As-Seen-On-TV Products – Do They Work?


I’m not someone who responds to the type of insistent, often hyperbolic advertising associated with infomercials and “as-seen-on-TV” products. But when I saw a commercial claiming a product would give my hair “perfect volume and style in seconds,” I fell for it – hook, line and sinker.

You see, I have very fine, very limp hair. No matter how hard I try to create fullness and height, my hair loses its volume as soon as I return my battalion of styling products to the bathroom closet. I really thought Bumpits would finally give me “salon beautiful” hair. So I rushed right out to spend $20 on this miracle product.

I was so excited. I was finally going to have poofy hair! Turns out though, Bumpits aren’t all that. During my inaugural effort with the Bumpit, I followed the directions to the letter. I was pleased, but had to admit, my head looked a bit misshapen. Even so, I was confident my new Bumpit would get me tons of compliments at the party we were attending. My husband’s reaction was not good. There was lots of snickering. “Your head looks weird,” he said.

Despite his ridicule, I headed out the door, Bumpit securely in place. Well, sort of. The more I walked, the further down the back of my head the Bumpit slid. A couple of hours after leaving home, the Bumpit was tangled in a mess of hair, somewhere near my shoulders. But I wasn’t ready to admit defeat. I attempted to use the Bumpit a few more times, but met with the same result.

Bumpits weren’t my first foray into “as-seen-on-TV” land. Years ago, I was roped in by Nads, the all-natural, easy-to-use hair-removal product. Sure, the sticky goo worked, but it removed my unwanted hair along with hair I wanted. Nads was so messy and difficult to use, I ended up stripping away about half of my left eyebrow. It took four months and three eyebrow pencils to recover from the unfortunate “Nads incident of 1999.”

So do any of the “as-seen-on-TV” products work? Do advertisers’ outrageous claims backed up by “money-back guarantees” pan out once you get the item home?

Despite my less-than-stellar experiences with beauty products, I’ve found some products that do what they promise. I’m not alone either. Other reviewers have found a variety of such products that – at least partially – live up to the hype.

Here are some of the products that I’ve found quite useful or at least mildly helpful.

OxiClean

I have two small children, so laundry is constant and stains are frequent. I have been using OxiClean to treat laundry stains and spills on the carpet for years and it really works as advertised. It even removes set-in pasta sauce from a white onesie. Impressive. Would another product work as well? Maybe. But I’ve become a convert.

Snuggie

I laughed uproariously when I first saw the Snuggie advertised. Really? A blanket with sleeves? Seems like a nice, soft blanket, a robe or even a sweater would serve the same purpose. So when I received a Snuggie as a gift, I immediately considered regifting it. But I gave it a chance, and it turns out, I rather like it. It’s warm, matches the décor in my husband’s man cave and keeps my hands free to eat popcorn while I’m watching trash TV. I’m sold.

Aquaglobe

I have tons of houseplants, but I don’t ever remember to water them. I bought the Aquaglobe to help me keep my greenery alive. It really keeps the plants’ soil hydrated, if I actually remember to fill the globe every two weeks. But the bright colors look rather garish and my two-year-old has made it her mission to destroy the glass containers. While the Aquaglobe functions as promised, it’s not quite the problem-solver I’d sought.

Perfect Meatloaf Pan

This is not something I would ever buy for myself, but I received it as a gift from a well-meaning relative. I figured I’d give it a shot. And the meatloaf pan actually worked pretty well. It separated the grease from the meat and made clean up a lot easier. I could also remove the meatloaf from the pan very easily. I actually had meatloaf instead of meat mush! Plus, I’ve removed the insert and used the pan for other things like quick breads so it serves double duty.

Pillow Pet Dream Lites

My four-year-old loudly proclaimed her intention to have a Pillow Pet Dream Lite the second she saw the advertisement. Specially, she wanted the pink unicorn version. And her grandmother obliged, granting her wish for her birthday. The toy is pretty cool. It projects stars on the ceiling using rotating colors. And it shuts itself off after 15 minutes or so. She hasn’t played with her Dream Lite at bedtime as the advertisement contends, but she’s gone “star-gazing” in many a dark closet during the daylight hours.

As-Seen-On-TV products often get a bad rap thanks to missing eyebrows and dashed dreams for perfectly styled hair. But there are some items on the market that work as their pitchmen promise. Just don’t get your hopes up too high until you try one out for yourself.

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