A lot has happened in the beauty world, since swiping on some cold cream and pinching your cheeks was the regimen du jour. From makeup-obsessed YouTubers with millions of followers, to the fascinating ascent of the Korean beauty craze, to cutting-edge dermatological advances happening in the high-tech science labs of 2017, to the truly weird and wacky inventions that seem like they must be a prank (hello, a supplement to make your vagina taste fruity, anyone?), new and surprising beauty tools are becoming more popular every day.
So which ones will be your new favorite thing, and which are just bogus, beauty-wise? I did the research so you don’t have to! In addition to trying out some of these tools for myself, I spoke to beauty experts, makeup artists, and dermatologists to help you figure out which trends to try, and which junk to chuck.
No mess mascara guard
How many times have you finished the perfect second coat of jet black mascara only to sneeze, or barely blink your eye, and end up with a giant smear of waterproof mascara on your eyelid or cheeks? Every day? Yeah, me too. That’s why I love this genius idea from Tweezerman: a mascara guard that protects the skin around your eyelashes from smudges.
I spoke to Hillary Kline, a makeup artist and beauty blogger who swears by this genius product. She said, “If you are clumsy like me and have sneezed right after applying mascara and have a huge mess on your face — you’ll want to get one of these. You will save yourself a lot of Q-Tips and makeup remover.” And at just $10, I say it’s worth it!
Dyson supersonic hair dryer
How often are you running early for work or class in the mornings? Never? I thought so. But with this extremely fancy hairdryer by high-end vacuum cleaner maker, Dyson, you can stop choosing between showing up late, or showing up with dripping, ratty hair. You may not spend much time thinking about hair dryer technology, but luckily for you, someone else did!
According to Allure, “Dyson spent seven years and $71 million” developing this dryer that uses “bladeless technology,” and, as the magazine claims, it “dried one Allure editor’s thick, coarse hair in four minutes and 31 seconds (it usually takes her 15 to 20).” How much do you want one? If $399 won’t break your bank, you’ll be blown out in no time.
Did you know that the area on your chest (right about where your awesome cleavage shows) might be prematurely aging you? Great, another beauty woe to tackle, amiright? Well, even if you didn’t know you had this problem, the beauty industry has come up with a non-invasive solution.
I spoke via email with board certified dermatologic surgeon and an associate at Manhattan Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery, Dr. Dendy Engelman. She said, “The skin of the décolleté [a fancy French word for low neckline] is thinner and often much more sun damaged than other areas on the body, making the area particularly prone to fine lines and wrinkles. Aging of the décolleté will start in a woman’s mid to late 20’s and, contrary to popular belief, weight and breast size don’t matter.” So if you care about the wrinkles on your face aging you, you’ll likely want to listen to her advice for dealing with the wrinkles on your bustline.
She doesn’t recommend surgery or in-office treatments, since, as she put it, “The décolleté area is more prone to scarring, so certain procedures like lasers and injections are considered higher risk and can certainly be expensive, making treatment options extremely limited.” Instead, Dr. Engelmen “recommend[s] the SiO SkinPad, an overnight wrinkle smoothing treatment made of medical-grade silicone.” All you have to do is sleep with the silicone pad, apply the proprietary serum, and rock your smoothest skin. Snag it here for just under $100.
Heated eyelash curler
Not every woman always curls her lashes, but when we do, it’s usually because we want big volume and a bold statement eye. So if that’s what you’re after, why mess around with a traditional eyelash curler?
Makeup artist, Hillary Kline recommends Chella’s $22 heated eyelash curler. She said she loves how the heat curler adds volume and definition, and draws attention to her eyes. Any drawbacks? Not really! She added, “The warm barrel is a little weird at first, but it will help lift your lashes and make your eyes look bigger. You can [also] add a few extra coats of mascara after curling.”
Love bold lips but have a crap lipstick application technique? Join the party. The company Violent Lips calls itself “the first ever temporary lip tattoo company,” and was founded by a pair of sisters.
The product itself comes in lots of colors and patterns — like pink leopard print, glitter, fishnet, and rainbow — and functions as a temporary tattoo for your lips that, according to the company website, are enhanced with vitamins, and “will keep the print and color on your lips for 4 to 8 hours.” Starting at just $5 a pop, you can have a little fun with your pout without the commitment!
Electric makeup applicator
I might have written this one off as unnecessary, if it hadn’t been recommended to me by several makeup and beauty experts. Kline swears by an electric makeup applicator’s help in nailing “a flawless look,” and recommends this model by Viproo that costs about $25.
Max Robinson of the Zen Lifestyle salons and spas claimed via email that “rather than being impossible to control as I imagined it would be (the one I used moves at a speed of over 1,000 pulses per minute), it actually provided really even coverage when I was applying foundation.” Experts from Bustle also recommend the Viproo model, adding that, “the gadget is battery-operated, too, so no need to worry about more tangled cords by your bathroom sink.”
According to LA plastic surgeon Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian, writing for Realself.com, “Dermarollers can stimulate collagen and have a proven track record.” So what is a dermaroller and how does it work? Basically, it’s an at-home method for a process called “microneedling,” using a handheld device that looks a bit like a tiny pizza cutter.
When your roll it over your face, tons of tiny metal needles lightly pierce your skin. The claim is that when you roll the needles over your skin, it will look younger, smoother, and will absorb your expensive creams better. And so far, the science agrees. Bustle calls it “an awesome addition to anyone’s makeup routine.” You can score one from La Fontaine Cosmetics for only $30.
How much did you spend on that La Mer moisturizer? Oh that’s right — nearly $500. So you probably don’t want to leave any little tiny speck of cream in the bottom of the jar. You’ll want to use every last drop of your expensive cream, or serum before you toss it.
That’s where this ridiculously useful, cheap, and simple little device comes in. This $5 beauty spatula reaches into the hard angles at the bottom of makeup and beauty cream containers. One user claimed that she “got another 2 weeks” of makeup out of the container using a beauty spatula. And for the price of a latte, it’s definitely worth it.
Your new beauty arsenal
People are willing to do some pretty weird things in the name of good looks, but only some of them are really worth it. From the bloody “vampire facial” craze, to the weirdness that is receiving a “fish pedicure,” there are so many so-called beauty “breakthroughs” every year in the industry, that there’s no way to test them all for validity and effectiveness yourself. How many random bottles and tubes (that looked so good in the packaging, but so horrible on your face!) do you have rattling around your bathroom drawer? And what about those beauty devices that seemed like a godsend on a midnight infomercial, but took so much time and effort to use (for only spotty results) that you immediately knew you’d never use them again?
Am I projecting, or is that a totally common experience, as a modern woman? How about giving yourself a break, and letting the pros do the experimenting for you! Go ahead and rely on this expert-driven and researched list to find the best beauty tools — the ones that are so weird, they’re good — that you’ll want to add, as part of your daily routine.