Yes Soda again.
Sorry – I’m slightly obsessed with this online digital store. It came to my attention because my old boss at the Evening Standard now works for them and got in touch last year about a few new products… and from then on I was hooked.
Because as you probably know by now I am a huge sucker for a problem-solver – ingenious little things and clever devices make my little heart go pitter-pat. I am banned from Lakeland, for example, otherwise my house would simply be lifting with banana savers, spider catchers and self-heating clothes hangers.
So Soda is right up my street. The things I have from there, (which they have sent me), have integrated so completely into my life that I often forget I got them from Soda.
Most notably the Bandolier, which is a strap thing that you clip your phone into that also holds credit cards. This means that I can, from time to time, trip off out of the house with no bag at all… which does yes slightly make a mockery of the three whoppingly expensive handbags I do own.
I also have a rechargeable sweater de-bobbler, a clothes steamer, a little wipe-clean digital scribble board that my kids are obsessed with – and a slim little bluetooth keyboard called a “Penclic” that turns my phone into a laptop.
And now!!! They have branched out into beauty. Soda sent me an avalanche of their beauty tech products and I have been testing them all over the last six weeks and here are my favourites:
Due to hormones or stress or both, over December my skin broke out in an array of huge spots – in utterly weird places; on my cheek, above my eyebrow, on my neck (!!!).
I would have been really quite panicked had I not had this little spot-zapping wand. It emits 3 minutes’ of intense red light, which gets faintly warm but not hot. You hold it on the zit for three minutes a day and it stops it in its tracks and gradually sends it packing.
My skin has cleared up recently – again, total mystery as to why – but every morning I preventatively zoom this over my most spot-prone area (left hand side of chin) and so far no breakouts in this most prolific of breakout areas.
I keep mine in the kitchen and apply it every morning while reading the paper or doing other things – it emits a small bleep when the three minutes’ are up.
If you believe in nominative determinism (where accountants are called Rebecca Cash and doctors are called Mary Blood etc, you will like that a zit expert is called Dennis GROSS).
It was only when I held this ingenious little thing in my hand that I realised how much I still miss a round make-up mirror I had between the ages of about 13 and 21 – before it smashed. It didn’t cross my mind to replace it because I had taken it so much for granted.
Once this Simplehuman mirror was in my house I found myself constantly looking for it. It’s also reminded me that whenever you go anywhere overnight, even to the smartest hotel, there is rarely a good make-up mirror and you have to climb onto the sink to get close enough to the mirror to do your eyes.
It has a finger loop at the back so you don’t drop it and smash it and a side button that turns on a surround-light for really close work like checking out your pores, eyebrow plucking and at-home facials (aka squeezing spots). I also have one single very stubborn hair that lurks right on the underside of my jaw area, which drives me mad as I can feel it but not see it – with this I can get right at it with no drama. See ya later you little fucker.
This mirror is fully rechargeable – it comes with a charger but it’s one of those ones you charge a Kindle with, you will already have one in your house.
I use my mirror most particularly for trying to get the hang of doing eye flicks or wings or whatever you want to call them. I feel like 2019 has got to be my year for mastering the flick. I am nearly 40 and have a job that brings in possibly forty or fifty pounds a week – it’s high time I learned how to do a flicky eye.
This will be divisive – hopefully not as much as bloody crystals – but I can feel a lot of you will think this is nonsense. What is it? It’s a make-up brush with a spinning head, which blends your foundation, blush, highlighter and contouring whatsit totally seamlessly (though not all at the same time). I know before I even tried it that I would love it and I do.
It sort of stipples or airbrushes the make-up onto your face without leaving smears or daubs or lines or anything. It comes with a couple of different kinds of head for foundation, powder and highlighter, which click into the handle via a magnet.
It also means that you use less of everything because it distributes the product more finely and evenly. It’s up to you how you use it – you can either dab product on and take it from there, or dip the brush in and then send it spinning. The only place you can’t really use it is close under the eye.
Look, like I said – not for everyone, especially if you are a Pears soap and flannel kind of girl – or even if you like a full face but feel that you are quite capable of doing it by yourself, thanks. BUT – if you are into this kind of jag, you will be really into this.
There is a whole host of other funky stuff on Soda – cool glasses that counter-act blue light from screens, a vibrating thingy that promises to firm up your jowels, all manner of silicone scrubby cleansing tools. All fabulous fun.
No self-heating clothes hangers alas, but you can’t have everything.
Read more on Esther's amazing blog on the spike here