Let’s face it, some workouts can really use that extra jolt of energy. You know, the kind of music that you can’t help but start swaying or bopping along to. The kind of beats that will wake you up better than that second (or third) cup of coffee. That’s exactly the idea behind this week’s playlist. But that doesn’t mean you need to use the songs on this playlist for a dance cardio workout. I love listening to dance music on the days I’m feeling especially sluggish. There’s just something about the heavy bass, thumping rhythms, and catchy vocals that get me motivated and push me through the end of the workout. Having said that, if you’d like to use this playlist to jump around, shimmy, shake, or drop it low—you should absolutely go for it. This playlist is also great for study breaks, when you want to get up and wiggle for a few minutes between chapters, or even as a hype-me-up playlist to use as you get ready for a night out. Why not turn your makeup routine into a full-on choreography moment? This list is dappled with classic bangers you’re sure to know—Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”—plus new favorites—“Hold Me Closer” from Britney Spears and Elton John, and “SUMMER RENAISSANCE” from Beyoncé. So clear some space, turn up the volume, and get ready to groove. Listen to the playlist below, or keep scrolling for all the tracks.ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Full playlist:“Hold Me Closer” by Elton John, Britney Spears“Just Dance” by Lady Gaga, Colby O’Donis“Levitating – Don Diablo Remix” by Dua Lipa, DaBaby“One More Time” by Daft Punk“SUMMER RENAISSANCE” by Beyoncé“Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE“Dancing With the DJ” by The Knocks“Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley“You Got the Love – New Voyager Radio Edit” by The Source, Candi Staton“Payback” by Cheat Codes feat. Icona Pop“Burn” by Ellie Golding“Hot Stuff” by Kygo, Donna Summer“Hello” by Martin Solveig feat. Dragonette“Starstruck” by Years & Years“We Found Love” by Rihanna, Calvin Harris“On the Floor” Radio Edit by Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull“Bad Habits – MEDUZA Remix” by Ed Sheeran“Stupid Love” by Lady Gaga“Dark Horse” by Katy Perry, Juicy J“You” by Regard, Troye Sivan, Tate McRae“Seventh Heaven” by BeckRelated:
You don’t have to read much about fitness before you inevitably start hearing about the magic of morning workouts. I’ve espoused this idea several times. I love starting my day with exercise, and I genuinely feel like it sets the right tone for the whole day. Part of that is because my hour of sweat is usually the only “me time” that I get these days. Another reason is that it usually puts me in a good mood (gets those endorphins pumping, right?) which means I face whatever challenges the day holds with a clearer head and (hopefully) a calmer attitude. Having said all that, morning workouts often feel a bit like eating kale. We know it’s good for us, but it just seems so damn hard sometimes. Over the years, I’ve learned that preparation is the key to success. In my bag of tricks: Putting out my clothes, sneakers, and headphones the night before so I can dress in the dark without thinking. Going to bed early (duh). Avoiding social media and emails until after my workout is complete. And making sure I’ve got a killer playlist queued up. That’s the idea behind this week’s lineup. The track’s on this list are all upbeat and have quick tempos—but they’ve still got just enough chill to help ease you into the day. I don’t need DJ air horn sounds at six in the morning, but I still need enough of a rhythm to motivate me to move (and not just relax in child’s pose for five minutes—which has happened). On this list, you’ll find remixes from Ed Sheeran and Anderson .Paak, and some go-to favorites, like Justin Bieber’s “Sorry” and Calvin Harris’s “Slide.” As with the other playlists I’ve created, there’s a rough order to this one (a few songs up front to ease you in), but you should feel free to skip around as you see fit. Check out the playlist on Spotify below, or keep scrolling for the complete track list. Up and at ’em, folks!ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Full playlist:
Again, this watch is large—so large that it invited several unprovoked comments while I was testing it. Among them: “It’s like you’ve got a mini computer strapped to your wrist” or “The watch is now part of your personality, it’s so big.”So, yes, it’s noticeably bigger and heavier than the Series 7 (which is what I had been wearing previous to testing this one, seen in the above photo). Having said that, I like large watches and I didn’t find the weight of this watch to be distracting after a few minutes of getting used to it. The Ultra also comes loaded with an exclusive Wayfinder watch face that allows you to have roughly eight complications (customized apps you can access directly from the watch face) on the screen at once. At first, I thought it was way too much, but then I found myself gravitating toward this watch face because it made navigating to my most frequently used apps so easy. I also love the night mode feature on this face, which switches the screen to a deep red with a simple twist of the digital crown.I tested two bands: the Alpine Loop (which came in vibrant orange woven textile) and the Ocean Band (which is a traditional notched watch band that came in a lemon yellow). Both bands were equally comfortable, but I found myself using the Ocean Band because it’s made from a thick, soft silicone that was easy to towel off after a workout and didn’t stay sweaty or absorb moisture like other fabric bands do. The Alpine Loop band gives a nod to mountaineering carabiners with its G-hook and loop closure, which also made size adjustments easy. (I did not test the third band style, the Trail Loop, which uses a velcro closure.)In terms of style, I found this watch to be on par with other smartwatches. It is not—in my opinion—as elegant as most analog watches, but it serves a completely different purpose. I know plenty of people who wear their Apple watches 24/7—whether they’re in black tie attire or a bathing suit. That’s not me. But for day-to-day wear, workouts, and a huge variety of sports—this watch looks great and will fit right in with any sporty chic or casual looks.Water ResistanceThe Apple Watch has been proofed for shallow water activities since the Series 2 and users have had the option for swimming workouts within the watch OS for several years.But with the Ultra, there are some serious depth improvements. The Ultra is water resistant up to 100 meters, and when used in conjunction with the Oceanic+ app, it becomes a fully capable dive computer—tracking time spent underwater, water temperature, and providing warnings for things like a rapid ascent or when a maximum target depth has been reached. Even for casual snorkeling, the Depth app will still provide several helpful stats, and can automatically start when the watch is submerged.Also new with the OS9: the kickboard feature. With little to no wrist movement while using a kickboard, previously, the watch wasn’t great at detecting a workout—but now it can. Though I didn’t have the chance to test out these dive features, I have used the watch in the pool for casual swim workouts (and, as I mentioned, I wore it 24/7 which included bath time for my daughter), and it all worked exactly as expected.Other Features: Sleep, Advanced Cycle Tracking, Backtrack, and Compass WaypointsWith previous Apple watches, nighttime meant charging. Now, with the improved battery life, sleep tracking feels obvious. My level of end-of-day exhaustion outweighed any mild annoyance of the bulky watch and I easily fell asleep wearing it. With the latest OS 9, you can view sleep stages, meaning your watch takes in a variety of data points to detect if you’re awake, or in REM, core, or deep sleep stages.
