back to top
Shopping

11 Life-Changing Things To Try In August

Because we tried them for you in July!

Posted on

The BuzzFeed staff is always trying new products, apps, hacks, and DIY projects, and we decided it was time to start sharing the best of them with you. Each month, we post our recommendations for what’s actually worth it. For the sake of transparency, items under “Things We Bought” and “Tricks We Learned” were purchased with our own money and/or were not the result of a PR pitch. Those under “Things We Tried” are items that were provided to us at no cost for the sake of review. (But! We’re under no obligation to write a review of those things, let alone a positive review.)

Let us know in the comments what sorts of things you’d like us to review next month!

1. Chirpy Pets Dog and Cat Brush, a magical device that can remove up to 90% of shedding fur from your pet with just a few strokes.

It feels like every time the Chirpy Pets brush is included in a BuzzFeed post, people go crazy for it. What, I wondered, could be so great about this brush? Well, I've now tried it on my roommate's cat, and let me tell you — it really is that great.

First, the comb itself is wider than comparable brushes that I've used in the past, allowing me to cover more area more quickly. Second, the brush actually picks up A TON of loose hair. Like, more than I thought was even possible — and any hair that ends up brushed away is hair that doesn't end up all over my clothes, which is a good thing. Third, the cat actually seemed to enjoy it! When I've used other brushes and gloves to deal with shedding, she inevitably ends up trying to wriggle away. But with this one, she actually sat still the whole time, and even purred! I don't know what it is about the Chirpy Pets brush that feels better to her, but brushing her is so much easier when she isn't struggling to get away, so I'm thankful for it. I've accepted that there's no way to ever break completely free from a home strewn with random cat hair, but at least with the Chirpy Brush, I'm able to make some inroads on the problem. —Adam Davis

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

2. Insten Portable Misting Fan, a USB-chargeable device to keep you cool ❄️ all ❄️ summer ❄️ long.

Rachel Christensen / BuzzFeed

I am seven months pregnant in the dog days of NYC's summer. I take the subway to and from work. This subway. And I'm 👏 not 👏 even 👏 mad because I bought this USB fan my coworker wrote about and it works like a dream!

I've used this little guy every day for two weeks now and I haven't needed to recharge it. I haven't bothered putting water in it (you can; it comes with a cute little squeeze bottle) because it really keeps me cool on its own. My favorite part: the number of complete strangers who look at me with my fan and straight-up say, "You are so smart." You try getting overheated New Yorkers to tell you how smart you are! And then please tell them to give me their subway seat because hi, I am pregnant!!! —Rachel Christensen

Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

3. Marvis Jasmin Mint Toothpaste, a lightly floral toothpaste that'll make you look forward to every time you brush your chompers.

Rachel Wilkerson Miller / BuzzFeed

I bought this toothpaste after seeing it in a BuzzFeed post; a reader actually recommended it (TYSM!!!), and I had used and liked Marvis toothpaste in the past. The week I ordered it was not a particularly good one, and it was very clear when I got my receipt that I had subconsciously been shopping for things that would make me feel better. But I'm happy to report that the toothpaste actually brings me a little bit of joy every time I use it! I was instantly into the packaging, which is so beautiful; something about the purple and silver just feels special — like I'm staying in a fancy hotel or something. The fragrance is really distinct (not too strong, just...distinct), but the floral flavor is actually very light and mild. (If you've ever had, say, a lavender latte or a cake with rose frosting, it's definitely similar.) Within a day or so, I was totally hooked.

A friend of mine recently found out how much this toothpaste costs and said that for that price, it better have cocaine it in. TBH, I have no idea what cocaine tastes like, so maybe it does!!! (I do only use a pea-sized amount, as recommended by my toothbrush brand.) But for me, it's one of those small, everyday luxuries, like clean sheets or a fluffy bathrobe, that just makes me feel pampered. I recently got an Invisalign and have to brush my teeth approximately 1,000 times a day, and using this jasmine mint toothpaste (I bought the smaller tube to keep with me all the time) has made it considerably more pleasant. —Rachel Wilkerson Miller

Get it from Amazon for $10.50.

