Last month, I threw out a quick email to our editorial team: “What have been your all-time favorite products (and other life upgrades) since starting at TCM? I’m curious!”
I got a small thrill as I opened each one of these thorough email replies with the discoveries and products they’ve come to love most. This is what we do. I love the note from our managing editor about how her view of skincare has changed (can you relate after discovering natural beauty?) and love to see that so many of the products our team has fallen in love with are some of my all-time favorites too…
Managing Editor | Alyssa Mandel
Skincare as self-love. This one is not a product, but it was a big lesson for me. My uber sensitive and breakout-prone skin has always been a primary source of stress/anxiety/self-esteem issues. Since I joined The Chalkboard Mag team, I’ve discovered tons of products that work really well and don’t cause extreme reactions like those stripping, abrasive acne products I was told to use most of my life. “My skincare routine now brings me calm, grounded peace of mind instead of straight-up anguish.”
Face Mists + Spritzes. I didn’t even know this was a thing before working here! Now, I can’t imagine life without. I spritz all day — first thing in the morning, any time I need a refresh at my desk, even in the car during traffic. My favorites are May Lindstrom’s Jasmine Garden and Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir, and for times I need more intense hydration, Odacite’s Aloe Immortelle mist.
Digestive Supplements. I started using probiotics and digestive enzymes shortly after starting at TCM and I’ll never look back. I currently take Garden of Life Mood+ Probiotic which contains ashwagandha and other mood-balancing herbs (because I’m a high-strung Capricorn that literally needs a chill pill) and HUM Nutrition’s Flatter Me enzyme blend.
Overnight Masks. I bought Tata Harper’s overnight Moisturizing Mask to save my skin from airplane air on a 10-hour flight to London; I loved it a lot and started using it regularly even when I wasn’t flying. Suddenly, I was getting unsolicited compliments on my skin for – literally – the first time ever, and that was really exciting. My current favorite overnight mask is now Glow Recipe’s watermelon mask (I prefer the texture) but Tata’s has a special place in my heart.
Sweet Laurel Bakery Cookbook. This is my most used cookbook — and I’m someone who likes to collect cookbooks and loves to use them. Each recipe is perfect, easy to whip up and healthy enough where I can actually deeply enjoy the indulgence of my favorite desserts.
Sagely CBD Capsules | I’m an over-thinker by nature, and in recent years anxiety has become an increasingly prominent struggle in my day-to-day life. I do all the ‘right’ things to keep my mental health in check, but I still often get swept away by anxious spirals that are frankly exhausting to pull myself out of. Since I started taking Sagely Naturals‘ turmeric-powdered Relief + Recovery CBD capsules every day, I find that my head-space is less chaotic, my stress levels are more manageable, and anxiety feels like a passing experience rather than an all-consuming state. Learn more about CBD here, here and here.
Shop alyssa’s Top Picks
May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden Mist | Caudalie Beauty Elixir | Odacite Aloe Immortale Mist
Tata Harper Moisturizing Mask | Glow Recipe Watermelon Overnight Mask
Garden of Life Mood+ Probiotics | HUM Nutrition Flatter Me
Sweet Laurel Bakery Cookbook | Sagely Relief + Recovery Capsules
Social Media Manager | Melissa Norton
may Lindstrom. Skincare should make you feel dewy and naturally sexy, but what’s often neglected — as I learned from May during our event at The Detox Market last year — are the rituals. So many of us simply rush through our routines to get to bed or get to work.“Inspired by May, I’ve been practicing the art of slowing down and taking time for myself.” Her products are beautifully designed, thoughtfully curated, and have empowered me to take time to breathe, meditate, and reflect while I cleanse, mask or exfoliate. May Lindstrom’s Blue Cocoon + the Honey Mud are the highlights of my daily routine.
Lypo-spheric Vitamin C. I’m never without it. I’ve had major miracle moments with this product where I was convinced I was getting the flu, but then popped one of these and the next day all symptoms were gone. Done.
Herbivore coco rose body polish. I’ve been obsessed with body polish for forever. I love the way it smells and how smooth my skin feels after each use. My problem with most body scrubs was how oily they make my my skin feel afterwards (like, it’s almost embarrassing to have someone touch you). This body polish gets the dead skin off while also nourishing and not making skin feel gross and oily. Also, the smell.
Nutrex Hawaiian spirulina protein powder. I’m a workout nut and – through lots of trial and error – this is one of the only protein powders that I trust to give me stable energy throughout the day after a 6am workout. It contains ginseng and rhodiola too, so sometimes I don’t even need coffee (which is nuts).
herbal synergy from energize organics. This powder is made for that afternoon workout grind. When you can’t have a coffee at 4pm before your workout without becoming too wired, this is your answer. I like to mix it in water or almond milk. It’s not the most delicious blend, but it gets the job done, powering me up like nothing else (except maybe a quadruple shot latte).
sun potion ashwaghanda + he shou wu. I fought a hormone battle after being on The Pill for eight years and then suddenly deciding to go off of it. Taking these two adaptogens daily helped to balance everything out, reduce my stress levels and even encouraged some major hair growth. Everything Sun Potion makes is life.
Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane. As though I need more energy — but when I want to absolutely grind through work at my desk (which is every day), I take this.
Shop melissa’s Top Picks
May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon | May Lindstrom The Honey Mud
Lypo-spheric Vitamin C | Herbivore Coco Rose Body Polish
Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina Protein Powder | Sun Potion Ashwagandha
Sun Potion He Shou Wu | Four Sigmaitc Lion’s Mane | Herbal Synergy from Energize Organics
Editorial Assistant | Sarah Kretzu
Odacite Matcha Cleanser. I have sensitive skin and this cleanser is the perfect amount of exfoliation – and I just love the smell of matcha!
True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil. This luxe blend clears imperfections and gives your skin the most radiant glow all day long! I even got my mom and sister hooked on this oil.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Mask. So. Much. Hydration. This is one product I can’t live or travel without.
Nu Face Trinity. After just one use of this mini microcurrent device you can see and feel results! It lifts your skin while giving you that “post workout” buzzy glow. Learn more about the amazing anti-aging technology that is microcurrent in this piece.
Mattole Valley Goat Protein Powder + Amazing Grass protein powder. Both protein powders are just amazingly good for different reasons! The goat milk protein powder from Mattole Valley is my all time favorite vanilla protein powder — the flavor is not too overpowering and the texture is perfectly creamy. The chocolate peanut butter protein powder brings me back to childhood and all my school lunch PB+Js.
Sun Potion Everything. I love Sun Potion mucuna pruriens for energy. I add it to my coffee every morning for a major mood and energy boost. I use Sun Potion rhodiola and lion’s mane for mental clarity and sharpness — bye, bye, brain fog! I’ve been taking Sun Potion ashwagandha to help me with my allergies.
Shop sarah’s Top Picks
Odacite Matcha Cleanser | True Botanicals Pure Radiance Oil
Glow Recipe Watermelon Overnight Mask | Nu Face Trinity
Mattole Valley Vanilla Goat Milk Protein Powder | Amazing Grass Chocolate PB Protein Powder
Sun Potion Mucuna Pruriens | Sun Potion Rhodiola
Sun Potion Lion’s Mane | Sun Potion Ashwagandha
Copy Editor | Catrina Gregory
Raw-vitalize peanut butter cups. While editing this recipe from raw foodie septuagenarian Mimi Kirk‘s cookbook, Raw-Vitalize, I instantly became obsessed. I seriously make these at least twice a month. (Get the recipe here!)
New Classic Cookbooks. “I basically use three cookbooks every week: Everything I Want To Eat by Jessica Koslow, Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi, and the Gjelina cookbook.”
Lypo-spheric Vitamin C. I swear it prevents colds especially when my immune system is a bit ravaged from jetlag/traveling, which I do often.
Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer. The Wellness Project zoodles recipe is on heavy rotation around here. Try the recipe for yourself!
Sun Potion everything, Too. Tocos, Anandamide, Reishi, Chlorella… I’m pretty sure there’s been some Sun Potion powder in very smoothie I’ve made for the last couple of years.
Shop cat’s Top Picks
Raw-Vitalize by Mimi Kirk | Everything I Want To Eat by Jessica Koslow
Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi | Gjelina Cookbook | Lypo-spheric Vitamin C
The Wellness Project by Phoebe Lapine |Spiralizer 5-Blade Vegetable Slicer
Sun Potion Tocos | Sun Potion Anadamide
Sun Potion Reishi | Sun Potion Chlorella