Social media is buzzing with beauty gadgets that are pricey, potentially dangerous or often just plain wacky. And it’s easy to get excited about new DIY options that promise to improve our 50-plus looks or dupe salon, spa and dermatological treatments. But beware: Some beauty hacks and hi-tech tools can lead to infection or skin issues, and others are just a waste of time and money. (They’ll end up in a drawer, trust me.) Ignore the lure. Here are 10 things that can help your looks … with no regrets:
1. Foundation brush and sponge
You still apply face makeup with your fingers? The skin-on-skin warmth of fingers is ideal for applying moisturizer, serums, sunscreen, eye cream and primers. However, mature skin with all its nooks and crannies and textures needs a makeup brush and sponge to look authentic and fresh. Get a natural or dewy look fast with a rounded teardrop sponge like the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Blender ($5, amazon.com) or Essence Makeup & Baking Sponge ($6, ulta.com). Dampen it, squeeze out the excess water and use it to apply “light” makeups like tinted moisturizer and CC or BB creams, or to sheer out foundation for a lighter look, to blot makeup that’s pooled in lines and creases, soften the edges of blush or bronzer and take the cakey edge off finishing powder. For a more controlled application when using liquid or cream foundation or to build up coverage in thin layers, use a soft dense brush with synthetic bristles such as the NYX Professional Makeup Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Foundation Brush ($15, amazon.com) or IT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7 ($30, amazon.com). Both are the secret to a pro finish.
2. Styling dryer and no-heat rollers
Reducing your heat-styling routine with a dryer hybrid and super-soft heat-free rollers can keep dry, fine, thin, damaged, color-treated or chemically treated hair healthy. Choose a dryer/styler that works with your hair texture and style goals. For a sleek blow-out with oomph, opt for a hot air brush such as the Revlon Oval One Step Volumizer Plus 2.0 Hot Air Brush ($60, amazon.com) while those who want texture and curls can choose a dryer with diffuser attachment such as the DevaCurl DevaDryer and DevaDiffuser ($175, ulta.com). Supplement your blow-drys with cushioned no-heat rollers such as the Annie International Pillow Rollers-Black ($10 for a pack of 10, target.com) and Conair Self-Fastening Foam Rollers ($9 for a pack of 48, amazon.com) to restore body, waves or curl as needed … and comfy enough to sleep in overnight too.