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Looking back at the last week of March, we’ve compiled some of the best umbrellas for anyone preparing to spend more time outdoors, and have previously guided you to the best sunglasses and the best sunscreen. With the coronavirus still top of mind a year into the pandemic, working from home is still a norm for many — tech expert Whitson Gordon shared some (very) affordable tips to cleaning our tech. States across the country are opening public spaces like restaurants and gyms, too: Doctors and personal trainers recommended their go-to face masks for exercise at fitness centers and gyms. If you prefer working out at home, resistance bands can be used in small spaces and may improve your balance and flexibility — not to mention, they’re travel-friendly. And as travel continues to pick up, we consulted both medical experts and the CDC on the best mask to wear while traveling, alongside other precautions and safety tips.
In shopping news, BaubleBar is expanding beyond fashion accessories and jewelry to offer two blanket styles: The Alpha Throw and The Alpha Blanket. My Sheets Rock’s bestselling temperature-regulating sheet collection The Regulator sheets is now available in new spring colors: Turquoise and Dusk Blue. Beauty brand Cleanlogic launched skin products for sensitive skin, including a face cloth, facial mitt, facial buffers and charcoal facial buffers. Additionally, streetwear brand Private Policy collaborated with activist, artist and actor Chella Man to turn his artwork into ear jewelry, launching The Beauty of Being Deaf campaign to recognize National Deaf History Month. Beyond those new releases, brands like OtterBox, Gap, Chewy and others recently launched products worth knowing about — here’s what to know.
Just in time for spring, Nordstrom is carrying new sandals and boots from Cougar Shoes and Andre Assous. Cougar Shoes collaborated with interior designer and artist Jill Malek to create a collection of waterproof Chelsea boots that feature a wedged heel and a lugged sole that provides extra grip on wet surfaces. The boots come in three colors: Mica, Lake and Tea. Cougar also launched new spring sandals, including slide, slingback and wedge styles. Additionally, Andre Assous’s spring sandals are available at Nordstroms, including strappy espadrilles and platform sandals.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s new Nestwell line features an assortment of bed and bath linens only available at the retailer. The line offers bedding like sheets, pillows and blankets, as well as bathroom products ranging from shower curtains to bath mats and bath towels. Nestwell’s bedding, which also includes duvet covers, inserts and comforters, is designed with high-quality fabrics and available in sizes ranging from Twin to California King. Nestwell’s line also includes cotton sateen sheets, breathable cotton percale sheets and sheets made from organic cotton.
Gap’s Generation Good collection features men’s, women’s, teen, kids and baby clothing made from sustainable materials and manufactured via environmentally ethical practices. Jeans and T-shirts are designed with organic and recycled fabrics like cotton. Gap states that 77 percent of its cotton is either certified organic, recycled, verified American-grown or sourced in partnership with sustainability-focused nonprofit Better Cotton Initiative. Pieces are also produced with less waste, less water, lower emissions, better materials and support for workers — the five pillars of Gap’s Good List — a list of commitments it established as a part of its new clothing collection.
Chewy’s new Disney collection includes dog and cat toys, apparel, collars, leashes and more decorated with fan-favorite characters. The collection features Mickey Mouse and Disney princess-themed items, as well as Pixar-inspired products like Toy Story catnip toy. Owners can also purchase Star Wars and The Mandalorian items, like a Chewbacca dog harness and a Yoda Squeaky Plush toy. Chewy’s Disney Line has Marvel products, too.
5. OnePlus launches OnePlus 9 Series smartphones (pre-order)
OnePlus launched its new OnePlus 9 and OnePlus 9 Pro smartphones, both of which are currently available for pre-order and will be available to buy April 2. They’re built with a triple-camera system developed in collaboration with camera manufacturer Hasselblad. The phones also offer Natural Color Calibration co-developed by Hasselblad, technology that creates vibrant shades and sharper, more natural-looking images. Notably, OnePlus 9 Series phones are equipped with wireless charging technology in a first for the brand, and its battery can be fully repowered in 29 minutes.
OnePlus launches first ever smartwatch (pre-order)
Additionally, OnePlus announced the release of its first smartwatch. One charge gives the OnePlus Watch up to two weeks of battery life, and it has multiple health and activity tracking features. The watch will be available starting April 14.
