7 brands I bought from game app ads—and actually liked
It's a win-win for both my digital and IRL closets.
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I never thought I’d become the type of person to spend actual real money on an app, but here we are. Over the last few years, I’ve become obsessed with games like Design Home and Covet Fashion: Model Makeover, which rely on points to advance. The quickest way to get more points (that also feeds my need for instant gratification) is by shopping from sponsored brands or watching ads for some extra coin.
In my hunt for more points, I’ve discovered these seven incredible products whose in-game ads actually convinced me to buy them, as well as why you should consider them whether you’re a phone gamer or not.
Buying sports bras online is always a gamble, but Knix makes it seamless (literally—its bras and underwear are free of seams, reducing chafe and bulk under your clothing). The Catalyst Front Zip Sports bra is one of the most supportive I’ve ever tried, and its removable pads don’t slip out in the wash. The brand is also equipped with so many high-quality shapewear, activewear, and sleepwear options that it rivals brands like Spanx.
What’s special about Knix is the brand’s dedication to providing leakproof and period-friendly underwear and swimwear. I’m going to continue ordering from them long after I stop playing these games.
I was thrilled to learn about beachwear brand Cupshe from these games because I’m often looking for inexpensive pieces I’m not afraid to drench in sunscreen and pool water. While I’m disappointed to learn the brand no longer carries as many accessories—I live for the boho bright-feathered earrings that dance in the wind that I bought last year—reviewers say its swimwear quality is excellent for the price. You’ve got everything under the sun, including plus-size one-pieces, tankinis, sarongs, pool floaties, and drink holders, which are all great for your next outdoor bash.
3. Function of Beauty
We are major fans of Function of Beauty, a personalized haircare brand that smells and looks incredible. Taking its two-minute quiz to determine your best-suited products will likely be the highlight of your day, and based on the quiz results, the brand claims to be able to create up to 87,221,245,070,160 unique combinations, so you can be confident your products are specifically tailored to your hair needs.
I’ve been using my shampoo and conditioner in pink rose and serum and mask in green pear conservatively for the last two years, and I can’t imagine going back to my previous haircare routine that was full of potentially harsh chemicals like parabens and phthalates. Plus, you get to personalize your bottle with your name and stickers, making it a super sweet shower accessory.
4. Dollar Shave Club
Contrary to its name, Dollar Shave Club doesn’t cost a dollar, but it is still an affordable way to groom. Since purchasing the starter kit from an ad, I found that its razors are the sharpest I’ve used, requiring fewer rounds against the skin, and they don’t dull or rust at as rapid of a rate as other store-bought brands. I’m also big on the razor’s ergonomic handle, as I tend to cramp up while using new muscles while shaving in compromising positions. You can also take a quiz to help you curate your perfect grooming box complete with the likes of prep scrub, shave butter, and deodorant.
5. Babe Cosmetics
I’ve long been a fan of the beauty subscription box Ipsy but wanted to try something new that seemed like a better value with full-sized products. Babe Cosmetics offers a BabeBox monthly subscription that includes four to five full-sized vegan and cruelty-free products from both big box to indie brands. I was beyond impressed with its matte lipstick, waterproof mascara, and deeply pigmented eyeshadow palette that’s somehow lasted me over three years despite frequent use. The jade roller and hair towel were also welcome inclusions in the box, and they felt high quality.
Best of all, your first box is free, minus the shipping cost. Not big on subscriptions? You can also purchase the products on their own from Babe Cosmetics, including highlighter drops, makeup brushes, brow stencil sets, and more.
Every morning feels like Christmas morning when you get a FabFitFun box in the mail that’s full of makeup, fitness, home décor, and more. The quarterly subscription service allows you to choose all eight full-size items that have a retail value of up to $350. Included in the subscription are discounts with some of their partner brands, like Michael Kors, Quay, and Baublebar, that are sprinkled in throughout the year. Our tester received a FabFitFun box and appreciated how it came with a magazine that's both entertaining on the pop culture and trend front and helpful in walking you through each goodie in your box.
Lumin claims its products address mens' “thicker and tougher skin,” but as a devotee of mens' razors, that didn’t stop me. I invested in the Classic Maintenance Set complete with exfoliating rub, charcoal cleanser, and moisturizing balm. The trio effectively deep cleaned my pores and I saw a reduction in hyperpigmentation and puffiness, and I appreciated the light, androgynous scent. Lumin uses natural ingredients my skin tends to agree with, like tea tree, shea butter, and green tea, and its products have a super luxurious feel.
Lumin offers several other sets that all address different skincare needs, from youth repair to anti-fatigue. You can also purchase these top-rated items individually, including the intensive repair face mask and advanced repair scalp treatment.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.