Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro
CNN  — 

In September, we were introduced to a plethora of products from tech gear to candles to fall fashion pieces. Some were forgettable, while others left a lasting impression. Because we’re committed to spotlighting the best products out there, we’ve decided to curate roundups of our favorite products we try each month.

So, what were those products we loved in September? Keep reading to check out the products we tested and couldn’t get enough of, or look back at our our August favorites too.


Brooklyn Candle Studio Brooklyn Escapist Candle ($38; brooklyncandlestudio.com)

Brooklyn Candle Studio Brooklyn Escapist Candle

Since I can seemingly never have enough candles in my life, this month I burned completely through this heavenly one from Brooklyn Candle Studio. Unlike so many, the scent changed as it burned. First was a layer of orange blossom and neroli, then there was a dreamy layer of leather and cassis, and finally on its last few days of burn it filled my home with patchouli and wild sage. I really do wish more candles had layered scents like this, because the experience for a candle lover like me was just everything. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven ($799; ooni.com)

Ooni Karu 16 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven

I was given the incredible opportunity of trying the newest Ooni pizza oven, the Karu 16, and my goodness, it’s an absolute game changer. It’s pretty compact in size, and very simple to use. There are several fuel options you can choose from depending on your preference, including wood chips, charcoal or a propane attachment, although the propane attachment definitely works best if you’re looking to get the oven to its hottest temperature. The oven itself can make one pizza at a time, but the pizza comes out in about five minutes tasting absolutely delicious — chewy, with that special wood-fired flavor. Figuring out your favorite flavor combos is half the fun, and you can go above and beyond what you choose to cook in there. I’m excited to try a pasta al forno recipe next. — Kristin Magaldi, associate editor

Tushy Ace Electric Bidet Seat ($599; tushy.com)

Tushy Ace Electric Bidet

Tushy’s latest bidet is a full-featured electric bidet with a heated seat, warm water, a dryer and even a remote. While it costs a pretty penny, after using this high-end bidet you’ll never want to go back. — Kai Burkhardt, associate editor

Birthdate Co. The Tarot Trio ($115, originally $145; birthdate.co)

Birthdate Co. The Tarot Trio

Given that my TikTok FYP has become flooded by tarot videos, I’ve gotten pretty into the idea of these fortune-telling cards. And since I love candles so much, this tarot trio from Birthdate, which sells those viral birthday candles that also smell great, seemed like a no-brainer. What I love so much about these is the interactiveness of the set. Hidden in each candle is a tarot card for your past, present and future, and you have to burn through them to reveal the high-quality gold cards. Naturally I’m still burning my “past” candle, which seems fitting during Mercury retrograde, but they all already smell divine. Talk about a great holiday gift idea. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Otherland Cardamom Milk Candle ($36; otherland.com)

Otherland Cardamom Milk Candle

When I saw that Otherland — otherwise known as my all-time favorite candle brand — dropped new seasonal scents, I obviously had to add them to my fall candle rotation. The Manor House Weekend Collection is made up of six beautifully designed candles, and according to the brand, is “inspired by countryside weekends where bonfires blaze, ciders get spiked and friends become family.” Out of the six, the Cardamom Milk is hands down my favorite scent, so much so that I am seriously considering buying another one before I burn through the one I currently have. I simply do not want to go a day without it filling up my home with the coziest, sweetest smell ever. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Bamboozle 7-Piece Nesting Bowls ($80; verishop.com)

Bamboozle 7-Piece Nesting Bowls

This seven-piece nesting bowl set has been such a convenient addition to my new kitchen since moving. From seasoning veggies to mixing batter or thawing frozen meat, this set is suitable to handle nearly any task. Each made of biodegradable bamboo fiber, the bowls nestle perfectly inside one another until you need just that perfect size. I have the gray set, but these are available in an assortment of other colors too. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor


Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Skinclarity Brightening Serum ($72; sephora.com)

Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C Skinclarity Brightening Serum

