Beauty Fads: Wow vs. Waste

Every year, there seems to be an increasing amount of beauty gadgets and tools dubbed “holy grail” products by magazines and media publications worldwide. But, in the bombardment of beauty bests sworn by via sponsored influencers, how do you know what really works and what’ll become an eventual addition to your junk pile?

Well, I’m here to give you my honest, non-biased opinion on several of the most popular beauty buys of the year! Read on to find out which ones I thought were a wow and which ones are ultimately a waste…

1 | Silk Pillowcases

These have been out for a few years now, and have gotten to be extra-popular! Their claim to fame is that sleeping on silk will pull your skin less (so no more wrinkles when you wake up!) and cause less split ends since the silk is so slippery. Several beauty gurus swear by them, so are they worth it?

My Verdict: Wow!

While the main drawback of real silk pillowcases is the price (Slip Silk pillowcases retail for upwards of $80 a piece), I’ve found that cheaper alternatives like satin still work just as well for keeping overnight hair and skin woes at bay! Ultimately, I have noticed a huge difference since using these, so I’d consider them a definite win, and wise investment, for sure!

2 | Silk Eye Masks

My favorite from Slip Silk: The Zodiac Mask!

These offer the same benefits as their pillowcase counterparts (particularly with eye wrinkles), but with the added benefit of blocking out the light and helping you get in that nighttime zone!

My Verdict: Wow!

While still a little steep in price if you go for the Slip Silk brand (which I chose to splurge on because I had a gift card!), I think it’s totally worth it. Not to say cheaper eye masks couldn’t provide some of the same benefits, but real silk just feels so good around the eyes. I also love that it blocks out the light pretty well when my husband stays up reading or working, so I can sleep away with him in the same room! Nowadays, there are so many cute options for silk or satin eye masks, that the choices are really endless.

3 | Silk Sleeping Hair Caps

Yet another silky nighttime accessory! These are meant to reduce split ends like the silk pillow case, and provide another layer of protection against hair rubbing, which causes frizz (especially if you have curly or textured hair).

My Verdict: Wow!

I know having a lot of beauty accessories for nighttime isn’t for everyone, but I honestly love my silk hair cap so much! I have naturally wavy-to-curly long hair that’s very prone to frizz and breakage (especially since I color my hair), so using a silk sleeping cap has definitely helped me get the most out of my length with the least amount of breakage. And I know what you might be thinking. Isn’t a sleeping cap like wearing a hat to bed? Won’t it get hot? The nice thing about using 100% silk is that it is actually a really breathable fabric, so don’t worry about feeling the heat!

4 | Microfiber Makeup Remover Pads

Basically a reusable fabric version of the cotton pads we’ve all used to remove makeup, these claim to remove makeup with only water while also being gentle on your skin (no rubbing necessary!).

My Verdict: Wow!

I was originally gifted these from Face Halo by my mom last Christmas, and I was a little skeptical to see if they’d actually work. After using them once, I was genuinely impressed! They really do remove makeup quite easily with very little scrubbing! And while I do use them with a little of my face wash, it’s definitely a lower-maintenance alternative to trying to find a good makeup remover product. Plus, I love that I can wash and reuse them as much as I want! It’s a little thing like that that can make a huge difference in the amount of product waste we produce!

5 | Invisibobble Hair Ties

These telephone-cord shaped hair ties claim to provide extra hold while also being durable and providing a snazzy accent to your updos. They can also be worn as a bracelet if you wanna let your hair down!

My Verdict: Waste!

I admit, I was intrigued by these cute little hair gadgets, but I honestly found that, with my extra-long hair, these tended to get tangled a lot more (especially when I took them out). Plus, they do get stretched out just like normal hair ties, are a bit pricier than the usual elastics, and in the end I really didn’t find anything special about ’em, and actually thought they pulled my hair more. These might work better for you if you have hair with a different length and/or texture, but they just didn’t do it for me!

6 | Hair-Drying Turban Towels

These have honestly been on the market for quite a while! Basically an ultra-absorbent turban that you plop your wet hair into, then twist and secure until it’s dry, it’s very similar to that towel-hair-twisty-thing a lot of us grew up learning how to perfect while getting ready.

My Verdict: Waste!