4. Nostalgia Retro Pop-Up Hot Dog Toaster, a vintage-inspired machine capable of whipping up two hot and toasty wieners (and buns!) in no time flat.

Samantha Wieder / BuzzFeed

I discovered this little contraption while working on a post on the weirdest things you could get on Amazon Prime Day. I had no idea such a thing even existed, and when I showed my mom this unique discovery, she told me I should order it for my dad’s birthday that was quickly approaching. (He’s a huge fan of barbecue food, but who isn’t?)

It looks exactly the same as it does in the product pictures, and it does actually cook your hot dogs and toast your buns. This is good if you’re a fan of any type of hot dog or sausage and you want a quick and easy fix for dinner. There are five different settings on the toaster, depending on how toasted you want your food to be, and it only takes about two to three minutes to cook. It came out pretty good! I wouldn’t say it was the best hot dog I’ve ever had in my life, but my dad approved of how his dinner came out, and he can be a tough critic sometimes. It’s worth the investment if you’re someone who’s constantly on the go and wants a quick fix for dinner. Plus, it has a sleek look to it that’ll look good sitting on your kitchen counter. —Samantha Wieder

Get it from Amazon for $16.62.

5. The ThunderShirt, a snug dog jacket that'll help reduce your best friend's anxiety with a hug-like fit.

Francine Hendrickson / BuzzFeed

When my ~highly anxious~ 9-year-old Chihuahua Lily had surgery to remove a growth on her eye, I knew recovering in the dreaded E-cone was not going to be easy on her. So I searched on Amazon for dog-anxiety products and found the ThunderShirt. This product promised to alleviate anxiety through pressure and calming pheromones, with a money-back guarantee.

The day of Lily’s surgery, she was a in a sad state — cue panting, pacing, shaking, and crying upon arriving home. She was particularly upset that she could no longer fit under the couch with the E-cone on, and my heart was breaking for her. I busted out the XS ThunderShirt, which is suggested for dogs 8 to14 pounds (Lily is 11 pounds). It was a pretty snug fit, and it stayed on no problem. Although Lily was still anxious with the ThunderShirt on, it did subdue her enough for a much-needed nap.

It was only fair to give the ThunderShirt another try post-recovery, so we used it again during a thunderstorm the following week. Lily was still on high alert with the ThunderShirt on, but she was not shaking and pacing like she usually does with storms. This product is by no means a cure for all levels of dog anxiety, but it helped my very anxious doggo through a hard time. I could see this product working well for dogs like Lily who love to burrow, as the ThunderShirt seems to provide a similar sense of security. —Francine Hendrickson

Get it from Amazon for $29.50+. Available in sizes XXS (dogs < 7 pounds)–XXL (dogs > 110 pounds).

6. Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea Mattress, a reasonably priced mattress that feels really high-quality.

Yi Yang / BuzzFeed

It’s hard to find a good mattress that doesn’t cost a month’s rent. I had been on the hunt for months with no success. One day while surfing Amazon, I stumbled upon the Zinus Memory Foam Green Tea Mattress. It had great reviews, and it was less than $300. I was a little hesitant to order such a huge item online, but my old mattress gave me serious back pain so I was in a pinch. I splurged and got the 12-inch one (in queen size) because I have a weird fascination with The Princess and the Pea, but I couldn't actually get my hands on 12 mattresses. It was delivered rolled up, but within five to ten minutes it flattened out completely. The mattress is really thick and quite firm (but not hard), which is great for my back. No, you can’t feel a pea under this mattress.

After the first night sleeping on it, my life changed FOREVER. It’s so damn luxurious, and by far the best mattress I’ve ever owned. My sleep quality has significantly improved since I switched over. I was paranoid that a foam mattress would be too hot in the summer, but it’s been alright. On cooler days, it’s very comfortable, and I do have a cooling mattress topper for really hot nights. The moral of the story is, for this price, I can’t imagine getting a better mattress. –Yi Yang

Get it from Amazon for $79+ (available in various sizes and thickness).

