Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers
We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe, including mouth-zapping spicy salt, Emma Roberts’s favorite blanket, and a hoodie for transporting baby gear hands-free.
When Strategist contributor Cheryl Kramer Kaye accidentally posted a selfie to her Instagram Stories, she received a flood of complimentary DMs, which she attributes to her “glorious glow” courtesy of Iconic London’s Illuminator liquid highlighter. She mixed a few drops into her moisturizer and suddenly looked like she had been “lightly grazed by Tinker Bell,” with skin that “looked more natural, more alive.” Ever since she entered her 50s, she had been avoiding shimmery makeup looks because “the only thing I’d found highlighter highlights are lines, wrinkles, and crinkles,” but the Iconic London formula’s “ability to warm and melt into the skin” and its super-fine reflective particles are the product’s “secret sauce,” Kaye writes. “While other highlighters might sit on top of the skin, this one looks like it is your skin.”
Emma Roberts can’t live without Little Giraffe’s baby blankets, which her family has loved for 20 years. Her sister had one when she was little, and when Roberts gave birth to her son, her mom and sister bought him “his own little Giraffe blankets. I still recognized the logo, and it brings me back to my sister, Grace, being born.” She even bought one in an adult size for herself because they’re “so silky and comfy.” Roberts says she’s not sure who is more obsessed with the blankets — her or her son.
Included in our guide to the best Father’s Day gifts for new dads is this Dad Hoodie, which will help make those hectic early weeks a little bit easier to handle. It’s made of cozy, tri-blend fleece that gets softer with wear and has a breathable mesh inner lining. There are six hidden compartments that can carry baby essentials like bottles, wipes, diapers, and stuffed animals, eliminating the need to tote around an overstuffed diaper bag.
Strategist-favorite brand Fly By Jing recently partnered with artisan salt company Jacobsen Salt Co. to release a limited-edition salt that’s sure to light up your taste buds. The Tingly Sichuan Salt is made with kosher sea salt and handpicked Sichuan tribute peppers and claims to induce 54 hertz of mouth tingling — more than the average Sichuan pepper. If you love to add a spicy kick to your dishes, this salt would work great as a finishing touch for stir-fries, sprinkled over snacks like popcorn, or used in a dry rub.
When we tested the best lighted makeup mirrors, the Vera mirror from Fancii emerged as a sleek, good-looking option for those on a budget. Cortne Bonilla, branded content manager at Vox Media, calls the design “very minimal and chic” and uses hers “for doing eyeliner, brows, plucking hairs,” and more because “it just makes everything so much easier.” It doesn’t come with any magnification, so it may be a little trickier to use for precise detail work, but its elongated oval shape means it reflects your “entire head, neck, and shoulders,” so it also works for dusting highlighter on your décolletage or curling and straightening your hair.
Strategist contributor Zoe Denenberg stumbled upon a display of women’s underwear while shopping at Muji and decided to take advantage of a two-for-$13 deal. The brand’s Innerwear line includes four different cuts, but Denenberg is especially partial to the boy shorts as they “combine the comfort of granny panties with a cute vintage aesthetic” and are “highly breathable and silky to the touch,” she writes. Though the sale has ended, they’re still priced at a very reasonable $9 each, and Denenberg has since stocked up on “the whole slate of pretty neutrals.”
In our latest installment of Steal My Vacation, photographer Brad Ogbonna documented his vacation to Brittany, the historically Celtic, northwesternmost coastal region of France. In between visiting a medieval abbey, strolling along the coastline, and perusing a fish market, Ogbonna dined on lots of fresh seafood including lobster, oysters, and Michelin-starred sea barnacles. When packing for his trip, he brought along this Opinel corkscrew folding knife, which he says was “great for cutting up snacks and opening wine: the perfect combination.” Plus, he notes, “you just feel super-rugged carrying a practical knife that could rise to many occasions.”
If you count yourself among the over 6 million viewers who became obsessed with Troye Sivan’s Architectural Digest tour of his Melbourne, Australia, home, you’ll be pleased to know that the brand that makes Sivan’s sheets, Bed Threads, is running a 15 percent off sale with code MAKEOVER. For those looking to refresh their summer bedding, now’s the time to snag a set of the French flax-linen sheets — when Strategist writer Lauren Ro tested them out, she loved the wide range of colorways (21 in total) that make it easy to mix and match should you want to create your own kaleidoscopic bedscape.
If you’re looking for a suitcase that can handle your summer travels with ease but won’t cost a fortune, look no further. When tasked with determining the very best hard-side luggage, Strategist writer Chris Mandle deemed this Rockland Melbourne suitcase the best less-expensive option, winning out narrowly over the Amazon Basics line. The reason for its wallet-friendly price tag is its material: The suitcase is made from ABS, a blend of three different plastics, which is known to be a cheaper alternative to polycarbonate but still very resistant and durable. As one reviewer summed up: “I wanted a bag that was lightweight but durable, was easy to roll, and didn’t cost a fortune. This bag has been perfect.”
Strategist contributor Diksha Basu discovered these Kizik sneakers when they were recommended by her marathon-running friend, Rachael; although Basu, who is not a runner herself, was initially hesitant, she instantly “fell in love with the shoes from first wear.” They “look cool” and are “incredibly supportive and comfortable,” plus you can “slip your feet into them without bending or using your hands, and they don’t lose their shape or fit,” Basu writes. That makes them perfect for those who are running after small children, when your hands are often filled with “backpacks and water bottles and bubble machines and snacks and sunscreen and other odds and ends,” as well as “anyone who doesn’t have the physical ability to bend or use their hands to put on shoes.”
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.