High-Tech At-Home Skin

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The latest beauty gadgets bear more resemblance to R2-D2 than to a bar of soap. But will they really make you look better? Our staffers lent their faces to find out
Photo: Yasu + Junko

Clarisonic Opal Sonic Infusion System

$245; clarisonic.com The claim The handheld device is loaded with antiaging serum, which it massages into the skin around the eye. The device’s "sonic" technology is said to help the serum penetrate better, resulting in reduced puffiness and fewer fine lines. The verdict "I’ve tried every eye product that’s ever been invented, and none have impressed me. Until now. I went from a total cynic to the biggest fan of this product. I use it both morning and night, and I’m telling you, I see a difference-fewer lines and less puffiness. Seriously. Now, does my eye area stay this way 24/7? No. I still wake up to some puffiness, and the lines start to show a bit a few hours after use. But I feel like the cumulative effect is good." ?-Susan Swimmer, fashion features editor
Photo: Yasu + Junko

L’Oreal Paris Collagen Micro-Pulse Eye

$20; drugstores The claim The bottom half of this device contains an eye cream that targets dark circles and fine lines. The top half houses a vibrating gadget that’s used to massage in the cream, supposedly improving penetration and boosting circulation in the under-eye area to reduce puffiness. The verdict "The cream was light and easily absorbed, something I appreciated as a contact lens wearer. I also believe the vibrating action did help reduce puffiness, especially on those mornings when my allergies were acute (or when I’d sniffled through an episode of Glee the night before). As for long-term results, the product helped with fine lines and discoloration about as well as many other eye creams do. The real selling point is the immediate bag shrinkage, something every woman needs in her morning arsenal." ?-Genevieve Monsma, beauty director
Photo: Yasu + Junko

Clean & Clear Morning Burst Surge Energizing Power Cleanser

$16; drugstores The claim A cleansing pad (suitable for combination or normal skin) is attached to this handheld vibrating tool, and the two are used to wash (and massage) the face. It’s said to be "10 times more effective than an ordinary cleanser." The verdict "The pros: It is cute and orange and easy to store. It also foams nicely, and the cleanser was better than expected-not too drying. My skin felt squeaky clean after washing. The only con: The device doesn’t move easily over the contours of the face, like around the nose and across the forehead." -Jennifer Braunschweiger, features editor
Photo: Yasu + Junko

Glo Brilliant Smile Whitening System

$250; available at sephora.com in early 2011 The claim Developed by Jonathan B. Levine, DDS, this tooth-whitening device is supposed to give you results that rival in-office smile-brightening procedures. A step up from whitening "strips," this bleaching-solution-plus-mouthpiece kit employs both heat and light to accelerate and intensify the bleaching process. To get the best results, you should use it for about half an hour a day, five days straight. The verdict "Although I’m not techy, I had no trouble operating this somewhat intimidating-looking device. Wearing it privately was key, though; you do look freakish once you’re ‘glowing.’ It did whiten my teeth, and the results were definitely an upgrade from the brighteners I’ve bought at the drugstore. My teeth may even be as white now as they were when I once got an in-office bleaching treatment-and for the price, that’s a tremendous value. The biggest downside is the time commitment. A half hour a day for five days doesn’t sound like that much. Until you have to do it." ?-Debra Bishop, creative director
Photo: Yasu + Junko

DDF Revolve 400X Micro-Polishing System

$95; sephora.com The claim This rotating, handheld gadget pairs a (detachable) sponge head with an exfoliating cream to slough dead cells off the skin’s surface, leaving your complexion smoother and more radiant ("up to eight times better exfoliated than if you use a scrub alone"). The kit also includes an attachable brush head, which can be used daily with your regular cleanser. The verdict "At first I was hesitant to use this device-or even open the package. I hate those long, unfolding instructions in 10 different languages. But when I finally did open the box and saw how straightforward this tool was-a quick 30-second skin polisher with no cords (thank goodness)-I wanted to use it nightly. Exercising restraint, I’ve limited myself to four times over the past three weeks and do see a significant difference in my skin: It looks more even, and I’ve had fewer breakouts." ?-Natasha Lunn, photo director
Photo: Yasu + Junko

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