5 Extreme DIY Beauty Treatments: Tried & Tested

The good, the bad and the downright painful.

Remember that time we gave you a rundown on all the somewhat scary, definitely intimidating at-home beauty tools out there? The machine that promises to rid one of cellulite through some kind of electronic suction? The pretty pink laser to zap every last unwanted hair? The confounding DIY shellac light? The sci-fi reminiscent teeth whitener? Thought so. Hard to forget, right?

As promised, our curiosity (as well the fact that the machines were all just lying around Cov HQ ripe for the taking) got the better of us. And our TC panel is back to discuss exactly what worked miracles, what didn’t work in the least, what hurt and what was just completely confusing. So, you know, next time you’re feeling ready to drop a couple hundred bucks on a machine that will make you more beautiful (as if that’s even possible) while you simultaneously indulge in your nightly Netflix, you’ll know what you’re getting into.

 

CLARISONIC PEDIC SONIC FOOT TRANSFORMATION

Meagan

TMI confession time! I love me a credo blade. I'll save you the Google search: they're those little pedicure razors that shave off calluses with an abundance of ease. You know, the same ones that are banned in some states. Mostly because, as it turns out, having semi-strangers take blades to your feet can lead to infection. But in the words of Aaliyah, it's whatever: as I've expounded upon before, sometimes beauty treatments can get, well, a little gross (see also: pore strips) and believe me when I say that I want that shit gone, and if it results in gangrene, so be it.

In the interest, though, of at least attempting to curb my compulsion, when Clarisonic's pedicure set arrived at the office, I jumped to try it. Dutifully charging it the night before using it, I began the treatment by buffing my feet with the smoothing disc, also known as the silver plate that is one of two attachments that come with the set. Clarisonic junkies, take note: this one doesn't beep when it's time to move on. Admittedly, I was a little let down with the smoothing disc's buffing power: it didn't slough off nearly enough skin as I would have liked, but I'm also the kind of person willing to risk amputation in the name of scraping off calluses. After soaking my feet, I doubled up on my treatment and rubbed a little Pedi Buff (Clarisonic's take on a grainy foot exfoliator) into my soles and heels; switching out the smoothing disc for the brush head, which smoothed out what the disc had so inconsiderately left feeling rough. As per the set's instructions, I followed this up with a layer of the Pedi Boost, a little liquid medicine dropper with lactic and glycolic acid, which, as as a tried-and-true acid peel junkie, I was maybe most excited about after the letdown of the smoothing disc. I let this soak in for the recommended five minutes and applied the Pedi Balm, which, out of nowhere, is in the running to maybe be my favorite part of the entire experience. As someone who loathes lotion and will reach for a mammoth jar of coconut oil over a bottle of Jergens any day, I was basically beside myself to find that the Pedi Balm was true to its name—a fast-drying balm that wasn't goopy or runny. And while I woke up the next day with smoother feet, I would still happily hack away at my heels with my trusty credo any time.

Would I use it again? Yes! But there might still be razors in my pedicure routine...
Rating: :high_heel: :high_heel: :high_heel:

GLO BRILLIANT PERSONAL TEETH WHITENING DEVICE

Raleigh

Now, my teeth have never been majorly yellow, but ever since that Crest Whitestrips commercial engraved the phrase "if you're not whitening, you're yellowing" into my head I've been kind of nervous they'd get there. And because my teeth are no strangers to the 8am, 1pm, (and the occasional 4pm) coffee I jumped on this opportunity to whiten my kind-of-pearly whites.

Thirty-two minutes of Glo-ing a day for five-ten days, a little lip care (which they provide), and some G-vials (which they also provide) later and I assure you, you will see results. The prep: pucker up and lather your lips in the gloss provided (this step is important if you care about your #selfies), then squeeze just enough goo out of the G-vial to paint your teeth. It's a super easy process. I used the device for five days and I'm already liking what I'm seeing. Oh, and did I mention I'm getting married next July? See you at the altar, I'll be the one blinding you every time I smize (but, uh, with my mouth).

