Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Excellent Products

I want to make it a regular feature on my blog to occasionally write about products or items that I have come across and cannot live without. Okay, I could live without them if I had to, but my life would be a cold barren wasteland of sadness.

I guess we've all noticed by now I can't live without a touch of exaggeration. Or spell check to tell me how to spell words like "exaggeration".

So, in no particular order, here are the products I have been really excited about lately:

Big old drying rack from Target! (Of course I can't find it on their website but it looks a lot like this one and it's from Room Essentials in the aisle where the ironing boards are....) After I read this article in the New York Times that said even college campuses are getting more energy efficient by installing clotheslines in dorms, I knew that I had to get better about my drying habits. I usually won't put jeans or delicate shirts or bras in the dryer, but now I've decided that anything heavy (jeans, towels, jackets) or cotton (shirts, socks, etc) isn't going to go in the dryer. Actually, there shouldn't be much going in the dryer now because I have something like 50 yards of drying rack space in my spare room (I have two other wooden accordion style racks) and I can leave clothes in there for a day to dry. It's not like I run into laundry emergencies where I need something washed and dried in a couple of hours. God knows I have plenty of clothes. And keeping them out of the dryer makes them last a lot longer because they aren't getting beat up for an hour every week.

Thermos Brand Stainless King 16 oz Travel Tumbler
. I have been using a freebie travel mug from some event at work for YEARS. It is old and kinda gross and the inside is plastic and won't get clean anymore. YUCK. So I ordered this guy off of amazon the other day and it is such an upgrade in travel drinkware that I hardly know what hot beverage to make first. Tea? Coffee? More tea? It is heavy duty, vacuum insulated, claims to be leak-proof, has a handy one-finger open/close lever and you can drink from anywhere around the edge of the top. And there's no pesky handle to get stuck on my cup holder in my car. It won't need one anyway- the outside stays cool to the touch. It will keep hot drinks hot for at least 5 hours and cold drinks cold for at least 9. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Revlon Colorstay Makeup for Dry/Normal Skin in Buff. I cannot sing the praises of this foundation enough. I have realized over the past year or so that as I grow older there are some things that are getting to be essential makeup products. It used to be that when I was asked what one makeup product I would take on a desert island, my answer would be MASCARA. (Okay, I have never been asked that question. But I have thought about it. Sometimes you have to mentally prepare yourself for spur of the moment appearances on Oprah or Ellen or Tyra. "So, Heather, you really are quite the makeup addict. Tell us what one beauty product you could not do without if you got stranded on a desert island. Which one would you kill for?" And I would pretend to think it over for a second, but I would say very quickly, "Black mascara, a whole bunch of it." Oprah would lean over during the commercial break and tell me that two sets of false eyelashes are even better. That woman is all about some falsies.) Over the summer I have realized that foundation is pretty handy stuff for evening out my complexion (and blush is a definite MUST if I do that- this desert island list could get sort of lengthy). This is the only foundation I have ever used that doesn't settle into any fine lines on my face and make me look 70 years old. It also makes my skin better- breakouts don't happen until I skip a few days. Weird. (I have tried the one for oily/combo skin and I just don't like the coverage as well. It doesn't ring my bell like the normal/dry one.) Two teensy quibbles- this dries so fast I can only apply it to one section of my face at a time, and it really needs a pump bottle.

Boos Block Board Cream. I got this stuff at Williams Sonoma last weekend. It's a whipped oil that is used for cutting boards and wooden kitchen utensils so they don't dry out and crack. It is awesome. I slathered some on all of my cutting boards and wooden spoons and knife handles and let it sink in overnight. Then in the morning I wiped them down with a clean cloth. The only two ingredients in Board Cream are mineral oil and beeswax so it smells just like honey. I am wondering if I can't just use this as a moisturizer because it smells great and feels good on my hands (you rub it in by hand, I wasn't just randomly using it on my skin for kicks). Anyway, my boards are looking nice and dark again. I am very happy with that purchase.

Fresh Wave Odor Neutralizers. I'm not sure where I first heard about these, but this is a line of very highly regarded air clear-ers. I found a display at Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and then the woman at the check out counter RAVED about how awesome they are. I got a container of the odor absorbing gel crystals and a kitchen candle. I keep getting lingering smoke odors from the previous owner of my condo, and I notice it especially when I haven't been running the A/C and things get a little stale. I opened the gel crystals in my bedroom closet, and shut the bedroom door. Not even an hour later I went back in there and my whole room smelled really fresh and clean. There is no floral scent or anything weird with these. They're made with natural ingredients and oils like lime and pine. So at first up close they smell slightly bathroom cleaner-ish (ew) but that's not what they do to a room. I will be getting more of these. They're not cheap but they work so to me they are completely worth it. They even come in little packs that you can use in shoes or bagless vacuum cleaner canisters or your car. And it comes in a room spray too. I love it when my house smells like NOTHING. (Unless I'm burning my mistletoe candle, then I just don't want anything to compete with that!)

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