Backed Hard: The Best Stuff We (Actually) Bought in July

We’re baaaack [creaks open storm cellar], and we’re ready to spill the hot goss on all the sharp, soft, skin-soothing, and sometimes straight-up absurd stuff we bought online this month. 

In May, we bought cult-fave point-and-shoot cameras, a proper bed frame, and earrings ripe for a Matrix-themed nightclub. In June, we found bum-saving bike shorts, natty lube, and hot pink toilet paper, because you only live once, man. 

This month’s picks invite you, once again, to take a self-pleasure Jungle Cruise: We’ll start with a multi-tasking vibrator, and wade through clouds of the incense we burn whenever company is coming over (because it makes us smell rich); we’ll load up on Gatorskin tires to ride the big ones, glug-glug from la new Nalgene, and maybe fall in love along the way. 

Here are all the goods we bought, and backed hard this July.

A double-duty sex toy for monster jam orgasms

Alright, so we review a lot of sex toys around these parts, and as a result, we’ve become pretty discerning. I’m not a huuuge toys person, but I have been a fan of all the suction/air pressure technology stuff that’s become the gold standard of toys for the clitorally equipped for the last five or so years. When LELO released the Enigma, which combines that lovely oral simulator with a quail-head-like, G-spot massaging extension, I was intrigued. And then when the magical thing went on super-sale a while back, my curiosity got the better of me. And, uh, this thing is utterly magical. I think the first time I used it I may have crossed my eyes and actually said “holy shit” out loud to myself.—Angel Kilmister

The perfect gift if amber is the color of your energy

Recently, a friend of mine had to get emergency heart surgery, and a group of us put together an absolutely bonkers lineup of “get well soon” Cameos for our boy from a wide array of extremely random celebs (Andrew Dice Clay, Gilbert Gottfried, Stormy Daniels, and Nancy Kerrigan all made the cut). One of my picks was Nick Hexum, lead singer of iconic 90s-bro-rock band 311, who seems like the nicest fuckin’ dude in the entire world, gave a long and earnest message that incorporated a bunch of specs, and even sang part of “Beautiful Disaster.” Worth every penny. God, I love Cameo.—Hilary Pollack


Personalized Greeting from Nick Hexum of 311

Water marketing has gone too far… but I’m down? (and at least it’s not in a plastic bottle)

I haven’t even tried this stuff yet, but I have a 6-pack in my fridge, and the concept and packaging is so amazing that I’m very stoked to do so. It contains kava (which you may have had before in the form of stress-reducing tea; historically, it has worked super well for me), damiana leaf (traditionally used as an aphrodisiac), and green tea leaf extract, and comes in interesting flavors. (I’m also a sucker for anything yuzu-flavored.) IDK if “psychedelic” is the right word (y’all ever tried LSD?) but “vibey” works. Tired: Liquid Death. Wired: Psychedelic Water. (JK Liquid Death ILY2). I’ll write a nice long review once I’ve tried it in a few different contexts. Stay tuned.—Hilary Pollack

Psychedelic Water

Psychedelic Water Variety 6-Pack

The one true acne eliminator

I’m pissed. I spent literally like 20 years and hundreds of dollars putting all kinds of expensive creams, toners, spot treatments, serums, astringent wipes, moisturizers, and prescription face washes all over my visage to get rid of the omnipresent, seemingly indestructible cystic zits that have ruled my chin since I was in middle school, and it turns out all I needed was this cheap, clear, odorless stuff that doesn’t even burn or require a derm visit or turn my face beet red. I just put it on before bed, then splash my face with water in the morning and put it on again. That’s it. They’re gone. Well…. better late than never I guess. —Hilary Pollack

The Ordinary

Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Jeans that say “I’m with the band”

