What I Love: A Lifestyle Blogger's List of Must-Haves

Published June 21, 2022
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Hey, I'm Sarah! As a Commerce Writer for LoveToKnow, I am obsessed with searching for fantastic finds for the home, skincare, beauty, and lifestyle. Whether these are space-saving storage bags or my holy grail pet stain cleaner, I love finding products that fit seamlessly into my daily routines and meet my family's needs.

While I am a toddler mom and caring for my child is the top priority, I also do my best to invest time into self-care, even if it's only for a few minutes each day. Self-care can be using a quick yet pampering five-minute face wand or reading a few pages of a book from The New York Times Best Seller list. When I come across products that work for me and my busy mom life, you can bet that I'll stick to them!

When I tell you that I use this skincare tool every day, I mean it. As a mom, I don't have all the time in the world to do a whole at-home spa experience, but I do tend to my skin and pampered moment (five minutes at least!) each time I use my SolaWave. A 4-in-1 face skincare wand, the SolaWave, helps bring out my skin's radiance and reduces blemishes. Through microcurrents and a warm therapeutic red light therapy, it thoroughly works my skincare products into my face. It's been raved about by celebs including Mandy Moore, Nicole Kidman, Lil Nas X, Sydney Sweeney, and more. Plus, this tool is compact - and I love a travel-friendly product!

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I wake up with puffy eyes so they can use a boost in the morning - can't we all?! I was often challenged with finding an eye cream that works for my sensitive skin. A little of this Origins Ginzing Refreshing Eye Cream goes a long way, and yes, it actually meets my sensitive skin concerns. When applied, this eye cream doesn't feel greasy or too heavy. I love that it leaves a radiant finish and helps reduce puffiness and dark circles. My toddler tends to go to bed late, so I'll take anything that can help with my tired mama eyes.

On the topic of eye skincare, I'm also a huge fan of eye masks. I usually pack a few for travel or use while getting ready for a social gathering. These budget-friendly Bliss eye masks are easy to pop into any purse, cosmetic, or travel bag. Makeup tip: wear an eye mask while applying your eye makeup to serve as a catch-all for any excess product, including mascara, eye shadow, or glitter. It'll save you some clean-up time afterward!

To quote Regina George from the movie, Mean Girls (2004), "My pores are huge." I'm happy to share my skincare finds if you couldn't tell already. Why? Because I know the struggle of finding a skincare product that works without sacrificing the quality of ingredients and doesn't cost a fortune. This serum by Bliss does nearly everything from hydrating skin, reducing the look of pores and oiliness, and protecting the face's skin barrier from the gross toxins in our environment. I use this product daily.

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I wish that I was aware of the importance of wearing sunscreen all-year-round sooner than later. I went from only wearing face sunscreen during the summer months to wearing it every day. Yupp, rain or shine, I am wearing sunscreen. When I searched for the right face sunscreen, I knew that I wanted an affordable product that would work for my sensitive skin and that's oil-free and non-comedogenic (won't clog pores). This Neutrogena Clear Face sunscreen meets all of that criteria!

We need to talk more about the magic of pimple patches. How these little dots work fast to reduce zits and breakouts is beyond my comprehension, but I am so glad that they've worked for me, every time without fail. It's important to note that these pimple patches work when used correctly, meaning that they don't work within 5 minutes BUT stay with me - the patches are clear, so they can be worn throughout the day and overnight to help diminish those pesky pimple pop-ups. I'm always sure to have these pimple patches in stock, and of course, I pack them for any travel.

Couldn't get an appointment at your wax salon? Have this quality hair removal kit as a backup plan. I've had mine for over two years and have had zero issues. I love that it comes with a pre-waxing spray (to clean and prep skin), a post-waxing spray (to soothe and calm skin), and a guide on using the kit and achieving lasting hair removal. It's suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin! It feels like you're at a salon without the salon prices.

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I was looking for a pair of sneakers that were 1) affordable and 2) able to withstand a Disney vacation. We planned to go to Disney parks for five days, which meant A LOT of walking and keeping up with our toddler. My other sneakers were super worn and flat. I'm so glad that I found these Maddison Sneakers by A New Day from Target. At first, I was drawn to their minimal and clean style, making them easy to go with any outfit. When I put on these slip-on sneakers, my feet felt as if they were on a cloud. I learned that these sneakers have a memory foam insole, hence the crazy good comfort. I happily walked around the parks without wearing out my feet during our vacation.

You should have flip-flops for the warmer months, but honestly, you don't need to spend a fortune on them. My thought process behind flip-flops in general: they're easy go-to's for summertime, they may get lost, and they're often worn around water. And for these reasons, I don't like to spend a lot of money on flip-flops, but I still want a pair that will look nice with a casual outfit. I think that these T-Strap Flip-Flops from Old Navy are a steal as these cost under $10. They also aren't the typical flip-flop style, and with this design, it can amp up any casual-cool look. I've had these flip-flops in every color, and I think they're perfect for the summer months and any warm-weather vacation.

