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 Madewell president Libby Wadle about the natural deodorant, snack bars, and baking essentials she can’t live without.
I was desperate in the middle of winter a few years ago and wandered into Credo, which is a great shop that sells all these natural, clean products. I needed some good moisturizer, and they directed me toward this amazingly thick one that feels weightless when you put it on. Anything you put it on becomes so much smoother. It’s actually now the one heavy moisturizer I can wear year-round and not feel greasy. I’m even wearing it now in July when it’s 90 percent humidity.
I went to see a nutritionist this past year to get a handle on things for myself, so I’ve cut a lot of things out of my diet like gluten and wheat and all the really good stuff. I’m someone who loves to eat and cook, which you can probably tell from this list, but I have really enjoyed these bars because they have very few ingredients and it’s shocking to me that they’re still so delicious. They’re not too big or too sweet, and they’re the one snack bar I allow myself to eat because you generally can’t tell what half the ingredients are in those.
I have a daughter who’s approaching adolescence, so I’ve been trying to be adventurous and move toward more natural products. One thing I decided I needed to figure out was a deodorant because I wanted to find something effective but good that she could also use. I actually got an email about this as “the first natural deodorant that works for real,” and it truly does. It’s unscented, so you don’t even know it’s there, and now I’ve recommended it to everyone. I was a diehard who was like, “I’m never moving to natural because I don’t trust it.” And there are other brands I won’t name that I don’t care for because they do not work. I’m telling you, this one is really good.
Have you seen this? Because you must. It’s co-written by Sharon Horgan, who also stars in it and writes Divorce on HBO. There aren’t that many great comedies out there. It’s 30 minutes of total hilariously chaotic romantic comedy — truly one catastrophe after another. You rarely find a laugh-out-loud show these days, and in the midst of all the dramas I love, like The Handmaid’s Tale, this is a nice comedy breather. I find it very cathartic.
I love to bake, which I get from my mother. Someone got me this and I call it my motivation to bake. Because I can’t eat bread right now, I truly just enjoy baking to give to people, and it all starts with the rolling pin. I found the kneading and rolling to be one of the more rewarding things I do. I actually just made over the weekend this involved recipe of brioche rolls for my daughter with the pin, and she’s very excited about that.
Speaking of, I continue to make this no-knead bread in a cast-iron pot, which is how I started with bread-baking. It’s so rewarding to have this beautiful loaf of bread from the Jim Lahey book. I also love making pies because there are so many wonderful farm stands in the North Fork where we live.
I do a lot of driving back and forth from the North Fork, so I’m always up for a new podcast. I was a big fan of Serial, but not the second season nearly as much as the first one, so someone recommended this to me as an alternative, and I found it to be really riveting. I like the crime podcasts that don’t solve the mystery necessarily but shed light on these old crimes. This is a really well-done cold-case podcast.
Clearly there’s a theme. I love baking, but I’ve never made croissants because they’re so hard. Marie Eiffel is a master baker on Shelter Island whose croissants are just unbelievably buttery and flaky and dangerous and truly, I think, the best you can get. If you can’t make it out to Shelter Island, Williams Sonoma makes a box that someone once gifted to me, and I like those, too, though not as much as Marie’s. You keep them in the freezer, and when I can’t make it to Marie’s, I leave them out to rise overnight and then pop them in the oven.
These are the new Madewell jeans with the comfort stretch. The whole thing with high-rise jeans and mom jeans is that if you’re actually a mom with a real body, they’re not comfortable because those vintage styles don’t often have stretch. These actually have the perfect amount of elastic, so if you want that retro look, you can actually look cool and comfortable.