sunday circular

8 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Cotton Buds to Coffee Grinders

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Retailers

At the Strategist, we write about hundreds of products every 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 Strategist-tested coffee grinder, a psoriasis-targeting serum, and some beginner-friendly self-tanning drops.

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An oil-neutralising moisturiser

Returning to our list of reader favourites this month is the La Roche-Posay Effaclar Mat moisturiser. It was first recommended to us by Hadley King, a clinical instructor of dermatology at Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical College. According to King, the moisturiser — which is made for oily skin types — uses “Sebulyse technology” to target excess oil (basically, it regulates the production of sebum, which is the substance secreted by oil-producing glands).

Some sustainable cotton buds

In our latest “Empty!” column, Vice UK editor-in-chief Zing Tsjeng told us about the products she used up all of in April. When it comes to sharpening winged eyeliner, Tsjeng is a firm believer in cotton buds but isn’t a fan of single-use plastic. “I’ve tried replacing single-use cotton buds with those reusable and washable ones, but I always end up losing them and having to buy them all over again,” she says. “These bamboo cotton buds are a much better solution — I found them in Boots, and you can get 200 in a single pack. I’ve never had one snap on me, and they’re biodegradable and come in recyclable cardboard packaging.”

A quieter-than-average coffee grinder

Photo: retailer

When Strategist associate editor Louis Cheslaw heard rumours of an industry-standard coffee grinder at a third of the price, he had to try it. The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder has 31 grind settings and is far friendlier to the ear than the average at-home grinder. “Although it’s not silent, the noise it makes isn’t at all unpleasant. (I’d compare it to the sound of crumpling up a newspaper),” wrote Cheslaw. “It’s also satisfyingly easy to use: Unlike with my Baratza grinder, all it takes to accurately adjust grind size is a turn of its pleasingly giant dial.” For more of our picks of the best coffee grinders according to baristas, Strategist editors, and hordes of reviewers, read here.

Some self-tanner for when the sun is hiding …

If you’re a newcomer to self-tanning and want to customise the tone of your tan, expert facialist Nichola Joss recommends this self-tanning water from Isle of Paradise. “It’s colour-corrective, really easy to apply, absorbs quickly, and leaves a smooth texture on the skin,” she explains. Available in three shades, the it’s suitable for a variety of skin tones and absorbs easily in layers that are easy to add to — gradually and subtly.

… and some stylish sunglasses for when it appears

These sunglasses from Oliver Peoples are the favourite pair of Arman Naféei, host of the Are We On Air? podcast. “I try to avoid anything too contemporary or overly design-y. I like something classic,” he says. “This frame is one of my favourites. The glasses look great day and night — whether I’m in L.A. in the sunshine or back in grey Berlin.” Style writer Henry Conway also favours the pair — a replica of Cary Grant’s iconic frames in To Kill a Mockingbird — as the glasses allow him to “possess some golden-age-of-Hollywood magic every time I wear them.”

We asked stylish women about their favourite sunglasses this week too. The Guilty Feminist podcaster Deborah Frances-White told us she’s a fan of the Gemma Styles collection from Baxter and Bonny. The brand produces its range in factories with 80 percent renewable energy and uses biodegradable shipping materials. “I’m mad for the range. They’re so light that you can’t feel you’re wearing them, and the shapes are strong and classic — even the smaller ones suit my face beautifully,” says Frances-White.

A fetching four-in-one game

“If board games can be sexy, this one is,” says Strategist senior audience development manager Rosie Percy about the four-in-a-row board game she bought this month. In addition to an acrylic tortoiseshell board, the game comes with “incredibly satisfying” counters that look like boiled sweets. Not only does Percy enjoy the game but even her friends have begun requesting that she bring the board along to the pub to pair with a pint.

And a brightening toner

“For darker skin tones like my own, even the tiniest spot can leave irritating reminders of what was once there, long after acne has disappeared,” says contributor Christine Ochefu. After testing various methods to target her hyperpigmentation, Ochefu eventually came across this toner from Biologique Recherche. The “liquid exfoliant” has brightening red algae that targets stubborn marks. As well as Ochefu, the toner is a favourite of model Paloma Elsesser, and Strategist beauty writer Rio Viera-Newton.

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: Cotton Buds and Coffee