celebrity shopping

What Neil Patrick Harris Can’t Live Without

Illustration: Joe McKendry. Photo: Mark Veltman

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 actor, producer, and author Neil Patrick Harris — who just released a new one-player board game — about the home gym, VR headset, and moisturizer he can’t live without.

$57 for 2

Not sure why, but when I get stressed I seem to buy underpants. I’ve done some deep dives into men’s’ under britches and ordered from multiple companies and tried a lot of different pairs. But I’ve landed on Saxx because they provide comfort and stability in a way that no other underpants do. It’s all about the pouch. I mean, I like some space. Neil-y no like-y smashie.

This company is from Southern California and makes scents that can be used on your body or face or in a room or on an airplane. They use fresh botanicals and I just really like the woodsy smell of this mist. It’s my go-to.

$2,995

I’ve known about Tonal since it was a San Francisco startup and I legitimately use this as much as any kind of kettlebell, dumbbell, or free weight. It mounts to the wall and has two bars. There are probably better ways to describe it, but those two bars can mimic hundreds of exercises. You start using it by testing out three exercises, like a simple bench press, some sort of deadlift, and maybe an overhead press or barbell curls. Then it calculates how strong you are and suggests weights for you. It just knows — but it can also be adjusted depending on the weight you want.

$6 for 50

We live in an archaic society where you’re supposed to stay clean by using a super-dry piece of single-ply paper. I mean, I don’t need the Toto bidet that shoots water at my stuff, but I do like being as fresh and clean as possible. One Wipe Charlies are individually wrapped travel wipes that I can carry in my backpack or coat pocket. I’m honestly still confused by bidets (am I supposed to wipe my hindquarters with a towel after soaking myself?) but there’s no confusion with these. In fact my friend Barry Sonnenfeld, the director and producer, used to hand people a One Wipe Charlie instead of shaking their hands when he met them. That was kind of his calling card.

This eliminates all the cumbersome aspects of VR. It’s all in the headset, which has cameras that film everything around you. So as you play the games, it’s mapping the room that you’re in to keep you safe and aware. You can do almost anything with it. There are meditation programs, 3-D art programs that let you draw in virtual spaces, escape-room-like games, Star Wars games where you’re using lightsabers. I’m fascinated by all of the different ways it can be used for literally any age. I thought it would be a thousand dollars but it costs much less and has something for everyone.

I read in an interview, I think it was with Alan Cumming, that the key to skin longevity is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. I couldn’t agree more. I think it’s worth spending money on a moisturizer so that you don’t look like your face is made of leather when you’re 40. I try to get my La Mer whenever I’m at an airport because it’s duty-free. It’s really thick, so I just scrape a little bit and then pat it on and I can feel the healing happening. I can feel my face thanking me and appreciating what I’m putting on it. Sometimes I feel like a lot of the grooming market is highfalutin, like they’re just selling marketing and a fancy bottle and it’s all essentially the same stuff. But not when it comes to this product.

As one might judge someone’s office by the books on their shelves, I kind of judge someone by the bottles in their bar and the quality of their tequila. Clase Azul is the best tequila around in my opinion. The bottles are handmade individually and this is not a tequila you mix with triple sec to make a margarita. No no, this is a proper sipping tequila that you want to honor and cherish. I am forever indebted to anyone who gives it to me as a gift.

The thinking behind this game is that everyone, at some point, is by themselves for an evening and looking for something to do. I’m a massive fan of immersive theater, experiential entertainment, escape rooms, and other things of that ilk. So I thought, “Wouldn’t it be interesting to sit down and open up a game that, as you’re solving clues and answering trivia questions, suddenly becomes something else and the narrative shifts?” It took me a couple of years to realize this idea of it being bespoke and where nothing is what it seems. It’s tricky to describe without revealing everything, but the game is great for anyone who’s a gamer or even likes puzzles or riddles, which I’m hoping is everyone?