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Because we tried them for you in September!
After approximately 15 years of using industrial-strength, aluminum-packed deodorant, I decided last year to make the switch to a natural variety. I'm not fanatical about natural products (I'd put strychnine on my face if it promised to shrink my eye bags), but I figured it couldn't hurt to give hard stuff a rest. I had heard amazing things about Soapwalla Deodorant Cream, so I bought a tub (yeah, you have to smear it on with your fingers) and resigned myself to smelling sort of bad for the rest of my life. But guess what! It worked just as well as the clinical-strength shit I had been using forever. I even sweat less, maybe because my body readjusted itself to life without antiperspirant. Plus it smelled amazing — like fresh lavender.
Sadly, after about six months, I had a bad reaction to the baking soda. I have really sensitive skin, and sometimes it just decides to NOPE a product I've been using for a while. My skin got red and raw, and I had to abandon my beloved Soapwalla. That is, until last month, when I got an email blast alerting me to a new sensitive-skin version of the cult product — one without any baking soda. I ordered the sensitive-skin formula immediately, and I couldn't be happier. The deodorant itself is dark gray, which is a little disconcerting, but the color goes away when you rub it in. It's smells just as great as the original — though this one has a spicy citrus scent rather than a lavender one — but it's mercifully gentle.
If you're looking to make the switch to natural deodorant, but are worried about the abrasiveness of baking soda, this product is definitely for you. Oh, and if you have hale and hearty pits, the original is also great! —Jessie Gaynor
Get it from Amazon for $21.
I recently won a bet I made with my friend, and the wager was a jar of honey of our choice from a honey store. I make a lot of honey lemon ginger tea, so I chose Sarah’s Zesty Honey With Ginger, thinking it would help me skip a few steps — by getting the honey and ginger in one go. This honey definitely has a lot of ginger, but not enough for a really spicy tea (without adding more ginger). However, this is still one of my favorite honeys of all time. I always keep it by my desk to add to tea for some extra flavor. It pairs really well with any kind of green or white tea.
This honey is so tasty, I bought another one to use at home. It is amaaazing on pancakes, and really good for sauces as well. It's perfect for anyone who loves ginger. Fair warning, though: You might have a hard time not eating it all up immediately. —Francine Hendrickson
Let me preface this by making it clear that these leggings, which sell on Amazon for $94 (though select colors and sizes are currently on sale for $61), may be the most expensive item of clothing I own. (Seriously, besides outerwear, bags, and sneakers, I stick to a pretty tight budget for the rest of the stuff I fill my closet with.) I know what you're probably thinking: "Is this woman for real? Ninety-four dollars for a pair of leggings??" Yes, I am indeed for real, and I'm going to tell you why these leggings are worth every last dollar.
There's a reason why they have so many highly rated reviews: They're freakin' amazing. The material is thicker than your average legging, and when I wear them I feel so...sturdy and secure. I know that's a weird way to describe it, but basically they lift you up and are formfitting without feeling too constricting. Also, disclaimer: I have not done yoga in a very long time and I simply wear these to the gym for everyday weight-training and cardio workouts. And for taking my dog on long walks. And for taking myself on long walks. But they're marketed as yoga pants because of the rib-knit bottoms with extra fabric so you can pull 'em over your heels if you want. I just like wearing them because I'm a sucker for scrunchy legwarmers and they make me feel like I'm a stunt double in Flashdance.
If you work out regularly, these are absolutely worth the investment, imho. Also, if you're one of those people who dig the ~athleisure~ look and you just have a bunch of errands to run on chilly day, they'll keep you cozy and toasty through it all, nary a bare ankle in sight! They're my go-to weekend leggings once the temperature dips below 65 degrees. (PS: I noticed that some of the Amazon reviews for these guys mention coverage problems, but that's never once been an issue for me. I own the black/stormy heather colorway.) —Emmy Favilla
Get them from Amazon starting at $61.07.
For as long as I can remember, I've been a nighttime tooth-grinder. Without the intervention of my trusty night guard, my smile would be just a puff of dust at this point. But as anyone who wears a nighttime dental or orthodontic device knows, keeping them clean can be challenging. And gross. Gross and challenging. Like a Lars von Trier movie. Enter Retainer Brite tablets.
In addition to toothpaste, soap, and water, I've tried cleaning tablets in the past — specifically denture cleaner. (I'm sorry if this review is getting too glamorous for you.) Though the denture cleaner had a pleasant minty linger, it didn't get all the gunk off my mouth guard, even if I soaked it for a few hours. I worried Retainer Brite would be more of the same, but I decided to trust the 1,723 five-star reviews and give it a shot — and DAMN. I wish I had tried it years ago.
Every morning (ish), I take out my night guard and put it in this little cleaning case Amazon suggested when I bought the Retainer Brite (thanks, benevolent overlords!), along with some warm water and one of these tablets. It fizzes and bubbles and within 20 minutes, my night guard is as clean and neutral-smelling as the day it arrived from the (inexplicably expensive) dental lab. Because my morning routine is basically skjdhfkfgldfg?????????, I sometimes just leave it to soak all day, and I haven't seen any ill effects. If you're looking for a better way to clean your night guards, mouth guards, retainers, or Invisaligns, I highly recommend picking up a box of these babies. —Jessie Gaynor
My bathroom has no natural light, which makes it extremely easy for me to leave the house looking like a slightly taller version of an Oompa-Loompa. I think I've blended everything like an artist until — BOOM — I get to work and the bathroom mirror reveals otherwise. I was therefore really excited to try out the Jerdon Tri-Fold Two-Sided Lighted Makeup Mirror and wave a forever goodbye to rogue streaks of orange on my cheekbones.
This mirror comes with four different light settings: day, office, evening, and home. Each setting emits a different light that lets you tailor your makeup ~lewk~ to fit different scenarios, squashing all your “I have terrible lighting in my room” complaints. Plus, you can alter the magnification on the mirror to get up close and personal with every blemish on your face. While this sounds dreadful, it really does help to put on concealer when you can actually see what you’re trying to conceal (and then blending that concealer out — that way it doesn’t look like there are random blotches of pale orange on your face). Also, this thing is great for when you’re trying to tweeze your eyebrows: It helps you see every one of the little suckers you’re trying to pluck out.
It appears that I’m not the only one in love with this handy-dandy gadget; the mirror has been reviewed by over 2,600 people on Amazon, and currently has a 4.2-star rating. So if you’re looking for better lighting, but don’t plan on moving into a lofty apartment with a ton of natural light anytime soon, this might just be your long-awaited alternative. —AnaMaria Glavan
Get it from Amazon for $28.99.
I love to bake, but I really just don't do it often. The ingredients add up quickly, I have to actually *remember* to get them from the grocery store, and it feels like I'm going to make a giant mess in a tiny NYC-size kitchen. But I L O V E desserts, especially homemade cookies and cakes. So when I was sent this Foodstirs daisy cut-out cookie kit, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work.
I am super picky when it comes to baked goods — cut-out butter cookies are my very, very favorite, and it's shockingly hard to find *really* good ones in bakeries. So my expectations weren't exactly the highest. When I looked at the recipe, my curiosity increased: It called for eggs and yogurt and included only all-natural ingredients and food coloring. It also included two cookie cutters and all the decorations you'd need for the adorable cookie bouquet. Even though you're supposed to use the included sticks to make cookie "lollipops," I was not about that life. You could bake way more cookies at a time without the sticks taking up so much room.
The kit made a ton of cookies! Two containers full, and that's with me eating a pretty significant portion of the dough as I cut them all out (which I'm sure isn't the healthiest thing to do, but whatever). It didn't take a long time to whip the dough together — you do need to chill it and roll it out and cut it, and repeat the whole series again and again, but that's always the case with cut-out cookies. Labor-intensive, but totally worth it. And the yogurt-based icing was sweet, tangy, and super delicious. I brought all the cookies to work the next day, and they went VERY quickly. People kept going back for seconds (real talk, I was one of them; I'm not the best at being generous when it comes to desserts). So this girl with a big ol' sweet tooth gives a big ol' thumbs-up. 10/10, would bake again. —Maitland Quitmeyer
Get it from Foodstirs for $18.99.
(You can also get a spooooky Halloween-themed kit for $14.99.)
I wish I could say bad posture runs in my family. It doesn’t. My bad posture and poor core strength stem from a long life of being lazy, being even lazier, and, of course, the fact that I am lazy. Reasonable excuses aside, I have been on the hunt for a way to improve my posture and put an end to my general slouching for quite some time. So when the team at Vivora offered to send over one of their exercise ball chairs, I was like, “Ummm yeah!”
This isn’t just your everyday exercise ball — it has a machine-washable and super-cute felt cover — so instead of having to deal with a giant plastic ball rolling through your office, it looks like a pretty piece of home decor. It also has grips on the bottom so that when you’re not sitting on it, it doesn’t suddenly take on a life of its own. And it comes with a convenient handle so you can easily take it from room to room, without the struggle of having to carry a giant, unwieldy orb.
I pumped it up myself (with the provided hand pump), and sat on it right away. It was awesome! And so fun to bounce on! And...actually exhausting! I did not anticipate it being as hard as it was to sit up straight all day. If I slouched forward, my weight would roll the ball (and me), and I would feel myself losing my balance. Which I'm pretty sure is the point. After about a month of sitting on it, I did notice that, even when I wasn’t sitting on the ball, I would check my posture. It’s definitely made me aware of how I’m sitting — and hopefully I can keep it up even when I return to the world of chair-sitters! —Elena Garcia
Get it from Amazon for $54.99.
Knives seem to have prices that range from super cheap to "buy this knife or get a small mid-sized sedan." If you've ever dipped into the Food Network or Top Chef, you know that chefs are pretty fanatical about their knives. I'm just saying, Padma never tells anyone to pack their spoons and go. I can't stand using a shitty knife, but I'm also not prepared to plunk down a hundo for a cleaver. When Misen, a company that touts its quality cookware and fair prices, sent me two knives to try, I was both skeptical and excited.
Misen is sort of the kitchen-tools version of Casper or Everlane. It emphasizes quality of materials, simplicity of design, and fairness of pricing. After having used the chef's knife and paring knife, I can confirm that they are better than knives that cost twice as much. (I used to live with a chef, and his chef's knife cost $120, which I know because he would tell me whenever I didn't dry it thoroughly.) I really dislike chopping onions, but the Misen knife made the process go faster and more smoothly. It just felt good in my hand. I was especially excited about the paring knife, because I eat a lot of apples and cheese. I sliced open my thumb while I was coring an apple — it's a testament to the knife that it was a clean cut that barely hurt at all — and even that didn't diminish my love for this beautiful little tool.
The Misen chef's knife sells for $65, and the paring knife is $30, which isn't cheap. But if you're looking to invest in a few really quality knives, these two far outperform their price tags. —Jessie Gaynor