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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in January

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 things you all are buying. It 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 Strat 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 January.

I’ve been contemplating a switch to natural deodorant for months, and have been waffling between Of a Kind–approved Soapwalla and Aubrey Plaza–approved Real Purity, but ended up going in a totally other direction after reading Lori Keong’s recent roundup of the best, according to experts. I was sold on Agent Nateur after reading that Taylor Kuzia declared it just as effective as Dove and Mitchum. This particularly spoke to me, as I’ve been using Dove (and frankly, loving it) for years. So far, I like: Its subtle and fresh eucalyptus-y scent is pleasant, and I don’t smell terrible!

Ever since September, I have been sniffing and hunting for a new pair of Chelsea boots, and I just have not found any that I really love. So, I decided to make a repeat purchase, and got these Everlane boots in burgundy, which I previously had in gray, and wore into the ground. I like their height, their pointiness (not too pointy, not too rounded), the little elegant white line on the back of the heel, and that, weirdly, despite the fact that they’re Everlane and I live in Brooklyn and work in downtown Manhattan, I have actually not seen a zillion other people who have them.

For the price, these Uniqlo Heattech touchscreen gloves, which I got in a mustardy yellow, are well worth it. I may not have them for the rest of my life, but they’ll last a couple of years.

The bomb cyclone earlier this month had me on the hunt for a puffer coat that I could see in my mind’s eye — Strat orange, slightly cropped, and hooded. I spotted the Penfield Equinox online and stalked it for a few days (signing up for Penfield’s and Urban Outfitters’ email newsletter to get a discount code) and finally bought it with a 10 percent off UO Rewards promo. Now, cold days have me walking outside looking like a love child of the Michelin Man and a traffic cone.

Full disclosure: Oars & Alps sent this to me a few months ago, and I promptly forgot about it after tossing it into my Dopp kit. Over the holidays, I used it while at home and am kicking myself that I ignored it for so long. It’s a teensy face wash in stick form — you rub it on your face and it goes on BLACK, with tiny little exfoliating beads that feel zippy rather than abrasive. Start massaging your face and it turns into a regular lather that doesn’t strip or dry out your face at all. I’m addicted.

I — an on-the-nose millennial — got myself a cheapo banana-leaf shower curtain after deciding that the prettier ones on Society6 were too expensive.

Everybody’s talking about skin care! And the Ordinary! The name tickled me so much, I bought the Buffet (plus the 2 percent retinoid and niacinamide), and though I can’t say that it’s really done all that much, it feels virtuous to slap on a bunch of gloopy stuff before bed.

So I was hosting some people for a book club one night a couple of weeks back, when I ran out of toilet paper the morning of the big day. I only had an hour between work and showtime, which I planned on using to buy cheese for the gathering, so I had to make it a twofer and pick up toilet paper at the supermarket — something I would never otherwise do. But it was a blessing in disguise. I grabbed what I thought looked like the softest option available and learned that I have a new favorite type of toilet paper: tube-free. No little cardboard roll. Who even knew this existed? It slides right onto my toilet-paper holder like any other TP, and although it gets a little wobbly toward the end of the roll, there’s something so satisfying about using every little piece exactly as it’s intended, with no trash left over.

I have been pining over this paper plant since I wrote about it in a Best Bets page two years ago, and I finally made the move this month (thanks to a li’l wedding gift). It arrived on Sunday and it’s perfect, and since it’ll never die, I plan on moving it to a new spot in my apartment every week, just to keep things fresh.

I bought two new pairs of shoes this month, after ruining all of my old pairs trotting around carelessly on salty, snowy streets. The first is a pair of low-heeled A.P.C oxfords, which are very simple and work well with just about all of my pants. I wore them out of the store and have scarcely taken them off since.

The second thing I bought is a pair of vintage Free Lance snakeskin boots, which, if you happen to be a size ten, you yourself can buy at James Rowland. I’ve only worn these once so far, mainly because I’m scared to hurt them, but also because they’re intimidatingly cool.

I also bought some birthday gifts for my mother, including a really beautiful and highly realistic paper ranunculus, and a Japanese-made bedside carafe, so she doesn’t have to get up for refills in the night.

And I refilled on my Biologique P50. Which I’m starting to worry my skin is — quite literally — addicted to. Thanks, Rio?

I didn’t want to get hooked on New Wash because $40 for eight ounces of product is an expensive habit, but it happened. Part of what convinced me to take the plunge was visiting the Hairstory studio back in November for a Facebook Live demonstration of the cult-y not-shampoo that’s a perennial Strategist favorite. I walked away with incredibly soft hair and an eight-ounce bottle that I expected to use up in less than a month — but it lasted me until last week, almost a full three months. This is also the first winter in a long time that I’m not reaching for the dandruff shampoo, and the only thing that’s different about my routine is New Wash. So I literally joined the New Wash Club last week and ordered a 20-ounce bottle for $100, which is the most I’ve ever spent on a single hair product. But considering how good my scalp feels these days and how long it’ll probably take me to go through the whole aluminum bottle, it’s worth it.

I’ve been trying to up my cocktail game, and though I still only know how to make a handful of drinks from memory, the cubes of ice from this bartender-approved ice tray help to make my homemade Negronis and shots of cheap whiskey look a lot fancier than they actually are.

Traditional planners, with a date at the top of every page, stress me out because there’s only a certain amount of space for each day — and where do the extra words go if I need to take more notes on Tuesday than on Wednesday? That’s why I prefer to customize a regularly lined Moleskine, kind of like a bullet journal, but less beautiful. This month, in an attempt to make my notebook-slash-planner system feel a little more official and look a little nicer, I got a tiny, self-inking date stamp that I’ve been using to mark the top of the page every morning. The red, inked date looks cute, it’s very satisfying to plop the stamp down on the page, and the whole process of using this baby librarian’s stamp gets me excited to look at my to-do list in the morning.

No one ended up gifting me the mohair cloud scarf of my dreams — and it sold out before I could buy it for myself — but I did get this oversize wool scarf instead to get me through the rest of this “snowing, then 50 degrees” winter. It checks all of my boxes for warmth and style, and it’s available on a pay scale, where you can make an offer on the scarf at Garmentory. I was very happy to walk away with this for only $83.

I feel pressured to buy a new planner every year, and this January, I finally scooped up the minimal planner I’ve been eyeing from Poketo. I haven’t been disappointed yet: It’s light enough that it doesn’t weigh down my work tote, and it’s undated, so when I inevitably black out on responsibility halfway through the year and go weeks without consulting my planner, I’ll still have dozens of blank pages to come back to.

I’ve been really obsessive about stalking Baserange and Marieyat sales lately to find deals on their high-waisted underwear (it’s the best kind, in my humble opinion), but I always balk at paying around $50 for a single pair of underwear and end up closing my tab. I just bought a couple pairs of Lively’s high-waisted briefs instead and am crossing my fingers that they’ll be a good budget substitute.

My talks with green-mom experts about the best baby cleaning products has really struck a nerve. I’m already the kind of crunchy person who would take essential oils into a Zika zone as an insect repellent (don’t @ me), but this made me want to invest in better at-home cleaners. I just picked up this nontoxic all-purpose cleaner that one of my experts recommended, and even a green stain remover for my bedroom rug.

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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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in January