We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe, including elevated hand sanitizer, a powerful poetry collection, and best-selling rolls from a cult-favorite bakery.
Soothing (and chic) hand sanitizer
When we asked Bling Empire star Christine Chiu what she can’t live without, she told us she carries this Noshinku hand sanitizer everywhere she goes because “it’s tiny, has a chic design, and does the job.” She also likes that it doesn’t have an overly chemical smell, but is still “clean” and “refreshing” and “doesn’t dry out my skin.” A whiff of the calming lavender scent brings her “back to great memories in Provence.”
Celebrity-approved Swiss cough drops
We spotted a funny little detail in The Fighting Soul, Ari Rabin-Havt’s new book about Senator Bernie Sanders’s most recent presidential campaign: “After he lost his voice in September 2019,” Rabin-Havt writes, “a friend recommended a specific and hard to find brand of cough drop — Grether’s Blackcurrant Pastilles.” Meant to soothe strained vocal cords, the Swiss lozenges are formulated with vitamin C–heavy elderflower and glycerin — and, according to the Grether’s Pastilles website, count Katy Perry, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ariana Grande, and Curt Hansen among their obsessive fans.
Quick-drying shorts to bring to the beach…
Strategist writer Jordan Bowman asked a bunch of stylish men about the shorts they’re excited to wear this summer, and multiple guys raved about their beloved Patagonia Baggies: Baggies “have become something of a summer staple,” says image consultant Patrick Kenger. “They are the perfect length, and come in multiple color options and at an attractive price point.” Bowman owns a pair himself, and the shorts are also recommended by former senior editor Anthony Rotunno and former Strategist contributor Chris Black.
…and a surf-ready tote to schlep them in
Ikea recently teamed up with the World Surf League to release a “high-vibe, low-impact” collection called Kåseberga, and this exuberant rainbow beach bag immediately caught our eye. It’s impervious to sand and salt water, and comes with two removable inner compartments for storing snacks and swimwear. If you’re thinking about snagging one for your next beach trip, don’t dillydally.
The best sex toy for two-person fun
When writer Dominique Parisio researched the Best in Class couples sex toys, she concluded that the classic We-Vibe Sync is the best overall. Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of Sex With Emily on SiriusXM, went so far as to call it “the ultimate couples toy” because it provides stimulation both internally and externally, and can be adjusted for the most comfortable angle. You can also change the settings via an accompanying app, so you or your partner can have some remote-controlled fun.
Delicious pastries that Dad will love
Father’s Day is still a few weeks away, but those early birds who prefer to secure gifts well in advance will appreciate our frequently updated roster of Father’s Day gift guides. If Dad is a foodie, we suggest sending him some sweet cream cheese rolls from Porto’s, an L.A.–based Cuban bakery and café chain that sees lines out the door on a daily basis. All he has to do is heat up the oven to experience that freshly baked deliciousness at home.
A stylish rug to zhuzh up your living space
This Strategist-approved tasseled jute rug is vouched for by both interior designer Jamie Drake of the firm Drake/Anderson and New York deputy editor Alexis Swerdloff, who bought it for her home. It’s currently 60 percent off at Rugs USA in a variety of sizes and shapes, from a 2-by-3-foot mat to an 8-foot round to an extra-large 9’6”-by-13’6” version. And if your design sensibilities skew more vibrant than neutral, the rug is also available in several unexpected shades, including ochre red and mint green.
Poems that will linger long after AAPI month
To celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Strategist junior writer Sanibel Chai asked AAPI authors to share their favorite books written by other AAPI authors. Lisa Hsiao Chen, author of the novel Activities of Daily Living, recommended Sandra Lim’s collection of poetry, The Curious Thing, which meditates on topics such as desire, female rage, and beauty. “It’s all about the voice — contrarian, tensile, and, at times, ice cold and unapologetically bitchy,” Chen says.
Irritant-free moisturizing lotion
After writer Tembe Denton-Hurst consulted with multiple dermatologists on the best eczema treatments, she concluded that the best one overall is good old-fashioned Vanicream. “It tends to be well-tolerated by even those with particularly dry, sensitive skin,” says Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, Alabama. Since it contains virtually no irritating ingredients — no fragrance, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, or dyes — it’s unlikely to cause eczema flare-ups. Strategist writer Lauren Ro is also a fan, and says that the first time she put it on she was “immediately impressed with how luxurious and rich the cream felt on my skin — and surprised by how easily it spread.”
Rob Thomas’s peanut butter for grown-ups
Musician Rob Thomas can’t live without Justin’s Classic Peanut Butter, which he says he likes to snack on straight out of the jar. “I’ve tried really natural peanut butters, but they taste really gross, bland, and kind of cardboardy. And more main-brand peanut butters taste like salt and sugar,” Thomas told us. But Justin’s is “100 percent natural, and it tastes like a peanut … I feel like I’m having adult peanut butter.” He loves it so much, in fact, that it’s a mainstay on his tour rider.
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.