sunday circular

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Chunky Trainers to Carry-ons

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 some ethically sourced shea butter, a Nordic fizzy-water maker, and some cool-person-recommended trainers. And if you want even more Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.

A sports bra for any bust size

Photo: retailer

This Nike Pro sports bra came highly recommended to us by DanceBody founder and CEO Katia Pryce — it joins our extensive guide to shopping the best of Nike. As well as its sweat-wicking Dri-Fit technology, the bra also has supportive racer-back straps, which Pryce finds ideal for a medium-intensity workout. She also finds her bra offers ample coverage for someone with a smaller bust (but if you have a larger bust, it should still be supportive, as Nike offers this bra in 1X to 3X).

An (affordable) Moroccan-style rug

If you’re on the hunt for a cheap (but expensive-looking) rug, we scoured hundreds of options online. This rug, for example, wouldn’t look out of place in Anthropologie, but it lacks a premium price tag. A medium size costs a mere £31, and you can even purchase it as a runner for just shy of £15.

A gift for a pampered mum

As Mother’s Day approaches, we’ve compiled an authoritative guide to gift-shopping for every type of mum. If your mum loves to be pampered, perhaps she’ll appreciate some of this unrefined African Shea butter. The vegan and cruelty-free butter is ethically sourced and 100 percent natural, meaning it can be used on the driest and most sensitive skin. The brand also claims that the butter is powerful at soothing nappy rash, so it would make an ideal gift for that new mum in your life, too.

A Tik-Tokers favourite white trainers

Zoia Murzova, a creator behind TikTok account @everythingdesigner, says these chunky options from Axel Arigato are her favourite white trainers at the moment. “This ’90s-inspired sneaker reminds me of the iconic New Balance 530 sneaker, but the lace design from the front to the back of the heel makes it more unique,” she says. The shoes are made of calf leather and wide-weave mesh, with a thick, exaggerated sole.

A frequent flyer’s Mary Poppins bag

As the world increasingly reopens and international travel can resume, travel editor and Strategist contributor Emma Cooke asked nine frequent flyers about their tried-and-tested carry-on bags. Alice Tate, head of PR and comms at the Hoxton Hotels group, says she’s “all about that carry-on life, even for long haul.” Her carry-on of choice is the Away Everywhere Bag — she says she managed to squeeze everything she needed on a fortnight-long trip to India inside. It’s water-resistant and available in a catalogue of dirt-camouflaging colours. It is, however, a couple of centimetres above Ryanair’s under-seat restrictions, so be sure to leave a little space in the bag in order to squish it smaller.

If you want a manoeuvrable wheelie option, with a harder, bump-proof shell, travel blogger Maria Roa recommends this retro case. “It’s just really smart, but lots of space and pockets make it so practical for a long weekend break,” she says. Another bonus? Measuring at 55-by-35-by-20 cm, it’s a perfect fit for almost every airline’s cabin bag requirements (including Ryanair).

A handsome SodaStream alternative

When Perrier aficionado Sandy Yu began to shop around for a fizzy-water maker of her own, she came across the gadgets from Nordic MySoda brand. “The Woody comes with a single reusable water bottle made of durable BPA-free plastic and biocomposite,” says Yu, who reports that the resulting water is “delicious, with the perfect amount of bubbles.” What’s more, Yu can have MySoda gas canisters delivered straight to her home, so there’s no need to faff about at the local Argos when it’s time for a refill.

And an all-vegan true-black mascara

We’ve written about a lot of mascara, but with the help of makeup artists, we narrowed down our coverage to the nine very best. One mascara that made the cut is Milk Makeup’s Kush high-volume mascara. It’s 100 percent vegan as well as gluten, sulphate, and fragrance free. According to MUA Dillon Peña, it’s intensely volumising. “When I want something that adds volume and length quickly, I use Milk Makeup Kush Mascara,” he says. “One coat is a huge difference, but when you add several coats, this mascara gives a faux-lash effect.” Read about our eight other thoroughly vetted picks here.

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: Trainers to Carry-ons