I'd like to dedicate this column to a personal hero of mine, Austin Tyler Rogers. If you don't have any idea who I'm talking about, settle in and let me give you the 411, because he's the very personification of these 57 things on Amazon that are so weird and genius.
Like these products — take this self-cleaning hairbrush and the fast-freezing plate that turns your ingredients into ice cream in minutes— Austin Tyler Rogers is smart. So smart, in fact, that he blazed through a 12-day streak on Jeopardy that netted him $463,000. But, also like Austin, they're quirky. He first gained attention with his mime-like antics for the camera and kind of odd, no-filter way of just being himself on the show. These products are equally unique: For example, this matcha drink has mushroom powder blended in to increase your focus. Or, here's a reusable stainless steel straw that actually folds up into its own carrying case so you'll always have it with you, ready to help stave off the evils of ocean-clogging plastic straws.
The other thing about Austin is that he's fun. I'm a big Jeopardy fan, but I don't watch repeats (who does that? You already know the answers!)...unless Austin is on. He's just too enjoyable to pass up. So are the items on this list.
And that is the correct answer — I promise.
1. A Massage Device That Uses A Hook To Ease Away Aches And Pains
Crafted from beautiful, sustainably-harvested beech wood, this massage tool is uniquely designed to reach hard-to-get spots and manipulate acupressure trigger points to relieve pain. This simple design is easy to use and allows for the manipulation of muscle groups all over the body — from the neck and shoulders down the back to the legs, buttocks, and even the feet. It's easy to pack for use on the road, too.
2. This Stainless Steel Straw Folds Up So You Can Take It With You
Choosing a reusable straw is a great way to make a stand against the onslaught of plastics that are clogging our oceans, and this reusable straw has the added benefit of folding up for easy portability — so it's easy and convenient to take with you. FDA-approved and BPA-free, this stainless steel straw folds into its own handy carrying case that fits easily into your pocket, purse, or backpack. It's suitable even for hot, cold, and thicker drinks like smoothies.
3. A Device That Repels Bugs Without Harmful Chemicals Or Nasty Traps
Using ultrasonic technology that's inaudible to both pets and people — yet disturbs bugs, ants, and rodents — this pest repeller keeps pests away without using harmful chemicals. Eco-friendly and humane, it's a great way to ensure that bugs and other unsavory critters won't find your home or workplace alluring — all without putting down traps or poison. This device has keeps a low profile, is designed to plug into any outlet, and emits a blue glow so you know that it's working.
4. The Aromatherapy Balm That's Like A Hug In A Tube
Made with an uplifting blend of grapefruit, aniseed, cedarwood, and green mandarin — this aromatherapy stick is supposed to help you boost positivity and feel a little happier. Recommended for use when you're feeling emotionally drained, it's crafted using 100 percent natural, high-quality essential oils, blended with moringa and shea butters for staying power.
5. This Wrap Provides Moist, Heated Therapy For Neck And Shoulder Aches
It looks like a pint-sized cape, but this wrap is purpose-made for delivering heat directly to your neck and shoulders when they're achy and sore. The soft fabric finish cradles you in comfort, and feels great when warmed in the microwave for relaxing, heated relief — and it even contains a blend of lavender, lemongrass, chamomile, and peppermint for an aromatherapy boost. It can also be chilled in the freezer for cold therapy to reduce inflammation. As a bonus, you'll get an aromatherapy eye mask free with your purchase.
6. A Fast-Freeze Plate That Makes Ice Cream In Minutes
Keep this pan in the freezer and you'll be able to make fresh, homemade ice cream or sorbet in minutes whenever the spirit moves you — no more waiting for hours, hand-churning, or running out to get a pint from the corner store. Simply mix up your ingredients (don't worry, it comes with a recipe book), then pour out your mixture onto the frozen surface. No rock salt necessary, and best of all, no waiting. Scoop, scrape, and turn with the included tools, and in minutes, you'll have a delicious dessert.
