celebrity shopping

What Brenda Song Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist. Photo: Rich Fury/Getty Images

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 hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Brenda Song — star of the new Amazon Freevee rom-com Love Accidentally, which comes out July 15 — about the chocolate bars she keeps in a Ziploc bag in her purse, the sunscreen that doesn’t make her break out, and the throwback stationary item she always carries.

I wear Slip scrunchies 24/7. I’ve tried to do the cheaper versions that you find on Amazon, but they always start threading around the edges. I have a Slip scrunchie that I’ve had for three years that is still like new. They’re pricey, but it’s an investment because in those three years I’ve had that scrunchie, nothing’s happened to it. These are so easy, and they don’t damage my hair. They’re also cute. I have the big ones, too, so they give me that ’90s feel. Sometimes I put my hair up in a high ponytail and live like my 12-year-old self again.

I love a book book normally, but the thing I love about a Kindle is it fits in my bag, and I can buy a book whenever because if I get stuck in a series, I need that book now. Bookstores are harder and harder to find, which makes me really sad. Kindles are better for the environment than books, though, and they’re just so convenient. If I’m out and about and I have a few minutes, I just pull out my Kindle. I use it more than my iPad. I use it more than anything. It’s always in my purse.

One time I left my phone somewhere and I needed to get on a flight. I couldn’t call an Uber or a taxi. This person came up to me and was like, “Hey, it looks like you’re looking for a ride. I can take you.” I had to make a flight, so I was like, “I guess?” Because I didn’t have my phone, I kind of pretended my Kindle was my iPad in the backseat, just so I could feel like this person knew I was contacting someone to tell them I was in their taxi when I didn’t know if it was really a taxi. So my Kindle literally saved me at one point.

When I got pregnant, I made the big transition from coffee to matcha. That was a big deal because I was a one-cup-of-coffee-a-day person. I’ve always loved green tea, so one of my friends was like, “Why don’t you try matcha?” Since it was during the pandemic, it was like, I have to make my own matcha lattes? How? So I went on Amazon and said, “I’ll just try it.” I bought a little kit and then became obsessed. It’s all I’ve been drinking ever since. It gives me the burst of energy I need, but I never get the crash that I used to get from coffee. So now I start off every morning with a matcha latte mixed with hot water and a little bit of almond milk. It’s super-easy and quick, and I don’t go a day without it.

I love very, very dark chocolate, which these are, but there’s also no refined sugar in them. I feel like such an L.A. girl talking about my almond-butter dark chocolate, but it gives me a burst of energy and some protein, and it’s that little kick when I need it. I always have a bar in a Ziploc bag in my purse. I’m in a stage of my life where everything I eat is about having the right kind of energy because I want to be able to keep up with my son. I really was like, Okay, everything I put on my body from now on should be something that does something for it because otherwise I feel like crap. Hu never makes me feel that way.

I was never an AirPod or headphone user until I had a kid, and then I realized how important they are. If I need to get anything done or get on the phone, I need to have them so I don’t disturb my son when he’s sleeping. My partner and I joke about it all the time. We don’t really do work in bed, but sometimes I want to fall asleep to a podcast or whatever, so we’re like, “I love you, honey, good night,” and then we put in one AirPod and lie down.

Growing up, I had allergic reactions to most sunscreens because I have very sensitive skin. So it’s actually really hard for me to find a face sunscreen that doesn’t make me break out. I tried this one on a whim because my skin does really well with Tatcha products. Now I can’t live without it. It’s a part of my skin routine after my moisturizer. This sunscreen goes on whether I go outside or not. My favorite thing about it is it sits really well under makeup. It’s crazy because it’s quite watery, so you have to shake it. It also has a salmon tint, which kind of freaked me out, but it goes away. It’s SPF 50, too, which is huge.

Really, I love any sort of hand wipes, but Wet Ones are good because of the alcohol content. I use them to clean everything, especially with the kid. I have the big rolls in the car. I have them in every room of my house. I have the packets in every purse and jacket. I really hope they’re biodegradable because I go through way too many of them a day. I’m embarrassed to even talk about it. We work so hard to be sustainable in our house. We compost, we have a garden, and yet our wet-wipe count is way too high.

I have never been able to do my hair. I just can’t. This changed the game for me because, first of all, it dries my hair so quickly. It literally takes me half an hour from getting out of the shower to having my hair fully blown out, with curls that last for the next couple of days. The Airwrap is literally hair for dummies. I can use this and feel put together, and that’s really important, especially when I’m running around with my son and feeling so busy. I hate recommending the Airwrap to people because it’s so absurdly expensive, but one of my girlfriends said she used to get her hair blown out all the time for work and things. She said, “If I put all those blowouts together, it wouldn’t even take a few months to pay for this product, and I have it with me all the time.”

I’ve always been very old school and carried a Moleskine to do my schedules and stuff like that. It’s easier for me to remember things once I write it down. This pen is great because it has all the colors you’ll ever need. I always carry one of these because, in this day and age, someone’s always looking for a pen. I’ve given so many of these away. I’ve even pulled this out to practice my ABCs in cursive just to remind myself that I still can because we don’t write anything anymore. I have a 4-year-old niece who is really into arts and crafts right now. I introduced her to one of these pens because she wanted to color, so I was like, “Do I have something for you!” Now she loves them. I just ordered her one of the ten-color ones, so her mind is blown.

I love UGG boots for winter, UGG slides for summer, and UGG slippers at home. The funny thing about UGGs is, for some odd reason, it takes me forever to buy a pair because they’re so expensive. I hesitate even though I wear them so much. I, of course, started wearing them in the early aughts, when they were hip. I know people hate them, but I love them. I travel in them. They’re so comfy, and they last forever. I’ve had my UGG boots for a concerning amount of years, and I probably should get a new pair, but they’re just so good. The more you wear them, the more comfortable they are.

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What Brenda Song Can’t Live Without