life·9 min read

We Tested a Few Popular TikTok Products and Here Are the Results

popular tiktok products
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Amazon, Ulta
Sep 15, 2022

Welcome to Skimm Tested, where we put products to the test and then give 'em a report card. (Check out all of our tried-and-tested faves here.)

The assignment…

To put a few TikTok-popular products to the test. Because you may have seen ’em trending, but are they worth the hype? Enter: this mini desk vacuum ($12.98+), a foldable Sink Topper ($29.99+), and Kitsch heatless curlers ($16).

Desktop Vacuum Cleaner

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Amazon

Straight A’s in…

  • Suction power on crumbs. We were entirely impressed by how quickly and efficiently this lil’ vac (see it in action here) could pick up crumbs. We could even hear them get sucked up into the dirt chamber. Sold. 

  • Size. The device is compact, so it can easily fit underneath and inside larger pieces of furniture. It’s a great hack for cleaning bookshelves or within dresser drawers.   

  • Noise level. Overall we found the device to be pretty quiet. If you’re in an office building (or working from home), you won’t disturb anyone around you.

Room for growth…

  • Ability to pick up fine dust. While the tiny vac can master crumbs, it’s a bit less efficient on fine dust. It will get the job done, but it takes a few extra swipes — you may have to use a wet cloth to pick up every last morsel of dust. 

  • Bristle softness. The bristles are a little stiff, so while they’re fine on wood tables and fabric couches, they’re a bit rough on painted surfaces. We suggest vacuuming very gently in order to not scratch anything.

Plays well with…

  • Anyone who eats lunch at their desk, sneaks a late-night snack into bed, or enjoys a bag of chips while on the couch.

  • Those with children who are always creating some type of mess.  

How we did our homework…

  • We tested the mini vac for weeks, using it on our desk, couch, bed sheets, and other smaller pieces of furniture. It picked up crumbs and larger pieces of dust easily. Since we used it in small spurts, there was no need to charge it over our testing phase. To empty the dirt chamber, the device comes apart easily. You can empty everything directly into the trash and then use the accompanying brush to sweep out any particles left behind.

Footnotes…

  • $12.98+

  • Rechargeable via USB

  • Comes with a tiny brush

 Sink Topper

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Amazon

Straight A’s in…

  • Size. The Sink Topper (see it in action here) comes in two sizes, so depending on your sink size, it can easily span to cover the entire thing. This means you’ll get a ton of extra workspace when doing your hair or makeup. There’s also a handy cutout for the faucet so you can still run water while the Sink Topper is down.

  • Durability. It’s heat-resistant and made from silicone, so you can rest hot styling tools down without fear of anything melting or burning. 

  • Storage ability. The board folds, so when you need to store it (we keep ours in the cabinet underneath our sink), you can fold it down and reduce it to one-third of its size. 

Room for growth…

  • Stability. Because the Sink Topper folds, there are points where the board is a bit less stable. It never fell or buckled, but we noticed a bit of a dip when we placed heavier items on it. Something to note: The listing says the Sink Topper can hold up to 7 pounds. 

  • Price. At a starting price of $29.99, we find the Sink Topper to be a bit on the pricier end for its general function and quality. Is it worth it? Yes. But would a price tag of less than $20 be even sweeter? Also yes.

Plays well with…

  • Those with a large makeup collection who need room while getting ready. 

  • Anyone who styles their hair with hot tools.

  • People with small bathrooms who could use a lil’ more counter space.  

How we did our homework…

  • We used the Sink Topper on multiple occasions when doing our hair and makeup. We dumped our entire makeup collection on it as well as brushes, curling irons, and straighteners. We made sure the board could handle heat and found it incredibly easy to store when not in use. There’s even a little built-in hook for hanging.

Footnotes…

  • $29.99+

  • Available in two sizes and colors

Kitsch Heatless Curlers

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Ulta

Straight A’s in…

  • Tightness of curls. After the testers tried the curling rod one or two times, each reported how impressed they were with the outcome. It gave them tight curls that actually had to be brushed out for a more natural look. We rec using hairspray once your curls are loose to maintain ’em. Our testers found that depending on the climate, frizzy or thick hair typically holds best with a bit of spray. 

  • Comfort while sleeping. All testers also commended the curling rod (see it in action here) for how comfortable it was to sleep in. Many noted that it was fine for side and stomach sleepers alike. We can confirm that since it’s silk, it feels soft and smooth against your skin. If you’re going to wear the rod during the day, we suggest clipping it to the top of your head so it stays in place as you move. 

  • No need for heat. Since the curling rod holds your locks firmly for hours on end, there’s no need for heat to create the actual curl. Many of our testers loved this alternative method, especially those with past heat damage who were looking to avoid hot tools altogether.

Room for growth…

  • Trial-and-error process. Ultimately this tool takes some getting used to. Depending on your hair type, we found that you really need to wrap your locks a few times to get the hang of it. Via trial and error, we got better at tightly wrapping our strands and learning how long to keep the curling rod in to make the curls really last. We found that it works best when hair is 90–95% dry. We also recommend sleeping in the curling rod for the best results, but if you’re going to wear it during the day, we suggest keeping it in for at least four to six hours.

  • Results on those with already curly hair. We had a few testers with a tighter natural curl, and they reported that they got the best results when they blew out their hair prior to wrapping. It helped them decrease frizz. If you have naturally wavy hair, you can let your hair air dry. Overall, results really depend on your hair texture.

Plays well with…

  • Anyone who loves their hair curled but doesn’t have time in the morning to style their strands.

  • Those looking for a heat-free alternative, or those who simply don’t feel skilled with a curling iron.

How we did our homework…

  • We had a number of Skimm HQ’rs test the curling rod — from those with long, wavy hair to thinner, finer hair to curly, frizzy hair. We wanted to see how the curling rod handled different textures, thicknesses, and lengths. We had testers take photos and videos, record their experiences, and provide extensive feedback. 

  • We also asked HQ’rs to test the rod with damp and nearly dry hair (post air-drying versus blowout). We wanted to see what factors affected the outcome the most — did a blowout before wrapping make the curls sleeker? We also took note of how long the curls lasted, how bouncy they were, if hairspray was needed, etc.

Footnotes…

  • $16

  • Curling rod and hair ties are made from satin so it’s gentle on your strands

  • Can be worn day or night


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