celebrity shopping

What Danielle Brooks Can’t Live Without

Photo: Stephanie Diani

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked actress Danielle Brooks from Orange Is the New Black (who is partnered with Olay Body to promote its Olay Moisture Ribbons Body Wash) about the room spray, backpack, and stand mixer she can’t live without.

I’ve had this bag for at least two or three years now, and it’s still holding up really nicely. I was on the hunt for a new book bag and this one stood out to me. It looks so flat but it actually holds everything. I really don’t like carrying around a purse or anything with one strap — I’m not into that. I like balance, so book bags are good for me. Plus, it just fits my day-to-day style.

I personally love self-help books — I’m always in search of how I can be a better Danielle — but this is one I return to over and over again. It’s the kind of book you can pick up at any time, open to any page, and get a good pull quote out of it. I always feel a jolt of new energy and new purpose every time I flip it open. I usually have at least one Jen Sincero book on my bedside table.

Apple Airpods

I’m late to the party, but thank God I joined because these are lifesavers. I think this is one of Apple’s best inventions, hands down. I always have them in. They’re good for making private phone calls. They’re good for rocking out to some gospel music or jazz. I’m kind of old-school when it comes to music. I don’t really know the rappers like I used to when I was a teenager, but I’m always listening to something uplifting. Anyway, I can do all that hands-free.

My dad gave this to me for Christmas about two years ago, and it was one of the best gifts I have ever received. I love baking, and I do it often. I love making banana pudding or brownies. I like making cheesecake. Whatever you can think of, I’m usually trying to make it. This mixer makes cleanup so easy too. I started cooking when I moved to New York for college. It’s funny because I actually hated cooking as a kid. My mom would try to get me in the kitchen all the time and I would just refuse. Now I’m calling her constantly, wanting her to make a cookbook with me because I enjoy it so much.

This is for when I don’t have time to cook. My makeup artist, Michael Patterson, actually told me about this. There are so many different food-delivery services now, but this one is a little bit more my style. They’re healthy but also delicious. They just save me so much time with the work that I do. When you’re going from photo shoots to the stage to a meeting — or you just did all of that yesterday and you want a break — these make eating right so easy.

When I was doing Shakespeare in the Park, I would come offstage after two and a half hours to greet my friends and family at the stage door. But I wanted to smell good. So before I walked out, I would spray this all over the room and my body. It’s a room spray, technically, but I use it as a body spray — not sure if you’re supposed to do that? Still, every time I stepped out people would say, “Oh my gosh, what is that scent?” It is so refreshing, but at the same time not overpowering.

Normally, when I come out of the shower I have to put on lotions and oils, but this is kind of a twofer. I can wash my body with this, dry myself off, and I’m still hydrated. It smells good, which you know I’m into, but I’ve also noticed a difference in my skin after using it. [Editor’s note: Danielle is currently a brand ambassador for Olay.] When I was doing Shakespeare in the Park, the weather was constantly changing and my skin did not know how to adjust. It would freak out when we had to perform in the rain, or if it was 80 degrees. This has really balanced out my skin — and made it much softer.

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.

What Danielle Brooks Can’t Live Without