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 dessert-scented body lotion, socks that are Dr Martens-proof, and some inexpensive décor options for around the home.
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A pair of blister-banishing socks
While breaking in a new pair of Dr Martens, Strategist intern Fern McErlane knew that Compeed plasters weren’t going to cut it. A bit of online research all pointed to the brand’s own “Doc Socks.” These extra-padded “double” socks are made of a resilient cotton and elastane blend, to shield the foot away from the unrelenting leather. “They are not cheap, at £10, but after trying out a plain black pair, I had to admit that they worked,” says McErlane. “I’ve since bought two more (they come in a range of cute designs) and conceded this double victory to Dr. Martens.”
A versatile summer dress
In her guest haul, author and Vogue columnist Annie Lord told us about the items she’d picked up in June, including the dress she wore to the launch of her book, Notes on Heartbreak. She hadn’t planned on buying anything new, but was seduced by a targeted Instagram ad for a midi dress. “I could easily dress it down for everyday and, knowing this, imagined myself slipping it on in a rush, a dash of highlighter on the top of my Cupid’s bow, some bronzer over the bridge of my nose, my painted toes slotted into chunky sandals and then out the door to the park where my friends would already be hanging out,” she says. “I feel excited for summer knowing this dress will be there with me.”
A lotion to soothe scaly skin …
This Oat-Rich lotion from Bourn Beautiful was designed to tackle particularly pesky patches of dry skin. Made with highly moisturising oat silk, aloe vera juice, raw cocoa butter, and moisturising powerhouse shea butter, the lotion softens the skin and forms a protective barrier while preventing the urge to itch. It also has a delicious vanilla scent, and comes from a Black-owned British brand.
… and a mask to quench thirsty hair
If you’ve noticed your hair’s a touch dehydrated since dying it at home, Lily Bunting-Branch, a colourist at the Simon Warwick salon, recommends Shu Uemura Ultimate Reset. The frequently sold-out mask contains coconut oil to revive very dry hair. “Make sure hair is towel-dried before putting it on,” Bunting-Branch says, “and leave for at least five minutes before rinsing off.”
An energy bill-conscious fan
Temperatures are set to rise early next week, so it’s an ideal time to invest in a cooling fan to make the sweatiest evenings more bearable. This pedestal fan was recommended to us by Liam Halliday, a product development technologist at John Lewis. It has an adjustable height and a tilting head, to direct cool air-flow exactly where you need it. It also has a sleep-timer function, so you can save on energy (and bills) by setting the fan up to shut off while you snooze.
An inexpensive rug for the living room …
… and a bargain lamp for the bedside table
And a tanning mitt that reaches the places that you can’t
After moving away to university, Strategist writer Rachael Griffiths encountered a fake-tanning dilemma. “I suddenly couldn’t force my mum to tan my back. And I didn’t know anyone well enough in the first year who I’d stand in front of practically naked.” So she experimented with this elongated mitt from Skinny Tan. Featuring two handles, the rectangular mitt is designed to be slung over your shoulder and tan parts of your back that are usually too awkward to reach without help. She shares more self-tan products and tools in her step-by-step routine — and all are perfect for solo application.
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.