Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top-ten 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’ve definitely entered holiday gift-shopping season (Black Friday is less than two weeks away after all), so it’s not surprising that the doll that trend forecasters told us would be this year’s hottest toy tops our best-seller list. It’s followed by a dentist-approved electric toothbrush that’s settled into second place after a monthslong run in first. We also have three moisturizers on the list for soothing dry winter skin — a gentle everyday lotion in third, a rich night cream in fifth, and a lightweight gel in sixth. Some comfortable (yet put-together-looking) joggers, the only newcomer this week, debuted in fourth place. A board book for toddlers, another good gift idea, returns to the list, in seventh, after a short hiatus, while last time’s seventh-place finisher, an affordable vitamin C serum, slips to eighth. Our perennial favorite pillow for side-sleepers holds down ninth place for the second time in a row, while this handsome Dopp kit rounds out the list in tenth.
Earlier this month, we spoke with trend forecasters who predicted that the Skyrocket Blume Doll would be the most popular gift for kids this holiday season. It looks like they were spot-on, as the doll shot to first place. Adrienne Appell, senior director of communications at the Toy Association, says the doll — which starts out looking like a potted plant and comes with a little watering can — is a new take on the “surprise toy” trend, in that you don’t know what exactly you’re going to get until you open it. “The hair of the doll is made of slow-rise foam,” Appell says, “and when you water the ‘plant’ it looks as if your doll is blooming from the pot.”
After five consecutive first-place finishes, this electric toothbrush got bumped to second on our last list, and it remains there this week. It’s a favorite of dentists, Amazon reviewers, and, clearly, our readers, as it’s made our list 11 times now. The pros like that it both rotates and oscillates (vibrates) to clean teeth and remove plaque. And one reviewer raves: “This toothbrush leaves my teeth feeling like they’ve been power-washed.”
Now that the weather is getting colder, it makes sense that lots of you are stocking up on this thick cream for both face and body that dermatologists recommend for dry skin. Derms also like it for mature skin, or anyone dealing with the drying effects of taking Accutane. Experts say it replenishes ceramides, natural lipids that are often missing in dry skin. It’s also “fragrance-free, so it is suitable for those with sensitive skin and doesn’t feel greasy.” And it’s budget-friendly. It holds down its third-place spot for the second time in a row.
Amazon started rolling out its Black Friday sales in early November, and we noticed a good deal on this pair of comfy joggers from one of its in-house fashion lines. Perfect for lounging around the house but, as one reviewer puts it, “nice enough that you look like you have your life together.” They’re poised to become a weekend-wardrobe staple. Lots of you took advantage of the discount, and they’re still on sale in case you thought you missed your chance.
This moisturizer is rich in ceramides and hydrating hyaluronic acid and was rated the best-overall night cream when we polled dermatologists. According to one doctor we spoke with, “This is an excellent moisturizer for when the weather starts getting cold and your skin starts losing more moisture.” Other dermatologists say it’s just as effective as much more expensive creams.
This lightweight moisturizing gel first appeared on the list a few weeks ago, and it returns now as temperatures continue to drop. Experts recommend it for dry and mature skin, and since it’s not as heavy as a thick cream, those with oily skin tend to like it as well. The key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which, as one dermatologist explains, “acts like a sponge to pull in water to the outer skin layer to hydrate and plump, even improving the appearance of some fine lines.”
Back on our list after a several-week hiatus, this interactive board book returns, likely as a holiday gift for little ones. (Child-development experts especially like it for 2-year-olds.) Illustrated by artist Hervé Tullet, it features colorful “buttons” to let toddlers learn about cause and effect. It encourages finding patterns, making predictions, learning colors, remembering sequences, and having fun with a parent, sibling, or other caregiver.
A standout skin-care ingredient, vitamin C is credited with everything from diminishing fine lines and wrinkles to fading acne scars and brightening skin. Although the well-known (and very expensive) Skinceuticals version is deemed the “gold standard,” when Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked dermatologists for their recommendations, she discovered this surprisingly affordable alternative. As Dominique learned, “In addition to skin-brightening L-ascorbic and ferulic acids, the serum also has a soothing botanical blend of aloe, grape, magnolia, and orange peel to give the skin an added dose of nourishment.” The serum has been on our list five times since she first wrote about it.
If you’re thinking it’s time to replace your pillow, or maybe stock up for holiday visitors, this longtime favorite of ours (and yours: It’s made the best-seller list 24 times now) would be a solid replacement pick — especially if you or your family are side-sleepers. When we tested a wide selection of pillows, we concluded that the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the most comfortable and supportive of them all. According to Strategist alum Jason Chen, “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. And even though I didn’t do any measuring, my head felt more propped up from the mattress and sheets than with any other pillow.”
Making its second appearance on our list (and its first since June) this Dopp kit from luggage brand Away comes recommended by Bryant Knight, founder of men’s skin-care line Knight Co. He finds it well-designed and functional, with extra storage in the form of two internal pockets (one on each side) that create separation and organization. It’s a solid gift for hard-to-shop for guys. You can also pick one up yourself if you’re traveling this holiday season and want to upgrade from a ziplock bag.
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.