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 deeply discounted Dutch oven, doula-approved massage balls, and a reminder that time is arbitrary.
An actually blendable mineral sunscreen …
Chadner Navarro describes himself as a “man with stunning brown skin and a distinguished graying beard,” which means that “every sunscreen must be scrutinized to the minutest detail to ensure that the formula not only provides sun protection but also complements my skin tone and features” and, critically, doesn’t leave a white cast on his face or beard. Live Tinted’s Hueguard hits all those marks — and leaves Navarro’s skin looking so dewy and plump, “I have half a mind to ask the brand to make me their model.”
… and a color-changing blush
Yes, this color-changing cheek oil starts the same green as Nickelodeon’s slime. But according to Rio Viera-Newton, it creates an “Über-natural” blush that’s easy to blend, thanks to the oil-based formula. “Without a question, it was the closest a makeup product had ever come to emulating my very own sun-kissed flush,” she says, and it’s become “a staple in my day-to-day, low-fuss makeup routine for meetings, getting lunch with friends, or just running a quick errand or two.”
Relief from lower-back pain and pelvic tension
Carson Meyer, an Asheville-based doula and founder of the skin-care line C & the Moon, has attended over 100 births and shared all the pregnancy necessities her clients love (and that she’s stocking up on now that she’s expecting). One pick that even non-pregnant humans may want to try are these cork massage balls that Meyer used to release lower-back discomfort during her first trimester. “Using this ball up against a wall to massage and release my glutes was so helpful. I recommend these to my clients because it’s something they can do at home,” she says, adding, “I tell clients to use these to get to places they can’t reach themselves. It’s so important to be able to release the tension around the pelvis.”
Middle-schoolers’ preferred socks … for some reason
We talked with nearly 40 students on the eve of their first day back to school to find the coolest lunch boxes (from Pottery Barn, of all places), the best backpacks (Fjallraven’s Kanken), and the most durable slip-on sneakers (Natives, of course). One sartorial surprise: Middle schoolers like long socks. “I really do not like no-show socks,” says Tess, a seventh grader from Solana Beach. “I don’t think that looks cute. I made my best friends switch over to long socks,” like these Hanes that she wears with low-top Converse (another tween favorite for the first day).
A (temporary) cure for pet allergies
Zoe Denenberg is allergic to dogs, even though her family owns a dog grooming franchise in New Jersey. But that’s also how her mother discovered this dog grooming brush, which stimulates the hair follicles, removes any knots or mats hidden beneath the fur, and strips away dander, the top instigator of allergies. Since using it on the family’s dogs, Denenberg has “tracked a noticeable improvement in my allergies.” Plus, the dogs really like it: “Instead of squirming away in the tub, they lolled out their tongues while she brushed their coats.”
A reminder that time is arbitrary
Artists are generally folks with extremely particular taste, so senior writer Liza Corsillo talked with dozens of them to figure out what sorts of gifts they’d actually like to receive. One of our favorite recommendations comes from artist, filmmaker, and poet Himali Singh Soin, who regularly gives hourglasses as gifts. It’s a reminder that time is arbitrary (and we’d guess it’s probably not something your artist friend already owns). She likes sourcing hers from vintage markets, we like this modern option from Hay (that also happens to be 15 percent off this weekend, as part of their autumn sale).
Sneakers to support your U.S. Open dreams
A deeply discounted Dutchess
If you need a break from the beach this long weekend, spend some time online and check out the slate of Labor Day sales. There are discounts at many of our favorite merchants, including a rare sale at Great Jones — where you can pick up a status-y Dutchess in any color at 20 percent off. We also recommend checking out our Labor Day mattress deals and the best discounts from Nordstrom’s Summer Sale.
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.