sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Cat Brushes to Candlestick Holders

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

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 trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including leather trucker boots, sweet-and-spicy honey, and a lamp for battling SAD. (And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)

Esther Perel’s go-to lipstick

Psychotherapist Esther Perel can’t live without this Bobbi Brown lipstick, which she has been wearing since 2006. “When I was on my first book tour, I was offered a session to learn how to do makeup at the Bobbi Brown counter. I had never done press interviews and presentations of the book, so it was a lesson of how to put myself together,” Perel says. She calls this peachy nude color “gentle, subtle, but you know it’s there. It’s visible without being the only thing you see.”

Leather boots at a low price

It’s not often we find something stylish and on-trend that’s also on sale for an exceptionally low price, but every once in a while we stumble on a hidden gem — like these leather Western-inspired boots from ASOS. Priced at just $26, they’re currently 70 percent off, and if you think it’s too good to be true, think again: Reviewers attest they’re just as cute and comfortable as they look. With their sleek, workwear-inspired silhouette, these boots are without a doubt destined to become your new fall-wardrobe staple.

A wireless keyboard for improving your office …

Photo: Courtesy of the Vendor

With WFH becoming a long-term possibility, you might be ready to invest some more time and money in your home-office setup. Strategist senior writer Karen Iorio Adelson talked to several experts about the best ergonomic equipment — and this wireless keyboard comes recommended by chiropractor Cariann Paul for promoting proper wrist and elbow positioning. “When it comes to our wrists, we want them to be neutral so they aren’t in a position of stress,” says Paul. “A smaller keyboard tends to force us to close our chest, making it easier to round our backs, which can increase back and shoulder pain.”

… and a candleholder for improving your living room

Strategist writer Emma Wartzman talked to several people about the best candleholders, and this stylish one from West Elm has taken pride of place in Girls’ Night In founder Alisha Ramos’s home for years. Ramos says these candleholders are “true works of art that are basically like sculptures, sure to add fun visual interest to a mantel, desk, or coffee table.” The holder also comes in a speckled white and an earthy terra-cotta.

A take-apart toy crane


Strategist writer Lauren Ro’s 2-and-a-half-year-old son, Augie, loves assembling and disassembling his toys, so Ro decided to buy him this Battat toy crane that can be broken down and built back up again. When it arrived, “Augie was immediately interested in examining all the pieces. There are 30 in all, including a chassis, a cab, wheels, a truck bed, a crane, and an excavator, plus all the necessary screws, nuts, and bolts — a dream come true for a little boy who’s obsessed with vehicles,” Ro writes. Simultaneously fun and educational, these toys teach “problem-solving, fine motor skills, and shape-sorting and require sustained concentration,” useful skills to have for an engineer in the making.

Parade’s fruity boy shorts

Everyone’s favorite underwear brand, Parade, recently released its “Fruit Salad” collection, featuring its classic meshy styles in brightly colored, patterned, and embroidered options. The boy-short cut is especially popular since it “never rolls down and stays put without crossing into control-top territory,” according to Megababe founder Katie Sturino. The brand just added this fun color-blocked shade, “Tutti Frutti,” to its boy-short lineup, so if you’re looking to pick up a pair, don’t dillydally.

A sunlight-mimicking lamp

As the days grow shorter and the sun sets earlier, those who struggle with seasonal affective disorder might consider buying a SAD lamp — and multiple experts we spoke to say this Carex light is a great choice. Clinical psychologist Dr. Sabrina Romanoff advises that it’s “important to think about flexibility and where you’ll be most inclined to use and incorporate the lamp into your daily life to ensure you’ll actually use it regularly.” Measuring at 13.5 inches by ten inches, this lamp is small enough to fit on a desk or a nightstand, which means it can easily be incorporated into your personal space.

Honey with a kick

Mike’s Hot Honey

Hundreds of Amazon reviewers love this spicy honey for striking a delicate balance between sweet and hot. “This has got to be the best honey I ever had,” one reviewer writes. “It has just the right kick to it so it’s not too hot but has a great flavor.” It’s versatile enough to go with nearly everything, according to another reviewer who reports that it’s “perfect with fries, fried chicken, plain yogurt, carrots, ice cream — I think you get the point.”

Lisa Vanderpump’s beloved black tea

When we talked to Lisa Vanderpump about what she can’t live without, she confessed that she’s addicted to this PG Tips tea: “I drink a lot of tea — probably five or six cups a day, which some consider quite a lot. I have two or three cups in the morning with a little bit of 2 percent milk.” The tea must be caffeinated and made with boiling-hot water, otherwise it gets “kind of filmy.” Having tried all the other common British teas (Tetley, Fortnum & Mason), she calls herself “1,000 percent a PG Tips girl.”

The grooming tool for preventing hair balls

Back in 2017, Strategist contributor Elizabeth Gumport sung the praises of the FURminator, a de-shedding tool designed to “reach through your pet’s topcoat to any fur trapped or matted beneath it.” Compared to the “lesser, cheaper combs” Gumport had tried before, she saw a significant reduction in “the ambient cat hair in the apartment,” and her cat coughed up fewer fur balls as well, leading her to deem it “the greatest pet brush of all time.” With all that in mind, we were delighted to find the FURminator on sale for 55 percent off, or $19.50, over at Amazon — the cheapest we’ve seen it all year. With shedding season nearly upon us, we suggest snagging one ASAP.

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.

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week