This spring, when I noticed that a friend was suddenly sporting the same long, dark, curly eyelashes as her son (boys always have the prettiest lashes) she swore it was due to this eyelash serum from Sephora [Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH™ - MD Lash Enhancing Serum, if the link doesn’t work for you.] I’m not a product junkie but I decided to give it a try as a pandemic boredom experiment. Lo and behold, months later, friends stop me mid-sentence to comment on how long my lashes are, or to ask me if I’m wearing fake ones, or if I’m using Latisse.
Now, do your own research—I would skip the serum if you have sensitive skin or eye issues—but for me, it’s one of those rare products that made me think with satisfaction, “Well that worked exactly as well as I hoped it would!” And you know how unusual that feeling can be.
What is one product of late—beauty, kitchen, household, personal, etc., at any price point—that so efficiently and thoroughly does what you want that you want to tell the world about it?
This issue is not sponsored and I’m not sure why I chose to write that in italics. Try new products at your own risk. And also my kid took the photo below, which is…not touched up. Here I quickly curled my lashes and applied one coat of mascara.
This is more of a hack maybe than a product, but after trying multiple laundry detergents to no avail, I’ve found that if I add vinegar in the bleach hole on my washer (still using detergent as usual), my tweenager’s pit stink is finally eradicated. Yeesh. Also thank you! I am super getting that lash goo - I don’t know why my 40s have brought thinning lashes on top of all the other joy but thrilled to have a weapon to strike back.
My kids sleep in bunkbeds, which are a total pain in the ass to make up, and while I wish that I could be okay about messy beds, I can't. Then, I found that there are twin sized comforters with a fitted bottom, so if you make the bed the first time and really tuck the shit out of the sheets into this comforter, all you have to do to make the bed is yank everything up and it looks decent. Total game-changer. It is easy enough that once in a blue moon my seven year old will do it herself.
All YETI products are perfect. I have a giant YETI for my daily seltzer, a YETI specifically for cocktails, several YETI coozies, and dream of the day someone gifts me a YETI cooler because I cannot justify spending that much money on one but I am sure they are perfect as well. They really keep your drinks so cold (or hot if that's your thing but I live in Florida, so...) for so long, and they're really durable and you can put them in the dishwasher!
I found myself being irrationally angry every time I had to tie my shoes this fall, especially when it got colder and I switched from sneakers to hiking boots as my everyday shoes. I asked around what kind of slip on leather shoes or boots people liked, and I got some Blundstones.
Life changing to just slip on my boots. No more irrational annoyance about tying laces. They took some time to soften up a bit, but it was worth needing to pay close attention when putting them on for a week or two.
A few years ago, my family got walloped my multiple stomach by bugs. At one point, we were all sick at the same time. The kids were too young to reliably barf in a vessel, my husband and I were doubled over, too sick to take care of them. One of my kids was prescribed Zofran, and I took one of her pills when I couldn't stop heaving. It totally stopped the vomiting and roiling nausea and made being sick bearable. I asked my doctor for a prescription so I could keep some in the house as a precaution in case we ever got that sick again, and she wrote me a prescription. I've only taken it a couple of times since then. It works amazingly well at dialing nausea that makes you want to die back down to just feeling unpleasant, and keeping some stocked in the house has totally eliminated the dread and anxiety I used to feel at the first sign of G.I. illness. If you have any emetophobia or fear around being too sick to care for your kids, I really recommend getting a prescription and just keeping some Zofran in the house.
After eating a banana, I put the peel in a pitcher of water. That night or the next day, I throw the peel and use the water for my houseplants. Learned about this a month ago and can see a difference in my plants. I've read you can also boil the banana peel in water to obtain more nutrients, but the soaking method is easier and seems to be working well.
This is SO bougie, but man, I love my Ember mug. Having my tea the perfect temperature for me all morning is a true gift, especially while working from home. No more having to microwave the same mug over and over!
Turns out Cerave - the big tub - is my holy grail facial moisturizer and I can also slather it generously on my kids and my elbows and my husband and the dog and it doesn't even matter, because it is cheap.
