We’ve been trying to find interesting and useful products around Europe, but only for the last couple of months have we gotten around to testing them. [ … ] The products we tested in May have been a busy few months for us. The beginning of the month saw us testing three products from Germany; two from France and one from the Netherlands. Then we tested another four products from Germany and another two from France. Now we find ourselves testing another four products from both Germany and France. It’s been a busy little month!
Many of us have already invested in a smartphone that meets our needs. And while we don’t need to buy a new one every year we might want to try out a new model on the market each year. And since we still have so many to test, we decided to stop buying new smartphones and test them all at the same time.
At Underscored, our editors test a seemingly endless number of products each month. Some aren’t great, but others are foods you won’t believe you’ve ever lived without. We are committed to putting the best products forward. That’s why we decided to make a selection of our favorite products to try each month.
You ask what we liked in May? Read on to find out which products we can’t live without, or to revisit our favorites from April.
Spoonflower Peel-and-Stick removable woven wallpaper (from $18 per roll; spoonflower.com).
Removable wallpaper Spoonflower Peel and Stick
Spoonflower self-adhesive wallpaper is a tenant’s dream. The hardest part of the whole process was choosing a pattern, because they have over a million options, but I love the black cat pattern I chose so much. The wallpaper fabric is very sturdy, so I had no problems with the pattern shifting during application. It took me about an hour to install it because I did it myself, but it was much easier than I thought. And since it’s removable, I’ll probably change the design every year to play with new looks! Use the code CNN15 to get a discount until the 31st. May 15% discount on all wallpapers. – Delaney Strunk, Programming Editor.
Umamicart food delivery service (prices vary; umamicart.com).
Umamicart Food Delivery Service
After cooking almost all my meals at home last year, I don’t feel like going out. Umamicart’s Asian food delivery service is the perfect answer to my eating problems. You can shop online in any category, just like in the store. In addition, special recipes are selected and all necessary ingredients are added to your basket. The website is easy to navigate, the food I ordered was very fresh and they have a great selection of ingredients or prepared meals and snacks. – Rosanna Salvatore, assistant editor.
CrazyCap 2 Water Bottle ($69.95, originally $89.95; crazycap.com)
CrazyCap 2 water bottle
This double-walled insulated bottle not only keeps water cold for hours, but also has a lid that purifies the water with UV light. I only drink filtered water at home. On a recent trip, I loved knowing that my water was always super clean. – Kai Burkhardt, Editorial Coordinator
Harmati velvet storage bench (from $129.99; amazon.com)
Velvet storage bench Harmati
This storage bench is a real eye-catcher. I was looking for functional home goods for my space, so I was very happy to find this. It is made of a super soft and velvety grey material, pleasant to lay down or touch. I plan to store some blankets and various household items in it. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Live Vinegar Acid League ($15; acidleague.com).
Sour League Garden Heat Live Vinegar
Since I first tried this product, I’ve been applying it to just about everything. A loner. Update. I eat and I have not regretted it! If you love vinegar (or just interesting flavors), you need to try this dish ASAP. Acid League recommends pairing it with fries, grilled vegetables, roasted chicken, and adding it to Bloody Marys. After a week of salmon, salads, veggies and sandwiches, I have no doubt it’s good on just about everything. It has a light aftertaste, very little pungency, and just enough flavor to be interesting but not too overpowering. – Haley Saltzman, Director of Social Media
Misen Saucier Frying Pan ($85; misen.com)
Misen cooking pot
While $85 for a slow cooker is certainly expensive, I find this article very useful as I get used to an induction cooker in my new apartment this month. The pan is just the right size for almost everything I cook (since I almost always cook for two), and the round shape makes it easy to whisk/stir even when I’m doing a little crazy in the kitchen (which is often). It’s also nice enough to leave outside, which is always a plus! – Haley Saltzman, Director of Social Media
Venus et Fleur Home Fragrance ($89; venusetfleur.com)
Room spray Venus and Flower
When I saw that Venus et Fleur had released a home fragrance, I immediately knew I had to get my hands on it – and I’m elated, to say the least. It is now my favorite scent to wear at home, which unfortunately is very expensive for my wallet. Rose Oud is both floral and woody, with notes of rose, saffron, sandalwood and nutmeg. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Rumpl Original Puffy Blanket ($74.25, originally $99; rumpl.com)
Rumpl Original, duvet
The Rumpl blanket has really become my favorite blanket since I tested it this month. It’s very comfortable and warm, and I can’t wait to take it on my next camping trip! – Kai Burkhardt, Editorial Coordinator
Charlotte Tilbury’s Glowgasm Beauty Wand ($38; sephora.com).
