Shopping for Mother's Day in the cosmetic department can be tricky. After all, one doesn't want to imply that dear ol' Mom could do with a bit of makeover or, worse still, is showing her age. Take it from me, a Mother's Day offering of a firming neck cream (no matter how expensive) is beyond a faux pas
and likely to lead to wills being rewritten. So how about getting into more of a Father's Day mindset and think tools. Beauty tools are useful and a sort of not quite necessary luxury at the same time. Here's a few of TIA's favorites to put on your shopping list or for dropping hints to the kids.
Sedu Ultrapower Tourmaline Ionic Hair Dryer TGR 4000i
($135). I have a lovely, but very skeptical friend who doesn't believe me when I rave about the Sedu. When I first reviewed
it I said: "Frankly, this is the best $139.95 I’ve spent in a while". Well, E (you know who you are), I am sticking with my story. Here's why you'll get blown away. One, it dries hair flat and shiny, not frizzy. Two, it's fast, really fast. Three, it's green (because it dries in a matter of moments, you use less electricity). It's all down to the tourmaline, a silicate mineral, from which Sedu is made. This is a natural source of negative ions and electricity. The negative ions break down water molecules so that some of them are small enough to enter the hair shaft and your locks retain moisture. And the smaller water molecules dry faster. A win win. Oh, and did I mention that it is really light to hold?
($150 plus). Using a sonic frequency (originally developed for toothbrushes), it generates bristle movements of over 300 per second. Skin (face or body) is twice as clean as would have been achieved manually, in only 60 seconds. And it's really gentle - even for rosacea types like me. After using Clarisonic, products absorb better and pores appear smaller, skin tone and texture improves. The price is getting more reasonable and a PRO Deluxe, which has multiple speed settings, can now be bought for less than I paid for my standard.
Tracie Martyn Amla Purifying Cleanser
($65). OK so I'm stretching my definitions here. But you really can't use the Clarisonic brush with the ghastly cleanser that it comes with. Plus, I always say that Amla is more of a treatment than a mere cleanser. Still one of my favorite products, this facial cleanser is worth the splurge - especially on someone else's behalf. Amla is a gentle exfoliator (using pineapple and papaya enzymes, as well as malic and lactic acids) and a cleanser in one. The salicylic acid helps control oil. Sometimes, I just leave it on while I have my shower before rinsing off so that I can absorb the vitamin C, turmeric (keeps my rosacea at bay) and, of course amla. This is also known as the Indian gooseberry. It has loads of vitamin C and gallic acid, which is a potent polyphenol (a type of antioxidant). Plus there is nothing not to like.
(around $400). Although this is a fantastic anti-aging device, it can be presented in the guise of good health. Light emitting diodes have been used for years as a therapy for muscular pain and wound healing, as well as skin rejuvenation. It works by stimulating the body’s tissues to convert the light energy into cellular energy. It boosts collagen production and scavenger cells that remove excess pigmentation or scar tissue. Obviously not as powerful as a salon version of an LED machine, this is still a very effective home device. I use it once a week on face, chest and hands to top up my salon visits and consider it to be pretty indispensable at helping to plump them up.
STOP Clinical Skin Renewal Advice
($530). I tried this alternative to the Baby Q with good effect. Readers have given it good feedback
as well, reporting visible signs of firming. The technology is a little different to Baby Q. It uses radio frequencies, which work by passing an electrical current through the body, producing heat in both superficial and deep dermal layers. First a gel is supplied to the target area to protect the skin and ensure the optimal temperature. You then connect the device to a power supply, select the intensity setting, and glide it around in circular motions, making sure that all four electrodes are in contact with the skin.