Okay, so I do still own one or two of these from some Christmas stocking stuffers I got a few years ago, but I really don’t use them most of the time for two reasons. First, my hair is super long like I mentioned before, so the fixed length of the towel isn’t long enough to hold all my hair, and I end up with bent and mangled ends when I do the twist-and-secure. Second, they didn’t necessarily dry my hair any faster than using my regular bath towel, so I just honestly never remember to get them out. These gadgets might be cute for a bridal getting-ready or spa day photo op, but the results really aren’t miraculous otherwise.

7 | Facial Rollers

These have kind of burst onto the scenes lately as the end-all-be-all in facial lifting and sculpting sans cosmetic procedures. Usually constructed of stone (rose quartz, jade, and amethyst are popular options), their perpetual coolness is supposed to massage, depuff, and some even claim to lift your face.

My Verdict: Waste!

Maybe I’m just not doing it correctly, but while these rollers do feel good on the skin (especially on a hot day), I just haven’t seen any outstanding results beyond that. Depuffing maybe, but sculpting and lifting to where it’s visible and noticeable really hasn’t been a product of using these tools for me. If you really want a facial massage that’ll make more of a difference, look for a salon that offers a Sculptural Face Lifting Facial! I got one for the first time and it made a much bigger difference than just rubbing stones on my face. I will say though, even though I think these tools are kind of a waste, I do still hold onto my jade facial roller because it just feels enjoyable. So, if you’re looking for a little feel-good moment, try ’em out! Just don’t expect salon-level or cosmetic procedure results.

8 | Facial Cleansing Brushes

Anyone else have the Clarisonic brand facial brush during adolescence? This and similar brushes are designed to remove dead skin cells and give you a deep-down pore clean.

My Verdict: Waste!

If you have ultra-tough skin, these might be for you, but ultimately, they were way too harsh for me. Plus, unless you’re ultra-religious about cleaning the brush head thoroughly after every use (under the surface too!) it’s really just putting bacteria and other ickies back onto your skin. After using one for years in hopes of digging out all that deep dirt, it ultimately became an expensive-to-maintain flop that was eventually tossed. (Also, I had friends tell me that the constant friction and scrubbing can actually cause wrinkles and micro-tears in the skin! So not what I was going for!)

9 | Mason Pearson Hairbrushes

There’s nothing about this brush that isn’t cult-buy status. Artisan-made, high-price, and promising the best tangle-busting effects!

My Verdict: Wow!

Okay this one is a pricey investment but SO. WORTH. IT. Introduced to me by my mom, this brush seriously changed my hair game! It detangles with such ease, but doesn’t pull or rip. It’s ultra-cushiony, and comes in a variety of sizes depending on your hair type and needs. If you’re going to invest in hair tools, this is the one to go with!

10 | Glass Nail Files

Never-dulling, sleek-looking, and a lot easier to work with than traditional foam-cored or cardboard nail files, these files promise salon-like results.

My Verdict: Wow!

I have one of these, and I truly love it! (Especially for smoothing any rough edges of gel polish!) It lasts a whole lot longer than cheaper nail files, but they’re still pretty inexpensive and available at a variety of places. This will always be my go-to when it comes to nail care!

11 | Dry Brushes

These brushes are used to reduce cellulite, exfoliate, and invigorate the skin. Usually used before or after a shower on dry skin, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

My Verdict: Waste!

Disclaimer: I do think these exfoliate nicely and can feel great, but if you’re looking for instant anti-cellulite results, I’m afraid it just doesn’t get there. I do have a patch or two on my upper thighs, along with a few visible veins, and no matter how much I dry brush, they don’t go away. But, the exfoliation does make my skin ultra-smooth, and this can help remove any dullness that can accentuate cellulite. Go into this one with open eyes!

12 | Foot Masks

Promising to slough off dead skin and smooth callouses, these masks are kind of like peels for your feet. The ones I’ve tried work over several days after you apply the mask and cause the rough spots to literally come off!

My Verdict: Wow!

I used the Patchology Posh Peel Pedi Cure Foot Treatment (which is cruelty free!) and I loved it! Even though it was a little pricey ($20 for only one mask) and kinda messy to apply, my feet came out so soft! (Though it can get a little weird to watch your skin peel for several days…) If you have a special occasion coming up or just want a little splurge, these masks are amazing!

13 | Tweezerman Tweezers

Tweezers are one of those essentials in every makeup bag, but the Tweezerman brand is known to be one of the best brands out there! But are they?

My Verdict: Wow!