Shopping reader-favorite brand OtterBox launched its first-ever kids collection to specifically meet children’s tech needs, designed to help kids use mobile devices like iPads and headphones on their own. The kids collection is currently available at Target online and in stores, and will soon be added to OtterBox’s website as well as at other retailers.
This antimicrobial iPad case features ergonomic grip ridges that help kids hold their device, as well as raised edges to protect the camera and screen. It comes with a EasyGrab Multi-Use Case stand —which is also sold separately — that can hook onto the back of car seats, sit upright on tables or be used as a carrying handle. The case currently comes in three colors: Space Explorer (purple), Galaxy Runner (blue) and Martian (yellow).
To protect screens and kids’ eyes, OtterBox designed a shatter-resistant, anti-scratch screen protector that features blue light blocking technology. It’s constructed with reinforced edges to resist chipping, as well as an anti-microbial coating.
The coiled nature of these cables makes them stretchy and durable, and helps them absorb pulls and tugs. The bundle comes with an audio connector cable and Lightning to USB-A power cable, both of which have a thick exterior coating to prevent fraying. The end of the audio cable is shaped in a right angle, which prevents the headphone cord from breaking if kids yank it out of the headphone jack.
Last spring, Wild One released its Lilac-colored Harness Walk Kit and Collar Walk Kit, which the brand said became a customer favorite — Shopping readers have regularly shown interest in our guide to the best dog harnesses. Wild One is now offering more products in the bestselling color, including a Lilac Toy Kit and individual Lilac toys. It also launched a pack of four Lilac Tennis Balls in a mesh pouch.
8. Bluesound Pulse Soundbar+ (pre-order)
Bluesound’s newest wireless soundbar is designed to enhance your at-home theatre, as it supports 3D audio from Dolby Atmos to create a surround sound listening experience. It’s equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and Apple AirPlay 2 connectivity, and you can use BlueSound’s BluOS app to customize the soundbar and adjust its EQ settings. It connects to audio sources ranging from TVs and gaming consoles to laptops and smartphones, as well as to music streaming services. The soundbar is built with touch controls on the front panel, but it can be controlled through the app or Amazon Alexa and Siri voice commands. It comes with a wall mount bracket as well as two kickstand feet. The soundbar comes in Black (expected to ship in April) and White (expected to ship in May) and is currently available for pre-order.
Clothing brand Richer Poorer recently released a new dress and tank designed with sustainable Lyocell rib fabric. The fabric is made from natural raw wood material, and it’s biodegradable, soft and moisture-wicking. Richer Poorer’s ankle-length dress has a relaxed fit, a high neckline and dropped armhole. It comes in three colors: Sandstorm, Black and Olive Army. The racer back tank is inspired by 90s fashion, and features a high neckline with slight racer front shape. It comes in four colors: Bone, Black, Olive Army and Plum Smoke (the last of which is currently sold out). The dress and tank are available in sizes ranging from XS to XL.
Harper Wilde released The Lounge bralette, the newest addition to its collection of comfortable bras designed for all day wear. The Lounge Bra is seamless and features velvety ribbed fabric on the outside with a soft jersey material on the inside. The bra has a scooped style in the front and the back, as well as a supportive knit band across the bottom. It comes in two colors — White and Clay — and is available in sizes ranging from XS to 3XL.
Defender Safety’s Perfect Masks are made from non-woven fabric and feature medical grade filters. Perfect Mask partnered with third-party testing facility Intertek to assess its face mask according to ASTM International's Level 1 performance standard for surgical masks — not to be confused with ASTM’s standard for reusable masks, which the organization released earlier this year. The masks have a tri-fold design that fits snugly against the face, and their 3D shape creates a gap between the mask and the mouth to make it easier to talk and breathe. It’s made with a protective liquid barrier that absorbs moisture from breathing exhalation, as well as an adjustable nose bridge and comfortable ear loops. The Perfect Mask, which can be used for up to 24 hours, comes in a pack of five and is available in Black and White.
Proper Cloth recently updated its reusable Everyday Mask, launching The Everyday Face Mask 2.0. It has five layers of fabric, including a built-in 3-layer filter that remains effective after upwards of 20 washes. The mask is designed with pleated sides to create a tighter fit, as well as an antimicrobial treatment. It features adjustable ear loops and an adjustable nose piece, and a curved shape to provide room between the mouth and the mask to breathe and speak. The Everyday Mask 2.0 has two elastic band styles — over-the-head and around-the-ear — and is available in a variety of colors and Small and Large sizes.