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, we’re just trying to make it through. Here are the creams and oils that are helping us make it to the other side.
“This month I got a stomach bug which is terrible in itself, but then I got a cold a day later. Four days in my bed, just like that. When I emerged from my den of germs my nose was the thing that was really worse for wear. At the tip it was flaky and red and tough, almost like a callus, so I put this guy on it. Vital Balm Cream isn’t new to me, but I cannot emphasize enough how perfect it is at comforting skin on the mend. It lives in the world of almost a balm and not quite a cream, in that its Play-Doh-like texture melts into a balm-like texture that fully dries a couple minutes later to a natural skin finish. It’s like putting Aquaphor on your face but none of the stickiness or shine. I’m not a skin picker, but I’d be willing to bet it’s a pretty good fix for picked over skin and busted zits. Imagine! The protection of your favorite, goopy ointment, without any of the shine or heaviness. Or don’t imagine it, and just get this.” —Ashley Weatherford
“A very large part of my job is trying new skincare products, and I haven’t really been able to do that since getting a Fraxel laser treatment two weeks ago—no acids, minimal to no fragrance, nothing cool or crazy that I’d otherwise jump right on. What I have been doing is avoiding potential irritation by slathering my face in CeraVe’s Moisturizing Cream morning and night. I bought it specifically for the healing process right after the treatment, but my skin has since returned to (mostly) normal and I’m still on it. Sure, it has ceramides and hyaluronic acid, and no potentially irritating fragrance or essential oils. But do you want to know the best part? It comes in this giant tub with a pump, and even though it’s well suited for facial use, it’s so cheap and I have so much of it that I don’t even hesitate to use it on my body. You know how Sir John uses eye cream on an entire face? It feels like that, but for under $20. My legs now feel like my cheeks and for that, I am grateful.” —Ali Oshinsky
“I’m always trying to find new ways to get more hydration into my routine during the colder months. A supremely moisturizing mineral sunscreen, a gooey snail essence, and a balmy cleanser have already entered the mix, but to prime my skin for a hydration marathon, I wanted a hydrating toner that would keep my skin dewy after cleansing. Epi.Logic’s Even Balance Toner takes off anything I missed and leaves my skin with a nice, hydrated sheen… though I prefer to splash it on and tap it in like an essence. My skin loves the extra hydration, which got me thinking: what other hydrating toners have I been missing out on? Taking recommendations for ones to try during this moody season in the comments.” —Utibe Mbagwu
“I immediately bought the Make Beauty Universal Stick after watching The Strategist’s Rio Viera-Newton use it in her Get Ready With Me video and I’ve never been happier with a purchase. The stick is magic! Like David-Blaine level sorcery. The cheek stain immediately changes colors when rubbed onto the skin and intensifies as you continue to rub (and rub and rub and rub). It’s definitely a sheer shade but it adds a natural warmth to my skin that I love for no-makeup makeup days. Depending on how much I blend in, I can go from a natural flush to full jogger’s glow in a matter of seconds. I’ve been overheard not once but twice singing 50 Cent ft Lil Kim’s classic hit “Magic Stick” to this cheek-lip-blush wonder.” —Chloe Hall
“My favorite season, cozy season, is in full swing. I got a new blanket to kick it off, and now I’ve moved on to the season’s scent element. Nine times out of 10 I gravitate towards “burning house smells” for my candles, but I think every once in a while a less dramatic fragrance makes more sense. And really, does it get any more comforting, any more cozy, any more polar opposite to fire and drama than Donna Karan’s Cashmere Mist? I’m less inclined to use it in its original eau de parfum form, but as a candle I really can’t get enough. It lives up to its name—delicate, luxurious, warm—has a powerful throw that extends from one end of my apartment to the other, and lingers way after I’ve blown the candle out at night and through the next morning. But again, it’s really about the scent. It smells like how a hug feels: soft and soothing. Perfect.” —AW
“What do you get when a team of editorial nail artists collaborates with a skincare line primarily known for its face oil? A really good cuticle oil, that’s what. It doesn’t have the exact same ingredients as the face version, but they both boast the sacha inchi seed oil rich in essential amino acids. Now, maybe you’re thinking, ‘Do I really need to spend $40 on a cuticle oil?’ To answer that, let me tell you a story: Once upon a time there was a girl with cuticles so ragged she had all but lost hope (me). I was stuck in a vicious cycle—I’d been trimming them for so long that the just push them back option I knew was better for them was basically impossible. I had to get every single cuticle off, or else they’d dry out and I’d pick them, leaving me with bloody and embarrassing nail beds. Seriously, trimming my cuticles at first sight was the only thing I could do to not pick them—keeping my hands moisturized with cream didn’t work, and I had never believed that cuticles oils would do enough to really help. After seeing this incredibly chic one all over Instagram, I decided to take the plunge and have come out the other end a full nail oil convert. The beauty is that it comes in a rollerball, so it’s easy to apply and easy to keep in my bag for emergencies. Emergencies being any time I’m tempted to pick. My cuticles look amazing even without frequent trimming, and not only that, but it’s also helped keep my buff and shine shiny well past its regular expiration date.” —AO
“As we were ranking Charlotte Tilbury’s iconic lip liners, I found Love Trap and latched on tight. It’s a tone or two deeper than my perfect nude, but it goes with almost every lip thing I own—brick reds, mauve-y browns, holographic lip gloss. Whatever the look, I can make my lips look a smidge more plumped depending on the amount of liner I use.” —UM
“I’m a Brazilian Bum Bum Cream groupie—a proud cult member that put the cult in cult-following. I just started using the Coco Cabana Cream—the sister product from Sol Janiero—and I’m already in love. Coo coo for coconuts, if you will. With one rubdown, I’m instantly transported to a beach vacation, but without the dry skin and sun damage. Thanks to the coconut oil in the cream, my skin feels super smooth and hydrated and smells insanely delicious. Even though it’s winter in New York right now, the Sol Janiero bottles the essence of poolside piña colada.” —CH
Photos via ITG.