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TV products tested

1. PedEgg

What is it? The PedEgg is a small, egg-shaped device with cheese-grater-like blades that are used to remove calloused and dry skin from feet.

Feet must be clean and dry before use. When the device is rubbed repeatedly over troubled areas of the feet, shavings collect in the center of the PedEgg, which can be emptied afterward. The PedEgg can be washed in the sink and allowed to air dry. The blades become dull after a few uses, so refills must be purchased to support regular use.

Two PedEggs can be purchased for $10 plus shipping and handling.

Does it work? For a glorified cheese grater, the PedEgg delivered surprising results. After using the Peg Egg and moisturizing, my feet were soft and smooth.

The shavings collected by the PedEgg can fall out, so it is best to use the device in a bathtub or shower. Care should be taken when employing the product, as applying too much pressure or using it too often can cause feet to feel sore.

Overall, the PedEgg is a good investment and much cheaper than going to the spa.

Courtney Alberigo

2. ShamWow

What is it? Used on its commercials to absorb soda from the carpet and soak up a copious amount of water from a bowl, the ShamWow is a towel-like cloth that is marketed as holding “12x its weight in liquid” without dripping or spilling.

Its orange color is vibrant, and it can be cut to size if the consumer wants to use it for, say, a bath mat or a dog hair dryer. Priced at $19.99 plus shipping and handling, the ShamWow package includes four large and four small towels.

Does it work? In commercials, the ShamWow seems like a soft towel that soaks up an abnormal amount of water, but fresh out of the box it’s really nothing more than stiff, folded felt material.

The ShamWow took a long time to soak up the water from a filled sink — and did not work any better than a normal towel.

It did not hold the water in, either. It dripped continuously and definitely would not work if already wet, as the advertisements claim.

I’ve been told the ShamWow works better after being used several times, but it would
probably be better to just buy some felt from a fabric store.

Hannah Feig

3. Bumpit

What is it? The Bumpit is a hair insert that adds volume and a bump. Two large and two mini Bumpits can be purchased for $19.99 plus shipping and handling.

Does it work? After watching a few hours of the Degrassi: The Next Generation marathon on The N, the repeating Bumpit commercial became quite annoying.

As annoying as the commercial is, I know the product works as advertised because I’ve seen it used effectively.

However, though it technically “works,” the device does not produce an attractive style. The “bump” will make anyone look like a reject from the Hairspray cast.

Candace Kaw

4. PediPaws

What is it? PediPaws, the “incredible pet nail trimmer,” is essentially an emery-filing wheel encased by a yellow cap and attached to a large handle.

The yellow cap features a small slot in which to place the pet nail and is designed to keep the filings from escaping into the air.

Advertisements for the product claim it provides a “fast, easy and gentle” way to trim pets’ nails and leave them “touchably smooth.” The ads also claim that the filing wheel is quiet, so as not to startle your pet.

Does it work? If you have a pet as skittish as my dog, who once scurried away in fear when I accidentally dropped a miniature pretzel, then the noise level of the wheel’s spinning — which is actually relatively loud — won’t help much with getting your pet to sit still long enough to trim their nails.

Also, the PediPaw does not work well on larger animals. It took hours to file my Labrador’s nails.

The PediPaw’s design makes it primarily effective for maintenance, so you will probably still need clippers to cut your pet’s nails.

Finally, the yellow cap covering the emery wheel is utterly useless. Dust clouds from nail filings will fill the room and leave you gasping for air. If you purchase the PediPaw, I suggest buying a surgical mask as well.

Jenna Withrow

5. The Magic Bullet Blender

What is it? It chops, it minces, it blends, it’s the Magic Bullet Blender. Its cheesy
infomercial can be seen during the early morning hours and features the typical skeptical men, impressed women and perky hosts.

The product includes two different blades, a large and small cup, shaker/steamer tops and more. The Magic Bullet Blender costs $99.99 plus shipping and handling.

Does it work? I have been doubtful of “As-Seen-on-TV” products ever since my
disappointing experience with the Ab Slider. However, this product changed my perception.

The Magic Bullet is extremely versatile and has everyday value, though sometimes it takes more than a few seconds to blend. It also comes with an easy-to-follow recipe guide that includes dishes such as “It’s Ready Already Alfredo,” “Before You Know It Bean Dip” and “Six-Second Scrambled Eggs.” Homemade seafood Alfredo seemed like a difficult task, but the recipe was easy, quick and delicious.

Candace Kaw

6. Rubbermaid Produce Saver

What is it? The Rubbermaid Produce Savers are containers built to keep fruits and vegetables fresh. They come in three different sizes: two cups, five cups and 14 cups.

Much like an ordinary Tupperware container, the lid snaps on and keeps the food from being exposed to moisture. The difference is the Fresh Vent — vented slats on the bottom of the container that allow the food to stay fresh.

Does it work? The product works, but not as well as portrayed on television. Baby-cut carrots and cut-up romaine lettuce remained fresh a week after being placed in the
Produce Savers. In other containers, carrots lost their crispness and lettuce turned brown after only a couple of days.

Fruit, however, did not do so well — the watermelon put in the five-cup container quickly lost its freshness.

Evan Tokarz

7. Betty Crocker Cake Decorating Kit

What is it? Betty Crocker’s Cake Decorating Kit is an all-in-one package of supermarket-style cake decorating items. It includes icing bags with various styling tips, stencils, a knife and instructions.

The kit comes with the materials to make flowers, fancy icing decorations and professional-looking words on cakes. It costs $14.95 plus shipping and handling and
comes with a plastic storage box.

Does it work? The kit includes all the necessary tools to create a good-looking cake. What it does not include is decorative skill.

Commercials seem to target children and adults looking for a creative outlet (which were the consumers hooked in my household), but the instructions do not make up for a lack of ability.

When buying this product, one must keep in mind that the “stencils” are simply stamps that can be pressed into the top of a cake and traced with colorful icing.

This is a tricky task, and no commercial product will automatically grant the user mastery of it.

Hannah Feig