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Racked National associate editor Kenzie Bryant: I own a couple pairs of heels, but none I really felt comfortable wearing to the office. Usually they're too high or too vampy for my keyed-down tastes. The pony-haired Loeffler Randall ones above, however, have solved my workweek heel issues. They don't give off "I'm a granny" vibes that I feel the words "pump" and "kitten heel" imply, but they're perfectly appropriate and crazy comfortable. Sold.
Mischo Beauty Nail Lacquer in Empire State of Mind, $18
Racked DC editor Adele Chapin: For some reason, whenever I get my nails done and get home, I feel suddenly compelled to clean my house. It happened again recently. Immediately after getting a flawless matte greenish-teal manicure with nail lacquer courtesy of new D.C.-based brand Mischo Beauty, I decided that I needed to thoroughly scrub my oven. And the polish stayed put through that ordeal.
OK, I used gloves, but my manicure remained pristine through the rest of my house cleaning and then for an entire week. Mischo's nail lacquer is made in America and free of five of the worst toxins associated with polishes. Packaging nerd alert: It also comes in a really pretty, chunky square bottle.
The Third Piece Turban Headpiece, $75
Racked Boston editor Susie Kostaras:Living in New England, you get used to things freezing that shouldn't—say, a water bottle in your car or your half-dried hair. What you don't want on that list are your precious little ears. To fight hypothermic conditions in wind, snow, and sleet, I've relied on this chunky knit turban headband from The Third Piece.
This $75 accessory is hand-knit here in Boston with a plush wool yarn that is water-repellant and warm. There are numerous seasonal colors to pick from, on both the subdued and loud end of the spectrum, for a piece that plays either a starring or supportive role to your winter wonderland look.
Sakura Scrub, $25 at Barneys
Racked Chicago editor Jenny Berg:When's the last time you announced to Facebook that your body scrub was the beauty-product equivalent of "angels singing?" It happened to me, and this is the item that prompted the hyperbole.
Brand new to the states and available only at Barneys, Dutch line Rituals was founded on the idea that little breaks in the day can become soothing, well, rituals. Washing your hands? May as well feel great. Hopping in the shower? Try the Sakura Scrub Sugar Body Scrub, which has a cherry-blossom-scent that smells—yes—divine.
Made with organic sugar and softening oils, the scrub feels almost indescribably delicious on the skin. And it does what nearly every other product claims to do: makes your skin glow (no, it really does.) I spotted it at the posh department store and had to do a triple take at the price: $25. I don't typically treat Barneys like a Sam's Club, but for this? Chicago has a long, skin-drying winter, is all I'm saying
The Leather Mahogany Candle by Kobo, $38 at Sprout Home
Racked National columnist Frank Gargione: Scented candles conjure images of huge hunks of pie-and-spice-stinking wax stuffed into clunky jars and displayed, en masse, in wall-of-smell outlet stores jam-packed with geriatrics from bus tours. Shockingly, this is not my bag. That said, I recently received a Kobo candle as a gift—the Leather Mahogany. First, the package is gorgeous, and I love the Kobo-branded matches that come with (some books you can judge by their covers).
Second: The smell! It's deep and faintly spicy; masculine and woody; not overpowering like those berry-sherbet-cake-and-cookie candles. It's clean and opulent and lovely. A visit to the Kobo website sealed the deal—the candles are American-made from sustainable soybeans and cotton and come in must-try scents like Wild Tomato Vine and Portuguese Olive Blossom. It's official—there are scented candles for the rest of us.
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