Attention runners: Ideal temps will soon be here! If you’ve been logging miles in the summer heat, praying for those cool mornings when you can wear running tights and windbreakers, your season is about to arrive.For many runners, fall also kicks off unofficial race season. Several major marathons—Berlin, London, Chicago, New York—all happen from September to November. Even if you’re not training for a race (I’m not), it’s still fun to let yourself get caught up in the excitement as you watch these iconic events unfold.With that in mind, this week’s playlist aims to capture that same autumnal race thrill with up-tempo pop songs and motivating beats that’ll help you power through to your finish line (even if it’s just the end of your block). If you’re not a runner, this track list is still pretty great for any type of strength or HIIT workout or just a nice walk outside!Fall is also a time of change—whether you’re starting school or ramping up at work—so this playlist also feels appropriately transitional. I sprinkled in some seasonal moodiness with Billie Eilish and gave a nod to the end of beach days with Calvin Harris’s “Summer” and Florence and the Machine’s classic “Dog Days Are Over.” You’ll also find a few songs about breaking up and moving on (Miley Cyrus’s “Nothing Breaks Like a Heart” and “Leave Before You Love Me,” by Marshmello and the Jonas Brothers), but always with a rhythm that will keep you moving. And since I’m a music nerd, I ended this playlist with a cover of “Beggin’” by Norwegian duo Madcon. The original version of this song is by—who else?—The Four Seasons. Listen to the playlist below on Spotify or keep scrolling to see all the tracks.ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Full playlist:“Sinnerman,” Sofi Tukker Remix by Nina Simone“Bodies,” by The Knocks feat. MUNA“As It Was,” by Harry Styles“Summer,” by Calvin Harris“Leave Before You Love Me,” by Marshmello feat. Jonas Brothers“Nothing Breaks Like a Heart,” by Mark Ronson feat. Miley Cyrus“Weapon of Choice,” by Fatboy Slim“Waste It on Me,” by Steve Aoki feat. BTS“Cold Heart,” PS1 Remix by Elton John feat. Dua Lipa“La Perla,” Tourist Remix by Sofia Kourtesis“Frick Park Market,” by Mac Miller“Hold On,” by Justin Bieber“How Will I Know,” by Whitney Houston feat. Clean Bandit“Delicate,” Seeb Remix by Taylor Swift“The Sound,” by The 1975“Bad Guy,” by Billie Eilish“Wanderlust,” by Throttle“This Head I Hold,” by Electric Guest“Green Light,” Chromeo Remix by Lorde“Dog Days Are Over,” by Florence and the Machine“Beggin’,” Frank Walker Remix by MadconRelated:
Chances are if you’re a new parent or about to be one, you’ve got a lot of your baby basics out of the way: the softest diapers, organic non-irritating creams, hand-crafted wooden toys (also organic), and a plethora of finely spun, cotton onesies sourced from a single location somewhere in the Italian Alps.But once your baby is home and reality sets in, you will probably find that even the most diligent research doesn’t always hold up in practice. There are some items you might not like, some your baby might not like, and others you might have forgotten about entirely (see item number nine on this list for me).What’s more, during your first year of parenthood, your baby will also go through a ton of changes—what works during week three probably won’t even be necessary by the time your baby turns one. With that in mind, it’s important to have products that aren’t too expensive, but that are still durable enough to withstand lots of use over a short period of time.The good news? All of the products on this list fit that requirement. Below, I’ve rounded up some of the best baby items that I used again and again throughout my first year as a parent. These are products that finally gave me my eureka moment—many times after trying other brands that weren’t as great. And while some of these are genuinely only for the first year, several of them can graduate with your baby and get more use well into toddlerhood (see numbers 6, 11, 12, and 13). Plus, all of these products are available on Amazon. Keep reading for the items that made that life-changing first year just a little bit easier.All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
I learned a long time ago that a quick run or workout could be the perfect antidote to reset my mood. Whether it’s a crappy day at work, a frustrating conversation, or just a general malaise, sometimes getting up to move (outside, ideally) makes all the difference. Something else that really helps, of course, is having the right music. Not just songs with upbeat tempos, but ones that have feel-good lyrics and ridiculously catchy refrains. These are songs that keep me running even even when I’m lacking motivation or feeling sluggish. You know, the kind of songs that get stuck in your head and keep a smile on your face. So that’s what this running playlist is all about. It’s packed with pop remixes and heavy dance beats to keep you running with your head high and shoulders back. You’ll find remixed hits from artists already dominating the charts, like Haim, Lizzo, and Dua Lipa, plus classics from EDM legends like The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk. As with the other recent playlists I created, it starts off with a couple of songs that are a bit more chill to ease you into a workout, and at the end there’s one song to help you wind back down. But if you aren’t a runner or if you’re really short on time, feel free to pick any track on this list, drop your work for the duration of the song, and just dance around your room. You can browse the playlist below or keep scrolling for the complete track list. So let’s go! Time to run, move, dance or just shake off a bad day. ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Full playlist:“Summer Girl,” Amber Mark Remix by Haim“D.A.N.C.E.,” Radio Edit by Justice“Ghost,” Oliver Nelson Remix by Ella Henderson“About Damn Time,” Purple Disco Machine Remix by Lizzo“Do it Again,” by Röyksopp, Robyn“Call Me Maybe,” by Carly Rae Jepsen“New Love,” by Silk City, Diplo, Mark Ronson feat. Ellie Golding“Music Sounds Better With You,” Radio Edit by Stardust“Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger,” by Daft Punk“Seven Nation Army,” by Gaullin, Julian Perretta“Lean On,” CRNKN Remix by Major Lazor, DJ Snake, MØ“Love Again,” Imanbek Remix by Dua Lipa“Lady – Hear Me Tonight,” by Modjo“Sunroof,” Loud Luxury Remix by Nicky Youre, Dazy“I Love It,” by Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX“Star Guitar,” Radio Edit by The Chemical Brothers“Break My Soul,” by Beyoncé“Deeper,” by Shawn Hook“Ice Cream,” by Blackpink feat. Selena Gomez“My Type,” by Saint Motel“Dear to Me,” by Electric GuestRelated:
Nothing quite compares to the joy of finding a holy grail drugstore beauty buy. Discovering a new go-to feels like you’re being let into an elite club—one that knows the best skin-care and beauty items don’t necessarily have to come with sky-high price tags. Because we’re all about finding those stellar bargains, we’ve rounded up the 58 best items you can score at your local (IRL or digital) drugstore. Even better? All of these picks are under $20—so it’s perfectly understandable that you’d want to add more than one to your cart.Rest assured that these products all live up to their promises, since they’re all winners from the 2022 SELF Healthy Beauty Awards. That means they’ve met guidelines provided by dermatologists, and they’ve all been tested by SELF editors, skin-care pros, or makeup enthusiasts. Keep reading for our top picks, organized below by category, and go here to browse all of our winning items.Cleansers, Toners, Essences, and Skin-Care ToolsBest Makeup Removing Wipes: CeraVe Hydrating Makeup Removing Plant-Based WipesFormulated with ceramides and made especially for sensitive skin (read: fragrance free!) these wipes are perfect for easily swiping away the dirt, oil, grime, and makeup of the day. We especially like on the go for midday touch-ups, too.Best Micellar Water: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water (Hyaluronic Acid + Aloe)One of the best-kept secrets at any drugstore? Garnier micellar water. The go-to brand for this classic cleanser does it again with this new formula, that offers moisturizing hyaluronic acid and soothing aloe—so you won’t dry out your skin or irritate your eyes while removing your makeup and cleansing.Best Cleanser for Sensitive Skin: Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser Fragrance-FreeYour favorite sensitive skin facial cleanser just got an update: It’s now fragrance free. Made with hydrating glycerin, this is a cleanser that won’t leave you with that too-tight feeling on your skin. It’s gel-to-foam formula makes washing your face feel especially easy, and at this price point, it’s easy to make this purchase.Best Cleanser for Combination Skin: Thayers pH Balancing Daily CleanserSharing Thayer’s cleansers and toners feels like letting friends in on a well-kept secret. The old-school beauty brand that—as the label indicates—has been around for 175 years offers several fragrance free, oil free, and allergy-tested products, and this cleanser is no exception. Formulated with soothing aloe vera, this face wash is perfect for gently removing makeup and oil at the end of each day.Best Toner for Sensitive Skin: JOAH Heal Me CICA Toner PadsCentella asiatica, a.k.a. CICA, is purportedly great for calming inflammation, redness, and soothing acne-prone skin. The science is limited, but some findings have been shown to be “intriguing,” as SELF previously reported. So if removing impurities, while keeping your skin calm and free of redness sounds good, give these a shot.Best Toner for Dry Skin: Dickinson’s Hydrating Toner with RosewaterThis alcohol-free toner is formulated with vitamin E and hyaluronic acid—making it perfect for those cold, winter months when you need to remove your makeup and don’t want to strip your skin of every last bit of moisture in the process.Best Face Mist: Pixi Beauty Clarity MistSoothe, hydrate and instantly cool your skin with this face mist that sprays on easily and absorbs quickly. Pro tip: Throw this in your carry-on when traveling—face mists are perfect for keeping your skin hydrated during long flights.Moisturizers, Eye Creams, Serums, Oils, and MasksBest Soothing Sheet Mask: Holler + Glow Freeze To Feel Good Cryotherapy Sheet MaskWhile this mask may not actually be cryotherapy, Holler + Glow does recommend you throw it in the freezer for best results. The icy cold mask, coupled with energizing and cooling ingredients, like menthol, will instantly reduce puffiness on your skin—and probably wake you up a bit as well. Think of it as a perfect summertime treat.Best Sheet Mask for Dry Skin: INC.Redible Prep to Party Hydrating Face MaskThis gel mask is infused with hyaluronic acid to hydrate and niacinamide to brighten and tone. Simply place it on, let it do its thing for 