best bets

From Insect-Shaped Brooches to the ‘Bentley of Stoves’

Photo: Bisgaard

An all-over-the-place assortment of stood-behind products culled from this very website that appear in the May 8 issue of New York Magazine.

Best in Class

A Perfect Plucker

It was not entirely surprising that when Strategist writer Arielle Avila started her search for a flawless pair of tweezers, the aestheticians, spa owners, and eyebrow artist she spoke to overwhelmingly recommended Tweezerman. She heard about four models, each suited for a specific hair-removal need—the Point Tip tweezers, for instance, are best for ingrown hairs, the Ultra Precision for brows—but found the Tweezerman Classic Slant Tweezer ideal for most plucking problems. According to experts, it’s because of the slant and sharpness of the tool. The etched and angled edge lets one reach the base of the hair, get a good grip on it, then pull it right out without any breakage to speak of. “I used to struggle to grab short, wispy hairs, or, even worse, I’d accidentally pluck a perfectly in-place one,” says Avila. “But I don’t have that issue anymore because this tweezer is precise.”

Compulsive Shopping

I Can’t Stop Buying Brooches

I have been collecting brooches since high school, and my favorites seem to fall into two categories: florals (for the spring, I know— groundbreaking) and animals or insects. Florals introduce a bit of fun to what could otherwise be a cookie-cutter ensemble. Meanwhile, insects have ties to Surrealism that embody a Prada-like brand of ugly chic. Below, some of the brooches I’ve acquired over the years, along with a few I’m pining for. — Jenny Walton

I Keep Seeing This

The Art World Loves This Patagonia Backpack 

This is a really good bag. It can be carried as a tote or worn as a backpack depending on the situation, and it folds into its own internal pocket for easy storage. It’s crafted from black ripstop but doesn’t scream “I hike!” It has a large number of pockets and adjustable straps but doesn’t scream “I code!” In fact, it is very popular among artists. I first saw it in 2018 on my colleague who had copied it from artist Dena Yago a decade ago, when they both lived in Berlin. When I went to Art Basel in 2021, I saw it multiple times, and in 2022, I spotted it on two separate artists at Ceramics Club at Greenwich House Pottery. Yago says she has noticed it on many art-world friends: “I know two curators in Germany and one in Miami who have it.” As for who started this backpack trend among NYC working artists, it seems more like a multiple-independent-discovery situation like calculus or a game of telephone. Artist Dmitri Hertz bought it in 2021 at a Patagonia store. Megan Mi-Ai Lee, another artist, “first saw the backpack when I ran into a friend with it at an opening.”

Packing List

What I Packed for a 23-Day Road Trip

To escape the Toronto winter, Fran Miller, founder of skin-care line F. Miller, and her partner, Jackie McKeown, planned a 23-day road trip from Canada to Los Angeles. Here, a few things Miller brought along for the ride.

“We transferred clothes in and out of this Rimowa and brought it into hotels. It’s light and basically indestructible, and the hard shell slides into the car easily. We kept shoes on one side and clean basics like socks and underwear on the other. It just fits everything nicely.”

“With travel, getting sick is not ideal. You’re eating out; there are time changes. It’s tiring. So there were a few things we took just to boost our immune systems. This is a supplement that has vitamin C, mushrooms, and zinc.”

“It’s the ideal material: a crisp cotton that works when it’s hot but is cozy and warm when it’s chillier. We have long- sleeved shirts, then some shorts and pants so we could switch it up depending on the temperature.”

“Incense is a big part of our daily life, and this is the stuff we burn at home in the living room every morning. When you’re traveling and switching up locations every couple of days, it’s just nice to have some form of comforting, grounding aromatherapy.”

This Thing’s Incredible

This Card Game Will Tear My Family Apart — But We Can’t Stop Playing It

Other than a single night of Catan in college and some throwaway bouts of Bananagrams, I haven’t played board games as an adult. But last Christmas, my sister-in-law introduced me to Dutch Blitz, a card game she’d learned about on a backpacking trip, and when my husband and I arrived for the holidays, it took only a couple of hands for me to get sucked in. It’s essentially a simultaneous-play version of what the manufacturer describes as “very energetic solitaire.” A few quick rounds soon turned into hours, and on day two or three, I suggested we toss some money on the table to heighten the stakes. “That will tear our family apart,” my sister-in-law said. I’ve since introduced the game to at least ten people. I’ll persuade my husband to play a hand or two between meetings
as we both work from home and are slugging through the day—the dopamine hit from a two-minute game gives me a euphoric separation from the stress of my Outlook inbox. –Laura Guidry

Celebrity Shopping

Lisa Barlow’s Lip Gloss

Tom Ford lip gloss was all I wore until I found this about three months ago. Makeup artist Morgan Fay put it on me, and I was like, Oh my gosh, I’m obsessed. I literally went and bought 50 of them right after. It’s the perfect pinky-brown color, and the formula isn’t super-sticky. I have it in every glove box and bag now.”

Annie Murphy’s Natural Deodorant

“My mom introduced me to No Pong, and I have not smelled like B.O. since I started using it. Not once. It comes in a tin and is a cream, so that might be a bit off-putting to some people, but I swear by it. I bought it for a bunch
of my girlfriends just because I wanted them to stop using antiperspirant. I’ve converted probably 15 people. Everybody I’ve recommended it to—both men and women—has been truly blown away by how good it is.”

Adrienne Bailon-Houghton’s Stove 

“When we were doing my home in New York, I was told by my interior designer, Erick Garcia with Maison Trouvaille, that I was ‘getting the Bentley of stoves.’ I chose ivory and gold to match the color of my cabinets and walls. I got it just in time for Thanksgiving; there was so much room for all the dishes we were cooking. It was the luxury I had no idea I needed.”

2 x 2

A Matrix of Rain Boots for Kids

Pull-on boots and those with drawstring tops for every budget.

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 Insect-Shaped Brooches to the ‘Bentley of Stoves’