The High-Tech Review: The Gadgets We Like (And Don’t Like)

It seems like every time you open a new tab, there’s a new gadget staring you in the face: handheld microcurrent treatments, exfoliators, toothbrushes, “very personal” trainers (hey, Elvie) and more. But what’s good, what’s bad, and what’s actually worth dishing out the dollars? This list includes the good and the bad—because we want you to know the whole story. Read on for the best—and worst—gadgets of 2016.

We Love The Ziip Beauty Nano MicroCurrent Device, $495

It isn’t surprising to us that in our Charlotte Talks To interview with Town & Country‘s beauty editor Jamie Rosen, she talked about how much she loved this device. And then when we went inside the Chelsea apartment of Teen Vogue editor Jessica Matlin, we spotted this on her bedside. This microcurrent device is more technically advanced than any other at-home tool on the market, and it works with your iPhone. It’s definitely pricey, but it’s worth it. While beauty editors love it, we can honestly say that after trying it, it really does work. And more importantly, it’s pretty easy to use. It was created by a team of electrical engineers, scientists, medical doctors, researchers, and skincare expert Melanie Simon, who’s known as an “electrical esthetician.” Buy it here.

 We Don’t Love The Clarisonic, $299

This cleansing brush used to be the only game in town, and to the brand’s credit—they really pioneered the next level in cleansing. But new devices have come on the scene, and we have to say, we believe the Foreo is superior (see below). The Clarisonic is bulkier than the Foreo, a little harsher on sensitive skin, and you have to change the cleansing brushes regularly; that’s a pain.

 We Love The Foreo Luna, $199.00

The Foreo came on the market several years ago and has gotten nothing but rave reviews. However, we still see this cleansing device being over shadowed by the Clarisonic—tragic. The Foreo is a must. We can’t say enough good things about it. For those with sensitive skin, we think it’s far superior to the Clarisonic cleansing brushes: you never have to replace the bristles, and the battery life lasts for weeks on end. It’s also easier to travel with and simply a bit better designed. If you’re a beauty tech newbie or just haven’t gotten around to trying this yet, please do. We absolutely love it. Buying tip: if you travel a lot, the Foreo Luna Mini is great at only $99.00 (compared to the regular sized Foreo Luna at $199.00). It’s just a tiny bit smaller than the main Foreo Luna but half the price—with the full cleansing benefit. “I’m obsessed with my Luna! And I got my mom hooked as well. I can’t live without it,” said Michelle Waugh. Buy it here.

We Don’t Love The ISSA Toothbrush Made By Foreo, $199.00

For all the love we have for the Foreo Luna, unfortunately we don’t love the brand’s toothbrush. After a test drive of the product we thought it just came up short. “When I was using this product, I felt as though it only polishes the surface and doesn’t actually clean teeth. I know brushing isn’t supposed to replace floss, but this brush doesn’t seem to clean any build-up between teeth the way a traditional bristle would.  I stopped using it after a week,” Charlotte’s Book contributor Krista Iovino reported.

We Love The Baby Quasar, $399.00

It’s no secret our team loves the Baby Quasar. The product is effective and well made. The only drawback? It’s pricey and it takes dedicating some true time each week to see results. So this device is not only for true beauty obsessives, but those that have some beauty time to set aside each week and a large beauty budget. Michelle Phan told us, “I use the Baby Quasar MD Plus, and it’s part of my night time routine once a week. When I first started using it, I used it every night for two weeks straight and noticed improvement right away. After two weeks, I reduced the frequency to three times a week and after two months, once a week. My skin has better clarity and it feels firmer (due to increased collagen production).”

Charlotte’s Book Founder Robin Shobin agrees. “I keep the device plugged in next to my bed,” she says. “This way it’s always ready to use. If I am catching up on TV or just looking through Instagram before bed, I can reach over and use it.” Buy it here.

 We Don’t Love The IlluMask, $52.00 Or Neutrogena LED Mask, $29.00

Another form of home LED devices is the LED mask, and there are a few on the market, like the Illumask or the Neutrogena Light Therapy Acne Mask. While we love the selfies all over instagram from these masks, we don’t love them. These mask-style devices are designed as an alternative to the wand-like devices on the market (like the Baby Quasar or The Light Stim). These mask LED devices are extra-appealing at first because rather than spot-treating your face (like the wand devices), you can treat your whole face at one time. They are also significantly cheaper. Another plus? They’re hands-free. However, these device just doesn’t have the power that other LED devices have: that’s why they’re cheaper. Either dish out for the Baby Quasar or don’t waste your hard-earned dollars on these lesser versions.

Funky treatment 😁

A photo posted by Andrea Müggenburg (@lamuggen) on

 We Love The Elvie , $199

We aren’t sure if this counts as a “beauty device” per say—but feeling stronger from the inside makes you glow on the outside, right? After spending 6 solid weeks with the Elvie, a very personal trainer designed to tighten and strengthen the vagina through Kegel workouts, Charlotte’s Book contributor Carolina Marino couldn’t stop talking about how much she loved this device. “Similar to the feeling I get from a fresh iPhone, the moment I held the box I felt as though I was in possession of something awesome. The packaging is gorgeously simplistic and ultra sleek. ” And not only did she find beauty in its simple design, Carolina found it easy to use: “The app itself is also minimal, straightforward, and visually appealing. It walks you through a sequence of quick tests, like a game, so the experience is as fun as it is challenging.” And what about results? “I expected to see improvement, of course, because I know how much research and science went into creating this device, but these results are nothing short of a miracle,” she added. Buy it here.

 

Feature image via Ziip Beauty

READ THIS NEXT

Into tech? Read more about the Elvie, about LED treatments, and—just in time for winter weather—personal humidifiers

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