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What Quinta Brunson Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: The Riker Brothers

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 writer, producer, comedian, and actress Quinta Brunson — who is working on a second season of her show Abbott Elementary and partnering with Box Tops as part of Teacher Appreciation Month — about her favorite stress-relieving video game, her go-to early-morning breakfast, and the moisturizer she can’t live without.

Bread is a great natural-hair brand. I really love their hair-care products and they’ve always worked really well with my hair. The conditioner is pretty vital to me, and I always make sure I have a bag lying around. It’s soft, but I can feel the effects immediately. Plus a little bit goes a long way so it lasts a long time.

I’m trying to remember the color. I’m not near it right now, which is crazy. But I think I just have the regular standard gray one. I’ll take it with me when I go on extended business trips or vacations. I love playing Mario Kart on there. It’s one of my favorite stress-relieving games to play and pretty vital to my mental health. I’ll play a full game, which is about an hour and 15 minutes, while I’m riding my exercise bike. It’s not a Peloton or anything. I’m not going super-hard. I go at a pace where I can still be hands-free and still get a good workout. It makes me feel like I’m not even working out.

African Shea Butter

Shea butter in general is a must have. I get it from a small African shop. But I think the most famous brand that I’m used to is literally just called African Shea Butter. It doesn’t really even have a brand name. It’s kind of yellow-y in color, or yellow gold I guess you’d call it. I make sure I have one in my home at all times because it’s the best way to moisturize.

I love, love, love this. It is something I carry with me all the time because it’s so easy to apply and it’s just a quick pop of color that can take you from looking dead to alive. I love that. I got into blushes recently, and Cloud Paint is kind of Glossier’s answer to blush. And I think it’s a really smart one because you can just apply it with your finger. I usually use it as a blush or sometimes as an eyeshadow.

I actually had these this morning. I love the egg-and-bacon bites. They’re my quick go-to breakfast, which is why they feel like a must have. If I go to a Starbucks and they don’t have them, I’m very upset. With how quick-moving I am, whether it be on set or waking up early to do this kind of thing, it’s a quick breakfast that I can eat and feel full.

This is a staple in any writer’s life. Anybody who’s worked in digital content themselves, knows that a good laptop is essential. I have to have my MacBook Air with me when I travel so I can get as much work done as I need. I love it because, as you know, it’s super-light. I can take it literally anywhere. Actually, it’s so light that I have, on multiple occasions, forgotten it was in my bag and slammed the bag against a door or something. I also love the color — mine is rose gold.

I’ll just go to Target and clean up on candles. It doesn’t really matter the brand. I’ll just throw them in the cart. But I do always love a good sandalwood candle. It’s nice to light one when I’m coming home to relax or just watching television. I feel like once I light a candle, that means I’m in for the night. I think it’s the ritual of it; makes me feel settled.

$17 for 12

I just love these. It’s a snack I’ve been eating since I moved to L.A. because they were really cheap but so delicious. I buy a bunch of them and have one as a little treat at the end of the day. When I was younger, I used to think they were really healthy. They’re not that much healthier than anything else, but I had that belief for a very long time. I know it’s healthier than maybe a fruit roll-up and I know it’s made with really good ingredients. I always have some in the cupboard for me or anyone else who might need a snack.

I like Annie’s shells and white cheddar specifically. It’s the best comfort food after a long day of filming — or a long day of anything really. It became my favorite during the pandemic. My partner introduced me to it and he was so excited. I was so confused as to why he would be this excited about this specific brand of mac and cheese. But he made it and I was like, how did they make mac and cheese taste different? It’s so good. It’s so easy and quick to make, and filling and just, I don’t know. It’s so warm. We’ll curl up on the couch with a bowl of it. I think it tastes so good. It’s also part of this mission to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Month. People can buy Annie’s and also have this opportunity to support Box Tops for Education and earn cash for schools.

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What Quinta Brunson Can’t Live Without