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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in December

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

If you follow our biweekly feature Your Shopping Cart, you know that we have some eerily good intel on what you all are buying. Which 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 Strategist 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 December.

Maxine Builder, writer

I picked up the Hairstory Brush at the Strategist’s holiday pop-up — which marked Hairstory’s brick-and-mortar pop-up debut! — after talking with one of their stylists, and it’s made the experience of washing my hair with New Wash somehow even nicer. The prickly-looking brush is actually fairly pliable, and it massages my scalp as I wash, which feels incredible. Using the brush also helps me ensure that all of the product, and ensuing hair gunk, is rinsed out.

My boyfriend wanted black mini-Uggs for Christmas, so I got him a pair of black mini-Uggs (and now I think I also want a pair of Uggs, but in chestnut, not black).

I was desperate to take some time off of the internet this month, so I spent a lot of money on books and even more time reading in my bed, far, far away from screens. I finally picked up Sally Rooney’s Conversations With Friends and devoured it in two days. I also bought Cocaine + Surfing, which was on display at McNally Jackson in Williamsburg among all of the cookbooks but is decidedly not a cookbook. As the title suggests, Cocaine + Surfing is about surf’s love affair with cocaine, but it really ends up being a fascinating, and often hilarious, meditation on coping when your expectations for life don’t quite match your reality.

Simone Kitchens, senior editor

I know New Balance has had a slightly problematic last couple years, but I’m still into the way they look. I had the gray Steve Jobs-preferred 991s in college like everyone else, and now I’m returning to them with this slightly bouncier 998 version. They’re still sort of a nothing sneaker, in a good way. To me, New Balance has transcended dad-sneaker-ness; they’re just full-on grandpa.

I like a lot of things about this conditioner: how it instantly detangles my very knot-prone hair, the way it makes my curly hair air-dry in this evenly hydrated, non-crunchy way. But mostly, I really like they way it smells, like a freshly lit stick of palo santo. Most hair stuff tends to have this perfumy artificial scent that I find to be overpowering. This stuff, with its sandalwood-lavender-jojoba formula, is more subtle, but at the same time, it’s exactly what I want to smell like.

I haven’t been feeling so hot this week; am teetering on the verge of coming down with something. And I look like it, Katy recently told me. This, coupled with my olive-ish undertones, means my skin can look sort of green. I really like the left side of this palette, it’s a bricky-peachy red with absolutely no shimmer whatsoever. I dab it on the tops of my cheek, then I’ll go in with a drop of face oil and just buff it out. Helps me look a little more alive.