sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Curl Cream to Compost Bins

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products each 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 flavorful matcha powder, miniature cookware for kids, and a good-looking pie dish with a very special discount.

A water bottle as indestructible as Wolverine’s claws

When we asked Sam Sanders what he can’t live without, he said this Yeti water bottle “kind of changed my life.” He received it as a gift, and though he was a little underwhelmed at first, its indestructibility — “I swear it’s made out of the same stuff that Wolverine’s claws are made of” — and ingenious two-lid design really grew on him. “The top lid has a small mouth, great for sipping, and then if you take that top lid off, there’s a big opening where you can put ice cubes or, like, guzzle it out of the fucking bottle if you want,” Sanders told us. “Some days I like to have my big ice cubes in there, and this one is big enough to accommodate that.” Now he even takes it on all of his evening dog walks: “I can fit two Modelos in there, and it’s a nice little sip and walk.”

An easy way to reduce food waste


If you’re looking for a more ecofriendly way to discard your food scraps, composting is a great option — but you’ll need a compost bin to get started. Strategist writer Erin Schwartz has personally used this Epica stainless-steel compost bin for about three years and feels confident that it’s the best countertop compost bin. “It performed ably through some hot New York summers — its vented lid allows for some airflow, and two layers of charcoal filters block compost smells effectively,” Schwartz says. Though the lid does get grimy, it’s easy “to remove the charcoal filter and thoroughly clean it out, an essential quality in any compost bin.”

Some produce-inspired candles

Strategist writer Dominique Pariso recently noticed an Instagram post from artist Piera Bochner announcing that she was “getting out of the candle-making biz to join the furniture design M.F.A. program at RISD.” Bochner’s wacky, fruit-shaped candles were an early Strategist favorite and are made by individually pouring different colored waxes into silicone mold forms Bochner made from produce bought in Chinatown and Union Square. For now, her work is still in stock on SSENSE in a variety of designs, including a spiky kiwano, a shapely blue heirloom tomato, and a bitter melon candle that Pariso has kept on her desk “for the last three years.” We suggest snagging one before they disappear, possibly forever but definitely for at least the length of her M.F.A.

Kid-friendly versions of your favorite Material cookware

If your little one likes watching you whip up dishes in the kitchen, Material recently released mini versions of their kitchen tools, including their spatula and this good-for-everything whisk we’ve written about before. Both are made with BPA-free silicone and are dishwasher safe for quick cleanup. If you decide to buy the full set, it comes with a cooking card game to help you all create your very own recipes.

Tea bags for mixing your own brew

Accessories designer Tessa Tran and her husband recently spent a week exploring Lima, Peru. “Peru has always been on my radar, specifically its rich biodiversity, from the Andes to the Amazon rainforest to all the way to the coastal regions,” Tran says. They played tennis on an orange-clay court, picked up tchotchkes at the local craft market, visited a museum showcasing pre-Columbian art, and, of course, sampled lots of Peruvian food, from ceviche to purple corn. Tran likes to dehydrate her own “herbs and flowers to make tea on the go,” so she brought along prefilled bags of tea “to sip on the plane or in my hotel room” while unwinding from a long day of adventures.

White socks with a fashion-forward bent …

In hunting for the perfect pair of white socks, fashion historian Ruby Redstone “tried upward of 20 pairs over a near decade of searching.” She’d nearly given up hope when she stumbled across the Cotton Classic Crew socks from Maggie’s Organics. She found the cotton to be “thick enough to feel sumptuous but not so heavy that you can’t wear them on a hot day,” Redstone writes. The socks feature stylish wide ribbing and hit at just the right height — “at the slimmest part of the leg just below the calf when pulled up, and they look as good folded over as they do scrunched down.” The best part? “They’re just $9.”

… and orthopedic sandals with a sexy sensibility

A few summers ago, Strategist senior writer Liza Corsillo noticed a pair of “orthopedic mesh sandals with an ankle strap and cushy footbed” in the window of a Park Slope mom-and-pop shoe store and went in to try them on. Made by the brand Arcopedia, the shoes are “the closest thing to actual clouds I have ever worn. They weigh next to nothing and are inordinately soft,” Corsillo raves. The mesh fabric also exudes sex appeal, making her “feel cool and a little bit naughty, like slipping a health vest or fishnets over my toes.” Though Arcopedia is unfortunately no longer making new pairs of the sandals, these Ema sandals feature a similar “mesh design and the brand’s comfortable sole with great arch support.” They come in multiple colors, including tan and navy, but Corsillo remains loyal to the black.

A pie dish on sale just for Strat readers

If your kitchen is currently overflowing with peaches, nectarines, and plums, why not put your summer bounty to good use and make a pie? Until August 8, this handsome Great Jones pie dish is exclusively on sale for Strategist readers, discounted 25 percent in all three colors (yellow, green, and blue). Even better, the deal applies to Great Jones’s entire ceramic-stoneware line, including a casserole dish, a baking dish, and a nested mixing bowl set; use code STRAT25 to stock up on some kitchen essentials that’ll last you through years of baking.

Ashley Tisdale’s curl-taming cream

Ashley Tisdale counts this Kristin Ess styling cream as one of her very favorite things. She’s recently been letting her hair air-dry instead of blow-drying it and says the cream helps tame her “super-curly” locks. According to Tisdale, it doesn’t have a super-strong smell and the consistency “is really lightweight. I pair it with a leave-in conditioner, and my hair never feels product-y.”

A versatile matcha powder

Kitchen and dining writer Emma Wartzman recently went searching for the “Best in Class” matcha powders, and after consulting with multiple experts, declared this one from Ippodo the best overall. It’s the go-to of ​​Karina Hoshikawa, beauty and wellness writer at Refinery29, who drinks it plain, preparing it “the way my obaachan taught me: With the whisk (chasen) and little matcha bowl (chawan).” If she’s pressed for time, though, she’ll use “one of those vibrating milk frothers to blend the powder and really get the foamy, airy texture.” Confectionery chef Justin Iso is a fan as well, though he prefers to use it for cooking because its “forward flavors” with “more umami and astringency” are perfect for foods and desserts.

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: From Curl Cream to Compost Bins