20 to 30 minutes, remove, and pat in the remaining essence. You’re good to party—or spend a pampered night in.Best Clay Mask: Boots Niacinamide Clay MaskNiacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, is one of those ingredients that can do it all: brighten, remove excess oil, and help fight acne. With that in mind, this vegan mask can be used two to three times per week to achieve optimal effects. Bonus: Niacinamide is one of the few pregnancy-safe acne-fighting ingredients you can use, making this mask perfect for expectant folks.Best Overnight Pimple Patches: HanHoo Extra Strength Blemish PatchThese vegan pimple patches are intended to go directly over your pimple and then stay there for six to eight hours. Formulated with salicylic acid, the patches turn white as they suck up impurities and oil. Use them each night and say goodbye to stubborn zits.Best Retinol Eye Cream: No7 Pure Retinol Eye CreamIt’s tough to find a drugstore retinol that will really do the trick, but this little tube defies expectation. Designed to minimize dark circles, puffiness, and reduce the appearance of fine lines, this eye cream delivers on all that and more, according to our testers.Best Dark Spot Corrector: The INKEY List Mandelic Acid TreatmentMandelic acid, which is derived from almonds, acts as a gentle chemical exfoliant, and can be perfect for sensitive skin, as SELF has previously reported. This little treatment is designed to help reduce hyperpigmentation and dark spots caused by breakouts and it’s perfect for use each evening.Shower, Bath, Body, and NailsBest Body Scrub: Hero Cosmetics Brave Body Deep ScrubSlather on this sugar scrub once per week to smooth out any rough spots from head to toe. Formulated with sugar, charcoal, and pumice, this is perfect for getting a freshly scrubbed glow.Best Body Bar Cleanser: CeraVe SA Cleanser Bar for Rough and Bumpy SkinThis soap-free bar is made with salicylic acid (for a chemical exfoliation) and jojoba beads (for a physical exfoliation). Combined, you’ve got the perfect shower item designed to slough away dead skin and bumpy spots over time with daily use.Best Body Wash: Method Hydrating Body WashKeep your skin feeling moisturized and soft by drinking plenty of water—and showering with a hydrating body wash. This drugstore steal is packed with glycerin, aloe, and notes of coconut milk. Think of it as a tropical escape in a bottle.Best Targeted Healing Balm: Aquaphor Healing Balm StickFor chapped, chafing skin, there’s probably no better or easier solution than Aquaphor. But if tubes or tubs of the goopy stuff isn’t quite your speed, now the classic healing balm comes in a stick. Translation: Zero mess! Glide it over your extra dry spots (elbows, knees, cuticles) and watch your skin transform.Best Antiperspirant Stick: Degree Advanced Lavender and Waterlily Antiperspirant DeodorantTake on your day—whatever it may bring—with this antiperspirant designed to last up to 72 hours. Delicate notes of lavender and waterlily will transport you to a warm spring day, no matter what the weather is like outside, while you can rest assured that Degree will keep the sweat at bay.Best Antiperspirant Spray: Secret Weightless Dry Spray, Wild RoseOur testers praised this product as “spray deodorant done right.” The antiperspirant has a weightless feel, fresh scent, and it did the job: Keeping everyone sweat free all day long.Best Natural Deodorant: Schmidt’s Vanilla & Oat Milk Sensitive Skin Deodorant StickNatural deodorants can get a bad rap: Whether they’re actually irritating to sensitive skin, wear off after just a few hours, or just don’t smell that great, it can be tough to make the switch. But this deodorant from Schmidt’s makes it easy. Their deodorant is scented with vanilla and oat milk, so it’s soothing to lots of skin types, plus the gentle fragrance really lasts for hours.Best Deodorant: Dove Care by Plants Eucalyptus DeodorantAluminum and baking soda free, this derm-approved deodorant also got high marks from our testers who said the pleasant—and not overpowering—scent stayed for hours, keeping them feeling fresh all day long.Best Hand Cream: Vaseline Hydra Hand CrèmeDrugstore darling brand, Vaseline, does it again with this hydrating hand cream that’s easy to throw in your bag and take on the go. If your hands have been taking a beating since the start of the pandemic with lots of extra hand-washing, this lotion, formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid and shea butter, is just the thing you need to make them feel soft again.Best Daily Hand Soap: Dr. Teal Prebiotic Lemon Balm & Sage Moisturizing Hand SoapMade with finely granulated pumice stone and epsom salt, this hand soap promises to gently exfoliate as it moisturizes with shea butter. Testers also described the scent as being fresh, clean, and not overly sweet smelling.Best Nail Polish: essie Swoon in the Lagoon CollectionIdeal for all of your summertime manicures, this new collection from Essie features nine fresh colors that have a glossy shine and solid coverage even after a single coat is applied. Choose from a pale pink, sky blue, and bright peach, among other shades.Best Top Coat: OPI Nature Strong Top CoatWe’re all about a strong finish, which is why we love this crystal clear, high-shine top coat from drugstore mainstay brand, OPI. Testers raved that this strong top coat allowed their manicures to last for over two weeks with barely any chips.Oral Care ProductsBest Whitening Toothpaste: Colgate Optic White Pro Series ToothpasteFormulated with 5% hydrogen peroxide, this whitening toothpaste is perfect for removing surface stains, polishing your enamel, and protecting against cavities. Testers said it left their teeth feeling as clean as when they come from the dentist and that they enjoyed the strong mint flavor.Best Toothpaste for Sensitive Teeth: Natean Clean + Sensitivity Relief with Fluoride Soothing MintIf whitening toothpastes irritate your teeth, allow us to introduce you to Natean. This fluoride toothpaste has all the same-cavity fighting power as other whitening versions, but is formulated without some of the ingredients those with teeth sensitivities might find irritating.All MakeupBest Foundation for Mature Skin: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Perfector 4-in-1 Matte MakeupPlenty of makeup artists agree: Some foundations—that settle into wrinkles or cake along smile creases—will just end up making you look older. But that’s not the case with this matte makeup from Maybelline. The extra light whipped texture allows you to apply a little, for minimal coverage, or layer on more product in areas where more coverage might be needed.Best Setting Powder: Wet N Wild Bare Focus Clarifying Finishing PowderIt’s tough to beat the price on this lightweight finishing powder that testers loved because it provided a little coverage, without weighing them down or clumping over any other makeup. The small compact was a bonus, too: It easily fits into the smallest clutch.Best Setting Spray: Hard Candy Stay ‘n Slay Setting SprayDrugstore mainstay brand Hard Candy is no stranger to creating great products that stand the test of time. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that their setting spray—designed to help your makeup last and last—was selected as one of this year’s winners. Infused with hyaluronic acid and agave nectar, the spray is moisturizing, while still providing a matte finish that testers said helped to keep their shimmery shadows perfectly in place.Best Primer: NYX Plump Right Back Primer + SerumMoisturize is the name of the game with this primer and serum combo that’s designed to pamper your skin ahead of foundation or other makeup application. Testers loved that it provided a good base—no pilling or clumping even with full-coverage foundation—while our derms loved that it’s formulated with hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and more.Best Liquid Blush: FLOWER Beauty Blush Bomb Color DropsFans of Drew Barrymore’s beauty line, FLOWER, might already know the brand offers great products at very affordable price points—and this latest offering is no exception. Testers loved the gorgeous range of eight colors and that a little product goes a long way.Best Brow Gel: e.l.f Cosmetics Brow LiftAs one tester put you, “You say ‘jump,’ this glue says ‘how high.’” This clear brow gel will help your brows stay put all day long—so whether you’re using it alone or on top of another pomade or pencil color, you’ve got a look that’s in for the long haul.Best Everyday Mascara: CoverGirl Exhibitionist Stretch & Strengthen MascaraFormulated with peptides and biotin, this mascara promises to give your lashes an extra lengthening effect and according to our testers, it definitely delivers. No flaking, smudging, or smearing as the day goes on, one tester said this would be her new “ride or die” mascara.Best Classic Lip Balm: eos The Hero Stick Lip BalmIntended to heal dry, chapped lips, this lip balm earned praise for smelling good, not feeling too waxy upon application, providing substantial moisture for hours, and of course, an unbeatable price point.Best Lip Crayon: Revlon ColorStay Matte Lite CrayonThis non-sticky, lightweight, intense pigmented lip crayon does exactly what it claims: stays put for hours and hours. With shades like neon pink, bright purple, and deep red, there’s something here to suit every mood and occasion.Sunscreens and Body LotionsBest Tanning Lotion: Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Sunless Tanning Moisturizer + BronzerConsider this your “drama-free” sunless tanner. A non-sticky formula makes application easy, while the gentle glow gives you a tan—with none of the orange hue sunless tanners often get a bad rap for leaving.Best Body Lotion for Dry Skin: Gold Bond Pure Moisture Daily Body & Face LotionFree of parabens, dyes, and fragrances, this body lotion—intended for daily use—earned praise for being quick absorbing and not in the least bit greasy. In addition to earning top scores with our testers, the lotion also received bonus points from our derms for containing hyaluronic acid.Best Body Lotion for Sensitive Skin: NIVEA Sensitive & Radiant Body LotionThis hydrating lotion was perfect for repairing dry, parched skin, our testers said. A hypoallergenic formula, tested by dermatologists, means that it’s great for all skin types, and the pump bottle design means that daily application is a total cinch.Best Treatment for Dry or Cracked Feet: Dr. Scholl’s Ultra Hydrating Foot MaskGive your feet the extra TLC they deserve—without the pedicure spa pricing. Testers loved this foot mask because it was easy to use and really delivered the results they were looking for: Soft, moisturized, sandal-ready feet.Best Chemical Sunscreen for Body: Bare Republic Clearscreen SPF 100 Sunscreen LotionThis water-resistant, reef-friendly formula is easy to rub in and has a truly invisible finish. One of our