Eight years ago, Amazon Prime dug its convenient clutches into me, and I grabbed it right back. This co-dependent relationship has been my longest, and boy, do I have some fond memories. Amazon gave me just about everything I could ever ask for — in exchange for my card details, of course.
This wild romp featured some of my favorite online shopping triumphs. Instead of keeping them to myself, I want to share my most beloved items with you. Here are some reviews you can trust from yours truly about all the Amazon products that improved my life.
This Decadent Hot Cocoa
Pro tip: Cadbury chocolate you buy in America is basically the same as Hershey’s chocolate. Being an avid cocoa lover, especially in the winter months, I make a point to buy Cadbury Drinking Chocolate from England.
In addition to making the coziest cuppas (skip the water, just milk or a milk substitute will melt your heart), this cocoa powder is baking-friendly. My chocolate banana muffins have never been the same!
This Portable Ring Light for Perfect Low-Light Photos
As someone with dark skin, I tend to disappear in nightlife photos. Even in this modern age, flash often leads to alien eyes and/or any of my much lighter friends looking like ghosts.
This rechargeable ring light clips onto my phone to light both selfies and regular photos. Ghosts, begone! With three brightness settings, I always get great shots without blinding anyone in the process.
I’ll be honest, I only really started taking care my face about a year ago, but I’ve grown to love this toner. So many toners rock a million bells and whistles (and price tags to match) when all you really need is witch hazel.
This witch hazel toner features lavender for a pleasant scent and aloe vera — which has definitely helped calm my face down when I over-exfoliate. I never enjoyed using tons of cotton swabs, so I particularly love that they finally started putting this toner in a spray bottle.
This Eye-Catching, Durable Umbrella
After years of buying umbrellas in the middle of a downpour only to have them destroyed at the slightest breeze, enough was enough. After some research, I came across Repel Umbrellas. To punch up my mostly black outerwear options, I went for their yellow umbrella with an open/close button.
So far the button’s never jammed, the umbrella has held up to admittedly modest winds, and no one has made any “How I Met Your Mother” jokes.
This Syrup Dispenser That I’ve Never Used for Syrup
I think all the maple syrup bottles I’ve ever bought did the job just fine. This dispenser sits in my fridge holding canned evaporated milk because it makes the perfect cup of tea. Pouring the creamy milk is a spill-free process and I like that the clear glass lets me know exactly when I’m running low. You can use it for its intended purpose or as a table cream dispenser on those big breakfast mornings.
In my quest for a baby soft face, I decided to up my game from scrubs to some exfoliating gloves. This machine-washable pair does wonders with a gentle touch, but a normal touch could pack a punch for rougher areas. Whether you need a clearer face or heels like butter, these gloves have your back.
A couple of years ago, I got into knitting, but I wasn’t confident enough to spring for fancy yarn. I came across these affordable skeins and haven’t considered anything else since.
Scarves made with this acrylic-wool mix soften up nicely in the wash and provide cozy protection from the elements. The Tonal series creates a nice effect for when you want a little more pizzazz in your projects while sticking to a color scheme.
A Lightweight Vacuum for Lightweight Use
With the exception of clearing up broken glass, there’s not much a broom can do that a vacuum can’t do better. I love using this stick vacuum on hard floors and my low pile area rug. It can also easily get into little nooks and on stairs with the two handheld modes.
Contrary to popular belief, filters for this model are available straight from Bissell and I’ve never had an issue stocking up on them.
This Heat Styling Protectant with Strand-Quenching Argan Oil
Heat styling is an inevitability, so how do you keep from frying your hair? There are tons of thermal protectants on the market, but you can feel the difference this one makes, no matter what heating tool you’re using.
It’s a very moisturizing spray, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re prone to getting oily hair. The spray also contains keratin, so it’ll lock in straight styles and tame frizz.
This Mighty Ceramic Flat Iron
Speaking of straight hair, you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for sleek locks. This Conair flat iron has a wide heat range and an auto shutoff for those forgetful mornings. The thin plates also make this straightener adept at making a few curls because you really can have it all.
This Sturdy, Rust-Proof Shower Caddy
Who can’t use a little more storage space in their shower? This flexible, yet sturdy silicone caddy hooks onto your showerhead and stays put. Little knob hooks on the side are great for loofahs and there are even circular holsters nearly empty product bottles.
This Washable Scrubber Will Replace Your Sponge
Ditch the dirty sponge and grab one of these scrubbers. Unlike other eco-friendly options, they hold suds well, so you rest assured that you’re dishes are getting clean. The best part? They’re machine washable and dishwasher safe, so you can keep using one for up to a year!
