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April 22, 2024
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Our editors’ favorite purchases from January

Our editors’ favorite purchases from January

As shopping experts, we are constantly looking for new items to recommend to NBC Select readers — whether it’s in the tech space, beauty and wellness category and more. 

We kicked off 2024 by sharing our guide to the best nonalcoholic spirits and best nonalcoholic wines for Dry January. We then dove headfirst into Dry (Skin) January to help our readers learn more about how to keep their skin hydrated and moisturized during the winter. We even traveled to Las Vegas to attend the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to get a first-hand look at what gadgets will be making their debut this year. 

Amid all of that reporting, our team of writers and editors also tried tons of products. Below, we’re sharing the items they loved most from January. Some items we directly purchased, while others are courtesy samples from brands. 

SKIP AHEAD Home & kitchen | Tech | Beauty & wellness | Fitness | Travel | Clothing | Pets

Selected.Top picks

Our favorite home and kitchen finds

Bkr 22 oz Water Bottle

I already owned a 32-ounce reusable water bottle from Bkr that’s great, but I wanted something smaller to throw into my work bag and bring to the gym, so I bought this 22-ounce option and am in love with it. The silicone sleeve is very nice and smooth, and it’s the perfect size to carry around. There’s also just something about sipping water from a glass bottle that’s so refreshing and there are several stunning colors to choose from. Kelsey Fredricks, production coordinator

Kally Sparkling Duo

I had friends over for a Golden Globes watch party and served Kally’s sparkling nonalcoholic wine, which the brand sent me to try. I expected to be the only one drinking it since we also had alcoholic options, but after trying a sip, everyone wanted a glass for themselves. We went through all three bottles Kally sent me and each one was equally delicious. I particularly loved the rosé sparkler, which has hints of strawberry and hibiscus but isn’t overly fruity or juicy tasting. I’ve definitely become a repeat customer. Zoe Malin, associate updates editor

Caftari Dolce Far Niente Candle 

Whenever I burn this candle, it reminds me of a spa or a luxury hotel’s lobby — I can’t remember the exact place, but it’s so similar to the fresh and clean scent that normally fills these spaces. It  transports me back to my summer vacation and makes lighting this candle extra special and sentimental. It’s definitely on my list of things to gift my friends and family for Valentine’s Day this year. Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Personalized Retro Video Tape Movie Poster

My best friend is a major movie buff; she goes to the theater multiple times a week and doesn’t shy away from giving her hot takes and rating movies after she sees them. That’s why I was so excited to find this customizable movie print to give her. When you order the print, you send the seller a message listing 20 movies to customize on the print, which makes it unique to you or your giftee. It’s the perfect gift to add some color to a space. – Kelsey Fredricks, production coordinator

Our favorite tech finds 

Anker 736 Nano II Wall Charger (100W USB-C)

I went to CES in Las Vegas this month, and I brought this three-prong charger instead of a separate laptop, phone and smartwatch chargers. It has three ports and delivers 100W of power, meaning it could charge all my devices at the same time with no issue. The prongs on the back flip up into the brick, so it never gets caught or bent during travel. Harry Rabinowitz, reporter

Mubi Streaming Subscription

Everyone on the NBC Select staff knows how much I love movies, and a subscription to Mubi has been on my wishlist for a long time. I finally bought a subscription, and it’s already well on its way to becoming one of my most used streaming services. What sets this platform apart for me is its huge selection of independent, arthouse and international films, which can be harder to find on some of the more popular streaming sites. I also love its special features, like the curated watchlists focusing on specific themes, actors, directors, regions or eras, and the Notebook feature, which is an editorial blog that includes essays and interviews about currently streaming films — all in all, so far it’s been a cinephile’s dream. Ashley Morris, associate SEO reporter

Our favorite beauty and wellness finds

Jones Road The Mascara

Jones Road is one of my favorite makeup and skin care brands, and after seeing countless TikTok testimonials raving about the brand’s mascara, I had to try it for myself. It’s truly as incredible as everyone says. The spoolie brush is curved and evenly distributes mascara on each eyelash without causing them to clump together, and it doesn’t flake off throughout the day. The real test came when I took a hot yoga class and realized halfway through that I forgot to take my makeup off. I was convinced I’d leave the class looking like a racoon, but when I looked in the mirror after 60 minutes of sweating in a 102 degree room, there wasn’t a single mascara streak on my face. I was beyond impressed. – Zoe Malin, associate updates editor

Vt Cosmetics Daily Soothing Mask

I am obsessed with using sheet masks and have incorporated them into my skincare routine a couple times a week. After using these just once, I could immediately feel the hydration level in my skin increase, and my complexion had a noticeable glow for the next couple of days. You get 30 masks in a pack and are a  a perfect addition to a self-care day. Hannah Fuechtman, NBC Page

Touchland Gentle Mist Ultra-Soothing Hand Sanitizer

It feels like everyone is getting sick, and that’s a bandwagon I’m willing to  pass on. I’m tired of getting sick (and definitely don’t want my family getting sick), so I’m making sure to always have sanitizer on me and stay ahead of the curve. Unlike other hand sanitizers I’ve tried, this doesn’t leave my skin feeling dry or overly sticky. It also has a fresh, floral scent, which I prefer because it doesn’t remind me of the classic hand sanitizer smell. Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Ilia The Base Face Milk

Ilia gifted the NBC Select staff its new lightweight moisturizer and I quickly noticed myself picking it up over other products from my skin care stockpile. My skin is noticeably less dry and red after applying just one layer of this to my face. It’s safe for my sensitive skin and the packaging is simple and beautiful. It also now comes in a mini size if you want to travel with it during the dry, winter months. – Kelsey Fredricks, production coordinator

Our favorite fitness finds

Lululemon Down For It All Vest

I don’t like running in heavy jackets, so I often wear multiple thin layers while jogging outdoors in the winter. To help me stay extra toasty, my mom bought me this vest as a birthday gift and it’s one of my favorite pieces of cold weather running apparel. It’s form-fitting and lightweight yet successfully retains heat, and since it’s not bulky, it’s super easy to move in. I especially love the fleece side panels of the vest, which are very flexible and stretchy. There’s also two pockets for my phone and keys. The vest definitely runs small, however — I recommend sizing up by at least two sizes, or more if you plan to wear something thick underneath. – Zoe Malin, associate updates editor

Sportsnew Yoga Gym Bag 

I finally found a gym bag that changed my life — I used to take all my belongings to the gym by hand, but this fits all of my essentials, including keys, wallet and a change of clothes. It comes with a shoe compartment to fit an extra pair of sneakers, and multiple pockets to hold my reusable water bottle, headphones and more. It also has an adjustable strap to hold a yoga mat, so I don’t need to  lug  my mat under my arm back and forth from the gym anymore. It also comes with an interior transparent bag where I can put my dirty, sweaty clothes post-workout. Mili Godio, updates editor

Our favorite travel finds

Lululemon New Crew Backpack 22L

I was recently in the market for a new backpack and thought the start of the year would be the best time to buy one. My brother gave me this Lululemon backpack as a Christmas gift, and I’ve used it pretty much everyday since. What drew me to the bag the most was the simple design and the many inner compartments. It looks sleek and sporty, but it’s also quite functional. It has a space for a laptop with a cover, as well as pockets for other supplies like notebooks, pens and folders. I had the backpack with me through both rain and snow and it holds up quite well. I also appreciate that the logo is visible but also somewhat subtle. Cory Fernandez, commerce editor

Cotopaxi Allpa 28L Travel Pack

I traveled light for my trip to CES, and that was in no small part thanks to this backpack that I received from the brand ahead of my travel date. This is my first travel backpack that fully zips in half, with compartments for organizing all your things. It fits all of my clothes, my technology, my Dopp kit and snacks comfortably, and has padded straps and buckles on the chest and waist to help evenly distribute the weight. It’s a great size for a one-to-two day trip. Harry Rabinowitz, reporter

Romech Universal Travel Adapter

Instead of buying an adapter for each country I visit, I purchased this universal adapter, which works domestically and internationally in countries throughout Europe and in the U.K. and Australia. It has four USB type-A ports, one USB type-C port, and your standard outlet, so it’s convenient for any charger you already have. It’s efficient and doesn’t take up too much space, so you could even fit it in your coat pocket. Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Osprey Women’s Fairview 40 Travel Pack

At the beginning of the month I took a trip to Japan, and while deciding on the luggage I wanted to bring, I ended up going with my Osprey backpack, which I’ve had and used for over a year. I’ve always disliked the hassle of lugging suitcases around at airports and on trains and uneven pavement, so I love how I can carry all I need on my back. This pack is 40 liters, which is the same amount of space as a typical carry-on suitcase. It has multiple pockets to organize your belongings, a hip and chest strap for comfort and you can convert it into a duffel bag. It’s specifically designed for women and how we carry weight best and they also offer a men’s version. I definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a more streamlined travel experience. Hannah Fuechtman, NBC Page 

Our favorite clothing finds

Capezio Women’s Classic Short Sleeve Leotard

I am slowly but surely building a work uniform to avoid the stress of putting together an outfit everyday. My goal is to build a small capsule collection where I can easily mix and match pieces. I’m very short and petite so clothes shopping in general is always, for lack of a better word, an adventure. I bought a secondhand leotard over the holidays and besides getting nostalgic about the dance classes I took as a kid, I forgot how snatched and confident I feel in one of these. It’s just so simple and chic, and it goes with everything. So my plan is to get multiple colors and pair them with pants and skirts. Nikki Brown, SEO editor

Aritzia The Super Puff

I’m a hoarder of coats (I can admit it), which makes me very picky when choosing new ones for my collection. This winter, I was in the market for a coat that would keep me warm on days where even my eyelashes feel frozen, and my Super Puff does exactly that. I originally bought it off the recommendation of multiple friends and was shocked at how warm it keeps me in New York’s winter weather. Even if I’m only wearing a lighter shirt or T-shirt, I don’t feel any cold whatsoever when I wear this, and it immediately became my daily go-to for my January commutes to the office. The deep pockets are perfect for holding my keys, mask, headphones and lip gloss, and although I went with a simple black color choice, the Liquid Shine finish makes it a statement piece in my closet. Ashley Morris, associate SEO reporter

Feetures Trail Max Cushion Mini Crew

These socks were my saving grace as I walked around London in my heeled boots —  I didn’t experience any discomfort or get any blisters. Although I use these as boot socks now, they’re actually meant for hikes and trail running and are designed to offer the cushion and support you need on rough terrain. They have a slight compression and some cushioning that kept my feet supported. Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Our favorite pet finds

Fig & Tyler Trainer Sticks

I bought these for my dog after a trainer recommended them because my pointer mix — Obi aka Obi-Wan Kenobi — was so alert on our walks, we needed something to keep him focused and engaged. We haven’t had the need to use them recently, but we always carry them around because it’s great to have some desirable treats on hand. Jordan Bowman, commerce editor 

Paw Tear Free Pet Shampoo

Baylor, my 7-year-old pitbull, has a short coat, making it much easier for me to wash since it doesn’t get as dirty as dogs with long fur. However, she does have sensitive skin that can sometimes feel super dry — almost like hay. I bought this dog shampoo, and it’s now a favorite since it cleans her fur and also leaves it looking shiny and so soft — which doesn’t always happen with short-haired dogs. After a few baths, I’ve noticed a difference in her coat, which feels much less dry now after being out and running around. She still smells as good as when we first give her a bath. Bianca Alvarez, associate reporter

Why trust NBC Select?

Bianca Alvarez is an associate reporter covering skin care, hair care and gift guides, including recent stories on the best self-care gifts and the best eye creams. For this story, our staff shared their favorite gifts and purchases from the past month.

Catch up on NBC Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

Bianca Alvarez

Bianca Alvarez is an associate reporter at NBC Select.

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