Charlotte Tilbury – Glowgasm Beauty Wand
Charlotte Tilbury’s Glowgasm Beauty Stick in the shade Goldgasm is my favorite highlighter this summer, mostly because I prefer cream products over powder products. The applicator pad makes application easy, and the pigmentation and rich texture blend easily with fingers, a brush or a makeup sponge. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Amika High Tide Deep Waver ($120; sephora.com)
Amika High Tide Deep Waver
According to TikTok users, mermaid hair – also known as beach waves – is the biggest trend this summer. So I decided to try Amika’s iconic High Tide Deep Waver, which is known for creating easy, long-lasting waves with its convenient, easy-to-use features. And for someone who has no experience with hair tools, after only 10 minutes I looked like I had just stepped out of a salon – or a bank, if you will. Three words: It’s worth the money! – Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Bevel Safety Razor ($42.35, originally $49.95; amazon.com)
Safety razor with beveled edge
I had never used a safety razor before testing the best razors for men, but I really enjoyed my experience with the Bevel. It’s a bit expensive, but the blades are easy to recycle and very cheap to replace, not to mention that they provide a very smooth shave. – Kai Burkhardt, Editorial Coordinator
The Mane Choice Easy on the Curls Conditioner ($14.40; amazon.com).
The Mane Choice curl protecting conditioner
I’ve been looking for a conditioner that works for my 3C and quickly tangling hair for a long time. I tried this conditioner in May this year and was very impressed with the results. On wash day, my hair detangles easily and retains its moisture and shine after the final rinse. The product has a thick consistency and contains vitamin E and biotin, which my hair loves. – Sarai Thompson, social media coordinator
Merit Wash Balm ($28; meritbeauty.com).
Merit Rinse Balm
The perfect berry lip balm doesn’t exist – oh wait, it does. If you want to look like a woman who has been feasting on ripe berries since morning, Merit’s cleansing balm is just what you need. Especially in the Mood shade, which is deep burgundy and can be shaded to find the right berry shade for you. Although I use it mostly as a lip balm, it is also listed as a blush, which is great, and I can even apply it as an eyeshadow on my eyelids. – Rachel Lubitz, editor-in-chief of Lifestyle magazine
Odele Air Dry Styler ($11.99; target.com) and Texturizing Sea Salt Spray ($11.99; odelebeauty.com).
Odele Air Dry Styler
I air dry my hair every day and this duo of products has made a difference! My hair is naturally frizzy and lush when it dries, but if I apply a small amount of each, I can usually easily achieve the beachy/wavy look I want. The products are also very affordable and perfect if you’re sensitive to strange smells – I don’t notice any smell when I use them. – Haley Saltzman, Director of Social Media
The Ordinary Concealer ($5.80; ulta.com)
The Ordinary – Concealer
Since I really like The Ordinary’s skincare products, I had high hopes for their face products as well. This concealer is my new favorite. The formula has a velvety finish, which really helps my oily skin in the warmer months. I look for this product when I want to apply minimal makeup with good coverage. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Apple Siri remote (2nd generation) ($59; bhphotovideo.com)
Apple Siri Remote (2nd generation)
I was a fan of the original Siri remote, but that’s not the most common opinion. The new Siri remote, which costs $59, solves almost every problem. The touchpad is gone, replaced by an iPod-like scroll wheel and a thicker design so you won’t get lost on the couch. – Jacob Krol, Editor in Chief for Technology and Electronics
Polaroid Go instant camera ($100; urbanoutfitters.com)
Polaroid Go Instant Camera
At just $99, the Polaroid Go offers classic instant camera features in its smallest size and is one of the most affordable options on the market. The front wide-angle lens allows for clear 2 x 3 inch prints and adds a lot to the image. You can even do a double exposure. – Jacob Krol, Editor in Chief for Technology and Electronics
Echo Buds (2nd generation) ($119.99; amazon.com)
If you’re a big Alexa fan (like this tech writer), the latest generation of Echo Buds will take a lot from the original and impress. The active noise cancellation isn’t on the same level as the AirPods Pro, but these headphones still keep out most of the noise. The Echo Buds offer excellent voice transmission and give you easy access to Alexa wherever you are. The battery life is also high. – Jacob Krol, Editor in Chief for Technology and Electronics
Summersalt The Sidestroke ($95; summersalt.com).
