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 pop-star-approved vacuum, an anti-aging moisturiser for oily skin, and a shampoo for those who seek Dyson Airwrap volume.
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A magical breastfeeding vest
Cartoonist and illustrator (and mum of two) Becky Barnicoat has drawn for the New Statesman, The New Yorker, and more, while her Instagram comics on new parenthood have over 60,000 followers. So when she pitched us an ode to an amazing breastfeeding vest, we thought, Why not draw a cartoon about it instead? The vest in question is the B-Shirt Nursing Vest; it has two secret boob holes, concealed below a flap of organic cotton fabric. The chill-banishing vest makes breastfeeding possible everywhere, from wintery parks to cafés. Best of all, it doesn’t look too mumsy and costs only £13.
An anti-aging moisturiser
When it comes to keeping oily skin looking dewy (not greasy), the right moisturiser is essential. To find six of the very best, we interviewed skin-care experts, as well as delved through Strategist archives, and sifted through hundreds of reviews (and the odd YouTube comment section). The Bakuchiol moisturiser from the Inkey List was a moisturiser with overwhelmingly positive feedback all round. It’s noncomedogenic (meaning that it won’t clog pores) and applies in a lightweight, nonoily layer to the skin. Like the ingredient retinol, bakuchiol has anti-aging properties — such as reducing the appearance of fine lines. Unlike retinol, it doesn’t cause any added sun sensitivity, so can be worn throughout the day without heightening the risk of UV damage (which in turn, ages skin more).
An intensely hydrating moisturiser
We also reached out for moisturiser recommendations for dry skin types, this time from dermatologists, Strategist editors, and even a couple of celebrities. Both Hari Nef and Aurelie Bidermann told us about the intensely hydrating Skin Food from Weleda. The rich, plant-derived cream is designed to quench even the most dehydrated patches of skin. On set, whenever makeup artists used Skin Food to prep Nef’s skin, she noticed it instantly appeared “shiny and dewy and nourished.” As the cream is so rich, both Nef and Bidermann agree that it’s not suited for daily use, but ideal for days when skin is “particularly thirsty.” For a more day-to-day version of the cream, Weleda also offers a Skin Food Light (or “Diet Skin Food,” according to writer Margaret Rhodes).
An easy-to-learn card game (for up to seven players)
Lauren Ro, Strategist U.S. writer, told us about Bohnanza, the only game she implores her sister to bring over for game night. According to Ro, the card game is fun, fast-paced, and particularly easy to get the hang of. To play, each participant assumes the role of a bean farmer and harvests their beans in return for gold coins. The aim of the game is to maximise profits from each crop harvest by trading and duelling with other players. “While it’s a pretty straightforward premise, you’re constantly thinking one or two steps ahead, taking note of other players’ bean fields and putting your negotiation skills to use,” says Ro, “all things I didn’t know I enjoyed doing!” The game is suitable for groups of three to seven players.
A thickening shampoo for fine hair
As fine hair can show oil at the roots more prominently than any other hair type, washing with “a good shampoo is essential,” says owner of FRED salon, Fred Connors. “Dallas Thickening Shampoo by R+Co not only works magic on fine hair, it has a heavenly scent as well,” he says. The shampoo contains biotin, which strengthens the hair over time. It also contains vitamin B5 for some added shine and palmetto, which adds body to the hair — ideal for those after bombshell volume when they blow-dry.
A lightweight, pop-star-approved vacuum
When we spoke to 13 tidiness experts — from hoteliers to cleaning technicians — about the best vacuums, Dyson was recommended time and time again. Whilst many of its models are rather dear, there were warm reviews for its comparatively inexpensive V7 model from two pop stars: Melanie C and Zara Larsson. “I love the feeling of the Dyson cordless model because it’s so light, and I just find the aesthetics of the little push button very satisfying,” says Larsson. The vacuum weighs a miniscule 2.2 kg, has a run time of 30 minutes between charges, and can be used to suck up dirt from carpets, hard floors, and tiles. It’s also been specifically designed to clear away stray pet hairs, making it an ideal choice for parents of cats or dogs.
And an expert gardening cheat sheet
Gardening writer Sonya Patel Ellis told us about the books and guides that have enriched her knowledge along her 25-year gardening journey. For friends that have “recently acquired a garden” and those who “want to start again (often including building raised beds) or are keen to transform a dingy corner into a slice of paradise,” she recommends this book by Adam Frost. Transforming Your Garden is a book Ellis used herself during her garden redesign. It has tips and tricks on how to measure soil pH and lay paths, as well as advice on which plants suit certain garden types and light conditions. “Adam’s expert Q&As also answer a lot of common questions,” Ellis explains.
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.