18 products that got our editors through the longest year ever
Pro tip: They're going to be useful for awhile.
When we rang in 2020, we had little reason to believe it would be anything other than awesome. After all, all the major holidays aligned to fall on super convenient-for-celebrating days (Halloween and July 4th on a Saturday? EPIC. New Year’s and Christmas on Fridays? YES.), the Summer Olympics were on tap, and Shakira and J Lo were just weeks away from blowing our collective minds with their sheer feminine glory at the Superbowl.
And then just a couple of months later, it all ground to an unprecedented halt. Thankfully, it feels like the tide is turning. While there’s likely a lot of heartbreak and hard times ahead, there is healing on the horizon. So as we prepare to take on another year in a world where “normal” comes with a reset button, we’re taking a look back at the comforting, useful, and sometimes surprising things that helped us slog our way through what seems like the longest one ever. Here are some of Team Motherly’s top picks which are sure to help improve day-to-day life even post-pandemic. Because better days are coming. Promise.
Sunday Citizen crystal bolster pillowThis was a late-night, anxiety-induced purchase— which at the time, felt like a new age-y splurge. But it’s reinvigorated my meditation practice and even got the kids on the mat. I think we could all use a little support from crystals charged with “ancient positive energy” RN. The fabric is so soft + the purple haze color is ? Beth Cleary, Senior Manager, Sales Marketing
Belly Bandit maternity compression socksI’m 38 weeks into my third pregnancy, and I’ve come to the conclusion that compression is one of my favorite new low-lift methods of self-care. Putting these socks on feels seriously amazing, and I have worn a pair for at least some part of every day over the past few months. This has helped my legs feel rejuvenated despite the long work days stuck at a desk + these more sedentary pandemic months. Since I started wearing these with some regularity in trimester 2, I have yet to experience any of the classically hellish middle-of-the-night, jump-out-of-bed-in-pain charlie horses I’ve had in past pregnancies. The prints are cute, so they don’t feel like old-lady socks, and they’ve held up well with frequent machine washing. Jacqui Tapp, Creative Director of Video
Pleni Naturals enzyme cleansing oilMaybe it’s 2020, maybe it’s the simple fact that I’m creeping up on 40, but I’ve really gotten serious about my skincare regimen this past year. In the process, I’ve tried a lot of things that I could take or leave. The enzyme cleansing oil from Pleni Naturals , however, has taken up permanent residence in my line up . If you’re new to cleansing with oil, it can seem counterintuitive, but stay with me. While we’re used to that squeaky clean feeling that traditional cleansers with surfactants provide, those formulas can be overly drying and cause irritation that isn’t necessary. This all-natural oil-based wash not only dissolves make-up and leaves my skin feeling soft and supple, but it uses papaya enzymes to exfoliate as well. Even at my most tired, I look forward to kicking off my end of day routine with this. Sara Goldstein, Commerce Editor
Sunday Riley Good GenesI purchased this all-in-one treatment after reading one rad review after another. However, shortly after receiving it at home I found out I was pregnant (yay!) and that this treatment is not pregnancy safe (boo!). So, after carrying my twins for 9 months, delivering them in the middle of a pandemic and breastfeeding+pumping for 8 months, I was beyond excited to try it out. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint. My skin is significantly better, I dare to say better than ever, and my pregnancy-related melasma has noticeably improved within weeks. It also improved my fine lines, which was not necessarily a concern of mine, but hey, I’ll take it! -Motherly Editor
Sunday Citizen solid snug comforterWhen we canceled every vacation (except for camping, which come on, is actually more work than staying home) I decided the only consolation would be to bring the vacation vibes to my everyday life. And that starts with a cozy bed—I mean, that’s one of the best parts of staying in a hotel right? So I set out to find the bedding that would turn my space into a comforting sanctuary. A place that doesn’t necessarily have room service delivered to the door, but certainly feels like it could. The self-proclaimed “world’s softest blanket” from Sunday Citizen felt like a slam dunk, and hoo-boy, was I right. Designed by a luxury hotel owner who was on a quest to find the softest blankets, their Snug comforter features their signature “snug” fabric which is downright indulgently cozy and quilted microfiber to create a weighty blanket that looks as good as it feels. It might sound corny, but every night I slip under it I send up a little thank you to the universe that even in the midst of a terrible year, we’ve been able to find some comfort. Sara Goldstein, Commerce Editor
Old Navy face masksAdjustable, roomy, no weird mask smell, & comes in seasonal colors. Need I say more? Isabella Spitz, Sr. Buyer and Seller Acquisition Manager
Rite Aid neti pot kitThis Neti pot kit literally got me through the sinus pressure of COVID and is currently helping me through my sinus pressure and congestion of pregnancy! I’ve had this neti pot for years and I can always count on it. I clean it with hot water before and after usage, use it with distilled water (or boil water and let it cool) and it always makes it easier to breathe through the day especially with the constant weather changes we’ve been having.
