Real Simple’s mission, through its 21 years, has been to simplify your life with smart finds like these. From a better candle lighter to a washable makeup case, these genius items will give your life an upgrade.

By Lauren Phillips
February 11, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.


From $25,

Washable, sustainable, and chic, this beauty case has the mesh pockets, waterproof lining, and inserts to keep your essentials where they’re supposed to be, whether you’re running to the gym or running around the globe (someday). The washable exteriors and insulated linings ensure the tote or suitcase you tuck the pouch into stays clean, too.




Keep your notes organized—and at eye-level—sans clutter with this smart vertical tower, which has folding arms to hold papers large and small exactly where you need them. It has suction pads to keep the tower secured to your workspace, too, so no need to fear your note keeper tipping over.




For frizzy hair, curls, and fine hair alike, this moisturizing cream will help smooth your locks without making them greasy or crunchy. Made to help give air-dried hair a blow-dried look and feel, it’s a must for people trying to give their hair a break during lockdown without sacrificing appearance.




Toss old, unreliable lighters in favor of this rechargeable one, which has a USB charger to keep the lighter working long past when the fuel might run out on a traditional lighter. Made for candles, barbecues, or fireworks, it’s a cleaner, long-lasting alternative.




Formulated to soothe ultra-dry skin without being greasy, this balm is powerful, lightweight, and subtly scented, so you can fight the effects of dry skin (plus cold weather and abundant hand-washing) without any unpleasant aftereffects.



From $35 per box,

Make delicious challah at home—sans trips to the store, recipe research, or baking disasters—with this easy kit, which delivers everything you need to make this tasty bread (including a perfected, signature recipe) straight to your door. Subscriptions are available so you can enjoy a fresh bread-making experience every month, and the company offers guides on braiding techniques and seasonal toppings and fillings, too.