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 a “life changing” oracle deck, Katya Zamolodchikova’s makeup-removing dish detergent, and a kettle that doubles as an objet d’art.
Celebrity- and Strategist-approved detergent sheets …
Strategist writer Chloe Anello, who interviews lots of celebrities, has been “enthralled” by some products folks tell her they can’t live without. “But it takes an especially persuasive celebrity to convince me to actually buy something, because as a Strategist writer, I’ve honestly seen it all,” she writes. These liquidless laundry detergent sheets fell into that category after Piper Perabo convinced Anello to try them out for herself after a phone call. Anello reports that the cardboard box takes up practically no room in her linen closet, and the sheets are significantly less expensive than the Laundress detergent she’s been using for years. She first tried half a sheet for towels used to wash her dog. “The towels came out just as clean as they did when I used pricier and less sustainable detergent,” Anello reports. And after a load of her own clothes, they were “left with a subtle but appealing scent.” Now, she writes, “I’m not sure I can use anything else. So far, I’ve washed towels, sheets, clothes, delicates, whites and colors, and lots more stuff with these detergent sheets.”
… and Katya Zamolodchikova’s makeup removing dish detergent
“I do wash dishes with Dawn, but I also wash my face with it,” the drag queen Katya Zamolodchikova told us when she spoke about the things she can’t live without. “There was one queen in Boston who told me she washes her face with Dawn at the end of the night, and I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ And she’s like, ‘You’ll see.’” After trying it herself, Zamolodchikova claims it gets her makeup off in 90 seconds, which is a feat when she’s wearing “tons and tons of makeup all around my chest and neck — like, full Cirque du Soleil makeup.” Zamolodchikova says, “When you want to get out of drag, you want to get the fuck out of drag, and Dawn does it right … just follow up with a strong moisturizer, then you’ll be fine.”
Hand-block-painted Hockney-esque robes
There’s something extra comforting about being draped in a bathrobe after a steamy shower or slipping into one at the end of a long day. To find the best robes, Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla consulted some very stylish women about their favorites. Writer and publicist Linlee Allen-Homs loves this colorful Block Shop robe for its print, which she told us is hand-block-painted by fifth-generation master printers in Jaipur. “I might not resemble David Hockney’s Beverly Hills housewife,” she says, “but when I’m wearing this robe, standing in my 90210 garden, morning coffee in hand, I surely feel like one.”
Replenishing drink tabs for post-marathon recovery
Training for and running a marathon is hard work, but it doesn’t stop at the finish line. As senior writer (and marathoner) Karen Iorio Adelson writes, “How you recover from a marathon is incredibly important for reducing soreness, preventing injury, and getting you back into training shape for whenever you’re ready to race again.” For advice on what to do post-marathon, she turned to the experts. Peloton Tread and strength instructor Becs Gentry recommended “drinking water with electrolyte tabs as soon as possible after the race to replace all the sodium, potassium, and magnesium your body lost through sweat.” Gentry says, “Rehydrating and replenishing electrolyte stores are both super-important things to do as quickly as you can after you finish a race. When these levels are correct, your body is in homeostasis, or its happy place.” Iorio Adelson uses these Nuun ones herself to recover, because they “offer the balance of minerals runners need without a lot of added sugar.”
The only bundt pan one Great American Baking Show winner uses
Vallery Lomas, a lawyer turned baker turned Great American Baking Show winner, spoke to kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman about her favorite baking tool: the Nordic Ware decorative Bundt pan, which she uses to make her simple pound cake look as good as it tastes. She says that the “superior” pans are aluminum, meaning they heat through evenly, and the nonstick coating helps make release easy. On top of that, the pans come in many show-stopping designs — graphic, simple and elegant, braided, star-shaped, and more. “You don’t have to fuss around with frosting anything or layering anything or decorating anything,” Lomas tells us. No matter which pan you go with, the pound cake becomes the “centerpiece of the table.”