Dyson Pure Cool HEPA air purifier and tower fanWith two dogs, three kids, two adults in the house we thought this would be the investment we made this 2020. It’s interesting to see it pick up and start filtering and moving the air in the house. It makes me feel good knowing that allergen and pollution particles will be sucked into it and away from my babies’ tiny nostrils. Also is super stylish, which makes it easier to have out in our living space all the time. -Motherly Editor
P.F. Candle Co. Los Angeles incenseI’ve always been scent obsessed, but I feel like being stuck at home has brought it to an entirely new level. Making my space (and myself!) smell good has helped to keep me cozy, hopeful, grounded and dare I say, even a little happier. One of my recently discovered faves is well, everything from LA-based P.F. Candle Co. I’ve slowly accumulated an entire collection of candles, a reed diffuser, linen spray and hand sanitizer, but their hand-dipped charcoal-based incense is now a monthly household budget line item. It has fabulous throw, infusing a sizable space with scent that’s not smoky at all and lingers for just the right amount of time. Just a few weeks before everything shut down, we had an epic family adventure in LA and I bought the namesake variety hoping to invoke better days ahead. Its woody floral notes make it my absolute favorite, but the sultry and sexy teakwood and tobacco is a close second. Sara Goldstein, Commerce Editor
Vaseline cocoa shimmer jelly stickI’m very particular when it comes to skincare and lip balms. I have my favorites and I’m loyal to them, almost to a fault. A few months ago I ran out of my go-to balm and stumbled upon this jelly stick. I love that when I put it on late at night while binging movies, I instantly look put together. And, the shine is so subtle you can reapply constantly without looking like a teen. Deena Campbell, Senior Lifestyle Editor
Sunday Citizen crystal weighted blanketThis has been by far the weirdest, scariest, most unbelievable year on record for pretty much every human I know. But even still – all the stuff still had to get done. Work had to get done, I still had to encourage my kids, the bills had to get paid, meals had to be made. I don’t think I realized what toll this was taking on me until this last fall when I just felt exhausted and sad. So I started turning to some self-care stuff and I read about these blankets. It sounds so corny, but I’m dead serious when I say laying under this thing snuggled on the couch is like a literal hug from the universe. There’s something just super comforting about the softness + weight that hits all the marks. Julie Tozier, VP of eCommerce
Miroco milk frotherLevel up your daily hot beverage with this handy milk frother which I *promise* you will use every day. (Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.) Even the act of using it is therapeutic. Every morning I add boiling water to a cup of earl grey tea (Trader Joes, if you know you know), stir in a touch of honey and pour in warm frothy oat milk. (Yes, it even froths up non-dairy milks!) Ta-da! A heavenly cup of earl grey tea latte to ease into the morning. When my daughter sees what I’m having she’ll put in a request for a “babycino.” Super easy and fun to make: frothy milk dusted with cocoa powder and topped with a marshmallow. Cheers! Hilary Landino, Social Media Coordinator
Olay Sensitive Hungarian Water Essence calming makeup remover wipesBest. Ever. These save me those nights (um, all of them) that I am too beat to wash my face for real. Soap-free, gentle on my skin and also a good eye makeup remover, these wipes are hydrating without being greasy and prep my face perfectly for my nighttime skincare regime. Essences of aloe, cucumber and tea extracts combine to actually smell like rain. I’m so worried they will stop making these that I practically bought a case, that’s how much I love them and how much the scent calms me. Sometimes I even open the pouch to breathe in the earthiness, even if I’m not going to wash my face! Anne-Marie Gambelin, Science and Research Editor
Lovevery The block setThis was a pre-pandemic purchase that tbh got very little use back when my toddler could go to the park every day. He LOVES being outside so park > toys always. With lockdown orders in place, suddenly he rediscovered this box of blocks and it has been on heavy rotation ever since. It allows him to play for hours, getting creative with building towers (and then knocking them over, always knocking them over actually), pulling it around as a cart with pretend groceries or even teaching colors to his baby sisters (who just stare in awe at the bright colors). -Motherly Editor
Upstate Elevator CBD capsulesTurning your brain off (or, more realistically, simply down a notch) isn’t easy these days. Looking for something, ANYTHING that would give me a little bit of chill, I hopped on board the CBD train this summer. I tried a variety of patches, balms and tinctures, but found that these simple capsules deliver the calm I was looking for. In fact, one sunny afternoon I took one, forgot about it, and started to feel super mellow and kind of tired. Of course, as soon as I noticed I panicked, thinking, “Oh no. Do I have covid? I must have covid. Lyme? What’s wrong with me?? Ohhhhh . Wait. I’m relaxed . THAT’s what this is supposed to feel like.” Now I take them before bed when I need a little help getting in the zone and they’ve been a total game-changer. Sara Goldstein, Commerce Editor
Bombas socksI’ve known about Bombas forever but only just treated myself to them in the last week… I should have done it way sooner. I was hesitant to pay $12 for a pair of socks but goodness are they worth it. They keep my feet toasty while WFH in my drafty home office and are perfect for a hike and playing outside with the kids. They’re so well made and comfy and really feel like a hug for my feet. Plus, for every pair bought a pair is donated. Diana Spalding, Health and Wellness Director
Intense Hydration Night CreamBy far, my favorite night cream ever! It’s thicker than what I use in the morning, which is okay because I want it to moisturize and hydrate my skin while I sleep. The scent also calms me and I feel like it helps me have a restful night sleep too! Nina Marrero-Pages, Design Director
Sleepea baby swaddleLook, I know you’ve heard me before raving about the SNOO, and if you’re curious about how I feel about it I’m happy to chat for hours about how it basically saved my sanity with my first. But, if a smart bassinet is not within your budget or if you really don’t understand how swaddles work (hi, I don’t, it’s impossible to swaddle newborns), let me recommend you this baby swaddle that allowed me to take care of twins without help because of course 2020. It’s fast, it’s safe and it’s cute.
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