sunday circular

Things That Delighted Us Last Week: From Sports Bras to Sous-Vide Suppers

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist

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 suitcase with a 30-year warranty, a glossy lip balm favoured by a model, and a vintage-looking weekend bag.

If you want Strategist stories sent straight to your inbox, sign up for our email newsletter.

A model-approved lip balm

Suki Waterhouse told us about this lip-enhancing balm from Jouer Cosmetics, which features in our list of the seven very best lip balms. Containing hydrating shea butter and jojoba oil, the relatively inexpensive yet glossy balm softens lips whilst adding some plumpness. “I put it on throughout the day and really smother it on at night before I go to sleep so I can wake up with pillowy-looking lips,” says Waterhouse. Reviewers on Cult Beauty are also strong advocates — fans of both its high-shine finish, and pleasant “light” scent.

Simple yet tasty camping suppers

Ahead of festival season, Strategist writer Rachael Griffiths told us about the sous-vide meal pouches that keep her well-fed whilst camping. They come from Wayfayrer, and each pouch needs to be submerged in boiling water for seven to eight minutes before being ready to eat. “I was pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted,” says Griffiths. “Maybe not to restaurant standard but definitely that of a ready-meal from a posh supermarket.” Available for around £5, the meals range from all-day breakfast to tikka masala and chili con carne. Griffiths admits that sampling the “mind-boggling variety of food” at festivals is part of the fun, but if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to a £15 meal, these are the ideal hack.

A modern wind chime

Photo: Alkemi

Father’s Day is fast approaching, so we’ve scoured our directory of 38 ESEA-owned businesses to give you some thoughtful gift inspiration. For the dad who believes in feng shui — or simply loves to spend his summer out on the decking — we particularly like this brass wind chime from the independent lifestyle store Alkemi.

A rather fetching anti-chafing garter

As temperatures rise, we checked back in on the best ways to prevent pesky thigh chafing, colloquially known as “chub rub.” Amongst the models, dermatologists, and editors we spoke to, this anti-chafing, garterlike band by Bandelettes emerged as a new popular choice. While they’re available in a variety of styles, Sarah Caldwell from the Cut opts for the lace option. “As a finicky person, I kept worrying they were going to fall, but every time I became convinced that they were slipping and went to check, they were actually still stuck on perfectly,” she says. “You almost feel the rub more in these, but it’s not painful — just the brush, brush of lace. It’s a nice sensation.”

An excellent Rimowa dupe

Photo: retailer

Both Tom Marchant, a co-founder of the luxury travel and lifestyle brand Black Tomato, and director Amma Asante highlighted the importance of durability when selecting a good suitcase. Their brand recommendations included Rimowa, whose aluminium suitcases tend to have eye-wateringly expensive price tags. Luckily, Strategist writer Chris Mandle was able to uncover a cheaper alternative. It looks similar to its much more expensive peer but, crucially, is hundreds of pounds cheaper at £675. It has a capacity of 71 litres, comes with a ten-year warranty, and made our list of the five very best suitcases overall, which you can read here.

And a no-budge sports bra

“Imagine scaffolding but for your boobs,” says trainer Liberty Cox about this bra. “It keeps you locked in, held up, and in place. There is no wiggle room at all.” Ideal for HIIT, this seamless, wired sports bra from Panache features a J-hook fastening for a truly rigid hold. As well as keeping your bust secure as you run, jump, and climb, the moisture-wicking material ensures it stays sweat free, too. For our list of six other picks of the very best sports bras, informed by fitness experts, Strategist editors, and reviewers who work out frequently, read 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.

6 Things That Delighted Us Last Week: Sports Bras to Suppers