What Our Team Loved In July - Cupcakes & Cashmere

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What Our Team Loved In July

A monthly series, corralling the various food, products, and entertainment we're currently enjoying.
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1

Now that summer is in full force in L.A., spending time outdoors without being in a body of water is not ideal. Last week I found myself Googling "chic inflatable pool," which I'd previously thought to be a bit of an oxymoron, but was pleasantly surprised when I found Mylle, a line of minimalist inflatable pools. Unfortunately they're all sold out through the mid-August, but the sage green option will complement our back yard perfectly and serve as an ideal reprieve from the heat. - Emily

2

Even before Brightland founder Aishwarya Iyer came to our office earlier this year (pre-COVID), I was already a fan of the brand—but I fell in love by the end of our potluck. Her olive oils disrupt the notoriously corrupt industry. They're made from organic olives that are harvested and pressed in California, with a dramatic difference in taste. It's worth noting: Because the oils are expensive (rightfully so—they're high-quality), I only use the oils raw, in dressings and as a finisher, but use Trader Joe's EVOO to cook. This month, Brightland finally launched a product Aishwarya previewed for us back in February: two small batch vinegars that are insanely delicious. The 'Parasol' flavor is made from chardonnay grapes and oranges that's perfect for a bright vinaigrette, and the 'Rapture' is a blackberry balsamic that's insanely good (I combine it with her olive oil to dip bread into, and have even had it over vanilla ice cream...). - Leslie

3

I rarely invest in bikinis anymore (#skinsafety), and prefer simpler, timeless one pieces that can also double as a bodysuit. While I have absolutely zero vacations on the horizon, the moment I saw this Jade swimsuit on Mytheresa, frankly, I didn't care—and I added it to my cart immediately. The rich, warm bronze color was pure perfection, and I was thrilled when it arrived and fit like a glove. You can catch me wearing it, applying SPF, grabbing a good beach read, and posting up in my yard for the remainder of the summer. - Jess

4

I saw a billboard for this conditioner before COVID hit, and I spent months thinking about it afterwards. I've always kind of struggled with having super fine, limp hair, and the conditioner I was using just wasn't working for me anymore. Once it was gone, I pounced on this conditioner from Ouai, and I have genuinely never been more in love with a haircare product. The fine hair experience is great—it detangles well and doesn't weigh my hair down at all—but it's the fragrance that will keep me coming back for more. Think of Ouai as everyday haircare + luxury perfumes. The fragrance in this conditioner, 'Mercer Street,' is an absolutely delightful, citrusy floral scent with notes of orange, peony, magnolia, jasmine, musk, and orris. It's honestly the best smelling haircare product I have ever used. - Kelly

5

Confession time: At the beginning of quarantine there were a good couple of days where I completely skipped out on my skincare routine. It's a ritual I've always enjoyed, but without the pressure of seeing people in real life or having to wash off the remnants of a long day, it became one of those things I ignored. The biggest mistake I committed was forgetting about SPF. Repeat after me: I will not skip sunscreen, ever. Contrary to popular belief, we still need to wear SPF even if most of our time is spent indoors. I'm on my second bottle of this Supergoop sunscreen because I've always loved how lightweight and clear it is. It's become the only product I put on my face in the morning, after a quick splash of water, and I've been surprised to see how well it holds its own. My skin can get pretty dry but this product does a great job at brightening up my face and soothing any redness I may have going on. The rare times that I go out, I make sure to reapply every three hours.  - Cass

6

When we arrived at my parents' house a couple of weeks back, my mom had a plethora of little gifts for Sloan that she parceled out throughout our stay. The most popular was this modeling clay that felt nothing like the hard, super-tough-to-work-with stuff from my childhood. It came in an array of appealing colors, was soft, pliable, and even had little baggies to store the separate colors after each use. We also found the how-to booklet of ideas to be an inspirational starting point that prompted a two-hour long session of making miniature foods that we sold in our "store." - Emily

7

Any time I'm at my friend Alice Ann's house, I scope out her medicine cabinet for products (...what? You don't raid your best friend's beauty cabinet?). Before quarantine, I spent the night and used a new eye balm she had—the Tula Rose & Glow, which is a brightener with skincare tucked in. It contains all sorts of good things for your skin, like aloe, hylauronic acid, and rosehip. I was reminded of it again this month, when another friend texted me about it, and have been adding a swipe each morning in lieu of my normal illuminator. P.S. I'm considering writing a piece on the dual skincare-makeup products I've been using in quarantine, if anyone's interested? - Leslie

8

I can't think of many things I've looked forward to more than the release of the production of Hamilton with the original cast on Disney+. The show had a transformative effect on the theater industry, the perception of musicals, and many individuals' lives, including mine. Living in New York throughout Hamilton's rise to fame, I became a caricature of myself and every other Broadway nerd: constantly quoting, singing, and yearning to talk about it with anyone who would listen. I felt pure elation when the new release date was announced (a bright light during the pandemic), which slowly started to fade as the current cultural climate began to shift my perspective. The play I had revered and worshiped is also inherently flawed, and after some reading and critical reflection, I felt ashamed of my blind adoration for the show. It omits important details–Alexander Hamilton bought and traded enslaved people for his in-laws and opposed immigration–ones that I should have been unpacking and examining well before 2020. After additional research, I came to the conclusion that you can appreciate art for what it is, and also critique it for its shortcomings; they shouldn't be mutually exclusive. So I watched, and the film beautifully captures the Hamilton experience (at a much lower barrier to entry) for those who've seen it and loved it, and for those who haven't yet had the chance. - Jess

9

I don't know where I've been lately (okay, I've been at home, and haven't been to a Trader Joe's since February) but I've been sleeping on these chocolate covered delights! They're super rich, a tiny bit salty, and just so good I don't know how I've never tried them until now. Shout out and thank you to my friend Hannah for dropping these off outside my doorstep on my birthday this month. - Kelly 

10

I've consumed almost every version of sports/hydration drinks on the market, from sugar-laden classic like Gatorade, to more niche, "science" focused products like Maurten. My usage was typically focused on quenching my thirst during long rides or intense exercising, but I recently began looking into a daily option, with low-to-no sugar and a strong balance of restorative electrolytes, with minimal ingredients. After trying a few different options, I landed on Halo, which delivers everything I wanted: taste, performance, clean ingredients, with multiple flavor options. I've been going through a case a week during the lockdown, but don't see this new habit changing anytime soon. - Geoffrey 

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