10 New Essentials You Need To Navigate Life In 2020

10 Essentials for Life in 2020 | The Elgin Avenue Blog

Looking back on my editorial plans for life in 2020, never (ever, ever) did I think that a list of essentials you need in the midst of a pandemic, would be a part of the blog!

Yet, here we are.

When coronavirus first became a part of peoples’ verbiage, and hand gel started to sell-out like Hoxton’s cinnamon buns (if you haven’t tried them yet, DO), options for ‘pandemic essentials’ weren’t readily available. 

Fortunately, as the world and our needs have shifted, companies have been producing items which make navigating social distancing a little easier. And nicer all round!

Cue: hand gels which smell nice! Lotions which counteract those (now) dried-out hands. Masks in beautiful prints.

We have to make adjustments, but that doesn’t mean giving up on little luxuries, and things which make this time just a bit more bearable.

Over the past few months I’ve come across a handful of new ‘essentials’ which I’ve grown to rely on. Here’s my roundup! I hope that they’ll make the rest of 2020 a bit brighter for you too!

10 New Essentials You Need To Navigate Life In 2020

10 Essentials for Life in 2020 | The Elgin Avenue Blog

1. NEOM Happy Hand Sanitiser Gel

Many companies have pivoted their expertise to create new sanitising products. Including one of my favourites: NEOM’s Happy Hand Sanitiser Gel. 

NEOM’s antibacterial hand gel is not only effective at killing off germs, it’s also scented with one of my favourite NEOM blends —‘Great Day’. 

Plus, for every 3 pack of NEOM hand sanitisers you buy, NEOM donates a pack of 3 to the NHS. 

This is easily the best-smelling hand sanitiser I’ve used, it doesn’t dry-out your hands, and it gives back to the amazing NHS. A winner all-round!

2. YOPE Ginger and Sandalwood Hand Soap

If your household is anything like ours right now, the moment we step inside our front door we back a b-line for the sink. 

Washing your hands upon arrival anywhere is now part and parcel of what 2020 looks like. And as such, having a nice soap to use is an essential. 

Recently I’ve been using YOPE’s Ginger and Sandalwood Hand Soap and I love it so much. The TGA formula is 92% natural and cleanses without drying your skin. 

Plus the scent is gorgeous!

I find that this soap lasts for agesss, which is great since we’re washing our hands, all. the. time.

3. Molton Brown Flora Luminare Body Lotion

Tag-teaming with all hand-washing, is the need to moisturise moisturise. And moisturise some more!

At the moment I have Molton Brown’s Flora Luminare Body Lotion sat on my desk at all times for top-ups throughout the day. 

The scent is one of my absolute favourites — I use the body oil often too. 

Molton Brown also have great handbag-sized versions of many of their most popular scents, including Flora Luminare. Alongside  my hand gel, a miniature moisturiser is a permanent fixture in my handbag. 

4. Face Mask

Wearing a face mask has become a prerequisite when travelling, or entering shops, here in the UK. As such, having a face mask on you at all times is a must. 

I bought my first ‘official’ face mask the other day from a local boutique, and there are so many great options online too. 

Florence Bridge creates elegant, sustainable face masks in the prettiest of fabrics, including this ‘ballet slipper’ pink. 

Olivier London also has stunning Liberty fabric masks, in a range of sizes to fit children too. 

New Look has one of the best selections of high street non-medical face masks I’ve seen.

Amazon has even created a dedicated shop: The Face Mask Store.

I’ve rounded up some of my favourites below:

5. Wear-everywhere Trainers

I don’t know about you, but I’m wearing trainers more than ever right now. My new favourite friend date is takeaway coffee + a walk. 

A little while back I splurged on a pair of Veja trainers, and I L O V E them! They are so comfortable, ergonomic and go with pretty much everything. The colours make me smile too 😄

6. Wear-everywhere Dresses

Do you notice a theme? Ha! The boundaries between work and, well, everything else feel pretty blurry right now, which can be a good thing when it comes to your wardrobe!

Recently I splurged on a few new pieces from New Look’s Kind range, which I’m wearing every day of the week. 

A wear-everywhere dress needs to be comfortable (key!), and appropriate for WFH life as well as the weekend. I personally like a midi-length and loose silhouette. It’s easy to dress up, and equally great for WFH life.

I’ve rounded up some of my favourite options below. 

7. Quay Blue Light Filtering Glasses

I included my Quay Blue Light Filtering Glasses in my roundup of 10 Things Making Lockdown Brighter too, and (evidently!) I just can’t get enough of them! 

If you find yourself sitting in front of a screen for much of the day, I cannot recommend investing in a pair of blue light filtering glasses enough! They have made such a difference: I no longer have that tired-but wired feeling if I’ve looked at my screen before bed, and my eyes don’t get so fatigued when I’m working on my laptop. 

Top tip! Use Quay’s ‘try on’ technology to virtually try on your frames before you buy.

8. Great Bedsheets

Sleep has never been more important than it is right now. Good quality, consistent sleep does amazing things for your body and mind. And if ever either of those needed some TLC, it’s NOW, right?!

Great bedsheets make a huge difference to how well you sleep, since breathable ones will help to regulate your temperature, and make your head hitting the pillow feel all the more luxurious.

I rounded up some of my favourites in this blog post: 7 Tips on How to Sleep Better 

9. Turtle Bags String Bag

I’ve been using my own shopping bags as often as possible for a couple of years now, but recently I’ve made an extra effort to consistently have my own bags to hand. 

For one, carrying your own bags reduces the amount of items you have to touch within a shop, and it is better for the environment all round. 

Turtle Bags Organic Cotton String Bags are my new favourites, they are SO lightweight yet freakishly strong. I often have mine in my handbag without realising it! Arket have a huge selection of colours to choose from. 


NB: I’ve seen a few people in the US posting to say that shops aren’t allowing you to bring your own bags, but I haven’t found that to be the case in the UK. 

10. A Good Stash Of Cookbooks

Given that we are all staying in a lot more often at the moment, I’ve come to appreciate the value of a good stash of cookbooks for recipe inspiration!

My go-to books are:

Madeleine Shaw’s books Get The Glow and Ready Steady Glow

Wendy Rowe’s book Eat Beautiful

Ottolenghi’s Simple

I also love Camille Styles’ recipes on her blog – so many delicious, and nutrient-rich, options!

On that note my great friend Wendy shares brilliant recipes on her blog Thank Fifi too.

What’s Your Take? 

Do you have any new essentials you’d add to this list? Have you connected with any brands you want to highlight? 

I’d love to hear from you!

Love, Monica x

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