sunday circular

10 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Evidence Bags to Body Scrubs

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 the best salt scrub recommended by cool people, Judy Greer’s “family pen,” and a microscope that can talk.

The evidence bags used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

In 2013, Marina Nitze started working as the chief technology officer for the Department of Veterans Affairs under President Obama. After her long and winding efforts to make it easier for veterans to access their benefits online — and serious consideration of the question “Can you put the cloud in an evidence bag?” — these became an agency inside joke and were used to “deliver desserts or memos” and even acted as a “wink-y intraoffice envelope,” Nitze says.

Judy Greer’s family pen

When we asked Judy Greer about the things she can’t live without, she called out the Uniball as her “family pen” after her husband brought them home from the office one day. Greer describes it as long-lasting, quick to write with, “and the ink is super-black, like black-black.” She also says she loves “when I open the kitchen drawer and the little pen cubby is filled with these Uniballs.”

A phone case built like “cargo shorts”

Strategist junior writer Kitty Guo “resolved to bring only the bare necessities on a night out” by stuffing everything into her pockets — until she found this hands-free phone case that almost “resembled a pair of cargo shorts with an array of pockets protruding from the back.” Made by Urban Sophistication, the same brand that produces viral puffer cases (Dua Lipa, Emma Chamberlain, Kendall Jenner, and Justin Bieber are all fans), the Utiliti Case is highly functional with an adjustable strap that allows Guo to keep it close to her body while dancing. (It’s also detachable for non-club use.) Three Velcro pockets, each ascending in size and shape, provide room to hold coins or pills, lip balm or lighters, and even keys or your AirPods. A fourth, flatter pocket hooks to the strap to hold an ID and credit card.

A Bey-inspired Halloween costume

Rhinestone Bodysuit Dress

If you love dressing up for Halloween, we’ve put together a list of the best pop-culture costume ideas of 2022, which includes none other than the Queen B. If you’re a fan of Beyoncé’s Renaissance, we think this party-stopping rhinestone-encrusted dress is perfect for recreating the album’s cover art.

The salt scrub recommended by cool people

When Strategist contributor Deanna Pai asked cool people about the very best salt scrubs, four of them recommended this one by Osea, which contains three types of salt from New Zealand, the Himalayas, and Hawaii. It’s “loaded with salt grains, and my skin feels brand new and so smooth after,” says Annie Jackson, the founder of Credo Beauty. “It also hydrates without feeling oily.” Plus it’s “free of a lot of irritating preservatives, which is nice,” says dermatologist Sheila Farhang.