Welcome back to “Your Shopping Cart,” where we break out the top products that you, devoted Strategist readers, bought in droves. Think of this as the TL;DR of the Strategist. If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to as well.
As expected, February saw an uptick in Valentine’s Day shopping, as Strategist readers raced to surprise their sweeties for February 14. A few of the first-timers in this month’s roundup were included in our Valentine’s Day gift guides, which helped propel them onto the top-purchased list alongside established stalwarts. Skin care and hair care were also popular as the merciless ravages of winter showed no signs of abatement, and a certain football game (and Rihanna concert) that closed out the NFL season helped one celebrity’s “What I Can’t Live Without” column rise to the top.
What were our top sellers in February?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here are our best sellers by the number of items sold (rather than the total amount of money spent):
The Zimasilk pillowcase, our best overall silk pillowcase, clinched the No. 1 spot for the sixth month in a row — clearly readers can’t get enough of this luxe-for-less staple. And the Beckham Hotel pillows, which have made regular appearances on this list for several years now, retained their second-place spot from last month. The RoC retinol eye cream, however, dropped three spots, from third place in January to sixth place in February — it was replaced by the Estée Lauder eye cream, which we dubbed the best night cream for hydrating your under-eye area and reducing crepiness.
Other notable mentions: the best drugstore moisturizer, CeraVe cream, and the best travel pillow, the Trtl pillow — both holdovers from last month — as well as Cosrx’s snail mucin essence. The Cosrx essence wasn’t a top seller in January, but it has consistently popped up on this list over the years and earned its best-seller status in February because it’s a just-as-good dupe for SKII’s cult-favorite toner.
Newcomers to the list include our pick for the best overall lube, Überlube, which uses only two ingredients (silicone and vitamin E) and counts among “the highest-quality silicone lubes out there,” according to Samantha Bard, a co-owner of Brooklyn’s Shag. Another is the Theraflow foot massager, which we named one of the best Valentine’s Day gifts for him. Here’s hoping our readers had a fun and amorous celebration!
How did Strategist readers treat their loved ones for Valentine’s Day?
Our top two most-read articles this month were both Valentine’s Day gift guides, as readers pondered what non-cheesy, actually useful gifts they should get for their loved ones and significant others.
Men can be notoriously hard to shop for, so it’s no surprise our guide to the best Valentine’s Day gifts for him was the most consulted. It seems the majority of the readers settled on this TheraFlow foot massager — enough to boost it into the top ten. It was first recommended to us as a gift for doctors, since “we need some relaxation at the end of a full workday,” says immunologist Lina Velikova. “This portable foot massager is small and compact and will discreetly fit under a desk.”
Readers also flocked to our under-$50 V-Day guide for every type of person, and these mineral bath powders were a popular pick. What’s more romantic than a luxurious candelit soak in a tub that smells like a Japanese onsen?
What are Strategist readers using on their hair?
Apparently, readers are really interested in treating their strands to some TLC: Our roundup of the best shampoos was the best-performing Best in Class story in both January and February. Masami Hosono, creative director of Vacancy Project, put us on to Malin + Goetz’s Moisturizing Shampoo, which is our top pick; Hosono says it works well “for any hair type,” from straight to curly, thick to thin, with a “not too heavy” texture that still foams up nicely.
And the hair-care interest didn’t stop there — our top-performing ode this month was Strategist contributor Erika Veurink’s rave review of Odele’s dry shampoo. Upon Veurink’s very first use, she reported that it “seemed to transcend the expectations I placed on traditional dry shampoo,” adding that the cornstarch-based powder “feels like it’s actively absorbing my grease, while spray solutions really only masked the feeling with scent and a sticky texture.” It has since taken a place of pride in her toiletry bag, replacing all the high-end powders she’s tried in the past.
How many Strategist readers are also football fans?
Over 100 million football fans watched sportscaster Erin Andrews on their screens during the big game in Arizona, which may explain why her “What I Can’t Live Without” column was our most popular celebrity shopping story in February. Readers were particularly interested in the Dr. Scholl’s shoe insoles that Andrews wears during the long hours she spends on her feet while reporting from the field. “The game is usually four to five hours long, but we show up about three to four hours before. It’s a long, long day,” Andrews told us. “So these Dr. Scholl’s Prevent Pain insoles are fantastic. They add some cushion and protection, and they help with lower-back and knee pain.”
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.