7. The Telescoping Duster With An Eco-Friendly Reusable Mop Head
Dust your walls and baseboards (with ease) for a cleaner home using this telescoping tool that's topped with a microfiber mop head. With a handle that stretches from 26 inches out to nearly 4 feet, you can reach the ceiling without having to stand on a dangerous ladder or step stool — and the mop heads are also topped with microfiber to capture the dirt and whisk it off your walls to eliminate allergens and irritants. Done for the day? Throw the mop head in the wash so it's ready for next time.
8. This Device Dispenses Honey Without Any Sticky Messes
Equipped with a no-drip stopper and a stand to rest it in when not in use, this dispenser will enable you to enjoy honey on your food and in your beverages — without making a sticky mess all over the place. Yes, those bears are adorable, but they drip everywhere and they leave a sugary residue on your counter or cupboards. The trigger-release mechanism on this acrylic dispenser allows honey — or syrup, or whatever else you like, for that matter — to release from the bottom of the unit, and when you disengage, the flow immediately stops, drip-free.
9. The Silicone Lids That Create An Airtight Seal On Your Coffee Cup
Stylish and attractive, these round silicone lids are perfect for reheating your coffee in the microwave — or for eliminating splatters and splashes when reheating a bowl of anything, for that matter. They'll also keep your coffee warm and bug-free while you're enjoying it outside, and since the design has no holes or seams, you can use them for single-serving casseroles in the oven — they're also heat-resistant to 550 degrees.
10. A Shelf To Keep Your Stuff Handy When There's No Nightstand Nearby
When there's no room for a bedside table or nightstand, this bed shelf will save the day. Crafted from renewable and sustainably-harvested bamboo, it has a beautiful, shiny black contemporary finish to fit in with any décor, it installs quickly and easily without tools, and can support up to 15 pounds of the stuff you can't live without when you're hanging out in bed.
11. This Phone Case Has A Hidden Slot For $20 And Your Debit Card
How awesome is this phone case with the sneaky hidden panel that stores two cards or folded bills in a manner that's practically undetectable? Made from sturdy, shock-absorbent materials, the case will keep your phone safe while it stores your valuables, and the sliding cover opens smoothly and closes securely. It's suitable for the iPhone 7 and 8.
12. This Matcha Tea Blend Has Mushrooms In It For Energy With No Crash
A little odd but definitely brilliant, this drink unites ceremonial-grade matcha with lion's mane mushroom extract that's been shown to improve both focus and cognitive function. Together, the blend promotes relaxed, focused energy with no jitters or caffeine crash — plus, matcha delivers antioxidants, and the powder can be easily added to smoothies with the same results.
13. This Face Cream Proves Kale Is Still Having A Moment
You knew kale was good for you — but did you know it's extra-good when you rub it on your face? This oil-free cream has kale extract to improve skin's texture, tone, and brightness, while flax seed curbs natural oils in the skin. Lightweight and chock full of vitamins and AHAs, it locks in moisture, and it's 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free.
14. A Light To Brighten Your Mood
Fine-tune your body's natural sleep cycle for more energy, productivity, and a better mood with this lamp that's engineered to fend off seasonal affective disorder and sleep disorders, too. With LED bulbs that produce a full-spectrum light, it features adjustable brightness settings to suit the environment in which it's being used, and it has a rotating light panel so it can be angled as needed.
15. The New Hot Sponge In Town
The sponge of the moment is no longer the loofah but this sponge: the konjac. Konjac is a porous vegetable that grows only in Asia, and these sponges are made from 100 percent natural konjac — known for gently exfoliating the skin while cleansing. The black konjac in this pair has a touch of bamboo charcoal added to detoxify and cleanse the pores, too.
16. A Coloring Book That Swears Is Just What You Need
Let's be honest: Sometimes there's nothing like letting a good four-letter word rip to brighten your day. This book is here for that, and understands that sometimes you're having thoughts that are NSFW when you're stressed, so don't say it —color it. It comes with a set of brilliantly-colored markers so you can make your own vibrant motifs in the book's 30 stress-relieving swears.
