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The Strategist Haul: What the Editors Bought in January

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 January.

Lori Keong, writer


I can recognize Reike Nen shoes out on the street and will always compliment you if I spot them: they’re a hip shoe brand from Korea that makes the coolest boots and sandals. I’ve been hunting for a new Mary Jane shoe so seeing these absurd alpaca ones on sale felt like fate. My colleague Lauren gave me an enthusiastic green light (thank you for enabling me), so I got them. They have a baroque Margiela vibe to them: can’t wait to break them out when it’s warmer.

In preparation for an extended family vacation to South Africa, I needed a new shoulder bag that I could travel with (specifically one with a clasp closure or zip so it’s more theftproof), so I’m tabling my black leather Baggu work tote for this canvas black Baggu tote. Serial Baggu shopper, here!

I also bought Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime for related reading on my flight.

Just like everyone else, I’ve been in Kondo mode at the Container Store, trying to declutter and organize the things that have been lying around my room looking unsightly for months. I just bought these fiberboard boxes to store under my couch. They’re durable and less of an eyesore than a brown packing box or a Trader Joe’s bag full of power cords.

Katy Schneider, associate editor

I went to an antiques store in Washington, Connecticut, and found a book that Diane Von Furstenberg wrote in 1993 about my favorite subject, beautiful baths. They were selling it for $75, and while I believe in supporting well-appointed independent shops, I am not clinically insane. So I went online, found it for $3 on Amazon, and ordered it there.

I also bought a pink rug from Revival, a website that restores and sells Turkish rugs at very reasonable prices. Mine is four by six feet, light pink, handwoven in Isparta, and came out to $290, including shipping and handling.

Note: The Kacper rug is sold out, but here’s another affordable pink rug from Revival.

It was my mother’s birthday this month. My friend, the artist Laura Chautin, makes really beautiful mobiles; I asked her to make a customized one for my mom with objects that have meaning in our family (don’t ask, but those objects happen to be: pea pods, milkweed seeds, anemones, hummingbirds, and pomegranates). It came out beautifully and my mom cried.

And I finally got the little Noguchi lamp I’ve wanted for a year or so! It’s so glow-y and lovely in my living room.

Maxine Builder, writer

Remember how I asked for a pack of hot Vinyasa yoga classes from Y7 Studio this Christmas? Well, I got it — and I also signed up for their January-long “Sweat and Reset” Challenge, which means I did 12 classes in 31 days. And one class in, I realized that I did not own nearly enough leggings to make it through the whole challenge without doing laundry every other day. So I bought a pair of charcoal-colored leggings from Outdoor Voices at their store on Centre Street, along with a matching sports bra, and I loved the leggings so much that when our team found them on sale at Nordstrom HauteLook less than a week later for just $35, I bought a second pair. To be honest, I’ve found them a little hot for hot yoga, but the kit is excellent to wear when I’m doing other things. So even though I do not have rock-hard abs, I do have a great new set of workout clothes, so I’m going to call it a draw.

Besides that, the rest of my major purchases were simply re-ups of some of my favorite grooming and skin-care products. My quarterly shipment of Hairstory’s New Wash came in.

I’m also an OG Tatcha stan. (Humble brag: I won their first online giveaway back in 2012.) And I had a 10-ounce bottle of their Camellia Cleansing Oil that finally ran out, after months of daily use, so I bought a smaller (and less expensive) bottle.

Dominique Pariso, writer

I’m currently trying to hack my diet by drinking my fruits and vegetables instead of cooking them. The NutriBullet is small but mighty; quick to blend and even quicker to clean. In short, the perfect fit for malnourished young professionals with limited counter space.

I truly detest lotions. I find that most of them promise corporeal smoothness but then just leave greasy, filmy, fragrant yuckiness behind. So, to all the lotion-averse folks out there, I kindly direct you to the La Roche-Posay Lipikar Balm. It completely absorbs into the skin, is blessedly fragrance-free and, unlike other lotions, promises 48-hour hydration and actually delivers. I massage it in, and two days later, when I gently run my hand across my lizard skin, I am always delighted to find that it’s still soft.

Yes, yet another writer falls under the siren song of Biologique Recherche. I didn’t want to believe the hype, either. But the proof is in the pudding: my skin is indeed less oily, less textured, and less breakout-prone.

Plus, this magic potion has a delicious sting and potent smell that makes me feel like it’s working. Last night, I wandered into my kitchen while my roommate was cooking after completing my nightly skin care routine. “Is our stove broken?,” she asked, “I smell burnt rubber.” Yes, I thought, P50 is working its magic on my dull, tired complexion. Thank you for noticing. What can I say? Resistance is futile.

Lauren Ro, writer

I’m eight months pregnant and it’s a struggle bending over to pick things up from the floor — especially to put my shoes on. So I caved and finally snagged a pair of Dansko clogs that were on sale. Not only am I in good company with my fellow Strategist editors (you could say it’s part of the team’s unofficial uniform), my feet are so grateful, too. All I have to do is slip them on — standing upright! — and be on my way: no pesky laces to tie or adjust; roomy enough to accommodate my feet, which always swell by the end of the day. And, duh, they’re the most comfortable shoes I own. They arrived at the office last week and have become the only shoes I wear. I don’t know why I waited so long. I’m sorry, but my No. 6 boots, which, in my opinion, have never been kind to my feet, have nothing on these.

I’m not a yoga person, but being pregnant makes you do funny things, so I signed up for a couple of prenatal yoga classes on the recommendation of every single person who has ever been pregnant. I admit that I do feel pretty refreshed and stretched after each session, but my biggest takeaway from class has been the versatility of this bolster cushion. It’s basically a stiff, thick pillow that you can recline on with the support of a couple of yoga blocks positioned in a very specific configuration, or sit on to help elongate your back, or rest your top leg on while lying on your side. (This is how I’ve seen it used in prenatal classes; I’m sure it has other uses in regular yoga sessions.) At home, I use it in all those same ways, but it’s also become the perfect perch from which to pack boxes for our upcoming move. I love this thing and foresee using it forever.