Holiday Cookbooks + Overnight Treatments



So you’re cooking Thanksgiving dinner and you’re aiming for clear, dewy skin the day of. Your first mistake? Trying to do everything in one day. A little legwork is crucial here: the pumpkin spice-seasoned pros head into the kitchen early to brine the bird, pre-chop the vegetables Emily Mariko style, and mix up the pie crust. And the night before a big event, they hydrate, exfoliate, and brighten while they sleep. There’s less to do in the morning and, just by waiting, you’ve cut the effort for a great result in half too. (Food that’s rested in the fridge sops up flavor; skin renews itself overnight anyway, and an overnight mask just boosts those natural processes.) Work smarter, not harder—and this installment of Unnecessary Pairings is here to help. While you pore over these cookbooks filled with ideas that can get you moving sooner rather than later, slather yourself in a mask that works overtime. Trust us, it’ll all come together.

A heavy, 4000+ recipe cookbook with a heavy, 100+ dollar mask. Before you think, “Do I really need this?” And also, “Isn’t this for older people?” The answers are yes, and definitely not. You could easily cook your entire meal with New Doubleday alone—and then pick it back up the next week for your bring-to-work meal prep. And Sisley’s Velvet Mask, which includes saffron, thyme honey, and shea butter (side dish sidebar: why does that sound delicious?) is the perfect ol’ reliable for peely, finicky, not-quite-right skin. Both are classics for a reason, and you’ll keep coming back.

You’ve heard of the EGOT, but what about the… JBTG? It stands for James Beard, Tony, Grammy, and if it doesn’t roll off the tongue it’s at least in part because Alexander Smalls might be the only person with all three. His cookbook pairs curated playlists (each chapter starts off with one) and recipes for Southern comfort food. And it goes so well with Karuna’s Hydrating Hand Masks, which slip on like gloves to gently soothe your tired hands. Smalls’ food is made to share, and these masks come in a pack of four—pass them around to any houseguests the night before Thanksgiving, and you’ll be the best host ever.

Sure, a Mediterranean-ish cookbook written by a half-Italian, half-German guy raised in Jerusalem and based in London is not the most obvious choice for Thanksgiving dinner. But the veggie-forward recipes in Plenty taste like home no matter where home is for you. Humble ingredients get punched up with tart acids, sweet syrups, decadent crispy cooking, and most importantly, a drizzle of nourishing, healthy fats. Like yogurt! Which is also nourishing for your skin. The Greek Yoghurt overnight mask from Korres combines probiotics and lactic acid for smoother, less red skin in the morning.

With food world cachet and the street cred of a farmer, Joshua McFadden comes at vegetables with a hot take: the four seasons? A myth! Actually, because of nuanced growing cycles, there are six. (New Yorkers might even argue that there are 12 distinct seasons, but we digress.) This book is bursting with recommendations to take advantage of the best produce that grows in each, which is even more nutritious when you eat it at its peak. Those antioxidants are great for your body and your skin, so slap on this free radical scavenging mask before you dig in. You’ll thank us later!

In her James Beard Award-winning cookbook, Athena Calderone puts to words a theory we’ve held since we were kids but never quite put into words: when something looks really pretty, we want to eat it more. And giving your side dish a little aesthetic allure might just be enough inspiration for even the pickiest of eaters to load up on carrots and kale. Same goes for hair masks, which can be a pain in the butt to apply, wait for, wash off… Go for something just as Instagrammable as Calderone’s food, like Briogeo’s special edition honey bear version of their cult classic, to sweeten the deal. Then leave it on for hours—life changing.

The ambitious chef needs The Sioux Chef in their life. It’s his mission to decolonize your tablescape, which means you’ll find fall flavor staples (squash, apple, cranberry, maple, sage) alongside ingredients that might be new-to-you, like amaranth, sumac, and culinary ash. A key component to this kind of cooking is looking at plants not as food, but medicine. And though it’s coming from South Korea and not the American Midwest, Laneige’s Cica Sleeping Mask takes a similar approach. Its key ingredient is cica, or centella asiatica, a medicinal herb used to treat inflammation.

This cookbook obviously has cooking instructions inside, but if you sit down and read it—really read, like it’s a book—you might mistake it for a history tome. After studying 200 years of Black cooking, Tipton-Martin expertly peeled back its layers so you can look at tradition with fresh eyes. It’s kind of like a chef got into all your family recipes. The way she dusts off classic techniques reminds us of the glow we get from a resurfacing mask. And Glow Recipe’s is one of the few gentle enough to keep on overnight and reap benefits (not burn marks) from come morning.

By the end of your Thanksgiving meal, you’re so full that any last bite has to be worth it. Sound familiar? For moments like that, don’t overthink: butter. It goes in Saffitz’s apple tart, chewy molasses cookies, and pecan brittle. It’s crucial for puff pastry. And it’s also right there in the name of Topicals’ ultra creamy sleeping mask, which is made of colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and shea. If a slice of buttery chess pie can soothe the sting of that argument with your Reddit-trawling uncle, Like Butter is the version of that for retin-A roughness.

Photo via ITG