17. This Natural Clay Mud Is A Super-Effective Mask And Has 999 Other Uses
Formulated from 100 percent pure bentonite clay that's the byproduct of volcanic ash and seawater, this mud is ideal as a detoxifying facial mask to pull out impurities and leave behind a glowing, fresh complexion. The usefulness of this ancient home remedy doesn't stop there, though: Use this for a whole-body detox bath, take the itch out of poison ivy or mosquito bites, and clear up acne and ingrown hairs.
18. These Accessories Will Ensure You Don't Lose Your Ear Pods
My earbuds drop out all the time — and they're not cheap to replace — until I ran across these ear hooks on Amazon and realized other people must have the same problem. Designed to fit over your earbuds or ear pods, they install easily and provide a little something more for your ear to grab onto, so the devices sit more securely in your ear while you enjoy your sound. They also help improve the noise-cancelling effect to improve your listening experience.
19. The Mask That Will Help Relieve Pain, Swelling, And Inflammation
Migraine sufferers, this mask is a great tool to add to your rescue kit for when an attack strikes. Filled with gel beads, it's designed to be kept in the refrigerator or freezer — and then conforms to the contours of your face and provides cooling relief when you need it. Perfect also for a wake-up first thing in the morning to relieve puffiness and dark circles, and great during allergy season to relieve sinus pain and pressure, this mask is a go-to for so many reasons.
20. This Brush Is Specially Engineered To Be Easy To Clean
Cleaning your hairbrush is messy and difficult, but with this brush, that's no longer the case. Just pinch the back and the bristles retract, making it easy to simply discard the hair that's been trapped in the brush. This patented system features nylon bristles in a stainless steel frame with a locking mechanism that clicks into place when the bristles are fully retracted — and it's great for travel, too.
21. The Odd-Looking Shoe Inserts That Use The Charcoal From Coconuts To Get Rid Of Unwanted Odors
Non-toxic, odorless, and hypoallergenic, these odor fighters naturally eliminate unpleasant smells — using charcoal made from coconut husks that's processed to absorb the bacteria that generates bad smells like a sponge. Place them in your shoes when you're not wearing them and they'll always be odor-free: and after about a month of use, set these devices outside in direct sunlight for about an hour, and the UV light will recharge their powers.
22. A Light With Adjustable Arms For Reading And Working
There's no need to hold your flashlight in your hand or run down your smartphone battery when you have this light on hand — it's rechargeable and wearable around the neck. With flexible arms, the lights can be pointed right at the task at hand, whether it's the latest thriller or some early-evening gardening, dog walking, or grilling. Plus, each LED light has three brightness levels for your convenience.
23. This Tri-Pod Holds On To Anything For Smartphone Photos And Selfies
With three flexible legs that can be wrapped on a tree branch, a stair rail, a light post — or anywhere you can think to put it — this tripod is so versatile, you'll wonder what you did without it for selfies, smartphone videos, and photos. It comes with a remote Bluetooth shutter button that makes it easy to take selfies from a distance, too — which is a great tool for when you want to be in the action but don't want to ask a stranger to take your photo. The tripod features a ball joint and a mount that accommodates any smartphone.
24. The Spray That Keeps Your Sinuses And Nasal Passages Moist When You're In The Air
A must-have for any frequent flyer's carry-on bag, this spray hydrates the nasal and sinus passages — helping you stay healthy while flying, and feel better when you arrive at your destination. Formulated with pure turmeric and spearmint essences and distilled water, it's a great way to avoid getting sick without prescriptions or chemicals according to many enthusiastic Amazon fans: "Hydrates nasal passages and works well! Did not get sick!" writes one five-star reviewer.
25. An Ultra-Hygienic Soap Dispenser You Can Use One-Handed
From the design masters at Joseph Joseph, the clever C-shape on this soap dispenser allows you to pump soap one-handed, using the back of your hand to pump — and making the whole process so much more hygienic. The non-slip base ensures that it stays in place as you pump, and it features a level indicator so you can keep track of the soap that remains inside.
