best bets

From Eva Mendes’s Exfoliating Mitts to Baywatch-Inspired Underwear

Photo: Herman Miller

An all-over-the-place assortment of stood-behind products culled from this very website that appear in the February 27 issue of New York Magazine.

Best in Class

A little over a decade ago, we simply didn’t have stickers to suck the oil out of our zits; now, the pimple-patch market has become fairly expansive. There are patches with tiny needles to pierce cystic acne and patches shaped like stars. In an effort to find the model that works best for most skin types, Strategist writer Rachael Griffiths spoke to dermatologists and beauty writers and discovered that Hero Cosmetics’ Mighty Patch is the one that really zaps. It contains medical-grade hydrocolloid, an ingredient that quickly draws the excess fluid and oils from pimples without drying sensitive skin. The patch also helps the skin maintain an “optimum pH level, which can prevent bacterial overgrowth and promote healing,” says New York Dermatology Group’s Dr. Amy Perlmutter, who recommends Mighty Patch to her patients. And its “invisible” iteration is so truly transparent that Strategist columnist Rio-Viera Newton says she sometimes “loses track of where I’ve put them on my face.”

Celebrity Shopping

“I used to go to this amazing Korean bathhouse in Los Angeles with one of my dear friends, Liv Tyler. One of the things they used when they scrubbed you down were these mitts. I started asking, ‘Can I buy these?’ They sent me to the right place.”

“I started golfing when COVID started. Now, I golf all the time in Monaco, where I live, and I’ve been lucky enough to golf at Augusta. I always travel with my gear. TaylorMade
is an iconic brand, and they make great golf balls. They somehow end up in every one of my bags. I find them everywhere.”

“I just had this custom bag made for my dog. It’s monogrammed with her name, Goldie. The bag is super-spacious. Along with Goldie, a few of her toys, her harness, and her leash can fit inside. I love that it’s 100 percent sustainable, but it doesn’t look like it. It just looks luxurious. I’ve traveled with it several times, and it all still looks brand-new.”

Our Shopping Cart

We spent part of the winter holidays in Taipei, where I consumed as much of the locally grown tropical fruits as I could get my hands on, including guava. I have been craving the fruit ever since, and while the watermelon guava that Miami Fruit ships is not the same variety as what you’d find in Taiwan, it is very, very good with a truly exquisite fragrance and creamy texture when ripe. I’ve eaten my way through several boxes of the fruit this month and will likely continue until the season ends. — Winnie Yang

Not a Professional. Just Crazy.

“This year, the unthinkable happened,” wrote beauty columnist Rio Viera-Newton. “Smoky, messy makeup — similar to what I wore in Myspace photos circa 2007 — made its way back into the beauty Zeitgeist.” But this time, it’s a bit less extreme and more wearable: natural, barely-there foundation; smudgy, tinted lips; and a classic smoky eye. Below, a few products she likes to achieve the look.

“This chunky eye-shadow stick is superb for a few reasons: It’s super-pigmented (so you don’t have to pull or tug), it lasts all day, and its tip is thin enough to use for a cat’s-eye, but it’s width is thick enough to use all over the lid as a shadow.”

“This adds a bit of sparkle over the cat’s-eye. It’s really easy to use. You simply pat the wing with the doe-foot applicator. Instant twinkle.”

“One of the things that really modernizes this look is how glowy, fresh, and minimal the base makeup is. With that in mind, a skin tint such as this one from Glossier is a great way to add a nice veil of color to even out your complexion without it looking cakey and overdone.”

“Because there’s a lot going on with the eyes, I like to go subtle, smudgy, and slightly glossy on the lips. This gives a buttery-soft flush of color.”

Packing List

In late November, Devine Blacksher invited seven friends to celebrate her 30th birthday in Rio de Janeiro. They spent the week lounging on low-key beaches, visiting museums, and dancing to samba. Here, a few of the things she packed.

“This was my everyday bag. The
medium size perfectly held my book, canga, sunscreen, cameras, portable fan, and more.”

“This has been my go-to travel sunscreen for years. I love it because it gives me sufficient coverage without leaving a white cast on my face.”

“This brown lip tint is a staple. I love how the color looks on my lips, and people always come up to me to ask where my lip gloss is from, so it’s a great conversation starter.”

“I decided to get braids for this trip, so I had to make sure I brought the perfect scrunchie to keep my hair off my face while walking around.”

“These are my favorite travel shoes. They are comfortable, lightweight, and easy to pack but also fashionable.”

My Week With

Dominique Pariso tested the entire line of Joggy CBD supplements, which promise various positive effects (Joggy’s Runner’s High supposedly boosts energy; the Re-Chargies are a sleep aid). Below, an excerpt from day six:

“I take some Runner’s High before doing a quick Pilates workout. I don’t consider myself to be particularly sensitive to bitter flavors, but it’s getting a little hard to choke this stuff down. I didn’t notice anything. Later, I take two Re-Chargies before bed. There are only 20 gummies per tin. I will miss my Joggy-induced sleep once I run out. I wake up less during the night, feel more awake in the morning, and don’t get any weird CBD dreams.”

This Thing’s Incredible

Like many people who grew up in California in the 1980s and ’90s, I developed an early obsession with hot female lifeguards. I was infatuated with their 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. I am on a perpetual quest to find the underwear equivalent — a pair of skivvies that pays homage to Baywatch while providing enough coverage to feel age and life appropriate. In a midnight Etsy deep dive, I happened up on Elsy Marie, a Salvadoran woman living in Robesonia, Pennsylvania, who advertised “sexy and comfortable underwear 100 percent cotton.” It was the shape of the undies that drew me in first: a perfect isosceles triangle with ever-so-slightly curved sides. The colors were great (lifeguard red — check!), the organic cotton was sustainably sourced, and they were only $15 and even cheaper when purchased in bundles of three. When I tried on my Elsy Maries, I felt a little bit Yasmine Bleeth and a little bit Rudy Jude. It was just the jolie laide my private parts needed. — Molly Prentiss


From dimmable lamps with adjustable arms to stationary lamps with just one setting.

Lepro LED Desk Lamp

Dimmable, adjustable.

Non-dimmable, nonadjustable.

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.

From Exfoliating Mitts to Baywatch-Inspired Underwear