sunday circular

9 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From LEGO Storage to Lip Liners

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 — an alcohol-free amaro for mocktails, a Gracie Abrams–approved poetry book, and an expert-recommended (expensive-looking) lube under $50.

The nutrition gummies Alex Honnold takes to fuel long climbs

From $26 for 12

Professional rock climber Alex Honnold has tried many different sports-nutrition products over the years, but he told us he can’t live without these chews because they’re the kindest on his stomach. “I did a 16-hour mountain-bike ride powered mainly by Bolts,” he says. “And I recently did a 32-hour continuous climbing adventure across a local mountain range — the Honnold Ultimate Red Rock Traverse, or the HURT — powered largely by Bolts.”

For those doing Dry January …

$60 for 12

This new alcohol-free amaro from New York–based company St. Agrestis — as seen in this week’s roundup of the things that’ll almost definitely sell out — has a balanced mix of citrus, herbs, and botanicals. The brand also recommends enjoying it over ice with an orange twist.

… and for those not taking part

At just $22, this is the top budget-friendly pick on our list of the best wine decanters and aerators. Made by JoyJolt, a family-owned business in New York, it is backed by a lifetime warranty and even dishwasher safe. “It gets the job done and is under $25 for real glass,” says Molly Austad, sommelier at Bludorn.

A $6 dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude lip liner

Strategist beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton calls Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat Lip Liner in Iconic Nude an all-time favorite for its “cool-toned, pinky-taupe brown,” and she has been on the lookout for a dupe. This affordable Milani alternative is the closest she’s gotten, with a creamy finish that “applies smoothly and is a quarter of the price of Lip Cheat.”

A big LEGO (for storing smaller LEGOs)

With a 5- and 7-year-old in “a phase of LEGO obsession,” Strategist writer Latifah Miles decided it was time to find the best storage options to limit the number of sharp pieces she kept finding underfoot. This eight-stud storage drawer in the style of a giant LEGO brick comes recommended by Abby Clawson Low, a graphic designer and art director based in Dallas. “I like these because they are visually so cool-looking, and they are stackable and they add something colorful and unusual to the kids’ area,” she says. “Who doesn’t love an oversize object?”

The poetry anthology Gracie Abrams adores

When we asked singer-songwriter Gracie Abrams about the things she can’t live without, she told us she has read this poetry anthology, which her mom gifted her about two years ago, more than a dozen times. “It’s so heartbreaking and kind of highlights human fragility, resilience, heartbreak, and just real love,” she says. “I often read it and won’t speak to anyone for the rest of the day because it puts me in such a place of stillness, which I think we could all benefit from.”

An (artificially) moth-eaten shirt for heavy sweat-ers

In our new series, My Week With, Strategist associate editor Louis Cheslaw ran, cycled, and lifted in Statisfy’s (artificially) moth-eaten shirts, which are inspired by the holes in vintage cotton T-shirts and use body-mapping for strategic ventilation. While Cheslaw found that the gear is “incredibly suited to sweating in 40- to 60-degree weather,” it fared less well during indoor high-intensity workouts. Read on for Cheslaw’s full seven-day analysis.

An expensive-looking lube to spice up your Valentine’s Day

With February 14 just over a month away, it’s (somehow) not too early to start shopping for your special someone. Featured in our guide to the best Valentine’s Day gifts under $50, this nice-looking lube is also our best overall pick and comes recommended by sex educators, employees at adult retailers, and more. Emily Morse, a doctor of human sexuality and the host of Sex With Emily on SiriusXM, told us that Überlube has only two ingredients: “It is basically pure silicone with a trace of vitamin E,” she says. This simple ingredient list — and the fact that it’s gluten-, glycerin-, and paraben-free — makes it one of the best natural lubes too.

New loungewear for a new year

As we begin 2023, get settled in with a new loungewear set. True & Co. — well-known for its beloved bras — launched its own collection of home clothes, including a bathrobe, cardigan, and these bottoms, which we named our best wide-leg sweatpants. Strategist writer Ambar Pardilla says they feature an ultrasoft modal, cotton, and elastane blend, so they “feel substantial without being heavy.”

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.

9 Things That Delighted Us: From LEGO Storage to Lip Liners