A Tissue Box Holder That Feels Like Home
Let your tissue box become decor with this little house. It fits standard-sized tissue boxes while looking adorable. Just make sure you remove all of the plastic from the top of tissue box to stabilize it and you’re good to go.
This Stream of Consciousness Novel You Won’t Be Able to Put Down
Darcie Wilder’s “literally show me a healthy person” fills a little over a hundred pages with darkly hilarious musings and anecdotes. The lack of structure in this emotional rollercoaster is an exciting way to get back into reading and the length means you’ll actually finish it.
A Little Oil Diffuser for Small Spaces
Originally purchased for my work desk in my woefully dry office, this diffuser is an excellent humidifier. Now that I have it at home, I’ve started experimenting with essential oils and my apartments never smelled better. Though you can choose what color it stays on, I particularly like letting it cycle through different colors for some fun ambiance.
This Artistic Food Coloring Set
Any adventurous baker will tell you that you need a lot of traditional food coloring to get bright colors, especially with a dark batter. Unfortunately, you can taste all that dye in your pretty confections.
With this gel set, however, you only need a drop or two to get vibrant batters and frostings. Eat your heart out, “The Great British Baking Show!”
This Color-Changing Light Bulb Is Pretty Smart
I essentially live in a cave, so my favorite thing to do with this smart bulb is set sunrise alarms. I use the app to set the bulb to slowly brighten to the color of my choice over the course of 30 minutes. In addition to helping me rise and shine, the bulb can emit light in more colors than I could ever choose in my lifetime.
This Powerful, Stylish Space Heater
Space heaters often look quite industrial, so I love how this one blends in with my decor. Don’t let the size fool you; it can heat up a room in no time. Fellow forgetful klutzes will enjoy the auto-shut-off for when it tips over or reaches a certain temperature.
This Sleek Air Purifier Will Help You Breathe Easier
I took a chance on this air purifier last year when it was pretty new. Over a year later and tons of reviews from those caught in proximity to California wildfires, both me and thousands of people agree that this purifier’s a hit. It has a True HEPA filter — replacements are dirt cheap — that will help you do everything from dusting less to surviving wildfire season with intact lungs.
This Money-Saving Period Product Alternative
Anyone who experiences periods knows how expensive they are and probably knows how bad disposable products are for the environment. I started using menstrual cups about four years ago and I’ve easily saved hundreds of dollars.
After some test cups and many Youtube comparison videos, I found my “Goldilocks cup.” The Lena cup is the most comfortable cup I’ve tried that’s also sturdy.
This Ultra-Soft Bath Mat
Okay, so this is actually my desk rug. Yep, a rug for my desk. They add a bit of texture to the space while also being a comfy resting place. I went for this Stainmaster bath mat, so I knew I’d be safe from any coffee spills. So far, so good!
This Handy Power Drill for Small Projects
After my faithful IKEA drill installed its last wall anchor, I found this Black+Decker drill. I didn’t want to spend too much because I mostly use it when I move, but I wanted something durable enough for the occasional DIY project.
Swimsuit Tape That’s Almost Too Sticky
I’m the proud owner of a knockout one-piece with a plunging neckline that is a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. This tape sticks fast, well, and it’s waterproof. Peeling it off after a beach day is a price worth its effectiveness.
A Thick Yoga Mat for a Little Extra Support
Remember me? The klutz? Many falls throughout my childhood left me with rather mediocre knees, so paper thin yoga mats don’t cut it for me. This plush, easy-to-clean mat helps me tackle Camel Pose without fear or pain.
These Color-Coded Clippers to Get Your Fade Right
In the natural hair community, many people do “big chops” where they cut off their chemically treated tresses. I’ve done two buzz chops where I got rid of everything and these clippers performed well. I also ended up cutting, much to my terror, a few of my friends’ hair over the years as well, so I got good use out of the blade guards to get the right lengths.
This Onion Chopper Locks Away Your Tears
I’m not crying, you’re crying! Oh, wait, it’s the onions. Chopping onions got easier and far less dramatic with this nifty gadget. It’s also a great way to avoid chopping peppers and then accidentally touching your eye.
Some Airtight Containers for Your Lunch or Leftovers
These containers are great for leftovers, but they really shine on-the-go. The airtight seal has kept my soups and curries from leaking during my commute. They’re freezer, microwave, and dishwasher safe, and they’ve never stained!
It’s hard to be coordinated before you’ve had your coffee. Luckily, this commute-friendly travel mug creates an autoseal that you unlock by pushing a button when you want a sip. Need to throw it a bag? There’s a hard lock switch as well that’ll keep your belongings dry.
These Festive Blank Holiday Cards
I love writing personal notes in cards instead of giving people pre-filled cards. The glossy cardstock feels great and the variety of cover designs lets every new card feel fresh.
