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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Puffer Coats and Wireless Headphones

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.

It’s a shame winter has come to an end, because this Orolay coat — the one that took over the Upper East Side — is finally back in stock. It’s far and away the Strat best seller this installment (and incidentally, now would be the time to get your coat for next winter). Taking the second spot are the snail-slime eye patches that were number two last time, too, followed by another new entry: wool dryer balls that cut drying time by two-thirds (without introducing toxins into the house). In fourth place is another familiar face, the pimple patches recommended by beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton, just ahead of the Seoul Ceuticals serum that’s a very inexpensive alternative to a very pricey juice. All those, plus super-well-reviewed $30 wireless headphones, a pair of Kim France’s favorite VPL-fighting underwear, a well-reviewed beard trimmer, the non-shampoo from Hairstory beloved by writer Molly Young, and a micellar water that Viera-Newton loved so much she completely emptied it out.

1. The Unlikely Tale of an $89 Amazon Coat That’s Taken Over the Upper East Side (new entry)

It’s the very expensive-looking coat that’s now taken over not only the Upper East Side but the Strategist, too. The Orolay coat has been so popular that we sold it out in almost all colors and sizes, but the good news? It’s back. As Strategist associate editor Katy Schneider wrote, “It’s sold on Amazon for $89.99. And it’s the most popular coat of the winter, at least among a certain set of stylish uptown women. ‘I first saw it on one of my mom friends,’ said Ana Maria Pimentel, the fashion director at Neiman Marcus. ‘She said, oh it’s an Amazon coat.’ I bought it. Two weeks later, I went to a Soulcycle on 83rd and I was one of four people wearing it. And I think one of them was [socialite and creative consultant] Lauren DuPont.” Pimentel says she’s heard rumblings that the first to wear it was a Korean blogger who wore it out uptown — and has contributed to the trickle-down effect herself. ‘Seven of my super-close friends have bought it since,’ she says. ‘A woman at a department store literally bought it on her phone, right in front of me.’”

2. The 14 Products I Use for My Chronic Raccoon Eyes (2)

Once again, these snail-slime eye patches beloved by beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton take the number two spot. 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.”

3. These Nontoxic Wool Laundry Balls Cut My Drying Time by Two-Thirds (new entry)

During Get It Together week, Strategist senior editor Simone Kitchens told us about these wool dryer balls that not only act like (nontoxic) dryer sheets but 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.”

4. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin (Last installment: 1)

A longtime regular on this list, this week these Korean pimple patches fall to fourth place. Beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton first introduced them to us with her Google Doc of must-have beauty products, then sang their praises again on 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.”

5. The 14 Best Lesser-Known Korean-Beauty Skin-Care Products on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers (4)

During Made in Korea Week, we went and found some of the best (lesser-known) Korean-beauty products on Amazon. The Seoul Ceuticals became a standout as a much cheaper double for the 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.”


6. The 9 Best Wireless Headphones on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers (new entry)

Bluetooth headphones are making their first appearance on this list. We went and found the best-reviewed sets on Amazon, and this pair — a $30 waterproof version great for workouts — has been a hit with Strat readers. As one reviewer said: “I have yet to find a pair of earbuds that got it right, especially when exercising, UNTIL NOW!!! Yesterday, I ran my first 5K wearing these WITH sunglasses, and they were super comfortable and did not fall out. I have already recommended these to a couple friends. The sound is so good, too. It drowns out everything around you. The controls are easy to use on the move, changing tracks or adjusting volume. And pairing these to a phone is idiotproof. Five stars all around. Well done!!!” Be sure to check our tech writer’s guide to his favorite Bluetooth headphones, too.


7. What Is the Best Women’s Underwear? (5)

We learned about this underwear when Lucky founding editor Kim France included it in her list of her favorite things, and they became even more popular when we included her pick in a selection of best women’s underwear recommendations: “My underwear drawer is the most boring place in the world, because all I have are dozens of pairs of the same thing: On Gossamer’s Mesh Bikinis. It is so far and away the perfect underwear that I have a hard time understanding why anybody wears anything else: It’s superlight, highly breathable, and — most importantly — hugely VPL-resistant. Seriously, it’s as VPL-resistant as a thong, but without the annoyingness of a thong.”

8. What’s the Best Beard Trimmer? (7)

Dropping one spot this week is this handsome steel beard trimmer from Wahl, which writer Kurt Soller considers just perfect for creating that perfect stubble: “I appreciated the 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.”

9. The Shampoo Replacement I Only Have to Use Once a Week (3)

Molly Young went from someone who was skeptical about this non-shampoo to a New Wash evangelist: “But the results are wild. 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. My chronic flaky scalp (sorry!) is gone forever. I customarily wash my hair every three days. With New Wash, once a week. When friends remark that my hair looks nice, it’s fun to say, ‘I haven’t shampooed in six months.’ Which is technically accurate.”

Photo: Michel BONNIER/Home

10. The 14 Products I Completely Emptied Out Over the Last Few Months (new entry)

Yet another new entry on the list is this micellar water, which Viera-Newton first described in her story about “empties,” the products she used down to the very bottom: “I just finished my Bioderma micellar water and am sprinting to get another one. I don’t know what it is about this product, but not only does it take all of my makeup off, it actually does a great job of soothing my skin, especially after a night out. I used to double-cleanse (take off makeup with an oil cleanser, then cleanse with a foam cleanser after), but I found that that practice was making my skin super dry and dehydrated. This fixes that: Since I’ve incorporated this Bioderma micellar into my routine (pre-cleanser), my skin has felt even more supple and rejuvenated.”

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What Strategist Readers Bought: Puffers and Headphones