Dermatologists say that an antioxidant such as vitamin C is vital to any good anti-aging skin care routine. I realized that I should start anti-aging prep now, so I’ve started incorporating the new Algenist Blue Algae Vitamin C serum to my daily routine. Formulated with a cocktail of vitamin C from blue-green algae, alguronic acid and the brand’s Skin-Forward Marine Ferment, this lightweight serum works to brighten the skin, even skin tone and smooth texture in just 10 days. Although I don’t have sensitive skin, this serum has been super gentle, it paired well with other products in my routine and it’s even proven safe to use on melanin-rich skin. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Dermaflash Mini Precision Peach Fuzz Removal Device ($69; sephora.com)

Dermaflash Mini Precision Peach Fuzz Removal Device

I’ve been using the Dermaflash for a few years now, and I’m such a big fan. I once tried to use one of the little dermaplane tools from Amazon and wound up with a giant scrape on my face, so I’ve been a dedicated Dermaflash user ever since. The brand just launched an adorable travel-size dermaplane tool, and it’s SO easy to use. It’s tiny enough that it fits into any bag or suitcase; it’s battery-operated, which makes it super portable; and it even has a little under-eye de-puffer on the other end. I’ve been super impressed with this product since I first tried it at the beginning of the month, and it will definitely be a staple in my travel kit moving forward. — Hayley Saltzman, head of social media

Peace Out Pores Detoxifying Pore & Nose Strips ($19; peaceoutskincare.com)

Peace Out Pores Detoxifying Pore & Nose Strips

I’m already a massive fan of Peace Out’s Acne Healing Dots (if you haven’t tried them, you simply must!), so I was admittedly very excited to expand my horizons and test out the brand’s Pore Treatment Strips for CNN Underscored’s TikTok account. I love how hydrating the strips are compared to other pore strips that are way too harsh and legitimately rip your skin off. The pores across my nose and forehead were noticeably shrunken, and overall, my T-zone was far less oily than it was before. Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to permanently rid your face of pores, blackheads and oil, but this product certainly helps temporarily! — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Kiss Charm Magnetic Lashes ($5.35; amazon.com)

Kiss Charm Magnetic Lashes

I’ve always been a lashes girl, but I’ve never thought to check out magnetic lashes — until now. I tested these lashes for a date night and was so impressed! First, I applied the magnetic liner on my lid (a wing look, of course) and the lashes seamlessly latched onto my lids and stayed put for the entire night. They are so lightweight, so at times I forgot I had them on! I’m stocking up on Kiss lashes for sure. Check out our guide to applying fake lashes yourself too. — Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator

Fluide Universal Liner ($15; fluide.us)

Fluide Universal Liner

Makeup should be fun, right? Every time I needed a little confidence boost this month, or was tired of my everyday makeup routine, I applied the Fluide Universal Liner for a vibrant pop of color. The formula is pigmented, glittery and easy to apply — yet it doesn’t seem to lose its shimmer after a day’s wear. So far Argon and Retrogayz are my favorite shades. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro ($435; sephora.com)

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro

I’ve legitimately tried every single skin care tool and gadget that claims to diminish and prevent breakouts. You say it will get rid of my adult acne? I’m already typing in my credit card information. When I first got my hands on the Dr. Dennis Gross LED light mask, I had extremely high hopes, especially after seeing truly unreal before-and-after photos across the brand’s Instagram. After one use, my blemishes instantly became less red and inflamed, and after only a week of consistent use, they’re almost completely gone!

The device features three settings — red light to target wrinkles, blue light to target acne or a combination of both — and you only need to use it for just three minutes per night on fresh, clean skin to experience the full effects. My dog and boyfriend might officially be terrified of me, but this device has most definitely earned a spot in my coveted nightly skin care ritual. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist


Jabra Elite 3 ($79.99; amazon.com)

jabra elite 3 review lead

As a devout Jabra Elite Active 75t user, I was shocked by how good the much cheaper Jabra Elite 3 are. These budget earbuds sound nearly as good as Jabra’s more expensive buds and have the same HearThrough mode, reliable physical controls and excellent battery life as my more premium 75t. You do make a few trade-offs at this low $80 price point — including somewhat soft bass and a lack of active noise cancellation — but that didn’t stop me from using these affordable buds as my main headphones for well over a week. — Mike Andronico, senior tech writer

