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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in May

Photo: Courtesy of the Retailer

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 May.

Comfort is huge for me, and I am always on the hunt for orthopedic grandma shoes that don’t look like orthopedic grandma shoes. My latest obsession are these Naturalizer loafers. They really do not look like Naturalizers (sorry, Naturalizer!), they are so comfortable, and add a little kick to any outfit.

And then, for my trip to Portugal, I got these. I wanted a pair of slip-on Vans-like sneakers that were totally innocuous (in that you wouldn’t be able to tell what brand they were, and would kind of blend in with any outfit) and would be comfortable enough to spend all day navigating the city’s super-steep cobblestoned streets. After reading many comments about many different comfortable slip-on sneakers, these were the clear winners. And they definitely did the trick.

I popped by Books Are Magic the other day to hear Aja Gabel read from her new book The Ensemble (which, incidentally, is wonderful), and picked up a copy of Tayari Jones’s An American Marriage. I am only one subway ride’s worth in (about 30 pages), but am already hooked.

Muji, it turns out, makes an excellent linen schmatta. I’ve been wearing it around and most people can’t believe it’s not from, like, Black Crane. The keyhole back is a nice touch.

I’ve already gone on record about how much I love Fatboy’s Perfect Putty, and now they’ve come up with a spray version that’s the ultimate counterpart. Guys, you know how you fix your hair before leaving the house but once you get to the office, it goes limp and ugly? THIS FIXES THAT. You shake the bottle, spray it into your hair (go all the way around), and it’s instant grit and dirt and texture with a matte finish. It’s totally magical, though not a substitute for product — I made that mistake once. Use it more as a bit of zhuzh at your desk. Hat tip to colleague and confidante Kathleen Hou.

Belmint Foot Massager

So, so many Strat readers have bought this foot massager ever since Lauren first wrote about it (and we put it in gift guides) that I bought one for my boyfriend on his birthday. Well, I for sure use it as much as he does — and I don’t even like foot massages — because it kneads without hurting and the 15-minute rubdowns are just what I need while watching Potomac.

I managed to snag a hoodie from Angelo Baque’s streetwear brand and cannot wait for it to arrive so I can put it on Grailed (jk, jk).

The packaging for Fenty couldn’t be sexier, so that was my gateway to picking this up, but I’m really delighted with this concealer. It goes on very dry, which I prefer, since my skin has always leaned oily. And the color is really good — it matches actual human pigment better than the last couple of concealers I picked up (both of which cost more than this one).

After working with writer Nick Marino on this splashy deep dive on knives, I don’t see how I can not get the chef’s knife that we reviewed, for my dad for Father’s Day. He’s a carnivore, a great cook, and he just moved into a new house — it’s the perfect gift.

I’ve been slacking like crazy when it comes to food-spending — buying 1 million lattes throughout the day, not packing my lunch, spending all of my money on overpriced prepared salads from the fancy “general store” around the corner from my house. In an effort to curb all that, and to make a packed lunch a little more desirable, I decided I needed some new containers. I went with these sturdy glass ones. So far, so good: I’ve managed three weeks straight of lunch-packing.

Like I said, I like to buy coffee. And I drink lattes, which are eye-rollingly expensive when you add the almond milk and the tip and maybe get it iced. I got this thermos-like container for my morning coffee. Its stocky profile reminds me of the soup containers we all lugged around in elementary school.

I also slack in the floss department. I thought some fun floss might help. It has.

These aren’t in yet, but a MDW BOGO targeted-sale ad totally got me (I’ve been searching around). I’ve been having crazy neck pain for a while now, and I was very much considering this one, but in the end went with possibly the world’s most verified neck pillow.

Bought this classic gold Casio as a gift for a special someone looking for an everyday watch with a little bit of flavor. He loves it.

I’m going to a wedding this weekend and have been asking everyone I know what I should wear with a pair of loose-fitting gold-beige, fancy pants (they kind of look like this) that I’ve had for years, but never figured out how to wear. Finally, my only true smart and stylish friend recommended I get a silk cami, so I found this and it looks great tucked in and with a gold choker.

Photo: Adam Kremer

I bought this amazing tortoiseshell salad bowl for the couple whose wedding I’m going to and I’m obsessed with it. I was nervous at first to get them something not on their registry, so I had another friend secretly show her a picture and confirm that they liked it. And who wouldn’t?

Had to get another friend a wedding gift this month and I ended up finding this gorgeous two-toned decanter. I liked it so much that I bought one for myself, too.

