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.
For the second week in a row, tick-repellent clothing spray topped the list, followed by a very Reformation-esque $38 summer dress. Perennial favorite, beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton’s pimple-shrinking patches, dropped from second to third place. Lots of you were inspired by our hairless week picks, boosting a hair-collecting vacuum beard trimmer and antioxidant-rich ingrown-hair serum into the top five. Two appliances with rave reviews on Amazon made the list — a powerful handheld vacuum and a handheld garment steamer perfectly sized for travel. High-rise workout leggings, recommended by our senior editor, jumped from tenth to eighth place. Everlane’s classic v-neck T-shirt remains at ninth place, and our deputy editor’s choice for the most comfortable pillow for side-sleepers rounds out the list at No. 10.
1. The Most Effective Tick Repellents for Humans (and Dogs), According to Science (Last installment: 1)
Experts predict that disease-carrying insects will be especially active this summer, so Strat writer Maxine Builder went in search of the best products for avoiding ticks. She discovered this powerful insect-repellent spray for treating all of your outdoor gear: “Spraying your sneakers or hiking boots before going out into the woods is another solid tick-prevention technique. You could also spray gardening gloves, pants, shorts, or T-shirts with [insect-repellent chemical] permethrin.”
2. Behold: A $38 Dress You Can Wear All Summer (New Entry)
If you’re a mom living in Brooklyn, there’s a good chance that this thin-strapped, button-down dress from Venidress has made an appearance in your Instagram feed. Strat associate editor Katy Schneider wrote, “The dress looks a bit like something you’d find at the Reformation,” but at a much cheaper price point, and while the material “certainly isn’t cotton, it isn’t terribly cheap-looking either; though the texture feels a bit like khaki, or hiking pants, there’s no strange plasticky sheen.”
Strat beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton’s favorite pimple patches remain high on the list, but slip a bit from second to third place this week. Rio introduced us to the now-famous Cosrx patches last year in her epic skin-care Google doc post: “[T]he Holy Grail. Drop everything and buy them. Not even going to explain, will just say if you pop or pick a zit, put this on immediately afterward, go to bed, and in the morning you’ll see what I’m talking about and thank me.”
4. What’s the Best Beard Trimmer? (New Entry)
For guys who don’t want to go totally clean-shaven, this beard trimmer offers a radial dial that lets you choose lengths down to the half-millimeter. Writer Kurt Soller’s favorite feature? “A vacuum-suction feature that collects the majority of your shaven hairs — up to 90 percent of them, according to the company, but who really knows? All I can say is that this is a godsend.” Perfect for keeping stray hairs out of the sink.
5. The Serum That Nuked My Bikini-Line Ingrown Hairs (New Entry)
Another Hairless Week pick, this serum ended writer Priya Rao’s struggle with painful and unsightly ingrown hairs. She explains, “The serum uses Amazonian berry extracts (it smells like Crunch Berry) plus antioxidants to soften and nourish the skin. It’s infused with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to promote cell turnover (something like a mild chemical peel) … I’ve been applying the berry-smelling, alcohol-free concoction via a drenched cotton ball post-shower since last summer, and all of my irritating wax bumps have disappeared.”
After some time off the list, this tiny but mighty handheld vacuum makes a reappearance. According to one Amazon reviewer: “They are very powerful for a hand vac. With three young kids and a very messy cat, we’ve used this vac to pick up spilled cereal (wet and dry), cat food, cat litter, cat hair on furniture, drywall dust (fixing holes the kids made), and every kind of spilled food imaginable with young kids. Never had a problem. Second, it is easy to empty. You can either take the front off and dump it or take the back off (for cleaning the filter) and empty it that way. Finally, it is easy to clean the filter.”
Garment steamers offer an easier way of eliminating wrinkles and creases than taking out the ironing board. We like this Amazon favorite for its nifty features and compact size, perfect for travel. One reviewer wrote, “I especially like the option of locking the steamer in the on position while in use and the auto-shutoff feature. Lightweight, extra-long power cord, and very easy to use.”
Lots of you picked up a pair of these workout leggings this week, some with an accompanying long-line bra top. Senior editor Margaret Rhodes loves that Girlfriend Collective is sustainable (they recycle “plastic bottles in Taiwan and knit them into fabric”), affordable (“cheaper than Outdoor Voices, Nike, Lululemon, Athleta, or most other premier brands”), and inclusive (“sizes run from XXS to XXXL, and it doesn’t look like they airbrush the models”); and it doesn’t hurt that their mellow-hued (“smoke” and “apricot” are among their color options) high-rise leggings “feel silky and soft, and the pants compress your butt and thighs just the right amount.”
For the third week in a row, Everlane’s white V-neck shirt holds the ninth-place spot as readers snatch up this summer staple. Elizabeth Rose, a server at Cafe Gitane, tipped us off to this top when we went on the hunt for the best white T-shirt for women: “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.”
10. What’s the Best Pillow for Side Sleepers? (New Entry)
Our deputy editor Jason Chen tested out a wide selection of side-sleeper pillows and concluded that the Wamsutta Extra-Firm was the most comfortable and supportive of all: “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 any other pillow.”
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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