We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our favorites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and more very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including Bob the Drag Queen’s setting spray, some clawlike silicone sponges, and toilet paper that’s fit for a (future) king.
Toothpaste for kids with a sweet tooth
Strategist contributor Chantel Tattoli bought this chocolate-flavored Theodent toothpaste to cajole her daughter into brushing her teeth for longer and discovered it worked like a charm. “She tolerates brushing for much longer, ensuring that all of her teeth as well as her gums are ministered to,” Tattoli writes. “We’ve been brusha-brusha-brusha-ing without issue ever since.” Instead of fluoride, she adds that the toothpaste contains an active ingredient called theobromine that’s “very good at remineralizing the enamel of our teeth — in effect hardening it and preventing cavities.”
Clogs for wearing in the garden…
While browsing the internet sales bins, we stumbled upon some gardening and walking-around-the-neighborhood clogs that would make a perfect Mother’s Day present (and are currently 20 percent off). Whether she has a vegetable patch or not, Sloggers are stylish, durable, and easy to slip on. And if Mom prefers her footwear to make more of a statement, know that they also come in a slew of bright colors, including kiwi green, sangria red, and lake blue.
… and shorts for wearing your garden
To release a very spring-themed capsule collection, Lisa Says Gah recently teamed up with Birthday Girl Shop, an L.A.-based textile brand founded by artist and designer Keely Murphy. The range features eight tulip-patterned pieces, from overalls to tote bags, many of which have already sold out. Thankfully, these high-rise denim shorts (with flower-embellished back pockets) are still in stock for now, so if you’re looking to give your wardrobe a warm-weather refresh, don’t dillydally.
Setting spray to keep shine away
When we asked the season-eight winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bob the Drag Queen, what he can’t live without, he said that Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray keeps his face matte and prevents his makeup from sliding around. “I get really hot and sweaty when I’m performing onstage under lights and wearing heels, a wig, a corset, and pads on my hips and chest,” he said. “You just spritz it on your face — not too much, but a nice coat over your face right when you finish your makeup — and your makeup lasts all night.”
The secret to picture-perfect cakes
This week, kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman talked to food stylist Anna Stockwell about the precut parchment rounds she uses to make her cakes come out perfect every time. A “small luxury” that fits “snugly into pans,” Stockwell says they add “an extra piece of insurance so you’re not left with big craters of cake sticking to the bottom” of your baking tray.
An easy and economical beard trimmer
Wahl’s Peanut Classic Clipper/Trimmer is a Best in Class beard trimmer that also won’t break the bank. Barber Mark Miguez likes that it comes with four different attachments and is corded: “I find that trimmers you plug into the wall have the power to last years, compared to wireless ones where the battery slowly gets worse,” says Miguez. It’s also the preferred trimmer of former Strategist columnist Chris Black, who says it’s “cheap, dependable, and fits in your designer Dopp kit perfectly.”
A silicone sponge that’s a cleaning machine
Strategist contributor Stacey Berman adopted a pet cat named Goo during the pandemic whose hair has “transformed my apartment from clean enough into a giant fur ball,” Berman writes. She has tried everything, including “a vacuum, a broom, a lint roller, tape, and damp washcloths” to tidy up, but they all proved insufficient until she picked up this “bright red, bristled silicone sponge.” Since it holds a static charge, it’s “a veritable hair magnet … I can drag it across a carpet and excavate sheets of fur and dirt. I can brush it against a delicate window screen and peel up a pile of hair in its teeth.” After a cleaning session with the Lubrima Silicone Sponge, Berman says she’s “equally disgusted and relieved by what it manages to collect.”
Pillowy-soft toilet paper
A tiny detail buried in paragraph seven of Alexandra Jacobs’s review of Tina Brown’s The Palace Papers recently caught our eye: “I can’t unsee, somehow, that Charles is said to prefer something called Kleenex Velvet lavatory tissue, unavailable in the States,” Jacobs wrote. Being the sleuths that we are, we simply had to learn more. Unfortunately, our investigation revealed that the line that Charles preferred has been discontinued, but we did discover that a similarly cloud-soft Velvet toilet tissue can be found on Amazon U.K. — just be prepared to spend big bucks for shipping to the U.S.
Crisp, classic cotton bedsheets
Strategist writer Lauren Ro waded through a sea of bedsheet options to figure out which are the best on the market. If you prefer a classic cotton percale, West Elm’s garment-washed organic-cotton sheets come recommended by multiple people with great taste: Courtney McLeod, the founder and principal designer of New York City–based Right Meets Left Interior Design, says they’re “excellent quality,” while skin-care executive Rebecca Zhou says their texture makes her bed look “made but not overly perfect.”
A pretty grad dress in laid-back linen
Every spring heralds a fresh batch of new grads in search of the perfect white graduation dress. To help them out, we’ve rounded up a bunch of good-looking ones that are also under $100, including this breezy linen sundress that would be perfect to bring along for post-graduation beach vacations. Whether sleek sheaths or ruffled smocks, you’ll find options in every shade of ivory, cream, and eggshell — plus a few more unconventional picks as well.
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.