Also, I am trying to be a little more intentional about dressing myself (it's far too easy for me to wear nothing but jeans, Ts, and hoodies), and the Stylebook app is super fun. You can have it shuffle, say, all of your tops and all of your bottoms and all of your shoes and all of your accessories, and it will give you ideas for things to wear that you can save or edit or ignore. Also, the process of photographing all of my clothes and shoes and jewelry is not that onerous and is helping me think about and organize and streamline what I have.
The eyelash link did not work for me, and I am interested! What’s the product name please?
My product is a sensible one: medicated nose spray during a cold, but only the oxymetazoline one. Tell me addiction horror stories all you want, but it makes a cold tolerable
I recently bought some Haflinger clogs and slippers and while they were kind of $$, I love them both so much. Have needed a slip on that is a little more weather proof than crocs and something to keep my feet warm all day during the winter, these feel like gifts I keep givjng myself.
For those upper-arm bumps/bikini area, etc. this stuff works wonders -- https://www.firstaidbeauty.com/skin-care-products/serums-and-treatments/kp-bump-eraser-body-scrub-with-aha
This is not shocking that they work like intended, but I cannot tell you how much I love my Birkenstock EVA Gizehs. They are like Birks but made of Crocs material so they are cute but waterproof/washable and around $45. I LIVE in them during the summer months (especially in 2020) and they come in fun colors like hot pink and gold. I have bought, or forced friends to buy, their own pairs and there are no unsatisfied customers.
I love a good product rec! I'll give you two: a ComfiLife seat pad for my home office chair (aka a kitchen chair) and wireless sleep headphones so I can fall asleep listening to podcasts (I found mine on amazon for $10-$15!)
Zout stain remover. Discovered it back when I had a newborn and needed to get poop stains out of everything. It’s magic!
Also, pixi under eye color corrector. Makes me look immediately more rested! I have genetic dark circles and it’s amazing (I still use concealor on top though).
It's funny, I used the Grandelash serum, too, and it did work...but I didn't feel like the change in my actual appearance was worth the money. I guess I expected my face to look more different with longer lashes, but it really didn't make that much of a difference!
I will say the Laneige Lip Mask (which I also got from Sephora) feels worth it to me. I apply it every night and I feel like my lips are always moisturized. Plus one container lasts a long time!
Bon Ami cleanser and white vinegar to replace pretty much every cleaning product in my house. Sorry, that's two, but one of them isn't really even a "product"!
Want your dentist to compliment you on your gums? The best product ever- Therabreath Oral Rinse (for gums)
Nuud deodorant has worked incredible for me. I put it on maybe 1-2 times per week and it just works!
Lancôme pink toner (it's actually called Tonique Confort Re-Hydrating Comforting Toner with Acacia Honey) has miraculously kept my face from being dry, red, or flaky. It is genuinely comforting, as advertised, and feels luxurious! $35 is expensive for toner, to me, but this one is sooo worth it.
Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Glow moisturizer makes my skin look dewy and glorious (and it should for $70). It's one of those products that when you use it people notice.. The exfoliator is also really awesome.
I've been getting down on myself for a while about the red, irritated skin under my mask, especially since I sometimes do Zoom meetings alone in my office with it off. Clinique redness solutions is really helping! I bought the multi-pack with the cleanser but it's the cream in the jar that really does the job.
MAC Big Boost Fibre gel for my eyebrows has made me feel much better about having to look at my forehead all the time now that masks have killed lipstick.
I’ve got a few. I’ll list the cosmetic/beauty ones first:
1. Botox. Sorry not sorry, but NOTHING I do for my physical appearance makes me feel better. I lost 45 lbs. (Ozempic, it’s amazing) and getting my first postpartum Botox made me feel better than dropping the weight.
2. Supergoop Goop Glow sunscreen glow lotion. I hate putting on sunscreen, but this is so sheer and glowy that I don’t mind and actually look forward to it.