testers—who noted she has sensitive skin—said that this lotion is truly non-irritating and easy to apply.Best Sunscreen Powder: Hawaiian Tropic Mineral Translucent Sunscreen Powder Brush SPF 30Think a sunscreen powder isn’t for you? Think again. This mineral translucent powder is perfect for a matte finish application on top of your makeup or for a quick dusting all over your shoulders and arms. Bonus: Testers loved the subtle, floral fragrance.Best Sunscreen Spray: Coppertone Complete Sunscreen SprayCoppertone has been in the sunscreen game since the start—and all that experience has clearly paid off with this latest offering. The SPF 50, water-resistant formula offers plenty of protection and won’t leave a white cast after application.Shampoos and ConditionersBest Shampoo for Dry or Damaged Hair: Aveeno Hair Plant Protein Blend ShampooUsing the colloidal oatmeal that made the brand name a household mainstay, this moisturizing shampoo has a floral scent that our tester loved. That, plus soft, bouncy hair made this product an instant winner in our books.Best Shampoo for Color-Treated Hair: John Frieda Vibrant Shine Color Shine ShampooOur tester said their hair was left shiny and “easy to style” after using this color-protective shampoo that adds moisture and helps to keep dyed hair looking vibrant and fresh—never dull.Best Dandruff Shampoo for Natural Hair: Cantu Guava & Ginger Anti-Dandruff ShampooInfused with guava, ginger, apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and menthol, this anti-dandruff shampoo checked all the boxes from both our dermatologists and the testers who used it. Bonus: This shampoo is also formulated with salicylic acid.Best Dandruff Shampoo: Neutrogena Scalp Therapy Anti-Dandruff Itchy ScalpOur tester noted they felt an “instant cooling” sensation upon application of this shampoo. Those with a dry scalp will also enjoy that this product is packed with moisturizing ingredients that will help solve dandruff problems stat.Best Daily Conditioner: Pantene Daily Moisture Renewal ConditionerLifeless strands get a much-needed wake-up call with this moisturizing conditioner that is designed to bring life back to dull hair. Our testers loved the floral scent and that the product left their hair feeling instantly silky.Best Conditioner for Oily Hair: Head & Shoulders Supreme Detox & Hydrate Shampoo and ConditionerThis sulfate-free shampoo is formulated with coconut water and designed to leave hair feeling refreshed and moisture-rich.Best Conditioner for Dry or Sensitive Scalp: Canviiy ScalpBliss Moisture + Repair Organic-Based Daily Conditioner with Aloe Vera & Vitamin EThough not everyone was a fan of the sweet vanilla scent of this conditioner—not to worry, the scent fades after rinsing and styling—the results of the product speak for themselves. Hair felt softer to the touch and detangling was a breeze.Best Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair: Mielle Organics Oats & Honey Soothing ConditionerThis creamy balm dissolved effortlessly into hair and left a subtle, sweet, honey scent that lasted for hours. The conditioner is gentle on hair and scalp, making it perfect for a variety of needs.Best Detangling Conditioner: Creme of Nature Butter Blend & Flaxseed Double Duty Detangle & Slip Rinse-Out and Leave-in ConditionerAdding elasticity, softness, and great slip, this conditioner was made for anyone who struggles to get their hair successfully detangled after every wash. Formulated without sulfates, mineral oil, and petroleum, it’s also perfect for those who are ingredient minimalists.Best Conditioner for Natural Hair: Dark & Lovely Blowout Moisture Treat Deep ConditionerIf your hair is in need of some moisture repair, this might just become your new go-to. Made for all curl types, this conditioner left our testers’ hair feeling soft and bouncy.Best Co-Wash: Function of Beauty Coily Hair Co-Wash Base with Shea ButterOur testers said the shea butter in this co-wash truly made it feel moisturizing and also a great option for those with coily hair. Testers also loved that the mild scent was fresh, without being overpowering.Hair Styling Products and ToolsBest Paddle Brush: Goody Go Gentle Infusion Paddle BrushPerfect for anyone who is prone to frizzy hair, our tester also noted this brush was great at providing a little scalp massage while detangling. With a mix of vegan boar and ball-tipped bristles, the brush also offers the best of both worlds, delivering shine and smoothness.Best Detangler for Natural Hair: NOU No Damage DetanglerThis detangler is designed to provide extra slip for those who need it most—without causing any damage to hair. Formulated without parabens, sulfates, or dyes, you can skip the rinse, and simply use a wide-tooth comb to brush and then style.Best Cream for Twist-Outs, Braids, and Protective Styles: TWIST by Ouidad Stretch Seeker 3-in-1 Curl Stretching CreamDelivering a light hold, so your coils and curls stay defined without being weighed down, testers said this stretching cream delivered on its promise of zero crunch and no white residue.Best Mask for Natural or Curly Hair: Carol’s Daughter Goddess Strength Cocoon Hydrating Hair MaskThis hydrating hair mask is designed to repair existing damage, lock in moisture, and help protect your locks from future breakage. If you’re looking for a new addition to your “self-care Sunday” ritual, we highly recommend this one—which you’ll let sit for five minutes after shampooing and conditioning.