26. This Splash Guard Mounts To Your Sink And Keeps You Dry While Washing Dishes
Whenever you load the dishwasher, it always seems like more water ends up on the floor than rinsing the dishes. Now there's this splash guard for the sink that keeps the water where it belongs. Made from waterproof plastic resin, they attach to the inside of the sink with strong suction cups so they stay put while you do your thing.
27. The Pee Pad With A Unique Difference Your Dog Will Love
I'd never have imagined myself calling a pee pad cute, but this one, with its pop-up fire hydrant, actually is. Face it: Some dogs are just incorrigible and will pee, leg raised, right in your house. This pee pad is perfect for those spots: The pop-up has a built-in attractant that makes training easy, and the pad is made with five layers of super-absorbent material, plus a leak-proof backing — so no more accidents.
28. This Skin Care Duo Uses Bentonite Clay And Emerald Probiotics To Treat Skin And Help It Glow
An all-natural remedy for congested skin, this duo opens with a cleanser that's formulated with organic bentonite clay to deep-clean the pores — and also uses antiseptic lavender essential oil. Together, these ingredients give the skin a gentle but thorough cleaning while detoxing oils and blemish-causing bacteria, leaving behind a complexion that's fresh and oil-free. For the second half of the treatment, a probiotic mist restores the skin's natural balance, reducing redness and leaving it glowing and healthy.
29. This Flower-Shaped Portable Pillow Is A Big Help At Home, At Work, And On The Go
Shaped like a daisy with a hole in the middle when flat, this pillow can be used either in full or folded in half in a variety of configurations: Behind your back to provide support to your lumbar region, behind your neck as a travel pillow, or on your chair to ease sciatica or just provide some extra padding. Filled with micro-beads that conform to your shape to alleviate pain, it's soft to the touch and ideal for travel.
30. The Socks That Separate Your Toes To Help Prevent Blisters And Athlete's Foot
A long-time favorite of runners, these toe socks are also great for athletes of all types — and for casual wear around the house. Crafted from polyester and spandex, they're designed to prevent blisters and wick away moisture to prevent athlete's foot. They won't peek up over sneakers, and there's a padded heel, too.
31. This Gel Cushion Can Improve Your Posture While It Helps You Sit Comfortably
Designed to support the tailbone and adjust the spine into a healthier position, this cushion provides relief from painful conditions like sciatica and herniated discs — or it's just a more comfortable way to sit when you have to be on your heinie for a while. It's made from memory foam, and has a top layer of gel for cooling comfort for use at home, at the office, or while traveling.
32. A Hair Tool That Dries And Volumizes At The Same Time
Think of how much faster your morning routine will be with this hair tool that dries and styles your hair at the same time. Engineered to offer a salon-style blow out at home, the brush can be placed at the crown of the head for lift — and its round edges create further volume, while the oval design of this brush smooths the hair. Ionic technology and 1100 watts of power provide a quick, frizz-free dry.
33. This Roller Ball Targets Your Sore Spots With Cold Relief
Pinpointed inflammation-reducing cold exudes from this massage roller, a stainless steel ball that's filled with gel that will stay cold for up to 6 hours after spending the night in the freezer. Designed to glide frictionless within its housing as well as against the skin, the ball can be used anywhere on the body, from the neck and shoulders down to the soles of the feet to offer convenient cryotherapy for pain relief.
34. The Gadget That Gets Corn Off The Cob Quickly And Efficiently
If you enjoy fresh corn — but wish it was easier to get off of the cob — this tool is for you. With an inner, serrated metal ring inside of a plastic outer ring, you simply place the narrow end of the corn inside this device then twist it toward the other end until all of the kernels are off. If you don't know the old trick of standing the corn in a bundt pan while you work, try it with this device — it's great for rounding up the kernels as they come off.
35. A Bowl That Keeps Your Guacamole Fresh And Green For Days
The ingenious design of the lid on this container is specially designed to keep guacamole fresh and green for days in the refrigerator. Pushed all the way down, it removes all the oxidation-causing air from around the guacamole, and the 4-cup capacity means it's perfect for serving, too — not just guacamole, but whatever else you have on hand.
