If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked Karina Longworth — film historian and host of the podcast You Must Remember This, which just returned for a new season — about the podcasting headphones, disposable cameras, and ’80s-era bath beads she can’t live without.
These are the headphones I used for podcasting. I bought them in 2014 after I had done ten episodes of You Must Remember This and I decided I wanted to get serious about doing podcasting as a job. I wasn’t making any money off of the podcast yet, and this seemed like a huge expense, but it was kind of a way to show my commitment to doing this. I have the same pair five years later. My ears are really small and most headphones kind of crush them. These are padded with velvet and are really comfortable and sound quality is just incredible. Every other headphone is incredibly uncomfortable compared to these for me. I actually just bought a new pair to listen to music with.
My husband thinks this is the most hilarious thing I bring into our home. He grew up seeing those famous Calgon commercials and just thought of it as a brand old ladies were into in the ’80s. But it still exists, in a box that says “Take Me Away,” and I buy it regularly. We have a really great bathtub and I take baths to relax all the time. I’m always looking for stuff to use in the bath that isn’t too expensive. I’ve tried other things, but I keep coming back to those Calgon bath beads.
The black-and-white photos these cameras take are so flattering. I just — I don’t have the best face for HD, and whenever someone takes a candid photo of me on their phone it’s never that exciting. The photos this camera takes are the perfect soft-focus, low-resolution images that don’t ever need retouching. I’ll buy them for parties — I had them at my book party last year, and then when my husband and I got married, we had done the legal ceremony beforehand but had a big party for our friends, and instead of spending money to hire a photographer we gave a ton of these cameras out to our guests and told them to take pictures all night long. The pictures are great. You have to use the flash if it’s dark out, and a lot of our guests — even though we reminded them — were drunk and did not, but we still got so many great photos.
I have really sensitive skin that reacts to the sun and heat, and I also have eczema. This means I often get rashes and weird dry spots on my arms and legs. I discovered this cream when I was living in London — where they have Boots on every corner. I’ve found that this is the only thing that always works no matter what weird skin condition I have. I always take it with me when I travel, when my skin tends to get the most irritated.
After Bite had an old-school formula that I used — it was like ammonia in a pen — but they reformulated it. I actually did a side-by-side comparison: I put the old version on one leg and the new version on the other — both legs had bites. The new one, which is less harsh, actually cleared it up better.
I have chronic shoulder pain, which doctors have told me is basically because of my “lifestyle,” sitting at a computer — one doctor even told me I needed to sleep on the floor. There’s only so much you can do to change your lifestyle without completely giving your life over to this. I box and do Pilates regularly and can only work out if I use this stuff. I rub it on my shoulders before a workout. It smells like menthol though it doesn’t smell as toxic as Icy Hot, but feels really cold and numbing.
I’ve been using this a lot lately. It sort of smells like smoky lavender. I’m working on seven projects and am really stressed all the time, and I’ve found myself craving to smell like this thing. It’s made in Los Angeles, close to where I live; my friend Rachel Syme wrote about it in her perfume newsletter which is I think how I found out about it.