When all else fails: 20 small purchases to buy your way to health and happiness

If the guided meditations and nature walks aren’t cutting it, maybe what you really need is a little treat

Some life stressors call for therapy. Others call for retail therapy. We trust you to know when you are approaching the level of burnout that no wellness inhaler or matcha latte kit will fix.

But for those other times when you’re just feeling a little ‘meh’, and want a pick-me-up that’s actually going to pick you up, and not create a buyer’s remorse situation where you suddenly have a 50% off orange poncho on your hands that seemed like a good idea at the time, allow these suggestions to save you the hassle of the online return – and hopefully improve your mood.

INXHALE Calm Inhaler, $95

For rest, relaxation and emotional restoration, the INXHALE calm inhaler is like a vape for your central nervous system. Just in time for frosty family Christmases and diabolical New Year’s traffic, have a hoon on the INXHALE Calm Inhaler‘s original blend of 100% natural aroma compounds, designed to help reduce anxiety and stress, promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. The perfect gateway gadget for someone wanting to start their wellness journey (and ditch the vape for real), you’ll definitely feel like the friend who has their shit together when whipping this out in high stress situations.

Paume Hand and Nail Brush, $39

A luxurious addition to your hand care ritual, the Paume Hand and Nail Brush is made with cellulose acetate derived from wood pulp, and soft natural boar bristles. Use it as a rejuvenating dry brush, or for deep cleaning with soap and water to keep your hands clean, smooth and glowing this summer. Perfect for removing stubborn fake tan from your paws on a Thursday evening, its chic design makes it a display-worthy piece of bathroom miscellany to show guests that you prioritise self care.

Vida Glow Natural Marine Collagen Sachets, $70

Upgrade your daily beauty routine by investing in a daily dose of Vida Glow Natural Marine Collagen Sachets. This flavourless formula designed to be added to any food or drink is ideal for anyone entering their ‘inner beauty era’, or those of us who have been scarred by chunky supplements in the past. A lifestyle-friendly option (chuck a few in your handbag and any bevvy can become a collagen cocktail), the Vida Glow sachets contain Original Natural Marine Collagen – a collagen peptide supplement made from sustainably-sourced fish skin, which has been activated to boost absorption and stimulate fresh collagen production.

The Facialist The Sculpter, $89

Amplify your skincare results with The Sculpter by top New Zealand skin authority, The Facialist. Designed to lift and contour the face, this daily massage tool boosts circulation for glowing skin that feels effortlessly fresh all day long. Forget the Gua Sha you dropped and broke a few months back. Do yourself and your lymphatic system a favour and upgrade to The Sculpter.

Raaie Cocoon Ceramide Cream, $145 

This multi-functional moisturiser is true to its moniker – promising to cocoon the skin within a hydrating, protective layer of luxurious lotion. The innovative formula blends seven ceramides that rebuild the skin barrier (the outer layer of skin), enabling it to retain moisture, and making it appear plumper and healthier. Another banger for your bathroom shelf, New Zealand brand Raaie has built its reputation on quality products housed in the chicest packaging, and this new release is no exception.

The Virtue Narcosis Room Spray, $69

If there’s nothing more unsettling to you than a funky smelling room, you’re not alone. There’s oodles of science behind the relationship between scent and memory, the gist being that it’s one of the most powerful sensory triggers we have – for better or worse. In the case of the latter, cleanse your space with a room spray from The Virtue. With notes of pepper, rose, saffron and amber, and described as both “sensual and devastating in equal measure” and as “intoxicating and hypnotic as a drug”, if you’re looking to erase bad vibes from your life, Narcosis is a substance addiction we can support.

Dr. Dennis Gross DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro, $771

Still the ultimate flex for your next Sunday night selfie, the FashioNZ has personally road-tested this major investment purchase, and much as we hate to say it, it’s a glow-er. A three-minute wrinkle-reducing, acne-fighting LED device for the entire face fitted with a combination of 100 red LED and 62 blue LED lights, this mask does a whole lot of heavy lifting when it comes to improving skin texture, discolouration, and clearing acne. Pop it on, cue up a three minute TikTok video, and indulge in the feeling of being a true, self-care savant.

Lula Self Warming Eye Masks, $35

Calm your mind and cure that tension headache caused by a long day of banging your head against your desk with a Lula Self-Warming Eye Mask. Like a warm hug for your eyes, this cosy invention starts to warm up the moment you open the packet and it meets the air, staying at a soothing temperature whilst you de-stress. Unscented and crafted from the softest fabric, they also make the perfect gift for friends with fragrance sensitivities.

Made Of Tomorrow 2024 Daily Diary, $65

Eliminate the drama of missed appointments and forgotten tasks with the extremely popular Made Of Tomorrow Daily Diary. Not your average 365-day diary, new additions for 2024 include monthly and annual overviews, a vision board, pages for goal setting, intentions and notes, and our favourite – a monthly breakdown of the moon cycle. Set yourself up for success in 2024 and know your purchase has made a positive impact, crafted out of recycled coffee cup paper, saved and repurposed from landfill.

Health By Habit Vitamin C, $15

You can’t beat a classic. Stay feeling ripe and ready with this handy, chewable boost of Vit C here to support your immune system and provide a powerful source of antioxidants. Bounce back from a night out or kick that lingering winter cold with the bestselling Health By Habit vitamins that can be picked up at all New World and PAK’nSAVE supermarkets nationwide.

