Which Beauty Gizmos Really Work?
High-tech beauty solutions
If you're looking to add a few high-tech gadgets to your beauty artillery, look no further. From cellulite busters and zit blasters, to face lifters and hair zappers, we rounded up seven beauty devices that will give a big boost to your at-home spa.
The cellulite buster
Bliss FatGirlSlim Lean Machine, $145; sephora.com
How it works Roll this handheld device over cellulite-prone areas to reduce the appearance of orange-peel skin.
Our tester's take It took a few tries to get the hang of, but our guinea pig found it painless, simple—and effective. "My skin seemed immediately firmer," she reported.
Expert analysis "The Lean Machine makes cellulite look slightly better," confirms Jeanine Downie, MD, a dermatologist in Montclair, N.J. "But like any nonsurgical cellulite treatment, the effects are temporary."
The callus blaster
Clarisonic Pedi System, $199; clarisonic.com
How it works High-speed oscillation plus a buffing brush, smoothing disk and treatment creams help soften feet.
Our tester's take After using it just twice, our staffer noted significantly softer, callus-free feet. In her words: "Magic!"
Expert analysis "The device is safer than other scrapers, which can lead to infection," says Doris Day, MD, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. (Avoid if you have diabetes.
The face lifter
NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Device, $325; mynuface.com
How it works The tool emits microcurrents—tiny electric charges—to stimulate skin cells for a tightening effect.
Our tester's take On the highest setting, this felt like a static charge on her face (which she didn't love). The plus side? "My husband complimented my skin and told me I was glowing," she said.
Expert analysis "It's noninvasive and can temporarily tighten the brows, jawline and cheeks," says Francesa Fusco, MD, a dermatologist in New York City
The diy whitener
Glo Science Glo Brilliant Personal Teeth Whitening Device, $199; sephora.com
How it works This mouthpiece uses heat and light to activate a whitening gel.
Our tester's take "It's easy to use—I kept it in while watching TV," she said. And it worked: Her stains faded in five days.
Expert analysis "What I like most is the desensitizing agent in the peroxide gel," which makes whitening more tolerable, says Jack Ringer, DDS, president of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. Alas, you'll need to see a pro for truly dramatic results.
The hair zapper
Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X, $449; triabeauty.com
How it works This diode laser emits energy that targets the pigment in the hair follicle, destroying it so hair stops growing.
Our tester's take Within two weeks of treating coarse chin hair, it grew in finer and more slowly. "Though the treatments are a little painful," she said, "they're worth it."
Expert analysis The laser hits a small area, so it's best for the bikini line, armpits and face, says Carolyn Jacob, MD, a Chicago dermatologist.
The acne eraser
IlluMask Anti-Acne Light Therapy Mask, $30; ulta.com
How it works This welder-style mask emits blue light to kill acne-causing bacteria and red light to reduce inflammation, promising clearer skin after 30 days of use.
Our tester's take Sure, it looks kooky, but it worked. "I put it on, hit the button and the lights did their thing," she said. "A few weeks later, I noticed fewer breakouts by my chin."
Expert analysis "There are some great studies showing repeated treatments with blue light reduce acne," notes Dr. Jacob.
The mani maximizer
Red Carpet Manicure Starter Kit, $65; ulta.com
How it works The polishes harden when exposed to the LED wavelength for a salon-style gel finish.
Our tester's take Despite having a manicure that held up for two weeks, our tester was turned off by the process. "Your nails have to dry fully between each step or you'll have subpar results," she said.
Expert analysis It is legit, reports celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi, who notes the mani will last as long as the salon kind.