And I’m back, with another round of reviews of recently-purchased products, many of which were purchased based on a lot of press and hype. (More honest products reviews here.)
1 // Billie Razors. The novelty here is the auto-ship feature–and the reasonable price. The colorful branding and packaging don’t hurt, but the main draw for me is that my subscription means one less thing to keep tabs on. Early into motherhood, a mom friend said that it was a huge help to her to automate as much as she could and buy in bulk, in advance. It sounds petty but staying on top of the inventory of those little household products does add “admin” time to your day; Amazon’s Subscribe & Save program has enabled me to totally forget about checking whether we are low on detergent, hand soap, diapers and wipes, garbage bags, and more. Convenient to add razors/blades to that list now, too. I can’t say I think the actual razor is any way superior to the Gillettes I have used for years, but the little magnetic wall-mount thing is pretty nifty. I think I might gift these to my sisters — a “let me take one more thing off your plate” gesture.
2 // Billie Serum-Infused Face Wipes. I love these. Honestly, I also love Arcona cleansing pads and view them similarly: the perfect stand-in when you want to clean, tone, and brighten your skin but don’t feel like going through your entire skincare regimen. To that end, I also recently purchased Laura Napier’s La Rose Beauty Facial Wipes, which people absolutely rave about and which are conveniently individually wrapped (stash in purse!) — on reflection, I guess I really love this kind of product for when I’m lazy or want to do a quick skin prep before reapplying makeup after a shower or in the afternoon. That said, what I can say specifically about Billie’s wipes, having used them exclusively over the past few weeks, is that they leave a beautiful, radiant, flushed glow behind, have a lovely feel — soft but textured enough that it’s actually removing makeup and impurities –and are much cheaper than both of the others. I also like that Billie’s is a full wipe vs. a small pad.
3 // Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum. I wrote about this elsewhere this week, but I am very impressed with this affordable brightening, smoothing serum. I’ve heard different things from different readers on this front, but I do find it glides on and then goes kind of “tacky” before disappearing entirely into the skin. So, the application isn’t as luxurious and seamless as it has been with my Vintner’s Daughter serum, but for the price difference, it’s hardly worth noting. I haven’t seen a huge difference in the tonality of my skin since switching, which I take to be a good sign in terms of quality of both products. I will be using this for the foreseeable future, though I am also curious about Pinkness’ Forever Flawless Beauty Oil (supposed to be ultra-hydrating) and the Biossance oil several of you have recommended, which purports to achieve similar results.
4 // La Roche-Posay Podologics Foot Cream. If you buy nothing else from this list, please buy this. I had dry, angry, callused feet after the cold winter and quarantine-induced lack of pedicures, and I was frankly ashamed to wear sandals. THIS CREAM HAS CHANGED EVERYTHING. I walk around feeling as though I’ve just had a pedicure! I applied it twice a day for the first two weeks and now apply just before bed. It’s non-greasy, absorbs well, and just…works. Even on calluses and cracked skin and whatever else you’ve got going. Best $15 I’ve spent on beauty in a long while.
5 // Nike React Infinity Running Shoes (on sale in select colors here!). Love these. They have a very different foot-feel compared to the trainers I’d grown accustomed to — more arch support and a thicker, more foam-like foot-bed in general. It kind of felt like I was running with lifts in or something at first — ha! — and it took a bit of adjustment. But they are incredible comfortable and I like how secure but breathable the top portion is — I even wear them sans-socks if I’m wearing them to take the children to the park (never for actual running). I also love that they are specifically designed to “reduce injury” given that I injured my heel within just two weeks of starting to jog again. (Side note: if you’re contemplating getting started on a fitness regimen, especially if this is a postpartum initiative, go easy on yourself.) Very happy with this purchase.
6 // Random Home Organization Stuff — Like many of you, quarantine has given rise to some re-organization projects, and not all organizational products are created equal (though all these are really good).
+I love these pasta keepers, which are the perfect length and height for holding just over a pound of pasta. We often boil a half pound of pasta for ourselves and so would have unwieldy, open bags jostling around in our pantry cabinets. (P.S. – We basically only buy Afeltra bronze-cut pasta and it is the best the best the best — actually makes a huge difference in the taste, mouth-feel, and sauciness of the dish!) These have been helpful and, like the true loser I am, I used our label machine to indicate the pasta type and cooking time on top. Can you tell we are a pair of Type A pasta lovers?
+I also bought these lidded cubby bins to sort all of mini’s paints, craft supplies, stickers, etc — and we’ve accrued a lot of this gear thanks to quarantine — and I have to say I wouldn’t recommend them. The lids don’t actually “snap” in place, just kind of lay on the top, which is irritating when you’re pulling one out from beneath another one or trying to cram some extra pom poms in. I’d go with Sterilite bins if I did it over again.
+Not quite organization, but I have found a lot of use for these Munchkin splash plates, which are actually more like shallow bowls (they have about a 1″ high lip). I found it annoying to serve up Hill’s dinner in the Re-Play plates because he still eats so little and the plates felt unnecessarily large. I like these because I just create a couple of mounds of whatever’s on the menu for that night and can also keep his spoon and water cup on the tray, all in one contained space. I also like them for serving mini snacks and keeping her water bottle upright on the little pouf she has in her room. Very random, possibly idiosyncratic, but — a good score.
7 // Busy Bees Face Masks. These are well-made, comfortable, and cute. I actually purchased mine in the 10-14 year child size because I have found most face masks are way too big for my elfin-sized head (ha), but they also have a proper adult size. One thing I like about these in particular is that they hold up well in the wash and don’t require ironing or any special treatment.
8 // Mason Pearson Brush. This isn’t actually new to me, as I’ve owned one of these for a long time but then lost mine in the move to the UWS and had to replace. These are simply the best brushes. I don’t know enough about the science of what’s happening — something about redistributing oils or tension with the hair strands — but a couple of brushes with this transforms snaggly-looking hair into something with wavy sheen. It’s unbelievable and I don’t know how I went back to using anything else for awhile there. You can also buy them on eBay for about half the price because they are opened boxes; Courtney Grow first alerted me to this and stands behind the authenticity of this seller, having purchased multiple from him!
10 // These are the best bubbles for little ones. Not particularly sexy or interesting, but the formula is excellent and the wand is easy enough for a toddler to run around Central Park with, leaving a trail of bubbles behind. This has preoccupied about an hour straight every day for the last week.
P.S. Have added a bunch of my favorite finds for the summer season here, in one place.
P.P.P.S. Prettiest swimsuit on sale, my favorite sun visor to toss in the stroller/bag when heading to the park as it rolls up and is super-cheap — comes in pack of two and I gave one to my mom! — and a dress I can’t stop thinking about.