And lastly, I got a new iPhone last week because I’d been using one with a deeply cracked screen for about a month. In an effort to stop that from happening again, I bought these Corners, which are four little aluminum pieces that attach to the four corners of the phone. It’s the least-bulky case possible that still protects the phone just enough so that its surface will never hit the ground.

I shamelessly copied my colleague Simone and purchased these little Mary Jane slippers, plus a pair for my sister, from Pearl River Mart. They are super cheap, incredibly flimsy, and really quite adorable-looking: A different colleague said my outfit was “Audrey Hepburn–ish” while I was wearing them recently. Which made my day, week, and year.

Since it’s summer (right?) and I’m going to Miami this weekend, I decided to buy a new bathing suit! This “straight one-piece” in poppy, to be specific. I wanted the white, but I am self-aware: That thing would be stained a half-hour after I put it on.

For the last month, I’ve been hard at work on a piece on migraines. I talked to many fellow migraine sufferers while reporting, one of whom swore by a lavender eye mask for relief during an attack. Since I’m a migraineur myself, I promptly ordered this one from Amazon. I like that it says it can get hot or cold because sometimes scalding feels good and sometimes frozen does.

Photo: Caitlyn Kelly

Knowing that I’m going on vacation next month, I went a little wild in the Orchard Mile sale section one weekend. I scooped up these shorts and a Solid & Striped seersucker jumper, so I guess my summer look is going to be Nantucket preppy, but I have no regrets. Shorts are a struggle for me because denim cutoffs and longer Bermuda styles aren’t really my thing, but maybe the move is to go for super-high-waisted styles from here on out. The fit is great — it’s very ’60s.

Promise I’m not obsessed with Solid & Striped or anything, but when I was working on a Net-a-Porter Memorial Day sales post, I spotted this bikini set on sale for $88, and in the words of Buzz Bissinger, “I had to have it.”

I started using this Dr. Roebuck’s moisturizer this month, which is the heavier something I’ve been looking for to soothe my skin in this temperamental weather. I like that it’s a little thicker and clingier because light moisturizers don’t really cut it for my dry skin, and the hyaluronic acid and macadamia oil are doing great things for the plumpness of my skin.

Now that the weather’s reliably warm, my next-door neighbor has started hosting backyard barbecues, which has been great for me because he never stays out too late but always plays good music at a reasonable volume and leaves my apartment smelling like a fire pit, one of my favorite summertime scents. It reminds me of my dad’s house on an island in Maine, where the evenings are so chilly, even in July or August, that you actually do need a fire going once the sun goes down. But since I have neither a fireplace nor a backyard, I went ahead and bought these pinon-scented incense bricks, so I can make my home smell like a bonfire without relying on my neighbor’s party schedule. I opted for the log cabin instead of the tepee that Caroline Bankoff wrote about, but the bricks are just as effective, and they really do make my third-floor apartment smell like I’m having a boisterous barbecue of my own.

This is the first moisturizer I’ve repurchased in a long time (and maybe ever, now that I think about it). It’s thick enough to hydrate and soothe my sensitive, acne-prone skin without causing more issues, and it’s inexpensive enough that I don’t feel bad slathering it on. I also like that it comes in a tube, which is more hygienic than a tub, and it was the only beauty product that Jane Birkin used, which makes me feel very fancy, indeed.

Writing about the best gifts for tea lovers inspired me to step up my own tea game. At Coming Soon, I couldn’t decide between the jadeite or pale-pink Mosser Glass mugs, so I ended up getting both and use one at work and one at home.


I finally picked up a copy of the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel Less and read the bulk of it over Memorial Day weekend. To avoid attending his ex-boyfriend’s wedding, struggling writer Arthur Less accepts any excuse to flee the country, from the prize ceremony for an non-prestigious literary award in Italy to a friend of a friend’s birthday in Morocco. The resulting travelogue manages to be both laugh-out-loud hilarious and crushingly sad on the same page.

In the latest chapter of my lifelong battle against acne, my dermatologist wrote me a prescription for a retinoid cream, and since retinoids can make skin more sensitive to the sun, she strongly advised I pair it with a powerful sunscreen. Unsurprisingly, she recommended everyone’s favorite EltaMD UV Clear. Of course I bought it right before it went on sale at Dermstore.

Since retinoids are also very drying, I picked up Glossier’s ultrathick moisturizer. I actually went through a tub of this a while ago and loved how rich and soothing it felt, but didn’t repurchase it because of the price. Now that I can — sorta — consider it a medical necessity, I’ve been shamelessly slathering on a thick layer each night.

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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in May