Expensive beauty tools that are worth the price

I’ve always been pretty
low-maintenance when it comes to my beauty routine. A dab of foundation, a
swipe of drug store mascara and some clear lip gloss — and I’m out the door. In
fact, up until about a couple of years ago, my skin care secret was that I had
no skin care routine at all. Then, after discovering my first wrinkle right
before my 31st birthday, I decided it was time to step up my regimen. And begin
an affair with Sephora.
I’ve tried my fair share of
beauty products since then. But I have to admit, I’m still skeptical of
spending too much cash on any one item. That’s why I’m betting on some expert
advice. If you’re ready to step up your beauty game, this is your arsenal of
must-have beauty tools that are definitely worth breaking the bank.
Aucoin’s The Essential Brush Collection ($650)
A post shared by Kevyn Aucoin
Beauty (@kevynaucoin) on Jan 26, 2017 at 6:53am PST
If you think all makeup
brushes are created equal, think again. According to celebrity makeup artist
Christina Flach, who’s also the face behind the brand Pretty Girl Makeup, Kevyn
Aucoin is the Holy Grail when it comes to makeup brushes.
“This collection is worth
every penny of the $650,” Flach dished. “These 14 high-end
professional handmade brushes were made for the working makeup artist that demands
perfection for a shoot!” She added, “Quality makeup brushes for me
are like fresh surgical tools in an operating room.”
Makeup Brushes ($26-$70 each)
A post shared by Lara Geronimo
(@llaraslooks) on Jan 2, 2017 at 5:36pm PST
If a $650 makeup brush is just
a tad outside of budget (maybe one day, right?), consider upgrading your
drugstore makeup brushes to some fancier ones by NARS, instead.
Celebrity hair stylist and key
artist at Revolt-TV, Keka Heron, swears by this brand, saying, “When
purchasing makeup brushes, you want to select brushes that are going to stay in
good condition, and have minimum shedding. Having a great quality brush allows
you to apply makeup evenly.”
– Original ($20)
A post shared by beautyblender
(@beautyblender) on Dec 5, 2016 at 4:46am PST
I love a good sponge for
applying my liquid foundation and Munemi Imai, celebrity makeup artist, and
co-founder of MŪN, says there is no substitution for the original
Beautyblender. “I’ve tried a lot of different sponges for base makeup, and
this is the easiest to apply, blend and spread,” she said. “No mistake,
no streak.”
L.A. stylist and makeup pro
Fae Norris agrees, saying, “The Beautyblender sponge is my go-to choice
and I haven’t found anything on the market that comes close to touching it.
While the $20 price tag for a sponge might seem steep, I find I need to use
much less makeup because it doesn’t absorb into the sponge.” She also
loves the fact that it’s reusable and gives a super smooth foundation and
concealer application. An added bonus? It can be used for highlighting, too.
Light Therapy Anti-Aging Panel ($399)
A post shared by reVive Light
Therapy (@revivelighttherapy) on May 10, 2016 at 3:03pm PDT
In an effort to slow the aging
process, many skin care enthusiasts are looking to professional light therapy
sessions as a way to reduce wrinkles and boost the skin’s natural collagen
production. But realistically, not many of us have the time (or money) for
regular spa visits — no matter how much we want to look younger. That’s why
Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salons and
Skincare Collection, loves the Revive Light Therapy Anti-Aging Panel.
“It is as small as an
iPad, so it is super easy to pack and it opens like a book to lay on your
face,” she told me. “The light saturation is much better in this unit
than anything else on the market right now and will reduce inflammation,
de-puff your eyes after a long flight or in the morning after too much wine,
while helping to increase collagen all over the face.”
Trinity Facial Toning Device ($325)
A post shared by BeautybyCéci
TUDO SOBRE BELEZA (@beautybyceci) on Jan 23, 2016 at 5:32am PST
If an entire light therapy
panel doesn’t seem like your thing, consider NuFACE Trinity Facial Toning
Device — a handheld facial toner, which, according to Sephora, “Is
clinically tested for improved facial contour, skin tone, and reduction of the
appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.”
It’s also a favorite beauty
tool of Ashli Carnicelli, a licensed esthetician, massage therapist and founder
of the blog, The Skincare Belle. “I love the Trinity because you can
change out the heads for an eye [or] lip contour piece and an LED light that is
called the ‘wrinkle reducer’,” she told me. “I recommend this to any
of my clients who have slight skin sagging (especially around the
jawline/jowls) as well as the very first appearance of dynamic (expression)
lines on the forehead. The results are amazing!”
Ashley Black Guru FaciaBlaster ($99)

