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 John Varvatos’s unusual cocktail shaker, a top-performing detergent tested by an obsessive laundry professional, and two immortal floral bouquets.
A floral arrangement that will last all year long …
Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, so we’re officially in very last-minute shopping territory. Instead of a dozen red roses, go for a dried floral arrangement like this one that lasts months (or even years) longer. Or try one of the other 13 bouquets on our list — most of which we’ve written about before — that will arrive in time for the big day.
… and a (sculpted) arrangement that will last forever
If a dried bouquet isn’t your (or your special someone’s) style, we rounded up the best bouquet sculptures crafted from carved wood, felted wool, old books, and wire. This LEGO flower arrangement is filled with lavender and Welsh poppies, plus it happens to be one of two new designs released by the brand this year. And if that’s not convincing enough, A$AP Rocky gifted Rihanna one for Valentine’s Day last year.
A Danish doojigger for your desk
On a trip to Copenhagen in 2009, Strategist contributor Chantel Tattoli kept seeing “something bright, rotund, and spring-loaded for sale” that she eventually learned was a Hoptimist, a delightful toy/design object created in the 1960s by Danish cabinetmaker Hans Gustav Ehrenreich. Tattoli says keeping the “happiness-inducing” bobblehead on her desk helps her “to pause, get perspective, and reset with a sense of humor,” adding that it makes a sweet gift for kids and adults.
The face oil Eva Mendes uses on her hands
Eva Mendes told us she can’t live without this oil, which she carries with her at all times and reapplies to her face and hands throughout the day. “I love that it’s botanically based, of course, but my skin just says, ‘Yes, please.’ It asks for it. I know that sounds weird, but my skin craves it,” she says.
A John Varvatos–approved cocktail shaker …
When we asked designer John Varvatos about his favorite things, he told us this cocktail shaker is the best because it’s the only insulated one he’s ever seen, and the “threaded top screws off and never gets stuck. I can make a cocktail with a little extra in there, leave it, and take it out an hour or so later to fill up my glass and it’s still frozen or cold,” he says. “All of my friends see it and end up getting one.
… and elegant (on-sale) coupes
To help you snag an affordable gift in time for February 14, Strategist deals editor Sam Daly created this guide to the best on-sale items that double as perfect Valentine’s Day presents. We think these coupes from Strategist-favorite Italian glassware brand Bormioli Rocco would pair nicely with the shaker, above.
A deeply discounted North Face pullover
Presidents’ Day offers deals galore, from apparel and home furnishings to tech and mattresses and more, so we compiled the Strategist-approved retailers already getting in on the sales action. Lots of outerwear offerings at the North Face are up to 50 percent off, like this zip-up pullover, which features a draw-cord hem for adjustability and is made of 100 percent recycled fabrics.
The most effective stain-busting laundry detergent
Zach Pozniak, a fourth-generation dry cleaner and self-proclaimed laundry nerd, has tested more than 60 detergents to create this master list of the ones that clean your clothes the best. The winner is Tide Hygienic Clean for how easily it can handle “difficult food stains like berries and stubborn makeup stains like lipstick,” Pozniak says.
Next-season outerwear for a drizzly commute
As we near spring, it might be a good time to reference our guide to the best raincoats for women. Strategist writer Katherine Gillespie tested Stutterheim’s lightweight Stockholm jacket that’s coated in a much thinner layer of rubber than the brand’s original model, which happens to be our top-rated pick. “This lightweight version would be an ideal alternative for those who travel frequently or dislike wearing a stiff jacket,” Gillespie says, adding that “it’s more scrunchable for storage and swishier in fit.”
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.