7. Soylent, a meal-replacement beverage for those mornings you really just can't deal with making a proper breakfast.

Jeff Barron / BuzzFeed

The idea that it is possible to consume and subsist off liquid food isn’t an appealing one to many. But if you can look past the stigma that it's "not real food," you can stand to gain a lot of from using Soylent. I've used it on and off now for years. I decided to drink my meals for two reasons: It saves me the time it would take to cook a meal, and it stops me from eating junk. A lot of our lives are spent thinking about food, preparing food, and worrying about our eating habits. Soylent solves most of these problems for me. It’s crazy how tasty the drinks are, and they all have exactly the same nutritional values. Here are my takes on their regular lineup of flavors:

-Original: It’s like a pleasant Cheerios-in-milk taste.

-Cacao: It could be compared to something like Nesquik, but a little more intense.

-Nectar: It tastes exactly like the milk after you’ve had a bowl of Froot Loops.

There is also a version of Soylent called Cafe that has caffeine in it for those who need that extra kick for breakfast. My take on the Cafe flavors:

-Coffiest: Tastes sort of like those canned coffee drinks you can get from the gas station. Not bad.

-Vanilla: Oddly similar to Coffiest, but just lighter. Sorta latte-like.

-Chai: Wow, okay, this one is the best of all three Cafe flavors. It’s like a cold chai latte.

I know a lot of people aren’t wild about the idea of drinking meals. "But I enjoy food!" you might mutter to yourself. This isn’t about enjoying food — this is about convenience. Not everyone drinks Soylent 100% of the time (although you can do it, and I have done it for over a month). Some use it to replace the meals they wouldn't normally eat. It's a nice convenience that happens to be a balanced food. Soylent is what you make of it, and for my needs, it's perfect. I pop a bottle in the morning and my breakfast is taken care of. Done. —Jeff Barron

Get a 12-pack of the original Soylent line from Amazon for $34 and a 12-pack of the Cafe line from Amazon for $39.

8. Doggie Dailies, a line of supplements so your doggo can feel like a pupper again.

Elena Garcia / BuzzFeed

We have the most incredible 17-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Jett. Or, as we often refer to him, Jebbies, Carly Rae Jebson, Rock of Jebralter, or Jebediah. (And yes, he responds to all those names — when he wants to.) Because of his age, he deals with things like cataracts, a sensitive tummy, and joint pain. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a ball of energy; people are often shocked when we tell them that our little lightening bolt is well into his golden years.

So when we noticed him starting to get a bit sluggish we needed to find something to get him back to his old self. Then we discovered Doggie Dailies; it had amazing reviews and could literally be delivered same day via Amazon. They’re a supplement filled with the things Jebbies needs to help with his old-man joint pain. They’re small, soft treats that he LOVES. Like, I haven’t tried them myself, but they must be delicious, because the second he hears the rattling of the bottle he leaps off the couch (something he can still do thanks to these) and prances into the kitchen filled with excitement. Jebbies is just under 20 pounds, so he’s allowed two per day, although I’m sure he’d gladly gain 10 pounds just for the potential of getting a third treat. Ever since we started giving him these, he’s upbeat and perky, and acts like he’s a pup again! They’re really great! —Elena Garcia

Get a bottle of 225 chews from Amazon for $33.97.

9. Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lip Color, a loooong-lasting liquid lipstick that's even better than the Kylie Lip Kit.

Nichole Francois / BuzzFeed

Alright, so I’m a HARDCORE fan of Kylie’s Lip Kits: They smell great and stay on all day. I had never tried a liquid lipstick from a drugstore brand because, well, I didn’t think it'd work. But I saw these Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Lip Colors and decided to give them a try. My thoughts? This is a GREAT liquid lipstick, and it may even be better than Kylie’s.

It lasts all day (TBH, I put it on yesterday, and I woke up this morning with some lipstick still on). The lipstick has a doe-foot applicator with a hole in the center for a super-easy one-coat application. I don’t feel as though it dries out my lips as much as other liquid lipsticks, and it’s honestly pretty comfortable to wear. Bonus? It smells like vanilla!