3. Eyeko Black Magic mascara. It’s all I’ve worn for years, and it doesn’t rub off or irritate. Huge fan.
Okay I just spent an alarming amount of time trying to find this thread to say that I bought the Grande Lash the day this came out and have been using it ever since and it is MAGIC. So if you ever feel like you never accomplished anything in your life, please know that you transformed my formerly non-existent eyelashes, which have been the bane of my existence my entire life.
Quick zip crib sheets w/a flat, not fitted waterproof mattress prorector underneath. Makes making the bed when the diaper leaks or the kid spits up SO MUCH EASIER. I had a bottom and three top sheets from Miriam, and bought a second bottom and three top sheets on eBay with Vivian. Note: they also make these in bigger sizes, which would be especially great for bunk beds.
The Alvababy (or similar style) pocket cloth diapers. I don’t cloth diaper. What I do is use the liner as burp cloth (perfect size and grippy-ness) and snap the empty waterproof cover OVER the disposable diaper. This means 1. I can use the cheap brands that leak more often, 2. The diapers don’t shift and bunch as much in the car seat, 3. Blowouts and leaks are usually contained, and 4. (I have girls) the cute little dresses from Goodwill that are missing the matching bloomers? I can coordinate these to their outfits and they look neat and put together.
A soft, wrap-around eye mask that I can sleep in has provided me with, no joke, HOURS of additional sleep. My spouse likes to stay up late in our bed reading ("the couch is cold") with the light on and our bedroom gets intense morning light. The eye mask I use was the cheapest version I could find online and it has payed for itself one million times over already.
Huffing peppermint oil was the only reason I didn't barf for three months straight when I was pregnant. One big whiff and I could feel my lunch retreating back into my stomach.
Also, not really a product, but a couple of years ago I made an aggressive push to get to inbox zero and once I did, I set up Gmail to push all unopened emails to the top and that's basically how I manage tasks all day. If I open an email and it's something I need to do but haven't gotten around to yet, I mark as unread until I return to it and figure it out or reply. I can see how much I need to do at a glance and I don't have to scroll through a ton of emails to find what I need.
Late to the laundry stank convo but I love Better Life brand Stain and Odor Eliminator, esp for stinky towels. A little in the prewash or just spray it in along with detergent, and it smells good too. I bought a gallon on amazon.
And a mouthwash I love is The Pristine Protocol BR Rinse. All natural, on Amazon. I had to triple check the first time to make sure it was edible, tastes bad, mostly hydrogen peroxide. But after I adjusted it is really refreshing and my gums feel great. I dont like the heavy alcohol burn of regular mouthwash.
In 2020, during lockdown, I turned 41 and noticed that 1) I had serious tech neck, 2) I was still getting skin tags (ugh) on my neck that started during pregnancy five years ago, and 3) my dad's genes were kicking in and I had jowls. I sound like a real looker, right? Anyway, since I rarely wear makeup, I experimented with expensive skin creams. I found two that really, really work. Amorepacific Time Response Skin Reserve Crème actually erased the angry line between my brows, temporarily, but it was like $250 for a thimbleful, so I kept looking. The supermodels in my IG feed sold me on Augustinius Bader, so I tried the Rich Cream, and after maybe six months, while I still have a double chin, a bumpy neck, and droopy face, all three of these things improved significantly. I have to pick up extra gigs to pay for this stuff, but honestly, it's helped me feel a lot better about the changes that came with middle age and having a kid.
And finally, Color Catchers. I still separate my colors and whites and lights, but this keeps my dark jeans from hemorrhaging all over the rest of the load, and the marker and paint that’s inevitably on my daughter’s clothes from colonizing the rest of our things.
1. Hyland’s Restful Legs tabs. They’re little homeopathic tabs that help calm my legs down when I’m going to sleep and my body still feels like it’s racing.
2. Cheers Anti-Hangover Pills. I’ve avoided some VERY well-earned hangovers this year due to these pills. I don’t know how they work, but even selling my soul to the devil is preferable to a hangover with a two year old, a six year old and a husband who doesn’t drink.