I'll admit that while I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to
work from home and stay healthy in quarantine, the COVID-19 pandemic has still been a challenge for my mental health. While virtual therapy visits (which again, I'm lucky to be able to afford) have been a meaningful support and resource, I've also found peace in rediscovering why beauty means so much to me — and why I'm lucky to work in this industry. However, I'm trying to see the bright side of spending more time at home by reconnecting with the hair, skin, and nail treatments and gadgets that had been collecting dust while I juggled subway commutes, events, meetings, happy hours, and obligations that now seem like distant memories. Now, the ritual of applying a face mask or dreaming up nail art designs feels like a gift to myself — and the outcome of getting clearer skin or shinier hair is merely a bonus. Ahead, find which of my most time-consuming products (I say that with affection for the process) that are worth the splurge — and an extra half hour out of your day. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. The product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment My skin tends to be oily, and the added stress of a global pandemic has meant bad news for my stress breakouts. (The least of my worries, all considered, but nevertheless pesky.) Enter GlamGlow's clarifying mask, which dries down to deliver the most visually satisfying pinpricks of dirt and oil across my nose and chin. GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment, $, available at Verishop Olive & June The Studio Box Maybe it's my Virgo side coming through, but painting my nails has always been a deeply soothing activity for me. While things like clippers and files are practical for basic nail care, Olive & June's Studio Box adds a touch of creativity and fun to your at-home manicure. Plus, the iPhone slot at the top of the box makes it so easy to share videos of your art on the 'gram. Olive & June The Studio Box, $, available at Olive & June L'Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner As much as I love testing products as parts of my job, there's one beauty category that I almost always steer clear of: Hair masks. Who has the time for them? Well, now, me. This L'Oréal deep conditioner makes my color-treated hair unbelievably soft and shiny, and it's literally $5. (You didn't hear it from me, but it works just as well as the only hair mask I've ever truly loved, Shu Uemura's Colour Lustre Brilliant Glaze Treatment.) L'Oreal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Rapid Reviver Deep Conditioner, $, available at Amazon ZIIP Nano Current Device Before you balk at the $500 price tag, you should know that this high-tech tool has delivered the most visible results I've ever seen from a device or product. You should also know that I got this gadget as a gift after getting a treatment from facialist Melanie Simon (the brains behind the ZIIP) about a year ago. After the very first treatment, my skin was visibly brighter and clearer so it's been one of my most cherished and most used gadgets of recent date. When paired with the Bluetooth app, you can program the sleek nanocurrent tool to do everything from target breakouts to sculpt facial muscles. If you're in the market for such a luxury smart device and don't want to spend $500, there's also the NuFace device starting at $200 ( Skinstore is currently running a 25% off discount on it). I have used the NuFace as well and simply prefer the ZIIP. I use this device about once a week. ZIIP Nano Current Device, $, available at Violet Grey Lightstim For Acne About two days a week, when I'm not ZIIPing, I like to use this handheld LED wand to help target and kill acne-causing bacteria. The blue and red lights work together to reduce inflammation and prevent major breakouts especially the uncomfortable cystic kind. LightStim LightStim for Acne, $, available at DermStore Foreo Luna 3 While I am firmly dedicated to the double-cleanse life, I'm admittedly more lax when it comes to facial cleansing tools — even though I truthfully do love them. While in quarantine, I've rediscovered my love for the Foreo Luna 3, which has bristles soft enough to not irritate active breakouts, yet gets oily, congested zones (like around my nose and chin) clear. Foreo LUNA 3 for Sensitive Skin, $, available at DermStore Maude Oil I reviewed Maude's new body oil a couple months ago, and I'm happy to report that it's still very much on repeat. The price is right for the value, and nothing feels more indulgent than anointing myself in skin-loving hydration after a long day. Maude oil, $, available at Maude Revlon Pedi-Expert Since my feet have been in need of some extra T.L.C. lately, I finally caved and tried this beauty version of a cheese grater. A few painless minutes later (seriously, it doesn't hurt one bit, even on dry skin) my heels and toes look and feel brand new, with nothing but the gross-yet-satisfying evidence of dead skin shavings in the base of the tool. I may not be wearing sandals in the park outside anytime soon, but it still brings me a lot of joy to take care of myself for myself. Revlon Pedi-Expert, $, available at Amazon Osea Vagus Nerve Oil Speaking of oils, another one that I've publicly waxed poetic about is Osea's Vague Nerve Oil. I said it once, and I'll say it again: I’d buy this stuff by the case for the aromatherapeutic benefits alone; the rosemary-lavender scent immediately puts me at ease when my anxiety is overwhelming my thoughts, and the small bottle lasts a surprisingly long time — even when it's been in, let's just say, heavy rotation lately. OSEA Vagus Nerve Oil, $, available at OSEA Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask Another favorite mask for max spa vibes (even in my tiny Brooklyn apartment bathroom) is Ole Henriksen's creamy, clarifying mask, which has an immediate cooling effect when applied onto skin with fingers. The teal color is also just fun! Ole Henriksen Cold Plunge Pore Mask, $, available at Ole Henriksen Esarora Ice Roller This gift from R29's shopping director (and numero-uno cat mama) has been a real saving grace for mornings when my skin feels puffy from one too many glasses of vino the night before. esarora Ice Roller, $, available at Amazon Skin Gym Rose Quartz Gua Sha Getting gua sha massage has always been one of my favorite steps of a spa facial, and after falling down a rabbit hole of deeply soothing YouTube tutorials, I've become determined to learn a thing or two about the technique. Skin Gym Rose Quartz Gua Sha, $, available at Credo Herbivore Jade Facial Roller Lastly on my list of beauty self-care gems is a jade roller, which I keep this on my bedside table. Before the pandemic, I can probably count on one hand the amount of times I've thought to use it prior to heading to sleep; as of late, I've gotten used to using it after applying a couple drops of face oil to my skin. Pure bliss. Herbivore Jade Facial Roller, $, available at Sephora Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?