July 8, 2023

Stuff I Recommend You Buy and Use: 2023 Edition

I previously wrote a list of things I recommend you buy and use, here are some more! Note: some of the links are affiliate/referral links.


Clothing and Bags

  • Calpak Kaya laptop backpack - I wanted a laptop bag that is stylish, not boring, not bulky, has useful compartments, and is comfortable to wear. This is the best one I’ve found! I have it in Dragonfruit.

  • Cheap crossbody bag - I’ve bought this bag multiple times in multiple colors because it’s so convenient. It’s the perfect size, holds a surprising amount, has useful compartments, and the strap can be adjusted to make it a shoulder bag or crossbody. It’s not going to last forever but for the price I think it’s well worth it. Bonus: This water bottle fits in it perfectly.

  • Yoga socks (but as normal socks) - I’ve never had so many compliments on my socks until I got these - they look like cute little ballet shoes. They have non-slip pads underneath so you can get away with wearing them instead of slippers, but they are slim enough to wear as normal socks. They are also great for doing yoga!

  • Cheap jelly sandals from AliExpress - These aren’t quite like normal jelly sandals, the footbed is more padded and super comfortable. They are super cute, can be dressed up and down, and you can wear them in water. They don’t need wearing in (they are comfy immediately), they come in loads of colors, and they are super cheap. The downside is delivery takes a while since they are coming from China. I’ve bought so many of these in different colors and styles, I wear them everywhere.

  • Sun hat with a gap for my ponytail - Usually, when it’s hot, I want to both wear a hat to shade my face and also have my hair up because it’s cooler. Often, these are incompatible. This hat has fabric on top that you can arrange as desired, leaving a gap wherever your hair needs to sit.

  • Coquetry clothing - This place makes custom clothing at a ridiculously affordable price. They have a bunch of styles and fabrics you can choose from as well as further customizations. It’s primarily for festival/clubbing/circus/dancewear, but depending on your style you can create some really cool stuff for a very reasonable price.

Skin and Hair

  • Custom face cream with tretinoin (e.g. Dermatica) - Tretinoin is one of the only evidence-based anti-aging products, and it also helps with a bunch of other skin issues like acne. It has made a huge difference to my skin. However, it’s only available on prescription. Luckily there are a bunch of online providers that will create a custom formula for you (make sure to request that it include tretinoin), giving you a super simple but effective skincare regime. I like Dermatica because it uses hyaluronic acid in the base formula, but I’ve heard good things about Curology, Agency, and others. They generally cost ~$30 per month and it gets delivered to your door, so you just don’t have to think about it.

  • EltaMD Tinted Sunscreen - I have finally come to accept that I should wear sunscreen on my face everyday. Don’t be scared by the fact that this is tinted, it blends seamlessly into any skintone, the tint is just there to block the visible light as well. This one is the nicest facial sunscreen I’ve found, the texture is nice and it plays well under makeup.

  • Mini vaselines for lips - My lips are perpetually dry, but these have pretty much eliminated the problem. They are adorably tiny cocoa butter vaselines that smell amazing. I buy loads of them and put them everywhere so one is never far away.

Girly Stuff

  • Menstrual discs - I cannot believe how much better these are than cups. They are more comfortable, easier to put in and take out (in my opinion), completely invisible externally, it doesn’t interfere with sex, you can keep it in for ages (up to 12 hours)… They have pretty much eliminated the inconvenience of periods for me. I actively prefer these over tampons, which I could never say about cups. I recommend starting with the disposable ones to see if you get on with them, and if so, get yourself a reusable one.

  • Lilac St DIY lash extensions - I’ve never managed to get the hang of strip false eyelashes, I get glue everywhere, can never get them in the right position, and they are usually hanging off by the end of the night. Not to mention they only last one day. On the other hand, professional lash extensions are eye-wateringly expensive and can damage your lashes. Luckily lash technology has come a long way, and I was amazed at how well these DIY lash extensions work. They come in little clusters (instead of one long strip), and stick underneath your lashes, so they look more natural. The best part is they can last for up to two weeks! It took me a few tries to get the hang of the application but I still found it easier than strip lashes, and I much prefer the look and durability. I have had more luck with the clear glue than the black pro glue, but YMMV.