sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Taco Bell Fire Sauce to Toenail Clippers

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 lamp that looks like bread, an unshrinkable long-sleeve shirt, and podiatrist-grade toenail clippers.

For a sandal thicker than a duvet …

After one month of wearing these recovery slides for Auntie Approved, veteran journalist SuChin Pak likens them to “walking on two duvets.” The intense cushioning feels slightly unstable at first, but Pak notes that the design forces you to distribute your weight in a way that relieves pressure on joints. And while “they’re about as cute as a spa sandal at a Korean spa,” comedian-writer-director Kulap Vilaysack says, they make such excellent house slippers that Pak says she’s interested in getting a second pair for outdoors.

… and for toenails too thick for drugstore clippers

After struggling with weak drugstore clippers, Strategist contributor and beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton discovered this pair from New Huing, designed for podiatrists to use on elderly clients, who tend to have thicker (and often ingrown) toenails. “They have a sharp, curved blade that easily slices off any toenail, no matter how strong or hard or gnarly it has gotten, and a nonslip, cushion grip that allows for quick, clean trims,” Viera-Newton writes. “Unlike the other clippers I tried, you barely need to squeeze them for them to work perfectly.”

For a condiment that will spice up even the blandest dishes

Comedian Catherine Cohen can handle the heat — when digging into a Cheesy Gordita Crunch at Taco Bell, she uses no fewer than six packets of Fire Sauce. So it makes gustatory (and financial) sense for her to invest in this three-pack of hot sauces from the fast-food chain. “It’s good with anything — eggs in the morning, chili, grilled cheese. I don’t know why, but it makes me feel like I’m home: at Taco Bell in Union Square at 3 a.m., you know, ruining my life,” she says.

For a lamp that looks good enough to eat …

Your mom may not know that she wants a lamp made from actual bread yet, but once she receives this illuminated paska (sealed with an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal coating), she’ll realize it’s been missing from her life. And because this was a pick from our edit of Mother’s Day gifts that give back, she’ll also appreciate that the profits go toward Peace Winds Japan’s humanitarian-aid work in Ukraine.

… and floss so tasty you look forward to using it

Singer Lauv’s dentist would be proud — he’s found a way to make flossing enjoyable with brightly colored and fruit-scented Cocofloss. While strawberry, coconut, and cara cara are available, Lauv’s favorite is the traditional mint. He adds, “The trick to flossing is having the right technique, and luckily, I have great technique.”

For a panacea reminiscent of emeralds …

When Strategist writer Kitty Guo got 52 bug bites, she turned to a remedy she had last used for chicken pox: feng you jing. Also known as Eagle Brand Medicated Oil, the emerald-green treatment is a “quick, easy cure-all for minor afflictions,” according to Guo, who has used it for headaches, seasonal allergies, and motion sickness, in addition to relieving skin irritation.

… and a status notebook in keeping with the green theme

Mom won’t know that this mini-notebook from Hermès is actually meant to be a refill for the luxurious Ulysse calfskin cover (that’s kind of the point of our cheapest, nicest Mother’s Day gifts roundup). The springy green cover and tasteful embossed seal deserve to be seen rather than hidden away, and Mom will enjoy scribbling away on the unlined pages.

For a mineral sunscreen that blends surprisingly well …

Mineral sunscreens have a reputation for leaving behind an undesirable white cast, but Caroline Robinson, founder of Tone Dermatology, says this moisturizing sun serum from Eleven by Venus Williams blends well without leaving residue behind. That’s one of the reasons why we included it on our list of best face sunscreens, as well as for its light, velvety finish that makes it a great makeup base, too.

… and a concrete-looking planter that’s surprisingly light

This handsome (on sale) planter might look familiar if you’ve shopped our picks for the Strategist Shop at West Elm. Even though the material looks like concrete, it’s a lightweight (and frost resistant) composite that can be easily moved if you live in a climate that requires bringing plants indoors for the winter. Drainage holes help protect sensitive roots so overzealous watering won’t do any lasting harm.

For a shirt that even laundry novices won’t be able to shrink

With more than ten color options, you’ll be sure to find the perfect hue in this shrink-resistant L.L.Bean long-sleeve tee recommended by Andrew Favorito, public-relations and events director for Dior. “It’s exactly what you’d expect from L.L.Bean in regard to quality, cost, and styling,” he notes. “No frills, no fluff, no ridiculous markup — just a good shirt.”

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