Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top five products that you, devoted Strategist readers, all bought in droves. Think of this as the tl;dr of the Strategist: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to, too.
We’re trying something new this installment (and from now on). Instead of a top five, we’ll be highlighting the Strategist’s top ten; it’s the same Strat best sellers you love, doubled. This week, we have a repeat winner, with the Gold & Snail eye patches beloved by beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton taking the cake. The runner-up, yet again, is the set of zit-zapping patches from Korean-beauty brand Cosrx, just ahead of a surging old-lady face mask (which likely got a boost during our Olympics-themed Made in Korea week). In fourth, we have a pair of VPL-resistant underwear, and in fifth, it’s the bounce-preserving hair wash from Hairstory. These, plus a well-reviewed beard trimmer, a top white T-shirt, the best side-sleeper pillow, a Microsoft veteran’s favorite bag, and a cheap Korean dupe for SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic serum.
The reign of the snail-slime eye patches continues. Beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton has convinced many of you buy these beauties: “This is my favorite under-eye product, and don’t make me tell you again why I love snail so much! Its regenerative properties not only work wonders on blemish scars, but also help with any kind of hyperpigmentation, including dark under-eye circles. It’s also super beneficial for helping with wrinkles and dryness.”
These $5 pimple shrinkers are little cellulose dots you put on a pimple to absorb excess oil. As Viera-Newton said in her guide to post-pimple popping care, they work best on pimples that have exploded or are just about to: “These Cosrx Pimple Patches are your very best friend. If I were only allowed to select one product to use in these emergency situations, pimple patches would no doubt be my girl. However, there are certain circumstances in which the pimple patches work better than others. At the risk of once again giving TMI, the product works best on ‘open wounds’ so that it can go in and suck all the oil and bacteria out of the blemish.”
Made in Korea Week not only let us find new Korean products worth discovering, but it also helped us spotlight old favorites worth revisiting. That was enough to jumpstart interest in the Hanacure “old lady” mask, which Viera-Newton reviewed last fall: “Compared to other masks in my regimen that typically target one issue, this mask covers quite a few bases: It’s good for calming blemishes, providing a plumpness that fills fine lines, and brightening dull spots. After four uses, I noticed an elasticity in my skin that I hadn’t seen before, though the brightening effect subsided after 24 hours.”
The ever-popular Natori briefs have been dethroned. Lucky founding editor Kim France told us about these bikini briefs when we interviewed her about her favorite things, and they became even more popular when we included her pick selection of best women’s underwear recommendations: “My underwear drawer is the most boring place in the world, because all I have are dozens of pairs of the same thing: On Gossamer’s Mesh Bikinis. It is so far and away the perfect underwear that I have a hard time understanding why anybody wears anything else: It’s superlight, highly breathable, and — most importantly — hugely VPL-resistant. Seriously, it’s as VPL-resistant as a thong, but without the annoyingness of a thong.”
The Hairstory drops two places from last time, but you’re still a fan of the not-shampoo. Writer Molly Young uses the stuff just once a week: “But the results are wild. My long hair air-dries perfectly, with no ‘squeaky’ texture. It is shiny and falls in loose waves, like it did when I was a kid. I don’t need to blow-dry it. My chronic flaky scalp (sorry!) is gone forever. I customarily wash my hair every three days. With New Wash, once a week. When friends remark that my hair looks nice, it’s fun to say, ‘I haven’t shampooed in six months.’ Which is technically accurate.”
Writer Kurt Soller told us about this handsome beard trimmer from Wahl — the brand trusted by barbers all over the world — after testing a dozen to find the best one for preserving that effortless stubble (it makes a great gift): “I appreciated the incredibly sharp, pro-level blade; heavy stainless-steel body; and long-lasting battery (a four-hour charge) that this one offered. If you ignore any of its bonus features and beard guides — those plastic combs that come with most of these, and usually feel flimsy and useless — this tool is right for men who want an incredibly close shave without pulling out an electric foil razor or regular razor blade.”
The Everlane V-neck T-shirt that we talked about in our guide to stylish women and their favorite white T-shirts continues to be a hit, though it falls a few places this week from fifth. Says Elizabeth Rose, a server at Cafe Gitane: “I like the Everlane V-neck because of the company’s transparency. It’s an ethical issue — I like to know where the clothing is made. And I like this specific shirt because I wear a lot of necklaces, so the depth of this V shows them.”
Deputy editor Jason Chen — a fetal-position devotee — spoke to sleep experts and tested more than a dozen pillows to find the best, most supportive side-sleeper version for the 70 percent of us who sleep on our sides. The winner was not only the perfect combination of plush and firm, but it was surprisingly affordable, too: “Next to every other pillow I was meant to test, the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the least ‘luxurious’: it was lightweight, its filling wasn’t down or cotton but — hm — polyester, and, well, it was the cheapest. But as soon as I rested my head on it, I understood. Unlike other pillows that mistake plushness or fluffiness for support, the WEF didn’t sink as soon as I rested my head. Instead, it had a firm, satisfying spring — it’s a different sensation, but one I took to right away.”
Many of you were taken by this backpack recommendation from Microsoft senior developer advocate Sarah Drasner, which also comes with its own charger: “There are spaces for everything you can think of. I was never thrilled about having my computer charger live in the same place as things like my sweatshirt, given how much it’s on the ground. With this pack, I can store it in its own small compartment at the base of my bag and keep the rest of my stuff clean and germ-free.”
Another one that resurfaced during Made in Korea Week, our collection of the best (lesser-known) Korean-beauty products on Amazon was notable for introducing several of you to this $16 dupe for the cult-y SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic serum. We’ll let one Amazon reviewer take it away: “I have been an aesthetician for over 20 years and am also a beauty writer, so I get to try the latest ‘It’ products for free. I was excited about this one, so I paid full price and all opinions are my own. I am in love with the Seoul Ceuticals Day Glow Serum. Have you ever had a chance to try the $160-plus Vitamin C Ferulic Serum from SkinCeuticals? I did a couple of years back and it is a lovely product. It is also ridiculously overpriced, and I can tell you that this dupe from Seoul Ceuticals is nearly identical in texture and performance.”
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 women’s jeans, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, ultra-flattering pants, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
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