Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gadgets. Show all posts

Monday, 3 November 2014

Better Than Clarisonic? Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush

I've now been using the Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush for over a month, and I think it's about time I compared it to its main competitor, the Clarisonic.  Like the Clarisonic, the Clinique brush uses sonic movement to cleanse much deeper than rubbing your skin with your fingers.  The first few weeks of use were a bit rocky for me - I found the brush deep cleansed my skin so well that some quite deeply ingrained dirt was shaken loose, resulting in some hideous cystic spots.  Once they cleared up, though, my skin was in much better condition - noticeably smoother and generally more clear, even and bright.  As I found with the Clarisonic when I first tried it, I need less moisturiser after cleansing with the brush, and what I did use was slurped up by my skin very, very fast.

Effects wise, then, the two devices do much the same thing - deep cleansing.  There are some smaller functional differences though, the most obvious being the shape of the brush - the Clarisonic is curvy and fits well into the hand, where the Clinique is a simple bar shape, which is ever so slightly harder to grip.  Another difference is the timer - the Clarisonic helpfully beeps every fifteen seconds, prompting you to move on to another area of the face, but the Clinique brush doesn't beep at all, leaving you to guess when to move on.  The brush heads are also different - the Clarisonic has a circular brush, where the Clinique has a tear-shaped brush with slightly more abrasive green bristles to use on the nose area.

Ultimately, both the Clarisonic and the Clinique brush do a great job of cleansing the skin deeply, exfoliating gently, and adding a bit of extra gadgetry to your beauty routine.  The differences are pretty minor, particularly given the price difference - Clinique sell their brush for £79, with replacement brush heads costing £20.  Clarisonic brushes cost upwards of £125, with the replacement heads starting at £21.  If you're in the market for a sonic cleansing brush and you're looking for value for money, buy the Clinique.  If you're looking for bells and whistles and something which looks a little more sophisticated in the bathroom, it may be worth spending the extra cash on a Clarisonic.  Either way, your skin will probably thank you for it!

Disclosure:  PR sample

This post originated at If you're reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen, violating my copyright.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Lakeland Style Station

This clever little holder is designed to look after your straightening irons, hair dryer and curling wand - and you can pop them in whilst they're still hot too.  This is a great alternative to balancing your straighteners so the hot plates are just over the edge of a surface (I'm assuming I'm not the only one who does this!).  At £19.99, it's not cheap, but certainly a small price to pay for the peace of mind of not burning the house down in the pursuit of lovely hair.  Find it at Lakeland now.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Quick Pick: Homedics Tanda Zap


Meet the Tanda Zap - a handheld vibrating battery operated device (stop smirking) which claims to clear breakouts via blue light, a gentle vibrating action, and gentle heat.  The theory is that whenever you feel a spot is about to emerge, or whenever one has emerged, you press the orange button and place the Zap atop the spot.  Done twice daily, it helps clear spots faster than they would otherwise disappear alone.

My husband believes that is a vibrating blue torch and that it cannot, in fact, clear spots.  My husband, however, is incorrect.  I've been using it twice a day (three times if I'm home in the daytime) on those big, nasty cystic spots caused by hormones, and they definitely clear faster with the treatment than they would otherwise.  From the first couple of uses on a fresh spot, the spot feels less inflamed and angry.

I'd definitely recommend this if you suffer from the odd hormonal breakout.  If you suffer from more persistent breakouts, though, I suspect that you'd end up exhausting it really quickly - the unit dispenses around a thousand two-minute bursts of blue light, vibration and heat, and then it's done.

Find it at Boots, where it costs £40.

Disclosure: PR sample

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Cold Sore sufferers - you need this

A colleague of mine flew in from the States this week. She brought along a pretty nifty cold that she'd picked up on the plane (you know those international jet-setting colds that pack a real global punch). Spotting my immune system for a soft touch, it quickly made me its home and I spent this weekend lying wretched in a pile of snotty tissues.

To add insult to injury, I also developed a merry garland of bright red cold sores across my upper lip. If you suffer with cold sores yourself, you'll know that they love to strike when the immune system is compromised (they spend the rest of the time skulking around in nerve endings around the mouth, waiting for a good moment to strike).

Until earlier this year, my response to this would have been to reach for the Zovirax and pray, probably to little effect. However, since then I've discovered a device that has changed my attitude to cold sores entirely. I wasn't phased. I just reached for my Boots Cold Sore Machine.

The machine (which I believe is a Boots-branded version of Virulite) is a  humble-looking white plastic device. It has an "on" button (1), a flashing indicator light (2) a recessed mouthpiece with a bulb (3), and a compartment for a battery. That's pretty much it. The secret lies in the wavelength of light (1072 nm, to be exact) produced by the bulb. It's an infra-red light, invisible to the naked eye, that cuts healing time by as much as 50%. It's thought to work by triggering an increased immune response when shone onto the afflicted skin.

Using it could not be simpler. You place the device against the skin, allowing no gaps for light to enter, and press the "on" button. Then hold still for 3 minutes while the indicator light flashes and the machine does its work. After that, you're done - two treatments twelve hours apart should be enough to send a cold sore packing.

It might sound a little too good to be true, but light-based treatments of this type have been proven effective in clinical trials (that's tests on real live people) published in various peer-reviewed scientific journals (like this one). Versus aciclovir (the active ingredient in creams like Zovirax), Virulite improved healing time by an average of 4 days. Seriously, that's pretty good.

I'm recovering from my cold now (day 3 - sneezing phase over) and of the three cold sores that made a bid for self-expression on my top lip, two have retreated to the point of invisibility, and the one I didn't catch quite as quickly has moved on to the dry scabby stage. (Did you think beauty blogs were all about prettiness and nice things? Yes? Tough.)

If you suffer from cold sores, I can't recommend this treatment to you more highly. It's perhaps more a health than a beauty purchase (although let's be honest, having a big red blistery mess on your lip isn't exactly attractive) but it's well worth the £35 asking price, especially when you consider how much you'll save on other treatments.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tools for Girls: Miss Army Knife

I think I'd probably like this more if it wasn't quite so pink (apparently everything "for girls" must be pink nowadays), but having had a look at my colleague's, I've got a little bit of gadget envy going on.

This play on a Swiss Army Knife (which has nothing to do with Victorinox) has a variety of useful tools including a tiny perfume vial, needle and thread, scissor, nail file, mirror, bottle opener, corkscrew, safety pin and screwdriver. Most of those are items which I can never find when I need them, so the thought of having them all in one unit in my handbag is quite appealing.

Of course, if they made one that also included a set of great quality fold-out makeup brushes, I'd be totally sold, but even without such fantasy implements, this'd make a great gift for a girl-on-the-go.

If you want one, or want to buy one for me someone, you can find it for £14.95 at
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