back to top

10 Life-Changing Things To Try In February

Because we tried them for you in January!

Posted on
Jenny Chang / BuzzFeed

The BuzzFeed editors are always trying new products, apps, tips, 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," "Tricks We Learned," and "Things We Made" 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. iClever Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones — $19.99

Wires are the worst, you guys. At the gym, under all those winter layers, as you dance in your living room while your roommates are sleeping…they just get in the way. That’s where these handy-dandy iClever Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Headphones come in.

You turn on the headphones by holding down the button on the right earbud; then an automated voice says, “Power on.” Then it says, “Connected,” meaning connected to my phone, since they already know each other and they’re pretty much dating. Setup is fast and there’s no transmission delay during playback. The sound quality is surprisingly strong. They're close to sound-canceling, so they’re great for work.

But where these really shine is at the gym and while traveling. At the gym, my phone stays in my pocket and I get to focus on my workout — no distractions. To skip forward or back a track, just press the buttons on the side of the earbuds. And on an 18-hour flight to the Philippines, I didn’t have to mess with wires as I struggled to find a comfortable sleeping position in my seat. Battery life is decent (7 hours), and it's rechargeable via USB, so I keep it plugged in overnight.

At $20, they’re considerably cheaper than most high-quality earbuds. Plus, they have the added effect of making me look like a cyborg that is completely impervious to human feelings, so that’s great. —Matt Ortile

2. Habit List App — $4 for iOS

Nicole Nguyen / BuzzFeed

Every year, I make resolutions that I stick to for a week or two before shouting "CAN I LIVE?" at myself. For 2016, I'm determined to make a change for good.

For me, the first step to forming a new habit is to track it — that keeps you accountable *and* reminds you to do it regularly. The more you do it, the stronger the habit.

After downloading more than 1- apps, I finally discovered my favorite tracker, Habit List. It's $4, which is probably more than what you're used to paying for, but just think: It has the potential to change your LIFE. It's certainly changed mine.

I love Habit List because it's a simple app with a clean, beautiful interface and flexible scheduling. It focuses on what's due today. Red badges mean you've gotten lazy, gray means that missing it today won't break your streak (for nondaily goals), and green means you need to complete it today. Once you've completed the task, you get to cross it off your list. I kept coming back to the app every day to keep my streak alive and avoid red badges. You can also see your weekly and monthly stats at a glance.

For Android folks who want something similar, Rewire is a minimal, streak-focused app that'll help you achieve your goals. You can read about more tracking apps here. —Nicole Nguyen

3. Pawz Natural Rubber Dog Boots — $10.85

Rachel W. Miller / BuzzFeed

When my Texas-born and -raised toy fox terriers encountered their first snow last year in NYC, they weren't too happy. Our first night out in the snow, I noticed Chuck limping a bit, refusing to put one rear paw down. I was worried he was hurt until I saw him lift up his other rear leg and basically attempt to only walk on his front paws. As much as I like the idea of seeing my dogs do handstands, I could tell he was distressed and I felt pretty bad for him. On our next outdoor attempt, he hobbled on three legs for about 30 seconds and then straight-up sat his ass down right on top of my foot. He then gazed up at me with the most pitiful expression and "In the Arms of the Angel" started to play behind him. He literally could not even.

It was clear some kind of boots were in order. First we tried some basic ones from Petco, but the dogs struggled to walk in them:

Instagram: @the_rewm

Also, they slid off like 20 seconds after I shot that video. Next we tried Muttluks, which are very well reviewed, but which didn't stay for shit. Finally, I stumbled upon Pawz rubber boots, which look and feel like small balloons, and ensure a very tight fit. The only downside is that because they fit so snugly, they are a little tough to get on, especially if 1) you're doing it alone, 2) your dog hates having their feet touched, and 3) the aforementioned hatred for having their feet touched extends to having their nails clipped, meaning your dog has what is basically a coke nail that threatens to tear through the material. Those caveats aside, I was pretty impressed with these booties! We used them on the snowiest days and were able to get multiple wears out of each bootie. I can't say the dogs like them, but they seem to appreciate not having to get their precious little paws cold, and so they've begrudgingly accepted them. —Rachel Wilkerson Miller

4. Oofos Recovery Sandals — $45–$65

Sometimes I worry I have the feet of a weak baby. The bottoms of my feet are often in pain after running or other workouts, especially the next day. I put my feet on the hard wood floor and then start hopping around like a weirdo. And until a couple months ago, I didn't even realize they make shoes designed to help with this exact issue: Oofos recovery sandals.

My dad gave me these sandals as a Christmas gift. When I first saw them, I thought, "What are these? Some kind of Crocs ripoff?" But I tried them on and my feet were changed forever. It's like walking on squishy, squishy joy. (Assuming joy is squishy?) They're so comfortable. They do become a little less squishy with time, especially if you wear them constantly. My feet have never been happier.

Sometimes comfort can tell style to go to hell. —Joanna Borns


5. TodayTix App — Free for iOS and Android

Look around, look around, how lucky we are to be alive right now. I love me some live theater and I've waited in many an endless TKTS line, only to find out at the front that there are no seats left for my show of choice, or that they're awful and overpriced. And as someone with limited means but unlimited desire to see every show out there, this makes me endlessly sad. But now, my woes are a thing of the past because, as with so many things, there's an app for that!

When a friend with similar Broadway dreams and non-Rockefeller budget recommended the TodayTix app with the twin assurances that it's a) not a scam, and b) easy to use, I decided to put it to the test. TodayTix is essentially a mobile TKTS line, except you can get tickets for shows several days in advance.

The interface is ridiculously easy to use — there are, at last count, 41 shows to choose from, with about a week's worth of show dates available each. You can filter by musical, play, date, price, and more. There's also a section where you can set an alert for when harder-to-get tickets become available, if you're desperate to be in the room where it happens.

I bought tickets to Something Rotten! three days in advance by picking a show and date, setting a price limit ($37, please), and hitting purchase. That was it. The only real catch is that you don't find out your actual seats until right before the show. You know your section in advance, but 30 minutes before the show, you meet a TodayTix agent in a red jacket outside the theater and they hand you your tickets. I knew I'd be in the balcony, the back of the back of the theater, but my seat ended up being in the third row of the balcony, which felt like a steal. It was a great show, and for a good price. Theater for all, I say! —Terri Pous

6. Makeup Eraser — $23.56

The Makeup Eraser claims to take off all your makeup using just water, and it actually works! The first time I used it, I was wearing a lot of makeup, concealer, foundation, highlighter, lipstick. The cloth pretty much removed all my makeup, waterproof mascara included, and it didn't leave me with raccoon eyes. My colleague who has sensitive skin also tried it and was impressed too. It instantly removed her foundation and cheek and lip stain. She also found it was really gentle on her skin and didn't leave her with any dryness or irritation. Get more details on all our experiences with it here. —Tolani Shoneye

7. Hydro Flask 40-Ounce Wide Mouth — $35


I first heard of Hydro Flasks when I went home to Hawaii for Christmas last year. It was hard not to since pretty much everyone and their mom has one on the island. My friends told me that they're "magical" and can keep ice solid for an entire day, which comes in handy when you live in a tropical climate that really only has two seasons: hot and slightly less hot. I was more than excited to get one from my brothers as a Christmas present so I could see if they're worth all the hype. Turns out, they are.

Here's what I've learned: First of all, these things can keep things ice solid for a ridiculous amount of time, which means your water isn't room temperature after a few hours. It can also keep the contents warm, which is handy now that I'm back in NYC. They're durable (I've dropped mine all over the place), sweat-free (condensation doesn't get all over your bag, clothes, car, etc.), and BPA-free. They also come with a lifetime warranty, and the company also donates 5% of the net profits from your Hydro Flask to the charity of your choosing. You can check out the different types of Hydro Flasks here. They even have an insulated pint glass, if that's more your thing.

I couldn't love this water bottle more. I take it with me everywhere, whether it's to work, to soccer games, or just over to a friend's apartment for movie night. I've filled it with everything from water to hot chocolate to beer, and it works for it all.

Shannon Rosenberg

8. "Self-Care Sunday"

Instagram: @samsonthedood

"Self-Care Sunday" is something I started doing a month or so ago and I can't recommend it enough. Assigning a catchy, if silly, name to it has helped me remember to slow down before the week ahead. My specific variation of it includes a face mask (usually one of Sephora's sheet mask but sometimes I mix it up!), a hair mask, and doing my nails while I watch something or read. If I'm getting reaallly fancy, I'll take a bath with lavender Epsom salts. But this is just what I do; your version can be however cheap or expensive you want and can be anything that makes you slow down and catch your breath. —Chelsea Marshall

9. EXACTLY How to Stay Warm This Winter

Alison Caporimo / BuzzFeed

I'm that person who wears a sweatshirt in the summer. I am also that person with permanent goosebumps who is asking if there's a draft in this room when everyone else is sweating bullets. So when winter hits, you bet your bottom dollar that I'm cold AF ALL THE DAMN TIME.

To fix this problem, I decided to put some serious warming implements to the test. The products I tried include the AlphaHeat AA Battery Heated Scarf, REI Deep Cold Mittens, HotHands Hand Warmers, HotHands Toe Warmers, and HotHands Oversized Hand and Body Super Warmers. For my experiment, I wore each item for a full day when temperatures hit freezing. And by "full day" I don't mean I wore it on my walk to my car. This is New York, people. We thrive off of suffering. So that means I wore these items walking to the subway, meandering around looking for lunch, trudging to meet friends for dinner, etc. And after wearing them each individually, I tried wearing two or more items at once to see if there was a magical cozy equilibrium that I could reach.

During my experiment, I found that the heated scarf never got that warm (I couldn't tell if it had gotten hotter or if my body had just warmed it up). Plus, the scarf itself is fairly thin in terms of width, which made it lackluster in comparison to a thicker, nonheated scarf. As for the classic HotHands Warmers, they were a little small so I had to keep rolling them around in my hands to get sufficient heat contact. And the Toe Warmers got cold in a matter of minutes (that NYC asphalt is NO JOKE). Which brings me to the Hand and Body Super Warmers, which were perfectly hand-sized and stayed hotter for a lot longer than the classic hand warmers. Also, the REI Deep Cold Mittens surprised me by really keeping the chill out of my fingers.

But! The magic really occurred when I put the Hand and Body Super Warmers INSIDE the REI Deep Cold Mittens. The mittens kept the warmers right against my hands and the insulation meant that each hand had its own little sauna. This technique kept me warm during my cold work commute and even proved successful during a weekend Giants versus Jets football game. —Alison Caporimo

10. Kiehl's Oil Eliminator Moisturizer — $27

Like a lot of people, I have really oily skin. For me, that means after washing and moisturizing my face in the morning, my skin looks decent for about an hour before it becomes blindingly reflective.

At this point, I've lost count of the number of face washes and moisturizing gels I've used to manage my oily skin. None have worked as well Kiehl's Oil Eliminator 24 Hour Anti-Shine Moisturizer. (It's labeled as a product for men, but at the end of the day moisturizer is moisturizer, right?) More of a gel than a lotion, it's light and fresh, and it really does absorb oil all day long. Having used it daily for more than a month now, I find myself wiping excess oil from my skin much less often these days.

At $27 for 2.5 oz, it's not the cheapest option for dealing with oily skin. But in my experience, it's definitely the best. —Jon-Michael Poff


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