I've gone through a handful of fashion tape brands that failed to serve their purpose, but this fashion tape by Fearless is the best. I've used this as a quick hem for my dresses and keep my tops from any potential wardrobe malfunctions. I haven't had to remove and replace any strips of this tape once I initially applied. I wore an off-the-shoulder midi-dress with a sweetheart neckline to a wedding. To prevent any wardrobe top slips, I used a couple of these fashion tape strips along the neckline. I danced the night away, and the top of my dress didn't budge - amazing!

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I've been there. I've put on a top that is just a tad too thin for my liking, but I can't wear a regular bra with it. Enter: Hollywood Fashion Secrets Silicone CoverUps. These nipple covers are available in different shades and conceal for those tops and dresses that need an extra layer of coverage without you feeling the bulk of another layer of clothing. My favorite feature about these covers is that they're reusable - ah, wait, and the bonus feature is that they come in a slim travel-size case. I've been able to wear my favorite bralettes and plunge v-neck tops with comfort.

I think that an adhesive bra is a staple undergarment to have in your collection. This bra is perfect for thin-strap tops and backless tops and dresses. It's reusable and provides support without the look of bra straps. I usually wear mine with a slip dress or a crochet top for a clean, finished look. I get the support I need, and after use, I store this adhesive bra back in its case.

Over the years, I've tried many different types of body scrubbers. Some had bristles that were too hard on my skin others fell apart after a few uses. This Super Loofah Body Scrubber by Earth Therapeutics has not failed me in over seven years. It gently exfoliates, removes dead skin cells and impurities, and unclogs pores leaving me feeling refreshed and clean after every shower. I appreciate that it doesn't stretch out or fall apart like those plastic body loofahs.

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Before having this Pampered Chef Mix N Chop, I would use a wooden spoon to prep food such as ground turkey to make meatballs or sweet potatoes to mash. I don't know why I lived without this handy tool in my kitchen. With its beveled blades, it evenly chops and mixes my ingredients and speeds up meal prep which is a major plus for our family. And yes, it's dishwasher safe (top rack).

I have a Labrador Retriever who sometimes eats socks or my toddler's small toys. *Sigh* This usually results in a bit of a mess. While I'm glad that my dog is okay, I'm never thrilled with the mess he leaves on our rug. I've tried other pet stain cleaners and removers but have checked all the boxes until Carbona's Pet Stain & Odor Remover. It lifts stains, removes odor, and makes clean-up fast. I love the built-in brush head that gently yet effectively cleans the stains without damaging the rugs. Before finding this cleaning product, I dreaded my dog's mess because it would leave a lingering odor. Now, I have no worries that my home will be back to its usual odor-free state after I use Carbona.

I had been looking at Quip products for quite some time, and my only wish is that I had purchased this product sooner. It's an electric toothbrush with regular and silicone bristles and an automatic timer. I love that it has a gentle vibration and doesn't feel like it's about to shred my gums like other brands of electric toothbrushes. I am not a fan of having many products on my bathroom counter. This Quip toothbrush meets my needs and comes with a case that has a dual purpose: 1) It serves as a travel case, and 2) It serves as a mirror mount toothbrush holder. Brilliant. I love it so much that I've gotten it as gifts for family and friends, who have all been satisfied with their experiences!

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I mean, does it really need any more vouchers for being an incredible story? And if you're wondering, this is not a media plug. I read this book before even knowing that Witherspoon was a fan, but I like knowing that we share a similar taste in reading. I couldn't put this book down, and I lucked out having some mom off-duty time to read it within a few days. Don't worry; I won't have any spoilers here. You'll have to read and find out for yourself.

Whether someone is moving or wanting to store away clothing, bedding, or pillows, I sware by these Spacesaver Premium Storage Bags. They come in different sizes to fit whatever you need to keep stored safely. We lived in NYC, so moving apartments as each lease ended was normal for my family. I always used these bags to pack our clothing, bedding, and pillows. It can be either vacuum-sealed or pumped (the pump is included) to minimize its space. Nowadays, I use the large bags to store our off-season clothing and the medium to small-sized bags for all the baby clothes that my toddler has outgrown. I've saved so much closet space by simply stacking these compressed bags on our shelving. I also store our guest pillows and bedding in the jumbo-sized bags that I slide under our bed. And yes, they're reusable!

As a parent, I want to make sure that my toddler can't access household items, including cleaning supplies, our tableware, and toiletries. I also want to access these items without the hassle. I have these locks installed in our bathroom cabinets, under the sink, kitchen cabinets, and any low cabinets at my toddler's level. These low-key child safety locks are easy to install (less than 10 seconds) and provide the comfort of knowing my child is safe from reaching certain home products.

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A few rooms in my home do not have locks, including the laundry room, pantry, and closets. I needed a fast solution in the early years when my child was opening everything within their reach. To keep them out of these rooms and closets, I found these door levers that easily adhere to the door. I'm pleased how these levers continue to withstand my child's tugs and pulls!

We wanted a camera for our living room and kitchen area but didn't want to spend over $100. We came across this Wyze Indoor/Outdoor HD Camera that connects to our mobile devices and allows 2-way audio. Whenever my family and I are out of town, we like having the ability to check on our home from wherever we are. We love this home camera for its affordability and quality and continue to recommend it to anyone looking for a camera within a price range.

