July 27th 2020
The popularity of BB creams, multi-use lip and cheek products and priming moisturisers proves that, as customers, we’re quite the savvy beauty economists; we want added value but also demand high quality and top notch performance. We also don’t have the time or spare pennies to spend hours in a salon; we want professional results on our own turf and terms, and when we invest in a beauty innovation, we need it to pay back dividends. That’s where this lot come in. From the cleansing gadget that leaves you glowing to the blow dry brush that creates just the right amount of bounce, the following beauty tools make looking pretty and polished the work of mere minutes. You might not want to sack off the professionals entirely, but being your own independent, one woman beauty therapist means that you can get down to business in your PJs at any time of day, and you won’t be paying £2.50 for a cup of tea. Bliss.
This gallery was produced in partnership with Cult Beauty
As toothbrushes go, this is a very sexy model indeed. Sleek, slick and moulded from silicon, this smooth operator brings dental hygiene into the 21st century; it’s efficient no matter which way you look at it, and when you are actually looking at it you can’t help but admire its stylish stance. Eight settings allow you to customise your clean to your needs, and the gentle silicone bristles buff away bacteria without damaging gums. You’re not tethered to tangled wires and plug sockets with this beauty either; a single charge lasts up to six months, while each brush head lasts up to a year. Completely non-scratchy, the Issa is ideal for those suffering from sensitivity or weak gums, and the fact that you don’t need to charge it regularly makes it the perfect plaque punishing travel buddy.
Taking a shower is basic maintenance, but besides cleaning, does your daily blast do anything for your beauty upkeep? You only need to glance at the limescale in your kettle/ shower unit to see that hard, chlorinated water might not be doing your skin and hair any favours. Minerals in hard water react with soap and other cleansers, often leaving you with a layer of film or product left behind, which can aggravate skin and make hair dull and lank. Short of bathing in Evian or installing a water softening system at home (average price £1000…), try this water filtering shower head. Not only does the detachable head sift out impurities, but the shower cartridge is also infused with skin-boosting vitamin C, collagen and citrus and lavender essence. It essentially turns every wash into an aromatherapeutic experience, and leaves you with silky hair and softer skin after you dry off. Dreamy.
Want to feel like you’re showering underneath a Hawaiian waterfall first thing? Oprah does, and for that purpose she suds up with these hypoallergenic, exotic flower essence infused sponges. Making exfoliating somehow luxurious, these tropically scented sponges are also infused with palm, coconut and olive oil to soften and moisturise. Paraben, sulfate and cruelty-free, the ethos and effects of these nifty little buffers are not to be underestimated. The unique fragrance has become somewhat mythical over in Malibu where the brand is based, and is adored not only by Queen Oprah herself but also Jerry Hall, Charlize Theron and...Usher. Visualizing the latter lathering up is good enough for me.
Kai Body Buffer Sponge, £33 for two
If self-administered blow dries are more likely to result in chronic arm ache than A-list ‘swish’, it might be time to upgrade your apparatus. The right brush can take you from scarecrow to ‘Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’ in half of the drying time, and in this incidence the right brush is most definitely The Wet Brush Blowout Brush. A ceramic barrel with four size options (from tight wave to full on Beverley Hills blow dry), the longer-than-average bristles detangle even the most stubborn knots, while ionic technology disperses water to ensure that hair dries quickly and evenly, minus static and frayed split ends. Less time spent under hot air is not only a pre-commute godsend but it also equates to less hair damage, so glossier, healthier, frizz-averse lengths can be yours with use. Sorry local salons; we’re sold.
The Wet Brush Blow Out Brush, from £15.99
This dinky little mirror may look cute, but it sure doesn’t mess about when it comes to reflecting your true self. In case a ‘warts and all’ self-portrait doesn’t lure you in, it also anticipates your needs, sensing your presence and lighting up automatically when you approach, then switching itself off when you’re good to go. The lighting system is what makes this magic mirror really innovative; LEDs that last a lifetime, and are more commonly used in surgical suites than at dressing tables, create a ‘natural daylight’ effect, meaning that your every makeup move is flawlessly on point. It’s cordless, can be flat-packed and is also adjustable to any angle you desire. Tidelines don’t stand a chance.