A truly easy-to-assemble, tool-free bed frame
When the Strategist’s deals writer Leah Muncy was moving into a new apartment, she worried about having to disassemble and later reassemble her 14-piece bed frame. “I’m far from handy — and prone to tears when left alone with an Allen wrench and a poorly printed diagram,” Muncy writes. In her search for an easy alternative, she found Thuma’s the Bed, which “claimed to require zero tools for assembly. According to the brand, the pieces of the Japanese-joinery-inspired frame would fit together like a puzzle.” She reached out to the brand to test it out herself. After getting the boxes up to her apartment (the hardest part of the entire process), assembly was a breeze. “The pieces fit together intuitively and seamlessly — there were no gaps or ill-fitting screws — and I felt almost like a child playing with a set of fancy wooden blocks,” Muncy writes. “It stood upright without needing to be propped up, and the pieces held together once in place. Only three minutes had passed, and my bed was already a quarter of the way assembled (and though I didn’t want to admit it, I was actually having fun).” All in all, assembling her bed frame took 20 minutes (unpacking and cleanup took 30, she notes). “Rather than on the verge of tears, I finished assembly like a kid who’d completed a beautiful wooden Rubix cube,” she writes. “It’s well-made enough (and easy enough to disassemble) that I imagine I’ll bring it along with me to my next apartment.”
“Life-changing” oracle decks
On a whim, Strategist contributor Gabriel Mac purchased the Rumi Oracle — “a deck of cards, with rich illustrations by Iranian painter Rassouli, that’s accompanied by a book of corresponding poems and spiritual advice.” Since then, he’s “returned to it in moments of confusion, existential terror, or light boredom” and has found it “life changing.” He explains that an oracle deck is similar to a tarot deck but less complicated: Draw a card, look the card up in the book, and get a poem from 13th-century Persian mystic Rumi, along with inspirational text by Alana Fairchild. While Mac has purchased other oracle decks, this one is his go-to. “Rumi never fails to evoke joyful or loving or profound reflection,” he says. “Fairchild’s text always assures that whatever else is happening, I am worthy and whole.”
A kettle that doubles as an objet d’art
Stagg, a longtime Strategist favorite, collaborated with the cooking company Great Jones. “The long-loved electric Fellow kettle gets a broccoli-colored makeover, pushing the already nice-looking kettle into the realm of an objet d’art,” we wrote in last week’s installment of Don’t Dillydally. As we noted, quantities are limited, so this will probably go quickly.
Elusive serving spoons
“Since the early 2010s, a slow trickle of boutique hotels have moved into the Catskills, an area once dominated by rentable riverside bungalows and somehow still-functioning Borscht Belt resorts,” write Strategist associate editors Louis Cheslaw and Daniel Varghese. “But in the past couple of months, as the real-estate market upstate has exploded, a genuine onslaught of amenity-rich hotels have opened.” They parsed the new offerings, including Inness, which is the latest project from Taavo Somer, the man behind Freemans, Hotel Kinsley, and Ray’s (a bar he owns with Succession’s Nicholas Braun). In true Strategist fashion, they also took a trip to the hotel’s gift shop and found these Marisha Falkovich ceramic serving spoons. Inness is one of just two retailers (the other is Brooklyn shop Thank You Have a Good Day) to sell them. (Or you can buy them online directly from Falkovich’s shop.)
Olivia Wilde’s (on sale) skin-care routine
“If you’ve ever wondered how Olivia Wilde achieves her dewy skin, you’re in luck,” writes Strategist deals writer Leah Muncy. In a micro sale last week, she unearthed Wilde’s go-to products from True Botanicals, which, when bundled together, are each 30 percent off. “It’s an excellent deal,” Muncy writes. “Especially when you consider that the small included bottle of Pure Radiance Oil — a favorite of Strategist beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton for its nourishing, acne-safe formula — is $110 on its own.”
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.