best bets

From a Moth-Eaten Running Shirt to Paul Feig’s Pajamas

Photo: Courtesy of the vendor

An all-over-the-place assortment of stood-behind products culled from this very website that appear in the January 16 issue of New York Magazine.

Best in Class

A Highly Sensitive Makeup Mirror

As if borderline excessively designed trash cans, dish racks, and compost caddies weren’t enough, Simplehuman’s eight-inch Sensor Mirror Trio, according to writer Kitty Guo, performs like the “Tesla of lighted makeup mirrors.” Double-sided, it offers three magnification levels, including a mini ten-times-enlarged window for focused eyeliner application and brow tweezing. Best of all is the quality of the light, which turns on automatically when you come within a few inches of it. Per Strategist editor Crystal Martin, its “tru-lux” tech simulates sunlight’s full spectrum so precisely (with daylight and candlelight settings; it can also be dimmed by running a finger along the light’s rim) that it’s “like looking at yourself outside. And everyone knows if you look good in the sunshine, you look good everywhere.”

My Week With

An (Artificially) Moth-Eaten Shirt Designed for Runners

To launch our “My Week With” column, for which a writer spends seven days seeing if a product actually does what it claims, associate editor Louis Cheslaw tested a MothTech cotton shirt (with strategically placed holes for ventilation) from French running brand Satisfy

“It’s on this final, seventh-day run that I realize I’m going to keep wearing MothTech for outdoor running even after this week is over. It’s incredibly suited to sweating in 40-to-60-degree weather; it’s warmer than thinner fabrics but, thanks to the holes, absent the discomfort of a sticky chest. And I’ll probably keep wearing the shirts for resistance training because the soft, thick cotton is much more comfortable against my skin than the usual skintight polyester. But I know I’ve done my last high-intensity indoor workout in a MothTech — for those, I still want my temperature-regulating technical gear. I’m also sad to report that MothTech wasn’t the conversation starter I’d hoped it would be. Of the hundreds of New Yorkers who saw me in a series of moth-eaten tees, all remained completely unbothered.”

This Thing’s Incredible

These Skin Gumdrops Were the Best Thing I Bought LastYear 

Four months ago, I saw reports of “Benjamin Buttoning” and “being mistaken for a UCLA student” on my Instagram Explore page attributed to these cherry-flavored gumdrops. About half a bottle in, with no modifications to my normal skin-care routine, I started to notice … something. The difference was barely perceptible, but I could see that my complexion looked brighter and my features more open. (It could be Paya’s biotin, ingestible retinol, and several other pretty-making vitamins and minerals.) What I do know is I’ve gradually detected more elasticity and plumpness. Three aestheticians have commented on my skin’s bounciness, my eyebrows have gotten fluffier, and my lashes have lengthened and lifted. It seems like these gummies are doing some good — and for $25 a month, you could certainly do a lot worse. —Chelsea Peng

Strategist Investigates

What Is It About the Laneige Lip Mask?

In a recent ten-day span, musician Yuna Zarai, stylist Ty Hunter, and actress Ashley Benson each recommended this overnight lip mask to us. (Actress Storm Reid gave it a shout-out in June, as did stylist Beverly Nguyen in February.) So why is a five-year-old lip mask having a moment all these years later? As the Strategist’s resident beauty writer — who has been using the mask since 2018 — I can say my theory is that the ingredients are truly excellent: hydrating hyaluronic acid, a cocktail of nourishing oils, and a kick of vitamin C. An intense treatment that has turned into a staple for many, it seems to have gone viral through old-fashioned word of mouth. Charlotte Lawrence learned about it from her mom. Delilah Belle Hamlin stole it from her sister, and in her August Vogue “Beauty Secrets” video, Kate Moss mentions she heard about it from her daughter. —Tembe Denton-Hurst

Celebrity Shopping

Paul Feig’s Pajamas

Silk pajamas are fun and elegant, but I got a pair once and they were so hot. These pajamas from old English brand New & Lingwood are the greatest. They look like silk, but they’re a silk-cotton blend. They fit like a glove — a loose-fitting glove, if you will — with the breathability of cotton, the great look of silk, and really wild patterns.”

Rhiannon Giddens’s Knitting Yarn 

Amigurumi, the Japanese art of knitting small creatures, keeps me sane on the road. I’ve made bunnies, a dragon, a penguin. I give them to people having kids or who need a pick-me-up. Webs, a yarn shop in western Massachusetts, has everything and can ship this to me wherever I am.”

Lou Diamond Phillips’s Shower Tablets 

“These little aromatherapy tablets turn your shower into a mini-spa. I had a cold recently, and they actually cleared things right out. I use them on set in the early mornings because it’s just a great way to start the day. They’re a small and practical thing, but they feel so luxurious.”

Testing Testing

The New Guard of House Slippers

Parachute, Naadam, and Rothy’s — brands known for selling linens, cashmere, and workwear flats, respectively — are just a few of the companies that have recently added a slipper to their repertoire. To determine the best of these newcomers, five Strategist writers wore a pair (or two) around the house on the first few chilly days of the season.

These cotton terrycloth slippers from Parachute are “rather absorbent, like putting your feet on a nice fluffy bath mat,” says writer Katherine Gillespie. These aren’t the warmest, she adds, but “they make you feel like your house is a spa.”

Writers Kitty Guo and Erin Schwartz agreed that these terrycloth slippers from Brunch have sturdy enough soles that they can be worn outside. Guo goes so far as to say, “I wouldn’t hesitate to run out to grab the mail or even walk the dog in these.

Unlike the Brunch slippers, Guo says, these slip-ons from Naadam are strictly for indoor use. She describes them as socklike, and while they lack support, the cashmere-wool blend makes them especially, unusually warm.

These Italian-made velvet slippers are a particularly stylish newcomer. Writer Tembe Denton-Hurst says they make you feel fancy and are nice enough for hosting, but she warns the half-leather insole doesn’t make them the coziest.

A genuinely comfortable option for wearing when people are over, these slippers have a durable sole and a footbed that consists of three layers of foam (the brand’s “Triple Stack Technology”). “It really did feel like walking on a cloud,” Guo says. “Or, less fancifully, a firm mattress.”

For something on the firmer side, writer Jeremy Rellosa recommends Rothy’s moccasins. They’re lined with merino wool (which makes them warm, though he recommends adding socks when it’s really cold) and are made from the brand’s repurposed-plastic-bottle thread.

Assistant Files

The Mechanical Bull a Celebrity TikToker’s Assistant Bought on the Job 

We sat down with “Stephanie,” who used to work as the personal assistant to a famous Gen-Z TikTok and YouTube star, to ask about the things she frequently had to obtain for her boss — including mechanical bulls for parties.

Mechanical Bull
From $1,500
From $1,500

Stephanie says many L.A. content creators, including her boss, were obsessed with the West Hollywood restaurant Saddle Ranch, specifically its mechanical bull. Because of COVID restrictions at the time, customers weren’t allowed to ride it, so her boss requested that she rent one to re-create the experience for birthdays and other events at his mansion. The rental company would set up the inflatable bull in the driveway and send an operator along for a few hours to run each ride. “It was always in good fun and in hopes, obviously, of creating good content surrounding it,” Stephanie says. One such video racked up more than 1.5 million views.

2x2

A Bed-Frame Matrix

Wood and metal options for every budget.

$1,095

Wood over $1,000.

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.

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