What Are the Random Finds You Swear By?
You know when you’re hanging out with friends and someone launches into a monologue about the perfect lipstick that somehow looks good on everyone or a home appliance they can’t live without? In the spirit of sharing — and with the hope that you’ll drop your own favorites in the comments — here are six finds I’ve been proselytizing as if I have company stock…
A bathroom upgrade
Bath mats are like dental surgery — surprisingly medieval and in desperate need of an upgrade. You mean to tell me we’ve invented indoor plumbing, but our best idea for stepping out of the shower is a piece of cloth that takes forever to dry and either already smells mildewy or will soon? So, when I got an Instagram ad for an “instantly drying” bath stone, it seemed too good to be true. But that devilish stone followed me around the internet until I caved. It’s not “instantly drying,” but I’d call it “rapidly drying and very satisfying” — plus, it never gets smelly. Especially for renters without washers/dryers (like me), this product gets 10 stars.
An accessory that requires a formal apology
When I bought a LeSportsac fanny pack that looked identical to the one my mom had in the late ’90s, I sheepishly called her. “Remember how I made fun of that fanny pack you wore when we were kids?” I said, “Well, I’m sorry because I just bought one.” I wear it around my waist or as a crossbody, and it fits everything, including the humble admission that my mom, as usual, was right all along.
Eyebrows for dummies
I don’t have a steady hand, so I’m an unlikely candidate for any pencil meant to be applied to the face. No built-in eraser? No thank you! has been my operating principle. And yet, here I am, enthusiastically advocating for the Anastasia pencil, which makes it surprisingly easy to shape my brows. There are 12 shades to choose from (I have dirty blonde hair and “Taupe” is perfect), and you can correct mistakes with the built-in spoolie. This pencil has quickly become my #1 mood-boosting makeup product. My whole face brightens up —it’s kind of wild how much of a difference a brow tweak makes.
A subscription worth every penny
On March 3rd, I realized I’d made a big mistake. When #Scandoval broke, I desperately wanted to travel back to 2013 to watch Vanderpump Rules from the beginning. Since that’s impossible, I did what any nut in my position would do and began watching the latest season and slowly catching up from season one. My $5 Peacock subscription is essential to this important operation. Is it confusing to be operating in multiple timelines? Yes. Do I find myself craving something called a “pumptini”? Also, yes.
A kitchen helper
At dinner time, if I’m tired or had a bad day, even the smallest inconvenience can send me to the “let’s just get take out” zone. And whipping up salad dressing sometimes feels like one step too many. But then I ordered a salad dressing shaker to finish off a gift card I’d been sitting on. Once it arrived, my salad consumption went way up since I always had a shaker of homemade dressing on hand in an easy-pour container.
Shoes that feel like walking on clouds
For some reason, orthotic shoes are trending right now, and as someone who walks a lot and has an arthritic big toe, I’ll take it. In the black-on-black colorway, these Hokas look less like fancy running shoes and more like those apocalyptic-feeling platform sneakers I see all over Brooklyn. They’re incredibly comfortable and 95% of the times I walk out of my apartment, they’re on my feet.
My Hokas often guest star in photos of random street finds, including a tarot card and a note I saw on my block that said “I’m sorry for being an asshole last night :(”
What are your best recent purchases? I’m dying to know.
Alex Ronan is a writer and investigative reporter from New York. Her work has been published by Elle, New York Magazine, Vogue, and The New York Times. She has also written for Cup of Jo about single moms, sibling loss, parenting abroad, and nude lipstick. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, if you’d like.
P.S. Our Trader Joe’s favorites, and what’s something you splurged on?
(Top photo by J. Anthony/Stocksy. Other photos from the brands, except the laptop and Hokas photos, which are by Alex Ronan.)