Welcome to ELLE’s Empties, a weekly series where editors share the one beauty product that they are currently obsessed with in their rotation. This week, our editors share their must-have product for smooth limbs, soft lips, and inky lashes that show up on Zoom.
“This past weekend, I finally decided to take advantage of the increasingly warmer weather and ate lunch outside—the most time I’ve spent under the sun in weeks. Turns out, I’d forgotten some cardinal rules of springtime living (reapply sunscreen! wear a hat!) and was left with a mix of what I’m assuming was mild sunburn, windburn, and general sadness. Thankfully, I already had this First Aid Beauty moisturizer in my arsenal. This rich, easy-to-use cream has been saving my skin and keeping it calm and hydrated, even after I accidentally put it through the wringer. Also, a little goes a long way, so at $36 a pop, it has a great cost per use.” — Madi Feller, Staff Writer
“I’ve gone through A LOT of mascara to combat my laptop camera’s tendency to make my eyes appear smaller than they are (Google it—Zoom dysmorphia is real, y’all). I needed a more cost-effective solution than my IRL fave now that all of my colleagues would be up close and personal with my face every minute of the day. Enter: Honest Beauty’s Extreme Length Mascara + Lash Primer. The narrow brush is perfect for those of us with smaller eye sockets and hooded lids, and the short bristles build flutter-worthy, separated lashes without the mess that bulky bristles can create. The lash primer (which I don’t always use) makes for thick, gorgeous lashes that even my glasses can’t hide. At a drugstore price and with minimal coats needed, one tube gives me two looks, lasts me for months, and gets me through hundreds of Zooms—dysmorphia-free.” — Laura Sampedro, Deputy Managing Editor
“As my friends and colleagues alike know, I’m on the quest for the world’s most velvety limbs. Hanahana Beauty’s body butter might be the last stop on my journey. Never have I ever been so soft and lush from a body butter. This product is divine. It easily soaks into my skin and leaves me feeling hydrated and soft all day long. I opted for an unscented option but for my next refill, I’m going to go for the coconut scent. If you’re looking for the melted butter of body butter, this is the one.” — Chloe Hall, ELLE.com Beauty Director
“After doing isotretinoin (aka Accutane), I became a lip balm expert because it dries out your lips so badly. Only two products healed my lips consistently (I found a lot of lip balms stop working after a week). One was this amazing refillable Hermes treatment. Think of the metal chassis like a family heirloom you can pass on forever. I kind of like the little dings in mine. (The other, for the record, is Vaseline, should you care to spare your wallet.)” — Katie Becker, ELLE Magazine Beauty and Health Director
“My complexion has been extra thirsty this winter. (I blame the harsh temperatures and my apartment’s relentless heating system.) I’ve been leaning on the Superegg Sound Renewal to keep my skin looking and feeling its healthiest. It’s lightweight gel texture doesn’t feel heavy or sticky on my skin. And it’s blended with the good stuff, including plant-derived squalane (an ingredient that mimics a natural component of your skin barrier) and PHA (which acts as an über-gentle exfoliator). The end result: a bouncy, juicy (in the best way), glowing complexion.” — Jesa Marie Calaor, Hearst Made Beauty Editor
“My boyfriend and I had regular mani dates pre-pandemic, and it’s a tradition we’ve carried on at home…with a lot of trial-and-error. These stickers make quirky nail art so easy—I use a pair of needle nose tweezers to place the Cow Print style on top of my favorite shade of JinSoon polish (Ube!!!) for a look that was definitely inspired by the fact that I’ve been in Texas for way too long. Finish off with a clear coat and you’ve got an elevated mani that took just a few extra minutes. Once I’m able to safely support my local salon again, I’ll still be using Cheat Sheets on top of those manis, too.” — Margaux Anbouba, Associate Beauty Editor
“I’ve done a lot of growing up in the past year, and that includes treating my skin to more than a half-assed cleanse and smear of full-coverage foundation. I established a multi-step skincare routine last summer, and my morning ritual on makeup-free days always ends with Dr. Jart’s Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment. As my acne-prone and scarred skin heals and recovers, I can finally embrace a truly foundation-free look, and this treatment covers all redness and blemishes while providing essential sun protection. I keep two unopened jars in the house at all times, and have been long before TikTok told me to.” — Julie Kosin, Senior Culture Editor
“I have no idea what most of the name of this product means, but I do know that it’s damn good sunscreen. I’ve been trying to get outside more–spring is springing and all that–and I wear this every single day, even if I’m only dashing out for a cold brew. This J-Beauty staple doesn’t clog my pores, dries down super quickly, and, most importantly, doesn’t feel like sunscreen at all. (But, as a head’s up, it does contain alcohol, if you’re prone to dryness!)” — Katherine Krueger, ELLE.com Features Editor
“My mother is Portuguese and my father is mostly Irish; while my sister got my mom’s olive, easily-tanned complexion, I was left with my Dad’s pasty pallor. Along with that comes freckles—lots of them—and bad melasma that darkens the second I step into the sun, even with rigorous SPF application. The only thing I’ve found that’s lightened my dark spots and evened out my skin is the SkinMedica Lytera 2.0. At $154 a bottle it’s not exactly cheap, but it is potent, fading the melasma on my cheekbones in a matter of weeks and keeping it at bay for as long as I use it daily.” — Jessica Roy, Digital Director
“As an African American dealing with eczema, I have difficulty finding products that work for me. I came across Buttah Skin, an inclusive skincare brand that creates skin products for darker complexions. After eczema flare-ups, my skin tends to become extremely due to harsh topical creams. After trying Buttah Skin’s Whipped Body Butter, my skin has never felt better. The whipped butter penetrates and deeply moisturizes my skin for all-day comfort and hydration.” — Starr Savoy, ELLE Editorial Fellow
So, what were the ELLE editors obsessed with last week? You can read all about it here.