A post shared by Ashley Black
Guru (@ashleyblackguru) on Feb 6, 2017 at 5:01pm PST
When it comes to minimizing
wrinkles and saggy skin, Jennifer Devlin Waller, founder and CEO of Celtic
Complexion Luxury Artisan Skincare, told me her tool of choice is the The
Ashley Black Guru FaciaBlaster.
“If I was stuck on a
deserted island and I could have ONE beauty tool, this would be it,”
Waller said. “I simply massage my face with it 5 minutes a day (after the
shower) paying close attention to my neck and jowls (a.k.a. the ‘problem’ areas
of the woman over 40) and it firms it all up, instantly. I have turned on every
customer, friend and family member I have to this little workhorse.” The
added bonus: it’s a lot cheaper than a plastic surgeon.
Mia ($129)
A post shared by Clarisonic
(@clarisonic) on Feb 23, 2017 at 8:43am PST
If I had to choose my own
number one beauty tool, it would definitely be my trusted Clarisonic Mia. So I
was excited when I found out Waller was equally obsessed, even calling it the
gold standard of cleaning brushes.
“I have three, the Mia
model is my favorite because of it’s compact size,” she told me.
“Every time I cleanse my face, it feels like I’ve had a spa treatment –
and that’s no surprise because when I worked at five star resort spas, we used
these brushes on clients to deep clean the pores. I’ve tried using the
cheaper/knock off versions over the years, but always come back to the
original. It’s even safe and gentle enough to use on my rosacea (with the
sensitive skin brush head).”
A post shared by DERMAFLASH
(@dermaflash) on Jan 25, 2017 at 6:56am PST
Named among People’s 2016 list
of editors’ favorite beauty products, DERMAFLASH is a handheld beauty device
that simultaneously removes unwanted hair and dead skin cells on the face.
It’s also on celebrity makeup
artist Ashunta Sheriff’s list of must-haves. “It’s amazing because it
exfoliates and renews skin so fantastically that your skin feels and looks like
a baby’s bottom,” she told me. Did I mention Sheriff uses the DERMAFLASH
on clients like Taraji P. Henson? No big deal, right?
Supersonic Hair Dryer ($399)

A post shared by Dyson Hair
(@dysonhair) on Oct 17, 2016 at 6:04am PDT
Surely, you’ve heard of Dyson,
makers of super fancy vacuum cleaners with the spherical base. It turns out
they also make an amazing blowdryer. So stellar, in fact, that nearly every
expert I chatted with for this post mentioned it. It’s a serious splurge at
nearly $500 — but so worth it, according to Shelly Gast, a former model and
market research executive based in Chicago. “Lower temperature, less
frizz, efficiently dries and handles my long hair!”
Amanda Hume, makeup artist,
green beauty expert and owner/founder of VERT Beauty, agrees, saying,
“This is hands down best dryer ever. I have thick hair and this little
dryer gets it dry in less than 10 minutes and it’s super lightweight.”
Park G-Series Curl Shine Styler Round Brush ($120)

Because great hair is a major
part of feeling beautiful, I asked Fae Norris of L.A. Rock Paper Salon what
hair brush she can’t live without. The verdict: YS Park G-Series Curl Shine
Styler Round Brush.
“$120 for a brush? It’s
worth it if it’s ‘magic’,” she wrote in an email. “From its
lightweight teak handle, to its boar bristles, this is the choice for pros
looking to deliver phenomenal lift and shine. Most stylists have tried a ton of
different brushes and I’d bet this one is in more stylists’ hands than any
other. Simply the best.”
Waffle Luxe Hair Turban ($40)
At $40, the Aquis Waffle Luxe
Hair Turban is certainly one of the priciest towels I’ve ever seen. But
according to FitHair and wellness expert Alexandria Williams, it’s worth every
“I travel a lot, and one
of my favorite packing items is my Aquis turban,” she told me an
interview. “There are a lot of microfiber towels, but Aquis towels are
thick, light weight, better absorbing and last a lot longer than cheaper
brands. Since my hair is thick and coily, it quickly dries hair gently and
efficiently with no heat needed. Additionally, it reduces frizz by smoothing
the cuticles.”
(priceless) word of advice

From makeup brushes to hair
dryers, there are plenty of products out there that are worth the splurge. But
before you go out and break the bank, celeb makeup artist Imai reminds us not
to feel pressured to try everything at once. “It’s good to start with
essentials,” she told me.
“Invest in tools, skin
care (products that have multiple effects/purposes are always good to save for
both money and space) and base makeup. Try to find what works and what doesn’t
for your lifestyle and personal style. It’s a fun journey – enjoy it!”
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.