Kobo Elipsa Pack ($399.99; kobobooks.com)

Kobo Elipsa Pack

If you love reading and writing, the Kobo Elipsa is sure to become your new favorite gadget. It’s both an e-reader and a tablet, so you can read your favorite books and create notebooks of writing in one portable device. I keep mine on my desk during the day to scribble down notes while in work meetings, then I bring it to bed with me at night to read until I pass out. This pack includes the Kobo Elipsa, Kobo Stylus and Kobo SleepCover — everything you need to start digitally highlighting your favorite passages in books, marking up PDFs and jotting down ideas for your next great writing project. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself reaching for it multiple times per day. — Daniel Toy, copy editor

Logitech StreamCam ($169.99; logitech.com)

logitech streamcam review 3

After testing just about every major webcam out there over the past year, the Logitech StreamCam continues to be my favorite camera for everyday use. Its crisp 1080p picture quality and smooth 60 frame-per-second video make me look sharp and lively on both video calls and Twitch streams, and unlike most competing webcams, it actually looks cool. — Mike Andronico, senior tech writer


Tobi So Long Side Slit Maxi Dress in Gold ($64, originally $128; tobi.com)

Tobi So Long Side Slit Maxi Dress In Gold

I attended my first wedding since the onset of the pandemic this September and was fortunate enough to have stumbled upon this beautiful gold Tobi dress to wear to the occasion. Suitable for a black tie wedding, this eye-catching, rather afffordable dress features a sweetheart neckline and thigh-high slit that is just the right length. I paired it with my favorite black heel for an Instagram-worthy look. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Set Active Sculptflex Body Crop ($48; setactive.co) and Sculptflex Leggings ($65; setactive.co)

Set Active Sculptflex Body Crop and Leggings

When I test out workout wear for Underscored, the real test is seeing how the item stands up against my all-time favorite and incredibly hot, hot yoga sculpt class at CorePower Yoga in New York City. This Sculptflex set, in the shade Canyon, endured 100-plus degree heat and lots of sweat, and it never once felt restricting or too hot. The material — which is buttery soft and breathable and hugs the body in all of the right places — never budged from my sweaty skin either! (Check and check!) I finally understand the Set Active hype now that I’ve been given a chance to try some pieces for myself! — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Pretty Little Thing Light Lime Hammered Satin Halterneck Maxi Dress ($46, originally $68; prettylittlething.us)

Pretty Little Thing Light Lime Hammered Satin Halterneck Maxi Dress

For my next September wedding, I opted for this Pretty Little Thing number. It’s made from a lightweight, satin-feel material that moves with you and allowed me to feel comfortable eating and drinking as much as I please. It’s designed in a halterneck style, but I remixed it a bit by crossing the straps in front to make it a little less revealing and better suit the black tie dress code. I love it either way and paired it with some silver platform heels — a look I’m still obsessing over. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Magic Linen Linen Pajama Set Luni ($74; magiclinen.com)

Magic Linen Linen Pajama Set Luni

As a vocal adorer of linen sheets, it was only a matter of time until I buckled and got linen pajamas as well. These here did not disappoint. Impossibly soft even before a first wash, these have been absolutely perfect during hot summer nights. I love the oatmeal color too. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot ($89.99; dsw.com)

Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot

I’m all about wearing boots year-round — and yes, that includes the summer. Maybe it’s just a trend, but I love the silhouette a miniskirt or dress paired with a knee-high boot gives. And to make that dream a reality, the Franco Sarto Gardenia Boot did not disappoint. I’m really picky about boots, so I perused the site for about a week before I made my purchase, although they ring in under $100. When I received them and opened the box, I jumped with joy. They are an absolutely stunning boot, made with a red snake embossed faux leather — sporting a moderate heel and square toe. Even better: These were comfortable enough to wear standing and dancing at a day party without any blisters or sore feet. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

Peppermayo London & Paris Maxi Dress in Orange Shimmer ($74; peppermayo.com)

