year in review

The 25 Top-Selling Things Strategist Readers Bought in 2017

Photo: Courtesy Retailers

Welcome to a mega edition of Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top products that you, devoted Strategist readers, all bought in droves. Because it’s the end of the year, we’re blowing this out with 25 of the best-selling products that you bought in 2017. Beauty products (especially the cheapies) are heavily represented, as are basics, like T-shirts, and home goods, like sheets and towels. Several of these (the Hanacure, the Charleston sandals, the DASH luggage) would even make great last-minute gifts.

1. The Best Facial-Hair Remover Is This Tiny Japanese Razor

The best-selling product of the year is pretty … unsexy, huh? Nevertheless, lots and lots of you bought Shiseido facial razors, which a Japanese celebrity makeup artist says is a classic beauty secret. “In Japan, we do shave our face,” she says. “It brightens it up and makes it much easier to apply makeup.”

2. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin

Perhaps no story took off this year quite like Rio Viera-Newton’s epic Google doc on all of the products she sends to people who ask about her flawless, glowy skin. The star of the piece — which also included other top-selling items that we didn’t have room to mention, such as the Neogen lemon peel, Cosrx Morning Cleanser and Green Tea stick cleanser — were these pimple patches that shrink zits overnight.


3. The 14 Products I Use for My Chronic Raccoon Eyes

Yet another Viera-Newton favorite are these Gold & Snail hydrogel eye patches, which the chronic baggy under-eye sufferer says gets rid of raccoon eyes almost immediately.

4. What Is The Best Plush Mattress Topper?

Writer Lauren Levy (née Schwartzberg) went in search of a mattress topper that would transformer her bed without having to buy an entirely new mattress. She found it in the Parachute topper, which she loved sleeping on: “I felt myself gently melting and folding into the topper, while it enveloped me from beneath. I woke up feeling lightly sandwiched between layers of plushness.”

Cure Natural Aqua Gel

5. My Friends Call Me ‘Babyface’ Thanks to This Japanese Exfoliator

For Made in Japan week, writer Jinnie Lee shared with us the secret to this culty face wash that several of you bought in droves — apparently, one sells every 20 seconds in Japan.

Weleda Skin Food
From $11

6. Sweetbitter Author Stephanie Danler Keeps This Glowy Skin Cream in Her Bedroom, Car, and Purse

Novelist Stephanie Danler told us about this skin cream that she pretty much hoards, which she says made her skin “flawless, luminous even, and not at all greasy.”


7. This Derm-Approved Spray Cleared Up My Bacne Practically Overnight

Writer Hannah Morrill was suffering from bacne until her dermatologist told her about this spray that stopped it dead in its tracks.

8. What Are the Best Earplugs for Sleeping?

Those of us looking for foam earplugs that will provide quiet relief throughout the night stocked up on these Honeywell Laser Lite disposable earplugs, among the very best we found for blocking out noise.

9. This Tongue Scraper Stopped My Morning Breath

Writer Or Gotham loves his sleek tongue sweeper for clearing out all the halitosis-causing morning breath: “A couple of swift passes across your stuck-out tongue will yield sensations of both awe and distress. Gone is the cloudy layer of flotsam! Gone is bad breath! You’ll realize, as I did, that the amount of gunk not removed by simple brushing is … alarming.”

10. The World’s Blackest Mascara Never Runs Down My Face

Risa Needleman discovered the most incredible Japanese mascara: “Not only is the mascara the darkest black I’ve ever seen, but it doesn’t clump (a huge issue for most mascaras), even if you put on two coats. It has an incredible lengthening quality that expands your eyes.”


11. The Plastic Mushroom That’s Saved Me Thousands in Plumbing Fees

For writer Alison Freer, this little plastic doohickey is enough to trap all of the hair that clogs drains. “Most impressively, it also grabs the gunk that comes along with all that hair — otherwise known as dirt, body oil, and product buildup — before it has a chance to clog your pipes. This little piece of plastic has saved me (and the pipes in my 120-year-old house) at least a thousand bucks in emergency plumbing calls.”

12. The Best Rolling Luggage, According to Frequent Fliers

Stylist Tasha Green first told us about the Brookstone DASH luggage, which is not only affordable but shockingly durable: “The salesperson threw the suitcase across the room to demonstrate how indestructible it was. That made the sale. I took that suitcase twice a year to the men’s collections in Milan when I was fashion editor at Departures and The Wall Street Journal, and it was able to accommodate many an outfit plus shoes for those trips.”

13. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin

This snail- and bee-venom mask that RVN swears by apparently treats dark spots and hydrates like almost nothing else she’s ever tried. Many of you bought it to see for yourself.

14. The Shampoo Replacement I Only Have to Use Once a Week

Hairstory isn’t shampoo, although you do use it to wash your hair. Writer Molly Young found that it gave her such great locks — “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.” — that now she only uses it once a week.

15. These $27 Plugs Turn Any Home Into a Smart House

Who knew that so many of you wanted to control your electronics in your home? Lindsey Weber’s ode to her Etekcity plugs, which allow you to control anything you plug into them via an app, moved many of you to buy.

From $10

16. What Are the Best Gifts for Movie Buffs?

One of you wrote in to Ask the Strategist about the best gifts for movie buffs, and the gift of MoviePass (which allows you to watch unlimited movies for $10 a month) would be a runaway success.

17. I Tried the ‘Old Lady’ Face Mask That’s Trending on Instagram

When Drew Barrymore Instagrammed herself wearing the Hanacure face mask, it became an online sensation. Viera-Newton tested it for herself and fell in love: “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.”

You can buy just one as a starter rather than four, too.

19. If You’re Going to Buy One Thing Today, Make It a Vitamix Blender

On Cyber Monday, Strategist writer Maxine Builder convincingly sang the praises of the Vitamix, perhaps the most efficient and powerful blender the world has ever known: “The blender was way more powerful than I imagined it would be, and it readily handled any task I threw at it, be it making a smooth, silky milkshake with Lucky Charms or liquefying a nasty combination of pineapple, matcha powder, orange juice, and celery during a 40-minute-long round of smoothie roulette on Facebook Live.”

20. Nick Wooster Has Yet to Find a Better Black T-shirt

Men’s style expert and oft-photographed street-style subject Nick Wooster loves a black T-shirt, and we were surprised to find out that his very favorite is an accessible one: “The weight of the fabric just covers everything. You know when you’re having a fat day versus when you’re not? This shirt is still flattering on a fat day.”

21. These $100 Grandma Sandals Are More Comfortable Than Birkenstocks

Are these shoes ugly? Or are they so ugly that they’re good? We posted about Merrell Hambleton’s favorite sandals during Feet Week, but we could just as easily have written about them during Fugly Week, our tribute to all things so ugly, they’re beautiful. Says Hambleton: “Here’s why they’re perfect: The broad, elastic straps cover just enough of your feet to make them look trim and minimize any ‘side squish.’ Walk in them. Run in them. You will get compliments on these shoes, and the compliments will be from well-dressed strangers. From time to time, you will see a particular type of arty, sophisticated young woman (usually in Greenpoint) wearing them, too.”

22. The 10 Best Towels on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Yet another People’s Choice favorite, these plush, hotel-style towels were so popular, they sold out in white, but are still available in black.

23. What’s the Best White T-shirt for Women?

In our search for the best white T-shirt for women, we asked several stylish types for our feature the Best. Really. One tee, the Everlane suggested by Elizabeth Rose of Cafe Gitane, struck a chord: “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.”

24. The Spray That Stretched My Too Small Stilettos Half a Size

We’ve all been there: A pair of shoes just a mite small is on sale, so we buy them — and never wear them because they hurt. Caroline Bankoff discovered a solution in the FootMatters spray: “The instructions on the bottle said to ‘spray heavily,’ so I completely soaked the interior of the shoes. Then I put them on and clunked around outside for 15 minutes or so, pausing periodically to flex my feet as much as possible (two people stopped to ask if I was all right). After letting the shoes dry out, I repeated the process. When I put them on later that day, they fit perfectly.”


25. The Unsexy Foot Cream Dermatologists Swear By

It looks pretty much exactly like the kind of thing a doctor would recommend — an ugly jar, uninteresting typeface — but CeraVe Renewing SA Cream is a miracle worker at smoothing feet, says beauty writer Hannah Morrill: “I’ll rub it all over my feet and be someone who sleeps with socks on for just one night. In the morning, the fine white fissures in my toes and along the heels will have disappeared, craggy cuticles will have laid flat, and the ashy nubs around big toes will have receded.”

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, bed sheets, coffee makers, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.

The 25 Top-Selling Things Strategist Readers Bought in 2017