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. Key Light — $4
2. Garnier Micellar Water — $6.96
3. Mushroom Coffee — $10–$15 for a 10-pack
Like most people, I love coffee. (Uh doyy.) It's the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the first thing each day that brings me genuine joy. But like most coffee drinkers, sometimes I get bored of it. Some days, you just don't feel like drinking regular coffee but still want that sweet, sweet caffeine boost.
I first heard about mushroom coffee from my friend Peggy, who had fallen into a "mushroom matrix" online k-hole. As a person, I secretly love herbal shit. I love all that hippie stuff but don't take any of it too seriously. I don't eat totally organic or clean, but I'll try something new and ~natural~ especially if it doesn't cost a crazy amount of money. According to Peggy's research (from a Finnish mushroom coffee brand Foursigmatic), there are two varieties of mushroom coffees. One uses the lion's mane and chaga mushrooms and the other uses Cordyceps and chaga mushrooms. The lion's mane and chaga mushrooms are apparently good for clearing your mind. The Cordyceps and chaga mushrooms are said to be more of a stimulant without the crash and jitters of regular coffee. I couldn't find any concrete science on these mushrooms but figured, Whatever — I'll give it a go.
So I tried it.
5. FlipBelt — ~$28.99
6. Coach Olive flats — ~$72–$100
Finding cute flats that don't rub your skin raw or cost a million dollars is an ongoing battle for many of us. But last year, after my beloved Tory Burch flats started to get holes in the toes after seven years of frequent wear, I decided to branch out and see if I could find flats that were less expensive, equally comfortable, and of a style that was more in line with 2015 me than 2008 me. After a few weeks of searching, I ended up buying a pair of mint green Coach Olive flats for $60 during the Lord & Taylor Friends & Family sale and never looked back. I wore them all spring and summer, and my only regret was that the mint green didn't go with everything in my wardrobe (though it went with a surprising amount of it because my wardrobe is basically only composed of three colors). My Reynaud's means I can't wear open-toe sandals without my toes turning purple and basically falling off, so I wore them with jeans, midi skirts, my favorite dresses, and even to the beach on occasion. They are so comfortable, and are casual but still polished.
A few weeks ago, I was in the market for a new pair of spring/summer shoes, preferably in a neutral color, and I remembered that I'd bought the green ones around the same time last year. On a whim, I checked the Lord & Taylor website and discovered 1) that they had the flats in two neutrals I really liked, 2) that their Friends & Family Sale was currently going on (!!), and 3) that it was the LAST DAY FOR IT (!!!!). I booked it uptown and checked out both the chalk pair (which is really pretty white IRL) and the beige pair (which is a lovely light tan color). Hyped up on sale fumes and armed with the knowledge that if you love wearing white and live in a filthy city, it's in your best interest to buy the things you love in multiples, I bought both colors.
I've been wearing the beige pair regularly since I bought them and have become re-obsessed with how simple and versatile they are. And a couple weeks ago, I received the highest compliment in this city: A woman on the subway stopped me to ask me where I got my shoes. 💕 —Rachel W. Miller
*Just FYI, the mint green are no longer available, but new colors rotate in from time to time, and I've seen a variety of colors/prices at both DSW and Coach outlets over the past year, and all department stories seem to carry the current models. All that to say: If $120 feels too pricey, shop around a bit and keep an eye out for sales because you can definitely find them for cheaper.
7. Storing Butter In a Dish
8. C9 Champion Women's Power Shape Mesh Sports Bra — $22.99
9. Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips — $20
I love lipstick, unequivocally. But reapplying it every hour is a pain in the ass. I've tried plenty of longwear lipsticks, but they usually leave my lips drier than the Sahara or they crack in the center (looking at you, CoverGirl Outlast). Enter, Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips. The second I saw this shade (Raspberry Tiramisú) swatched by women of color online, I knew the formula was definitely highly pigmented. But I really didn't expect it to last the way it does.
This first picture was taken first thing in the morning, on a day when I managed to wake up early enough to not do my makeup in the bathroom at work. (Go me!) The second photo was taken at FOUR THIRTY P.M., after I'd been drinking water and coffee all day. But even more impressively, after I'd eaten both a bagel and a lamb pita from the halal cart across the street where I always request extra white sauce and extra grilled onions. Basically extra grease, y'all! That is what this lipstick withstands. I wore it the night of my birthday party and didn't have to reapply once. (To take it off at night though, I use either the Beauty Bakerie remover or just some coconut oil.) I'm obsessed. —Hannah Giorgis
I’ve used swipe-input keyboards on Android/iOS before, and while they were quick, I’ve never seen anything like Nintype. The idea is that by using both fingers to swipe across letters, you can more quickly complete words and keep a ~flow~ of consciousness as you type.
I’ve been using Nintype for the past few weeks, and I’ve amazingly stuck to it for most uses. The main thing that has kept me using it is that it's made typing on a phone FUN. Not like, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing “fun," but real, endorphin-inducing fun. Everything became a game. I would try to see how fast I could shoot off an email, or try to write a journal entry that kept up with my stream of consciousness. On top of being quicker than your standard phone keyboard, Nintype integrates a TON of features that will allow you to customize the keyboard to your liking. You can change color themes, create custom word lists (like for crazy medical terminologies), split and resize the keyboard, set quick access punctuation shortcuts, and more.
I would recommend trying it if you’re willing to put the time into learning the quirks of the interface. It’s not for everyone, but if you geek out about utilities like I do, you’ll love it. —Jeff Barron