top of page

Under the Influence: A List and A Confession

There's no shame in admitting you've been influenced. Whether it's by the "cool mom" on your kid's playground or your favorite online influencer, not one of us is immune to a product recommendation, especially when we've got lots of time at home and plenty of need for the dopamine hit of late-night shopping. I asked our little Instagram community what they'd been influenced to buy recently, and the responses bowled me over. (I knew you were my people.) Any cringe factor I felt from falling prey to targeted ads or internet strangers with blindingly white teeth dissolved instantly; I'm in good company. Since we're all spending dollars, I thought we'd talk about it. What's worth it, what's worthless, and what you're embarrassed you ever bought. I'll start with mine because: a) I'm not a hypocrite. b) I may deserve public shaming. c) I've snagged some really fantastic things, so I'll list those first. I spent last Saturday evening half-watching a disastrous football game and half-googling discount codes for our favorite "influenced" purchases. I'm a bit of a cheapskate: I either spend money on something I'm PUMPED about, or I dip my toe in with whatever coupon I can find.

Hill House Home Nap Dress - This one is the dress of the year, y'all. I've literally napped in it, it makes me look like I've tried (but feels like a nightgown), and you can get 20% off through my referral link. Order a full size down and prepare to be simultaneously comfy and cute. Expect to see me in mine all. year. round. If you can manage to get a tartan dress in your size, I'll be green with envy this November!

Summersalt swimsuits - DM me for specific style recommendations, because I have tried them allllll. At 5'9" with roughly 62“ of torso, I am so thankful for their long torso sizing. I've never felt comfortable in bathing suits until I bought these, and their customer service can't be beat. I have the Sidestroke (one shoulder) in several colors and the gorgeous two-color ruffle Backflip style in another; the orange and pink colorways get comments every time I set foot near a body of water. This referral link offers $10 off! They're worth every penny, and I haven't even explored their activewear or pajamas yet.

Fairharbor men's trunks and shorts - This was a targeted Facebook ad that paid off beautifully; we ended up replacing all Bradley's (shabby) swimsuits with the trunks that have built-in liners. They're a huge win, and the shorts (with built-in liner too) seem like a great option for working out, fishing, swimming or just hanging around. Seems like the algorithm knew me well with this recommendation. Here's a $20 off referral code if you want to try them out for the guy in your life!

Musely - Although I roll my eyes at some of their ads, particularly one bragging about removing discoloration from your nether regions - as though we need something else to worry about - I have to say that Musely seems to work. The blend of tretinoin, hydroquinone and niacinamide has already brightened my summer-speckled skin in a month. A light Google says that NECK15 will get you 15% off!

Supergoop - While we're on the topic of skincare, I've been influenced by an actual M.D. to use sunscreen on the regular. Not the sunscreen in makeup or a haphazard, occasional application before a walk, but a never-miss-a-day adherence to full-on SPF. Supergoop has been the key, and it sounds like y'all agree! I love their daily moisturizer and keep (DO NOT JUDGE ME) their Handscreen lotion in my center console for afternoons in carline. By far, though, it sounds like we all love their Glowscreen product best. Half primer, half CC cream and all sun protection, it is my go-to for looking like a care in ten seconds flat. Signing up for their newsletter gets you 10% off, or if you DM me your email address, I can send you a $10 off coupon for your first order. Please don't DM me about adding SPF to hand lotion and calling it a day; I've been influenced and there are no take-backsies.

Water bottle - In other adulting news, I'm on a neverending quest to gulp down a gallon of water a day. I've tried every iteration - glass bottles, 32 oz bottles with no straw, bottles with handles, you name it. I got the bug to grab this one-gallon jug, though, and it has done the trick. If nothing else, the peer pressure from my kids keeps me on track. "Mama, it's 3pm but you're only at the 11am line!" The best part is the ombre color options. Yes, I'm that superficial, but at least my insides are hydrated. Here's the mega gulp gallon jug if you'd like one for yourself.

Away pans - Here's one y'all have been influenced to buy that didn't sway me. I chalk it up to cooking for six hungry hungry Smiths and needing far bigger pans than this, but the aesthetics of this line did y'all in. The results are a mixed bag, though, with several of you saying it was too costly for "something that could have come from TJ Maxx." Google says MOTHERCHIC10 will save you 10%, it seems, if you'd like to try it anyhow. Report back with your opinion!

Weighted hula hoop - I guess I lied when I said I'd spill all my dirty laundry up front. This one is still in the package, waiting in our backyard gym for Bradley to assemble it. I already own this fitness skip-it, a throwback to childhood that provides me both fun and cardio, but haven't gotten around to using this yet. And I'm embarrassed. Plenty of you 'fessed up to buying it too, though, so I suppose I'm in good company? My skip-it and my hula hoop are both pink, and I haven't said that sentence since 1992.