Mini Sensor Mirror, £99
Eyebrows frame your face and are incredibly expressive; anyone who’s drunkenly shaved one off or got a tad tweezer happy will concur. Achieving a beautifully arched brow is an art, and while commissioning your furry friends to the experts is often wise, there’s no reason why you can’t get brow bar results chez vous. A precise, meticulously aligned pair of tweezers is the key to immaculate shaping and sculpting, and for that Rubis Classic Slant Tweezers can’t be beaten. The Rolls Royce of the eyebrow world, these hand-crafted, Swiss made pincers whip out even the finest hairs without ever irritating skin or prompting ingrown hairs. The brand of choice for Swiss watch makers, if these tweezers are good enough for the Cartier and Rolex clan, they’re good enough for me. I like to think of my pair as the beauty equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife. You can tidy, remove splinters and even dabble in a little casual watch making should you desire. Magnifique.
Rubis Classic Slant Tweezers, £21.50
Once your eyebrows are plucked to perfection, coax them into line or add a little colour and intensity with this angled bristle brush and spooly combo. I’ve raved about Anastasia’s brow wares before, and this wand is as impressive as the rest of her kit. With firm bristles at a perfect slant and a spooly to comb through product to achieve a subtle, natural result, it’s an industry staple for a reason. The shape of the brush and length of the handle somehow do all of the hard work for you- getting a neat arch and groomed but not too ‘done’ finish is practically effortless. This is a tool you’ll turn to time and time again- the phrase ‘worth it’ comes to mind.
Blur, contour, highlight, conceal, and of course blend, the much-loved Beauty Blender is as cutting edge as at-home makeup application gets, especially considering that it has no edges at all. The spherical sponge distributes product evenly with zero wastage- simply wet the sponge, wait for it to expand and apply product. The unique cell structure of the sponge holds onto water, preventing it from soaking up your precious cosmetics, while the shape means that you can spot treat with the tip or buff over the skin with the rounded bottom. Roll, bounce, smooth or dab, the beauty blender is seriously adaptable in the application stakes and the velvety sponge makes it a pleasure to use, which is more than can be said for your average makeup wedge. The red carpet colour way only adds glamour- this nifty tool makes aceing your base far from the chore it may previously have been. It’s very easy to wash too which puts a silver lining around the cloud of necessary beauty duties.
Don’t rush off to get eyelash extensions in a quest for Bambi eyes without wielding a pro curler first- you’ll be surprised by how much a natural lift can widen your eyes and make your lashes look more lustrous. ‘The Eyelash Curler’ by Kevyn Aucoin is just such a tool- it snuggles into the lashline of every eye shape to elevate and curl without any pinching, clamping or tugging. A quick once over with this is the morning, followed by a slick of mascara, is all you need to look seductive and awake, even if you actually feel neither of those things.
The silicone whizz strikes again (see slide 2), but this time the genius team at Foreo are polishing up your pores rather than your pegs. This pink, pebble like device may look a little like a giant Tamagotchi, but it’s a techy face toy that means business, both on the cleansing and anti-ageing fronts. Given that UK sales of cleansers grew by almost 14% last year, according to the NPD Group Inc, it’s clear that sweeping away grime and creating a fresh base is high on our list of priorities, as is brightening, a sector that also experienced double digit growth. Happily the Foreo Luna takes care of both the former and the latter, and is tailored to cater for even sensitive skins. The bacteria resistant silicone nodules buzz away makeup residue and dead skin cells, exfoliating and restoring radiance as they go. Flip the Luna over and you’ll find wavy indentations- these work with the sonic pulsations to increase circulation in wrinkle-prone areas and relax tense muscles. Post-use I make my boyfriend stroke my face (‘SO SOFT’), and find that lotions and potions absorb easily and makeup smoothes on seamlessly. Luna, I love you.
I bet you’re wondering what the hell these little balls are. I did too, but these 100% silk cocoons do more than make fun finger puppets- they allow you to tackle blackheads, grease and blocked pores head on, or rather, fingers first. A quirky Korean import, when dampened and applied to the index finger, the balls exfoliate away dead skin cells and remove dirt without subjecting skin to chemicals or stripping scrubs. When princesses need to declog their pores, I picture them doing so with these petite silk buffers.
CosRX Blackhead Silk Finger Balls, £3.92 for 12
Another prestigious gizmo that’s rolled in (sorry) from the East is this curious, luxe looking skincare tool. Loved by Chinese medical experts and expert facialists alike (Nichola Joss reports that the cooling rollers ‘reduce redness and drain fluid’), this jade beauty not only looks very grand on your bathroom shelf, but it also tones the facial muscles and stimulates blood flow, resulting in more defined facial contours and a ‘lifted’ appearance. It may not rival botox, but the fact that you can use the rollers to make your skincare penetrate deeper and work even harder adds an additional asset. Use the smaller roller around the nose and eyes ( go gently) and get lost in the not unpleasant, meditative action. Ying Yu is bridging the gap between skincare and mindfulness with this contraption.
July 27th 2020
April 4th 2017