These Heavy Duty Command Hooks
What was renting even like before all the Command hanging products? These hooks hold up to 5 lbs. and can even hold up to some bathroom steam. I’ve used a few as towel hooks and even the wettest towels couldn’t bring these little marvels down.
The Rotring 600 Is the Best Mechanical Pencil Ever Made
Beloved by myself, (in addition to architects, designers and draftspeople), the German-engineered Rotring 600 may be the perfect writing implement. A solid brass body provides a weighty feel, which, coupled with a nicely knurled grip, allows ultra-precise use. Plus, it just looks really, really cool.
This Slim Storage Cart That Makes the Most of Tiny Spaces
I have this cart in between my washer/dryer combo and the wall. My laundry room doesn’t have any storage, so this thing was seriously a lifesaver. It easily fits a standard size bottle of laundry detergent as well as a bunch of other cleaning supplies. You could also put it in your kitchen or anywhere else you need a bit more storage.
These Cooling Racks That Fold Flat for Easy Storage
These simple, inexpensive racks are irreplaceable in my kitchen They’re great for cooling biscuits, cookies, or loaves of bread. I even use them for draining oil off of bacon!
This Rainfall Shower Head That Basically Turned My Bathroom into a Spa
This was one of the first things I purchased after moving into a new apartment. I installed it myself in about five minutes and ever since, my showers are like mini getaways I get to take every day.
The Ringer Is the Only Thing I Use to Scrub My Cast Iron Skillet
I love my cast iron skillet and am a little obsessive about keeping the seasoning in good condition. The Ringer lets me scrub any baked-on crud off of it without damaging the seasoning. I’ve been using it for several years with no issues whatsoever — the stainless steel construction keeps it rust-free (and stink-free), and to be honest, it just feels cool to use actual chain mail on a daily basis.
This Magnetic Cable Organizer That Keeps My Side Table Organized
I was getting sick of having to pick all my various charger cables up off the floor, so I went searching for a solution and found this. I like the wood-grain appearance and the fact that each cable clip fits three different sizes of cables.
This Magnetic Phone Mount For My Car
The magnetic mount itself clips onto your car vent. Then, you put a thin metal disk inside your phone case for it to connect to. I cannot overstate how convenient this little gadget is. I even make sure to bring it with me whenever I’m traveling and using a rental car.
This Thermal Laminator That Keeps All My Important Papers Safe
I still can’t believe how inexpensive this Amazon Basics laminator is — only around $20 bucks! It comes with several thermal envelopes that you can use to laminate recipes, calendar pages, or important documents around your house. Or unimportant documents. It’s seriously that fun to use. Try laminating your next utility bill. Or hilariously bad photos of your husband.
This little sanitizer plugs directly into your outlet and sanitizes and deodorizes the air around it. I have one in both the living room and the bathroom and I think it really makes a difference in making the air feel much fresher.
This Down Alternative Comforter That Is So, So Comfy
I truly can’t believe that this comforter costs less than $30 because it is the most luxurious bedding I’ve ever slept under in my life. It has loops in all four corners and all four sides so you can easily tie it into any duvet cover. I’ve had mine for about 6 months and none of the filling has become bunched up or clumpy, even after several launderings — in the washer! Because it’s machine washable.
This Vitamin C Serum That Smells Divine
I’ll be honest: The main draw of this product was the fun squeezy-top bottle that it comes with. But it also smells so great and definitely leaves my skin feeling very hydrated and nourished.
The Anker Soundbuds Are the Best Inexpensive Bluetooth Headphones on Amazon
I use these headphones every single day. Not only are they comfortable, but they also block out almost ALL noise, and have surprisingly long battery life for their category (right around 9 hours per charge). Sure, they can’t compete with $160 Airpods for ultimate convenience, but considering they’re only $27, they’re just about perfect.
This Book That’s Also a Planetarium
And an instrument, and a speaker, and an infinite calendar… I bought this book as a gift, and it was a huge hit. Every page is its own fully functional device made out of paper. It’s like a pop-up book for grown-ups (although kids would also totally get a kick out of it, I’m sure).
These Makeup Brushes That Are Surprisingly Good Quality for the Price
If you’re looking for a nice set of brushes that won’t break the bank, these are the way to go. The set features seven different eyeshadow brushes and costs less than $15. They have more than 5,000 reviews, so you don’t even have to just my word on this one.
This Birdfeeder That Attaches Directly to Your Window
The best part of having a birdfeeder is being visited by birds (duh). But this window-mounted feeder offers something even better: An up-close-and-personal view of your feathered friends! I just recently put mine on the window in my office and I can’t wait until my bird friends come to visit.