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What Actress Kat Dennings Can’t Live Without

Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images; 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 hairspray and the electric toothbrush. We asked actress Kat Dennings — a star of WandaVision, which is now streaming on Disney+ — about the eyeliner, vegetable knife, and vinyl record she can’t live without.

I got my first bottle of this toner at the drugstore when I was about 13. I remember seeing something on the back of the bottle that said the lady who invented it always looked ten years younger than her age — such a big claim! I remember thinking, What is it going to do, make me look 3? But it’s a really good toner and not expensive. My skin is really delicate and this has never failed me. I also have an intense scent memory around it, like it’s kind of a mood-booster for me at this point. It’s very refreshing and the scent of it is just so delicious that I’ve basically been hooked for my whole life.

Black eyeliner has kind of become my thing, for better or for worse. I feel like I don’t look like myself without it — it makes my face feel like my face. One of my closest friends, Brenda Song, is also a big makeup lover and she turned me on to this liner. It is the deepest black of all my black liners. Pat McGrath is a legend and I’ll give her all my money. Because of the price point, it’s more of a special-occasion liner. It’s incredibly smooth, with a felt tip, which is what I prefer. I don’t love brush-tip liners, I like the precision of a felt tip. To anyone who wants to try it, I would say to keep your eye open when you draw the liner on. I know it sounds weird, I know it sounds crazy, but closing your eye kind of warps the shape. You can draw a beautiful, smooth line and then, when you open your eye, it’s all totally different.

I’m a big knitter and circular needles are my favorite because you can put your knitting down before you’re finished without worrying that your stitches are going to fall off. That’s a big concern with regular needles because you can lose a whole row if you put them down in a hurry. I avoided circular needles for a while until I saw my friend using them. I thought circular needles were just for knitting circular things, but you can make anything with these. The set comes with different size needles, too, including tiny ones you can make socks with. I don’t want to sound like a crazy knitting person, but truly, the sky’s the limit.

NAYOYA Acupressure Mat
$50
$50

This thing is basically like a bed of nails. I have really legitimate back pain and I’ve tried a lot of different things to soothe it. This is the best. It is covered in these little plastic spikes that are really intense if you don’t wear a shirt, but you can work up to that. You’re not going to get hurt by it, but you do feel it. Eventually, you kind of go numb; then, when you sit up, the blood rushes to your back. I think there’s something to that because it really helps a lot with my back pain. If you’re on your feet a lot during the day, you can also try walking on the mat — it’s brutal, but feels great. Back when I was on set, I would bring it because I would be on my feet for like 17 hours a day.

[Editor’s note: This acupressure mat is sold out, but you can get the very similar ProSource Acupressure Mat — a Strategist favorite since 2018 — at Amazon from $20.]

This is the funniest book ever written. It’s my comfort book. I take it with me on trips because I just like knowing it’s there. It makes me so happy. There’s an audio version from the ’80s, I think, which is also incredible. My brother had it on cassette when we were little — that was my first exposure to it. It’s such an incredible piece of writing. I saw a little of the movie and then I stopped, not because it wasn’t good, but because the book is so precious to me that I didn’t want the movie to interfere with the version in my head, you know? It’s too important to me to even go there.

I’ve never liked to exercise and I’m way too shy for group classes. Even before the pandemic, I really couldn’t bear the thought of being in a group class. The Peloton bike gives shy people the experience of being in a group class. It’s kind of perfect if you’re antisocial. My favorite instructor is Christine D’Ercole. She’s an absolute badass and a real competitive cyclist. You can also take these scenic rides that look like you’re biking through a forest of a French town. It’s the only exercise I’ve ever looked forward to and that’s saying a lot.

I have terrible knife karma. I’ve accidentally done so many bad things to myself with knives. But the blunt end on this knife means there’s one less way I can wound myself. It’s specifically for chopping vegetables; now that I garden a lot, I use mine constantly and it really does the job. I like the cleaver shape, there’s something very pleasing about it. Right now, my garden is less exciting than in the spring and summer, but I actually just started seeding tomatoes inside. That’s really what gets me going.

This record is very precious to me. If you love David Bowie, which everybody should, it’s an incredible experience. For anyone who doesn’t know what this album is, it’s a story told with an orchestra. It’s very different from anything you would hear now. I don’t think this is really done anymore and it’s a cool thing to hear. As a kid, my mom really pushed me towards classical music, so I listened to this a lot. It’s otherworldly because of Bowie’s voice and his presence. I’m pretty sure it’s available on YouTube, so you can just listen to it for free. But if you can get your hands on a vinyl copy, you really should. The record is a transparent green color. I have a thing for clear records. They do something for my soul. So this is a real treasure of mine.

The only piece of jewelry I wear every day. Mine is engraved with a little meaningful thing. I love everything at Catbird. Delicate, unique jewelry is my favorite and they just have so many beautiful things. They are my go-to for gifts. I’ve never been to their boutiques but I have always wanted to go.

Los Angeles really ruins crystals for people that have a genuine interest in them. People have just like douche-ified it here. I’ve been collecting crystals forever. Phantom quartz are just quartz crystals that grow with the shadow of another crystal inside them. The effect is so beautiful and there are all different kinds. I have one called a Tibetan black phantom quartz that’s clear with a black phantom in it. You can get gorgeous crystals on Etsy for not that much money. I travel with a piece of phantom quartz because I have a lot of anxiety around travel and there’s something about looking at a thing that’s maybe a million years old, you know, that makes me calm down. It makes me think, You know, you’re just a speck in this dumb universe. Plus, they’re just really pretty crystals to look at.

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What Actress Kat Dennings Can’t Live Without