Peppermayo London & Paris Maxi Dress — Orange Shimmer

This dress from Peppermayo’s September collection is a must-have for anyone in the market for new fall fashion staples! It features the most gorgeous orange hue with the subtlest hint of shimmer, and cutout sleeves that make this piece as simultaneously trendy as it is timeless. The length hits just right, while the fabric hugs in all of the right places. I’m looking forward to dressing this piece down with a pair of Doc Martens and a leather jacket or dressing it up with a pair of heels and some sparkly jewelry, depending on the vibe. At $76, this maxi dress is definitely worth it, as it can be worn many different ways and even transitioned into your winter wardrobe! — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist

Calpak Haven Laptop Tote ($148; calpaktravel.com)

Calpak Haven Laptop Tote

Although I’m not officially back in the office yet, the Calpak Haven Laptop Tote Bag has already changed my life for the better. I first used the tote during New York Fashion Week to carry literally everything I’d need for a day of computer work and events ahead — let’s just say the tote kept me exceptionally organized. The removable, zippered laptop sleeve kept my belongings secure, while the sleek, buttery birch-colored canvas paired well with my outfits. A must-have for work, travel and everything in between! — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor

LiCi Fit Euphoria Collection (starting at $45; licifit.com)

LiCi Fit Euphoria Collection

I just got a gym membership as part of my fall fitness goals, so I’m always looking for cute pieces to make working out fun. When I was introduced to LiCi Fit, I was drawn to its Euphoria collection. The psychedelic pattern and colors are so stylish. I had to try it, and I’m so glad I did! The fabric is so soft, it almost feels like I’m wearing a second skin. I could move with ease at the gym and didn’t feel restricted. They come in a variety of sizes, so I definitely recommend adding this brand to your fall must-shop list. — Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator

IceLink Jade Cuban Choker ($125; icelinkwatch.com)

IceLink Jade Cuban Choker

I’m honestly loving my jewelry evolution. I used to only put on earrings, but now I’m excited to layer new pieces every day — and it’s brands like IceLink that help out with that. Ever since I got the brand’s Jade Cuban Choker I’ve been dreaming of new ways to wear the darling necklace. It’s a stunner for sure, and adjustable to be worn tighter as a choker or looser as a necklace. The white gemstones next to the pop of jade green make it a seriously standout piece of my collection. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor


Tuft + Paw Kip Cat Cushion ($99; tuftandpaw.com)

Tuft + Paw Kip Cat Cushion

My cat is incredibly spoiled. Not only does she have Tuft + Paw’s Stellar Cat Bed, which looks like a Zen UFO in the middle of my apartment, but now she gets to comfortably lounge on this Sherpa cat cushion. After a day of getting used to it, she now curls up in this adorable pouf for at least five hours a day. She looks quite cute in it too. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Wild One Leash ($58; wildone.com)

Wild One Leash

We just started caring for my in-laws’ dog, and this durable leash from Wild One has been great. Not only is it cute, but it’s also functional. It’s easy to clean, it’s adjustable and it feels substantial and strong without weighing down our tiny pup (who is only about 4 pounds). — Hayley Saltzman, head of social media

West & Willow Custom Cat Portrait (starting at $65; westandwillow.com)

West & Willow Custom Cat Portrait

Did I mention my cat is incredibly spoiled? Oh yes, well, here we go again. In honor of her continuing to be the best roommate I’ve ever had, Eartha simply had to be treated to a custom portrait of herself too. All I did was send West & Willow a few pictures of her and in a matter of just about two weeks, this gorgeous framed digital portrait arrived. The frame was high quality, and it came with plastic plates rather than glass, which I appreciate since Eartha has a habit of knocking art off the walls. (She moonlights as an interior designer.) Clearly, she’s a big fan as well. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor

Wild One Conditioning Shampoo ($12; wildone.com)

Wild One Conditioning Shampoo

I will buy literally anything that Wild One sells — they are hands down one of my favorite pet brands on the market! I especially love the brand’s Conditioning Shampoo because it is super gentle and leaves my pup’s coat feeling soft and looking super fluffy! Compared to other pet shampoos, which typically come with an awful perfumy scent and a sticky formula that lingers in my dog’s fur, this product is easy to rinse out and smells fresh. Another plus? A little goes a long way, so I know I will have this product on hand for a while. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist