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Silly or sensible? The latest in beauty gadgets

One thing I love to research is the history of old beauty gadgets.  Today though I'll be looking at some contemporary gizmos that are claiming to make our beauty rituals easier, faster, and yield better results. (And we might laugh at them years from now, the way I do when I see the likes of these contraptions.)

First up we have Sephora's Smart Liner, a liquid eye liner whose shape resembles that of a tape dispenser.

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The curved handle supposedly allows for a foolproof application - tempting for those of us, like me, who still haven't perfected a cat's eye.  "Right- or left-handed, beginner or expert, this eyeliner’s ergonomic and innovative design makes perfection effortless and flawless."  I think it's funny that they mention it's good for both righties and lefties, as if regular eye liner pencils/brushes favor one hand or the other (they don't).

Next we have this decidedly dangerous-looking mascara from Avon, which I spotted in this month's issue of Allure.  Apparently the front-facing brush eliminates the "blind spot" one gets while using a regular mascara wand, which you apply sideways with your hand partially obstructing the view of your face.  (Click to enlarge.) 


Other benefits of this newfangled wand include an easier grip, a lock on the applicator cap to keep the product from drying out, and a hinge that adjusts to 12 different angles, allowing you to get extra close to the lash line.  I admit I'm intrigued even though I hardly wear mascara (thanks Latisse!)

Speaking of lashes, I saw this recently released eyelash curler from Shu Uemura at Rouge Deluxe.  According to the blog author, this implement was 13 years in the making and had roughly 100 test designs, while the name comes from "the eight key words that drove the project: small, spot, special, safe, simple, side-bar free, sophisticated and shu uemura."  The eyelash curler has been around for a surprisingly long time and we've seen a few variations (heated, mini, etc.), but the S curler is innovative for its lack of a sidebar, i.e. the sides of a regular lash curler that limit the area along the lashline that you can actually curl. 

Shu-S-curler(image from

As you can see in the diagram, the lack of a sidebar means the curler will fit any eye shape, which is enticing for those who can't find an eyelash curler that doesn't pinch or neglect the outer lashes. 

Finally, Musings of a Muse alerted me to quirky line Pop Beauty's Buzzing Beauty Buffer, a vibrating sponge that's used to apply a foundation of your choosing.  You remember the vibrating mascara craze a few years ago (and Lancome actually released a vibrating foundation shortly thereafter, as did this brand) but I believe this is the first gadget that allows you to put in whatever foundation you want.

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I think this one is the least innovative of the bunch - it's basically an electric foundation sponge, which may not produce better results than using a sponge manually simply because it vibrates.  Then again, I thought the Clarisonic was a glorified electric toothbrush you use on your face, but soon realized how much better it cleans my skin.  Plus, the formulas of other vibrating foundations were what stopped me from trying them - I wasn't sure whether they'd work with my oily skin or if there would be a good color match.  With Pop's buffer I can use any one of the 10 or so foundations I have in rotation currently.

Are you game to try any of these?  Which one has the most promise in your opinion?  And is there any one (or more) that will be the object of great derision in years to come?

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