We Tested These Popular Beauty Tools So You Don’t Have To
Here are our unbiased opinions.
Published Jan 7, 2019 7:00 AM
You’ve been eyeing it, wondering if the benefits outweigh the cost, and if it really works as it claims to—high tech, at-home, electronic beauty tools are all the rage RN. But do you really need one? There use to be a time in the not-so-distant past when at-home beauty devices were the size of a large landline phone (what are those?) and involved nearly a nurse practitioners-level of training and knowledge just to turn the tool on.
The times have changed though, and nowadays, beauty devices are very high-tech, palm-sized, and actually easy to use. Dare we say it’s a breeze to zap, pulsate, and electrocute your face now—all in the name of healthier, smoother skin. We tested out six of the most trendy, buzzy, and interesting electronic tools, and here are our (very) unbiased thoughts, opinions, and emotions.
If you want major moisture, but also a conversation starter…
Designed to: Minimize fine lines, wrinkles, and pores, stimulate blood circulation, and deeply moisturize—thanks to the powers of galvanic currents in the device, which allow ingredients to go deeper into the skin’s dermis. The ionic enhancer tool slips over a magnetized face mask and is set to the LED light you want to target most—acne, wrinkles, or hydration. It was developed by celebrity facialist Georgia Louise to give similar results as her high-tech, high-end facials, but in the convenience of your own home.
Tested by: Kate Berry, Executive Creative Director
“I’m a minimalist at heart when it comes to skincare, but the promise of minimized lines and more hydration made me curious to try this equally curious-looking device. I wasn’t terribly consistent with usage, but the process of chilling while it was pulsing through my face was great. I really felt like it was doing something while the device was turned on, and results on my skin were equally impressive—less noticeable fine lines and a major boost of moisture.”
If you want a tool that can do it all…
Designed to: Honestly, what can’t this tool do? This nanocurrent and microcurrent-powered tool is perhaps the most high-tech device you can hold in the palm of your hand, besides your phone. The patented and FDA-cleared technology tool can dramatically light and tighten muscles, kill bacteria and acne, and encourage skin cells to produce an abundance of collagen and elastin.
Tested by: Kristin Limoges, Wellness & Beauty Editor
“This tool is a miracle worker. And it’s founder and creator, celebrity facialist Melanie Simon, is a genius. I use it about two to three times a week to kill zits—and it actually works, I can actually dramatically see the difference when I consistently use it.
“I also have a few sunspots popping up, and the tool can target the melanin in those, acting to lighten them. The ZIIP is also known for its ability to dramatically minimize fine lines with microcurrents. And if that wasn’t enough, it honestly can lift up my face with deep-penetrating waveforms that focus on facial muscles, giving an immediate definement and lift to bone structure—the results are dramatic. It’s basically me, but looking well-rested and sans stress or zits.
“I get it, the price is real—but you basically get four tools in one small device, and it can last years if you take care of it.”
If you hate spending time on face masks…
Foreo UFO, $279
Designed to: Save you time: If you’ve got 90 seconds, you’ve got time for a face mask. Utilizing LED light therapy, “Hyper-Infusion Technology”, and “sonic pulsations” to supercharge a mask with just 90 seconds.
Tested by: Cyrus Ferguson, Membership & Market Manager
“I don’t often find the time to use facemasks on average weeknights. Thus, it was a revelation that this tool could facilitate a quality facemask experience in a hand-held format and in the same amount of time it takes me to brush my teeth.
“The face mask pad is a flat surface which makes it a bit challenging to navigate the nose and eyes, but flows easily on the flatter surfaces of the face. The size and feel of the tool were comfortable, and the functionality was intuitive.
“My favorite part of the experience was the heating element, which kicks on almost immediately, it felt almost like a hot stone massage for the face, and whether it’s a placebo effect or not, it made me feel like my pores were opening and could make better use of the specific properties of each mask. My face did feel more hydrated after using them, and I think with consistent usage it could help counter the daily wear and tear of living in New York.”
If puffy eyes are your morning bedfellow…
Clarisonic Sonic Awakening Eye Massager, $59 (an attachment for the Clarisonic Mia Smart, $199)
Designed to: Reduce immediate puffiness, and with overtime usage, minimize undereye fine lines and wrinkles. It only 60 seconds too, which is a major plus.
Tested by: Adrienne Parms, Brand Partnerships Coordinator
“I sometimes wake up with puffy eyes, so I could see the benefit of using this product over time to help alleviate this problem. I personally didn’t see a huge difference, but I would recommend it for people who struggle with persistent puffy eyes or wrinkles, and is able to be consistent with the Clarisonic Eye Massager routine.
“The massaging motion was very gentle and relaxing, and also fairly simple to use. I also love how it comes with an app that tracks the days you use it, which is perfect for me to help stay on track and monitor my skin progress over time.”
If you want to scare your friends while killing acne…
Designed to: Kill stubborn acne and scars. LED light therapy is a standard, very effective tool at dermatologist and facialist offices, but until recently, it was also very pricey. This Neutrogena tool targets zits with the dual action technology of both blue and red lights, which combats both acne and inflammation.
Tested by: Rebecca Deczynski, Digital Editor
“I own approximately 30 different face masks—but ultimately, on lazy days, I can hardly compel myself to apply one, only to have to go through the trouble of removing it 15 or 20 minutes later. That’s why this Light Therapy Mask had an instant appeal: all I had to do was pop it on for 10 minutes after washing my face, and then go about the rest of my routine.
“When I first used it, I was shocked at how bright the light was, but after a minute or so, my eyes adjusted and I was able to watch Netflix while the mask worked its magic. Afterward, my skin felt a little dry—almost like I had just used a detoxifying mask—and I went through the rest of my routine, focusing on using hydrating serums and a heavy moisturizer.
“I enjoy using this device because it requires minimal work on my end and seemed effective. One night, upon spotting a soon-to-blossom zit, I wore the mask. By morning, the zit was still there, but dried out and nearly gone. Now, I’ve found my ideal alternative to messy charcoal and clay options.”
If you wanna take it to the body…
Designed to: Tone your body, with the first at-home FDA-cleared microcurrent device. It firms quickly with four “spheres” that deliver powerful and targeted microcurrent to anywhere on the body you’d like to minimize the look of uneven or dimpled skin.
Tested by: Hayley Squire, Email Marketing Manager
“When it comes to devices, I’ve always focused on my face, so this is the first time I’ve used any sort of device on my body, especially one with microcurrents. I haven’t seen immediate results after weeks of use, but I’ve found it’s super easy to incorporate into my busy schedule (using it for just a few minutes per day), once you get the hang of the basic moves and how to hold the device.
“Since it is a microcurrent device, you have to get used to the feeling of it gliding over your skin—I wouldn’t say it’s “painful”, but it definitely has a bit of a tingle to it. In reading a ton of reviews, I’ve found that if you’re consistent with it and use it every day, you’ll start to see results after about a month. So I’m 100 percent going to continue using it on a regular basis and I look forward to seeing the results. I have a feeling this is going to be my new secret weapon that has everyone asking me what kind of workouts I’ve been doing to get toned.”