This is my favorite basket in my home. Its neutral color and simple design make it easy to go with nearly any decor. To my surprise, it fits a lot of stuff from folders and notes, spare phone chargers, and even some of my toddler's toy cars. I received this from a dear friend as a gift basket filled with beautiful home decor accents, making it a more creative alternative for gift-giving than a typical gift bag!

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This Freshly Picked diaper bag was at the top of my baby registry. Aside from my total happiness in receiving it, I continue to highly recommend it to anyone searching for the ultimate diaper bag. Its premium vegan leather exterior with a nylon lining withstands everything from newborn to toddlerhood. I love that it's convertible so that I can change it from an over-the-shoulder bag to a backpack in just a few seconds. The interior has a bunch of pockets that allow me to fit so much for my toddler so I'm prepared for any outing; think of it as the Mary Poppins of diaper bags! Freshly Picked did a fantastic job in this diaper bag's ability to hold everything you need for your child without feeling or looking super bulky in design. I don't know how this brand succeeded in this design, but I am so glad they did!

When I'm running some solo errands, I try to minimize the amount of stuff I carry. This LIVELY fanny pack goes with my casual day outfits when I need to run a quick errand while my child is at daycare. Style tip: I usually like to wear it as a crossbody and pair it with a tee and jeans. I love that it has an inner pocket to hold even the smallest items, such as my lip balm and keys. This fanny pack also has a bonus feature: it's packable to bring it on your travels for those adventurous days.

I've used other beauty sponges, and none have compared when it comes to price and quality more than my beauty sponge by Real Techniques. I love the two different edges on each side of the sponge to accomplish my makeup look goals. I like to use the rounded tip to apply concealer and finishing powder, while I use the other side with a flat edge to apply highlighter and blend blush. This beauty sponge creates an even natural finish without caking on too much product, and it is a staple tool in my makeup bag.

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This is another product that I continue to purchase as soon as I'm out of it. I have this Burt's Bees Natural Liquid Lipstick in color "Niagara Nude," and I wear it almost every day. It's the one lipstick that I can wear for both daytime and nighttime looks as it is a nude shade with the slightest hint of peachy pink. I'm sensitive to lip products, so I originally tried this lipstick because it's made of 100% natural ingredients. I love that it doesn't feel sticky or heavy too. No complaints from me! It also comes in a bunch of colors to compliment any look.

Alright, we've gotten pretty personal in this post, so I'm comfortable at this point to say that I'm a messy side sleeper. What do I mean by "messy"? Whenever I wake up, my eyebrows tend to need a little brushing. I don't like to fill in my brows, but I like keeping them well-groomed. I've used Benefit brow products over the years, but their 24 HR Brow Setter is by far my favorite. The brush applicator has two sides, one that is fluffy to brush the brows, and the other is flat to keep those brows in line. It goes on clear to give a naturally clean finish, and I'm telling you, my brows stay tamed throughout the entire day.

While I think regular mascara is beautiful, my skin concerns and lifestyle needs call for waterproof. I live in Florida, so I'm in hot weather for the majority of the year. My family is often in the water or on a nature walk, which means I'm swimming in a pool or sweating. My daily makeup includes mascara, so I need one that will last throughout the day. I've been using L'Oreal Paris Voluminous Original Waterproof Mascara for years. It gives my straight lashes volume and helps this mama look more awake. Oh, and if I'm having an emotional moment, I don't have those crazy (and scary) running mascara lines down my face. We all cry; there's no shame in that. I just don't want to frighten my child - or anyone, in the process.

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#Confession: I bought this nail polish by accident. I was rushing and grabbed what I thought was the regular Essie nail polish (another great product line), but when I got home, I realized that I had purchased this Essie Expressie Quick-Dry Vegan Formula Nail Polish. I used it for a quick at-home pedicure, and I loved it so much that I've continued to buy it. I don't have time to wait for my nails to dry, so I love that this nail polish dries in about ONE MINUTE. That's right, one minute, 60 seconds, count to 30 twice; you get it. No worries if my toddler somehow manages to get to me within that one minute of drying time. I just do a quick touch-up and move on with my day.

I was in the market for a new concealer. My skin changed after having a baby, and I became more conscious of what products I used on my face. I learned that Tarte products are cruelty-free and vegan, so I figured to try their famous Shape Tape Concealer. I didn't know that this concealer has two slightly different formulas to fit a person's skin type. My skin tends to be normal to dry, so I went with Tarte's Shape Tape Ultra Creamy Concealer with a natural finish. Note: the regular Shape Tape Concealer has a matte finish and is more appropriate for those with normal to oily skin. Shape Tape Ultra Creamy Concealer lived up to its reputation with its full coverage and easy to blend finish. I can wear it out in this Florida heat, and it doesn't crease!

I'm also a Lifestyle Blogger who's constantly inspired by style and self-care tips. If you're looking for some fashion inspiration, check out How To Create Your Own Signature Fashion Style. For more ways to practice self-care, take a look over Practical Self-Care Ideas For Parents to Reset.

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What I Love: A Lifestyle Blogger's List of Must-Haves