I’m not a fan of the 00s revivalism that the clueless zoomers are insisting upon, but as I continue on my quest to transition out of the skinny jeans I’ve clung to since 2005 (I ended up buying another pair of those TikTok-famous Stradivarius mom jeans in black, and they rock), I’ve swung in the direction of flares. I don’t want the hideous, hipbone-baring Paris Blues-esque ones that truly embody the turn-of-the-millennium aesthetic; I’m aiming more for like, Black Sabbath groupie energy. These Topshop jeans are perfect; they’re high-waisted, deep black, nice and tight around the thighs, and come in multiple lengths so you won’t drag the hems into dirty puddles. No wonder the reviews are so solid. —Hilary Pollack


Jamie flared jeans in black

A big-ass water bottle

I was a Gatorade kid, big time. I wrestled from first grade through college, so constantly pounding liquid sugar wasn’t a huge deal, but after college, I figured I should stick to non-fluorescent drinks. Namely, water. I picked up this massive, 32-ounce bottle from REI pretty much only because it looks cool, and it’s quickly become my favorite hydration vessel. It cools off in the fridge super fast, and guzzling two of these a day helps the ol’ neurons fire correctly. —Ian Burke

REI Co-op

REI Co-op Nalgene Sustain Graphic Narrow-Mouth Water Bottle – 32 fl. oz.

This affordable blade 

First of all, you don’t need a massive, million-piece knife block in your kitchen—you just need one solid chef knife. Luckily, a good knife doesn’t have to be expensive. Take this one from Imarku, for example. It comes super sharp, has a great balance, and a fat handle, which is perfect for beginners. I use it for everything from butchering chicken to dicing entire generations of onions and shallots. —Ian Burke


Imarku 8-inch Chef Knife

Puncture-resistant bike tires (not made of alligator)

I recently got a bike (after an unfortunate muffler theft incident) and I love it. However, the nail-ridden streets of Brooklyn do not love me back. After getting two flats during the second week of riding, I had to make a switch. After some research, I settled on these Gatorskin Tires by Continental, and let me tell you: They work. Like, really well. I haven’t got a flat since I put them on two weeks (or around 70 miles) ago, and they have pretty solid grip. BRB while I go knock on some wood. —Ian Burke


Continental Gatorskin Bike Tire

“Moisturizer with sunscreen is a thing?” —men

I really, really don’t like putting sunscreen on, but a long family history of sun-related skin ailments kind of forces my hand on sunny days. I’ve long been resigned to the fact that sunscreen is a gloopy, oily mess that leaves your skin with a greasy film on it until you take a shower. That is, until I found out that they make moisturizer with sunscreen. Has this always been a thing? Why did nobody tell me? —Ian Burke


Cetaphil Face Moisturizer with SPF 35

Incense that makes you feel rich

This is incense for people who hate incense and love Diptyque candles. I was gifted this for a birthday a few years ago (and I highly suggest you do the same for a friend) and have been buying it ever since. The coil-shaped incense is so cool, and it’s all beautifully packaged. The scent is very subtle and non-perfumey—kind of like what I imagine the water from a glacial, or alpine stream would smell like. —Mary Frances Knapp 


River Path Incense (Set of 10 Coils)

A deep cut book on Alice Waters

I bought this for my mom’s birthday, because she loves Alice Waters and already has most of her cookbooks about Chez Panisse. It’s a good semi-deep cut in that sense. —Mary Frances Knapp 

Clarkson Potter

Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook

My new summer shorts

It’s so hot in New York in the summer. Muggy. I wear these almost every day, whether I’m biking with a tank top, or paired with a long button-up shirt. Slams every time. —Mary Frances Knapp 


Women’s Authentic Bike Short

A gentle clay face mask

An old roommate used to work at Caudalie, which is a French skincare company that is deeply loved by les Frenchies for its natural ingredients. She turned me onto this mask, which I use once a week—usually on a weekend—if I want to look extra glowy. I have medium-oily skin, and this gets all the gunk out of my Frisbee-sized pores without being super drying. It’s also really gratifying to see how it targets your pores; you can see every single one getting slammed by the clay. —Mary Frances Knapp


Instant Detox Mask Vinergetic C+

See you next month, knives sharpened. 

The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.

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