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 Jenna Ortega’s invigorating ginger shots, a muscle-stimulating foam roller, and a pair of premium nail clippers.
Design-minded nail clippers
Strategist junior writer Kitty Guo was converted into a “nail person” after buying these nail clippers from German knife manufacturer Zwilling J.A. Henckels, reasoning that “surely a heritage knife-maker would know a thing or two about producing blade-related objects.” She was delighted to discover that these “Goldilocks clippers” have a “perfect amount of bite, not too weak where you have to really wrench to get them to cut, but also not too strong that they’ll send stray nail fragments flying across the room.” Plus they’re the most aesthetically appealing clippers she has ever used — like what you’d “imagine a pair of nail clippers would look like if Apple designed them,” Guo writes.
The best cream for brightening under eyes
Dark under-eye circles can be a drag, but if you’re currently struggling to keep from looking like a zombie, don’t despair: Thanks to a hefty dose of vitamin C, Ole Henriksen’s Banana Bright Eye Crème “neutralizes free-radical damage, calms inflammation, and blocks the production of abnormal pigmentation to brighten under-eye circles,” explains Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital. Ole Henriksen is currently running a 30-percent-off sitewide sale, so it’s the perfect time to test-drive this eye cream or any of the brand’s other best sellers.
A foam roller for stretching your spine…
Foam rolling comes with a host of benefits — loosening tight muscles, preventing injuries, improving blood flow — so Strategist senior writer Karen Adelson spoke to some fitness trainers and instructors to find out which rollers are the Best in Class. The distinction of “best overall” goes to this TriggerPoint roller, which “gets high marks for its bumps and ridges that simulate a hands-on massage, and the firm core that helps it keep its shape even after years of use,” Adelson writes. Radan Sturm, founder of the strength-training studio Liftonic, is also a fan because “it’s just the right density to be effective without bruising,” he says. “A lot of rollers are too hard and will bruise rather than release. It’s the perfect size that allows you to target all major parts of the body.”
… and probiotics for settling your stomach
Brand strategist Shanika Hillocks recently took her first weekend trip to Charleston, South Carolina, which she recounted in our latest Steal My Vacation. In between downtown walking tours and poolside happy hours, she made sure to sample all the amazing seafood that the coastal South has to offer, from fish and grits to garlic shrimp and raw oysters. And in order to “keep [her] digestive system aligned,” she brought along this Seed probiotic, which she takes daily and which helps “provide gut ease from indulgent meals with heavy cream, butter, cheese, and raw seafood” — after all, “nothing ruins a trip more than stomach issues.”
A fleece even fussy pups will tolerate
In the wintertime, a dog jacket can protect your canine companion from icy winds and snowdrifts, but not all dogs take kindly to getting dressed up. When Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo tested a variety of different dog coats on her toy poodle, Uli, she found that this Gold Paw fleece was the least likely to bother a fussy dog because it allows for maximum flexibility, whereas some bulkier styles can hinder movement. That also makes the Gold Paw “a good fit for many different types of dogs, as the stretchy fabric molds to the shape of your pup,” Corsillo writes. “With two layers of fleece that hug a dog’s body, they do a great job of insulating and even have a calming effect on my own dog.”
Baby cups with an ingenious design
When Strategist contributor Margaret Rogers was pregnant with her second child, the baby was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate, which meant that “feeding him would require special bottles and gear.” Once her son Silas was born, Rogers prepared for his palate-repair surgery by finding recommendations in the Cleft Parent Support group on Facebook and promptly ordered the Reflo Smart Cup to teach her then-10-month-old how to drink out of an open cup, in hopes of easing his recovery. “The magic of the Reflo Smart Cup is in its insert, a removable piece that slows the flow of liquid so your child doesn’t end up soaking wet,” Rogers writes. “They can drink from any part of the cup and it will work the same way.” Thankfully, her son took to the cup like a duck to water: “I helped him with his first sip and then let him try it alone. He got a drink immediately and looked at me with pure pride.”
A space-saving air fryer
Kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman “used to be an air-fryer skeptic,” until she went looking for the very best air fryers and found out that they can “work magic on vegetables, proteins, baked goods, and, yes, toast.” She named this Crux air fryer, which has a capacity of a little less than four quarts, as the best for those with limited kitchen real estate. It’s also a favorite of Los Angeles Times cooking columnist Ben Mims, who uses his “at least once a week, if not more, mostly to roast veggies.” Mims doesn’t own a dishwasher, but that’s not a problem since the Crux is “really easy to clean. The basket pulls right out, it unclips, and you can rinse and wipe it out.”
Cereal bars for on-the-go snacking
Magic Spoon’s protein-packed cereal has long been a Strat favorite; contributing editor Jessica Silvester raved that the low-carb, keto-friendly cereal kept her feeling full for hours. The brand recently released a line of cereal bars, which come in two flavors: cocoa peanut butter and cookies and cream. Each bar is grain- and gluten-free, with just one gram of sugar, and doesn’t contain artificial colors or sweeteners. The bars come in packs of 16, and you can choose from a single flavor or a variety pack.
Jenna Ortega’s mood-boosting ginger shots
When we talked to actress Jenna Ortega about what she can’t live without, she said that her Wednesday director, Tim Burton, turned her on to these Moju ginger shots. “Every morning, or when we’ve had a pretty difficult day or are getting kind of tired, he always offers up a Moju ginger shot,” she told us — and now she takes them “anytime he offers, multiple times a day almost … it gives me that extra boost.” She claims the shots make her “body feel a little bit cleaner, since ginger is good for the immune system” and now she always tries “to incorporate some sort of ginger in my meals or drinks.”
A candle that smells like a “fancy yoga studio”
Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst is “incredibly specific” when it comes to candle placement: “Each zone of my home must have a distinct scent profile that matches its energy,” she writes. When she came across this “simple-but-sleek” candle from Alicia Keys’s brand, Soulcare, she was immediately “intrigued by the warm, slightly sweet, creamy scent,” which she says “called to mind the reception area of a fancy yoga studio.” Denton-Hurst loves how the “oat paired with the sage grounds the sweetness, giving it a balanced profile,” calling it “elegant, subtle, and, dare I say, versatile.” She has already burned through four of the Keys candles and is currently working on a fifth.
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.