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.
A lot of fresh faces this week! The best sellers clustered near the top of the list are familiar favorites, but the ones rounding out the top ten are all new. Taking the top spot this week as the Orolay coat falls from the top ten are the puffiness-reducing snail-slime eye patches that were number two last time. Those are followed by yet another recommendation from beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton, the zit-shrinking Korean pimple patches. In third place is the Seoul Ceuticals serum that climbs up from fifth place two weeks ago, knocking the Woolzies environmentally-friendly wool dryer balls down to fourth place. Number five is a new entry, the Face Stockholm lipstick that writer Alice Gregory calls “freakishly flattering.” Plus: a slew of newbies such as the invisible underwear beloved by celebrities, the professional-grade blow-dryer that’s massively discounted, a handheld vacuum that works wonders, a very well-rated coffee machine, and a super beard trimmer.
1. The 14 Products I Use for My Chronic Raccoon Eyes (Last installment: 2)
We have an upset. After taking the number-two spot two weeks in a row, these snail-slime eye patches beloved by beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton finally come out on top (again). Says Viera-Newton: “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.”
If you’ve ever read the Strategist, you already know about these oil-absorbing pimple patches, which have been a best seller now since last July. Beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton first sang their praises in her Google Doc of must-have beauty products, then called them essential in her list of post-pimple-popping essentials: “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.”
Two months ago, during Made in Korea Week, we went on the hunt for some of the best (lesser-known) Korean-beauty products on Amazon. The Seoul Ceuticals was singled out for being a much cheaper alternative to the widely beloved SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic serum. As one Amazon reviewer said: “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.”
Once spring began and we turned our attention to organization during Get It Together week, Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens wrote about these eco-conscious wool dryer balls that are basically nontoxic dryer sheets that also cut drying time: “I throw three of these tennis-ball-size wool guys in with my regular loads; all six for heavy-duty stuff like towels and duvet covers. The little guys last for 500-plus loads, or about a year (my mom says you’ll know they’re done when they get too fuzzy). Everything is perfectly dry and tumbled all before the buzzer goes off. It’s all wrinkle-free, too.”
5. A Freakishly Flattering, Somewhat Legendary Lipstick (new entry)
Writer Alice Gregory (you may recognize her guest haul a few months back) alerted us to the Face Stockholm Cranberry Veil lipstick months ago, which was supposedly a favorite of the late Carolyn Bessette Kennedy. When we highlighted it again two weeks ago as a Strategist email newsletter pick (you’re signed up, aren’t you?), it sparked frenzy that rocketed the lipstick into our top five. Says Gregory: “The brick but still bright color is freakishly flattering, and the semi-sheer coverage makes it look especially good on an otherwise bare face.”
6. All the Famous People Wear This Invisible Underwear (new entry)
Hollywood costume designer Alison Freer has all the good tips: great black tights, sheer pantyhose that hide imperfections, and a Japanese bamboo bag on Amazon that’s a fraction of the Instagram-famous version. She also told us about these Commando boyshorts underwear, which all the celebrities wear to avoid VPL: “Commando’s boyshorts are both elastic and trim-free — which means they won’t dig in, bunch up, or cause lumpy, unflattering bulges under a flattering pair of pants. They don’t ever shift around, slide, twist, or reveal themselves once you start moving and sweating. Best of all, the wide sides help them stay securely in place — because a wedgie under a body-conscious dress is not a good look or feel.”
Two weeks ago, DermStore held a private sale that brought the price of this $180 blow-dryer way down — while that secret sale’s over now, the blow-dryer is still massively reduced down to $75 (we did our own researched guide to the best blow-dryers last week, too). As one reviewer said on the DermStore site: “I have tried every high-end brand on the market, and this is BY FAR the best hair dryer I have ever used! Drying time is cut in half, and I find the heat level to be perfect for drying quickly without splitting or burning my hair. I have recommended this dryer to all of my family and friends and will never use another.”
Another new entry on this list is this hand vacuum that many of you bought now that spring cleaning is well underway. As one enthusiastic Amazon reviewer said, “They are very powerful for a hand vac. With three young kids and a very messy cat, we’ve used this vac to pick up spilled cereal (wet and dry), cat food, cat litter, cat hair on furniture, drywall dust (fixing holes the kids made), and every kind of spilled food imaginable with young kids. Never had a problem. Second, it is easy to empty. You can either take the front off and dump it or take the back off (for cleaning the filter), and empty it that way. Finally, it is easy to clean the filter.”
Another one from our popular People’s Choice story on coffee makers, this coffee machine left one Amazon reviewer very satisfied and convinced many of you: “Self-identified coffee snob. Couldn’t be happier. Easy to operate, functions as advertised, instructions are clear. The metal filter included does what it needs to do. I recommend a relatively coarse grind (imagine the feel of cornmeal) with the metal filter to get the full flavor of the coffee. If you’re a bit of a coffee snowflake (no disrespect intended) and don’t like the ‘mud’ at the bottom of the cup, you should stick with the paper filter. Either way, the coffee maker itself does the job nicely.”
10. What’s the Best Beard Trimmer? (8)
It’s fallen two spots this week but hangs on to stay within the top ten. Writer Kurt Soller praised the Wahl steel beard trimmer “for its 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 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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