Yes, Tweezerman tweezers are a bit pricey (starting at about $15 for the mini size and going upwards of $25 for the others), but in my experience, they’re totally worth it. Not all tweezers are able to grab onto hair very well, and this is where Tweezerman tweezers succeed in my opinion! Plus, with their precision tip, you’re able to get only the hairs you want to remove. A it of a splurge that’ll last you a long time!

14 | Under-Eye Masks

There’s a lot of debate as to whether or not under eye masks actually work, but there are those who swear by their cooling, firming, lifting, and tightening promises!

My Verdict: Wow!

My personal fave when it comes to under eye masks are the Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels by Skyn Iceland! Cruelty free and made with clean ingredients, these are equally cooling and firming on those days when sleep isn’t in plenty. I use these at least 2-3 times per month, and I feel like they really do make a difference in how droopy my eyes look and feel!

15 | Scalp Massagers

Those often oddly-shaped novelties that have been sold by the register in drugstores forever, scalp massagers seem to be making a comeback! But should they be?

My Verdict: Waste!

As someone with long hair, all these tools seem to ever do is get caught and tangled in my tresses. Plus, though often cheap, I don’t feel that they really do anything that your (free) fingers or comb can’t do. This is one of those gadgets that’s just not worth it in my opinion!

16 | Quip Electric Toothbrushes

These ultra-sleek electric toothbrushes have a lot going for them: aesthetics being the number one. Plus, they’re available at Target and you can get brush head and battery refills delivered to your door!

My Verdict: Wow!

I’ve always been a fan of electric toothbrushes over manual; they just seem to clean better! But, between the constant battery battle or charging cord clutter, I found myself wanting the space-saving slim design of manual toothbrushes. Then I discovered Quip and I really love it! Sometimes the whole mail-order replacement thing can run a little behind, but other than that, they’re great for travel and my husband loves his too!

17 | Oversized Scrunchies

Scrunchies have been around for decades, and this is one 80s/90s trend that’s come back strong!

My Verdict: Wow!

As opposed to the aforementioned Invisibobble hair ties, I LOVE scrunchies and have for years! Lately, I’ve been going bigger and bolder with my scrunchies, and I’m so happy with the result! While admittedly maybe not the best option for shorter or thinner hair types, I love the romantic, flopsy look that oversized scrunchies have. I got mine from Anthropologie and they’re the perfect touch to warm-weather outfits!

18 | Beauty Blenders

These semi-egg-shaped foam sponges have been on the market for a little while now, and seem to be sticking around as a beauty staple for flawless foundation!

My Verdict: Waste!

Okay, now before you say “how can she not like Beauty Blenders?!”, here’s my reasoning behind my *unpopular* opinion. I’ve used Beauty Blenders (and for quite a long time), and I’ve found that they just don’t work with my skin type. As an acne sufferer with sensitive (and sometimes flaky) skin, these sponges seem to irritate my face and they’re really hard to clean (and remember to clean) thoroughly. Plus, they don’t actually “blend” my foundation as well as I’d like, and since I now use a cream formula, foundation brushes suit me better. (My fave is the Sephora Collection Pro Foundation Brush #56!)

19 | Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are basically a fabric mask that is soaked in serum that you apply to your face for a concentrated beauty boost!

My Verdict: Wow!

As I explained in my Cruelty Free + Clean Beauty IG Live, I’m kind of obsessed with masks! I love sheet masks especially because they’re pretty easy to use and mess-free, unlike the ones you have to rinse off. Plus, I love the idea that I don’t have to rinse off the good stuff I just put on my face! My fave cruelty-free + clean option? Orgaid’s Greek Yogurt nourishing masks!

20 | Sisal Exfoliating Washcloths

Sisal washcloths have arisen as an at-home mini-spa treatment to leave your skin refreshed and exfoliated.

My Verdict: Wow!

First of all, most sisal washcloths are actually pretty inexpensive (like this one for $9) and they really do exfoliate nicely without being too harsh! (Note- use on your body only as the skin on your face is too delicate for such a scrubber!) I’d say this is one of those at-home treatments that’s just as good as the spa!

So there ya have it: my favorite beauty wows and wastes! I hope it helps you in your quest for your perfect beauty routine, but remember that these opinions are only what I’ve experienced personally, so if you wanna try something I’ve talked about here for yourself, you should! There’s no one perfect set of products for everyone; you gotta determine the right fit for you and your lifestyle!

Stay tuned for lots more wow vs. waste to come!

Xx Tabi

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