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What Strategist Readers are Buying: Metallic Birkenstocks and K-Beauty Sunscreen

Photo: Courtesy of the retailers

Welcome back to Your Shopping Cart, wherein we break out the top-ten products that you, devoted Strategist readers, all bought in droves. Think of this as the tl;dr of the Strategist: If your like-minded brethren are buying these items, maybe you’d like to, too.

There are lots of new products on this week’s list, including the No. 1 best seller, a pair of surprisingly cheap, comfortable sandals. Two new skin-care picks from Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton debut in the top five — a moisturizing serum in second and a K-beauty sunscreen in fifth. Placing second on our last list, this rose-gold lighting charging cable drops a hair to third, and a writer’s beloved bathtub drain cover appears for the first time in fourth. Next up are two returning favorites, a fancy lube in sixth and a natural deodorant (that actually works) in seventh, and a bathroom-cleaning drill brush returns to the list for the first time in months in eighth. Closing out the top ten, we’ve got a pair of flattering sweatpants and some kooky (but not too kooky) metallic Birkenstocks.

These very affordable sandals (that have been mistaken for Margiela or Demeulemeester) are this week’s runaway hit. Only days after writer Fiorella Valdesolo shared her incredible Amazon find, they quickly became the top-selling item among our readers, with several colors and sizes quickly going out of stock. Valdesolo calls them “the ideal New York summer shoe,” because they’re “deeply comfortable [and] able to securely carry me on the spontaneous flights of fancy that tend to happen more in the summer and so often require solid walking support.”

Another newcomer making a strong debut, this moisturizing serum comes from Amazon’s new skin-care line and, according to Rio, is even better than a much pricier version from Drunk Elephant. Rio says, “as soon as I applied this serum, my skin looked and felt plumper and more moisturized instantly … I’ve never seen a hyaluronic acid serum show its powers quite as fast as this lovely, two-ounce, $35 serum does.”

For under $10, this USB lightning cable (an Amazon favorite) is worth keeping in your bag for emergency charging situations. One reviewer raves, “I’ve ordered endless cables and they all work great for a week and then die. I decided to try this one since it had the lifetime warranty, and I’m so glad I did. It’s excellent and pretty much just like the Apple USB. It charges my phone in the car super fast and even faster via wall charger.” And since it’s rose gold, you’ll always know which one’s yours in a sea of white cords.

If, like writer Alison Freer, you love taking baths but are stuck with a tub that won’t get full, you’ll probably love this drain cover that she calls “a giant suction cup with a hole at the top that fits over your existing overflow drain, allowing you to trick your tub into filling itself deeper.” This new-to-us product lands in fourth place, probably thanks to Freer’s very enthusiastic recommendation: “My bath water now covers my arms and shoulders completely, making my tiny, extremely old bathroom as close to a spa as it will ever be.”

Rio also recently introduced us to this K-beauty sunscreen that’s packed with all-star ingredients like soothing centella asiatica, brightening niacinamide, and moisturizing hyaluronic acid. “The Purito,” she writes, “almost immediately improved the texture, radiance, and moisture levels of my skin for the better.” And with “the highest possible protectant level against UV rays,” the SPF 50 sunscreen is a smart pick with summer coming up.

Making its 13th appearance on the list, this very elegant-looking lube is a certified Strategist reader favorite. We first learned about it from Samantha Bard, co-owner of the sex-positive shop Shag in Williamsburg, who says it’s “one of the highest-quality silicone lubes out there.” Emily Morse, doctor of human sexuality and host of Sex With Emily on SiriusXM, is impressed that it has only two ingredients: “pure silicone with a trace of Vitamin E.”

We’ve dubbed this natural deodorant the “Unofficial Deodorant of the Strategist Team,” as it’s a favorite of Strategist editor Alexis Swerdloff and senior editor Simone Kitchens. We were tipped off by Aubrey Plaza, who heard about it from Judy Greer, and now our readers are following suit. How does it work? One dermatologist explains: “The vegetable glycerin can help to absorb excess moisture, minimizing the feeling of wetness, and aloe can have a cooling effect on the skin, which can help to reduce the feeling of heat buildup that can occur with sweating.”

Back in November, after Strategist managing editor Maxine Builder raved about how efficiently this drill brush attachment cleaned her bathroom tiles (“The drill did all the hard work, scrubbing faster and harder than I ever could by hand, and the results were noticeable even after the first pass”), it immediately hit our best-seller list. Now with spring cleaning in full spring, it makes a comeback.

Former Grub Street senior editor Sierra Tishgart (and co-founder of Great Jones) sang the praises of these comfy yet flattering sweatpants back in 2016, writing, “the slim fit, drawstring waist, and tapered ankle makes the sweatpants look sleek and tailored, and not bulky in the slightest.” We checked in on her again three years later and she reports, “I wear these sweatpants more than ever … They’ve remained as soft as the day I purchased them.”

Lots of you leapt on this recent deal of the day: a pair of “just-kooky-enough” metallic Birkenstocks that we think are unique enough to stand out in a crowd of similar sandals but “without being too insane.” And since they’re still 40 percent off, you have time to order a pair before summer starts.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Strategist Readers Are Buying: Sandals and Sunscreen