A lot has happened in the beauty world, since swiping on some cold cream and pinching your cheeks was the regimen du jour. From makeup-obsessed YouTubers with millions of followers, to the fascinating ascent of the Korean beauty craze, to cutting-edge dermatological advances happening in the high-tech science labs of 2017, to the truly weird and wacky inventions that seem like they must be a prank (hello, a supplement to make your vagina taste fruity, anyone?), new and surprising beauty tools are becoming more popular every day.
So which ones will be your new favorite thing, and which are just bogus, beauty-wise? I did the research so you don’t have to! In addition to trying out some of these tools for myself, I spoke to beauty experts, makeup artists, and dermatologists to help you figure out which trends to try, and which junk to chuck.
No mess mascara guard
How many times have you finished the perfect second coat of jet black mascara only to sneeze, or barely blink your eye, and end up with a giant smear of waterproof mascara on your eyelid or cheeks? Every day? Yeah, me too. That’s why I love this genius idea from Tweezerman: a mascara guard that protects the skin around your eyelashes from smudges.
I spoke to Hillary Kline, a makeup artist and beauty blogger who swears by this genius product. She said, “If you are clumsy like me and have sneezed right after applying mascara and have a huge mess on your face — you’ll want to get one of these. You will save yourself a lot of Q-Tips and makeup remover.” And at just $10, I say it’s worth it!
Love bold lips but have a crap lipstick application technique? Join the party. The company Violent Lips calls itself “the first ever temporary lip tattoo company,” and was founded by a pair of sisters.
The product itself comes in lots of colors and patterns — like pink leopard print, glitter, fishnet, and rainbow — and functions as a temporary tattoo for your lips that, according to the company website, are enhanced with vitamins, and “will keep the print and color on your lips for 4 to 8 hours.” Starting at just $5 a pop, you can have a little fun with your pout without the commitment!
Electric makeup applicator
I might have written this one off as unnecessary, if it hadn’t been recommended to me by several makeup and beauty experts. Kline swears by an electric makeup applicator’s help in nailing “a flawless look,” and recommends this model by Viproo that costs about $25.
Max Robinson of the Zen Lifestyle salons and spas claimed via email that “rather than being impossible to control as I imagined it would be (the one I used moves at a speed of over 1,000 pulses per minute), it actually provided really even coverage when I was applying foundation.” Experts from Bustle also recommend the Viproo model, adding that, “the gadget is battery-operated, too, so no need to worry about more tangled cords by your bathroom sink.”
According to LA plastic surgeon Dr. Raffy Karamanoukian, writing for Realself.com, “Dermarollers can stimulate collagen and have a proven track record.” So what is a dermaroller and how does it work? Basically, it’s an at-home method for a process called “microneedling,” using a handheld device that looks a bit like a tiny pizza cutter.
When your roll it over your face, tons of tiny metal needles lightly pierce your skin. The claim is that when you roll the needles over your skin, it will look younger, smoother, and will absorb your expensive creams better. And so far, the science agrees. Bustle calls it “an awesome addition to anyone’s makeup routine.” You can score one from La Fontaine Cosmetics for only $30.
Your new beauty arsenal
People are willing to do some pretty weird things in the name of good looks, but only some of them are really worth it. From the bloody “vampire facial” craze, to the weirdness that is receiving a “fish pedicure,” there are so many so-called beauty “breakthroughs” every year in the industry, that there’s no way to test them all for validity and effectiveness yourself. How many random bottles and tubes (that looked so good in the packaging, but so horrible on your face!) do you have rattling around your bathroom drawer? And what about those beauty devices that seemed like a godsend on a midnight infomercial, but took so much time and effort to use (for only spotty results) that you immediately knew you’d never use them again?
Am I projecting, or is that a totally common experience, as a modern woman? How about giving yourself a break, and letting the pros do the experimenting for you! Go ahead and rely on this expert-driven and researched list to find the best beauty tools — the ones that are so weird, they’re good — that you’ll want to add, as part of your daily routine.