Roxane Gay tweeted something this week which is the most seen I’ve felt on social media in a while.
“I am at the stage of quarantine where the Instagram ads are working,” she stated, managing to articulate mine and apparently hoards of others’ (judging by the comments) states of mind.
She then admitted to her followers how she’d just purchased a watchmaking kit.
Back in March (remember March?), I was perusing islands in Greece, dreaming of escaping to a sunbathed oasis. The next day, my social media was swarmed with ads taunting me with idyllic Greek islands, restaurants and hotels. Lucky for my bank balance that lockdown said 'no'.
The random assortment of items that Instagram has coerced me into buying since lockdown include a Ped Egg (essentially a cheese grater for feet), an orchid from a local church which died within 48 hours and a classic self-help book, The Untethered Soul. Because Instagram ads have been telling me I need a self-help book for longer than I care to admit and I daren’t think which of my cookies have given them that impression.
Watchmaking kits and Ped Eggs aside, there's a swarm of less outré items out there for my fellow influencees to part with their cash for. These are five of them.
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star mascara
Pat McGrath Labs Dark Star mascara, £26, buy now
Do you look like you're falling asleep on Zoom? Me too! The product I've employed to help mask my virtual slumber is mascara and make-up maven Pat McGrath's latest offering, and it's out of this world.
Boasting the wiggly wand to end all wiggly wands, all it takes is three coats of this bad boy and I look at least like I'm half awake.
Jo Loves Fig Trees Candle
Jo Loves Fig Trees Candle, £55, buy now
There's nothing like a waft of figs to snap you out of a daze (in the nicest possible way.) In case you're unable to make it on a summer sojourn this year, bring the holiday to you with Jo Malone's limited-edition Fig Trees candle which was inspired by Jo’s family holidays in Italy.
Think fresh figs, sugary sweet cassis and the earthy warmth of amber all from the comfort of your own home. Who needs Italy when Italy can burn its way to you?!
Augustinus Bader Body Oil
Augustinus Bader Body Oil, £75, buy now
I could wax lyrical about the virtues of Professor Bader's products all day long because using them has genuinely changed the texture of my skin.
And now the science supremo is coming for our bodies; adding to his cult The Body Cream (the only one I've ever tried which genuinely eradicated the orange peeliness of my thighs' cellulite), Bader has now launched The Body Cream and The Body Oil. I am obsessed with the latter, which my skin positively drinks up.
Ormond Jayne Osmanthus Hair Mist
Ormond Jayne Osmanthus Hair Mist, £60, buy now
After telling a friend this week how many times I wash my hair a week (four, FYI), I was shocked at her response. She told me that I should be washing my hair once a week, that's it, else I'm stripping my hair of its natural oils.
I thought I'd give it a whirl to see if it changed (see: tamed) my mane. So far, there's nothing to report but this hair mist from London perfumer Ormond Jayne has masked any unwelcome smells my tresses may be masking and smells good enough to eat.
Teoxane AHA Cleansing Gel
Teoxane AHA Cleansing Gel, £35, buy now
While I'm no stranger to the efficacy of AHAs in a skincare routine, I was until recently unfamiliar with the Swiss brand Teoxane, which was founded in Geneva in 2003.
Since using its new AHA cleansing gel once a day (I opt for the evening), my skin has looked brighter and more even owing to the cleanser's A-list ingredient list which includes glycolic acid to cleanse, niacinamide to hydrate, vitamin C to brighten and phytic acid, an antioxidant which staves off skin-aging free radicals.