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What Lou Diamond Phillips Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Courtesy of Disney

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 Lou Diamond Phillips — who voices a character in Firebuds, available on Disney Channel and Disney Junior and to stream on Disney+ — about the heated jacket he owns in three different styles, what he wrote his first play and novel on, and the “space-looking” litter box he can’t live without.

Bombas’ advertising worked on my wife Yvonne and me. When they said they would supply a pair of socks to homeless people for every pair sold, I was like, Good on you. I can 100 percent get behind that. It helps that the socks are ridiculously comfortable. They’re the best socks I’ve ever worn. They’re thick without being too thick, a little bit like an athletic sock. And they grip all around your feet, from the arches and ankles to your shins. The only thing is that they’re so well formed that there’s a specific left and right sock. I can’t go through airport security with two right socks. It just requires a little bit more attention.

$26 for 12

Back in ’97 when I was doing the King and I on Broadway, I wrote my first draft of my play Burning Desire on a yellow pad. It’s been my go-to since. The first draft of my first novel, Tinderbox: Soldier of Indira, was mostly written on a yellow pad. I jot down thoughts or write entire passages and transfer it on the computer and edit as I go. For the sequel to the book, I tried to write it on the computer as opposed to the entire thing on yellow pad. It just took me losing a few pages on the computer for me to go, Why didn’t I do this on the yellow pad? So, it ended up being about half on the computer and half on yellow pad this time.

Every time one of the concierges in our building comes up, they go, “You have the nicest-smelling apartment.” And it’s because of Yvonne. She introduced me to all the Diptyque candles and sends me off with one for the hotel room whenever I go on locations. It gives me a little home away from home. This reminds me of the scent of old books, brandy, and cigars. It’s probably the most masculine thing on my list.

Yvonne has introduced me to some self-care products, but it wasn’t until I was working on location as a director rather than an actor that I started really appreciating those things. Directing is infinitely more stressful than acting, because you’re being asked a dozen questions every hour and having to pay attention to the minutiae. There’s no rest. And at the end of the day, man, a therapeutic bath prepares me to actually get some sleep. This specific one comes from Germany and was developed by a priest who used water therapy to heal people. The movie Water Healer is about his life. He was a holistic doctor long, long before it was hip. I’ll sometimes combine it with Epsom salts, but this alone is very relaxing.

Yvonne was crew in hair and makeup; that’s how we met. She was one of the best in Vancouver, so she’s used to inclement weather and knows all the tricks. This is one she taught me, because I was a California and South Texas boy and cold was not my forte. Again, this is something I appreciate more as a director. As an actor, if you’re dressed for summer and shooting in winter, they usually give you a warming tent or you can go back to your trailer or somewhere indoors. As the director, you’re out for 12 hours straight. It’s not as glamorous as people think. This is the most practical winterwear I have. I have three versions — the vest, fleece, and parka — they’re all heated and come with a chargeable battery. It lasts all day and has three different heat settings. I always have crew people coming up to me saying, “What the heck is that? Oh my gosh, is that heated?” I know for a fact that I’ve been responsible for selling a few of them.

My family and I moved cross-country from California to New York for Prodigal Son with our five cats and one dog into a much smaller New York apartment than our house in California. Obviously with five cats, there’s a lot of cat poop. This bizarre space-looking pod is a godsend. The cat goes in, does its business, comes out, and it goes through its cycle. It turns upside down and removes the poop from the litter and into a drawer below that’s lined with a plastic bag, and it lets you know when it’s full. All you have to do is tie up a bag and dispose of it. There’s no scooping, and there’s never been a problem with odor. It’s incredibly convenient, especially in a smaller space. Glamorous topic, isn’t it?

$5

These are a favorite during the holiday season. We have to exercise a little discipline with them because they are so damn good. We can’t get them all the time. They’re just so rich and yummy. They taste like decadence. This and a nice cup of coffee — oh my gosh, ridiculous.

I will have directed five television projects this year, the most I’ve ever done. And on set, I always have to remind myself to sit down because I pace and walk around. I’m getting better at it. A lot of the products on this list are a panacea to the stress I bring home with me. Yvonne got me this for Christmas last year, and it’s great. It has a couple of different settings, can go from 15 minutes to an hour, and it’s heated. It just hits all the spots.

This is another thing Yvonne introduced me to. Because she’s a hair and makeup person, she’s all about moisturizing. About eight years ago when I was working in Santa Fe in the high desert, she convinced me I needed to just use moisturizer daily. Because the atmosphere was so harsh there, I got into the habit of applying it daily. Yvonne’s always finding me new ones, but this is my favorite. It tingles a bit when I put it on, and it doesn’t make me look greasy.

I’m known for my hair, and fortunately for me, still have all of it. You can track my career by the length of it, including the infamous mullet. But as I’ve gotten older, again, I’ve appreciated nicer products to help maintain what I have. Sal, my hair guy from Prodigal Son recommended this to me. Between him and Yvonne, they have me covered since I’m a grooming neophyte.

These are little tablets of aromatherapy for your shower. They turn your shower into a mini-spa. I had a little cold recently, and it actually cleared things right out. I use them on set too on those early mornings, because it’s just a great way to start the day. It’s a small and practical thing, but it feels so luxurious. I was such a middle-class Texas kid for a long time, not really hip to the nicer things in life. Yvonne has certainly upped my game.

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What Lou Diamond Phillips Can’t Live Without