Would I use it again? Yes, and I'm going to... if you'll excuse me.
Rating: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin: :grin:

TRIA HAIR REMOVAL LASER

Emily

Like most women I know (save for the few very annoying ones who have nothing growing naturally but a sprinkling of peach fuzz), I’ve been ridding myself of body hair since a tender prepubescent age. I shave my legs and underarms, get a Brazilian regularly and tweeze just about everything else. While I’ve never actually gone through with professional laser hair removal, the idea is, well, interesting. I’ve held back if only because friends who have gone there say results aren’t as permanent as they're claimed to be.

So when the Tria rolled into our office, the idea of at least semi-permanently getting rid of unwanted hair in the comfort of my own home without the big spa payout was tempting indeed. But when I actually got the somewhat phallic-looking (but pink!) machine home, I remembered one very key phobia of mine: that of inflicting pain on myself. Okay, so a strange woman rips hair out of my skin monthly, but the one time I tried to wax my own bikini line, I couldn’t even rip the first strip off, and instead had to have a very long (and awkward) shower (too much?). Let’s just say, it took a few more evenings of pondering the tool and its (very hard to follow) instructions as well as a couple glasses of Pinot before I was comfortable with the idea of inflicting a laser on myself. But what happened when I finally did it? I literally felt nothing. Yeah.

The machine has three levels. As the instructions suggested I started with the lowest to see if I could “tolerate” it. I could. Middle: NP, guys. High? Heyyy, still here and feeling nothing. Granted this first experiment was done on my ankle (no way was I burning my bikini line should this thing actually emit anything serious), and I don’t have a ton of hair there. From what I can understand, however, unless your hair follicles are super dense (which, after years of waxing, mine aren’t), there’ll be next to no pain. As for effectiveness? I’ve done one treatment and the hair is definitely growing back much slower than it does after a basic shave. That said, if the laser was powerful at all, you’d feel it, right? Jury’s out, guys.

Would I use it again? Sure. Unless the hair keeps coming back.

Rating: :grey_question: :grey_question: :grey_question:

BLISS LEAN MACHINE

Raleigh

I'm always hesitant to try any type of machinery on my skin just because, well, I like my skin the way it is: on my body. And the fact that this skin-sucking machine comes with a suction release button? Needless to say, I was terrified (and not the type of terrified you just say for effect, but I actually lost sweat thinking about using it). To my surprise, it was actually kind of cool.

The device has a couple of settings you set yourself depending on your needs (or in my case, your comfort level). There's a 'pulsation level' switch, which is pretty self explanatory and a suction strength dial. Both of which you should keep to the lowest setting until you feel more comfortable turning up the volume to intense. Is it time consuming? Yes. Is the sound super annoying? Yes. Does it work? Yes. Seeing results does take time (like two weeks time), but slap on some FatGirl Slim and get to suctioning. Your cutie little dimples (the ones on the backs of your legs) will thank me later.

Would I use it again? You butt-ah believe it. Get it?!
Rating: :peach: :peach: :peach: :peach:

SEPHORA X OPI GELSHINE AT-HOME GEL COLOR SYSTEM

Monika

Friends, inside this tiny little box is your very own nail salon. It's kind of a dream for any girl wanting to get her nails done, all while watching Netflix in her pajamas. Describe a more perfect day, I dare you.

If you’re a textbook learner like myself, you’ll love the step-by-step guide OPI supplies in the kit. From the most detailed instructions to tips and tricks on how to prepare and maintain your nails, everything is pretty much laid out for you. The kit includes everything from your GelShine polish and nail cleansers to removal wraps and the mystery that is the LED light (am I the only one still wondering how the heck that thing makes your nails dry so fast?!). From application to removal, you’re covered. It's seriously as easy as ordering Starbucks.

I followed the instructions to a tee and took my time with preparation, applying (I went for two thin coats of colour and two top coats) and drying. I have to admit my roommate’s nails looked professionally done when I was finished with them (I’m already thinking about opening my own salon. Coveteur Nailz has a nice ring to it, right?). The gel polish is strong, shiny and long-lasting. After a few days, no chips, pilling, or dullness is in sight (and rumour has it the gel last 2-4 weeks). And I have to think that this beaut is going to save me a few extra dollars down the road (DIY vs. dropping $50 every few weeks... you do the math), right? I was skeptical at first, but I think this kit has changed my nail game forever.

Would I use it again? A big Y-E-S! Like I said, it's like having your very own nail salon. And you get a salon style result too. I'm into it!

Rating: :nail_care: :nail_care: :nail_care: :nail_care:

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