I didn't realize it until compiling this list, but most of my best purchases of 2018 either improved my health or streamlined my life. I took better care of my skin, by investing in clean products, and my physical health, with products that aided smarter recovery and nutrition. If you're reading this, you're most likely not a 40-something man, but you probably know one, so give them a tip (or, better yet, a gift) and help them out:
Port Products Daily Moisturizer and Supergoop Sunscreen: Admitting you have a skin routine is the first step towards accepting the fact that you're aging. Also, it's just practical sense to wear a moisturizer and sunscreen every day. There are a lot of products that do both, but I prefer to break up functions with these two items, which are simple, clean, and effective.
Rhone Commuter Pants: I typically wear a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers every day. It's a simple yet functional uniform. However, every now and then I need to leave the denim home and put on a pair of classic pants. These pants provide style and function that will take you from the office to dinner, perhaps while riding your bike. The tailoring is perfect (they will even cut the inseam to your exact measurement), while giving you the technical aspects you expect from performance attire. I now own three pairs and tell every one who asks why they should pick up a few themselves.
OXO Good Grips On-The-Go Salad Container: We've been trying to make more salads for lunch, and this simple container helps with the effort. Keeping the hot and cold portions separate is key (for me at least), and the dressing container ensures I'm not drowning the greens in ranch. Do you need a specialty container for your salad? No, you don't. Does it help me maintain a healthy and recurring positive lunch habit? Yep.
Byrd Sea Salt Spray: Em always tells me my hair looks best when it's messy. This spray helps create the look, especially with clean hair. It's similar to the Bumble and Bumble Surf Spray, but I actually prefer the texture Byrd creates.
Whoop Performance Strap: I'm a big data nerd and while I love my Apple Watch, it doesn't (currently) provide me with some health related info that I love, namely sleep, strain, and recovery data. That's where this product comes in. It's a minimalist strap that records your heartbeat hundreds of times per minute, providing a more robust and accurate reading of the effort you're exerting. It then takes that info and breaks out a score, letting you know how much exertion you've put out, how much sleep you need, and when to rest/recover. I've found myself adjusting my sleep habits, pushing myself harder when I know my body is ready for the strain, and generally feeling more in tune with my exercise regimen.
Amora Dijon Mustard: This mustard is the standard in France and has become a staple in our home. We use it in everything, from sandwiches to salad dressing. Stop buying other Dijons—this is better than them all.
Windecker Farms Deodorant: This is the best natural deodorant I've ever used, and I've tried a lot of them. It takes a few seconds longer to apply (since you apply it with your hands), but it's unrivaled. Don't be afraid to make the switch, it's worth it.
Thera-Gun: Imagine getting the most intense and therapeutic massage of your live, then amplify that by 100. This gun is life-changing, and, while there are several competing models in the massage gun category, I like this one. Have a gnarly knot in the middle of your back? A few seconds of this and it's gone. Recovering from a marathon, or heavy bike ride? Apply this to your legs for a few minutes to rapidly start the recovery process. It's another investment, but it's something you won't regret.
Macbook Air: My trusty MacBook Pro died in late November, and I thought I would miss some of its more robust features, but I have discovered a new love for Apple products through this laptop. I'll admit, it's not for people who do a ton of photography or design work, but for someone who manages a small business, using everything from HR and finance software to multichannel communication tools, this small, paper-thin device kills it on a daily basis. Also, the color makes me the envy of the office.
Nutramilk: If you've seen my Instastories, you know this machine. Long story, short: It makes a variety of nut butter and milks in less time than it takes to drive to the market. The most common question I've received from others is, "Can't you do the same thing in a VitaMix?" The answer is both yes and no. You can make nut milks, but you have to soak the nuts (usually overnight) then strain the milk, while this does everything for you. If you're someone who insists on making daily or weekly milk, this is a must-buy. It will save a ton of money after a few months of use and is worth the investment.
Mack Weldon No-Show Socks: As mentioned before, I wear sneakers every day, but don't need ugly socks poking up from my low top shoes. There are a ton of no-show socks on the market, but these are the only ones I've found to actually be low enough to hide in my lowest shoes (i.e. Common Projects), while not sliding down the back of my heel and bunching up in the middle of my foot.