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Total Softy

Quit favoring your face! The skin below the neck deserves some love, too. Soft Services is a newish brand that specializes in exactly that, with invigorating gels, rich moisturizers, and a salicylic spray that targets breakouts. (Somehow, I can’t bring myself to type “bacne”—and yet I just did.) The product that appeals to me most is a small, bright-blue bar that looks like soap but is so much more. The Buffing Bar embeds microcrystals in shea butter to smooth rough spots in a flash. I keep it in the shower and run it over my elbows and heels every day. It’s said to treat keratosis pilaris too. After a few weeks, my body feels the love, and my feet are nearly as smooth as my children’s. ($28 for two bars, —Ashley Baker


Inner Beauty

Lately, everyone and their yoga instructor are shilling vitamins for hair, skin, and nails. And don’t even get me started on collagen drinks. But the skeptic in me is all in on a new supplement called Mosaic from Elysium, the brand co-founded by M.I.T.’s leading researcher on aging, Leonard Guarente. After extensive investigation and double-blind studies, Elysium discovered that Mosaic actually protects and moisturizes skin from within. I know! I’m plotzing, too. And I saw the charts and graphs and other boring things that prove it. The key component is a carotenoid complex derived from tomato and rosemary extracts, which sounds delicious. This antioxidant protects skin cells from free-radical damage caused by UV light. There’s also hyaluronic acid in the mix, which, as every beauty editor knows, boosts skin’s moisture levels. After four weeks, people in the study had measurable reductions in lines and wrinkles. “It works all over the body versus a topical [product] that just works where you apply it,” says Richard D. Granstein, the chairman of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College. “The graph says it all.” ($90 for a one-month supply, —Linda Wells

Check In

Spa Daze

Sometimes, real treasures don’t sit right there for all the world to see; they need to be unearthed—excavated, even. In the case of the Lanesborough hotel, that means traveling down a corridor, through a fun-house series of Regency-style rooms, around a corner and another and another, and into an elevator—before you find yourself in the modern serenity of its lavishly appointed spa. There’s a pool, steam, sauna, workout classes with local experts, and a spa menu that’s nearly as long as an Annie Ernaux novel. My personal weakness: the Himalayan-salt-stone massage, where hot orbs are rubbed over your body, exfoliating the skin while releasing tension. The more adventurous might be tempted by Morpheus8, the radio-frequency micro-needling treatment, which helps firm skin, and the 24-karat-gold facial, which includes L.E.D. light therapy to reduce inflammation and make you look rich. It’s well worth the detour. (from $120, —Linda Wells


Garden Party!

Their poreless skin and outrageously lush hair are well documented, but did Renaissance women manage to smell good, too? Santa Maria Novella’s team of historians dug into the past to answer that question for its first eau de parfum collection, I Giardini Medicei. The inspiration for the four scents was the Medici family’s love of botany and the fruits and flowers that filled their gardens. L’Iris includes a floral top note that’s grown in the Florentine hills, Bizzarria is an homage to the rare citrus tree whose fruit is a combination of lemon and orange, Gelsomino is rich with the Goa jasmine that was cultivated in a secret Medici greenhouse, and Magnolia relies on flowers from the adaptable, distinctive tree. They’re a step back in time that feels entirely current. (from $180 for a 1.6-fluid-ounce bottle, —Ashley Baker


Giving Lip

I’ve got no beef with Botox, but I’m not yet tempted to try lip injections. On that front, I’m always looking for low-intervention, high-impact products, and Rhode’s Peptide Lip Treatment has been a favorite since it launched, last June. Think of it as ChapStick on steroids, hydrating and nourishing to create just enough plumpness, however fleeting. In addition to its original unscented formulation, founder Hailey Bieber added four new TikTok-trending shades—strawberry glaze, salted caramel, watermelon slice, and Rhode vanilla. All look shiny and delicious, which, coincidentally, is exactly what I’m going for. ($16, —Ashley Baker


It Takes Two

My loyalty to Lululemon’s Align Super-High-Rise leggings lasted decades simply because they trounced the competition. Then I tried the new Formcloud from Set Active, a Los Angeles–based line founded in 2018 by Lindsey Carter, who previously had a social-media agency. I lingered over their Instagram for years before succumbing to the Sculptflex Box Tank Bra and matching leggings. The bra is supportive, but sexily so—designed for yoga, but highly street-savvy, especially under a leather jacket, and the leggings are more comfortable than my beloved Buck Mason sweats. The polyester-and-spandex fabric is so nicely stretchy and sleek that I’ve become that woman who wears athleisure past lunchtime. And I’m fine with it. Actually, better than fine. Set! ($57 for the bra, $72 for the leggings) —Ashley Baker

Issue No. 9
November 3, 2023
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Issue No. 9
November 3, 2023