TikTok Made Me Buy It: Life Hacks For My Home
I first came across life-hacking TikToker Rachel Meaders in the middle of the pandemic last year. I was home, bored, and wanting to buy helpful, hackey products that made my monotonous days feel more purposeful. Turns out, I wasn’t alone. The TikToker, who amassed a following of 1.9 million over the past year (with some single videos garnering up to 26 million views), specializes in the things you didn’t know you needed from Amazon. Meaders has a knack for finding products from the depths of Amazon that are as helpful as they are random, like a machine that instantly transforms any fruit into frozen yogurt, a portable sealer so you never have to fumble around with a chip clip again, a waterproof, sand proof, and solar-powered phone power bank (admittedly more run of the mill than her other product suggestions) or a ball that makes homemade ice cream after “kicking it around” for 10 minutes—the epitome of something I didn’t know I needed.
Meaders can’t-look-away videos follow a simple format: she films in selfie mode and follows a script along the lines of, “Things you didn’t know you needed off Amazon.” Then, the camera pans to reveal her seemingly equally Amazon-savvy partner, who smiles, or waves, or embraces Meaders as she leans into his chest. The camera then cuts to all the glorious Amazon finds that her viewers so eagerly await.
“When it comes to finding the products that we feature on TikTok and Instagram, we want to ensure that every item is a clever resolution to a minor issue we have learned to ignore,” Meaders tells Vogue. “There are so many small businesses that have wonderful innovative product ideas that never get noticed by the masses. We find items that solve an everyday problem, and highlight them on our platforms because we believe in their idea and their product.”
Over the course of a year, I realized I had collected quite a few things I didn’t know I needed off Amazon, myself, and some of Meaders’s suggestions have indeed proven to be life-hacking, or at the very least, fun. Here, the things you didn’t know you needed off Amazon.
The Sponge That Cleans Your Makeup Brushes
I am not a huge makeup person. In fact, I am notoriously lazy and only have a few brushes that I use for many purposes. This sponge cleans brushes easily and comes in handy when changing pigments or going from bronzer to blush—all in all, much easier than the whole brush-washing to-do.
The New Tupperware
These reusable food storage bags have the easy feel of a Ziploc bag but are great for solids and liquids alike as they feature a pourable lip. I’ve used them as Tupperware to store leftovers in the fridge and bring food with me in my bag on the go, too.
The Water Bottle That Plays Music
This definitely falls under the “things you didn’t know you needed” category. I bought this initially as a joke for a hike with friends, but as someone who almost always forgets to bring headphones or a water bottle to workout, this two-in-one has me covered. It’s one less thing to remember when I’m running out of the house too quickly.
The Clip-less Chip Bag Sealer
Chip bags that are cleanly re-sealed. No clips required. Need I say more? Only caveat is it takes a little getting used to in order to get this to work seamlessly.
The Makeup Removing Cotton Swabs
“I don’t know how these aren’t more popular,” Meaders says in her TikTok video. She’s right. These cotton swabs are pre-filled with makeup remover. Pop some into your bag to fix imperfections or keep them by your nightstands for when you’re too tired to partake in a full face wash at the end of the night.
The Low-Key Milk Frother
This milk frother has turned my homemade coffees into professional-feeling frothed perfection without having to spend a fortune on a fancy coffee contraption.
The Single Ingredient Frozen Yogurt Maker
I had the first generation of this product years ago, and it was too cumbersome to use consistently. This iteration is still not perfect, but it makes frozen yogurt more easily and has been helpful when overripe bananas are on their way out and baking banana bread is not in the cards.