Finery 0% Sparkling Cocktail, $75

Staying sober this summer doesn’t have to a bummer thanks to 0% cocktails from Finery. Crafted with all natural flavours containing no carbs, no preservatives and no added sugar, this classy, gluten free alternative to a sub-par homemade cocktail is a win for your physical, mental and emotional health (bye, hangxiety). Like a vodka lime soda but less likely to land you in your ex’s DMs, you cant go wrong with the 0% Citrussy Spritz. And with only seven calories per can, your PT wont even notice you were out ‘drinking’ the night before.  

Hibi Matchbox Incense, $21

Ditch the dodgy incense you picked up at the Two Dollar Store that one time and treat yourself to a Hibi Match Box. The traditional Japanese scents and matchstick concept are a fun (and much less messy) alternative to the usual incense sticks we’re used to ashing all over our mantlepiece. Simply light the match on the striking strip on the side of the box, place it on the burning pad and enjoy. The matches will burn for 10 minutes, while the aroma will last much longer. Namaste.

Knight Inspired Self Love Sage, $26

Knight Inspired Self Love Smudge Sticks are a well-priced, wellbeing essential that will make you feel a little witchy and way more in control of anyone or anything bringing bad energy into your life. Homegrown in NZ, these ritual sticks include lavender, white sage and seasonal flowers for a home accessory with some bonus, bad spirit banishing properties to boot. Invite over your mate with the deck of tarot cards and the one going through a break-up and you have a wholesome Friday night project to really get stuck into.

Two Islands Happy Gut, $69

Combining a high dose of glutamine with tummy soothing herbs including slippery elm, chamomile and ginger, Two Islands Happy Gut supports gut health and overall digestion for, you guessed it, a happy gut! With added Hawke’s Bay prebiotic apple fibre and chia seeds, Happy Gut provides fibre to support healthy digestive function and promote the growth and activity of good gut bacteria. And in a classic case of burying the lede, it tastes like spiced apple pie.

Triumph & Disaster Gym Bag, $29

Designed for gym rats who find themselves carting damp, smelly gym gear back to the office after a morning or lunchtime sesh, the Triumph & Disaster Gym Bag is the perfect Christmas present for your T&D obsessed friend or family member. With waterproof and odour-mitigating technology, this bag will help to keep wets and drys separate and ensure the practice of tipping everything into the wash at the end of the day doesn’t make you want to dry heave. Plus, what greater motivation to exercise that overpriced gym membership than with some updated gear?

Vitruvi Stone Diffuser, $205

Everyone knows that diffusers are the trick to conjuring a luxury spa experience, when really you’re in bed wearing a Sephora Collection face mask and listening to an instrumental Spotify playlist called ‘Floating through Space’. On the pricier end of the market, this Stone Diffuser by Vitruvi kicks Kmart versions to the curb thanks to its minimalist, matte ceramic design that wouldn’t look out of place on a bedside table, countertop or shelf. Even your fussiest friend will thank you for what we’re calling the chicest wedding gift of the summer – and you get to enjoy the feel-good factor. A happiness win/win.

The Beauty Chef Cookbook, $60

The Beauty Chef founder and CEO Carla Oates believes that glowing skin is an inside-out process; that beauty begins in the belly and, therefore, in your kitchen. In her comprehensive cookbook, Carla shares more than 150 of her most nourishing, gut-loving, gluten- and dairy-free recipes that have been making casual food evangelists of all of us since it was originally published in 2016. Featuring simple family meals, healthy spins on traditional dishes, time-honoured ferments, smoothies, snacks and special occasion treats that pack a powerful nutritional punch, this is a book that makes eating well easy and enjoyable.

Match Matcha Starter Set, $56

This set takes the stress out of making a Matcha latte at home by providing all the necessary tools and products for the job. Sourced ethically and responsibly from the remote Yame District of Kyūshū Island Japan, where incredible matcha grows in abundance, the Matcha Matcha Starter Set includes either a Premium Latte Grade or Ceremonial Grade Matcha, a Traditional Bamboo Whisk and a Bamboo Scoop. Beautifully green, high in chlorophyll, antioxidants, and relaxation-promoting L-Theanine, Matcha Matcha nourishes the mind, body, and soul and will look great on the kitchen counter.

Aromatica Active Rosemary Hair Tonic, $34

If you’ve heard the hype around rosemary water for hair health but never got around to making it at home, then let the team at Aromatica take care of you with their Aromatica Active Rosemary Hair Tonic. Formulated to promote hair elasticity (crucial to keeping your strands from snapping) this tonic revitalises your scalp with an ingredient called Vitamin Active V, containing five types of vitamins and MSM – an important building block for a number of the body’s systems. Give up the rosemary water google search and hand it over to the experts.

Balance Meditation and Sleep App

It’s almost that time of year when one downloads every mental wellbeing app under the sun, tries them for a week, then gives up and turns the notifications off. If you’re looking to break this pattern and commit to an app that’ll turn you into a meditation and sleep wizard, then give Balance a go. Each day, you’ll answer questions about your meditation experience, goals, and obstacles. The more you share with the app over time, the more personalised and effective your meditations become. What have you got to lose?