You may recently have wandered around Bloomingdale's or Harvey Nichols and wondered why many of the beauty shelves seem devoted to gadgets and gizmos with no apparent purpose. In case you missed the meeting, hi-tech beauty gadgets, all science-y and Nasa-looking, are the new essential. They're affordable and promise to save you precious time, so, yes, you can now check Facebook, text a friend and laser your leg hair all from the comfort of your own sofa. But like many other (unused) appliances that have infested my home over the years - from bread makers to fondue sets to hair crimpers - they always seem to fall short. So can beauty gadgets really get salon results at home?
When Kate Moss first tried the facial massager Tua Viso, she was apparently so impressed she that passed it on to her celebrity friends Kelly Osbourne and Meg Mathews. Promising to lift and redefine the face in 12 weeks using micro-current technology, this is an exercise workout for the face. There has also been a stampede over the latest launch under the Tua umbrella, the Tua Tre'nd, which transmits micro-currents into your facial muscles, toning and firming the skin. Word of advice, however: though you can see results over time, use these gadgets in the privacy of your boudoir, as the constant twitching of your facial muscles might cause a stir in Starbucks.
If blocked pores and lifeless skin are a problem, try the Bliss Pore-fector. It uses sonic vibrations and micro-jets of toner to deep-clean clogged skin, shifting impurities and making the skin cleaner and smoother. It's not as pampering as a spa treatment but it will save you money on facials.
"Vibrating mascaras have changed my life," claims a friend in the UK. She is so in love with her Maybelline Pulse Perfection mascara that after she got used to the "wobble" she tossed all her other mascaras. With lengthening polymers plus 100 micro-pulsations every second, the gadget coats and fans each lash. After a few days of use, you will panic if you don't have one to hand. Others worth a go are the Lancôme Oscillation mascara, which thickens your lashes in a matter of vibrating seconds, and Estée Lauder TurboLash Mascara. If you're still not convinced, don't disregard your wands just yet but try Champneys Heated Eyelash Curler. It's easy to use, with a chunky curling pad, and heats up quickly. Use before applying mascara and your lashes will seem longer and fuller.
3 of the best
Nourish, repair and soften with these body oils.
ARGANICA MULTI-PURPOSE BEAUTY OIL, DH294 Organic and bursting with vitamin E, this versatile Moroccan argan oil can be used as a moisturiser, night serum, hair conditioner or even for preventing stretch marks.
NUXE HUILE PRODIGIEUSE OR, DH209 With a generous dose of golden shimmer, this dry oil gives all skin and hair types a natural glow. It absorbs quickly and smells like a perfect day at the beach.
TOM FORD NEROLI PORTOFINO BODY OIL, DH277 Launched this month, this revitalizing and lightweight elixir helps condition the skin with a blend of olive and grapeseed oil. Apply liberally as the scent is divine.
A SOAP THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH TO EAT
When we saw these adorable soap lollies from feelunique.com, we had to stop ourselves from giving them a lick. In celebration of summer, these colourful limited edition soaps have delicious fruity fragrances and are perfect to inject a splash of colour into your bathroom. Complete with a tiny little bow, the lollies come in three zesty flavours - orange, watermelon and grapefruit. Plus there is free delivery worldwide, so there's no excuse for not collecting all three.
Dh26, available online at feelunique.com