sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Iconic Barbies to Icing Combs

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 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 a foot massager that relaxes your whole body, a bartender-designed cocktail shaker, and socks that remind Nicco Annan of his roots.

A steel weeder to bring you one step closer to your perfect yard …

In the past month, Strategist editors and writers were busy with renovations, DIY-ing, and gardening. Senior editor Jen Trolio battled invasive garlic mustard with the help of this hand tool that she says “slices through and tills soil with ease.” The arched steel neck and pointed head also make it “easy to maneuver beneath each uninvited guest, even in tight spaces, and yank them out at the roots.”

… and a metal comb to help you ice cakes like a pro

With its raked-through texture, baker Aimee France’s frosting technique is one of a kind. (Exhibit A: Chloë Sevigny’s wedding cake.) To achieve that unique effect, which evokes “a crottin de chèvre,” as described by Strategist senior editor Chelsea Peng, France reveals that she uses this unassuming aluminum triangle that costs only $1. When dragged upward through frosting, the fine serrated edge of the tool (which has become her most-used) helps France add dimension to her creations.

The lotion Storm Reid considers an upgrade

Storm Reid has been using Palmers lotion for years, but on a recent birthday trip, her brother converted her from the regular formula to the coconut-oil version, and she’s been using it in her post-shower routine ever since. Reid says, “It gives me the same moisture as regular Palmer’s, but it makes my skin more smooth and gives me a little bit of a glow.” (That’s probably thanks to the vitamin E.)

For the dad who can’t resist a designer label …

If name-brand designers are Dad’s weakness, find something he’ll love in our Father’s Day guide to the cheapest gifts from high-end labels. We’ve included Moncler slides, Tom Ford tanks, and this apron from Christopher Kane that will have Dad feeling luxe when he’s grilling steaks.

… and the dad who prefers a well-mixed drink over a logo any day

Other dads couldn’t care less about designers, but will happily splurge on a well-crafted drink — if this sounds like your father, he might like this cocktail shaker that comes recommended by Nicola Nice, founder and CEO of Pomp & Whimsy gin. Included in our roundup of gifts for every type of dad, this shaker was developed by bartenders and never sticks or leaks. Dad can mix up to five cocktails at once with the built-in measurer, ensuring that he’s the life of the party.

A foot massager with best-seller history

Miko Shiatsu Foot Massager

In May, Strategist readers bought so many of these foot massagers that the device reappeared on our best-seller list for the first time since 2019. We have a hunch that its comeback has to do with its placement in our guide to the best Father’s Day gifts, in addition to its more than 7,000 rave Amazon reviews. It even earned praise from a professional massage therapist, who says that a 15-minute treatment relaxes not only your feet, but your entire body.

A trailblazing doll making Barbie history

You don’t need to collect Barbies to appreciate this momentous collaboration between Mattel and Emmy-nominated actress and activist Laverne Cox. This is the first time the toy-maker has modeled a doll after a transgender woman, and it’s done her justice with a stunning multipiece outfit that includes a holographic bodysuit, a red corset, and a full-length tulle dress.

A coffee club with virtual tastings

We reviewed the best coffee subscriptions that will ship right to your door, including this club that pairs its beans with expert advice. You’ll receive an Explorer Kit with two-ounce bags of five blends, with the option of joining an expert-led tasting over Zoom. After the session, you can order larger bags of your favorites or continue experimenting with Explorer Kits.

The socks that remind Nicco Annan of home

“I’m a 313 baby,” says actor, dancer, and choreographer Nicco Annan. “I’ve been away for so long, but it’s still home to me.” To rep his hometown, Annan wears these heart-printed crew socks, which are available in three colorways. “Maybe no one knows except me,” he says. But “it’s this thing that makes you happy on the inside.”

A pair of non-ugly blue-light-blocking glasses

We rounded up the best blue-light-blocking glasses that will reduce strain on eyes, including this (actually cute) pair that could easily be mistaken for normal specs. The amber-tinted lenses block 62 percent of blue light and make “everything look a little less bright — like someone dialed down the lights,” according to Strategist editor Maxine Builder. But even if the yellow filter is noticeable, it doesn’t distort your vision — and it means you can indulge in screen time before bed without a major effect on melatonin levels.

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