Photo: Courtesy of the retailers
If you follow our biweekly feature Your Shopping Cart, you know that we have some eerily good intel on what you all are buying. Which led us to think that, as Strategist editors, we could turn the tables and highlight all the things we’ve been buying ourselves. As you’ll notice, it’s both a blessing and a curse to be a Strategist editor; we’re picky, but sometimes we just have to get on with it (it’s online shopping expertise meets IRL needs). Below, what we all bought in November.
Black Swans: Stories
, by Eve Babitz
The most decadent part of the long Thanksgiving weekend wasn’t the amount of food I consumed, but the hours I got to spend curled up reading books. I’m halfway through Pachinko, but also pocketed Eve Babitz’s Black Swans over the weekend (the typography really jumps out on a shelf).
It’s my first Eve Babitz encounter and I’m in love: I’ve been reading a story or two before bed every night and the closest thing I can compare it to is dessert.
Sachajuan Ocean Mist Volume Shampoo
Sachajuan Volume Cream
In lieu of getting a digital perm this month, I called in reinforcements from Sachajuan to see if I could actually zhuzh my flat, straight hair into something resembling a hairstyle. I’d heard great things, but was floored by how bouncy and soft my hair looked post-volumizing shampoo and cream. It was such a convincing change that colleagues actually cornered me to compliment me on my new haircut afterwards. (It’s the same old hair, just Sachujuan playing tricks on you.)
Lord & Taylor Petite Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater
And, of course, I bought some Lord & Taylor cashmere to round out my Cyber Monday. It’s still $60 for now, so don’t sleep on this deal.
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask
File this one under “Rio made me do it.” After reading Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton’s ode to Bite Beauty’s lip moisturizer, I was convinced to order one for myself. Everything she says is true — it’s hydrating with a hint of color that looks natural even on a lipstick-phobe like myself.
New Balance NB Heat Pullover
at New Balance
This running top was an early Black Friday purchase that I bought on impulse because I loved the color, but I’ve already worn it twice. It’s sort of a combination base layer/mid-layer as it’s fine to wear on its own (like I did yesterday when running in 40-degree weather), or you can throw it over a T-shirt for a little added warmth (like I did on Thanksgiving when it was barely 30 degrees). I imagine that in even colder temps I’ll be able to layer a jacket on top. The funnel neck definitely keeps you warm, and I especially like that along with thumb holes there are hand covers that work like built-in mittens. It’s also still 20 percent off.
OXO Good Grips Silicone Lemon Squeeze and Store
at Bed Bath & Beyond
This little gizmo holds half of a lemon or lime and lets you squeeze its juice onto a salad, into your water, or wherever else you want a splash of citrus. I have a bigger citrus juicer but I’m usually too lazy to take it out and wash all the parts when I just want a little spritz of lemon, so this is ideal. The tiny holes filter out the seeds and it’s even machine washable. My friend and I were browsing Lancelotti Housewares in the East Village and we each had to buy one.
For someone who makes a big deal out of having coffee immediately upon waking up, I’m not very precious about it. We buy coffee from Porto Rico Importing Co. (I get the organic French Peruvian and it’s dark and full and perfect) and they put it in paper bags which then go in my fridge. But then, a few months ago, I edited this post on coffee canisters and realized exactly how much I’d been doing wrong. If you want coffee to keep its flavor, you need an airtight, light-free container. So I got this green plastic Coffeevac, which sucks oxygen out and feels very “Fort Lauderdale in the late 1970s.” Soon I’ll finally buy my own coffee grinder.
Uniqlo Drape Wide Pants
These pants are truly amazing. I bought a pair in gray, on a lark, months back, after realizing that I owned no respectable loungewear. They feel soft as silk and I don’t know how, but the fabric practically bounces stains off of itself. (On a recent flight, I spilled wine on my lap, and a few minutes later the stain had just sort of evaporated.) Anyway, for $15 (they’re on sale for $10 right now), you really can’t get a better pair of relaxing-at-home pants. I bought another pair in black.
Glossier Lash Slick
Glossier Black Friday sale! I re-upped on this mascara, which is as good as everyone says. Every mascara I’ve ever worn has melted onto my under-eyes; this one stays put all day.
Eye on Design
at Eye on Design
A couple of my brilliant friends edit this magazine. It’s a print spin-off of the Eye on Design website, and covers graphic and experience design and the way they mingle with culture, but always through a young and unexpected lens. This issue is gossip-themed and includes stories on how People gets made, and something on the history of gossipy housewives and Tupperware, all of which I can’t wait to read.
Paloma Wool Suzuki Coat
at Paloma Wool
My big purchase for the month was this puffer from the Barcelona-based brand Paloma Wool. It is not as warm as I’d hoped, but it has the best-shaped neck, and is the prettiest vibrant green, and I don’t mind layering up so I can wear it even when it’s 30 degrees outside.