Summersalt The sideways stroke
Summersalt The Sidestroke is a dream swimsuit, which means a lot to someone who never opts for a one-piece. Not only is the fit ridiculously flattering, but it fits you like a glove without being too tight. Even though it’s a cute one-shoulder model, I’m never worried that anything will slip out. I have it in White Sand and honestly, I could wear it as a romper on vacation. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Italic Hancock Round Sunglasses ($35; italic.com)
Italic Hancock Round Sunglasses
It takes a lot for me to fall in love with sunglasses. Most of them seem big on my face, slip over the bridge of my nose, or are too expensive to consider. But not this great classic pair from Italic. They look much more expensive than they really are, and I now consider them my perfect match. They protect my eyes from the sun and I love the tortoise frame that matches my hair color. – Rachel Lubitz, editor-in-chief of Lifestyle magazine
Madewell high-waist skinny jeans in Welling Wash : Summer Weight Edition ($128; madewell.com)
Madewell High Waist Skinny Jean in WellingWash: Summer weight problem
It’s true that I can’t imagine anything worse than long, thick jeans in the middle of summer. (I have an exclusive relationship with smooth dresses from May to August). But after trying out Madewell’s new jeans line designed specifically for warm weather, my mindset has thankfully changed! The fabric is so soft and stretchy – seriously, it feels like you’re wearing jeggings – making them ultra breathable and really wearable in 80+ degree weather! Not to mention that they are very comfortable thanks to their high waist and tight fit! The price is worth it! – Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Aerosoles Dada Sandal ($110; aerosoles.com)
The Aerosoles Dada Sandal
Platform sandals are at the height of popularity right now. I’m pretty small, so I love any excuse to look taller than I am without feeling uncomfortable all day. When I saw these sandals, I was excited and they did not disappoint. Like other shoes from Aerosoles, these comfortable and cool shoes will go with casual jeans or your favorite brunch dress. Maybe I’ll wear it now, maybe I won’t. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Cuup Swim The Balconette ($98; shopcuup.com) and The Highwaist ($68; shopcuup.com).
Cuup Swim Le Balconette
As someone with a bra size 32H, finding the right swimsuit is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Harder than taking exams, harder than buying tickets to Beyoncé’s world tour, harder than getting a Covid-19 shot in New York. Until Cuup came out with new swimsuits last month. Finally, I have a nice swimsuit that fits both my upper and lower body and is even padded for optimal support. Although this is the most expensive swimsuit I’ve ever owned, it fits better than anything I’ve ever owned. And after 29 years of ill-fitting swimsuits, it’s definitely worth it. – Rachel Lubitz, editor-in-chief of Lifestyle magazine
Italic Aura 7 inch biker shorts with high waist ($25; italic.com)
Italic High Waisted Biker Short 7 inch
For only $25, get these high quality biker shorts for leisure or workout. I took both tests with him and was very impressed. These 7’s will not sag or rise with movement thanks to the sturdy leg and waist straps. I love the color Slate, the blue-gray is a great color to wear all year round. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Knix Santa Monica Scoop Bikini Top ($55; knix.com) and Tulum Bikini Bottom ($45; knix.com)
Knix Santa Monica Scoop Bikini Top
Everyone needs a Knix swimsuit. Mine is the most comfortable I’ve ever worn. They are flattering, affordable, soft, and very well made (seriously, I’ve never gotten tangled in the straps or been afraid anything would fall out!) One of my favorite things about this swimwear line is that their size range is incredibly wide, all the way up to a G cup. I can’t wait to stock up on new pieces to wear all summer. – Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Borgaset Small Leather Wallet ($15.35; amazon.com)
Small leather wallet Borgasets
For a long time I put my debit card, ID and cash in small bags when I went somewhere for the day – I was always afraid I would accidentally lose something. When I decided it was time to buy a small purse that would fit in my handbag, I searched on Amazon and found this cute item that has almost 4,000 five-star reviews. I like that it folds so compactly, so many things fit in it without compromising on space. – Kiana Merden, deputy editor of Lifestyle magazine
Wild One Harness Walking Kit ($98, originally $118; wildone.com).
Wild One Harness Hiking Kit
If you’re a dog owner, and especially if you have a penchant for fun yet practical accessories for your pet, then you absolutely must have this walking chain set from Wild One. The brand’s iconic set – now available in this limited summer butter color – includes an easy-to-clean waterproof collar, stain-resistant leash and matching poop bag holder that fits the brand’s popular vegetable biodegradable poop bags. If my dog likes it, your dog likes it too! – Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist