Sanity Savers

Another day, another million little hassles. Paper cuts, shoe scuffs, running out of toilet paper — it’s a wonder you can overcome the paralyzing fear of what new terrors await you in the world and even get out of bed in the morning. I applaud you, ladies and gentlemen, for having the courage and perseverance simply to exist. Clap, clap, clap.

I, too, find everyday existence kind of a struggle. It’s the little things that get you, you know? Well, today I’d like to share with you three simple solutions to those little things that get you. These items help spare my sanity on a daily basis.

1) THE BRACELET BUDDY
Over the years, my parents have gifted me with all kinds of fancy jewelry items. They’re very pretty and I wish I could wear them all the time. Alas, things like delicate little diamond bracelets are a total bitch to put on by oneself. Actually, they’re kind of a bitch to put on even with B–’s (my significant other) help. I’ve got arthritis and he’s got man hands. It just doesn’t work out.

But, thanks to a late night spent watching the History Channel (Ancient Aliens, anyone?), I discovered the Bracelet Buddy, and my bracelet-wearing woes were at an end.

The Bracelet Buddy is an inexpensive little tool that holds one end of your bracelet in place while you secure the clasp. Although, I must say that, while it is an exceptionally useful doodad, I can’t help but think that I could have achieved something similar with, say, an alligator clip, a chopstick and some gold spray paint.

If you have these items in your possession, you pretty much have a bracelet buddy.

2) NICKEL GUARD
Though I have been lucky enough to receive some fine jewelry from my parents and from B–, the greater portion of my jewelry and accessories, things I buy for myself within my limited budget, is not of the fancy variety. This poses yet another problem, as it turns out I am allergic to pretty much every metal that isn’t gold or platinum… so, basically, everything. [Maybe this is why I don’t wear enough accessories?] Anywho, while simple avoidance seems to be the going prescription for metal allergies, I somehow get away with wearing costume jewelry and accessories, thanks to Nickel Guard.


Nickel appears to be the chief allergen in costume jewelry (and even some of the buttons on your clothes) and isbanned from use in the manufacture of personal accessories in several countries, but not in the States. Nickel allergies can be quite serious and can require medical attention, so please don’t take my suggestions as legitimate, medical advice. My experience is simply that: my experience.

You may have heard that a coat of clear nail polish can serve as an effective, protective barrier between your skin and allergy-causing metals. I’ve heard this, too, and it’s kind of how I happened upon Nickel Guard. I had to know if it was true. Well, according to an article in Entrepreneur magazine, it is. However, the article alluded to another product that proved more effective than nail polish:

Dr. Anderson and his colleagues compared barrier coatings such as clear nail polish, nail hardener, Super Glue, and Nickel Guard; they found Beauty Secrets Nail Hardener to be the most cost-effective option (Dermatitis 2008; 19:28-31).

Nickel Guard (Athena Allergy) was found to be more effective than Beauty Secrets Nail Hardener, but it is more expensive and harder to find–it generally has to be ordered online, noted Dr. Anderson, who reported having no relevant disclosures.

Well, I had to have the that. Why wouldn’t I want something that’s more effective at preventing my hideous transformation into a rash-covered, lobster monster? As far as cost is concerned, it actually isn’t that much more expensive than a fancy, brandname nail polish. Harder to find? This is the internet! How hard could it possibly be? Besides, ordering online is my preferred method of ordering anything. Google that shit. Done. WINNING.

In my experience, Nickel Guard has consistently allowedme to wear jewelry and accessories of questionable provenance without a problem. Be forewarned, however, just like nail polish, this stuff has a rather strong smell and should be allowed to air out and dry completely before wearing.

3) Static Spray by The Laundress
I chose to write about this item because I’m going to be using it today, when I finally get around to washing up and pulling on a vintage dress. Do you remember static cling? I had all but forgotten about it until I started wearing vintage. Now, it is the bane of my existence. To me, it is the most perfect, non-human, physical embodiment of “annoying.” It’s not harmful or dangerous. It’s just a persistent nuisance that arises out of simple physical processes that, though we may understand them, happen at a level (atomic) so minute as to escape our unaided, immediate perception and therefore, to my mind, is equivalent to some sort of witchcraft. Sure, it’s not dangerous, but it is evil.

To combat the scourge of static cling, I mist the insides of my dresses with a healthy dose of the Static Solution by The Laundress.

There are several other anti-static sprays on the market, but I’ve found this one to be the least offensive in terms of odor. The fragrance is actually kind of pleasant. Also, the spray bottle is small enough to tuck into your purse for use later in the day. Win.

Okey dokey. Hope you might have found this useful. I have many, many other sanity savers to share with you if you did.

Have a good Wednesday.

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