Biologique Recherche Lait U
at Rescue Spa
Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 1970
at Rescue Spa
This is not terribly exciting, but I also re-stocked on my Biologique Cleansing Milk and my Biologique P50 (the scary-tingly 1970 version that is so potent that one of its main ingredients, phenol, is actually banned in Europe). I went to Rescue Spa for a facial over the Thanksgiving break — they exclusively use Biologique products — and left with the kind of glowing skin that makes you spend upwards of $150 on products, on the spot.
Nordic Ware Classic Metal 9x13 Covered Cake Pan
This month, I went to two potlucks, which is by no means a complaint. I love a potluck. (Invite me to your potluck!) But in preparing for these dinners, I realized I did not have enough large containers in which to both make and transport my food. So I bought this 9-by-13-inch aluminum baking pan with a matching lid, and it is both a very high-quality piece of cookware and an easy-to-transport container. Bonus: It’s even easier to reheat, since all you have to do is put the tray, lid and all, into the oven. You don’t even need additional foil. So yes, I would highly recommend this piece of kitchenware to anyone trying to transport a batch of polenta sourdough stuffing on the subway from their apartment in Williamsburg to the Upper East Side.
The Book Club Women’s Bothering Sights Round Blue Screen Filter Glasses
I wrote this deep-dive into the benefits of blue-light-blocking glasses back in April, but I held off on getting a pair of my own, in large part because some of the more stylish options I found were a little too expensive for my taste. But some of the reporting and research I did for Sleep Week finally convinced me that it was time to take the plunge. Around the same time, a coworker tipped me off to Book Club’s surprisingly stylish blue-light-blocking glasses, and for just $30, these book-pun-themed glasses were a no-brainer. I’ve been mostly wearing these at home, when I’m sending emails or watching YouTube videos in that time after dinner but before I need to get serious about getting ready for bed, but I like they way they look so much that I would even wear them out in the world.
Maximum Henry Black & Silver Slim Standard Belt
I feel weird going beltless and have been wearing the same black 0.75-inch Maximum Henry belt for three years; I like very, very simple things, and the MH was one of the few thin black belts that wasn’t like some $600 Prada thing. It’s also made in Brooklyn, if you’re into that. My version with the gold buckle is great, and since the silver one was on sale, I snapped up one of those, too.
Want Les Essentiels Montoro High Leather Lug-Sole Derby Boot
at Want Apothecary
I have been eyeing these Want boots for the longest time — the zipper on the back is clutch! For some reason the navy ones went on sale last week and the black ones didn’t, but for the life of me, I can’t tell what makes them navy (is it the laces? The laces are definitely navy but it’s gotta be something else, too, because why else would this pair be hundreds of dollars cheaper?). Anyway, they came, and I love how they look from the back even if the laces are a little dressy for my taste. To be honest, I’m still about my all-black Docs on most days.
Bose SoundSport Wireless Headphones, Black
I am a big fan of the regular Soundsports, and since the wireless ones that Jake wrote about went on sale for Black Friday, I snapped them up. They’re … okay? I may not be accustomed to them yet — the wing eartips are nice, but the earbuds themselves really do protrude far out. I’m very aware that I’m WEARING HEADPHONES with these. Here’s hoping they just take some getting used to, because I’m sounding very complainy.
PetSafe Come with Me Kitty Harness and Bungee Leash, Harness for Cats
I don’t have a cat, but I do have a very small dog who weighs just under five pounds. Because of her size, I have tried to make the switch from a regular collar and leash to a harness. But Uli is a stubborn toy poodle and has refused to walk in every harness I’ve bought, until a few weekends ago. After trying all the little dog harnesses at my local pet store (Trixie’s on Flatbush!), I swallowed my pride and asked if we could try the gentle leader for cats. I like how the bungee leash softens any necessary restraint and how the harness takes the pressure off her little neck.
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless Steel 10 Qt. Covered Stockpot
A few weeks ago I hosted a few friends at my apartment for dinner — veggie chili with lots of add-your-own toppings. But halfway through making it, I realized that my soup pot, a four-quart copper-bottomed Revere Ware model I inherited from my parents, was nowhere near big enough. After a tense redistribution among two too-small pots, everything worked out fine. But suffice it to say that that was the last time I will be caught in a similar situation. I don’t normally shop online at Macy’s but the Cyber Monday deal lured me in.
Sorel Women’s Ainsley Conquest Boot
For the last few winters I have relied entirely on my Blundstone boots, paired with very thick wool socks. They have stood up incredibly well to rain, snow, salt, slush and even make pretty good low-elevation hiking boots. But they’re beat up now and these Sorel vintage hiking-boot (i.e., Danner)-inspired boots caught my eye last month. After reading some glowing customer reviews, they worked their way into the shoe-obsession part of my brain. So, on the morning of Black Friday, before getting out of bed, I ordered them from my phone.
