17 Tiny Luxuries These Tastemakers Appreciate More Than Ever
From hair masks to homegrown cat grass.
Updated Sep 29, 2021 6:33 AM
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The occasional treat-yourself purchase can do a lot to lift your mood—but that doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot to be satisfied. More and more, we’re recognizing that it’s the little things that can lighten up an otherwise gray day, whether it’s a pair of fancy pajamas you finally decided to snag or a nice hand cream you bought to balance out all that scrubbing. A bit of luxury certainly goes a long way.
So we tapped a few of our favorite creatives to find out which new items in and around their home they’re appreciating in this time of self-isolation—as it turns out, some freshly grown cat grass and nature-identification app can spark serious joy. If you’re in need of a small luxe purchase yourself, you’re sure to find one here that will fit the bill.
The Mane Event
I’ve been doing hair masks that I make from coconut oil, castor oil, and lavender oil for the first time. I’ve always wanted to because my scalp leans dry, but I am a morning shower-er, so I never wanted to do a mask in the evening and have to wash my hair twice in a day. Now that I have more time in the mornings and am more flexible with when I can jump in the shower, I can do some work in the mornings with a hair mask on. —Sarah Paiji-Yoo, founder of Blueland
The Palm Pilot
I recently discovered First Honey Manuka Honey hand cream. I’m washing my hands a million times a day, so it’s been a game changer for keeping my skin hydrated. —Suzanne Lerner, cofounder and president of Michael Stars
The Skin Treatment
My Bathing Culture Total Body Brush has been an utter delight! Right before stay-at-home orders went into effect, I stocked up on some of the brand’s amazing soap and the brush caught my eye, as the one I had forever was cracked and had seen better days. Dry brushing was feeling like something I had to do but didn’t enjoy, like flossing. Not only is this beautifully crafted with a comfortable handle, the bristles are also the perfect strength and density. I now look forward to this revived nightly ritual. —Melissa Medvedich, founder of Supernal
The Exercise Accessory
It may sound weird to get new sneakers during quarantine, but having good shoes is crucial for indoor at-home workouts, so I bought ones from APL. My current go-to for online fitness is Sculpt Society with Megan Roup. —Whitney Tingle, cofounder and co-CEO of Sakara
The Perfect Pajamas
I am hooked on all loungewear by Recliner, a women-owned independent label based out of New York City. It makes these slinky, insanely soft, stylish pajama sets, and while I looked at them wistfully, I always made excuses why it wasn’t okay to get them for myself—it always felt like I should spend money on clothing I’d be wearing for work events, rather than something only my husband and I would see. Especially when you WFH (as I am fortunate to do now), you need to be able to delineate your workday from your leisure time. Now that I have the silkiest pajamas to change into that actually look chic, I really feel a mental difference. —Nina Zilka, CEO and cofounder of Alder New York
The Extra-Nice Underthings
Honestly, everything I own feels like a luxury right now. Most notably, though, I’ve been very into my good underwear from Arq. I’m never not wearing one of the brand’s crop tops. I love how snug they fit—they make me feel both held and free. —Connie Matisse, cofounder of East Fork Pottery
The Pet Pamper
With people at home more, cats think it’s mealtime all day long, so my cat has cat grass that she can graze on throughout the day. I usually buy this at the farmers’ market or local pet store, but with shelter-in-place, I’ve been trying my green thumb and growing my own. I’ve even used an old planter that was home to a previously unsuccessful (dead) houseplant and given it a new life. —Jimmy Wu, cofounder and CEO of Cat Person
The Face Cover
My mother sent my family and me some handmade fabric face masks with puppies on them (thanks, Mom!). I’ve found that a drop of essential oil—lavender or lemongrass—combined with the happy puppies makes the mask thing a bit more tolerable. Maybe even relaxing. —Craig Elbert, cofounder and CEO of Care/of
Usually I commute to work via subway and read books on my iPhone to avoid schlepping a heavy bag. But since I’m sheltering in place, I placed a large order of books from iconic Portland, Oregon, bookshop Powell’s and have been making my way through them. I just finished a beautiful novel about humanity after a pandemic called Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, and I’ve started Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid. Severance by Ling Ma and Open Me by Lisa Locascio are next. —Lisa Bubbers, cofounder and CMO of Studs
The Scrub and Soak
I really enjoy taking baths in the evening to wind down before bed. I recently discovered the natural beauty brand Palermo Body and am obsessed with its Detox Body Scrub—it leaves my skin feeling really loved, and the nightly ritual helps wash away the stress of the day. —Leslie Voorhees Means, CEO and cofounder of Anomalie
The Luxe Cup
My morning cup of tea is a sacred ritual I cherish for a bit of quiet morning me time. I love a great English Breakfast and a perfectly sized mug for the classic prep of cream and sugar. Lately, I have been stepping up that routine and breaking out a vintage teapot that takes the experience to the next level. It’s a 1950s white china pot detailed with gold leaves and flowers. I love Tea Forte’s loose leaf as a special treat. —Jen Talbot, interior designer
The Crisp Bed
I’ve always had a love for bedding, and I love to iron my sheets. Even though it’s tedious, right now we have the time! I also enjoy taking my duvet to the couch on a Sunday morning to watch the news. I switch between soft satin and crisp cotton depending on whether it’s hot or cold, but my favorite bedding at the moment is from Tekla Fabrics and Geismars. —Alfred Bramsen, creative project manager at Ganni
The DIY Bouquet
I’m very lucky to have a garden and an outside space to spend time in. Each week I pick the new tulips that have bloomed and arrange them in a vase. It’s been a nice, creative thing to focus on that also brings joy into the house. —Polly Fern, illustrator and ceramist
The Home-Cook Hero
I’ve turned to a lot of creature comforts lately, but have especially loved baking for myself and my boyfriend as a way to focus on something other than the news. I have a few new favorite cookbooks, but I’ve enjoyed Perfectly Golden the most. I’m lactose intolerant and love that every recipe details how to adapt it to be conventional, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free! That feels pretty groundbreaking, right? I love that I don’t have to cross my fingers and hope for the best with dairy-free substitutes, but instead have a rich resource of alternatives. —Tuesday Bassen, fashion designer
The Spiritual Helper
I’ve really been loving House of Intuition’s Magic Intention candles. Things have been so unpredictable lately, making it hard to even ponder the future, but these candles have helped me stay present and think about the things that are in my power to change. Over the past two months, I have burned the Creativity and Rebirth candles, and I’ve been experiencing such a positive impact. —Jade Brown, graphic designer
The Fancy Fragrance
I love wearing perfume these days. It makes me feel happy and feminine when I’m dressed a bit more boyish in work clothing—the smell does everything. My favorite perfume at the moment is Tenebrae from L’Artisan. It was a gift from my good friend Reyes, and it makes me feel like a woman on holiday in the South of France. —Laurence Leenaert, founder of LRNCE
The Nature Guide
I got the PictureThis app to identify all the flowers and trees I see on my walks. Stopping to photograph beautiful flowers and learn something new is a small thing that feels very luxurious. —Erica Blumenthal, cofounder of Yes Way Rosé
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