Yes it's expensive but the Dyson Supersonic gave me better hair
Laura Kennedy: If you’re going to be using an appliance for years to come, it makes sense to invest in the right ones
The tools most worth paying for are the ones that save time and effort.
Beauty tools are anything which makes the process of grooming and makeup application easier or provides a more professional looking finish. There are so many incredibly expensive beauty tools – particularly in the electronics category – and many of them have a decided feel of promising miracles if you’ll only spend enough on lasers and massage applicators and monkey brains and so on.
The tools most worth paying for are the ones that save time and effort, or produce a finish beyond your skill level. If you have money to spend, you’ll have no problem finding some great tools – I’ll always spend as much as I can afford to on a good straightener (which I’ll use for curling and waving more than old-fashioned straightening) and on a hairdryer. If I’m going to be using it for years, I’ll invest.
However, there are lots of convenient tools that are more affordable which do everything from minimise brush washing time to making foundation moustache a thing of the past. Don’t be frightened of beauty tools; if you have makeup brushes, you already own some.
Phillips Precision Perfect Trimmer HP6390/10 For Face (€29.99)
This is an unromantic gadget, but one I would never be without. In order to buy one, you’ll need to possess and be bothered by facial fuzz, or a hint of the beginnings of the whisper of a rumour of a moustache. Women have hair on their upper lip just as men do – perhaps it is so fine that you don’t even notice. If that’s the case, you don’t need one of these. Perhaps you notice the hair but are happy to leave it be, in which case you also don’t need one of these.
I find that the almost invisibly fine, pale hairs that grow in that area (as well as directly above the brows) can catch foundation and consequently look a bit strange. So I use one of these around once every month to defuzz. Don’t worry – it is a myth that shavibg makes hairs grow back more thickly. What it can do is cut hairs directly across – rather than on a diagonal – maximising the surface area and making a hair look more obvious than it is. This is why shaving darker hairs on the face isn’t a good idea. But for colourless peach fuzz, this is the ideal gadget.
Bobbi Brown Dual-Ended Brow Definer/Groomer Brush (€35)
You won’t recognise the importance of a good brow brush until you’ve tried one. I’ve been lovingly using this one from Bobbi Brown for six years – the same brush, carefully stored and regularly washed – for powder brow products. The stiff hairs allow you to create clean lines or draw individual lash hairs if that’s your cup of tea, and the spoolie attachment is small enough to keep from blurring lines. It is expensive but I’ve done the maths and over six years (it’s still going strong), it has cost around 0.016 cents per day to use, which is a bargain by any measurement.
ghd Platinum Limited Edition Pink Blush Styler and Roll Bag (€215)
Every year, ghd release a collection in honour of cancer charities. A portion of the price of every item will go directly to the Irish Cancer Society. If you buy their Platinum Styler, €10 will go to the Irish Cancer Society, or €2 from the sale of each Limited Edition Pink Blush Paddle Brush (€24). They’ve raised more than €12 million for global cancer charities in 13 years.
If you’d rather make a more substantial (and separate) donation to cancer charities, ghd have teamed up with The Little Princess Trust, a charity providing wigs free of charge to children across the UK and Ireland. If you have at least seven inches of hair, you can go to a participating salon on Thursday 21st September to get the chop and donate your hair as part of ghd’s Chop To Your Chin Campaign.
Real Techniques Brush Cleansing Palette (€18.99)
The supreme usefulness of this tool may not seem immediately obvious. However, if you own a lot of makeup brushes, once you find yourself 40 minutes into washing them with pruned fingertips, you will find yourself coveting one of these most fiercely.
Rather than drying out the skin of your palms and struggling to create a lather, you place the silicone cleansing palette in your palm (there is a strap around the back of your hand to hold it comfortably in place like a mitt) and lather your brushes between the ridges and furrows of the palette. This tool cuts brush washing time in half and makes a horrendous job slightly more pleasurable. It is easy to use and to clean, and makes brush cleaning a less dread job.
Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer (€399)
The most expensive tool on this list, the Dyson Supersonic really deserves its place here. Though it is painfully expensive, it will give you around ten years worth of blow dries, working out at about 11 cent daily if you wash your hair everyday.
When I first tried it, I wanted it to be underwhelming, but it simply isn’t. It possessed enough power to blow a pair of scissors off my desk, causing a couple of people to duck for cover, but causing deep delight in me. The phenomenon known as “Irish hair” responds only to the firm blast of a good dryer. The supersonic does get hot, but relies on power more than other dryers to tame and gloss the hair, so burned scalps and heat-damaged hair don’t feature. With a standard dryer, it will take me about 15 minutes to blast-dry my hair (without any sort of styling), and it will look like a hedge, expanding visibly as it drinks moisture from the air. The Dyson Supersonic blast-dries my hair completely in four to five minutes without and fuzziness. I cannot but love it. It has given me better hair.
Sometimes the best tool is one that hires a professional to do the work for you. Raven App is a beauty app that pairs qualified professionals with customers who want to receive a service within their own home. You’ll find everything from hair cutting, nails, tanning and makeup application services on Raven and can have a professional in your home within two to three hours. You choose who you prefer based on their rating. And every professional is vetted by Trudy Hayes, a hair stylist who astutely saw a need for an app like Raven and developed it.
We’re slow to catch on to having services at home in Ireland, but it’s quick, super-efficient and a brilliant option for those who don’t feel like leaving the house, or can’t. A manicure will cost €30. I was delighted with the quality of the service and the convenience with which I could set up an appointment. Raven operates in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Kildare, Meath and Wicklow.