I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
The other night I had the perfect excuse to pamper myself and get extra fresh: a hot date (well, sorta, my boyfriend and I have been together for years). I'd recently received sample gadgets and gizmos from Instrumental Beauty, a new line of affordable beauty tools, so I went ahead and gave myself the most elaborate spa treatment my bathroom has ever seen.
Of the five tools in the line, I tried the Portable Pedicure, Sonic Facial Brush, Advanced Cleaning System, and Home Spa Treatment System. Needless to say, I was late for my date, but I was very clean. There's also a Cellulite Massager System, which I didn't try. All five products launched in select drugstores this month--but you'll probably start seeing them November 1.
Below, I've ranked each product in order of Pretty Handy to Get This Immediately!
Portable Pedicure, $30: Pretty Handy
A spinning pedicure tool with a gentle yet effective micro-mineral roller to remove dead skin.
The instructions say to soak feet in warm water for 30 minutes, but I figured 20 minutes of standing in the shower would suffice. It was easy to use: just push the button and roll it back and forth on your feet. The effects kick in quick. My feet are now pathetically soft and ladylike. (Personally, I like my feet to be tough so I can walk around the country barefoot in the summer.)
Sonic Facial Brush, $80: Delivers On Its Pore-Cleansing Promise
Three-speed, chargeable sonic vibration cleansing brush for cleansing and exfoliating twice daily.
I've never been able to get behind facial brushes. I have very sensitive, dry skin with rosacea, so the last thing I want to do is exacerbate it by scrubbing it with a brush. Still, I decided I had to give it at least one try, albeit with some trepidation.
This unit has two brushes (one is a replacement) and three speed settings: sensitive skin, normal skin, and deep-cleaning. I tried all three levels (as gently as possible) with my usual cleanser. It felt strange, but not unpleasant or, thankfully, painful. Guess what? No irritation. And when I looked in the mirror afterward my face was remarkably radiant, if a little pink. So, THIS is what it looks like when you scrub all the dirt out of your pores.
I’ll use this on the lowest setting once or twice a week when I really need it and see how it goes from there.
Advanced Cleaning System, $20: Best Bang For Your Buck
Two-speed, battery-operated rotary combination cleansing and exfoliating unit for face, feet, and hands.
In addition to a two-speed handle, this comes with four cleansing and exfoliating heads: a facial brush for deep cleaning or gentle exfoliation, a microdermabrasion sponge, a pedi smoothing stone, and a mani buffing disk. Phew.
The facial brush was similar to the sonic facial brush, except smaller, and it had mostly the same effect. I liked that this also included a small sponge, which supposedly helps to prevent and erase fine lines and black spots. I don’t know about that, but it definitely felt like it was doing something. As in, it felt so weird it made me giggle. The pedi disk was effective at smoothing my shameful sandpaper feet, and the mani buffer was a revelation. My nails are always dull with cracked edges, so I’m going to use the mani buffer once a week from now on.
I’d say if you’re going to get any of these, this set gives you the most options for every part of your body.
Home Spa Treatment System, $30: GET THIS IMMEDIATELY!
Waterproof, battery-operated cleansing and buffing rotary unit for body, face, and feet. Cam be used twice daily.
This unit includes four attachment heads: a large brush for the body, a small brush for the face, a small pumice stone for the feet, and a small sponge for the face. I tried it out in the shower with the body brush attachment and some soap and was immediately hooked.
The giant brush was so convenient, and the handle makes it easy to get at hard to reach places. (There's one section of my back that hasn't been properly exfoliated in years.) It was also insanely effective. I used it all over my legs before shaving and got one of the best shaves of my life--no ingrown hairs or razor burn. And my legs were less dry and itchy than usual. I also like using this brush on my elbows, knees, back, feet, and shoulders, although I'd recommend being careful around more sensitive areas like the neck and underarms because it was very powerful.
Overall I really recommend checking this line out. You may not need every single instrument, but there’s definitely something here for everyone. They’re just as well-made and luxurious as higher-priced versions, in my opinion. Plus, I love that batteries come included with all of the tools.
Will you try out anything from Instrumental Beauty? Maybe buy one of the units as a holiday gift for someone on your list? Let me know if you score anything from the line. I’d love to hear your thoughts!