celebrity shopping

What Elvira Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Pamela Littky; Illustration: Joe McKendry

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 hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Cassandra Peterson, who’s better known as Elvira and whose memoir Yours Cruelly, Elvira is now out in paperback, about her favorite plastic-free household products, the goth-friendly cooking pots she displays in her kitchen, and why she swapped high heels for Birkenstocks.

My goal in life is getting rid of plastic containers. But one of the hardest things to find is dental floss that isn’t in a plastic container. And this one is beautiful. It comes in a little tiny glass tube, and the floss is fantastic. It’s imbued with charcoal, which is anti-inflammatory, and it’s a little bit on the thicker side, which my dentist really appreciates. You just buy the bottle once and order refills as often as you want. I took it with me just recently on vacation and was driving around everywhere, and the container didn’t crack or break.

This is also because of my anti-plastic thing. I’ve tried a few deodorant brands and I happen to like this best — it’s a little smaller, and the tube works a little better than a couple of the others I’ve tried. I like the baby-powder scent. It’s natural strength; if you need something major because you sweat a lot, that’s another story. But it totally works fine for me and for my partner — we both love it.

I’ve tried a dozen THC-gummy brands. Every brand in the world. I can’t smoke weed and I don’t vape, so it’s down to gummies, period, for me. And the elderberry flavor is specifically for sleep. I’ve noticed if I don’t take one an hour before bed, I really sleep a lot less soundly. The different flavors have different highs — they might not make you want to sleep. They’ll make you want to party.

I’m now living in Portland, Oregon, and I just discovered this jam at the farmer’s market. It’s a little company and they only make jam. This particular one is a spicy cherry jam that you use with cheese. So if you’re serving cheese, and particularly cheese that’s strong and flavorful, this stuff with cheese on a cracker is just delicious. It will make your head explode. I also had curry last night and used some on the side, like chutney. They have many flavors, and I’ve tried several, but I like this one the best. It’s the bomb — the cherry bomb.

It’s funny, I used to always call Birkenstocks “lesbian shoes.” But now I wear them all the time, and I’m a lesbian. I don’t know if they turned me into a lesbian, or what. I use them for slippers in my house, I use them for walking and hiking, and to wear them around town because they look awesome. I get compliments all the time. If you’ve worn high heels for 50 years, like I have, your feet are screwed. These are just about the only shoe I can wear now that feel comfortable, and they have arch support. I have them in gold, bronze, and I just bought some new ones in a beautiful brown.

It’s made of recycled plastic bottles. But I get so many compliments on it — people don’t know it’s made of bottles, and they’re always asking where I got it. And the best thing is that it’s washable. You can throw the whole damn thing in the washing machine on the delicate setting — it comes with a little wash bag. And it looks brand new again. It’s kind of an expensive bag, but they have smaller, less-expensive ones that I really like, too. And because they’re washable, you can have one handbag for everything and just keep washing it.

The reason I started using Evan Healy products is because they come in glass containers. But the benefits have also been fantastic. They have many different scents and ingredients, and they’re all made from weird herbs and vegetables. I have pretty dry skin, so I use the rose geranium spray with the pomegranate serum. You put three or four drops of serum in your palm, spray six sprays, rub your hands together, and pat them on your face. I do it day and night, and I freaking love it. My skin is so much more hydrated.

Weleda Skin Food Original
From $15
From $15

This is another moisturizer that I found out about from a Hollywood makeup artist. He put it on my face before applying makeup. It’s not meant for your face because it’s very rich, and I usually use it for my hands and elbows. But he uses it on faces because it gives them a sheen, and he says as a guy he uses it everyday because it makes him glow-y. I wear it sometimes all day, without makeup. The packaging is unfortunately plastic, but they sometimes sell it in metal tubes — the toothpaste kind. But I haven’t found that in a while, which is a big bummer.

I’ve been using these for a long, long time. They’re handmade from clay, and they have been around forever. You can even set them directly on a fire if you were going camping. They’re great for making soup, casseroles, or roasting a chicken. And they’re gorgeous. I keep them displayed on my dining room shelves, but they’re also extremely useful for cooking. My favorite thing to do with them is cooking beans. They come in a million different sizes and shapes. I happen to collect all-black things, and that’s another reason I like them — because they’re all black.

When there were fires going around in Los Angeles and I was up here in Oregon, I found the best damn fan and purifier ever, the Dyson. It’s a fan that does a really awesome job at keeping the room cool, but it also sucks the bad stuff out of the air, especially smoke. It’s also good if you live in a city and have a lot of pollution. It has a little clicker remote if you’re on your bed and you want to turn it up more. And on the fan itself, it tells you what it’s pulling out: chemicals, smoke, dust. It registers what it’s pulling and how much. I guess Dyson is out to rule the world or something; they do everything cool.

I couldn’t stand buying the plastic containers of toilet cleaner. And I finally discovered these things. They do a fantastic job, they smell amazing, like lemon and cedar, and they come in a cute metal canister. You can buy refills in a paper bag. And you just throw one in the toilet, leave it for 30 minutes or an hour, scrub, and voila, your toilet is perfectly clean. And you haven’t smelled any horrible chemicals or bought any plastic.

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 Elvira Can’t Live Without