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 budget-friendly dry shampoo, Baywatch-esque high-cut panties, and a trendy purse with room for all the essentials.
Highly effective (and non-aerosol) dry shampoo
Strategist contributor Erika Veurink has “made a sport out of avoiding washing [her] hair” — which means she’s experimented with her fair share of dry shampoos. In search of a more environmentally sound alternative to tried-and-true aerosols, she decided to try Odele’s $12 powdered dry shampoo — and it “seemed to transcend the expectations I placed on traditional dry shampoo from my very first use,” she writes. “A light mist is released from the bottle, landing on greasy strands with no need to mix vigorously at your roots … Odele feels like it’s actively absorbing my grease.” She loves its sophisticated scent, which boasts “notes of cucumber, oakmoss, and ylang-ylang — it’s on par with the high-end powder I ditched.”
A carryall purse for running around Rio
For our latest installment of “Steal My Vacation,” Brooklyn-based writer Devine Blacksher recounted spending her 30th birthday in Rio de Janeiro, where she “fell in love with bossa nova music, feijoada (black-bean stew), pão de queijo (cheese bread), açaí, and thong bikinis.” She and seven friends decamped to an Airbnb and spent a week renting a private boat tour, booking samba lessons, and lounging on the Copacabana beaches. The whole time, Blacksher carried this Baggu crescent pouch, making it her go-to bag. “The medium size perfectly held my book, canga, sunscreen, cameras, portable fan, and more,” she says.
The travel pillow Erin Andrews swears by
When we asked Erin Andrews what she can’t live without, she said she brings this Tempur-pedic travel pillow on every trip because she “can’t do hotel pillows. I don’t feel like they have enough support.” Since this pillow has a divot for your head, it helps “hold your neck and head properly and you feel like you get a great night’s sleep.” Plus it’s convenient to throw in your carry-on because “you can roll it up and put it into a little cylinder holder.” Andrews admits that she’s accidentally lost a few by leaving them “in the car or on the plane” but assures us that “you can just get another one on Amazon or freak out and call the hotel and ask them to send it to you.”
Undies that call back to the ’80s …
Growing up in California in the ’80s and ‘90s, Strategist contributor Molly Prentiss developed an obsession with the Baywatch aesthetic — “bleached tips, dynamic tan lines, sweatpants rolled at the waist to reveal semicircles of skin edging up to suuuuuper-high-cut red bathing suits.” She found an underwear equivalent to those exaggerated bathing suits when she stumbled across Elsy Marie’s Etsy shop. “It was the shape of the undies that drew me in first: a perfect isosceles triangle with ever-so-slightly curved sides. When I clicked through to the on-figure shots, I discovered that this triangle was beneficial for many body types — it looked especially good when slung above a curvy pair of hips,” Prentiss writes. They come in the lifeguard-red color, the organic cotton is sustainably sourced, and — the best part — they are only $15 (or even cheaper in a pack of three).
… And eyeshadow for a smoky noughties look
In the past, when Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton would “stumble across old photos from my tween years, I couldn’t help but wince at the excess of my makeup: the thick kohl liner, the clumpy mascara, the mismatched foundation.” But 2007-esque gothic, emo-inspired makeup has experienced a resurgence lately, and now she says she’s “here for it.” To re-create the eyeliner-heavy look, Viera-Newton turns to this shadowstick from musician Halsey’s makeup brand About Face: “It’s super-pigmented (so you don’t have to pull or tug), lasts all day, and — perhaps my favorite aspect of it — its tip is thin enough to use for a cat eye, but its width is thick enough to use all over the lid as a shadow,” she writes. She’ll use it to line her lower and upper water lines, then smudge it out with her fingers.
Hemp pre-rolls for Margo Price fans
Dad Grass, purveyor of CBD pre-rolls so effective that they convinced Strategist editor Maxine Builder that “CBD is actually a thing,” has collaborated with musician Margo Price on a special edition of its Mom Grass. While Dad Grass is CBD, Mom Grass is hemp CBG, a cannabinoid compound that’s often referred to as “the mother of cannabinoids.” The limited-edition packaging features a trippy watercolor pattern that shares a color scheme with Price’s latest album, Strays, which our friends at Vulture called her “most experimental and incongruous collection of songs yet.”
A design-y plant trellis with Mediterranean vibes
The current windchill factor notwithstanding, our roundup of what the Strategist’s writers and editors bought in January includes several picks that channel warmer weather, from summery Teva-espadrille hybrids to boxfuls of pink watermelon guava. Strategist senior editor Jen Trolio was especially delighted with her Chen Chen & Kai Williams plant trellis, shaped like a Greek column, which she’d been eying for months. “Flush with a little bit of ‘fun money’ after receiving some cash for Christmas, I finally purchased it in January,” Trolio writes. It’s available in two sizes, mini and large; she opted for the extra-sculptural large to help support a giant aloe plant in her kitchen window. “But even if it weren’t functional, I simply love looking at it every day,” she says.
International coffee delivered straight to your doorstep
We’ve named Atlas Coffee Club one of our favorite coffee subscriptions for its selection of premium-quality beans from all over the world. You start by taking a quiz about your caffeine routine and naming any particular preferences (dark, medium, or light roast, for example). Then you’re matched with a selection of beans sourced from the Congo, Bolivia, China, and beyond that are roasted in Austin, Texas. Right now, the brand is offering 50 percent off its subscriptions through February 13, so if you’ve been thinking of leveling up from Starbucks, don’t dillydally.
Lando Norris’s favorite golf balls
Formula One driver Lando Norris counts these TaylorMade golf balls among his very favorite things, even though he only started getting into golfing at the start of the pandemic. “My teammate at the time Carlos and I would go to TopGolf often because it’s next to McLaren. After a while, he got me into proper golf on an actual course in Westby Fleet, and I found it even more fun than TopGolf.” Eventually Norris took some lessons, and now he golfs all the time and travels with all his golf gear. “TaylorMade is an iconic brand, and they make great golf balls,” Norris told us. “They somehow always end up in every bag. I find them everywhere.”
Dan Auerbach’s beloved portable record player
Guitarist and vocalist of the Black Keys Dan Auerbach is an expert collector of portable record players, but his absolute favorite is the vintage, all-in-one Califone. He even wrote a song in its honor, “Califone Interlude,” for the new album he released with his band, the Arcs. “There’s a bunch of models, and they’re all about the same, to be honest. It’s really about what the outside looks like,” Auerbach told us. “It’s a whole suitcase, like a top-hat suitcase … It’s got a tone knob and a big speaker, so it sounds pretty good.” They’re great for someone who listens to vinyl casually and is just starting to dip their toes into the record-player world, or if you’re planning to “post up somewhere” on vacation and want to have some background music.
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.