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What Keith Pollock of Architectural Digest Can’t Live Without

Photo: Courtesy of Keith Pollock

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 Architectural Digest executive digital director (and former Interview editor-in-chief) Keith Pollock about the incense, back massager, and lip balm he can’t live without.

You can hold these clippers in one hand and use it between haircuts for touch-ups. I’ll trim the back of my hair and sculpt my sideburns, or I’ll use it on my beard, too, depending on how scruffy I want to be. What I like about it is that it’s wide but also really short, and the blade contours to your head and is easy to clean. I really did a lot of field research here, so I can say confidently these are the best.

I do the scented candle thing, but I’ve also gotten turned on to these copal incense sticks I buy on Amazon. They come in this dusty plastic bag, they’re not super fancy, but the smell is really rich and very cool. It’s kind of woodsy, and I feel like every time people come to my house, they’re asking what the scent is. I find that it works to mask bad smells coming from my neighbors’ apartments in my West Village building. I’ve given it as gifts to people, too.

I call this my hooker. I probably get a massage a week. I really like to indulge in that. I’ll go to places in Chinatown or I’ll go to Great Jones Spa or after work I’ll just go some place off the street. I’m pretty indiscriminate. But I also have this hooker thing at home and if I’m watching a movie, I’ll give myself a massage. Nothing is sadder than giving yourself a massage, but this weird-looking contraption actually works. I enjoy shocking people when I say I need to go home and relieve some stress with a hooker.

I have a crippling allergy problem. I went to an allergist and they were like, “You’re allergic to dust.” But even in a super clean place, I’m sneezing and sinusy and have itchy eyes. So this is my morning vitamin. I wake up every morning and I have one or two Zyrtecs. Every day. I don’t know what kind of person I would be without allergy medication. Definitely a very nasally one.

This is the thing I always have. Actually, right now, I’m thinking about it, because I put it in my coat in a different part of the building, and in every meeting I’ve been in today, I’ve felt like my lips have been super dry. I buy it in bulk and remove all the labels immediately. I like having it in my hand too because when I was working at Elle, I got media-trained, and the thing they told me was that you should always have something in your hand to distract your mind when you’re nervous. And because the Burt’s is a yellow tube, it’s sort of disguised in your palm. It’s a good trick. If you’re ever speaking at a wedding or something, put something in your hand. So this is essentially a lip moisturizer and a fidget spinner in one.

I pretty much have a uniform these days, which is all black and navy, and I’m really into the retro ’90s Air Maxes (the 90, 95, 96, and 97) in all-black or all-navy or some combination of both. They go with everything. My best friend recently Insta-shamed me for how many “weekend sneakers” I have. It’s my one vice. Last night I had to wear a suit, so I had to force myself to wear dress shoes, but most of the time, you can even kind of dress up a black sneaker.

I split my time between Manhattan and Long Island, so I’m constantly packing and unpacking a weekend bag. I use a Patagonia backpack and I also have the duffel bag, which is a great carry-on on airplanes because it basically collapses into any space. Whatever space is left in an overhead, can expand and contract into. I’m not someone who needs fancy luggage.

I do, however, like a nice wallet. This is just super chic and not tacky and covered in logos. I like how the leather is finished because it has a bit of a shine to it. I think they’re really elegant. I’m on my third one now. Not because they’re not durable, I just like all the colors. I’ve had the navy. I have the brownish Champagne color, and I’ve had green.

Francisco’s a really good friend of mine, and he just launched this beauty line — the packaging is exquisite and minimalist, and the face oil is super lightweight. There’s no scent to it, and it doesn’t make your face feel oily either. I am a no-frills beauty person (I use Cetaphil), but I’m turning 40 and now is the time you start noticing fine lines. I use it every night and I’m getting younger looking EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Viso Project makes these amazing rugs and throws and pillows that are graphic, and even though my space is minimal generally, these punch them up a bit.

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.

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What Architectural Digest’s Keith Pollock Can’t Live Without