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One of the most glorious aspects of being a beauty editor is the number of products we get to take for a test drive. Sure, we'd be lying if we said we weren't a bit overwhelmed by the mountain of bottles and tubes in our homes (especially now that we're spending just about every waking hour there), but we approach that mountain eagerly, hiking boots in tow.
This month, Byrdie editors will be sharing the products within that mountain that stood out the most. Maybe it was a candle that made our new home offices smell like a spa or a bath bomb that offered immediate nirvana. Whatever it is, we're eager to share it with you so you can experience the same new-product bliss that we did. Take a look at our favorites below.
Lindsey Metrus, senior editor
"As soon as I read the notes on the label of this candle, I knew it was for me. I'm a total country girl at heart; the smell of a bonfire will always stop me dead in my tracks (even if said bonfire is a brick oven in a Brooklyn pizza shop). So naturally, a blend of firewood, smoke, charcoal, and hay was right up my alley. It's been a nice form of escape in this weird climate we're in—lighting it and letting the musky aroma fill my apartment feels like I'm in the Smoky Mountains or camping upstate, anywhere but the same walls I've been staring at for the past few weeks now."
"I've been a fan of virtual workouts for ages now—being led by an instructor in the comfort of my own apartment feels more comfortable than moseying around the gym. And now that a home gym is my only option, I've found solace in a few new streaming programs like P.Volve and Melissa Wood Health. Many of the workouts only involve your own body weight, so I grab a mat, prop up my laptop on the coffee table, and get to work. I need a thick, soft mat, though, or else my knees would be a wreck. This cushiony offering is just what the doctor ordered and makes doing intense HIIT and Pilates so much more enjoyable."
"I've had my eye on The DB method machine for quite some time, and decided that while all of my favorite fitness studios were temporarily closed and I'm doing my part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 by staying inside, I had no reason not to try this machine out. It's an incredibly effective workout. The beginner class is only six minutes, but I find myself sweating and very sore after this super-short workout."
"I don't have children to care for, so self-quarantine for me means lots of free time (read: many long, luxurious baths). Bathing Culture's mix of mineral-rich salts, green clay, and jojoba oil smells amazing and helps melt away any physical and mental stress I'm feeling. An added bonus is that Bathing Culture is a carbon neutral, vegan, and cruelty-free company, so I know I'm doing right by the earth. "
"I don't know about you, but getting to sleep these days is tough for me. This spray helps, though. It makes me feel instantly relaxed with a combination of lavender, vetiver, and wild chamomile oils. The fragrance is subtle, but I can still vaguely smell it when I wake up in the morning, which I love. It's a lovely way to wrap up my nightly routine and signal to my brain that it's time for rest."
"I rarely have time to make my own lattes before a commuting day—really the highlight of my week is when I can schedule something close to Cha Cha Matcha so I can pop in for an almond milk latte. But the last few weeks I have been using my commuter time to perfect my art at home. Lakanto Matcha Latte makes it easy. A friend recommended it to me: it’s naturally sweetened with monkfruit for the perfect hint of flavor. I mix it with warm almond milk then froth the top, which takes the whole thing to a Cha Cha level. Perfect start to the day!"
"I've had trouble sleeping lately (for obvious reasons, I suppose). I feel anxious and exhausted a lot, and found myself tossing and turning each night like clockwork. So, I've worked to remedy that by creating a more comfortable bedroom space. First, I changed my sheets. I made my bed up with Parachute's Percale Sheet Set, a soft but crisp collection of bedding that feels cool to the touch. It's helped a lot. Fancy sheets aren't everything, but they can be helpful if you're in the position to buy them. My bed feels new and zen-like, and has allowed me to fall (and stay) asleep much easier."
"I also decided to get a noise machine to allow for more restful sleep. You can choose from a few different settings (I like waves or white noise), and the soft sounds keep outside commotion (like passing cars or loud neighbors) at bay. It's been a godsend for me during this time. It feels sort of like a lullaby."
"Sure, it's not novel or indie, but Santal 26 is my scent. I usually save burning this candle for special occasions, but I've been lighting it up daily during quarantine. I think it helps me feel a sense of familiarity (because I wear the fragrance every day) and warmth (think sandalwood, cardamom, and leather). It fills my home with musky, beautiful smells and it makes staying inside feel easier and less anxiety-inducing."
"I went a little wild on my back with my massage gun last week and I immediately knew this was the moment I was saving this potent CBD bath bomb for. This bomb combines Kush Queen's highest dose of broad-spectrum CBD with essential oils and terpenes, resulting in a multi-sensory experience of melt-away relaxation. Forget back pain—I basically couldn't feel my body. It also turns your bath water entirely black which lends a witchy vibe. Needless to say, I want more."
"All of New York smells like weed right now. Including my apartment, now that I've started burning Boy Smells's best-selling Kush scent, recently re-released as part of its third weed-inspired collection, which also includes aptly named Cashmere Kush and Cowboy Kush scents. Each scent comes with that dank, earthy undertone you'd expect from the real thing, and is topped with notes like amber, tulip and musk. These are somehow soothing—the placebo effect is real."
"I’ve basically been living in these slippers! They’re so much better than any other slippers I’ve ever had. They’re super durable, cozy and stylish too. I've found that having a quality at-home outfit from head to toe has a positive effect on my mood and makes me feel in-control and confident."
"Lately I like to start my days off as peacefully as possible and using this JR Watkins Awaken Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist has been a big part of that. The coriander and bergamot scent instantly boosts my mood and makes me feel centered. It transforms my shower into a peaceful escape which helps me ease into the day."
"This little roller has become a new favorite part of my at-home routine. I roll it onto my palms (after washing my hands, obviously), rub my hands together, then inhale with five deep breaths. The scent is instantly soothing—a blend of chamomile, patchouli and bergamot—and puts me in a calmer, more positive state of mind. I love the scent so much, I'd wear it as a perfume, too."
"My candle obsession has soared to new heights now that I'm home, well, 24/7. I've been lighting different candles based on my mood (or to change my mood), and my new favorite is this luxurious one from Costa Brazil. It smells a little spicy, a little woodsy, and has notes of white and blue resin and cypress root—plus, it just looks really elegant on my bookshelf. It's my new favorite way to set the mood and unwind from a long day of staring at a screen."
"I don't usually have much of an appetite in the morning, so I turn to smoothies to give me the important boost of nutrition I need to start my day. I'm a bit of a clean freak, so the mess that comes with a traditional blender isn't exactly something I look forward to everyday. That's why I can't stop recommending this pod-based blender by Vejo. Similarly to how you'd pop a pod in your Keurig to make your morning coffee, you pop a 100 percent biodegradable smoothie pod into this chic, individual-sized blender, fill it with water or almond milk, and you have the most decadent, nutritious smoothie—and only one dish to clean (no measuring cups, cutting boards, knives, or blender blades). Lately I've been starting every morning with the Immunity Fuel blend; it's delicious and loaded with so many good things for my body."
"I recently set up this air purifier in my living room and it gives me so much peace of mind. It uses ultraviolet technology to filter allergens, odors, bacteria, and even viruses out of the air. As far as air purifiers go, it's extremely quiet and easy to use, featuring a color-coded, illuminated ring to inform you of your current air quality. I live with a very fluffy Australian Shepherd named Nellie, and I've definitely noticed fewer Nellie-related odors and hair wafting around the living room since setting it up. If there's a specific air quality issue you'd like to target (like an Australian Shepherd), you can purchase specialty filters for issues like pet hair, household odors, and even the flu. It's one of those little things that is giving me so much peace of mind these days."
"When I find myself feeling particularly stressed out, I light up this candle from NEST Fragrances and feel immediately better. The scent is super fresh and calming and doesn’t overpower the room in a headache-inducing way like some scented candles do. It’s been a favorite of mine for about five years (when I was first introduced to the brand by its founder, Laura Slatkin) and few other candles have been able to come close."
"Between candles and room sprays, I’m all about spending this extra time at home surrounded by cozy and inviting scents. I’ve found that it really helps my working (and living) space feel less stuffy, and I’m able to stay more alert and focused as a result. I have a few on rotation, but this one by Aesop smells super luxurious and instantly refreshes any room. Love, love, love."