Photo Credit: BRMBeauty.com
Beauty has gone gadget crazy. Carlotta Jacobson, President of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) makes no bones about at-home devices being on the crest of revolutionizing the beauty sphere. At the CEW Product Demonstration held a few months ago, she said, “I think devices—gadgets—are going to be the next big thing. We didn’t make them an awards category now because there are only (relatively) a few of them, but L’Oréal buying Clarisonic, for instance, is a sign of bigger things to come.”
There are a few beauty gadgets I personally cannot live without, and Clarisonic is definitely one of them. Ever since the economy encouraged women to become much more creative about cutting back on salon and professional visits, they’ve been turning to gadgets as viable alternatives for just about everything. And the competition is just beginning to heat up. Here are a few niche game changers shaping the gadget landscape.
BMR Beauty – Bio-Medical Research’s products are FDA approved, and use electrical stimulation to help tone your facial and body muscles – depending on which product you purchase. The new BMR Facial Toner ($395) looks like a cool set of headphones, and it uses electrical stimulation (this was previously the province of medical spas) to affect the nerves surrounding the facial muscles to help lift and tighten and address other aging concerns. What will you feel when you use this device? Gentle, massage-like pulses through the medical-grade applicator GelPads (you’ll need to replace these periodically – this will be your only recurring cost).
While the “Facial Toner” is the latest BMR product, there are also highly-targeted body devices including the Tummy Lift ($200; tones core muscles), Arm Lift ($200; tones the triceps muscles) and Bottom Lift ($200; tones the gluteal muscles) gadgets. Because the stim technology targets muscles and not fat, it takes 12 weeks to see results as muscles need to be trained and retrained to respond to the pulses, which are very gentle. It’s not that you won’t feel the pulses (you will), but there should be no discomfort. The recommendation is that these gadgets be used 30 minutes a day for 4-5 days a week for firmer, stronger muscles in 4-8 weeks.
The bottom line is does it work? According to the clinical trials, the gadgets definitely do. 72%-92% of the clinical trial participants vouched that the products helped their arms, tummy and bottom feel much more toned and shapely. There is no data available yet for the new “Facial Toner” product.
Clarisonic Acne – We’ve written about the new Clarisonic Acne Collection ($169) before but it’s worth mentioning again because of how specialized the gadget market is becoming. Created for blemish-prone skin, this kit contains two brush heads (one for sensitive skin) and can be used twice a day, with the recommended cleanser.
Emmi-dent G Ultrasonic Toothbrush – This toothbrush uses ultrasound technology to whiten teeth – so, in this aspect, it’s much different from the Sonicare toothbrush, which uses sonic technology. Emmi-dent ($189) promises teeth whitening in just days because of the ultrasound technology that kills stain-causing bacteria. The gadget promises to help remove bad breath, periodontitis and stains, and the way to use it is pretty simple. The kit itself comes with two brush heads, a charger, and the base. Simply plug the base to the charger and leave it to charge overnight; then switch the brush on after applying a little amount of the “nano-bubble” toothpaste included in the kit, and use.
Its cleans without really “brushing” your teeth in a conventional manner, but the results are really impressive. After using the toothbrush for just a week, my stains were better, my teeth was whiter, and any bad breath woes had disappeared. The product advertises “up to 84 million oscillations per minute” although to my naked eye, it moves so fast, I couldn’t count. I’m more interested in seeing if it works, and this gizmo does!
HairMax Lux Nine Hair Growth LaserComb – This valuable gadget ($395 at QVC) uses laser phototherapy to nourish the hair follicles. The idea? To stimulate hair growth in men and women. What’s impressive about the LaserComb is that it contains 9 medical lasers per unit, and can be used at home for results visible in as early as 16 weeks.
It’s also easy to use: you move the LaserComb across your scalp as though you were regularly combing your hair, leave it on one spot for 4 seconds, and wait for the beep to move on to the next spot. The total treatment time is a recommended 11 minutes, 3 times a week.
More On the Horizon
These highly-specialized gadgets are surely just a glimpse of what’s to come, since women and men are both demanding more than skin deep results. On occasion, it’s worth paying a little more for specialized beauty gadgets that delivery more impact than topical treatments, and it’s not going to be too long until we see more homes investing in a “wall of beauty gadgets” along the lines of the old-fashioned tool shed. Who said beauty wasn’t cool enough to be high tech?