36. These Reusable Bags Can Help You Save The Earth While You Shop
Used in place of the bags you find at the grocery store, each of these mesh produce bags has the potential to eliminate the need for 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime. Put a dent in the volumes of plastic that are clogging our oceans by using these bags for your fruits and veggies instead — and they're also great for a million other uses, like storing toys, craft items, bringing wet swimsuits home from the pool, and other things.
37. The Plush Headphone/Eye Mask Combo That's Comfy While You Sleep
Combining the best characteristics of a sleep mask with stereo headphones, this Bluetooth device is an invaluable travel companion — and it's excellent for anyone with trouble sleeping, too. Made from velvet with a washable cotton-poly insert covering the eyes, the mask wraps completely around the head, and features speakers positioned over the ears that can be paired with any Bluetooth-compatible device. Fitted with a Velcro closure, it can rest securely on anyone.
38. A Bathtub Caddy That Helps You Live Your Best Life
Live like a baller — or a Real Housewife — with this caddy for the bathtub that'll have you feeling like you're truly in the lap of luxury. Crafted from renewable, sustainably-harvested bamboo, it's suitable for most tubs, with arms that adjust from just under 28 inches to just over 41 inches wide. The caddy will accommodate up to 11 pounds of everything you might need while you recline in the suds, and includes a metal holder with a waterproof cloth to protect your book or tablet from getting wet, as well as a slide-in wine glass holder.
39. The Makeup Organizer That Will Have You Feeling Like You're Running Your Own Beauty Counter
Feel like you're running a beauty counter in your own bathroom with this makeup organizer that has room for just about a ton of products — and everything you need to apply them, too. With smooth 360-degree rotation, you can access everything on the organizer easily, and the shelves are adjustable so you can customize it according to your needs. This organizer would work great for your craft workroom, too.
40. These Silicone Scrubbers Are Ultra-Hygienic — And Smell Like Peaches
Constructed from naturally antibacterial silicone that's resistant to mold and mildew, these scrubbers make a healthier alternative to one of the most germ-plagued items in the kitchen: The dish sponge. They stand up to tough stains in your pots and pans, but are soft enough to use on even your fine china. Not only are they odor-resistant, but they have a fresh, peachy fragrance that's a delight.
41. A Cleaner To Extend The Life Of Your Expensive Makeup Brushes
Keep your makeup brushes in top shape and extra-hygienic with this battery-operated cleaning device that also dries them out — so no harmful acne-causing bacteria can take hold. Use your favorite mild soap or cleaner and water in the bottom of the bowl, then insert your brushes into the cleaning spinner — adapters are included so it's suitable for most brushes — and give them a swirl to clean. The lift from the water and the sonic frequency of more than 100 rotations per second dries them with ease.
42. The Hooks That Make Keeping Your Car Neat A Snap
Organize your car once and for all with these unique hangers that suspend from your headrest and are designed to hold bags and hangers of all types flat against your seat back. Great for commuters, people traveling with kids, anyone who grocery shops — basically, just about everyone — these hooks are engineered to hold up to 18 pounds per hook.
43. A Pocket Organizer For All Your Change
Tired of all that change rattling around in your pocket or your purse? Get this change organizer that allows you to slip change of various denominations into specially-sized spring-loaded slots on the edges of the round case that holds up to a remarkable $4.50 in coins of various denominations. Designed to accommodate Canadian coins and Euros, too, its minimalist design is a great way to get organized and have your change ready on your commute.
44. This Aromatherapy Balm Rolls On So You Can Chill Out
A blend of 100 percent therapeutic grade essential oils, this roll-on relaxation balm is hand-blended with coconut oil to provide a floral- and balsam-scented lift whenever it's needed. Formulated to deliver mind and body balance, you'll feel a sense of calm and well-being when you apply this to your pulse points — and this vegan, non-toxic, cruelty-free blend is excellent for supporting restful sleep.
