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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: French Mascara and Face Masks

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers.

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.

Maybe it’s the updated version of Rio Viera-Newton’s legendary skin-care Google Doc, or maybe it’s the long days of summer somehow leaving our faces both parched and greasy, but skin-care products dominated this week’s list, claiming nearly half of the top ten spots. An old favorite, Rio’s favorite pimple-shrinking patches came in second and the snail-powered K-beauty essence that she still uses a year after her original post landed in fourth. Two face masks made the list — a chlorophyll mask generating buzz in the YouTube beauty world in third, and Strat writer Lori Keong’s beloved hydrating face mask in ninth. Two more beautifying picks did well this week — an affordable French mascara took the top spot and a powerful hair dryer earned seventh place. A perennial men’s grooming favorite, this vacuum-suction beard trimmer dropped from third to fifth; and slipping just a bit, from fourth to sixth place, stainless-steel straws are proving to be a summer staple. After getting booted off last week’s list, one of our favorite white T-shirts returned — placing in eighth — and a classic work tote closes out the list in tenth place.

1. This Trusty $13 French Mascara Might As Well Be Chanel (Last installment: new entry)

We discovered a lot of new-to-us French products during Made in France week, but this lash-lengthening mascara (supposedly made in the same factory as the much pricier version from Chanel), was a runaway hit — and this week’s top seller. Writer Susannah Edelbaum discovered it in Paris as a teenager: “Volume Glamour made it so easy, even for a novice like me, to make one aspect of myself look exactly like I wanted it to — for a truly unsanitary length of time.”

2. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin (5)

The Amazon Prime Day sale back in mid-July boosted a lot of new products onto the list, and these all-time best sellers fell to fifth place — leaving the top three for the first time in a long time. This week, they reclaim their rightful perch at number two. 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. The Entire Internet Is Obsessed With This Chlorophyll Mask, and So Am I (New entry)

When Rio saw this chlorophyll rinse-off mask getting rave reviews from all corners of the beauty internet, she put aside her usual preference for sheet masks and gave it a shot. She ended up loving it — as she said, “On top of giving me generally bright and clean skin, I also noticed that the mask calmed and reduced the size of an angry, red spot that had made itself at home on my forehead.” Enough of you were convinced as well to try it, and it enters the list this week at number three.

4. For the One-Year Anniversary of My Skin-Care Google Doc, I Updated It (New entry)

On the first anniversary of her famous Google Doc, Rio blessed us once again with an updated version full of the products she discovered over the past 12 months. Some things truly stand the test of time, though, and this snail mucin essence still has a place in her daily routine. “If you’re struggling with dryness, acne, fine lines, or dull skin, definitely consider trying this product,” she wrote, and lots of you took her advice.

5. What’s the Best Beard Trimmer? (3)

This beard trimmer with a radial dial that lets you choose lengths down to the half-millimeter, for guys who don’t want to go totally clean-shaven, sticks around another week — this time smack in the middle of the list at number five. 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.”

6. I Sip My Iced Coffee From These Stylish (Ecofriendly) Straws (4)

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, making the list yet another week. 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.

7. The Best Hair Dryers, According to Hairstylists and Blowout Experts (New entry)

When Strat writer Lori Keong asked celebrity hairstylists to recommend their go-to blow dryers, a lot of expensive, professional models were mentioned. For those of us not ready to drop $400 on that Dyson blow dryer, she said this affordable option stands up to the competition: “I’ve tried it personally, before I switched over to a professional one and honestly don’t see that much of a difference.”

8. What’s the Best White T-shirt for Women? (Off last list)

After a brief tumble off the list, this wardrobe staple returns. 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.”

9. This Korean Sleep Mask Gave Me the Most Radiant Skin of My Life (9)

While we’ve got nothing against indulging in an elaborate multistep skin-care routine, some nights you just want one magical product to do it all. For Lori Keong, this Korean sleep mask, powered by brightening and anti-inflammatory prickly-pear-seed oil from the Sahara Desert, is that workhorse. For the second week in a row, it holds steady in ninth place. She writes, “A dime-size amount of this lightly floral-scented gel mask all over my face before bed helped me wake up looking like an angel.

10. What Is the Best Work Bag for Women? (New entry)

Back in June when we went searching for the best work bags for women, graphic designer Meagan Sapashe said she’d found this leather tote after trying outs lots of bags that were either too large or too small for her daily necessities. “Madewell’s medium transport tote is quite literally the perfect medium,” she said. “I love the carrying versatility of the bag because you can wear it over your shoulder with a longer strap or carry it by two handles for a different look.”

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 acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, 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: Mascara and Face Masks