Think you’re the DIY beauty queen because your Pinterest page is stacked with pins for lemon and honey masks, apple cider vinegar toner and exfoliating coffee bean foot scrub? Before you get started on your papier mâché crown, give one of these DIY beauty gadgets a spin. When used correctly, our readers say these beauty devices saved them tons of time and money — we’re talking thousands of dollars. That’s enough to bankroll your own DIY skin care line made from your personal lemon orchard and beehive, ladies. Here’s the lowdown on spending a little (these high tech beauty gadgets aren’t cheap) to save a lot.
No. 8: NuFace Classic, $149 TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 8.0*
Member Rating: 8.0*
What it is: The NuFace is a handheld facial toning device that claims to improve facial contour, tone and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Why it’s great: Known as the “non-surgical microcurrent facial-lift,” users agree that this is a “great anti-aging device.” What can you expect from NuFace? “An instant lift and better circulation,” says one user, and “fine lines and wrinkles will start to fade” with continued use, she says. Another user notes she was “sold on the product” after her dermatologist asked her what she was doing to make her skin look so young.
Before you buy: If you’re interested in microcurrent technology skin care, NuFace offers two options. The first is the NuFace Classic, mentioned above. The second is the NuFace Trinity, which retails for $325 and comes with a detachable Trinity Facial Trainer attachment, the same tool the Classic uses. Why the difference in price? The Trinity is a multi-function device that supports different attachment tools. For an additional $149 each, you can purchase the Trinity Wrinkle Reducer attachment, which uses red LED phototherapy to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, or the Trinity ELE attachment, which is a smaller version of the trainer that targets lips and eyes.
No. 7: PMD, $179 TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 8.8*
Why it’s great: Women report that this microdermabrasion device gives them “impressive results” after just one use. Readers say it helps with a variety of skin issues, from hyperpigmentation to breakouts. “It definitely has improved the texture of my skin and made some of my acne scars less obvious,” says one happy reviewer. Women notice that their skin is not only softer, but also more receptive to skin care products. “This truly has changed my skin,” says a reader. “After I use it, I can feel my skin care penetrate much deeper.” One self-described “gadget junkie” says that this device is worth the money: “I am thrilled with this tool and I am not easy to impress!”
Salon rate: A microdermabrasion facial usually costs about $165 for an hour-long procedure. Results are temporary and six treatments are typically recommended to notice a significant difference.
Before you buy: Your device comes with three levels of abrasion: one white (ultra-sensitive) disc, four blue (sensitive) discs and two green (medium) discs. Each disc lasts for three to four uses. You can buy replacement disc sets (includes six discs) for $14.95. The device comes with a 30-day return policy and a six month warranty.
No. 6: Emjoi Light Caress Epilator, $89.95
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 9.0*
What it is: Think of this little device as an industrial approach to tweezing. Tiny rotating discs catch a bunch of hair at once and yank it out at the root. It can be used on the face, arms, underarms, legs and bikini line.
Why it’s great: Tired of shelling out for expensive wax sessions? Hate the short-term results of shaving? This epilator might be the answer to your hairless prayers. “I am completely in love and recommend it to all of my friends,” says one convert. “I will never go back to shaving,” says another. The epilator works by pulling out hairs with tiny rolling tweezers. Readers admit that it’s a little painful, but say that the pain lessens with use. “I quickly got used to the pulling sensation, and eventually it stopped bothering me at all,” says one reviewer.
Women also say this device saves them time and money. “It does take some time to do it, but if I have a spare hour, I can get smooth legs that last FAR longer than taking 10-15 minutes to shave every day,” says one reviewer. “I usually pay the same amount just for ONE waxing session,” says another. The best part? The epilator not only removes hair, but also discourages hair growth over time. “I’ve noticed that the more I epilate, the lighter and thinner my leg hair is coming back in,” says a user.
Salon rate: It depends on where you go, but just a bikini (non-Brazilian) wax will run you around $40. Throw in two arms, two legs and your underarms, and you’re looking at well over $200 per session. Annnd you’ll have to go back every two to four weeks for another round.
Before you buy:You can return this device up to 30 days after purchase. This model of the Emjoi is rechargeable, so you won’t have to replace batteries.
What it is: An FDA cleared at-home device that claims to deliver permanent hair removal results using Home Pulsed Light technology. According to the makers, clinical studies at three months post-treatment showed 70 percent hair reduction. Flash&Go uses gentle pulses of light energy to physically disable hair growth. Light energy is absorbed by the hair follicles (causing them to surrender in a battle between light and darkness), while the surrounding tissue remains at normal temperature.
Why it’s great: Reviewers love this at-home hair removal device because, to put it simply, it works. “I was skeptical at first, but seeing really is believing,” says one user. “I have used it so far on my face and calves and it has made such a HUGE difference,” says another user. One reviewer says she used it on her underarms and chin with “great success.” And another TotalBeauty.com reviewer says that after eight months with the Flash&Go, she is “hair free.” Readers recommend you give the device some time to work and use it regularly. “You have to stay at it and treat every two weeks at the beginning, no short cuts or skipping a week. But once you are done, you never have to book another wax appointment or shave again, and that is worth it to me,” says one satisfied reviewer.
