It occurred to me that there are some products and staples that I rely on so heavily that I almost forget how amazing they are and that other folks may not know about them. Below, a few of the items that rarely get praise but that make my little magpie world go round.
Almay make-up removing pads ($5.50) are seriously the best thing in my life. Just a quick swipe over the yes, and everything is gone. For a heavy mascara user like myself (I typically wear Diorshow, but was very impressed by a sample of Too Faced’s new mascara and have been rocking that recently), these are critical.
I travel a fair amount for work, and have come to be very picky and methodical about my travel routine. First, I SWEAR by my Tumi rollaboard. Yes, it’s basic and not particularly fun to look at, but this little guy is a workhorse. He’s been through a lot and he still looks brand-new. It’s also intelligently designed: you can expand the case to make room for extra goodies you might pick up en route; there’s a zippered pocket on the front that is convenient for tucking a laptop into; it fits like a glove into the overhead bins. Second, Mr. Magpie bought me a set of compression bags after reading about them on his favored Wirecutter blog. These are wonderful for a lot of reasons. First, you can use them to fit more into your suitcase. But second, they’re just great for compartmentalizing items. I tend to keep all my undergarments in one and all my work-out gear in another. As the trip progresses, I use the larger one to store dirty clothes. Genius. Lastly, I recently invested in a set of Cuyana monogrammed cosmetic kits ($95). I love love love these guys.
If you’re someone prone to occasional body breakouts, you MUST try Mario Badescu’s botanical body soap ($8). This miracle worker immediately reduces redness and clears up anything within a matter of a week or two. I also love the affordable price tag and the clean, herbaceous scent.
Amazon Prime. Holy.moly. This has changed my whole life. I order everything via AmazonPrime. Paper straws? Cocktail napkins with cute Caspari prints? A new curling iron (PS – Hot Tools makes the best curling irons, FYI)? Pillar candles? These are, actually, all items in my most recent orders…not to mention new installments to fuel my ongoing book addiction. Recent orders include The Royal We (trashy, flashy indulgence), The House in Paris (thought-provoking, rich, layered — only partway through), and Primates of Park Avenue (en route to me right now).
If you don’t have Prime, I’m pretty much their poster child. You order it at the best price possible and it shows up in a day or two, right on your doorstep. #Obsessed.
Mac’s lip primer ($16) is the most genius thing ever. Someone once describe it to me as “velcro for your lipstick.” It’s true. Swipe it on and it conditions and primes the lip to hang on to your lip color for hours.
Elizabeth Arden’s 8-Hour Cream ($18). My mom has been using this for decades and all of my sisters and I share her obsession. Burn? Minor skin abrasion? Chapped lips? Blister? Cut? Any and all of the above are capably treated with a smudge of this ointment. (Even Mr. Magpie asks for it now.) Case in point: I accidentally dropped my curling iron and stupidly lunged after it, trying to grab it before it hit the ground. I wound up with a nasty, huge burn on my right hand that KILLED. I followed all of the normal precautions, running under cool water for a long time and letting it air out. (Never put lotion or anything directly onto a burn – it will insulate the burn!) But then I applied 8-Hour cream diligently to it over the next two weeks and it has healed like a charm.
I’ll be the first to admit that J. Crew’s cotton tees are not exactly the most…sturdy. You can burn through a top after a few washes. But man do they fit great and come in the best colors. I stock up every season. My current favorite fit is the scoopneck ($29). Also love their tanks.