sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Status-y Rugs to Silky Foundation

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 a salad-prep shortcut, a viral book from the ’60s, and tailored slim-fit chinos.

A salad-prep shortcut

Food and prop stylist Jess Damuck is typically not a kitchen-gadget person, but she made an exception for this unassuming greens stripper. Separating leaves is “an annoying thing, particularly if you’re making big salads for a dinner party,” says Damuch, adding that “you end up wasting a lot of the leaves.” But with this tool, you simply slide a piece through the appropriate-size hole, and you’re left with two distinct parts, resulting in “a consistent, velvety mound of greens.” Now, Damuch separates greens — a “decidedly tiresome chore” — swiftly with this shortcut.

One writer’s cure for decades of dandruff

Photo: Retailer

Contributor Steven John, who’s been dealing with dandruff since his teens, has been on the hunt for a solution for years. He happened to have Jupiter’s shampoo and conditioner on hand, and to his surprise, he had almost no flakes after a couple of days of use. “Running my fingers through my hair resulted in just a few flakes drifting about, rather than literal thousands,” he writes. Delighted, but also confused, John reached out to Dr. Michelle Henry, a board-certified dermatologist of Skin & Aesthetic Surgery of Manhattan. Henry explains that the primary active ingredient in the shampoo, zinc pyrithione, is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial to “treat the yeast and any bacteria that lead to irritation and inflammation on the scalp.” The conditioner hydrates the scalp, “creating an environment where yeast and bacteria can’t set up shop in the first place.” Thanks to this balance of ingredients John is left with a “virtually flake-free head for the first time since middle school.”

A viral book from the ’60s …

Contributor Nora DeLigter noticed over the past year every screenwriter, editor, and Ph.D. candidate from New York to L.A. has picked up the 1962 novelette Cassandra at the Wedding. She set out to find “patient zero, the person at the very top of the Cassandra chain” by talking to all the people she knows who’ve read it. This led her down a rabbit hole of editorial assistants, producers, and even the actor John Early. “Meanwhile, the strands are still multiplying,” DeLighter writes, noting a recent podcast plugging the book and that the production companies Neon and Seaview are co-producing an adaptation of the book into a film.

… and covers to keep books pristine for decades

“I’m not a neat freak in most aspects of my life, but I am precious about keeping my books in pristine condition,” writes Strategist writer Lauren Ro. To help keep her book jackets untorn, she purchased a set of Mylar archival book-jacket covers. They are “essentially rolls of plastic trimmed with paper, but they come pre-folded and ready to use,” Ro explains, and covering her book jackets is simple and quick. (It took less than five minutes for Ro to cover one of her son’s books.) “Now the dust jacket stays put and is protected from stains, creases, rips, and whatever damage an overzealous 3-year-old could inflict upon it,” Ro writes. While she doesn’t plan to use this on every book she owns, she “feels less anxious knowing that I have that option on hand.”

Avril Lavigne’s junk food she always has on hand

“There’s something about this dip that makes it impossible to stop eating once it’s open,” musician Avril Lavigne told us when we spoke to her about the things she can’t live without. Along with her Doc Martens and eyeliner, Lavigne is obsessed with Tostitos queso because “it’s cheesy and spicy, but none of the flavors overpower one another.” Despite eating healthy for the most part, it’s the one “junk food I have to have in my house,” she says.

Sweets-inspired, status-y rugs

From $240

In our latest installment of Don’t Dillydally, we highlighted Cold Picnic’s latest collection of sweets-inspired rugs with names such as Sherbet, Taro, and Battenberg (as in the cake). The collection is dedicated to the founders’ immigrant parents and the Taiwanese and English desserts they grew up on, with each piece hand-tufted with bamboo-silk yarn. As we note, “We’re partial to the Mochi rug, which features a mix of mint, cream, watermelon, and black against a grasshopper-green background.”

A “holy grail” foundation that’s on sale

In our latest sweep of the internet sale bins, deals writer Leah Muncy found that lots of Armani Beauty products are discounted at Nordstrom. That includes the brand’s buildable (and best selling) foundation. When we spoke to makeup artists about the best foundations for mature skin, one told us this is the “holy-grail of foundations for all skin types” and “creates a radiant glow without a greasy finish.”

Affordable sulfate-free shampoo for fine hair

A good shampoo is essential for fine hair, so Strategist writer Dominique Pariso set out to find the best options. MONDAY Haircare Volume Shampoo is a sulfate-free shampoo that Pariso has “sworn by since purchasing it close to a year ago.” Even compared to more expensive brands, “this is the only one that ever gets my hair compliments,” she writes, noting that it “adds a good amount of body and, most importantly, a lot of shine without weighing my hair down or making it look greasy (and for only eight bucks a bottle, at that).”

A chic cup for the chai-loving mom

If you’re already looking ahead to Mother’s Day, we have you covered with plenty of gift guides for every type of mom. This Keep Cup is a very aesthetically pleasing gift for any chai-loving mom, and it happens to be something yoga instructor Adriene Mischler can’t live without. For Mischler, it checks all the boxes: “It doesn’t leak, it’s light, and it’s stylish,” she says.

Tailored slim-fit chinos

Chinos typically fall somewhere between denim and dress pants on the casual-to-formal spectrum,” writes Strategist writer Jordan Bowman. This means they’re pretty versatile and “can be a critical part of any man’s wardrobe if styled well.” Bowman set out to find a range of the best chinos for men, including this pair of Uniqlo slim-fit pants. Nicolás Lazaro, a community specialist at the menswear-resale platform Grailed, calls them “the best under-$100 chinos you’ll find anywhere,” adding that “with a little tailoring or a folded cuff, they can look as good, if not better than, most luxury options.” That said, while the inseam for all sizes is set at 34 inches by default, you can order the chinos online and Uniqlo will shorten them to your preferred length for free.

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