We write about hundreds of products every 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 the vast online-shopping universe — including an elegant floral fox brooch, turmeric shot to deter hangovers, and kids’ hairbrush for fuss-free detangling.
The Boulet Brothers’ favorite oil for creating bespoke fragrances
Drag performers Dracmorda and Swanthula Boulet can’t live without this Cliganic jojoba oil. Dracmorda calls it “a miracle, all-purpose oil that we use regularly as a nighttime moisturizer.” Although it’s “nothing special,” it just works: “It never reacts poorly, it never overwets you.” Swanthula says that it’s a great carrier oil if you want to make your own scents — the brothers often mix it with essential oils and gift the resulting concoctions to friends for birthdays and holidays. “We try to customize it to their personality,” Dracmorda says. “No one has been offended — yet.”
The backpack that’s all over the art world
Strategist contributor Molly Dektar first noticed the Patagonia Ultralight Black Hole backpack in 2018, when a colleague told her he’d copied it from artist Dena Yago. Then she saw it multiple times at Art Basel in 2021 and spotted it again the following year “in the possession of two separate artists at Ceramics Club at Greenwich House Pottery.” Compelled to snag one for herself, she instantly understood why it had become the bag du jour in the art world: “It can be carried as either a tote or a backpack, depending on the situation, and it folds into its own internal pocket, for easy storage,” Dektar writes. And it comes with a really generous warranty.
Hiking sandals vouched for by outdoorsy folks
With warmer weather just around the corner, we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up all our best previously recommended women’s sandals. If you’re looking for a sturdy, comfortable option to take you on treks through Yosemite and the Grand Canyon this summer, look no further than the Chaco Z/1s, which we’ve heard about time and again from expert hikers and trail guides. “Chacos come with super-grippy Vibram soles that are heavy-duty and dense,” says Paul Ronto of RunRepeat, who does 90 percent of his hikes in sandals. Photographer Erika Skogg says that they’re “incredibly weatherproof and seem to last forever, even after years of travel wear and tear.”
A turmeric-infused shot to help stave off hangovers
“I’m not a heavy drinker, but after more than one or two drinks down the pub — I live in London — I wake up feeling groggy, nauseated, and with faint memories of heart-reacting to 16 acquaintances’ Instagram Stories,” admits Strategist writer Rachael Griffiths. On a recent trip to Tokyo, however, she tried a popular Japanese hangover-prevention drink called Ukon no Chikara before a night out and woke up the next morning “feeling fresh and well rested.” Although she was nervous that a stealth hangover would “creep in and pounce late in the day,” none ever materialized, and now she’ll be committing to the blend of vitamin C and anti-inflammatory turmeric ahead of future two-for-one cocktail nights with the girls.
Invisible SPF in stick form
We’ve written about Live Tinted’s Hueguard sunscreen before, calling it “at once lightweight and substantial to the touch” and noting that “even if you do end up using too much, it leaves not a trace of whiteness.” The brand recently released a stick version of the sunscreen, and Strategist senior editor Chelsea Peng took it on vacation, where she used it to top off her regular sun protection. “It’s super-slick and easy to apply, unlike some others that drag,” she says. “And it gives you a glowy highlighter effect when you use it on your cheekbones and nose.”
An inflatable pool for hot, sunny days …
If you’re living in a landlocked location, an inflatable pool in the backyard can provide just as much entertainment as a trip to the lake or beach. We suggest snagging this stylish, pastel-patterned one that’s currently on sale at Ban.do for $38 — a $27 discount. The pool is just over four and a half feet in diameter and about 15 inches deep, so you can fill it up a little for younger kids or add more water for older ones who want to make a bigger splash. Ban.do’s Outdoor Fun Sale runs until midnight tomorrow, so if you’re looking to further deck out your patio, toss in a few glittery tumblers or a cheery inflatable pool chair.
… and waterproof overalls for cold, rainy days
Splashing around in puddles is a lot of fun for kids — but not if it means they’ll end up with soggy trousers. “Give kids the right tools to enjoy puddles without getting soaked, and you’ve got yourself a lovely afternoon in the rain,” says Gilliam Buckley, a Waldorf preschool teacher. When we asked experts to recommend the best rain gear for kids, all of them mentioned Polarn O. Pyret’s waterproof rain set, which includes suspender-style pants and a rain jacket. “Their clothes are often pricier but hard-wearing,” says Melina Gac Levin, founder of Nido Forest, the first Spanish-immersion forest school in New York. “They last us for more than one year and can still be passed down to a younger sibling.”
Highly collectible vintage brooches
Strategist contributor Jenny Walton has been collecting brooches since high school, declaring that they’re “incredibly effective and subtle in adding character” to an outfit. Her extensive collection includes three vintage pins by designer Léa Stein, “a master of simplifying complicated shapes that somehow always retain their elegance and peculiar qualities,” Walton writes. “I think her fox is the perfect example.” The version that Walton owns features a black-and-white grid pattern, but she helpfully sourced a fun floral-printed one on Etsy for us.
A detangling brush that cuts wash day in half
Strategist contributor Natasha Marsh loathes the process of detangling her curls: “Aside from the stiff arm and hair loss, it can take anywhere from 15 to 25 minutes to get a comb completely through my 4A spirals and coils,” she says. In searching for a brush that would help, she stumbled on the Cantu Kids’ Detangle Hair Brush. Even though she’s 31, she decided to give it a try. Not only did it considerably shorten her detangling routine but since her hair is fully detangled prior to styling now, her curl definition has improved and she doesn’t “have to use as much product or refresh them as often.”
Kendall Roy’s opulent coffee tables
While watching the latest episode of Succession, Strategist writer Lauren Ro immediately recognized the nested coffee tables in Kendall’s apartment, as they’d been on her wish list forever, Ro writes. “They’re by the Montreal-based designer Loïc Bard, a woodworker whose Bone collection of sculptural furniture features exaggerated proportions, plump legs, and smooth, curving edges that are just the right amount of cartoony.” The smallest size starts at $6,100, and a quick chat with the Radnor furniture gallery confirmed that Kendall’s tables are medium and large, so snagging this pair “will cost you at least $12,700 — chump change to a man like Kendall.”
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.