There might be no better feeling than coming to the end of your day and clocking out, placing the last glass in the dishwasher, closing your laptop, putting your kids to bed, or generally finishing the responsibilities of the day—however that looks for you. And though it might be easy to complete those rote tasks, it’s often not so easy to shut off your mind.That’s where a little self-care and a wind-down routine can really come in handy. And while we all know it’s easier said than done, a little mindfulness, a calming beauty routine, some soothing stretches, or another relaxing activity can go a long way in helping you achieve better, more restful sleep.With that in mind, we asked SELF staffers about the small steps they take to help release the tension of the day and ease themselves to rest each evening. After all, we spend basically all day talking to health and wellness professionals to get their top tips—you better believe we’ll try some for ourselves. And look: It’s not always perfect. We have late nights of work, or hours stuck wide awake no matter how many grounding techniques we might try. So think of these tips like items in a toolbox: They might not all work for you, and you might not use them every day, but when needed, one of these might be a perfect fit.And remember, one stressful evening or poor night of sleep is bound to happen now and again. (Or, you know, a lot given the current state of the world.) But there’s always a chance to reset the next day and give your relaxing self-care routine another try. Here are the 16 tried-and-true methods SELF editors actually use to unwind.Cook a delicious dinner.I like making myself a super delicious, but easy meal. The act of cooking is nice because it feels creative and like I’m doing something good to take care of myself. And while I cook, I listen to music that I can sing along to, usually rock—that helps me blow off steam! —Carolyn Todd, health editorPlay piano.I took piano lessons for nearly 15 years, stopping only when I went to college and didn’t have easy access to a piano. For Christmas this year, my parents bought me a Casio weighted keyboard because they knew how much I’ve missed playing. I pull out my keyboard and favorite classical sheet music a few times per week after work, and it helps me release tension almost immediately. I’m still pretty rusty after not playing consistently for a few years, but it helps me to cultivate patience, learn to savor slow moments, and notice growth over time. —Sarah Madaus, commerce writerRevisit a TV sitcom from the ’80s or ’90s.We’ve written about the comfort of nostalgia before at SELF, but I cannot emphasize enough how powerful I think nostalgic TV can be. I’m consistently watching one show from the ’80s or ’90s—so far, I’ve done all of Seinfeld, Frasier, and Cheers, all of which have numerous seasons. I will flip them on before bed, while I’m folding laundry, or even while I’m having dinner to tune-out and unplug from my day. Late-20th century TV is incredible in its own right: The writing was phenomenal and the characters were unique and colorful. Even better, dating apps and text messages were never the butt of the joke. It’s nice to get a glimpse into a universe where there’s no social media—or really even laptops—and linger inside it for a while. Next, I’ll be doing The Golden Girls and The Nanny. —Hannah Pasternak, associate director of special projectsDo a crossword puzzle.I’ve been staying with my mom in Connecticut since the beginning of the pandemic and almost every night, after dinner and a streaming show or two, we work on a crossword puzzle. We used to do them on the phone when I was still living in New York (we eventually bought the same crossword book, like a couple of dorks), but now we curl up next to each other on her couch, usually with Christofur, the Siamese, sprawled out on my legs, and challenge our weary selves with clever clues and answers. My anxious brain is often in full force at night, but the puzzle gives it something to focus on so it can leave me alone and let my body chill out, which happens fast. About 30 minutes in, I can barely keep my bleary eyes open. And knowing that I’m getting to spend nightly quality time with my mom, something I never thought I’d get as an adult, adds extra comfort. —Cathryne Keller, associate wellness directorSweat out your stress.Until about a year ago, unwinding after work meant plopping on the couch with dinner and just binging whatever show I felt like watching on Netflix. Now, things are a little different. I find the best way to relax is by taking martial arts or self-defense lessons with a personal trainer. There’s something so stress-relieving about punching and kicking away all the pent-up aggression built up throughout the day. And the adrenaline I get when I can take down my trainer during a drill? There’s no way to describe the feeling of knowing you can defend yourself, all while getting in a good workout too. It’s made such a difference to my overall health and I truly don’t regret doing it. —Adrianna Freedman, associate social media managerLeave your house for a walk and a workout.I recently joined a powerlifting gym that’s a 30-minute walk from my apartment. Getting out the door to work out feels impossible sometimes, but I’ve turned the commute into me time where I can listen to a podcast, an audiobook, or just listen to my favorite song on repeat. (Lately, I’ve been on a Miley Cyrus kick.) The walks to the gym and back are my warm-up and cooldown, and I like knowing that I have something to look forward to four days each week. —Melissa Matthews, associate health directorTake a long shower.I absolutely must shower after a long day. There’s something about washing my body and removing the stress and anxiety from the day that’s so calming—I stand in my shower for way longer than I should. But when I’m done, I’m so relaxed and can enjoy leisurely pleasures, like making dinner in my robe. —Kenny Thapoung, associate director of audience development…Or take a nice warm bath.One of my favorite things to do at the end of a long day is to take a bath. I always use bath salts, and I often light a candle on the ledge of the tub. The combination of the warm water and the scents of the salts and candle helps me feel relaxed both physically and mentally. Even 10 minutes in the tub will do the trick. —Sarah Yalowitz, director of programming and developmentSlow down and stretch.I hold a lot of tension in my upper body, so I can really feel the effects of stress in my jaw, neck, and shoulders after a long day. (So. many. muscle knots!) One of my favorite ways to unwind is to simply take a long, hot shower to really encourage my muscles to loosen up. The warmth of the water gets me into self-care mode, and I’ll follow up with 15 minutes of stretching before bed if I really want to avoid aching the next day. It’s a nice way to force myself to slow down and combat some of the effects of sitting all day at a computer. —Alisa Hrustic, health directorLoosen up and zone out.After a.m. exercise, getting my daughter out the door for daycare, work, then making dinner, and putting my toddler to bed, I’m usually pretty drained—but also somehow restless. My favorite way to unwind these days is to watch something easy (The Great British Baking Show is a balm for my mind), and stretch at the same time in front of the TV. I find it easier to hold intense postures, like pigeon pose or a low lunge, when I’m distracted by the dulcet tones of