Shit I Bought and Liked: It's the Most Wonderful Shit of the Year!
Everything we loved most in 2023
Shitters!!!! Happy 2024!!!! I hope your new years are off to the very best start! I for one will say that my 8 million resolutions/re-implemented good habits have me feeling pretty good nine days in! Maybe aggressive resolutions were the answer after all?
As has become tradition around here, we’re kicking off the new year with a look back at the shit we loved most in 2023. From skincare to wardrobe staples to a stain remover and toothbrush that have literally changed my life (I mean that), we made more than a few amazing discoveries! Here are the best of the best:
Youth to the People Cleanser: If there was a Shit I Bought and Liked starter pack, this cleanser would be in it. It has such a nice texture and velvety lather, leaves my face feeling clean, but never stripped, and the refillable glass bottle looks so nice on my bathroom counter. Whether you’re a skincare snob or just wash/pat dry type, this is a switch worth making.
Oral-B Toothbrush: Last rec of the year, best rec of the year?! This is a pricey toothbrush, but the difference in clean I feel between this vs. a regular old one from the drugstore is truly astonishing—it feels like I went to the dentist (in a good way). I would recommend to anyone trying to step up their oral health, or who, like me, does not have dental insurance.
J.Crew Cashmere: 2023 was the year of J.Crew Cashmere! We had THREE favorites—their classic cashmere crew (the winner of our slightly exhaustive search—it runs on the larger side, so you may want to size down), their cashmere-lined leather gloves (sold out in women’s sizes, but worth putting a back-in-stock notification on for), and of course, the cashmere socks I gifted pretty much everyone in my life (I bought a pair in white for at home and black to wear exclusively with boots, and they’ve been great investments). Cashmere does pill, so you do have to take care of it according to instructions, but there’s nothing I’d rather be wearing in the dead of NYC winter.
Varley Leggings: The single best pair of leggings I have ever put on my body. Buttery soft and so comfortable, supportive and flattering (a little smoothing goes the longest way!), and zero pills to speak of. They are magic (and under $90, which in this economy is also magic). I lost my pair sometime during my move from LA to NYC (I imagine they found their way into my sister’s closet…), but they were worth re-purchasing. Size-wise, these run big—I went down one from my usual.
Westman Atelier Foundation Stick + Drops: After several COVID/COVID-adjacent years of not wearing any makeup, these have been the perfect, natural-looking products to ease me back into the world. If you’re only going with one, I’d pick the stick—I apply it with my pointer finger onto moisturized skin only in the areas I want to color correct or cover up. But I tend to use both the drops and the stick when I want a combo of glow and coverage. A little goes a long way with these products (they’ve lasted me ages), and they make me look/feel like the best version of myself.
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Walmart T-Shirt: This is out of stock, and that is annoying as hell, but again—worth a restock notification. At $12 this is one of the least expensive items in my closet, but it gets more wear than almost any other. It’s the perfect heather gray and has held up to years of wearing and washing. I took my regular size.
Gap Organic Cotton Big Shirt: You guys loved this summer/travel staple just as much as I do! It’s lightweight, but still opaque enough for the office, easy to throw on over a bathing suit or with shorts/jeans, goes into the wash with no issues, and will forever be a simple classic at a great price.
Grandma’s Secret Stain Remover: You could tell me this was made out of the baby’s blood Hillary Clinton drinks and I WOULD NOT CARE (I unfortunately did Google “Hillary Clinton Drinks Blood” to confirm this was the conspiracy I was thinking of, so hello and welcome to the lucky agent who now has to surveil me—hope you’re into shopping). If you’re as helpless as I am when it comes to laundry/stain removal techniques, this will save your clothes from most oil/grease, makeup, and miscellaneous food/dirt stains—it is without a doubt one of the best purchases I have ever made, even if the label is the kookiest shit I have ever seen.
UBeauty Resurfacing Compound: You could also tell me this was made out of something precious and I would cackle maniacally as I rubbed into my (glowing! clear and even! never looked better!) face. Really not making a great case that I shouldn’t be on the watchlists here, but that’s beside the point. There’s no one miracle product that will fix all of your skin issues, but this gentle combo of Vitamin C and E, retinol, AHA’s, and hyaluronic acid will help brighten you up while paring down your routine. I am now thinking of myself as Gollum and this as my precious (never watched those movies, but I think this works).
Saie Big Buffing Brush: 2023 was the year I (kind of) learned how to contour, thanks pretty much entirely to this super soft, super dense brush. I rub it directly into cream bronzer and then buff the product upwards to the outside edge of my orbital bone. Yes, this would work better as a video, but I’m feeling camera shy at the moment. Something about applying the product onto my skin with the brush vs. applying it directly and then buffing it in has made my contour placement WAY more symmetrical, and now that I have this to help me properly blend, it looks way less crazy. You don’t need to contour to use this though—it would also be great for liquid foundation or cream blush.
Honorable mentions to a few other personal favorites: Crown Affair’s leave-in conditioner is so good at taming dry/frizzy hair. Happy to see you all love this Ami Colé lip oil as much as I do! I added two pairs of jeans to my closet this year—the first was this white pair from Re/Done that I now wear more than any other (they run true to size and are currently 50% off), and the second were the Khaite Danielle’s. They are wildly expensive, but I found mine on TheRealReal and they make my objectively short legs look a million miles long. I bought more bags than I care to admit last year, but I found myself constantly reaching for a vintage nylon Prada one I found secondhand on Mercari. The material is super durable, so you don’t have to be precious with it in bad weather or crowded bars, and you can find plenty of styles at great prices on resale sites.
Now that we’ve recapped my favorites, I’m curious about yours! What did you love? What can’t you live without? What are you shouting from the rooftops and telling everyone about (aside from the toothbrush, ofc)? Excited to hear from you all!
More to come so very soon! I am BURSTING with recs recently—I cannot write fast enough!!!