Welcome back to “Your Shopping Cart,” where we break out the top products that you, devoted Strategist readers, 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 as well.
It wouldn’t be July without Prime Day, and earlier this month, Strategist readers came out in full force to shop the two-day event: Everything, as in every item on our top-ten best-sellers list, made an appearance during the annual sale. Beauty products, especially, stepped into the spotlight with three items from the category securing winner’s-circle status. Interestingly, two contain snail mucin, while the other is a lip mask that comes highly touted by celebrities. But if you weren’t among the deal-hunting crowd, you might have snagged the $40 shoulder bag spotted on two continents (hurry while it’s still in stock) or invested in a DJ-approved safety measure to use during festival season.
What were our top sellers in July?
Here, our best sellers ranked by quantity sold (rather than the grand-total sum of all purchases):
A Strategist favorite for years, CosRx’s do-it-all snail-mucin essence — a dupe for SK-II’s best-known treatment, Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton says — debuted in the No. 1 position thanks to Prime Day. And while it did sell out quickly, the brand’s moisturizer’s seventh-place position suggests that readers took our word that it’s basically a different texture of the K-beauty slime. The deal extravaganza also led to a logjam of perennial Strategist favorites, including Crest whitening strips, Beckham Hotel Collection pillows, and the Laneige lip mask that’s recommended almost monthly in our “Celebrity Shopping” column.
Other readers seemed to have viewed Amazon’s markdowns as an opportunity to stock up on practical buys like an Alexa-enabled smart plug, which was included in our roundup of Prime Day tech deals for nearly 50 percent off. A three-pack of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap, meanwhile, also landed in the top ten, further indicating that stocking up on unsexy (but essential) buys was a popular shopping strategy.
More bargain purchases, like the LifeStraw and foldable Jisulife fan, could have been motivated by the season. The former lets Jeff Jenkins, founder of Chubby Diaries, “drink almost any water in any city, country, or random pond in the middle of nowhere,” while the latter kept Strategist contributor Annachiara Barretto-Grignoli refreshed (and charged her phone) during a European rail tour in triple-digit temperatures.
Are Prime members fans of outdoor gardening?
From our intel, they prefer herbs of the countertop variety. Our Prime Day hub was the most-read story in July, and within that post, readers nabbed the discounted AeroGarden Harvest more than any other product. A larger, six-pod version of our favorite indoor garden, the kit takes almost no time to set up, Strategist writer Erin Schwartz says, and its slim, soil-free base won’t take up much room. It’s also equipped with an LED display to remind you when to refill water and replenish “plant food,” a synthetic fertilizer that’s included, Schwartz says.
How do Strategist readers gulp down their protein shakes?
Not shaken or stirred — but, rather, with zero flavor. Our top-rated protein powder from Now Sports contains whey-protein isolate without artificial sweeteners, and because it’s unflavored, you “can add berries and banana and just taste those,” personal trainer Kern Alexander says. When Strategist writer Jeremy Rellosa is in a hurry and doesn’t have time to blend ingredients into an elaborate shake, he likes to mix the tasteless powder into water. He also adds it to yogurt-granola bowls, and beyond a slight texture change, there’s barely a difference in taste, Rellosa says. If you prefer some flavor, it’s also available in vanilla and chocolate, both sweetened with stevia.
Which globe-trotting, “ludicrously capacious” bag is finally in stock?
This Uniqlo one that has been spotted multiple times in Japan — at a matcha café and the Tsukiji fish market — and at a rave in London. Strategist writer Rachael Griffiths says it’s the “de facto elder sister” of the brand’s popular Round Mini Shoulder Bag, but the key difference (besides size) is the Drawstring’s nylon and cotton material, which gives it a “satisfying slouch.” Griffiths says the Drawstring is finally available again (it’s been out of stock since May), and because it’s a “ludicrously capacious bag,” it can do it all — whether you’re toting necessities to work or going out all night.
What gear saves DJ and Vanderpump Rules star James Kennedy from incessant ear-ringing?
Listen to James Kennedy and get yourself a pair of earplugs that he says are well known in the DJ world and among musicians. As someone who has attended concerts, club nights, and gigs for a decade, Kennedy says he turns to these Mumba plugs to fend off ear-ringing. He likes that they don’t take away from the music and says “they’re also good if you go to a lot of shows, you’re standing by speakers, and you’re not in your 20s anymore.”
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.