by: RealSimple.com/Heather Muir Maffei
Tempted by the latest tools? We took three out for a spin—and asked experts to do the same— to find out whether they’re worth the hype.
Known for its futuristic-looking appliances (fans, vacuums), Dyson has ventured into the beauty world with a super powerful blow-dryer that perpetually regulates itself to protect hair from heat damage. For better weight distribution, the motor lives in the handle instead of the nozzle.
RS review: This tool cut drying time in half and gave arms a nice break. The airflow was so powerful, however, that it tangled hair while rough-drying. But it worked wonders with a brush.
Expert take: “It dries hair faster than any other I’ve used,” said New York City hairstylist Siobhan Quinlan, who found the long handle a bit harder to grip. “It’s quiet and has magnetic attachments, and there’s no risk of hair getting sucked into the motor.”
Bottom line: A worthy investment if your hair is difficult to smooth and you blow-dry often.
When used with UNO by Gelish polishes ($15 each; sold separately), this light promises to cure polish in two increments of 45 seconds—no base coat or topcoat needed. The LED lamp comes with a USB cord.
RS review: This device is small and light enough to use just about anywhere—even at your desk. Skipping the base coat and topcoat shaved about five minutes off our typical at-home gel mani. The polish went on evenly and, post-curing, looked shiny and substantial. Plus, it stayed chip-free through day five.
Expert take: “I love the simplicity,” says New York City beauty expert Katie Jane Hughes. “The polish was easy to apply and remove. I found it easy to peel off, though, so if you tend to pick, you may be tempted.”
Bottom line: With a price approximately equivalent to one salon gel manicure, this is a no-brainer for gel-nail fans.
This palm-size plastic and-polymer wand has two pronged “blooms” that you rub over trouble spots on your body; designed to open fascia (the sticky material that covers muscles) and break up adhesions, it claims to deliver muscle definition and reduce cellulite. It’s meant to be used vigorously for five minutes a few times a week.
RS review: The first leg-blasting was like a deep tissue massage. After ward, legs looked shiny (from the oil used to help the tool glide), red, and toned. Bruising (which the manufacturer warned about) soon followed and lasted about two weeks.
Expert take: “Don’t use too much pressure until you know your propensity for bruising,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a cosmetic and dermatologic surgeon in New York City. “I like this tool. It uses a technique comparable to that of in-office cellulite treatments. That said, the results are temporary.”
Bottom line: If cellulite drives you nuts, this is an inexpensive at-home fix. It feels really good, too.