Smythson Panama Leather Card Case
For our first Christmas as a married couple, my husband and I each got each other wallets. I don’t remember whether it was planned or not, but we each kinda new what we were getting from the other person. Over the years, my husband’s wallet has gotten fat, like George Costanza’s. He carries multiple credit cards with him, as well as all of his movie stubs. It takes him ages to fish it out of his front pocket, or else he asks me to hold it in my bag when we’re out together. I spied this slim leather card case in one of our recent Friday sales roundups and promptly added it to my cart. When I presented my husband with the impromptu gift, he was skeptical. But a week later, he told me, “I love my new wallet.” Luckily, it’s still on sale.
at Wild Was Mama
When I saw this flat teddy bear at Greenpoint kids’ store Wild Was Mama, I stood at the display for a good minute just caressing the thing. Then I continued looking around. Another customer stopped at the dolls and took his time going through the different sizes. He picked one up and headed toward the cash register. I decided that I wanted one, too. I chose the miniature version in the latte color. Made of 100-percent Australian sheepskin, it’s incredibly plush and designed for optimal cuddling. It comes in a range of natural hues and sizes and can even be washed. But the best part is that it’s just about the cutest toy I’ve ever seen.
Speick Shave Cream
I first tried this shaving cream from German company Speick about a month ago, when I was visiting my parents (my dad likes trying out new shaving creams and this one was in the medicine cabinet). First of all, it comes in a metal tube, so that’s an automatic point from me right off the bat. I don’t speak German, but I still have a lot of fun reading the label: Rasiercreme has a nice ring to it. Beyond the packaging, it’s simply a great shaving cream, which makes for, as the label states, a perfekte rasur — a “perfect shave.” It lathers up well and it has a soothing, natural lavender smell. And to add to the charm, you can buy a two-pack for a surprisingly reasonable $14.88.
Pampshade Baguette Lamp
Man, I love bread. I love bread as much as birds love to fly. No, scratch that. I love bread as much as Oprah loves bread. So you can imagine my joy when I stumbled upon this lamp during a tour of a certain French creative director’s apartment. Before I knew it, I was typing in the shipping info to bring my beloved baguette across the sea from Tokyo straight into my arms. The baker-turned-artist, Yukiko Morita, bakes actual loaves of bread, coats them in resin, and outfits them with a circuit board. Brilliant. Playful. Carb-centric.
Maison Margiela Replica By the Fireplace
It is my humble belief that this is the most perfect winter scent ever made. Full stop. One whiff of it and you’re instantly transported to times spent roasting marshmallows by the fireplace, or being in your kitchen at Christmas, or getting a long hug from your grandfather. This stuff is basically a memory in a bottle. It’s a little pricey, but the bottle is huge so you get a lot of perfume for your buck. Plus, it’s a scent that is wholly unique and distinctive. Stand out in a sea of Santal 33.
Uniqlo x Alexander Wang Heattech Ribbed Bodysuit in Yellow
Getting dressed to go out in the winter has always confounded me, but these bodysuits are a simple solution to that problem. They’re dance-party-ready and are made using Uniqlo’s patented Heattech technology so you won’t freeze to death on the subway platform. This one in lime green reminds me of an ’80s aerobics instructor in the best possible way. Miraculously, this collab has yet to sell out, so get ‘em while they’re hot.
Glossier Gen G in Jam
I accidentally stepped into the newly renovated Glossier showroom during their Black Friday sale and promptly lost my damn mind. Many things were purchased but the standout was this lipstick. I’ve used Gen G in the shade “Jam” for years. The lipstick itself is stellar: It makes your lips look like you just finished eating a bucket of freshly picked berries. But the packaging was truly awful. The lipstick broke and the tube cracked within the first week. Luckily, it has now been re-released with brand new packaging that is just as good as the lipstick is.
Wild Planet Wild Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil
I buy these in bulk on Amazon to throw on salads or toast for a boost of protein. Sardines add an instant smoky, salty, fatty, yumminess to everything. They’re like tuna’s sophisticated older sister. Plus, Wild Planet uses sustainable catching methods so these are a great buy for both your tummy and for the Earth.
Jacob Bromwell 28-Ounce Stainless Steel Camping Mug Coffee
I first came across these mugs at a diner in Philly when my entire family pointed out how great they were. Then, while I was agonizing between ordering an omelet or french toast, I noticed a note on the menu begging customers to stop stealing them. These mugs are so great, they turn mild-mannered brunchers into thieves. After an exhaustive search, I managed to track them down and promptly ordered four for my new apartment.
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