45. These Cute Fish Will Make Your Laundry Fluffy And Soft
These adorable puffer fish separate your clothes in the dryer and make them fluffy and soft, while reducing drying time along the way. It's because they permit increased air separation around the garments, creating space for the heat to move around more efficiently — and they'll help to save energy while controlling static and adding a pleasing fluff.
46. A Pink Soap That's Almost Too Pretty To Use But That'll Make Your Face Glow
From buzzy Earth-friendly beauty brand Herbivore comes this gorgeous pink soap crafted from French pink clay, geranium, and blood orange essential oils. All-natural and formulated to detoxify without being overly drying, this soap is suitable for use both on the face and on the body. The combination of anti-inflammatory ingredients leaves skin smooth and improves its texture — and it's vegan and cruelty-free.
47. This Sponge Is All You Need For Applying And Refreshing Your Makeup
Apply your makeup with this sponge, then snap it into its storage compact and carry it with you for touch-ups throughout the day — and it's also an excellent blotter for removing unwanted surface oils. Soft and suitable for all skin types, it's excellent at maximizing your makeup as well as blending and contouring powders flawlessly. The set of two sponges are cruelty-free and can be reused endlessly, when washed with soap and water.
48. The Elastic Shoelaces That Make Every Shoe A Slip-On
Made of a stretchy polyester-latex blend, these shoelaces are capped with a self-anchoring end tip that means shoes never need to be tied again. Available in four sizes and six colors, they're great for everyone from athletes to seniors who don't enjoy fiddling with laces — including those with hand dexterity deficits. The stretchiness ensures a snug fit with a slight compression that can help with pain relief.
49. This pH-Balancing Skinfood Leaves You Soft And Hydrated
Unscented and completely organic, this shea butter lotion maintains skin's pH balance right around the magic number of 5.5. The special additive to this elixir is soapberry, an ancient and natural healing ingredient. Excellent for eczema, dermatitis, and dry and rough skin of any kind, it's fragrance-free, sustainably-harvested, vegan, cruelty-free, and fair-trade.
50. These Little Sheets Can Preserve The Life Of Expensive Fruits And Veggies
Crafted from paper that's infused with organic spices that naturally keep fresh food from decaying, these sheets prevent unnecessary food waste and extend the life of your fresh fruits and vegetables. Simply drop into a fruit bowl, your crisper drawer, or any produce container, and leave it there to absorb the enzymes that cause food to spoil. They're good until the pleasant maple smell disappears — about one month.
51. A Smartphone Mount That Attaches To Any Surface
Made from sturdy silicone with suction cups on either end, this smartphone mount needs only 1.5 inches of space to attach easily. Suitable for use in the car, in the office, in the kitchen, or in the bath — anywhere there's a smooth surface — the center of this mount can be used to keep your earbuds tangle-free.
52. This Device Removes Unwanted Hair Painlessly And Is Compact Enough To Go Anywhere
The size of a lipstick, this battery-powered hair remover features a spinning head that removes unwanted hair when pressed gently against the skin. Housed in an 18-karat rose gold chamber, the blade inside doesn't touch the skin, but instead quickly and painlessly pares down unwanted hair. This device's compact size makes it perfect for use both at home and during travel.
53. The Oversized Lint Roller That's A Lifesaver For Pet Parents
Like a lint roller on steroids, this giant sticky mop is simply a game-changer for pet owners. Equipped with dozens of sheets of specially-formulated sticky paper that pick up not only dog and cat hair but also dirt and other loose debris, the roller is on a telescoping handle that can extend up to 53 inches for maximum reach without bending — you can even get annoying cobwebs without grabbing a ladder, too.
54. A Rechargeable Hand Warmer That's Also A USB Phone Charger
Perfect for anyone who loves the outdoors, this device is a two-in-one wonder: It's a rechargeable hand warmer with three heat settings that can work for up to 10 hours on a single charge, and it will power up your phone in the meantime, too. Made from high-tech aircraft aluminum so it's extra-sturdy for use on-the-go, the device itself charges on any standard USB port.
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