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 Lena Dunham about the Joe Boxer underpants and Glutino whole-wheat crackers she can’t live without, on the occasion of the August 1 release of Jenny Zhang’s Sour Heart, the first book from Dunham and Jenni Konner’s new Lenny imprint.
So the way I got into Joe Boxer underwear was that I was staying at a hotel — there was some construction happening at my house — and I needed to Postmates some underwear. I ended up ordering from Kmart, and I said, “Just bring me a six-pack of anything.” What arrived was a pack of Joe Boxers. I love a slightly baggy, but fun underpant, and that is what came to me. Joe Boxer was cool and hip when I was 12, and now it’s a Kmart property. Leaving aside the ethical implications of that, I fucking love the underwear. I now order the string bikini brief in a large, even though a medium might be more supportive of my butt, but this gives me a little tail. A six-pack of three solids and three patterns for me is the perfect balance.
Get the best of The Strategist delivered to your inbox.
I am not in a position, at the age of 31, to be limping around Manhattan in a French slide that is actually causing me massive blisters. I just can’t pretend anymore. These Cole Haan sneakers have taken over my life. I wear them basically every day. They look like a cute tennis shoe, but they have a very supportive insole. You can throw them in the washing machine. And they finish any outfit off in a fun country-club style. I have them in black; they’re kind of the equivalent of a little French child’s shoe, which is a look I’m always chasing. They don’t have ostentatious branding either; I don’t need that in my life right now.
This was sent to me as a celebrity freebie, and I went through a phase, it was so dark, where I would just eat things that could support this ghee: a hamburger with some ghee on it, rice with ghee in it. Because ghee is used in Ayurvedic medicine, it felt sort of healthy, and my boyfriend had to be like, “You know you’re eating straight butter.” I gained like ten ghee pounds, but it was so delicious, especially the Himalayan-salt-flavored one.
I’m very into snacks. I need to eat while I write, and this is something I feel like I can eat throughout the day and feel a little less deranged about — as opposed to, say, if I were just eating Cheetos. Things I put on my Glutino crackers include Kite Hill dairy-free cheese, almond butter — sometimes I eat a Glutino cracker by itself and wash it down with ginger ale, which is just the most luxurious in-bed combination.
I like anything that’s a shortcut to being clean. I don’t want to shower that much; I don’t want to wash my face. When I’m shooting, I can’t be expected to get home at 11 p.m. and do a full facial cleansing. But I can wipe the crap out of my face until it’s bright red with these delicious natural cleansing wipes. They come in a chic little black package, and I keep them in my purse. I love that it’s founded by this woman who has a really cute and sexy Instagram — it makes me feel like I’m part of a whole “I don’t want to wash my face” movement. I’ve also been known to use them in my armpits.
I have endometriosis, which I am very vocal about, and this heating pad is my biggest pain-reduction tool. It’s more expensive than your average heating pad, but it has a real weight to it. I’ll wrap it around my whole torso, and since I’m cold all the time, sometimes I rest it under my feet, which is a real luxury. My mom actually introduced me to it — she had shoulder issues — and she was like, “Welcome to the world of Battle Creek.” Anytime I have a friend diagnosed with endometriosis, I send them one of these.
I wouldn’t recommend anyone stay at the hospital for 17 days, but I would say the primary benefit are the socks they give you: They are amazing. So soft. They feel like they’ve been worn 1,000 times, even when they’re fresh out of the package. They’re terry cloth, and they have treads, so you don’t slip on the hospital floor when you’re taking a constitutional. The thing is, who doesn’t need that in their apartment, too? They’ve replaced slippers for me 100 percent. You just can’t be bothered by the slightly morose aspect of it.
My friend Paul introduced me to Salonpas strips — they reduce inflammation if, say, you pull your back out, or have cramps, or if you do something on set and hurt your wrist or ankle. I love anything that involves a tingle — like if you take a B12 vitamin and your face turns red, or eat shellfish and get a slight allergic reaction. That’s what this feels like.