All the best things I bought in 2020 were things that brought me comfort. These Zella pants and top have basically been my uniform. Because the top is so perfectly soft and flowy, I ended up buying two colors: pink and black. The pants are basically leggings with pockets large enough to accommodate my phone.
Since everyone’s favorite activity this year is hand washing, I upgraded my hand soap to Aesop’s Reverence. Yes, that name is a little grandiose and the $39 price tag is definitely a little unreasonable for hand soap… but the soap has a lovely woodsy scent and there are tiny little granules that buff away dead skin, so it leaves hands incredibly soft.
A new coffee shop, KLVN, with a killer hi-fi system, opened right before the pandemic set in. I remember the first time I walked in, “It Could Have Been a Brilliant Career” by Belle and Sebastian was playing over the Dynaco A25 speakers. In the dozens of times I’ve heard the song, it never sounded so good. I would love to invest in a fancy hi-fi set up, but because we live in a small apartment, it seemed unnecessary for now. These speakers from Edifier are only $99 and sound amazing… honestly, much better than all portable bluetooth speakers I’ve tried.
Because we’ve been doing so much cooking at home, we are a little sick of our classic rotation of dinners. I’ve loved trying recipes out of “Six Seasons” because the book offers interesting takes on a big variety of vegetables. It is organized by season, so I can easily navigate by the time of year.
The last thing: a nice journal. It’s a little corny, but it feels important to write about this wild time in our lives. Journaling also helps me process things. If a problem is a tangled knot, writing about it helps me think clearly and unravel it.
On a recent trip to Ikea I picked up a handful of houseplants.So far my favorite is the sansevieria trifasciata, or Snake Plant.Someone told me that these plants also filter the air, so I might pick up a few more.I do not have a naturally green thumb, so I’m really hoping to keep the plants alive.
I also really want one of these French market totes for decoration / storage in my apartment.I love anything that incorporates natural materials.I just don’t know where I’d put it yet.
Great design always inspires me.I am curious to check out Cereal Magazine’s guide to Paris because they always have beautiful recommendations.Cereal also has city guides for New York City and London.
Another well-designed thing on my list?This smart speaker from Tivoli Audio.I think the walnut finish on the speaker is really nice.
After years of being a beauty maximalist, I’ve really focused on pairing down my make up and skin care routine as much as possible.Rosehip oil has become my go to product for my skin.I love that it is so light weight, but keeps my skin hydrated all day.The only color cosmetic I’ve been using is a lip and cheek tint.I recently picked up this one from Tata Harper, but I also love the Stila ones.
After a stressful holiday season, I’m focusing on pouring a glass of wine and relaxing this month with some comforting classics. As I look out the window onto a grey, cloudy, rainy landscape, I would love to be wrapped up in this sweater from Madewell. I ordered a pair of moccasins to pair with it. If I could only wear one shoe for the rest of my life, it would probably be moccasins.
My dear friend, Liz, sent me a beautiful candle from her company, Arome Candle. Look for an unboxing video on my Instagram next weekend. I love the scent profiles and designs of the candle.
I recently started experimenting with pour-over coffee. I do love my Nespresso and French Press, but I have been curious to try one of these for awhile. I ordered one made by Bee House, a Japanese ceramic company, but I’ve seen these around everywhere. My favorite coffee is this blend from Commonplace, a Pittsburgh coffee company.
Herbivore’s Pink Clay Hyaluronic Acid Mega Moisture Creme Mask ($48)
I bought this mask last September from Sephora and only really used it twice. This is totally out of my own laziness and not a reflection of the quality of the mask at all. I bought this for two reasons: I wanted a hydrating product for winter and the gorgeous packaging (is that bad? I’m just being honest). Initially I was VERY turned off by the separation of the product. I even considered returning it when I saw yellowy goops of oil bubbling between gobs of pink gooey clay. Also, I think the product leaked and the box had an oil stain on it. But that stuff is just a mark of a genuine small-batch, independent beauty company. Speaking of small batch, I don’t think this product is available anymore. That doesn’t mean a true Internet-sleuth couldn’t dig up a jar, it just means Sephora isn’t selling it.
I admire Herbivore Botanicals for their commitment to using high quality ingredients when formulating products. They make a variety of face oils. The most popular on Sephora.com is the Blue Lapis variety, but they have specialized oils for cell rejuvenation, youth preservation, and hydrating glow oil. A short aside on the topic of face oil: I’m a firm believer in face oil, I love layering the stuff all over my face before I go to bed and waking up to baby-soft skin and how smoothly my make up goes after applying it. Oils have become an essential step in my skin care routine. Anyway besides oil they sell facemasks, soaps, lip moisturizer, mists for literally everything, and bath salts.
On to the mask I bought. I am somewhat of a mask-hoarder. I love trying different skin care products and my biggest weakness is a great mask. It’s so fun to see your face transform after slathering on a mask. I like brightening with minty green algae masks and pore vacuuming with charcoal. Masks also deliver amazing results that are both instant and lasting. I am all about a great mask. Herbivore’s Pink Clay Hyaluronic Acid Mega Moisture Creme Mask, which I promise I will never write out again for the rest of this review, is hydrating without leaving my skin feeling oily. That’s my key takeaway. I like that my skin feels soft and smooth and clean but not, well, too oily. My skin just feels clean and hydrated and nice. Applying the mask is a little messy. I wouldn’t do it without the provided spatula and although some things I’ve read online call it “pre-mixed” I absolutely recommend thoroughly mixing it before use. I let the mask sit for about 20 minutes and it does not ever dry out like other clay masks (probably because of the oils in it) so don’t wait for the mask to dry into a hard layer. I just splashed it off with warm water and then pat my skin with a towel to dry.
Is this the absolutely greatest mask I have ever used? Probably not. It’s better than average and because I admire Herbivore Botanicals I will buy their products again. I mainly bought this mask to support a good company and try out their line. I really want to try out their charcoal products, texturizing hair spray, and lip products.
And just for fun and a good laugh, here is my Snap Story quick take of the mask.