sunday circular

11 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Baby Baskets to Board Games

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

We write about hundreds of products a week. Here, in our version of the Sunday circular, we’ve plucked out some of our favourites — expert-recommended essentials, life-changing stuff you didn’t know you needed, newly launched gizmos, and the very good deals we uncovered while trawling through the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including some eco-friendly bedsheets, a porcelain salt pig, and one of our favourite board games. (And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.)

An author’s lucky pen

“I’ve now developed a superstition,” says Leïla Slimani, author of The Country of Others. “I’m convinced I will write something good as long as I do it in this pen.” The pen is one of the seven items Slimani truly can’t live without. While she’s tried various sizes, Slimani favours the 0.38mm version, which is available in nine shades, including classic blue and black. She likes the pen so much that no matter what city she finds herself in — from Lisbon to Madrid — she’ll make a beeline for the Muji to purchase a refill.

A celebrity MUA’s favoured eyeshadow palette

Makeup artist Steven Aturo highlighted this eyeshadow palette from Nars as one worth splurging on. He said that the palette is “all about versatility,” and celebrity makeup artist Porsche Cooper — whose client list includes Mary J. Blige and Winnie Harlow — agreed. “It’s divinely pigmented for all skin tones,” she said of the palette, which has been “in constant rotation on [her] photoshoots of late.” The 12 shades (including “Tantric” pink and “Pulsing” gold) offer a range of three finishes — super matte, shimmer, and latex — which are equally as creamy accordion to Aturno. The palette is also currently available at 30 percent off at ASOS.

A rock-a-bye basket (and stand)

When we spoke to parents with particularly good taste about stylish cots for babies, Alison Coldridge (head of lifestyle at Yahoo U.K.) brought this Moses basket to our attention. As the basket accommodates most Moses basket mattresses, Coldridge didn’t have to pay extra for a specific mattress. Instead, she invested in a rocking stand, which she called “the perfect accompaniment” to her Moses basket. “All together the setup worked with my decor vibe while being a safe and comfortable place for my daughter to sleep,” she explained.

A popular portable projector

Some 71 percent of this ELEPHAS projector’s 6,664 reviewers awarded it five stars, making it the best-rated home projector out of all that we researched. The projector is portable, and according to several customers can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors. One customer said that they had purchased the projector to test the waters before graduating to a higher end model, but had been so pleased with his purchase, he’d found no need to upgrade. As many as 399 other reviewers agreed with his sentiments: They said it was excellent value for money.

A salty swine

If you’re someone hunting for the perfect place to house your Maldon salt flakes, we like this traditional salt pig. We featured it in our roundup of cheap but expensive-looking kitchen accessories. Made from porcelain, the salt pig comes equipped with a small wooden serving spoon, and is available in colours including sky blue, lime green, and cherry red.

A highlighting (natural-looking) brow palette

Contributor Rosamund Dean became a swift expert on the best eyebrow products for sparse — or nonexistent — brows when chemotherapy caused her once-thick brows to disappear. “Until they started disappearing, I had no idea how much my dark eyebrows defined my face, and how much I took them for granted,” she wrote. For those building up their brows from scratch, Dean recommends an eyebrow palette with several tones, “Natural brows are multifaceted … The key to recreating that is layering up different products.” This palette from BBB London includes multi-tonal eyeshadows, a highlighter, and an eyebrow brush. Dean says in addition to the shadows, the highlighter was ideal for occasions where chemo left her face a little puffy. “While [it] won’t completely reclaim your original face shape, it certainly helps.”

Some snooze-worthy sheets

For girlfriends who love to hit snooze, we spotted this reasonably priced 100 percent Bamboo Bedding set. We like that the bedding is produced from organically grown, ecofriendly bamboo, and that the packaging (and buttons) are entirely plastic free. Available in five colours — we particularly like this crisp White — the 320 thread count bedding can be purchased for beds ranging from Single to U.K. King.

A kitschy clock

While there are a great deal of amazing suggestions within our gift guide for every type of girlfriend, there is only one 15-inch battery powered Kit-Cat clock with a wagging tail.

A cleanser for fine hair

Hairdresser Gregerio Ruggeri, of Salon Ruggeri, recommended this hair cleanse for those wanting to add volume to their fine hair. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants (such as rosemary, which stimulates circulation in the scalp), Gregario told us the formula simply “helps nurture the growing process.” It joins our list of the best shampoos for fine hair, alongside shampoos to remove product buildup, and products to help rectify chemical damage.

And a Strategist-approved board game

Tiny Towns
£28

With drizzlier months on the horizon, perhaps you’re looking for some weather-proof activities. We’re partial to a board game, such as the expert recommended Tiny Towns.  To play, groups of two to six players attempt to construct their own towns using cards and pieces from the board: Think Catan meets Grand Designs. We featured it as a deal of the day, and the offer is still running: Tiny Towns is 30 percent off at Zatu Games.

The Strategist UK is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Read about who we are and what we do here. Our editors update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Baskets to Board Games