Carter + Jane - There's a reason I included the Everything Oil in a giveaway earlier this year! As recommended by the above-mentioned dermatologist, my evening skincare routine is uber simple. I use C+J's oil cleanser to remove any sunscreen or makeup, then a quick go-over with Cetaphil or a similar gentle cleanser, followed by a retinol (lately it's been Musely) and moisturizer - sometimes I seal it all in with Everything Oil. Don't buy the face-only oil, which is far pricier per ounce. Grab the Everything Oil and use it, as I do, as cuticle oil, body lotion, hair cream, fragrance, face oil, everything. I've tried maybe half a dozen of their scents, but Angelic Clementine is my creamsicle dream favorite. Sign up for their newsletter to get notified about coupon codes or sales. I gift these bottles all the time; they work like magic and last foreverrrrr.

Rothy's - If you've seen a picture of my kids (or even me) in masks since July, it's been masks by Rothy's. That's right - many of you are evangelists for their washable shoes, but I've fallen prey to the influence of a TikTok creator who raved about them. If you can get your hands on them (they go fast), I can't say enough about the fabric, fit and little details like a simple blue stitch so you know which side goes up without fiddling around with things.

My kids asked for more, so I've ordered these (insert David Rose voice) THRICE. Click here for my $30 off referral code, though at $4 a pop, the price is already fantastic.

Billie razor - I haven't tried these myself, but y'all raved about the price point and quality. If it cuts out one more errand or forgotten toiletry, it can't hurt!

Ice roller - I was tickled that so many of you were "influenced" by one of my very first recommendations upon starting But Not All At Once (pre-podcast). It works magic for a puffy morning face, a sinus headache, or a Southern sweaty/glistening gal. You'll find this beauty just beside my frozen broccoli.

Lake pajamas - I've recently been influenced by real life friends to use some birthday money on the most magical, pima-perfect pajamas I've ever known. In the last month, I've scarcely taken them off! Try LAKE10 for 10% off until their annual sale (eep) next summer!

Period undies - If you haven't tried these, I can't extol their virtues enough. Game changer for new mamas, women past their baby-having days, tweens dealing with their first cycles, or anyone who's a heavy sleeper. Busy Philipps once gave all her friends Thinx for Christmas, and I don't blame her! Let's normalize talking about (and being more comfortable during) our periods. Bodies are weird and normal and amazing - so let's make them easier to deal with, shall we? My link gives you $10 off.

Verb bars - I haven't tried these personally, but many of you swear by them! Looks like VERBBFF30 will give you a discount on your first order; let me know if there's a must-order flavor. A cursory glance shows me cookie butter is an option, and it has caffeine in it, so I'm already a fan! Anything that encourages snacking is a win in my book.

Dyson hair styler - The word "splurge" came up every single time y'all added this to the list, but it seems like it was worth the expense. I spent the summer letting my hair air-dry into a wild bed-head/lady lion coiffure, but I can see the virtues of a well-made, time-saving hair styler with all the bells and whistles!

Print Fresh pajamas - A friend whose judgment I trust implicitly swears by the comfort of these sleep shirts, and I've been tempted by the Bagheera tiger-esque print for ages. Right now, according to TikTok and the targeted ads assaulting my eyeballs daily, the code CITRUS is active.

Beachwaver - I have to say that I'm influenced by your being influenced on this one. I have negative 14 level hair skills, so maybe this Beachwaver is all you're hyping it up to be? What say you, friends?

FabFitFun box - Oodles of you chimed in that your most embarrassing influencer purchase was signing up for the FFF boxes every nano-celebrity hawks. I have to admit that I did too, and I'm quite pleased with the Summersalt tote bag I got in it. The bag alone is worth every penny, made of Summersalt's compressive swimsuit material and basically indestructible. That said, I "shopped" their sale and THEY CHECKED ME OUT WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. I just saw a charge on my card and had to call to figure out how the nail polish, face mask and other sundry items living in one of my many half-filled online shopping carts were suddenly EN ROUTE. Buyer beware on that front, but here's a $15 discount all the same!

Hello Fresh - Just reading this means you'll come across a discount code sometime today. Sounds like lots of you (again, without six hungry hungry Smiths under your roof) are influenced regularly by your favorite bloggers to sign up for meal delivery, rotating through services every now and then. These might have been perfect for me pre-kids! Any favorites?

Thrive mascara - All the ads (and your personal reviews) say this is a tube-like mascara that rivals lash extensions. As a stubby-lashed lady, I'm soooo tempted. Thoughts? Experiences? Click here for $10 off and let me know!

Anything TIBAL says - I can't blame y'all for loving all the recommendations of Things I Bought And Loved on Instagram. I had to unfollow because it unleashed my most consumeristic side, but she definitely offers her candid thoughts on the (many, many) purchases she makes each month.

Ear buds that quiet evening noise - If you don't follow parenting coach Mary Van Geffen, you're missing out - and you need to listen to our episode with her too! Her most powerful recommendation for me personally was to snag a set of noise-reducing earphones for the evening witching hours when patience is thin and whining is plentiful. These are what I grabbed, after being influenced by super-on-point Instagram recommendations. So far I'm happy with what they do for my poor, overstimulated evening brain! (Clearly mine are pink. Aesthetics matter as much as audio.) Ok, whew. My hats off to influencers everywhere for the time they, or their assistants, take to drop in codes, reviews, images, links and ideas for we mere mortals who follow their every lead. What are you ashamed to admit? Proud to own? Sorry you ever saw? Do you judge my hula hoop? No holds barred, folks; this is a safe space. xoxo, A.

bottom of page