IF YOU’RE GIVING A GADGET AS A GIFT, WHICH ONES ARE WORTH THE CASH? …
Not all beauty gadgets are worth investing in. Before you rush out to buy the latest “must-have” technology, bear in mind that most end up jettisoned in a cupboard before the year’s end. So don’t just buy one for the sake of it. The Clarisonic brush, for example, once heralded as the cleansing “must-have”, has quietly faded from existence. Swedish brand Foreo specialises in “power masking” devices (expensive at €179 upward) to give you “the skin of your dreams in 90 seconds” using sonic pulsations and LED light. Having tried it out, I’m not convinced – I feel this could be heading the way of the Clarisonic (though if you want to try for yourself, these UFO devices are currently reduced online). Personally, I’d rather have the occasional professional-level LED session with an expert such as Skin by Olga. I’ve also tried the Prai Throat Ionic Device for the neck area but find that a good cream such as SkinCeuticals Tripeptide-R Neck Cream (available at www.nualawoulfe.ie) does the job just as well.
So what is worth investing in? There’s no question that a great hairdryer and/or styling tool have been worth their weight in gold over the past year or two. Few of us can style our own hair quite like the pros, but a good drier in particular goes a long way to helping.
Here’s our pick of the best beauty gadgets for skin, hair and beyond – these ones actually make good gifts.
1 Heated hair tools are top of many gift lists, and the best ones are the next best thing to a salon. The Dyson Corrale (€499 at www.dylanbradshaw.com) is quick, effective and versatile – it’s as good at waves as poker-straight hair. It’s cord-free, which is genius, and easy to use, even if you’re rubbish at doing your own hair; it feels heavy at first, compared to your usual straighteners, but persevere, you get used to it. If you’re not sure how to get the best out of this admittedly expensive gadget, ask Dylan Bradshaw and his team for guidance. The Supersonic dryer is a great gift too (€399); cost per use, it pays for itself in no time. It now comes in smart Prussian blue and copper.
2 The L’Oréal Steampod is another popular heated styling tool – lightweight, with ceramic plates to create ultra-smooth hair with ease. From now until November 29 you can get €30 off this (down to €245) and other hair tools, such as the ghd Helios dryer (down to €145), at Peter Mark. Head to www.petermark.ie/shop for Click & Collect or home delivery.
3 LED light therapy face masks are popular for home skin treatments. Using one requires commitment and time – be warned that this could become like the juicer that sits unused in your cupboard. The SSensse Professional, €159.99 at www.Boots.ie, is a rechargeable mask with four different LED light programmes to target everything from age spots to lines. Relax for 15 minutes and sort your skin – tempting, and more affordable than many other options.
4 The skin smoothing device. The Dermaflash removes “peach fuzz” from your face. Let’s face it, a facial hair shaver is not the most glamorous of presents. But this method of lightly removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin is meant to give you the smoothest surface for your skincare and make-up. At Arnotts, from €199.
5 A toning device. Beauty supremo Lisa Eldridge told me that throughout lockdown last year she was using NuFACE, a mini handheld version (€219 at www.brownthomas.com).
7 Toothbrush upgrades. A fancy toothbrush is a practical present. Spotlight Oral Care have 50 per cent off their entire range this week includig this rose-gold sonic toothrbush (also in graphite grey or white) – all €71.50 down from €110. They come with two extra heads.
This Oral-B Pro 3 3000 Electric CrossAction Toothbrush (currently €55 at Boots.ie) is said to remove up to 100 per cent more plaque than a standard manual toothbrush. Oral-B’s latest research into Irish people’s dental care habits finds that 30 per cent of working adults surveyed claim that they are brushing their teeth more while working from home, with 15 per cent upgrading from a manual to an electric toothbrush. And over half (51 per cent) claim that they have changed their oral care habits in a positive way. There are deals on a range of electric brushes at the moment – see www.oralb.co.uk and www.boots.ie. This CrossAction brush is a decent mid-range daily staple.
9 The fancy Aarke carbonators are very popular this year, and they’re good-looking but expensive (around €200; available at www.Joyces.ie), and we’re old-school. Sodastreams start from around €134 (Harvey Norman) and do the same thing. And if fizziness makes you drink more water, then that’s good for you and your skin (plus avoids buying more plastic bottles).
10 Particularly relevant as we near the end of Movember is this Remington T Series Precision Trimmer, €85.99, for home barbering. Sorting beards through to facial hair, this is a power tool for neck, face and hairline. Available at independent Irish electrical retailers and pharmacies nationwide. Currently €79.97 at Harvey Norman.
NB A general gadget note: if cracked screens are a bane of your life, this Irish family-run company Pair Mobile can help. They have a range of techie gifts, like this multi charger, but best of all you can post your gadgets to them to be fixed from anywhere in Ireland, and they will return (plus they offer free delivery nationwide we you spend €30). www.pairmobile.ie