We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trolling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including a vitamin-C serum made for melanated skin, a do-it-all garment for the leggings averse, and a toothbrush made for tweens.
A vitamin-C serum made for melanated skin
In her guide to the clothing, skin care, makeup, and home décor you can buy if you want to “shop melanated,” contributor Elisa Johnson told us about this vitamin-C serum formulated for melanin-rich skin that she uses to help brighten and prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots. “Buttah Skin was created by Dorion Renaud, whose flawless skin I have long admired,” Johnson writes. “I apply this to my face, and any other areas with dark spots, every morning before topping the skin with moisturizer. In addition to its namesake brightening ingredient, this serum’s formula includes collagen-boosting vitamin A, oil-balancing ferulic acid, and hydrating glycerin and hyaluronic acid. It not only helps to give me a smoother, more even complexion, but also hydrates and revitalizes, leaving my skin feeling softer and looking more nourished.”
The most ingeniously designed health tracker on the market
As part of our recent Ingenious Design Week (dedicated to products that are well designed and do what they’re designed for well), Strategist writer Louis Cheslaw took a deep dive into the Oura ring — the health-tracking device presented to all NBA players before they returned to the court this summer as a way to monitor their temperature and other vital signs amid the ongoing pandemic. In talking to a group of experts including doctors, scientists, and Oura users, the general consensus, according to them, is that while “most say the device wouldn’t be more helpful in identifying cases of the often symptomless COVID-19, it can provide your doctors with far more details about your recent health than they would normally access during a visit, which can, in turn, help better determine if that high heart rate they’ve just measured is due to a new condition, the anxiety that comes with living through a historic pandemic, or your rushing to get to the appointment,” Cheslaw writes. One thing all the experts agreed on, though: “The Oura — the only expert-vetted, ring-shaped tracker on the market — represents one of the most impressive, least-intrusive health trackers in terms of its design,” because it can gather all of its data from just a finger.
A do-it-all garment for the leggings averse
If, like Strategist writer Dominique Pariso, you are not a Leggings Person, then you might be looking for a similar type of versatile garment that could be worn while “working from home, breaking a sweat, cooking, lounging, or just staring at the wall,” as she puts it. For a leggings alternative that’s just as “utilitarian, functional, and comfortable,” Pariso recently embraced the unitard: “I bought my first one when I started to cycle through boutique fitness subscriptions to pass the time. When I wore it for three days in a row, my mom gently suggested I buy another. And I did. Then I bought a third and then a fourth.” She says that this style from Girlfriend Collective, which is made with a “compressive material,” supports her “during aerobic exercises like burpees, jumping jacks, and squats,” adding that it has “stitching along the back that subtly contours my derrière, which honestly just makes it look great.”
Gavin Rossdale’s favorite toothpaste …
“I’m obsessed with mouth hygiene,” the Bush front man told us when we spoke with him about the things he can’t live without. Among them is this toothpaste: “It’s French, with a real menthol flavor. I liked the packaging when I first saw it because it reminded me of one of my favorite wines, Promis by Gaja. Whenever I find it, I buy 12 at a time because it’s hard to find. I was once at Bikram Yoga, and a naked dentist saw me brushing in the changing room afterward and told me not to forget soft tissue — so remember to flip the brush around and brush your cheeks, too. That’s a free tip!”
… and a toothbrush made for tweens
“As a tech writer and a mother of a 12- and a 14-year-old boy, my cool factor has skyrocketed within the tween community,” writes contributor Tobey Grumet Segal. “I always assumed getting kids to brush their teeth would get easier as they got older, but in our family, this still hasn’t proven true. What has helped, however, is bribing our tweens with this Bluetooth-connected toothbrush that provides prompts, a musical timer, and, most important, an interactive, competitive cleaning game on the free companion app. A smaller, lighter version of the popular adult version, the Sonicare for Kids encourages (tricks?) them into thoroughly brushing all parts of their mouth twice a day. And the parent dashboard lets us check in to make sure they aren’t skimping.”
A not-too-expensive dishwasher that’s ‘built like a tank’
“Even the cheapest dishwasher is going to wash your dishes better than you,” admits one of the seven experts that contributor James Lynch consulted about the best dishwashers you can buy. Says another pro: “For the budget conscious, the Bosch 300 series is great — it won’t be quite as quiet as Bosch’s top-of-the-line models, but it’s still quiet, and it has a better racking system than many other dishwashers” (which, Lynch notes, includes an actually useful third rack along with movable tines and a middle rack that can be moved up to accommodate larger dishes). Importantly, a third expert adds: “They’re built like tanks and reliable.” If you’re looking for machines to clean clothes, don’t miss Lynch’s list of expert-recommended washers and dryers.
And on-sale cashmere for him and her
Yes, temperatures are at an all-time high, but smart shoppers know that means it’s the perfect time to look for very good deals on clothes for cooler weather — like anything made of cashmere. From Everlane’s ongoing Summer Sale (which we note also has “lots of new, in-season styles for men and women — like chino shorts, linen jumpsuits, and cotton dresses — at up to 50 percent off”) come these already affordable (for cashmere) pieces, which are, of course, now even cheaper thanks to their discounts. They’re available in lots of other colors, too, in case the sale prices inspire you to stock up.
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.