This month, the ELLE Singapore team has been investing our energy into the little things that make life at home so much easier and better. As majority of the population stay at home to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, it’s important to establish our homes as a place of respite from the stresses we’re exposed to. Do the things that bring you joy at this time, and don’t be ashamed or feel guilty about it. We are living in an unprecedented time and it’s okay to not be okay as well as work on caring for yourself. Be it a workout routine to blow off steam or something as simple as listening to music, these lifestyle gadgets and apps have been making these tasks THAT much more enjoyable for us.
WHERE: Major electrical stores
WHAT: A new generation of air purifier that “communicates” with you. This means that while you can’t see the air around you, Trusens Z-3000 ($495) can. With its air quality display (the PSI reading equivalent used by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency) and light indicator, it tells you about the air in your room and beyond, thanks to its extra Sensorpod that can be placed away from the main air purifier and in the vicinity of a power outlet. Its job is to measure pollutants and communicate results back to the main air purifier. Should a pollutant be detected, the reading will shoot up and the lights will turn red. The five-fan settings will go to its highest to clean the air within 15 to 20 minutes. This particular model covers 70sqm (the largest), while others are ideal for smaller spaces.
WHY: Trust the words of a woman who lives with one dog and four cats — imagine the fur that’s shed. Prior to this, I used two air purifiers in my home, but they left me wondering if they were really making a difference. Now that is solved, thanks to the air quality reading.
WHERE: The Apple app store
WHAT: Sayana: Thoughts & Feelings (from $3.48 a week) is an app that helps you navigate your emotions. Pure happiness or sadness aside, it’s especially helpful for those moments where you’re feeling just a little bit irritable or down — but don’t exactly know why. It starts out with Sayana, a girl that’s essentially your app buddy, asking you to define your goal (is it to manage anxiety, or to be more mindful?), with daily check-ins in the form of questions that aim to bring about some structure to your emotions, while relating it to the occurrences around you. Beautifully illustrated in water colour, Sayana and the app’s visuals are a calming sight, but turn your sound on for her soothing narration and relaxing background music too.
WHY: As part of a global community that is staying indoors to beat the pandemic, it pays to be even more in tune with our state of mind and emotions, to comprehend if and when cabin fever — or plain restlessness — sets in. When life returns to normal, a little emotional clarity and awareness can’t hurt too.
WHERE: Montblanc boutiques
WHAT: Montblanc’s MB 01 Headphones ($925), a pair of sound isolating headphones that don’t just sound great, but feel great too with soft pebble-like curves and luxe materials like “high-quality aluminium, fine leather, and robust silicone” according to the website. While the jury is still out on whether silicone can be ultra luxe, what we do know is these feel wonderful on. They’ve bucked the trend of lighter is better, opting instead for an object where heftiness doesn’t belie the work that went into it. Think of them as a weighted blanket under which you can shut the rest of the world out.
WHY: Big, chunky headphones always seem like they belong to the walkman era. But here’s every headphone wearer’s secret: The comfort and sound you get from headphones is unparalleled. They sit on the head like a pair of cosy earmuffs, a preferable experience to having earbuds semi-jammed into your ears. It’s a way to focus if you’re working from home in a less than quiet situation.
WHAT: Muse (from US$249.99 approx. S$353) is a brain sensing device that provides real-time feedback on your brain activity, heart rate, breathing, and body movements to help you build a consistent meditation practice. At the end of each session, you get to see your meditation data and how your focus changed throughout the duration, and with practice you’ll find yourself to be a lot more mindful in future sessions.
WHY: I struggle with staying mindful despite efforts to meditate and conscious reminders to pay attention – not only do these distract me from the actual task, they make me anxious so the idea of Muse as a designated schedule and meditation base of your brainwaves to cultivate a better, calmer, less distracted brain really appealed to me. In using it, real-time feedback showed when my mind was drifting and helped keep me in place. I am more disciplined with practising meditation now, and while learning to focus takes time, it goes a long way in terms of productivity and a healthier state of mind.
WHERE: Sephora, Lazada, and Tangs
WHAT: The Foreo Bear (from $299) is a compact facial firming device that targets signs of ageing by combining precision microcurrents (from the metal spheres) with the brand’s signature T-sonic pulsations to tighten, firm and contour skin for a firmer-looking visage.
WHY: I love that every step of the way is customisable, and intuitive with this piece of technology — making every session a timesaving (and pampering) facial massage. Simply sync the device to the Foreo app, and you’ll get to select from five levels of microcurrent intensities. Then, pick the type of “workout” that you’d like to embark on: You can follow any of the five step-bystep microcurrent treatments in the app (three for the Bear Mini), or simply freestyle it. The built-in Anti-Shock System scans and measures your skin’s receptiveness to the microcurrents, and adapts the intensity accordingly on more tender areas — so you don’t have to worry about product safety. Best of all, each treatment lasts for only a minute, so you can fit a session in even on busy mornings.
This story first appeared on our May 2020 issue. You can read the full issue here.