what i cant live without

What Rachel Rabbit White and Nico Walker Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photos: Amelia Golden, Graham Hamaker; Illustration: Joe McKendry

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and electric toothbrush. We asked Cherry author Nico Walker and his wife, the poet and essayist Rachel Rabbit White (whose new lifestyle blog, Temporary Paradise, launches July 1), about their Spanish typewriters and indie-sleaze sunglasses.

Nico’s stuff

I’ve ordered some typewriters from this place in Malaga, Spain. I like the Olivetti Pluma 22 with a Spanish keyboard (it’s like the Ferrari of typewriters), though presently I’m using a Swiss Hermes with a French “azerty” keyboard. I prefer French keyboards because they’re ideal for cigarette smokers (the reason being you don’t need to hit “Shift” for apostrophes). Anyways, the typewriters I’ve got from El Granero have all been clean as fuck and in working order. They arrive well packed and safely, and you don’t have to do anything to them to get them to work the way they’re supposed to. Which is way different than, say, buying them on eBay, because I’ve bought a few 1947 Royal QD’s and Arrows off eBay and sometimes they showed up in pretty bad shape and almost always filthy, with 80 years’ worth of dirt all up in the works, and so there are only a couple of places I’d fuck with for typewriters anymore these days, El Granero being one of them.

I drink coffee and tea and stuff like that — herbal mate, whatever. Rachel’s got all this tea and stuff and I drink it when I’m between checks, for sure, and that’s fine, only the thing is I’m fairly sure there were times I’d have died, like say, in car wrecks, if it hadn’t been for sugar-free Red Bull. So if I couldn’t buy it, I’d be worried.

Jim Jarmusch’s first feature-length project was made in ten days in New York City in 1980 for next to no money and with no shooting permits. To me, it’s a perfect piece of art. It’s beautiful, and it’s got good ethics and isn’t boring at all and has got humor about it. Rachel and I have been watching all the Jarmusch films that are on Criterion lately, like on repeat. Even when we’re not together, because she’s in New York and I’m stuck at home on federal probation, we’ll watch movies together on the Criterion Channel, where I have to fast forward ahead a few seconds and then listen to where she’s at on her end and try to time hitting the play button with the exact time that she gets to where I paused at. Down by Law’s another Jarmusch one I really fuck with hard, too. It’s the most true-to-real-life version of jail I’ve ever seen in film.

Grapefruit is a clothing brand out of Water Valley, Mississippi, and they sort of reimagine — refurbish, if you will — workwear. I recently wore these with a white Paul Smith shirt and a fake Louis Vuitton skinny scarf from Canal Street, plus some teal-and-orange Adidas Stadts and with no socks and with the pants cuffed a bit, and (I felt, at least) the fit worked.

Chariot Wish’s collection of poems was one of the best things I read that came out last year. If you’re a writer and writing’s got you down, it’s a one to read because it’s so fire it’s inspiring. Another good one that’s an oldie but a goodie: Four Screenplays of Ingmar Bergman, which is one I fuck with from time to time as a reference point to kind of ground me when I’ve become completely uninterested in plots.

Rachel’s stuff

My current nighttime look is a dark-blue smoky eye with a feather-thin touch on the brows. It’s a throwback to ’90s Pam Anderson or Jenna Jameson glam, and it’s hard to find an eye-shadow palette with the right tones as most are still focused on millennial mauve and burnt-red shades. I actually first bought this palette for Nico because he likes to do a Bowie-esque shimmery-blue eye when we go out, and I ended up borrowing it so often that I had to buy one for myself. The quality for the price point truly cannot be beat, and I’ve struggled to find any palette that offers several blue shades that range from a more Twiggy ’60s light blue to a darker ’90s Barbed Wire midnight blue.

I’m really bad at washing my makeup off at night. The issue is that I’m always out too late and want to pass out the moment I walk through the door. I recently got a HydraFacial at Plump in Soho (shout-out to Dr. Blinksi, injection king) and my facialist, Brittany, told me that while I was blessed with decent skin, the signs of aging she noticed seemed to stem from this bad makeup habit. I swore I would try to change my ways and searched for a new cleanser. I like Youth to the People’s Kale and Green Tea cleanser because its name alone makes me feel healthy. Even if I know I’ve been subsisting on French fries and Juul pods, it makes me believe I’m the kind of person who might drop into a yoga class. I have dry skin, but this facial wash makes my skin feel superclean without drying me out. I haven’t fully cured my habit of not washing off my makeup at the end of the night, but my new trick is to wash my face and leave the eye makeup on in case I need a lingering smoky-eye look for a while.

In the summer, when I’m out running errands or writing at cafés, I just wear pajamas and slippers. I believe in going zero to a hundred with my look, and unless I’m doing full glam, it’s a no makeup, just-rolled-out-of-bed “street style.” My current favorite for this style is Gelato Pique, a Japanese loungewear brand with a shop on the Lower East Side. I love its lightweight satin short-sleeved pajama sets. When I’m heading out of the house, I tend to pair a satin pajama top with denim short shorts or else the satin shorts with a white tank as well as a pair of their slippers (I like the Bunny Square Toe Room Shoes or the Eco Fur Heart Room Shoes) to give my feet a break from six-inch heels.

I never remember to put sunscreen on before I’m in the sun, so I have to keep Vacation sunscreen in my bag because, unlike an aerosol spray, it’s easy to fit in a purse and smells super-fresh with notes of “coconut, banana, pool water, pool toy, and swimsuit lycra.” It’s a good mix to cover up any lingering fake tan smell, and it goes well with perfumes with ozonic notes. I keep the classic lotion in my bag, but they also have an SPF spritz that is ideal for the face before or after makeup.

From $139

I love designer sunglasses, but the challenge for me is either losing them or that the styles change so quickly from season to season that you might as well have lost them. For the past couple of years, I’ve just stuck with a classic: a pair of Ray-Bans in brown tortoiseshell. I have one pair, and I haven’t lost them, but even if I did, the price point isn’t so bad. I like the RB2184. Nico was actually the one to turn me back onto Ray-Bans. When we first met and he was still in the halfway house, he wore a pair of prescription Ray-Bans everywhere we went, including at dinner. (Coming from a late-aughts time capsule, he anticipated the return of indie sleaze before it happened).

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Rachel Rabbit White and Nico Walker Can’t Live Without