Before you buy: The Flash&Go device comes with 5,000 flashes — typically 1,000 flashes are needed to completely treat (read: leave silky smooth) a large area like a leg. Refill cartridges come with 1,000 flashes and cost $40. It can’t be used on brown or black skin, or on blonde, white or gray hair. The manufacturer suggests six to eight treatments for complete hair removal.
Salon rate: Laser hair treatment prices depend on the area being treated, but can range from $100-200 per area, per treatment. You need around six treatments to see a difference, with occasion touchups thereafter.
No. 4: SensatioNail Gel Starter Kit, $59.99
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 9.6*
What it is: A gel polish kit for at-home use, including an LED lamp to cure your gel nails.
Why it’s great: “This was definitely one of the best beauty purchases I have ever made,” says one reviewer. TotalBeauty.com readers love this gel polish kit because of the lasting results. “I tried this five days ago, and it still looks like I just, just, just did my nails! No chips, smudges … nothing,” raves one reviewer. She adds that the process is really simple — “It dries immediately.” Another reader agrees, calling the kit “idiot-proof.” Readers with a weekly nail salon habit also say the kit is a major money saver over time. “This is saving me so much money by using this instead of going to the salon,” raves one reader.
Before you buy: The gel starter kit comes with one color. You can choose from pink chiffon, scarlet red or raspberry wine. Other colors (they have a wide range) can be purchased separately for $11.99 each. From the starter kit, you’ll get about 10 gel applications. Once you’ve depleted the products in your starter kit, you’ll need to replace them with the gel primer, base and top coat kit, $11.99 total.
Salon rate: A gel manicure in a salon runs about $35-40 and will last around two weeks. Readers say the SensatioNail manicures also last about two weeks, and at 10 applications per bottle, you’re initially spending about $6 a manicure (when factoring in the cost of the LED lamp, and $2 thereafter to cover the cost of replacement products.
No. 3: Gigi Wax Warmer, $49.95
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 9.7*
What it is: Like a crockpot for wax, this little bowl will keep your wax at just the right temperature, a crucial element in avoiding senseless pain during self-waxing.
Why it’s great: Professional and amateur waxers alike found this little device to be a game changer in waxing. “I cannot live without it in my kit,” says one aesthetician. This “must-have” will “warm all types of wax from soft wax (strip wax) to hard wax (stripless),” she notes. One woman who uses it at home says she “keeps looking for new places to wax,” because this machine makes waxing “fun.” Intrigued yet? Another reviewer says the wax warmer is a “must-get if you want to save money.”
Before you buy: This waxer, plus at-home supplies, won’t run you more than $60 … but be sure to watch a few YouTube waxing tutorials before pouring on the wax. Replacement wax is around $15 for a 14-ounce jar.
Salon rate: Waxing your lip or eyebrows will cost anywhere from $10-40 at a salon. A full leg costs around $70, and a Brazilian costs $50-75.
No. 2: Silk’n Blue, $149
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 9.8*
Why it’s great: This handheld, at-home acne-destroying device is loved by reviewers because it gets rid of acne fast. “Whenever I use the device on a premature blemish, it gets rid of it and I notice a difference within a day or two, which is great,” says one user. Another reviewer says her “blemishes have faded drastically by the next day.” One woman noticed a difference in her overall skin after just two weeks of daily use. A TotalBeauty.com member who says this helps keep her skin clear on a regular basis uses it while she watches TV — nothing like catching up on your TiVO and clearing your skin at the same time, amiright?
Before you buy: Silk’n Blue should be used every day, for three to four minutes on each area of the skin, for three to seven weeks. The head is about two inches wide, so you can expect to spend a lot of quality time with this device.
Salon rate: A blue light treatment is usually $80-100 in a spa or medical office, and will usually include a facial and 20-30 minutes under the light.
No. 1: Temptu Airbrush Makeup System, $200
TotalBeauty.com Average Member Rating: 10*
What it is: An at-home, professional quality airbrushing kit that comes with your choice of a foundation, blush and highlighter.
Why it’s great: While readers acknowledge this is no small purchase, they also confess they’re addicted to their Temptu. “I’m so glad I invested in this product! I’ll never use regular foundation again,” says a reader. “Even though it’s really expensive, it’s one of my best makeup buys ever,” says another. Although it looks like a heavy product, readers say this system provides a completely natural look. “It’s a second, more perfect skin,” says one reader. “NO makeup line and it looks amazingly natural!” says another. Readers also say it’s convenient and hygienic, as there are “no brushes to clean” and “no fear of bacterial contamination, which you may have with using sponges or brushes.”
Before you buy: Readers say they go through about one makeup pod a month with daily application, although they get more out of the blush and highlighter pods. Replacement foundation pods are $45, blush pods are $30 and highlighter pods are $35. Bronzer blushes (they don’t come with the starter kit) are $35.
Salon rate: A full airbrush makeup application (popular for brides) costs $85-200, but generally includes full eye makeup application, too.