One caveat: IT STAYS ON FOREVER, including on your teeth. So just make sure you do a teeth check after you apply (I may or may not have been walking around the office with lipstick on my teeth). You’ll also probably have to rub it off with a washcloth or makeup wipe.

"Lover" is a beautiful pinky-mauve shade for everyday wear (what I’m wearing in my picture), but I also love "Believer" for a bolder purple look. Even though I have dozens of liquid lipsticks, I’m so ready to go buy more shades of this one! —Nichole Francois

Get them from Amazon for $7.99 each.

10. Daily Harvest, a delivery kit that ships frozen, ready-to-blend fruit-and-veggie-packed smoothies to your door.

Melissa Harrison / BuzzFeed

Mornings are a bit of a controlled circus at my house. Between getting ready for work, getting a kid ready for daycare, and actually getting out the door, a legit breakfast is often the first casualty for me. Most days, it's just an iced coffee and yogurt from the office kitchen. So when I started seeing Daily Harvest pop up on my social feeds earlier this summer, with its focus on fast and healthy pre-packed breakfasts — like superfood smoothies, overnight oats, and chia parfaits — I decided to try it.

And overall? They're just as quick and convenient as you'd think: Each serving comes in a ready-to-make, freezer-friendly cup. For smoothies, just toss everything straight into the blender with your choice of base liquid, and you're good to go. From a nutritional POV, they use whole, mostly organic ingredients, and have no added sugar or preservatives.

Flavor-wise: I loved some varieties (like acai + cherry, above) more than others (cold brew + almond tasted less like coffee and more like a chocolate shake). And although Daily Harvest seems to be best-known for their smoothies, my favorite thing was actually the oat cups (like banana + protein; and berry + dragonfruit), because you can make them in two ways: Either add liquid and 1) heat everything for oatmeal, or 2) pop it in the fridge before bed, and you'll have on-the-go overnight oats by morning.

The downside: At about $7 a serving, it's more than I'd usually spend on breakfast. So is it an everyday thing? Prob not, at least for me. But is it a super-convenient thing to have stocked in your freezer — so that on crazy mornings when you need a healthy breakfast in next-to-no time, you've got an option within reach? Totally. —Melissa Harrison

Try Daily Harvest for $6.99 to $7.99 per serving.

11. ThirdLove, a super-comfy bra brand you can ~try before you buy~ for the perfect fit every time.

Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

The inside of my ThirdLove box reads "the best bra is one you never think about," and while it’s a no-brainer statement, I can actually say that their T-shirt bra LIVES UP to that. Trust me, I'm super weary when it comes to bras — they're the devil. Anything wired earns an automatic "eh," but sometimes you want a lil' more support, so I had high hopes for ThirdLove.

What's fab about this brand (besides having a wide size range: 28–46 for bands and A to H for cups, which includes 🚨 half sizes 🚨!!!) is that there's a try-before-you-buy option where you have a 30-day window to try a bra free of charge (you just pay shipping) before you decide to keep it (and are charged) or return it (and are not charged). And to make sure you get the perfect size there's a ~Fit Finder Quiz~ you take that gets into the nitty-gritty details, like the actual shape of your boobs. I was a little skeptical about my results because I've never been told I’m a C cup, but hell if I wasn't gonna give this quiz the benefit of the doubt.

And I'm so glad I did, because 👏 listen up 👏, the 24/7 Classic T-Shirt Bra is the real deal. I had to repeatedly remind myself that I was wearing this bra so I could remember what it felt like for this review — aka it feels so lightweight that I forgot I was wearing a bra at all. And it still fits like a glove and my girls feel loved and supported. It looks seamless underneath even tight shirts (wow) and I didn't have to adjust the straps at all (still wow). While it’s pricier than the bras I typically buy, I can definitely feel the difference...in that I *don't* feel it. Even though I feel the urge to burn my bras at least twice a week, there’s no getting around the fact that I wear them every day, so even if I have to drop more $$, it's $$ damn well spent. —Sarah Han

Try a bra from ThirdLove for $68+.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss