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For the past 10 years—after a horrifying UV photo at a beauty event revealed my way above-average sun damage—I’ve worn sunscreen every single day. I’d wear it in the dead of New York winter. I’d wear it when I wasn’t even leaving the house. I’d reapply it before leaving the office to pick up my lunch.
Then the pandemic happened, and I apparently just stopped giving a fuck.
Along with sunscreen, I also saw myself temporarily abandon dry shampoo (why bother?), mascara (not worth the hassle of washing it off), and perfume (what a waste!). However, one product I stayed loyal to was the DIY eyelash and eyebrow tint I’ve sworn by for years. Every few weeks I whip it out, play beautician at my bathroom sink, and transform my light and patchy brows into the dark arches I love passing off as all-natural.
I’ve been fascinated to discover which products fell off my radar, and which have stayed in steady rotation. I decided to reach out to seven beauty editors and see how they’re doing, product wise, during quarantine. Unlike me, there are some serious sunscreen loyalists below, plus you’ll find a rec for a new beauty brand so nice it’s been recommended twice!
Faith is the Editorial Director at Byrdie
The product: Kinship Self Reflect Prebiotic Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 32
How did you find it? I took a deskside last year and learned about this new clean skincare line, Kinship, and it was love at first swipe. Clean beauty brands can often be inaccessible or not even really “clean,” so I was impressed that Kinship had an affordable price point and was super upfront and transparent about its ingredients and sustainability practices.
When and how do you use it? I may have let myself go in other aspects of my beauty routine (if only you could see my roots—picture Dua Lipa’s hair, but, like, not on purpose), but my SPF habit isn’t one of them. I get a ton of light in my apartment and try to take walks every day, so I still consider SPF an essential part of my beauty routine, quarantine or no quarantine. I love this SPF because it’s made with prebiotics to balance my skin’s microbiome (a.k.a. it can actually help with breakouts), it smells vaguely like marshmallows, and it gives my skin a really nice, light-reflective sheen after I apply. It really should market itself as an SPF/primer hybrid because it protects your skin and gives it a glisten-y (but not too glisten-y) finish—think the perfect gleam of a Krispy Kreme donut or honey-glazed pork bun. And now I’m hungry.
Who would you recommend it to? Anyone who might be more prone to breakouts and is looking for a physical SPF that will soothe their skin and give them a boost in the glow department.
Tembe is a Staff Writer at New York Magazine’s The Strategist
Product: Tower 28 Beauty SOS Spray
How did you find it? I met with the brand’s founder, Amy Liu, prior to the brand’s launch, and as someone who deals with sensitive skin, the brand really spoke to me. She raved about the SOS Spray in particular, and I was pumped to try it out. Now, it’s a regular part of my skincare routine and I’m obsessed.
When and how do you use it? I use this after cleansing and toning, before my serum. It really calms my skin, helps prevent breakouts, and soothes flare ups I might be having at the moment. I like to spray it a few times across the entirety of my face and let it dry before tapping in a vitamin C serum.
Who would you recommend it to? I would recommend this to anyone who has sensitive skin because it has so few ingredients. Other sprays have lots of fragrances and oils, but this one only has three ingredients: water, salt, and hypochlorous acid. I would also recommend it to anyone with… skin? It’s really just that good. I can’t imagine who it wouldn’t work for.
Lauren is Senior Beauty Editor at Vogue
When and how do you use it? During quarantine, I’ve been leaning on the mood-enhancing powers of a good hair day—and the Dyson Supersonic diffuser has been my secret weapon. Each morning that I feel so inclined, I begin the process of resetting my curls, which tend to fall flat overnight, by wetting them in the shower or with a spray water bottle. Then, after adding a light squeeze of styling cream, I use the Dyson Supersonic and diffuser attachment to dry and scrunch them into tighter, more defined spirals—paying special attention to the delicate tendrils around my face. I haven’t always taken the time (about 10-15 minutes on average) to do this, but I don’t think I’ll ever skip it now that I’ve seen the wonders it can do.
Who would you recommend it to? When it comes to curls, a diffuser is the ultimate tool for maximizing volume and definition for full-bodied ringlets. I can’t say it enough: It’s truly worth the extra step! The Supersonic is an investment, but it’s incredibly effective, and as someone who’s obsessive about the health of my hair, I appreciate that it’s engineered consciously, with extensive speed and heating settings that minimize damage. It’s also far smaller, lighter, and quieter than any other model, which makes it that much more of a joy to use. Yes, I’ve found the one—and recommend it to every fellow curly-haired friend.
Michelle is a stylist and Fashion and Beauty Editor at Teen Vogue
The product: Saie Dew Balm in Lilac
How did you find it? A friend suggested it to me because she knows I love any makeup that you can apply using your fingers.
When and how do you use it? I usually apply it to my cheeks in the a.m., when I want to look dewy and cute! Most days I’ll skip it and do no makeup, and then about every four days I’ll miss wearing makeup and apply it.
Who would you recommend it to? I would recommend this to those who have minimal makeup routines—maybe they don’t have any brushes—and are looking for an alternative to Glossier.
Hannah is Senior Beauty Editor at Coveteur
The product: Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40
How did you find it? This is one of Supergoop’s newest launches, and to say that the beauty editor hive collectively freaked out when they sent samples would be a bit of an understatement—it’s really, really good.
When and how do you use it? Every. Damn. Day. Even if you’re inside from sun up to sun down, UVA/UVB rays can make it through your windows and lead to skin damage. SPF is the last step in my daily skincare routine, always, but this formula gives you such an otherworldly glow that I don’t even feel the need to slap on some concealer for my morning Zoom meetings. You look radiant, dewy, and just plain healthy, as if you actually run five miles a day and drink two gallons of water. It also has antioxidants (from sea lavender) to fight free radical damage, plus hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5 for added hydration.
Who would you recommend it to? Legitimately everyone. We all need sun protection, especially with summer looming. If you’re sensitive to chemical sunscreens, this may not be for you, but I’ve yet to come across a person who doesn’t rave about it.
The product: Glossier Cloud Paint in Haze
How did you find it? This was one of the first products I tested as a beauty writer. Taraji P. Henson wore it on the Oscars red carpet in 2017, and I felt so cool after trying it a few days later.
When and how do you use it? Sir John once told me that blush is the one product that you need to look alive. And who would go against his word? I’m not so into wearing a full face of makeup, but if my complexion looks a little washed out, I just tap a few dots of this on the apples of my cheeks. Works every time.
Who would you recommend it to? Anyone who’s into a sheer wash of natural color, rather than a bold hi-def feel.
Thatiana is Senior Beauty Writer at Refinery29
The product: Tower 28 BeachPlease Tinted Lip + Cheek Balm
How did you find it? I saw a few beauty editors raving about this product on Instagram, and as someone who loves balms, I wanted to try it out myself.
When and how do you use it? Whenever I apply makeup for video calls, whether it be for work meetings or a virtual happy hour, I gently dab this tinted balm onto my cheek area and lips for an instant pop of color. It’s comfortable to wear, and it has a natural, glowy finish, so it’s perfect for an at-home look.
Who would you recommend it to? This balm is for anyone who wants to roll out of bed five minutes before a meeting but not look like it. This is also perfect for makeup beginners, as you can easily build it up with your fingertips, adding however much color you want on your cheeks.