There’s a column on The Cut website that I religiously read called What I Can’t Live Without. The blurb goes as follows, “If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their cars. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush,” and they proceed to ask a variety of famous people, from fashion designers to actors, to list the items they can’t live without.
(I have no idea what a JAR brooch is either, don’t worry…) I’d be ecstatic if I was ever asked to contribute to What I Can’t Live Without but since it hasn’t happened thus far, I’m going to take advantage of my column and do my own version right here.
The Reflex Pillow: Most writers I know suffer with some back and neck issues due to hours spent in front of a computer, and I am no exception. After a particularly arduous editing schedule, I resemble a less attractive version of Quasimodo, the Hunchback of Notre Dame.
This pillow — which was invented by a Cork man, neck and back pain specialist Noel O’Connor — has made a huge difference. I travel with it everywhere.
Skingredients: Skin Shield I am obsessive about wearing SPF. My skin is so fair, I burn easily, and I want to look like a small child when I reach my 50s.
Wearing sun protection on your face (even during the winter!) is the most effective anti-ageing cream you will ever buy. Many brands leave a white cast on your skin, but not this one.
It has a gorgeous, dewy, tinted finish which is perfect under foundation or to blur out redness on days you want to go makeup free.
Colpermin Capsules: I’ve suffered with IBS for years and although much improved thanks to diet and exercise, symptoms can still hit me when I’m feeling stressed or anxious.
I have a couple of these tablets in every handbag I own, just in case. I also carry Clipper Organic Nettle and Mint teabags to alleviate the cramps and Alflorex probiotics have been incredibly helpful as well.
Creative Visualisation: by Shakti Gawain I’m a huge fan of creative visualisation but I found The Secret to be a tad too materialistic for my liking.
This book takes a more holistic look at manifestation, from a physical and emotional point of view, and the practices outlined within have changed my life.
Travel Kit: I travel quite a lot for work and in the beginning, as soon I got off a long-haul flight, I would start sniffling.
Within two days, I’d have a cold. But not anymore! I always travel with my trusty kit which contains the following:
1) Aesop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand wash. I don’t love using hand sanitisers because I’m convinced they’re contributing to superbugs, but I’ll make an exception when I’m flying. I adore Aesop products and this one smells much less chemical than most sanitisers.
2) Nasya Oil by Anadi Ayurveda. I place a few drops of this ayurvedic oil (made in Ireland!) into my nostrils before getting on a plane.
3) A small tub of Vaseline. This is a trick I learned from air stewards. Dab a little bit of this across your nostrils to prevent germs. Is it scientifically proven? I’m not sure. Do I find it works? Yes.
Nakd Bars: You’ll always find at least one of these in the bottom of my bag. They’re the perfect snack to have on the go, they don’t contain any sugar or additives (it’s just fruit and nuts, basically) and they make me feel like if I’m taking care of myself.
Current favourites are the Peanut Delight, and Coffee and Walnut.
Adidas Trainers: I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I kept buying new pairs until I suddenly realised that I seemed to be exclusively wearing Adidas trainers. I tend to alternate between my Stan Smiths in white and green, and navy suede Gazelles.
They’re comfortable and make me look like I’m making an effort without actually having to make an effort, which is my favourite thing.
GDH Creative Curl: I am obsessed with skincare but when it comes to my hair, I am what the French call les incompetents. I wash it after the gym and tie it back off my face while it’s wet and promptly forget all about it. Unfortunately, such a relaxed attitude won’t do when I’m on book tour or I have an event.
This styling tool is so ridiculously easy to use, that even a one-woman disaster such as me can manage to produce semi-decent beach waves in under 20 minutes. A godsend.
CBD Oil: I know it’s a bit of a cliché for a white woman in her 30s but yes, CBD oil has been incredibly helpful for settling my anxiety, and it’s utterly transformed my sleeping habits.
I buy this in my local health food shop — it’s by Hempful and I take the 500mg dosage.
Berocca Melts: I don’t take Berocca on a day to day basis — preferring to use a sachet of lemon and lime Ener-C in the morning — but again, if I have a day full of events and interviews, these are incredibly handy as I don’t need water to take them, they just melt on the mouth on the go.
I don’t drink coffee so this is the caffeine boost I need. So, there you have it! All the things I need to go about the world as a fully functioning adult.
Whatever it takes, I suppose...