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What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Pimple Patches and Sheet Sets

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top ten products that you, our devoted Strategist readers, 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 them, too.

It’s a tale of two pimple patches on the list, this week. An old favorite returns to the top spot after languishing lower down on the list for weeks, and a promising two-step newcomer appears for the first time in seventh place. Also on the skincare front, the powerful — and painful — pore-zapping mask that debuted at number one last week drops to second place; and a microneedling system (part of Dermstore’s device sale earlier this month) takes eighth. Three returning picks each inched up on the list: a longtime best-selling beard trimmer in fifth, a writer’s “keepsake” notebook in third, and fancy lube in sixth. We’ve written about these WiFi-enabled plugs before, but a sale last week inspired lots of you to explore smart home technology — bringing the plugs onto the list in fourth place. Two new products round out the list: a colorful xylophone for littles ones in ninth, and a super-soft sheet set in tenth.

1. The Google Doc I Send to People Who Ask About My Skin (Last Installment: 3)

After two weeks in a row in third place, these pimple-eliminating patches, longtime staples on the best-seller list, are back on top. Strat beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton introduced us to the now-famous patches last year in her epic skincare 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.”

2. The ‘Most Painful Mask Ever’ Is Like a Dyson for My Pores (1)

In the YouTube beauty community, this pore-suctioning peel-off mask has a reputation as the “most painful mask ever.” Despite videos featuring “tears, screams, and general terror,” writer Garrett Munce had to try it. “Whenever I use it, every single blackhead on my face is gone,” he said, “my pores become microscopic, like I’ve taken a Dyson to them.” His glowing review convinced lots of our readers to risk the pain as well and the mask stays on the list another week.

3. I Found a Notebook Like No Other Notebook (5)

As a writer, Molly Young goes through dozens of notebooks a year–usually “cheap-ish” ones that fulfill a few basic, utilitarian requirements.  But when she received this notebook as a gift, she fell for its handsome, textured cover and variable grid design. “I’ve tasted the fine wine and I can’t go back,’ says Young on her new favorite notebook. At under $20, it’s an affordable way to get some “eye-watering thrills” from an everyday product.

4. These $33 Plugs Turn Any Home Into a Smart House (Off last list)

These WiFi-enabled plugs are an accessible way to turn any outlets into “smart” ones. They first made the list back in January after writer Lindsay Weber first raved about them. “Anything you can imagine plugging in and turning on can be controlled with an app,” she writes. “All of my lamps can now be turned on and off with a swipe. I’ll switch on my air conditioner while out an