Photo-Illustration: The Strategist
We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked some of our recent favorites: expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe, including cotton-candy-colored roller skates, coasters with a high-concept design, and a healing hand cream with tons of nourishing ingredients.
If you want to achieve that sun-kissed summer glow without exposing your skin to harmful UV rays, this Bondi Sands self-tanning foam is our pick for the best overall self-tanner. It doesn’t have “that yuck self-tan smell” and “the color has beautiful undertones,” says spray-tan stylist Cait Cassagne of Studio C8. She uses the Ultra-Dark shade and reports that it doesn’t look unnatural even though she has very fair skin. Plus it’s very accessible in terms of both price and availability; you can find a can of Bondi Sands in just about every drugstore.
Recent photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Reynolds rollerblading on the set of the Barbie movie had the internet coveting fluorescent-yellow skates. After some investigating, we deduced that they’re made by Impala, a Melbourne-based brand we’ve declared is among the best for beginners — and a spokesperson confirmed that these were indeed the brand’s Lightspeed inlines, customized to match the costumes. Though the bespoke colorway isn’t for sale, the skates do come in a charming pastel version called Fairy Floss, reminiscent of a Dreamhouse play set.
When we asked singer Sabrina Carpenter what she can’t live without, she said these Lord Jones CBD gumdrops soothe her nerves without making her sleepy. “I will usually take these before performances or meetings I’m really nervous for. And then also when I’m sore from being on the road or dancing a lot for a specific job,” Carpenter told us. “It’s great for healing pain naturally and also anxiety.” Sometimes she won’t even feel the effects taking hold, but then she’ll look back and realize “Oh, I’ve been much calmer for the last three hours.”
Our guide to the best gifts under $50 from queer-owned businesses includes these whimsical resin coasters, which are stocked by one of our all-time favorite home-goods stores, Coming Soon. They’re designed by artist Gaetano Pesce (Paloma Elsesser is a fan) and come in sets of two for $30, so you can buy your dinner-party host a set of four and stay relatively on budget. They even made our roundup of super-stylish coasters for their psychedelic colors and shapes, which will “immediately signal that you are truly a collector.”
With temperatures heating up outside, we researched the very best floor fans for keeping your space breezy and comfortable. This violet Lasko fan is both beautiful and budget friendly. We first noticed it when New York photographed the home of musician Eleanor Friedberger and artist Michael Berryhill; our eyes were immediately drawn to the purple fan in the corner, and we simply had to call her up and learn more. Despite its compact size, Friedberger says the fan cools her large living room “just as well as the ceiling fans do in other rooms.” She declares that she “can’t think of another $20 object that is that useful and that capable of holding a space.”
For our latest installment of “Steal My Vacation,” food writer and recipe developer Colu Henry broke down her recent long weekend in Montreal, which she visits about three or four times a year. “If I can’t get to Europe, I feel like I can go to Montreal and get a fix,” Henry says. Whether she is sampling scallops at a wine bar, sipping Champagne at a hair salon, or seeing the Calder sculptures at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, she always sports a bold red lip, and on this trip she wore Ilia’s True Red lipstick. “I have so many different shades and brands in my bag. Putting on a red lip immediately perks me up,” she says.
Girlfriend Collective’s do-it-all unitard is “functional and comfortable and requires almost no thinking to style,” according to Strategist writer Dominique Parisio. She calls it “Tour de France meets beginner ballet class” for its low-cut back and compressive (but still breathable) fabric. As part of Girlfriend Collective’s Anniversary Sale, the unitard is currently 20 percent off, bringing the price down to $62. The sale ends tomorrow, July 4, so don’t dillydally.
Chef-approved spice brand Diaspora Co. teamed up with statusy vinegar brand Acid League to release a limited-edition kit of cooking essentials. The set includes three single-origin spices — Nandi coriander, Guntur Sannam chilies, and Aranya black pepper — as well as a bright, floral vinegar that’s infused with the coriander. Perfect for whipping up dressings or just sprinkling over dishes on their own.
Strategist writer Tembe Denton-Hurst went looking for the best hand creams and settled on this Gold Bond cream as the very best one overall. It comes recommended by dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal, who likes that the formula contains vitamin A, C, and E along with seven different moisturizers. “It even lasts through hand washes,” he says. Plus, at just $4 a tube, you don’t have to feel guilty about reapplying several times a day.
Photographer Gus Powell recently discovered something curious: A dummy version of his book The Lonely Ones was sitting on a shelf in a coffee shop in Seoul. Tumbling down the rabbit hole led him to Shopee, a Singaporean e-commerce platform, where he found more imitations for sale. The fake-book market is flourishing with over 2,000 factories in China dedicated to churning out cardboard boxes designed to mimic the covers of good-looking books. They’re typically used to dress up hotels, restaurants, cafés, and fancy interiors, but nothing quite beats the real deal for your coffee table.
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.