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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Metal Drinking Straws and Fancy Lube

Photo: Courtesy of Amazon

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.

We saw an influx of new faces on the list this week, led by a set of ecofriendly stainless-steel drinking straws debuting at No. 1. Two returning champs, the always popular pimple-shrinking patches and a vacuum-suction beard trimmer, round out the top three, while our runaway summer hit, a tick-repellent clothing spray, holds steady in fourth place. Newcomers dominate the rest of the list, including a luxury lubricant in fifth place and a rotating tower fan for fighting the summer heat in sixth. Next up are two home goods, a tiny but mighty handheld vacuum returning to the list in seventh place after a brief absence, and a compact garment steamer coming in eighth. In ninth place, a universally flattering red lipstick supposedly worn by Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy. Finally, our perennial favorite white T-shirt lives another week, taking the tenth-place spot.

1. I Sip My Iced Coffee From These Stylish (Ecofriendly) Straws (New Entry)

With the New York City Council introducing legislation to ban plastic straws, and Starbucks pledging to eliminate them by 2020, we’re on the lookout for a sustainable alternative. This set, from SipWell, is proving to be a strong contender. As one Amazon reviewer said, “They are very close in size to the disposable ones and have a nice bend to them.” Lots of you also opted for Strat writer Bethany Blakeman’s favorite metal straws from Greens Steel. If you’re not into metal, our senior writer Lauren Levy prefers these soft silicone ones that are also biodegradable.

2. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin (6)

The beloved Cosrx pimple patches are back in the top two after a few weeks lingering lower down on the list. Strat beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton introduced us to the now-famous 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.”

3. What’s the Best Beard Trimmer? (5)

This beard trimmer, with length options down to the half-millimeter for guys who don’t want to go totally clean-shaven, got bumped up from fifth to third place on the list this week. Writer Kurt Soller loves how it keeps stray hairs out of the sink: “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.”

4. The Most Effective Tick Repellents for Humans (and Dogs), According to Science (4)

This summer is predicted to be one of the most tick-infested ever, so it’s not surprising that many of you picked up this powerful permethrin spray. Strat writer Maxine Builder discovered it when searching for the best products to repel disease-carrying pests. The spray works by protecting your outdoor attire: “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 permethrin.”

5. What Is the Best Lube? (New Entry)

It might be one of the things we don’t talk about, but lube is definitely something you’re buying. Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg, raved about this very elegant-looking lube: “Uberlube is THE BEST. Not joking — it is one the highest-quality silicone lubes out there. Plus, it comes in the classiest bottle you’ve ever seen. Aside from being a staff favorite, it is also a customer favorite!”

6. The Best Fans on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers (New Entry)

With soaring temperatures throughout the country these past few weeks, it’s easy to understand why this refreshing tower fan is a best seller. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “Good-bye ugly box fan, hello gorgeous cooling tower! This is the fan I’ve been dreaming of for years. It is whisper-quiet and unobtrusive.”

7. The Best Handheld Vacuums on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers (Off Last List)

We’ve seen this handheld vacuum on the list before, and now, after a few weeks’ hiatus, it’s back at No. 7. According to one Amazon reviewer, it’s “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.”

8. The Best Clothes Steamers on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers (Off Last List)

Small enough for travel yet effective for steaming out deep wrinkles, we like this Amazon-favorite garment steamer for its compact size and nifty features. It’s an old favorite, last seen back in June, making a return to the list. As one reviewer explained, “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.”

9. A Freakishly Flattering, Somewhat Legendary Lipstick (Off Last List)

We first learned about this berry-red lipstick from writer Alice Gregory who said, “The brick but still bright color is freakishly flattering, and the semi-sheer coverage makes it look especially good on an otherwise bare face.” She also clued us in that Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy wore this very shade. A best seller back when we first covered it in 2017 — and as recently as this April — an inclusion in a recent Strat newsletter brought it back on your radar, and our list.

10. What’s the Best White T-shirt for Women? (9)

A summer staple, one of our favorite white T-shirts makes the list yet again, this time in the bottom slot. 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.”

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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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Metal Straws, Lipstick