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 uncover while trolling through the vast online-shopping universe. This week, that included “universal” running shoes, Larry Ossei-Mensah’s favorite wine, and toys that calm young campers.
A slurpable, supplement-packed snack
Strategist contributor Caroline Goldfarb recently found an unexpected snack that curbs her post-lunch sweet cravings unlike anything else. Everydaze’s “pouches of a sweet, jiggly jelly” are, as Goldfarb explains, “so refreshing — liquidy to the point that it’s almost slurpable, with a slight chew. The screw-top pouches make me feel a bit like I am eating high-end baby food.” But what’s even better is that it’s made from a vegan gelatin alternative called konjac, which is “said to have no calories; the pouches contain more than that, but not a lot — each has just ten calories.” And the snack is packed with “actually healthy ingredients like vitamin C — and purportedly healthy ones like collagen, a supplement you’ve probably seen popping up in various powders, protein bars, and on Jennifer Aniston’s Instagram feed.”
“Universal” running shoes
In the latest installment of On the Run, senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson spoke to David Siik, founder of the indoor-running class Precision Run by Equinox. Along with the tank, sunscreen, and other essentials he uses on runs through the desert in Palm Springs, where he lives part time, he mentioned these running shoes from Swiss brand On. From the sandy trails of Palm Springs to the pavement of cities like Los Angeles and New York, Siik says “they’re really universal” and highly responsive on any surface.
Jewel’s go-to glitter makeup for interviews
If your normal Zoom makeup routine is feeling tired, Jewel tipped us off on the glitter cream she uses for online interviews and videos when we spoke to her about the things she can’t live without. “I like to experiment with different products, it’s fun for me,” the singer explains. “I’ll do a clean eye and then use this as a liner and draw a wing — I do it pretty bold so there’s a little bit of drama.”
A calming candle for adults …
Boy Smells, which gave us the next status candle, teamed up on a limited-edition release with Sky Tings that’s “cheekily called Smell Ting.” As we note in the latest installment of Don’t Dillydally, “The candle, which smells like jasmine, galbanum, angelica seed, Sichuan peppercorn and amber, is meant to evoke a sense of calm.” A candle purchase includes a complimentary month of Sky Ting TV, “where you can stream an unlimited number of yoga classes and burn the candle while you flow.”
… and toys that calm young campers
To help parents get a handle on exactly what to pack their kids for summer camp, senior writer Liza Corsillo spoke to 15 experts about the essentials — from trunks and bunk décor to clothes and toiletries. While plenty of activities like games and crafts were brought up, four of the experts recommend packing fidget toys “to give campers a soothing activity that helps process big feelings.” And these specific types are especially trendy at the moment, according to mom of two Lori Rosenfeld. “There are a bunch of different styles, but the ones that look like permanent bubble wrap are very popular.”
A vibrator that also soothes sore muscles
Maude, the company that makes the Strategist-approved, best-selling vibrator, released the Drop last week, which is “intended as an all-body, erogenous zone body massager.” A tester tried it out for herself and found that it’s “powerful,” “extremely quiet,” but the shape is “a tiny bit cumbersome, particularly during sex.” She notes that it’s bulbous shape “made toggling between speeds while otherwise engaged not as easy as one would like.” But it was much easier to use and more successful when she used it on her tired muscles after a long run. She writes, “It felt weird at first. (A vibrator? On my calves?) And then it felt great. I later used it on the arches of my feet after a long day of walking, and I’ll never stop using it this way.”
Grippy gym towels
Now that gyms are allowed to reopen, studios are holding workout classes and going great lengths to ensure everyone’s safety. Along with installing advanced air-filtration systems and instituting new protocols, gyms have cut back on shared equipment and amenities. Senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson rounded up some of the most-vetted gym essentials you might need during this time, like mats and yoga props. “When we spoke to spin instructors about their favorite towels, they recommended microfiber ones that are quick drying (unlike cotton), so they’re good for wicking away sweat and don’t get soggy,” Karen writes. Nicole Murray, a cycling instructor with Moxie, likes these “generously sized towels that make it easier for her to grip the handlebars when things get sweaty.”
Larry Ossei-Mensah’s favorite wine
Art curator Larry Ossei-Mensah told us last week that he can’t live without this Maison Noir Pinot Noir that’s “easy to drink, inexpensive, approachable, and versatile,” he says. Maison Noir was founded by his friend and sommelier André Hueston Mack, who introduced Ossei-Mensah to the intimate world of wine. “What I like about the brand is that André’s an Everyday Joe, but knows the wine industry in and out — this wine reflects that.”
Soft, summer pants (that are also on sale)
The Strategist-approved brand Eberjey has been recommended time and time again for their “insanely soft and wrinkle free” pajamas, so we think it’s safe to say these paper-bag-style pants are just as comfortable. With warm weather approaching — and this newly marked down price — it’s an excellent time to snag a pair of the lightweight elastic pants.
And a gift for book-loving grandparents
Father’s Day is coming up, and we have plenty of gift ideas for dads, but we also have roundups for grandparents, too. Last week, Ted Page, the founder and publisher of storytelling blog GoodGrandpa.com, recommended the Amazon Kindle Oasis for the grandparent who loves to read. He thinks it “would make a thoughtful gift, especially for those concerned about their eyesight” and points out that “tablets, phones, and computers have LCDs that emit blue light, an intense part of the light spectrum that can damage eyes,” something “anyone north of 60 needs to be aware of.” By contrast, this Kindle reads like real paper, has an adjustable light, and, Page adds, “It’s easy to enlarge the type.”
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.