As we reset, relax, and reinvigorate, we resolve, stocking our cabinets, showers, and makeup bags with only the best of the best. And 2024 is looking good so far, between new shortcuts for amazing skin and healthy hair (one of them from KORA’s Miranda Kerr, above); some fresh, really pretty colors; and an intriguingly labeled “serotonin” bath.
MAKE EVERYONE LOOK BETTER.
Nothing shifts a mood or improves a person’s appearance like a lit candle—except three lit candles. These three not-mini-not-maxi ones from The Maker do an even better job because their clear ribbed-glass containers bounce the light in the most gorgeous way. They give a dinner party that linger-at-the-table-all-night feeling (rule followers will blanch at the use of scented candles at a dinner table, to which I say: Try these before you judge). Like you’re all at a midnight café in Paris.
They’re much more substantial than a votive, but they give votive energy. Three come in one spectacular box (best gift ever): Spiritus is smoky and mysterious yet fresh at the same time, Artist is fantastically citrusy, and Gardener smells like a really, really great garden. When they’re all lit together, they emit a subtle, seductive energy that’s just magic, all night long.
TAKE THE ULTIMATE BATH—AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE.
A giant bag of bath soak labeled “serotonin” is hard to resist—and no one should. Swirled with magnesium, apple cider vinegar, French green clay, brown algae, turmeric, marjoram, and eucalyptus, the bath flakes inside dissolve instantly into a hot bath. Submerge for 20 minutes, then emerge and relax, sweating it out in a towel or robe. Whether your starting point was a bad mood, a middling one, or even quite a good one, your end point is guaranteed to be much, much better.
APPRECIATE THE IMPOSSIBLE GENIUS OF: THE HAND.
Obviously, our hands are incredible. But I learned—on Huberman Lab, where I learn all sorts of things—that they’re even more incredible than previously thought. The fastest way to warm up or cool down your entire body turns out to be through the palms of your hands (the soles of your feet and a small area on your forehead have the same capability, to be fair, so focus on socks along with gloves if, like me, you’re freezing, or plunge your hands and feet into cold water if you’re overheating). They transfer temperature much, much more quickly than anywhere else on the body; this knowledge will change your life.
So if you’re ever too cold or too hot, remember your hands! They will save you. Here’s how to worship them in the meantime: Ultramoisturizing and almost unctuous with nourishing butters and oils yet somehow made so it sinks in instantly, this vanilla-almond-citrus-scented hand cream hydrates and comforts like nothing else. And the gorgeous aluminum tube is the very chic icing on the cake.
HOST MORE GATHERINGS.
At last, after renovating and then procrastinating, I finally threw a party. There was a melty cranberry-stuffed Brie puff pastry on chic La DoubleJ plates and drinks punctuated with sprigs of rosemary and ice cubes frozen with butterfly pea powder and edible glitter; a dreamy diffuser set the vibe. But the surprise secret weapon of the evening? This hand wash. I know it sounds crazy, but no one could stop raving about it—my friends are still joking about coming over just to use the luxurious part exfoliant, part soap, part hand cream.
One pump lathers fantastically: It’s made with nourishing avocado, grapefruit, and lavender oils, plus smoothing rambutan and softening perlite (the tiny exfoliating granules feel sooo good when you scrub). When you’re done, your hands are baby-soft and totally moisturized. It comes in the sleekest black bottle, and the scent—a calming mix of bergamot and vetiver—is fantastic.
TREAT MYSELF (AND OTHERS).
My love language is gifts, both giving and getting. When something can work both ways, I’m in heaven.
This adorable box contains two ultraflattering lip glosses that smooth on sheer and deposit the perfect effortless sheen that flatters any skin tone. But what makes the set—you get Chill, a sleek clear gloss, and Chestnut, which is the prettiest warm brown with a gold shimmer—so supremely giftable is the unexpected: The Chestnut shade is a collab with Deux cookie dough, so it smells like freshly baked cookies, which makes it something of a double treat. I’ve given it to multiple friends so far, and if people are wondering what to get me…I’m just about down to my last few drops.
WAKE UP EARLIER.
I’ve been a night owl for as long as I can remember. To wake up earlier, I’m filling my morning routine with things I look forward to: First, a session of Tracy Anderson or The Class (do it with a friend and I promise you’ll go), then a walking oat milk latte date with my dog and a fluffy homemade breakfast frittata with spinach, sausage, and gouda. After that, it’s this moisture-bomb skin routine from Augustinus Bader, which comes packaged in a gorgeous blue box.
I start with the full-size creamy gel cleanser made with rose water and cucumber extract, which leaves my skin soft, fresh, and springy. Next, I smooth on the brand’s cult-favorite supercream—it plumps, softens, and deeply moisturizes, and I can’t live without it (the box comes with a deluxe travel size). Last, I pat on a pair of the copper-colored hydrogel under-eye masks, which work absolute magic on dark circles, plus they hydrate, brighten, freshen, and generally wake up my skin. I like to keep them in the fridge overnight so they’re nice and cold. They feel so energizing when I put them on (I leave them on for about 20 minutes). The fresher, dewier, totally nourished skin you get is really something to jump out of bed for.
An unresolved to-do list or notification on my phone is really all it takes to send me into a rush. Twenty twenty-three is the year I became aware of this tendency, and 2024 is the year I’ll conquer it—starting with the contents of this miniature gold-colored box, which draws me instantly out of my hurry and into the moment. They also leave my skin so smooth and glowy. In the evening, I lather a dime-size amount of the foamy cleanser onto my skin and inhale deeply: The peppermint, palo santo, and rosemary smell incredible and cool my skin. Every other night, I work in the exfoliating mask (also pepperminty), let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse it off with warm water. I smooth on my favorite serum from Odacité, then seal it in with a tiny (it’s super rich, so I mean tiny) amount of the golden moisturizer, taking extra time to massage it into my face, neck, chest, and hands. Each of the three essentials in the set is aromatherapeutic, not to mention charged with crystals, and each has its own affirmation printed on the back (e.g., “clarity”). Together, the routine feels like a mini spa session—a respite for my soul that my skin is absolutely loving.
BRUSH MY HAIR.
I have fine, wavy hair (a lot of it) that, when brushed, tends to flatten and frizz. After a debrief with my stylist, however, it turns out all I needed (aside from great shampoo and conditioner) was a really great hairbrush. This one, made with a mix of boar and nylon tufts, easily detangles and distributes the natural oils from my scalp down through my ends (for less frizz and incredible softness). Crafted by one of the oldest traditional brush makers in France, it’s made to last and feels so luxe. Now, while my hair’s still damp, I brush it through, holding the brush vertically (a trick I learned from my stylist that reduces pull). The result is noticeably softer, shinier hair, with waves that maintain their shape. And the bristles feel so good on my scalp that I actually look forward to brushing every day.