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 the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including beginner-friendly CBD edibles, a better-than-Byredo candle, and “revelatory” tiny trash bags.
TikTok’s favorite light strips
Though Daft Punk officially broke up this week, tech writer Jordan Bowman keeps seeing smart light strips that turn people’s desks into “Daft Punk–style, Tron-like mash-ups of alternating colors.” They’re everywhere — in the background of YouTube videos, Twitch streams, and, of course, TikTok. Turns out that these light strips “not only look cool but affect your productivity and outlook” since they can change from bright white to warmer tones, depending on what you’re doing (working or gaming) and how you’re feeling (like chilling or concentrating). And most of the folks Jordan talked with agree that this Philips Hue Smart Lightstrip is the best brand to buy. The two-meter kit is long enough to “connect the strips to bed frames, behind computers, or under a desk” and can even “sync your games or movies with the lights by using your PC with the Hue Sync app.”
Shelby Macklin’s better-than-Byredo candle
For those who have fallen for the siren song scents of Bibliothèque and Burning Rose, Shelby Macklin, designer and co-founder of Glazed NYC with Banna Nega, says the 7PM candle from the Break in Brooklyn smells “better than Byredo” (so much so that she can’t live without it). She describes the dark musk and sandalwood scent as “really sexy” and “sets the mood” throughout “an entire home. Some candles are only really good for one room, but this one penetrates through walls.”
The ‘magic eraser’ for oily skin
It might seem counterintuitive, but when Strategist contributor Neha Tandon started using face oils for her oily skin, she “woke up with grease-free skin for the very first time in my adult life.” (It turns out that “mattifying” skin-care products cause already oily skin to compensate “for dryness by overproducing natural oils.”) Since incorporating oils into her routine, her skin has never looked better, except on occasions when she indulges in the “masochistic hobby of eating large amounts of glutinous carbs, even though this manifests as irritable red patches all over my face.” After these nights of “luxuriating in pasta,” she turns to this “opulent oil” from Kiehl’s, which works like a magic eraser at clearing her skin — and smells like calming lavender and primrose to boot.
Phoebe Bridgers’s Rocket-Ship Bedsheets
If you’ve scrolled through Phoebe Bridgers’s Instagram any time in the past three years, you might have seen her “decidedly tasteful” planetary-patterned bed sheets. They recently popped up on Diana Silvers and Gracie Abrams’s beds, too, at which point Strategist junior writer Leah Muncy made it her quest to track down this Sisterhood of the Traveling Sheets. After stumbling across a (now-deleted) tweet, Leah learned that the sheets in question are from Garnet Hill, the makers of some of our favorite tasteful holiday décor and sturdy bath towels. This bedding for kids is “without an eclipse of doubt” the same set — and to make matters all the more “kitschy and incredible,” not only are the sheets decorated with “retro red-and-blue rocket ships sailing through a cotton universe,” they actually glow in the dark.
A heart-shaped, head-shaping pillow for toddlers
If Samir Hernandez could redo the baby registry he put together for his now 18-month-old son, Immanuel, he’d add this head-shaping pillow that’s meant for newborns but is actually “the baby thing that we’ve used the longest.” Initially, Samir just used it for extra comfort and support on the changing table, because “obviously the changing mat isn’t that thick,” but now that Immanuel is squirming around, it “just makes my wife and I feel better.”
A duffel bag from everyone’s favorite cooler brand
Some brands connote a specific product with their name alone: For Lodge, it’s cast-iron pans. For Dyson, it’s vacuums And for Yeti, it’s coolers — until this past week, when the outdoorsman-approved brand began making luggage, including soft-sided suitcases and duffels. We’re particularly excited about the 40-liter duffels, which are conveniently carry-on-size, and have some impressive technical specs, like “divider panels” for easier packing and unpacking, and “compression snaps” to secure clothes, which we called “a gift to overpackers everywhere.”
Beginner-friendly CBD edibles
“Tinctures, candies, lotions, suppositories, face oils, serums, toothpaste, and beverages,” are just some of the products that you can now buy infused with CBD, the non-intoxicating cannabinoid that’s been shown in studies to help with “managing anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and even addiction” (so says Dr. Peter Grinspoon, a cannabis specialist). Since the market remains pretty much unregulated, Strategist writer Dominique Pariso asked over two dozen other CBD experts for their actually worthwhile product recommendations — from smokeable pre-rolls to bath salts. For the uninitiated but CBD-curious, Kate Miller, a co-founder of CBD brand Miss Grass, suggests starting with edibles, which can sometimes “terrify people” but actually have “the most mellow effect” when dosed properly. Verena von Pfetten, co-founder of Gossamer, says these “magic grape” flavored gummies taste like Turkish candies and are made with a technique that “increases the effective dose and bioavailability of the CBD in each piece.”
A sleek and satiny pill case
Finding a pill case “that’s not just a piece of plastic emblazoned with the days of the week” is a challenge says Strategist junior writer Kayla Levy. But, since finding the right case can help you stay on track with critical medications and keep your pills from getting crushed, it’s a challenge she took on this week with the help of other design-minded pill takers who unearthed some actually nice-looking pill cases. Most of the people she spoke to recommend this “sleek” and “satiny” seven-day organizer-slash-compact from Port and Polish that content creator Remy Park thinks is cute enough to display on her coffee table “along with my other morning ritual items.”
‘Revelatory’ tiny trash bags
For many years, senior editor Anthony Rotunno used plastic grocery-store bags as trash bags, but when New York City’s plastic-bag ban took effect, he found himself desperately trash bag-less (so much so that on occasion he would intentionally forgo a tote bag on grocery-store trips in order to get a plastic bag for his next “week’s worth of garbage”). That is until his mom sent him a box of these tiny trash bags that come in “fun colors” like light blue and neon green. They’re also scented, with fragrances like “Beach Breeze” and “Sweet Citron and Lime,” neither of which Tony would “bathe” in, but both of which “smell better than (and mask the funk of) whatever trash is inside of it.” According to Tony, “As the saying (now) goes, one man’s trash (bag) is another man’s treasure.”
And trail-running shoes for hypebeasts (at a discount)
For the not-so-basic sneaker stans, consider these trail-running sneakers from Nike, which are designed to give better traction on rocky and muddy terrain and come in graphic color combinations, like this “kumquat” orange and “green spark” combo. Best of all, they’re (well) under $100 at Backcountry’s ongoing Winter Garage Sale.
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.