beauty

3 beauty tools Zoë is nuts for.

A dame like me can thump keys about products and looks til the emus come home, (this is even more rare than cows because emus very rarely return home) but sometimes she needs to remind her delightful and extremely good looking readers about the tools of consequence in beauty and grooming.

Like these three, which I use with great frequency and enthusiasm:

The Clio

1. The Clio bikini trimmer, $8. (Buy from Target.)

The best $8 a girl can spend, this pen-sized trimmer is just WONDERFUL. I have a strange panicky attachment to it now, because it has been such a blessing for someone who, weirdly, doesn’t enjoy hot wax being poured and then ripped off her ladygarden very much, and who travels a lot and forgets to make wax appointments before said travel. I use it to ‘clean up’ that area nicely and quickly, (there is no pain and no itchy ‘shaving’ grow back) and also to get rid of the interesting hairs that like to sprout on the tops of my toes.

They will tell you that you can also use it on your eyebrows (SHRIEK!) and face (GASP!) but as my caps lock and exclamation points suggest, I don’t really recommend that. What I DO recommend, is cracking it out for a tidy up (and even a bit of shape if you’re confident) on your bikini area. I even think if you have a bit of laser hair removal on the top and sides, you could use this for tidy-ups and skip waxing forevermore. Imagine that.

2. The Clarisonic Mia, $149

The Clarisonic Mia
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Back in 2010, I was chatting to the extremely clever owner and founder of Mecca Cosmetica, Mecca Maxima, and Kit, Jo Horgan. She asked me had I tried the Clarisonic? I said no, it seems excessive for my skin, (which is pretty well-behaved, and also it looked a bit too… intense) and she said, no, this is a fabulous, fabulous device, and your skin will benefit tremendously. I thought to myself, ‘PFFT!! What does Jo know about beauty,’ and promptly ignored her. Fast forward a year and a half, and I get it. Who would’ve thought Jo would know!!!

The Clarisonic, for those who are curious or excited or bored, is a handheld, waterproof electronic skin cleanser that uses a small, very soft vibrating ‘cleansing brush head’ to thoroughly clean your (even very sensitive – be sure to use the sensitive brush head) skin without any irritation. (‘Cleanses 6x better than with your hands alone in just 60 seconds!’ they say.) The result is skin that is more smooth and soft, pores that seem to be less visible, better efficacy from your skincare, because your skin is so clean and thus able to be penetrated better by all those serums and creams, and makeup that sits better because A) all those dead skin cells and impurities have gone and B) your foundation can sit properly and evenly.

I use the Clarisonic Mia, which might be the baby sister of the Clarisonic Classic, ($229) but like a certain Mia we all know and love, is lacking in neither power nor effectiveness. (Here is a useful chart for comparison of all the different models.) It’s the same size brush head as the Classic, you just don’t get the body brush head or the three varying speeds. (Which you’d probably rarely utilise anyway.) I like the smaller size and simplicity of Mia; it’s wonderful for a girl who lives between two states and who has a bathroom with very sought-after real estate. Also, it’s one-button, one-speed, one-minute cleanse is about as much technology as I want or can be bothered with in the bathroom.

But do you need it? It depends. If, like me, you love wearing sunscreen and primers and makeup and often feel you’re not removing it entirely, you will definitely enjoy the authentically clean feeling that follows a Clarisonic cleanse. No facial oil, second cleanse or makeup remover required. (I only use at night. Most people use twice a day. Some only use twice a week. It’s very much a what-suits-you-and-your-skin, best.) My skin feels smoother and softer afterwards, and I feel less need for my regular 2-3 times a week exfoliation/enzyme peel on a Sunday evening. And, from what I’ve heard, if you have troublesome skin, it does wonderful things for clarity and de-congestion, because it gets those bloody impurities out like nobody’s bizzo. (There is a deep cleansing brush head you can buy specifically for very clogged pores.)

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I use my normal cleanser with it, and despite being TERRIFIED of the “purge” that happens to some users after a couple of weeks (where your skin acts up and as it can sometimes do in a detox, becomes quite break-outy indeed) it did not happen to me. Pheeee-effing-ew.

Bottom line: Think of it as the difference between an ordinary toothbrush and an electric toothbrush. It’s a more initial outlay, but you get a much, much better clean. And, well, there’s a lot to be said for a good clean – it dictates how your skin care works and makeup looks.

Bossy line: Make sure you clean your brush head at least weekly. Otherwise that dirty ol’ thing will do you more harm than good, just like with makeup brushes. And replace the head entirely every three months or so. Many thanks.

Fun fact! You can buy pink and purple versions of the Mia now, which is terrific news for people who like those colours, but of little significance to those who prefer blue or green.

Remington Keratin Therapy Tong
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3. Remington Keratin Therapy Tong $53.95 ON SALE START OF MARCH

Remember my How To video on how to create loose curls and waves in your hair a few months back, I brazenly suggested you rip the clamp off your regular curling tong, because a straight barrel was the key to Good Curls? Well those gorgeous bloody squirrels at Remington have just made all of that easier with their (very nicely priced) and perfect-width (19mm), Remington Keratin Therapy Tong.

My hairdresser Lili Hopkins – a highly-respected dame who has access to many brands and salon-fancy tools – chooses to use this because it heats up EXTRODINARILY fast, and gets VERY hot, and both of those things delight people who have to work very quickly in a salon, because some scamp of a client arrived 10 minutes late (“me”) and that has set the whole day back and out of wack. There is also a huge smack of heat settings, which is terrific for second- or third-day touch-ups, because no way in Holland do you need 210-degree heat for a little re-jig and re-curl and re-style.

The lack of clamp and high heat are already enough to have dazzled this rascal, but you’ll also feel gooey knowing the tong is not ruining your hair as much as you think it is/it should be, thanks to the fancy ceramic tong infused with keratin, which, using ancient pixie sorcery, seeps out into your hair as your style. All of this means you get less frizz and more smoothness and less damage, which is wonderful, obviously, but did I mention there is NO CLAMP? Man are we all going to buy this HARD come March.

Check out our gallery of curls and waves as done by the celebs:

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Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. She was beauty director of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s BAZAAR and PRIMPED and then collated all the best tips and tricks from her time in these roles for the beauty bible, Amazing Face. She is currently the dating columnist for Cosmopolitan magazine, although her best advice in this arena can probably be found in the dating and relationship guide, Textbook Romance , which she co-wrote with Hamish Blake. Zoe has published three novels, Air Kisses, Playing The Field and The Younger Man, and she rates them among the best novels ever written in the history of the written word. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.

Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Do you have some terrific tools you love and want to tell us all about? Now’s your chance, bubbles!

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