a pie critique in an English accent. After just 10 minutes, I’ll feel looser overall, less stiff, and more ready for bed. —Amy Eisinger, digital directorMake reading a priority.Before the pandemic hit, my favorite pastime was reading a book on my commute. It was a great way to relax before and after work. Now that I work from home, I make it a priority to read at least two chapters in my book every day after work. It helps me to relax and unwind after a long day. —Cheryl Carlin, senior manager, analyticsListen to a gripping audiobook.These days, I’m listening to The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix. It’s a hilarious novel about women in a small-town book club who realize they need to save their community from the vampire who’s moved into the neighborhood. Losing myself in this kind of plot helps reset my brain from thinking about work, as opposed to something like a news or pop- culture podcast, which would definitely have me thinking about story ideas. And the fact that I’m listening instead of reading gives my eyes a break after a day full of staring at a screen. Even better, if I listen while I take a quick walk, it really reinforces the “self-care time!” message for both my body and mind. —Zahra Barnes, executive editorCreate a library queue, so you always have a new book.I always set aside time to read on my Kindle after the productive part of my day is over. I read a bunch of different genres, but whatever I choose is almost always fiction—I find that to be a much better way to decompress. It can take me forever to pick a book to read (which is not good for winding down), so one way I’ve gotten around that is by curating a robust waitlist from the library. That way, whenever the book is ready for my digital checkout, I know it’s one that I’ve already vetted and am excited to read. Then I can just get started. —Christa Sgobba, associate director of fitness and foodGet cozy first, then read.Working full-time and having a toddler admittedly doesn’t allow for much winding-down time (as I’m sure most parents know!), but I still like to curl up under like three blankets on the couch (being cozy is a necessity) and read as many pages of my current book as I possibly can before I pass out. It gives me an hour of time to quiet my body and brain, and get lost in someone else’s world. —Allison Tsai, associate health directorPamper yourself with a beauty routine.After I put my baby down at around 7 p.m., I like to unwind with a cup of tea and usually watch whatever my partner wants on TV (I don’t pay attention anyway so it feels wrong to steer the selection). Then I dive into some kind of beauty routine. I’ll give myself a mani or pedi, put on a face mask, or do a full hair wash and style—my mornings belong to my daughter so I have to do it at night! —Shanna Shipin, commerce managing editorMaster giving yourself a good manicure.One way I like to unwind is playing around with nail art. In 2021, I set out to get better at doing my nails at home since salons were closed due to COVID and I also just wanted to save money. While I don’t think I necessarily saved money, since I spend a good amount each month buying fun new nail polish colors, brushes, stencils, and cuticle products, I have definitely found it to be relaxing. My friends have suggested making it a side hustle, but I never will because this is truly a hobby that I enjoy getting better at and sharing on my Instagram Stories. —Jenifer Calle, senior commerce editorQuotes have been edited for length and clarity.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the Instant Pot Cyber Monday deals we’re seeing. For the shopping holiday, select retailers are offering the do-it-all Instant Pot at over 50% off for a limited time.If you’ve upped the ante on your home cooking game, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new gadget, thanks to the best Instant Pot deals you’ll find for months. As part of Cyber Monday 2021 promotions, buyers can save over 50%—a rare, rare deal—off this popular pressure cooker at retailers like Amazon, Target, and Sur La Table. For the unenlightened, here’s what makes Instant Pots so essential: They do it all (and fast). Really. This nine-in-one appliance—which won’t command too much of your precious counter space—can steam and sauté vegetables, cook rice to perfection, make oatmeal and grains, whip up yogurt, sous vide meat, bake a cake, and even sterilize items. (Perhaps this last feature doesn’t seem necessary—but just ask any new parent, and they’ll tell you how useful it is.) But the best part? Instant Pots take the guesswork (and waiting) out of slow cooking classic comfort dishes—think beef stew, bolognese sauce, and homemade chicken stock.Instant Pots also require minimal cleanup, since so many Instant Pot recipes can all be made directly in the cooker—no additional pots and pans needed. Plus, this model has fingerprint-resistant stainless steel sides and comes with a dishwasher-safe lid and inner pot, so there’s no need to waste time scrubbing at the kitchen sink. If we haven’t sold you yet, just know that Instant Pot sales don’t come around often or at such steep discounts. These Instant Pot Cyber Monday deals are largely set to expire on November 29 and are known to sell out, so you’ll want to move fast on getting your Instant Pot, along with these other Cyber Week kitchen and home steals. With hibernation season on the horizon, the ability to whip up hearty meals in a flash is more appealing than ever. AmazonInstant Pot Crisp 9-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker (6 qt.)Related:
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the Instant Pot Black Friday deals we’re seeing. For the shopping holiday, select retailers are offering the do-it-all Instant Pot at over 50% off for a limited time.If you’ve upped the ante on your home cooking game, there’s never been a better time to invest in a new gadget, thanks to the best Instant Pot deals you’ll find for months. As part of Black Friday 2021 promotions, buyers can save over 50%—a rare, rare deal—off this kitchen must-have. For the unenlightened, here’s what makes Instant Pots so essential: They do it all (and fast). Really. This nine-in-one appliance—which won’t command too much of your precious counter space—can steam and sauté vegetables, cook rice to perfection, make oatmeal and grains, whip up yogurt, sous vide meat, bake a cake, and even sterilize items. (Perhaps this last feature doesn’t seem necessary—but just ask any new parent, and they’ll tell you how useful it is.) But the best part? Instant Pots take the guesswork (and waiting) out of slow cooking classic comfort dishes—think beef stew, bolognese sauce, and homemade chicken stock.Instant Pots also require minimal cleanup, since so many Instant Pot recipes can all be made directly in the cooker—no additional pots and pans needed. Plus, this model has fingerprint-resistant stainless steel sides and comes with a dishwasher-safe lid and inner pot, so there’s no need to waste time scrubbing at the kitchen sink. If we haven’t sold you yet, just know that an Instant Pot sale like this doesn’t come around often or at such a steep discount. Black Friday deals run for a limited time and are known to sell out, so you’ll want to move fast on getting your Instant Pot, along with these other Black Friday kitchen and home steals. With hibernation season on the horizon, the ability to whip up hearty meals in a flash is more appealing than ever. Related: