin during the workday, I keep this body butter close to me. It’s thick enough to lock in moisture, especially during the harsh, dry weather, which is a necessity even more now, since it’s easy to neglect skincare while working from home.

    Vertuo Next Light

    There’s just nothing that gets me out of bed like knowing that the cup of coffee (or tea, but in this case coffee) that I’ll drink once I make my way to the kitchen is going to be really good. After tiring of my trusty old affordable machine from years ago, I finally sprung for a Nespresso machine. My morning coffee routine is the best it’s been all year.

    Crate & Barrel
    Long Stem Wine Glass

    So I initially bought these wine glasses for, you know, wine—and while I do use them for that in the evening, I also use them during the day to make my sparkling water, kombucha, or green juice feel more like an ~event~. I miss sipping wine with my friends while out to dinner, so at least I can get the joy of a cute glass while drinking a healthier daytime beverage.

    Mini North Bondi Eau De Parfum

    If you’ve ever smelled any of Ouai’s hair products, you know that they smell AMAZING. I have always loved the scent of their Leave-In Conditioner and wished they would make it in a perfume. BOOM, wishes come true! This year, Ouai launched the most perfect desk-sized fragrances (and the one I love is North Bondi, which is floral and a bit musky). They’re incredibly budget-friendly, so I feel comfortable spraying it on myself every single day. It’s a simple luxury that makes me feel a bit more like my non-pandemic self!

    Capri Blue
    Glam Mini Tin Kit

    I love seasonal fragrances, but sometimes I get tired of burning the same one for too long. I bought this four-pack of Capri Blue scents when they were on super sale a few weeks ago, but the non-sale price isn’t bad either. The set includes the iconic Volcano candle, plus one pumpkin scent and two winter fragrances. My favorite so far has been the pumpkin (the Alpine Juniper is definitely a sweeter greenery scent), but I haven’t even cracked the Frosted Fireside open yet. This is perfect for anyone who likes different rooms to have different scents, or who just wants to mix things up!

    Nomad Noé
    Poet in Hangzhou Candle

    Candles have become one of my work from home must-haves—the more fragrant, the better. This hand-poured candle doesn’t have a winter scent, and that’s what I love most about it. It’s bright and refreshing, and it has notes of my favorite flower: gardenia. Once I light this, the scent fills my entire apartment and acts as a pick me up for my senses.

    Brother Vellies
    Cloud Sock

    Before I hit the purchase button on these socks, they took up a lot of space in my head. I went back and forth on whether I really needed a $30-something pair of socks, and my answer after weeks of questioning was yes. Since we’re in the house 99.9 percent of the time these days, a pair of lavender socks that give back—proceeds from the purchase of the lavender socks fund Brother Vellies’ mask making and food distribution initiative in Kenya—and keep my feet warm while I work is the ultimate win for me.

    Brazil 8 Cup / 34oz French Press Coffee Maker

    At the start of the pandemic, I was using a Moka pot to make an americano each morning until I realized that caffeine might be making my anxiety worse. I have since given up coffee (inserts crying emoji) for herbal tea. Instead of going the tea bag route, I found Aesthete Tea, a QBIPOC-owned tea company that makes an assortment of herbal teas. After trying a couple of teapots that didn’t work well, I saw a YouTube video that showed how to use a french press for loose teas and bought this one. I use it every morning, and I love that making tea has become a part of my morning self-care.

    Hydro Flask
    Water Bottle – Wide Mouth Straw Lid

    Ever since I was a small, red-haired child, I’ve had water on my nightstand, in my backpack, on the table, on the desk, you name it–absolutely everywhere. It drove my mom crazy, but even now I still can’t seem to leave the house, or my couch for that matter, without it. To cut down my use of plastic and the dishwasher, however, I started using my hydro flask as my primary water source while I’m working. It not only holds a lot more H2O than my regular glass, but it also helps me keep track of how much or how little I’ve been drinking during the day.

    New Balance
    Fresh Foam Vongo v4

    Despite what my Netflix account may tell you, the activity that got me through this year the most was walking. I’ve barely missed a day since the pandemic started (while wearing a mask of course!). It’s helped me think, destress, and get my heartrate up a bit, and having a great pair of sneakers has made going for long, daily walks so much easier. These never give me blisters, are always comfortable, and have held up so well!

      More