We explain the 7 beauty products that had all of us completely bewildered.

Take a quick peek into your beauty cupboard (go on, it’s okay I’ll wait).

Is there beauty tool or product gathering dust because you don’t know or can’t remember how to use it? You’re not alone.

From ‘cleansing systems‘ to terrifying hair tools, we’re taking a refresher on the tricky beauty tools and products invading your shelves and browser history.

1. Curl Secret. Please explain.

Hair goes in, curl comes out.

That’s the premise of the genius, yet slightly terrifying new hair styling tool, Curl Secret, from VS Sassoon.

If you haven’t heard about Curl Secret, it basically sucks your dead-straight hair in and spits it out wavy/curly.

I know, it sounds scary, it looks scary (take a look at the video below) but it WORKS.

We tried it out in the Mamamia office, see how that went down here: Curl Secret: The terrifying new hair tool everyone’s talking about.

2. What is a Clarisonic? And do I need one?

The Clarisonic is 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.

But do you need it? It depends. If you wear sunscreen, primer, and foundation on a daily basis primers and feel you’re not removing it entirely, you will definitely enjoy the authentically clean feeling that follows a Clarisonic cleanse.

It’s great for acne prone and problematic skin, I don’t know a Clarisonic user who has been underwhelmed by it.


Need more info? Read: The holy grail of skincare, have you tried it yet?

3. BBs, CCs, what the what, WHAT?

If I had a penny for every time I was asked about BB Creams I would have a very extensive but completely worthless penny collection.

BB Creams = Beauty Balm

Think of BB Cream as a tinted moisturiser on steroids. Generally tinted moisturisers are only suitable on near perfect skin – i.e. no one (unless you’re genetically blessed) whereas a BB cream will have you chucking out the majority of the products in your beauty cupboard.

The premise around a BB cream is a multi-tasking one; coming in 5 in 1 and even 9 in 1 formulations they’ll do the job (depending on your beauty routine) of three, four or even seven products (sunscreen, primer, concealer, moisturiser, illuminator, foundation, powder) and also address anti-ageing concerns with brightening and active ingredients.

The Body Shop product manager Val Zuban, says the reason for BB creams popularity is because women want one product that can do it all (you’re damn straight there Val!).

“Consumers are looking for multitasking products to simplify their beauty routine,” Zuban says.

“BB creams which are more sheer tend to be popular with two main markets – time-poor mums who want an easy to use multi-tasking product, and teenage girls who want to even out their complexion but who are not ready to commit to foundation.”


My favourites are L’Oreal Nude Magique BB Cream $26.95, and Kiehl’s, Actively Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream SPF 30 $36.

CC Creams = Colour Correction

If redness, pigmentation or broken capillaries are a problem for your skin then the colour-correcting (CC) creams are going to be your bag.

They’re more lightweight than a BB cream so think of it as a friend primer with benefits. The idea here is to correct your skin tone (make up artists do this with green, red or yellow toned make-up) before you go ahead a plop (technical term) on a layer of foundation/tinted moisturiser/mineral powder.

CC’s are fantastic for those who suffer from Rosacea  – although if you have particularly sensitive or reactive skin, you may need to road test a couple of brands first.

These newbies also claim to hide dullness and fatigue (this changes EVERYTHING!) and fade pigmentation with chemicals like N-acetyl glucosamine and niacinamide but we’ll have to see how that goes in the long term.

Clinique, Smashbox and L’Oréal Paris all have great versions.

Wait, can you go over BB creams again? Read this:  BB, CC, DD – What are these alphabet creams?

4. What about the Beauty Blender sponges I keep hearing about?

These are small, tear-shaped sponges with a pointed nib and a spherical bottom, which means you can get into very small areas like under the eye, or do large buffing/sweeping work on the cheeks. They’re cute as heck and a worthy makeup bag addition.


Where do I get them? Tarazz, an Australian site that stocks Sephora (yippee!) carries them. Find them here.

5. Temporary lip tattoos.

No, just no. Not even as a joke on Australia Day. Promise me now.

6. Tubular mascara. What’s that about?

Sun-proof, water-proof, wedding-proof and break-up proof: tubular mascaras use a polymer-based formulation to create tiny tubes that wrap around each lash.

If you’ve tried it and found black speckles under your eyes for days after removing it, then chances are you’re removing it incorrectly.

You can remove it more easily with warm water and your index finger and thumb, by gently pulling the ‘tubes’ of mascara off the lashes.

Need more info? Read: The three kinds of mascara. And the only one you need and Are you using the right makeup remover for your mascara?

7. There’s a moisturiser you can use in the shower?

Why even waste time moisturing outside of the shower when you can do it IN the shower? It makes absolutely no sense, yet somehow it works. You apply Nivea’s genius In Shower Moisturiser all over once you’ve washed, and then some magical moisturising agents do their thing and your skin is left soft and instantly hydrated – even after you dry off.
How much? $6.99. Try: Nivea’s In Shower Moisturiser, get it here.

What beauty products and tools do you get bewildered by? We’re going to make this a regular post so let me know in the comments below what tools/gadgets you want explained. – Nicky