sunday circular

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Steam Mops to Speakers

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 the vast online-shopping universe this past week, including a serotonin-inducing steam mop, a muscle-soothing CBD balm, and a Valentine’s-worthy at-home cinema setup. And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.

A muscle-soothing CBD balm

Contributor Hanna Hanra wrote about the CBD stick that’s practically a sports massage in a tube. According to Hanra, the balmy blend of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax “glides” over aching muscles with ease and can either be massaged in or allowed to sit on the skin. It’s designed to soothe aches and small ailments (such as sunburn and rashes). “It’s so discreet to use that I even used its cooling properties on a long-haul flight recently when I overheated,” says Hanra. “It’s good for more intensive uses too — my girlfriend regularly uses it up and down her legs and on her lower back after she’s been horse-riding and says she feels her muscles being healed as it cools them down.”

A botanical Valentine’s card

If you’re looking for a creative way to express your love this Valentine’s Day, we scoured retailers to find 21 unusual and unique cards. This card from Amazon contains dried, preserved flowers — you can choose your valentine’s favourite from a range of seven. There’s also space to handwrite a message, for the added personal touch.

A cinematic home projector

If your wife has a well-used Mubi subscription, we think this Vamvo projector would be an ideal Valentine’s Day gift. It’s compatible with phones, laptops, and PlayStations, meaning she can stream her latest favourite indie picture with ease from the comfort of your own home.

A home-theatre-worthy speaker

If in turn your husband is a cinephile, we think that this MEGACRA wireless speaker would pair with the projector to make an impressive at-home cinema setup. But with enhanced bass and three different equaliser modes, we think it would make for a rather lovely stand-alone Valentine’s Day gift, too.

A pair of size-inclusive period pants

When we reached out to nine women about the pair of period underwear that they swear by, the brand Ohne came highly recommended. Ohne’s period underwear can hold 15 ml of blood securely, which equates to around two tampons’ worth. Plus-size model and content creator Naomi Native recommends Ohne’s High Waist Period Pants, calling them “unbelievably soft,” and adds that they deliver “great coverage, without sacrificing aesthetics.” She’s also an advocate for the brand’s expansive size range — its period pants are available in up to a size 30 — and “commitment to the planet,” noting that all of its period pants are “completely compostable and biodegradable.”

An aesthetically pleasing keyboard

Searching for small ways in which to banish pandemic-induced gloom, Strategist contributor Keah Brown decided to purchase a candy-coloured wireless keyboard. After using the keyboard through the New Year, Brown found her excitement not to have been misguided. “Even looking at it and running my fingers gently across the keys once a day has actually cheered me up,” she says. “And, yes, the keys do make the most satisfying clack I have ever heard.”

A concealer that doesn’t budge

Whilst our expert guide of under-eye concealers includes everything from concealers that brighten to concealers for mature skin, this e.l.f. option caught our eye. The concealer was originally recommended to Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton as a dupe for the Fenty Pro Filt’r concealer — at £6, it costs less than a third of the Fenty concealer’s price. “[It’s] super-full-coverage, so any kind of under-eye darkness or hormonal spots immediately disappear when I buff it in with my Real Techniques concealer brush,” says Viera-Newton. “It’s also very matte, so it stays put all day long without having to powder or bake.” Also, the concealer is available in an impressive range of 26 shades.

A splurge-worthy steam mop

Vileda Steam Mop

Whilst Strategist writer Chris Mandle bought “all manner of oddities during the pandemic,” his favourite purchase was a plug-in steam mop. Bought as a replacement for his supermarket “speed mop,” Mandle wanted an option that would not damage his vinyl floors and could also be used on carpets. He is now a staunch convert. “Seeing the steam curl out from under the mop and hearing the gentle hiss as it devoured sticky sauce stains and mud alike provided a serotonin hit so immediate that I’ve taken to steaming my floors twice a week.”

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.

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Steam Mops to Speakers