Photo Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: retailer
We write about hundreds of products every week. Here, in our version of the Sunday newsletter, we’ve picked out some of our favorites – experts recommended essential, life changing stuff Little did they know you needed newly launched gizmos, and this very good offers We discovered last week while browsing the massive online shopping universe, including a butt-shaped ficus, an electric hot pot (soup base included), and Sarah Hyland’s favorite herbal yoga mat.
This week was Butt Week at the Strategist, and we leaned into everything Derriere-themed. Our selection of the best butt themed decorations included butt vases, butt wallpaper and this butt shaped ficus plant. Although it’s called “Ficus Ginseng,” the name is just a reference to the ginseng-shaped stem (there’s nothing edible about this plant), which happens to resemble the lower half of a curvy body. You can order this lush tree in small or medium size and decorate your space with its subtly suggestive greenery.
Strategic beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton has been inducted into the Living Proof dry shampoo cult. While she knew from an episode of Fat Makara, it wasn’t until she tried it herself that she fully understood what the hype was about. “I’m happy to report that this is hands down the best dry shampoo I’ve ever used,” says Viera-Newton. The key difference between Living Proof dry shampoo and others is that you can use it “a number of times a week without feeling the product build up on your scalp.” This is thanks to a formula that actually strips the hair of oil, rather than just mattifying and camouflage. The product works particularly well on bangs, going from “stringy and oily to clean and voluminous” in a matter of seconds. Sums up Viera-Newton: “I really feel like this product has cut the time of my daily hair care routine by half.”
Buying vintage pants that fit your butt is no easy task, but strategy writer Erin Schwartz delved deep into her research to uncover the elusive art of shopping for denim online. A tailor’s tape measure is a necessary tool, but you also need to be able to determine the perfect fit for your body and be able to read size charts. According to Strategist Editor-in-Chief Simone Kitchens, these Wrangler jeans are a great option to shop butt first because of their 100% cotton construction, vintage fit, and all-important return policy.
If you’re a budding cyclist who attributes your lack of mileage to an uncomfortable bike seat, you’ll be glad to see the expert-recommended saddles we’ve rounded up. The list includes a 3D printed saddle, plus-size friendly options, and this cushy “noseless” saddle recommended by Jonathan Oliveras, an instructor at Harlem Cycle. He says this shape may “look funky” but “feels phenomenal” and “relieves a lot of pressure points.” The lack of a nose makes it a good choice if you experience more discomfort in your groin than your bum, while the durable foam padding stays soft even on your daily commute.
Strategic writer Arielle Avila relocated to New York City and noted that adapting was taking its toll on her dog, Maggie. She spoke to canine experts to advise on the best techniques and products to make life easier for puppies in the city. Her suggestions included a no-pull harness, a white noise machine, and this K9 backpack (urban dog owners will be familiar with the struggle of complying with the MTA rule that requires all dogs to be “bagged”) . Annie Grossman, owner and co-founder of School for the Dogs, says this backpack is “very popular” with her customers because it comes in a variety of sizes, with the largest fitting a dog measuring 26 to 29 inches in length (from collar to collar fits tail). “It can take a bit of training to get a dog used to being in a backpack,” Grossman says, “but it’s definitely worth it if you do a lot of subway travel.”
In this week’s Don’t Dillydally, we featured the Jeff Leatham x KKW Fragrance collaboration, Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Concealer and this Hot Pot Starter Set by Fly by Jing. Fly by Jing is known for its frozen dumplings and delicious sauces, but this starter set is perfect if you’re looking to throw a dinner party to remember, perhaps for the Lunar New Year. The starter set includes an electric hot pot (capable of feeding six people), two silver chopsticks, two slotted spoons that comfortably fit into the rim of the pot, and two packets of hot pot base — a blend of ginger, star anise, and clove Szechuan pepper.
The cult-favorite Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum and a deck of tarot cards were among the things Sarah Hyland can’t live without, but one of the most unique items on her list was this eco-fabric yoga mat. It’s a little pricey, but it’s a great solution if you’re trying to avoid a colorful rubber eyesore. Hyland says she loves that “it’s sustainable because most yoga mats aren’t. I use it while watching TV or just for a nice stretch.” She prefers to roll it out on a rug so it doesn’t slide around, and says the ribbed lines on either end of the mat “act like a stopper or gripper… so when I do a plank, I don’t slip.” If you’re wondering why it’s called the herbal yoga mat, the fabric has 20 skin-soothing herbs embedded in it, including turmeric, neem and holy basil.
Even if you’re not quite as agile as Andy Baraghani and the idea of an impromptu weekend in San Miguel de Allende seems intimidating, you can still prepare like him for your next meticulously planned trip. Sharing his long weekend of spa treatments, shrimp tostadas, cafes and antiques, Baraghani highlighted his favorite spots in the Mexican destination. Travel essentials that made his trip top-notch included EltaMD sunscreen, John Elliot t-shirts, and this lightweight Battenwear backpack. Baraghani says he’s been looking for the perfect travel backpack for a long time and loves that it “doesn’t have too many frills. It’s just a good lightweight backpack that I can easily take with me anywhere in the world.”
We’ve compiled a list of the best Valentine’s Day gifts for every type of person, including colored dripping candles, pink rolling paper and this luxurious bar of soap. American soap company Caswell-Massey created the triple milled rose-scented bar in collaboration with the New York Botanical Garden. If you’re shopping for yourself, you can purchase this chic bar bar soap, but you may prefer the three-pack if you’re looking for the perfect hostess gift. In addition to rose, the soap is available in equally seductive lilac and orchid scents.
Whether you live in a sub-zero climate or are just extremely sensitive to the cold, what you wear closest to your skin is important when it comes to keeping you cozy this winter. We’ve curated a selection of base layers ranging from dressy to sporty, including these wool and nylon blend leggings from Ibex. Writer and Canadian-born Mia Leimkuhler says these “have just the right amount of stretch so they feel like a second skin, but not like sausage casings.” The serious warmth they offer is ideal for outdoor pursuits like ice skating and hiking . “For how warm they are,” writes Leimkuhler, “they’re remarkably light, so I forget I’m wearing them.”
The Strategist is designed to find the most useful expert recommendations for things to buy in the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, Pillow for side sleepers, Natural Remedies for Anxietyand bath towels. We update links where possible, but note that offers may expire and all prices are subject to change.